Puzzle - lateral foot pain, but only when weight on foot

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I am having a problem that I hope someone here can shed some light on.  A few days ago I started having a sharp pain in the side of my foot (lateral, almost directly in the middle between my pinky toe and my heel).  It hurts like hell when I try to walk, but the pain stops as soon as I lift my foot.  I can put weight on my heel or tippy-toes without pain.  No swelling, no bruising, nothing else.  I've poked and prodded, but can't find anything sore.  In the mornings, I can take several steps pain-free but it comes back very suddenly and only gets worse as the day wears on.    

I had it checked out (can't afford down time).  The NP said that she thinks it's either something tendon-related or a stress fracture, and is sending me to get an x-ray in the morning.  However, I have heard that stress fractures do not show up on x-rays very well.  I do NOT want to be misdiagnosed, so thought I'd ask if anyone here has had a similar experience or had advice.  Is it a waste of time to get the x-ray?  Should I just ignore this and hope it gets better?  Should I go to a podiatrist?

I am a 34 year old woman in good shape.  I walk often, but not every day.  I have very low arches.  The day the pain started I had walked through the neighborhood, but only two or three miles, and I can't pinpoint a darn thing that could have caused this.

I appreciate any help or the sharing of similar experiences to help me figure this out.  

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13 Replies

  • Posted

    hum, this sounds like my symptoms! I am 67 but, am a horse back rider, hike, dance. Do not remember hurting my foot but, it started hurting in the 5th metarsal exactly where yours is. I paid no attention until I came down a step and popped it. I frankly would go to a foot and ankle orthopedist. You most likely have a stress fracture and in that particular area, they are difficult to heal. I have been non weight bearing for 5 weeks but, do go to doctor tomorrow in hopes she will let me walk in the lovely boot she gave me. I suspect that will be for another 8 weeks but, will see tomorrow. Get good medical care becaue these fractures are tough to heal and can recur. Good luck, let us know. Sandi
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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply, Sandi.  About how long did you go with yours hurting before it popped?  I know there is no way I can get in to see a specialist before next week (at the earliest), and am on my feet tons every day.  Did yours show up on an xray?  
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    • Posted

      We have Ortho On Call here so went there for the diagnosis.

      They put me in a boot and on crutches. Took a week to get in to doctor. I would get off that foot!! Yes, the fracture shows up. The more you are on it, the longer it will take to heal. It all sucks. I have a darn jorse farm and this has killed me!

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  • Posted

    It sounds like 5 metatarsal stress fracture have it

    X-rayed the more you walk on it the more damage you can do .it can be a slow process healing my advice is follow your Dr. advice.hope all goes well let us know how you get on.

    Catherine

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    • Posted

      Catherine, I go to doctor tomorrow to see if I can put weight on foot in boot.

      Bet I can, after 5 weeks feels great! Wonder how long boot will be on? She said "it" would be my best friend for a while. I would certainly rather have a different best friend??

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    • Posted

      I had my boot on for 12 weeks 10 weeks non weight bearing then 2 weeks partial weight baring than shoes on and 1 week walk with 2 cruches now walking with one cruche and short distance walking in house with no cruches. I also this week drive short distance in car which is great .I go for walk on walking track every day extending lent of walk every 3 days.
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    • Posted

      Hum, we shall see what she says tomorrow. Am anxious. I forgot, did you have surgery? I did not. So she said I would more than likely be weightbearing in boot without crutches tomorrow but who knows. Darn stress fracture kept trying to heal then I would ride or work out not knowing there was a problem. X Ray showed white places where it had tried to heal. Husband a retired Radiologist. I am dying to ride but from what you say may be Oct instead of Sept.smile

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    • Posted

      Dr told me first day I would be 6 to 12 weeks that's if it heals.it is well on its way to healing.the walking is to stimulate the bone.I had no surgery but bone broke 40 years ago.in same place.

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  • Posted

    Your xray should be weight baring with your foot on the film slide. Laying down with foot up won't show stress fracture. Your symptoms were similar to mine, but I started with wrong kind of xray and was miss diagnosed for 8 weeks with strain tendon until I went to a podiatrist and they did correct kind of xray and it showed stress fracture. Get to a podiatrist!

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    • Posted

      Ha I was an X Ray Tech for years. You are correct. I have heard podiatrist are wonderful but I ended up with an ortho foot and ankle doc. Feet are so difficult!!
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