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Family Foot Care & Surgery, LLC

Not-So-Interchangeable Causes of Top of the Foot Pain

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Sometimes things are interchangeable and work in the same place or role. That concept helped Eli Whitney put New Haven, Connecticut, on the map when he built his factory for producing interchangeable gun parts there. Diagnoses for foot conditions aren’t technically interchangeable like gun parts, but there often is more than one possible cause for a single problem like top of the foot pain. Unfortunately, treatments do have to be customized for each cause—so identifying which one is behind your discomfort is an important step for healing it.

The term “top of the foot pain” is pretty self-explanatory. It’s any condition that creates pain somewhere on the top of your foot, from your toes to the front of your arch by your ankle. Here are a few possible sources of your discomfort:

  • Stress fracture – This is a thin crack in one of the bones in your lower limbs, often a metatarsal. The top of your foot will be tender to the touch and probably swell. There might be bruising as well.
  • Extensor tendonitis – This is irritation and inflammation in the tendons that run on the top of your foot and connect to your toes. The condition makes it painful to flex your foot and wear some types of shoes.
  • Pinched nerve – The nerves on the tops of your feet can get pinched just as easily as nerves in other places. This causes a burning, pins-and-needles pain and possibly numbness.
  • Ganglion cyst – This is a pocket of jelly-like fluid that creates a bump on the top of your foot. It can be painless, but pressing on it is generally uncomfortable.
  • Tibialis anterior tendonitis – This is painful inflammation in the tibialis anterior tendon, which runs in front of the ankle. Too much activity causes pain there and on top of the arch.

Since each of these conditions affect different physical structures within your lower limbs, taking care of your specific problem will entirely depend on identifying the condition and how it affects you. That’s why an accurate diagnosis of top of the foot pain is so important.

Let our team at Family Foot Care & Surgery, L.L.C. in Hamden or Milford, CT, help you identify your unique issue so it can be remedied. Make an appointment through our website, or call us directly: (203) 876-7736 for our Hamden office, or (203) 288-4055 for our Milford location.

Dr. Sanjay V. Patel
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Dr. Patel has over 20 years of experience in the field of podiatric medicine and podiatric surgery.
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