The Outside of My Foot Hurts but I Didn’t Injure It!

Pain to the outside of the foot is the result of several different conditions depending on where the pain is located.  This can include inflammation of padding near the base of the little toe called bursitis, irritation to a nerve on the outer side of the foot (sural neuritis), or inflammation in a joint on the outer part of the foot near the ankle (sinus tarsitis).  However, the most common cause of pain on the outer side of the foot is due to injury and inflammation to one of two tendons called the peroneal tendons.  These tendons start from muscles in the outer part of the leg and run down under the outer ankle and attach on the side and bottom of the foot.  The tendons can become damaged and inflamed due to chronic foot strain, such as seen with unsupportive shoes and activity on uneven ground, as well as after ankle sprains and foot twisting injuries.  The condition is called peroneal tendonitis and can cause mild to severe pain on the outer part of the foot along the middle of the length, as well as outer ankle pain.

Treatment involves stabilizing the foot and ankle and reducing inflammation.  Identification of foot structural problems as well as activities that can agitate the tendons is required, as this condition can become a long-term issue.  Some people require physical therapy to help complete the healing process, and less frequently surgery is needed to repair tendon damage.  Our podiatrists are very experienced with treating peroneal tendonitis as well as other conditions causing pain to the outside of the foot and can offer comprehensive options to help stop this pain and return you back to normal activity.

If you suffer from pain to the outside of the foot, regardless of whether it was injured or not, come see us soon to discuss your options and start down the path to relief!

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