After walking - extreme pain around big toe lasting for weeks.

Posted , 9 users are following.

Hello,

I have a recouring foot problem that my GP or Podiatrist have been unable to diagnose as yet. It’s an excruciating pain that centres around the big toe joint.  It’s occurred around three times now over the last 18 months or so.  It always happens after I’ve walked a couple of miles in a day, (which is usually on holiday as i'm not sporty). I start to feel the pain the same day but the next morning my foot around the big toe/ball gets extremely sore that I can’t put my weight or walk on it  for around a week at least and it takes a few months to feel fully healed again.  It feels like a broken toe,  very painful to touch or move. It feels very hot and looks red. It swells a little but not too much.  It also feels painful on the pad at the base of my toes but it is the big toe that is by far the worst.  I feel the pain in both my feet but it is the left foot that get real bad.

I’ve had Xrays & blood tests for gout and red/white blood cell count but all apparently seems normal.  It’s not a bunion either although my podiatrist says there is a slight deformity but nothing that should cause this much trouble. I wear arch support insoles in my shoes as I have flat fallen arches. I work standing up all day wearing steel toe-capped safety shoes.  Although I do a fair bit of walking at work, I don’t do any sports or hobbies where I walk/run a lot.

I’m a 45 yr old male who is in otherwise good health and not overweight.  This condition that started around one & a half is affecting my lifestyle. It’s ruining my holidays. Last two times i have been laid up in the hotel and have had to take sick leave from work when I got back home and no-one seems to be able to tell me what the problem is! The last time it flared up was in the middle of May and it still doesn’t feel right two months later.

Has anyone else suffered from the same condition?  Any help or advice is greatly appreciated. 

2 likes, 9 replies

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Norm,

    I'm sorry I don't think I can help you as I'm in the PMR and Diabetes group.However I did have a bunion operation 25 years ago as I was suffering your symptoms.

    However I'm female and nearly 70 years old now so your problem isn't relevant to my current situation.Hope you get to the bottom of it soon.

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  • Posted

    Hi Norm, when I first saw the post,  I thought it was gout, which isn't only assossiated with alcohol and old men!  But, as I read on, it sounded like my achilles tendonitis, which also appears to be related to high insteps, which you presumably had before your arches dropped.

    My GP has referred me to the Physios because I don't want to take any more drugs.  A drug that you could take, is an NSAID, have you been offered those?  Or perhaps a topical NSAID.

    I have been told that the physios will give me specific exercises to help my heel.  I hope so because it is making driving difficult.  Perhaps they can help you too, or possibly a hospital Podiatrist.

    Good luck!

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  • Posted

    Hello, it sounds like you may have Sesamoiditis if it's centered around the underside on the ball of your big toe. The sesamoids are the little bones that are under the big toe and they can get fractured, if so, you may need surgery to repair this. I also have severe pain under my big toe when i walk, though I usually just shift the weight to my heel and the outside of my foot when I walk to ease this, it does hurt pretty much all the time though, even just when walking around in general and it pulse in pain after a long exercise walk. Have your Podiatrist take X-rays of these sesamoids to see if they are fractured....that's just my two cents smile

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  • Posted

    Since replying, I have discovered that my pain was due to a drug that I am on.  Are you taking any drugs?
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  • Posted

    Have you had an MRI scan. That will show up everything it much more detail than X-rays. Also did this problem start when you started wearing insoles. As although they sort one problem they often start another as shifting weight and gait putting pressure on other bones, ligaments and muscle .......
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  • Posted

    I have the same problem I'm 54 and my work requires me to be on my feet alot,it is my right foot big toe

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  • Posted

    This sounds familiar to me. I went on a trip to Mexico and walked around pyramids and although I was wearing good sports, walking shoes, my big toe on one foot began to get progressively more painful. By the time I headed home, it was excruciating and I could not put weight on it. On the 17 hour flight home, my foot swelled and was painful and so the stewards gave me ice to pack around my foot. I didn't know you should not apply that directly so I gave myself an ice burn. Prior to that I had swelling, but no redness. But of course, being an older woman, I set off, hobbling to the doctor and she said, 'it's gout'.  I didn't have any symptoms of gout other than the redness..... so I was sent for tests but my uric levels were low. But at the hospital, they wouldn't give me an MRI or a scan because I said I had been walking in Mexico. 'Oh, so you drank all that tequila right?' - actually I didn't drink at all. But no, one look at it was 'gout'.  I went to a podiatrist who got me a scan, which only showed synovial swelling. And an Xray that showed no osteo and no noticeable fractures.  I had explained that I did break that toe in my youth. However, I was given orthotics and sent to rest up. It is much better now, but if I walk to much, especially on uneaven surfaces, I can feel the pain starting again. My toe is still a bit sore to touch in the joint. I have wondered if it may be a bunion? There is a boney type growth, but I have that on both feet. I have just noted someone else found their problem was bone marrow edema. But I am reluctant to go back to my doctor while my foot is not too bad as I had ended up having a bit of a fight with her. She was so certain it was gout and can't see past that. 

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  • Posted

    I have the same issue and every thing you described bout yourself is the same as me on my right foot under my big to right before it bend it's a bruise like called pain not in the bend I cannot push off on that foot I did stop wherein my work boots for a while did where my sneakers for a while

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  • Posted

    I have been having this kind of trouble for quite some time now but this summer it became debilitating.  An x ray showed advanced degeneration of the first and third metatarsal.  About the only thing that relieves the pain for me is a patch I bought on line that has Lidocaine in it. If it weren't for that, I wouldn't get any sleep.  I also use arch braces and some metatarsal gels, and supportive shoes that seem to help.

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