Foot Pain Chart: An In-Depth Guide to Identifying Foot Pain

Foot pain is a frustrating and sometimes debilitating problem that affects many people. There are a whole range of structures e.g. bones, muscles, tendons and nerves which will each exhibit slightly different foot pain symptoms.

Our goal is to provide you with a tool to point you in the right direction when attempting to identify the source of your foot pain and possible causes. The foot pain chart is a useful guide to identify foot pain symptoms, but it's essential to consult a foot doctor or medical professional for accurate diagnosis and treatment. Always seek professional medical advice.

What are the different types of feet pain?

Foot pain can be caused by a variety of conditions, including plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia, Morton's neuroma, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, peripheral neuropathy, pregnancy, diabetes, fibromyalgia, pinched nerves, growing pains, and more. However, diagnosing the cause of foot pain can be challenging since it can originate from different parts of the foot. To help identify the source of foot or ankle pain, a foot-pain chart can be a useful tool.

These foot pain charts are a visual representation of the various areas of the foot and the corresponding conditions that can cause pain. It is divided into sections that correspond to different regions of the foot. Sometimes pain originating from something on the bottom of the foot can cause pain on the top of the foot. For this reason, the chart associates the area in which a person may be experiencing pain with the most likely issues causing that pain. As a result, there may be some overlap in an attempt to provide a more accurate foot-pain chart.

How do I use the foot pain charts?

Foot-pain diagrams provide a framework to better understand the underlying cause of foot pain. These charts can be used effectively by describing your symptoms and referring to the chart to more easily pinpoint the location of the pain and narrow down the potential causes. For example, if you identify a sharp pain in the heel of your foot, the foot pain chart will lead you to plantar fasciitis as a possible cause.

Using the following diagrams, the location of each pain issue and what might be causing it is labeled and then is described more fully below helping you find out everything you need to know about the causes and symptoms for each.

The first foot pain diagram shows common problems that cause pain on top of the foot at the front.

Front of Foot Pain Identifier

Front Foot Pain Chart

Sinus Tarsi Syndrome 

Sinus Tarsi Syndrome is usually the cause of ongoing foot pain after suffering an ankle sprain. The resulting inflammation and instability cause pain deep inside the joint that gets worse with activity, especially ankle twisting, and gets better with rest. 

Foot Extensor Tendonitis or just Extensor Tendonitis

The most common cause of top of foot pain is Extensor Tendonitis. Inflammation and irritation of the tendons across the top of the foot causes pain when you lift your toes or bring up your ankle. It usually develops from repeated friction across the top of the foot or excessive pressure from a poorly-fitting shoes. You can learn more about Extensor Tendonitis in our article Step Up Your Foot Health: How to Treat Extensor Tendonitis.

Claw Toe

This condition causes the outer four toes to abnormally curl into different positions. Claw toe, which affects all three toe joints develops slowly from wearing poorly fitting shoes or from muscle or nerve damage. You can learn more about claw toe in our article Can Claw Toe Be Reversed? Tips for Improving Foot Function.

Foot Gout

Foot gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis caused by excess uric acid. It provokes sudden intense pain, swelling and redness usually in the big toe. You can learn more about gout in our article Understanding Gout: Causes, Symptoms, and Risk Factors.

Anterior Tibial Tendonitis a/k/a Tibialis Anterior Tendonitis or Shin Splints

Tibialis Anterior Tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendon that runs from the front of the leg down to and stretching across the ankle. This condition is also sometimes referred to as shin splints. This tendon is one of the main tendons responsible for lifting the foot up. It causes pain in the front of the ankle or the medial midfoot where it inserts on the bone, especially when walking downstairs or on slopes. It is usually caused by overuse, repetitive strain on the tendon from running, jumping or high impact sports or from wearing shoes that do not provide adequate support. Flat feet or high arches may also cause shin splints. To learn more about this condition read our article Anterior Tibial Tendonitis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options.

Ankle Sprain

An ankle sprain can occur by overstretching of one of the ankle ligaments causing it to tear. 85% of ankle injuries are ligament sprains. Learn more about ankle sprains here.

Posterior Tibial Tendonitis

This is a painful condition that affects both the foot and the ankle causing pain and swelling on the inner side of the ankle. Inflammation and/or tearing of the tendon that supports the foot arch can affect your ability to walk or perform lower-body movements, often making it difficult to stand on tiptoes.

Stress Fractures

Small breaks in the foot bones, most typically the metatarsals, caused by repetitive force, such as repeatedly jumping up and down or running long distances. Stress fractures can also develop from normal use of a bone that's weakened by a condition such as osteoporosis. Learn more about stress fractures in our article "Identifying, Preventing, and Treating Stress Fractures in the Feet".

Bunion

A bunion is a bony projection on the joint at the base of the big toe. It sometimes causes swelling, redness, and soreness around the big toe joint and grows gradually. Your toe will turn inwards over time. It is associated with wearing ill-fitting shoes. Learn more about bunions here.

Mallet Toe & Hammer Toe

Mallet Toe and Hammer Toe, which are caused by a deformity of the one of the toe joints causing abnormal bending of the toes, typically affects the second toe. It develops slowly from wearing poorly fitting shoes or from muscle or nerve damage. Learn more about Hammer Toe in our blog article Hammertoe Demystified: Unveiling the Truth behind Symptoms, Causes and Treatments.

High Ankle Sprain (Syndesmotic Sprain)

A high ankle sprain is a type of ankle sprain that occurs when the ligaments that connect the two leg bones, the tibia and fibula, (above the ankle joint) are stretched or torn. Unlike a typical ankle sprain, which involves the ligaments on the outside of the ankle, a high ankle sprain involves the ligaments above the ankle joint and is often caused by a twisting or rotational force on the ankle, common in sports that involve sudden changes of direction or jumping. It can lead to pain above the ankle joint, swelling, bruising, difficulty walking, and a feeling of instability in the ankle. Learn more in our article Understanding and Managing High Ankle Sprains.

Osteochondral Lesion 

An osteochondral lesion is a tear or fracture in the cartilage covering one of the bones in the ankle joint, the talus, or lateral and medial malleolus. The cartilage can be torn, crushed or damaged. It may cause pain and swelling, or feel like a dull ache in the joint.

Talus Fracture

The Talus is the main connection between your foot and your leg. When broken, it can create significant loss of function in your ankle. This type of fracture is usually caused by high impact injuries and causes severe ankle pain, swelling, and difficulty walking. Learn more about Talus Fractures.

Anterior Ankle Impingement 

Anterior ankle impingement causes pain in the front of the ankle joint caused by irritation of the talus, lateral and medial malleolus bones, the joint, soft tissue, tendons, ligaments, and/or nerve endings. Yo can learn more about anterior ankle impingement in our article titled, "Insights on Anterior Ankle Impingement for Diagnosis and Rehabilitation".

Cuneiform Stress Fractures

The cuneiform bones are a very small group of 3 bones that allow for flexibility in the foot and the ankle. Cuneiform stress fractures are rare but occur when there is repetitive stress placed on the cuneiform bones. Stress fractures can occur from sports activities and activities that require jumping, dancing, and marching and causes midfoot pain and swelling.

Second Metatarsal Fracture

A metatarsal stress fracture is a hairline fracture in one of the long metatarsal bones in the foot. The second metatarsal is the bone most commonly injured and is usually caused by trauma to the foot or repetitive stress. The pain will be usually be located towards the middle, or front of the foot and develops gradually over time. To learn more read our article on Second Metatarsal Fractures.

Superficial Peroneal Nerve Entrapment

The common peroneal nerve helps you feel sensations in the front and sides of your legs. It also allows you to lift your toes and ankles. The superficial peroneal nerve runs on the outside of your leg and is responsible for sensation in the outer two-thirds of your leg and the top of your foot. 

Swelling or disfunction of the nerve that runs through the fascia near the ankle can result from injury, such as ankle sprains and twists leading to entrapment from the nerve becoming over-stretched. Symptoms of peroneal nerve entrapment include pain, numbness, or tingling in the top of the foot. Learn more in this article about superficial peroneal nerve entrapment.

Morton’s Neuroma or just Neuroma

Morton’s Neuroma is a benign growth of nerve tissue frequently found between the third and fourth toes. It causes pain, a burning sensation, tingling, or numbness between the toes, around the ball of your foot or at the base of your toes. Learn more about Morton's Neuroma here.

Bottom of Foot Pain Identifier

Bottom of the Foot Pain Identification Infographic

Heel Spurs

A bone spur at this spot is called an inferior calcaneal bone spur and occurs when a bony outgrowth forms on the heel bone. Calcaneal spurs can be located at the back of the heel (dorsal heel spur) or under the sole (plantar heel spur). The dorsal spurs are usually linked with a tight plantar fascia. Causes a sharp pain under the foot that is worse with initial movement then eases to a dull ache. Learn more about heel spurs.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It is the inflammation of a thick band of tissue (plantar fascia) that runs across the bottom of each foot and connects the heel bone to the toes. It causes stabbing pain in the heel that radiates under the foot.  

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

The tarsal tunnel is located on the inside of the ankle and is formed by the ankle bones and a band of ligaments that stretches across the foot. Tarsal tunnel syndrome is caused by compression of the posterior tibial nerve as it travels through the tarsal tunnel, causing pain, tingling or numbness in the foot. Learn more about tarsal tunnel syndrome.

Gout Foot

The signs of gout occur suddenly, and often at night causing intense joint pain. Gout usually affects the big toe, but it can occur in any joint. It is the result of a build-up of uric acid crystals in the big toe joint causing toe pain, swelling and redness. 

Turf Toe

Turf Toe is the name given to a common injury in sportspeople playing on artificial turf. It is a sprain of the big toe caused by the toe bending back too far, causing pain and swelling. 

Achilles Tendonitis

Overuse of the Achilles tendon can cause injury to this band of tissue that connects calf muscles at the back of the lower leg to your heel bone. Achilles tendonitis typically occurs in runners who have suddenly increased the intensity or duration of their runs. It's also affects middle-aged people who play sports, such as tennis or basketball, only on the weekends.

Heel Spurs (Haglund’s Deformity)

A bone spur on the back of the heel is known as Haglund’s deformity, which causes heel pain swelling and redness where a hard lump forms. It is often called “pump bump” because the rigid backs of pump-style shoes can create pressure that aggravates the heel when walking. Any shoes with a rigid back, such as ice skates, men’s dress shoes or women’s pumps, can cause “pump bump”. This condition is associated with Achilles Tendonitis and Bursitis. 

Heel Bursitis

You have bursae in your heel near your Achilles tendon, which attaches your calf muscle to the back of your heel bone. Bursae are small sacs of fluid around bones and joints that cushion your joints and prevent your bones from rubbing against each other. When the bursae become irritated, it is called bursitis. It is indicative of repeated overuse and injury to your heel that can be caused from wearing the wrong shoes for the activity in which you are participating.

Learn more about heel bursitis here.

Os Trigonum Syndrome

An Os Trigonum is a small extra bone that sometimes develops behind the ankle (talus) bone found in 5-10% of people. It is usually found in one or both feet and is present at birth. It is connected to the talus by a fibrous band. Its presence can cause tenderness, swelling and pain behind the ankle particularly when pointing the toes or going up on tiptoes.

Tarsal Coalition

Tarsal Coalition is where a bony bridge (an abnormal connection) forms between the heel bone and one of the tarsal bones on the top of your foot affecting only 1% to 6% of the population. This genetic condition usually develops before birth, but symptoms usually aren’t apparent until late childhood or early adulthood. It’s also possible to develop the condition due to infection, injury or arthritis. This condition causes aches and pains or more serious walking difficulties.

Bunions & Bunionettes

Bunions are protrusions that occur on the inside of the foot below the big toe. A bunionette is a prominence of the fifth metatarsal bone where it meets the little toe. It sometimes causes swelling, redness, and soreness around the toe joint and grows gradually. The toe starts to deviate inwards causing the base of the toe to stick outwards. Most common in women who wear tight, pointy, high heeled shoes.

Calluses & Corns

Areas of thickened, hard skin form to protect skin of the foot from damage against prolonged rubbing, pressure or irritation. Calluses are usually large, but painless whereas corns are smaller, circular lumps and can be quite painful. 

Plantar Fibromatosis (Ledderhose Disease)

A Plantar Fibromatosis is a benign growth forming a hard nodule on the plantar fascia and can be felt in the arch of the foot. It may or may not cause foot arch pain and plantar fascia tightness. 

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton’s Neuroma is a benign growth of nerve tissue frequently found between the third and fourth toes. It causes pain, a burning sensation, tingling, or numbness between the toes, around the ball of your foot or at the base of your toes. It sometimes feels like you have a small pebble in your shoe.

Capsulitis of the Second Toe (Predislocation Syndrome)

This is a common condition that is the result of abnormal foot mechanics, where the ball of the foot beneath the toe joint takes an excessive amount of weight-bearing pressure. It causes pain at the ball of the foot that worsens when walking especially barefoot. If left untreated, it can eventually cause dislocation, calluses, hammer toe, or crossover toe where the second toe creeps slowly toward and over the big toe.

Freiburg’s Disease (Freiburg’s Infraction)

In this condition, physical stress causes multiple tiny fractures where the middle of the metatarsal meets the growth plate. It’s an uncommon condition where a lesser metatarsal head bone essentially dies. This condition usually affects the second metatarsal head. The cause is unknown, but some believe that it is caused by a traumatic insult in the form of either acute or repetitive injury and vascular compromise, perhaps due to an elongated 2nd metatarsal.

Submetatarsal Bursitis

Submetatarsal bursitis is a condition that occurs when the bursa a small fluid-filled sac located in the ball of the foot, becomes inflamed. When the bursa becomes inflamed, it can cause pain and swelling in the ball of the foot. Submetatarsal bursitis can happen or worsen when there is repetitive stress or pressure on the ball of the foot, such as engaging in activities like running, jumping, or wearing ill-fitting shoes, certain foot deformities, e.g. hammertoes or bunions.

Lisfranc Injury

Lisfranc injury usually affects the middle of the foot, where the Lisfranc joint is located. This joint connects the bones of the forefoot to the bones of the midfoot and is responsible for stabilizing the arch. As a result, Lisfranc injuries can affect the top, bottom, or side of the foot, depending on the severity and location of the injury, which may cause swelling and bruising, pain and tenderness.

Plantar Plate Tear

A plantar plate tear is a type of foot injury that affects the thick ligament that runs along the bottom of the foot, connecting the toes to the rest of the foot. The plantar plate provides stability and support to the ball of the foot and helps to maintain the arch. A tear can cause pain, swelling, and instability in the affected foot, causing a sensation of “walking on a marble”. It requires prompt medical attention to diagnose the problem.

Plantar Fascia Tear

The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot, connecting the heel bone to the toes. A plantar fascia tear occurs when this tissue is partially or completely torn. The tear will cause a sharp pain in the bottom of the foot, near the heel, accompanied by swelling, redness, and bruising. Plantar fascia tears can be caused by sudden trauma or overuse. 

Fat Pad Atrophy

Fat pad atrophy is a condition where the fat pad located beneath the ball of the foot, known as the plantar fat pad, starts to thin and lose its natural cushioning ability. The plantar fat pad’s role is to absorb shock and provide cushioning to the foot while standing, walking, and running. The condition is more common in older adults and can be caused by aging, wearing high heels or tight shoes, being overweight, or suffering from certain medical conditions such as diabetes.

Metatarsalgia

When the joints, tendons, or nerves in the ball of the foot are irritated or inflamed, it can cause pain and tenderness in the ball of the foot, a burning sensation, numbness or tingling in the toes, and difficulty walking or standing for extended periods. This is known as metatarsalgia, inflammation of the long bones in the foot that connect the toes to the ankle. It can be caused by overuse or injury, wearing high heels or shoes with a narrow toe box, having a foot deformity or abnormal foot mechanics, or being overweight or obese. 

Sesamoiditis

Sesamoiditis is inflammation of the sesamoid bones, which are two small, round bones located under the big toe joint in the foot that help to absorb pressure and provide leverage to the tendons that control the big toe. It is usually caused by repetitive stress on the foot, such as from running, dancing, or other high-impact activities. It leads to swelling, bruising, pain and tenderness in the ball of the foot, especially when standing, walking, or running.

FHL Tendonitis (Flexor Hallucis Longus Tendonitis)

FHL tendonitis is a condition that affects the tendon, which runs from the back of the lower leg and ankle to the big toe. It is caused by repetitive use, overuse, or injury to the tendon. It is usually seen in athletes who engage in activities that require repeated pushing off of the big toe, such as dancers, soccer players, and gymnasts, or in people with structural abnormalities of the foot, such as flat feet or high arches, as well as arthritis, gout, or trauma. It causes pain, swelling, and stiffness in the ankle or foot.

Peroneal Longus Tendonitis

Peroneal Longus Tendonitis is a condition that involves inflammation or irritation of the tendon that runs along the outside of the lower leg and ankle. The peroneal longus tendon helps to stabilize the foot and ankle during movement, and it can become inflamed due to overuse, trauma, or biomechanical issues. It causes pain, swelling, and tenderness on the outside of the ankle or lower leg, especially after prolonged periods of sitting or standing. In severe cases, if the tendon ruptures, it can cause significant pain and disability.

Spring Ligament Injury

The spring ligament, also known as the calcaneonavicular ligament, is a strong, flat ligament located on the inside of the foot, running from the heel bone to the navicular bone and provides support to the arch of the foot.

When the spring ligament is stretched, or partially or completely torn it can cause pain and tenderness on the inside of the foot, swelling, difficulty walking or standing, and a feeling of instability in the foot. It usually occurs due to overuse, trauma, or degeneration of the ligament. It is often seen in athletes who participate in sports that involve a lot of jumping or running, such as basketball, soccer, or track and field.

Outer Foot Pain Identifier

Outer Foot Pain Chart

Lateral Malleolus Fracture

A lateral malleolus fracture involves a break in the fibula bone, which is one of the two bones in the lower leg that form the ankle joint. The lateral malleolus is a bony protrusion on the outer side of the ankle that helps to stabilize the joint. This type of injury usually occurs as a result of a twisting injury to the ankle, such as a fall or a sudden change in direction during sports. It will cause pain, swelling, bruising, difficulty bearing weight on the affected foot, and a visible deformity or bulge on the outer side of the ankle.

Sinus Tarsi Syndrome

Sinus tarsi syndrome affects the outer part of the ankle, i.e. the sinus tarsi, which is a small bony canal located between the heel bone and the ankle bone. It causes pain and tenderness in this area, which can be aggravated by walking or standing for long periods of time. It may be caused by overuse or injury of the ankle joint, such as ankle sprains, or conditions such as flat feet, or arthritis.

Peroneal Tendonitis

Peroneal tendonitis occurs when the peroneal tendons, which run along the outer side of the ankle, become inflamed. The peroneal tendons are responsible for stabilizing the foot and ankle during movement, and they help to protect the ankle from rolling outward. Peroneal Tendonitis can be caused by overuse, especially in activities that involve repetitive ankle movements such as running, jumping, or dancing or other high impact sports. It can also be due to an ankle sprain or other injury that damages the peroneal tendons. It will cause pain and swelling on the outer side of the ankle. Tenderness and warmth may be felt in the area, as well as a popping or clicking sensation in the ankle.

Longitudinal Tear of Peroneal Tendon

A longitudinal tear of the peroneal tendon affects the tendons that run along the outer side of the ankle, connecting the muscles of the leg to the bones of the foot. This type of injury may involve a partial or complete tear of the peroneal tendons. It is usually caused by overuse, trauma, or degenerative changes in the foot. It will cause pain, swelling, and weakness on the outside of the ankle, and you may experience difficulty moving the foot or ankle. In severe cases, the affected person may experience a popping sensation or a feeling of tearing in the ankle.

Lateral Ligament Sprain

The lateral ligaments are the ligaments on the outside of the ankle that help to stabilize the joint. A sprain is a common injury that occurs when one or more of the ligaments are stretched or torn. It occurs when the ankle is twisted or rolled inwards, causing excessive force to be placed on the ligaments. This can happen during activities such as running, jumping, or even just walking on an uneven surface. The severity of the sprain can vary from mild to severe, depending on the extent of the ligament damage.

Sural Nerve Entrapment

Sural nerve entrapment occurs when the sural nerve, which runs down the back of the calf and along the outer side of the foot, becomes compressed or pinched. The sural nerve provides sensation to the outer part of the foot and the lower leg. When it becomes compressed or pinched, it can cause pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness. It can happen as a result of trauma, overuse, or anatomical abnormalities.

Subtalar Joint Arthritis

When the subtalar joint, which is located between the heel bone (calcaneus) and the talus bone in the foot, becomes inflamed and damaged, subtalar joint arthritis may result. This joint is responsible for the side-to-side movement of the foot and plays a role in proper gait and balance. It can be caused by wear and tear, injury, and autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. 

Mid-Portion Achilles Tendonitis

Mid-portion Achilles Tendonitis occurs when the Achilles tendon becomes inflamed. It is the largest tendon in the body and connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. The mid-portion of the Achilles tendon refers to the area of the tendon located about 2-6 centimeters above the heel bone. It can happen as a result of repetitive strain on the Achilles tendon due to running or jumping, or by sudden increases in intensity or duration of exercise, or inadequate warm-up or stretching before physical activity. Over time, this repetitive strain can lead to micro-tears and degeneration of the tendon, resulting in inflammation, pain, stiffness, swelling and tenderness in the back of the heel.

Achilles Paratenonitis, Paratendinitis, Tenosynovitis

Achilles paratenonitis occurs from inflammation and irritation of the paratenon, which is the thin sheath that surrounds the Achilles tendon. This condition can be due to overuse or repetitive stress on the Achilles tendon, causing irritation and inflammation of the surrounding tissues leading to pain, stiffness, tenderness, and swelling around the Achilles tendon.

Plantaris Tendonitis, aka Plantaris Tendinopathy

Plantaris Tendonitis occurs when the plantaris tendon, a thin and long tendon that runs down the back of the lower leg, becomes inflamed or irritated. It is not essential for normal leg function, and in some people this tendon may be absent. Where it is present, it can become damaged due to overuse or injury.

Sever’s Disease aka Calcaneal Apophysitis

Sever's disease commonly affects children between the ages of 8 and 15 years old. It is caused by inflammation of the growth plate in the heel bone, which is not yet fully developed in children. During periods of rapid growth, the Achilles tendon, which attaches to the back of the heel bone, can put increased pressure on the growth plate. This can cause pain, tenderness and swelling in the back of the heel, leading to limping in the child especially during physical activity such as running or jumping or high impact sports.

Posterior Ankle Impingement

Posterior Ankle Impingement occurs when there is compression of the soft tissues, such as tendons or bursae, located at the back (posterior) of the ankle joint. This compression can be caused by repetitive movements or trauma, leading to pain and limited range of motion in the ankle joint. It is usually seen in athletes who participate in sports that require repeated jumping, or those sports that involve frequent plantar flexion (pointing the foot downwards), such as ballet or gymnastics.

Insertional Achilles Tendonitis

Insertional Achilles Tendonitis causes pain and inflammation in the Achilles tendon (the largest tendon in the body) where it attaches the calf to the heel bone (calcaneus), allowing for movement of the foot and ankle. Insertional Achilles Tendonitis typically occurs as a result of overuse; but can also be caused by a sudden injury or trauma. It is commonly seen in athletes who engage in activities that involve repetitive jumping or running, such as basketball or track and field.

Retrocalcaneus Bursitis a/k/a Insertional Achilles Tendonitis

Retrocalcaneal Bursitis, occurs when the bursa, a small fluid-filled sac, located at the back of the heel bone (calcaneus) where the Achilles tendon attaches, becomes irritated or inflamed. Often due to overuse or repetitive stress on the Achilles tendon, it causes pain, swelling, tenderness, and is sometimes warm to the touch at the back of the heel. The bursa may become thickened or enlarged, causing a noticeable bump at the back of the heel.

Calcaneus Fracture (Heel Bone Fracture)

A calcaneus fracture is a break or crack in the heel bone (calcaneus), which is the largest bone in the foot. It usually occurs as a result of a high-impact injury, such as a fall from a height or a car accident. It will cause severe pain, bruising and redness, difficulty walking or putting weight on it, and may appear deformed or sunken in.

Tailor’s Bunion (Bunionette)

A Tailor’s Bunion is a type of foot deformity that affects the joint at the base of the little toe. It is similar to a regular bunion, which affects the joint at the base of the big toe. It is characterized by a bony bump that forms on the outside of the foot near the little toe that can become swollen, red, and painful, especially when wearing shoes or walking for prolonged periods. It is usually caused by genetics, certain foot shapes, or pressure on the foot from ill-fitting shoes.

Fifth Metatarsal Fracture

The fifth metatarsal is the long bone on the outside of the foot that connects to the pinky toe. A break in this bone can happen due to trauma, such as a direct blow to the foot, or from overuse, such as repetitive stress on the bone. There are different types of fifth metatarsal fractures, including avulsion fractures, Jones fractures, and stress fractures. An avulsion fracture occurs when a small piece of bone is pulled off the main bone by a ligament or tendon. A Jones fracture is a fracture at the base of the fifth metatarsal, which can be difficult to heal. A stress fracture is a hairline crack in the bone, which can develop from repetitive stress on the bone, such as from running or jumping.

Peroneal Tendon Enthesopathy

Peroneal Tendon Enthesopathy affects the peroneal tendons that run down the outside of the ankle and foot. It’s an overuse injury that occurs when the tendon, at its attachment site on the bone, becomes inflamed. The peroneal tendons are responsible for stabilizing the ankle joint and helping to turn the foot outward. It can cause pain and swelling on the outside of the ankle and foot. This condition is often seen in athletes or people who engage in repetitive activities involving the ankle and foot.

Cuboid Subluxation a/k/a Cuboid Syndrome 

Cuboid syndrome occurs when the cuboid bone, one of the seven tarsal bones located on the outer side of the foot, partially dislocates or moves out of its normal position. It usually is the result of an injury or trauma to the foot, or is caused by wearing ill-fitting shoes, or engaging in activities that involve repetitive stress to the foot, such as running or jumping. It causes pain and tenderness, swelling, difficulty walking or bearing weight on the foot and a sensation of ‘shifting’ in the foot.

Cuboid Fracture

An incomplete crack or break in the cuboid bone, which is in the mid-foot, located at the outer aspect of the foot just in front of the ankle. Several muscles of the foot and lower leg attach to the cuboid bone. Can cause significant pain and takes anywhere from six weeks to a year to fully heal.

Os Peroneum

The Os Peroneum is a small accessory bone located in the outer part of the foot, near the cuboid bone, within the tendon of the Peroneus Longus muscle. It is present only in a minority of people, and its exact function is not generally understood, but may help to stabilize and control movement of the foot and ankle, absorb shock and distribute weight across the foot. If it becomes injured or fractured, it will cause pain and discomfort and may require surgery.

Bifurcate Ligament Sprain

A Bifurcate Ligament Sprain occurs when this strong ligament that connects the bottom of the tibia bone to the heel bone is stretched or torn. It happens as a result of a sudden twisting or rolling motion of the ankle, causing pain, swelling, bruising and difficulty bearing weight on the foot. Sometimes a popping or snapping sensation may be felt.

Tarsal Coalition

A Tarsal Coalition occurs when two or more bones in the foot are abnormally joined together by a fibrous or bony bridge. This involves the tarsal bones (a group of seven bones that make up the heel and the midfoot). It can limit the normal range of motion of the foot and cause pain, stiffness and create a limited range of motion in the foot. The condition is typically present at birth, but it may not cause symptoms until later in life. There are several types of tarsal coalition including calcaneonavicular, talocalcaneal, talonavicular, and calcaneocuboid coalitions. Tarsal coalitions may be associated with other foot and ankle conditions, such as flat feet or abnormal gait.

Inner Foot Pain Identifier

Inner Foot Pain Chart

Deltoid Ligament Sprain

The deltoid ligament is a thick band of tissue that connects the tibia bone to the foot bones on the inside of the ankle joint. It is an injury that occurs when this ligament is stretched or torn and is usually caused by a twisting motion or an impact to the ankle joint, such as during a sports activity or a fall. It causes pain, swelling and tenderness, makes it difficult to bear weight on the foot and may lead to a visible deformity.

Medial Malleolus Bursitis

The medial malleolus is a bony prominence located on the inner side of the ankle joint, and the bursa (fluid-filled sac) located over it helps to reduce friction and pressure between the malleolus and the surrounding soft tissues. However, the bursa can become inflamed and irritated, causing pain, tenderness, and swelling due to excessive pressure or repetitive trauma to the ankle joint, overuse, running, jumping, prolonged standing or walking, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, or infection.

Tennis Toe aka Runner’s Toe

Tennis Toe occurs when there is bleeding under the toenail caused by repetitive trauma or pressure of toes against the front of the shoe, which can result in a blood blister forming under the toenail. It is commonly seen in athletes involved in running and jumping, such as tennis players and runners. It can cause pain, swelling, and discoloration of the toenail and sometimes the toenail will become loose or fall off.

Skier’s Toe (Subungual Hematoma)

Skier's Toe occurs when there is bleeding under the toenail caused by trauma or pressure. It is commonly seen in skiers and snowboarders due to the repetitive impact of their feet against the hard surface of the boots. The blood vessels under the toenail become ruptured, resulting in bleeding that collects under the nail. The pressure from the bleeding can cause pain, swelling, and discoloration of the toenail and the toenail may become loose or fall off.

Midfoot Arthritis

Midfoot Arthritis occurs when the joints in the middle of the foot become inflamed and painful. These joints are located between the tarsal bones (bones in the ankle) and the metatarsal bones (bones in the toes). The most common cause is wear and tear of the joint cartilage over time, which can lead to osteoarthritis. Other causes include previous injuries, inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, and genetic factors.

Medial Malleolus Fracture

The medial malleolus is a bony prominence on the inner side of the ankle, formed by the tibia bone. This type of ankle fracture can occur as a result of trauma, such as a fall or a sports injury. It may also occur in combination with other ankle injuries, such as a lateral malleolus fracture or an injury to the ligaments that support the ankle joint.

Posterior Tibial Tendonitis

Posterior Tibial Tendonitis occurs when the posterior tibial tendon, which runs from the calf muscle down the inside of the ankle and attaches to the bones on the inside of the foot, becomes inflamed or torn. This tendon is responsible for stabilizing the arch of the foot and helping to support the body during movement. It is caused by overuse, repetitive strain on the tendon during sports or other physical activities; it can be the result of trauma or injury to the ankle or foot or may be a complication of certain medical conditions such as arthritis or diabetes.

FHL Tendonitis (Flexor Hallucis Longus Tendonitis)

FHL tendonitis is a condition that affects the tendon, which runs from the back of the lower leg and ankle to the big toe. It is caused by repetitive use, overuse, or injury to the tendon. It is usually seen in athletes who engage in activities that require repeated pushing off of the big toe, such as dancers, soccer players, and gymnasts, or in people with structural abnormalities of the foot, such as flat feet or high arches, as well as arthritis, gout, or trauma. It causes pain, swelling, and stiffness in the ankle or foot.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome 

The tarsal tunnel is located on the inside of the ankle and is formed by the ankle bones and a band of ligaments that stretches across the foot. Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome is caused by compression of the posterior tibial nerve as it travels through the tarsal tunnel, causing pain, tingling or numbness in the foot. 

Baxter’s Nerve Entrapment a/k/a Inferior Calcaneal Nerve Entrapment

Baxter's Nerve Entrapment occurs when the nerve that runs along the inside of the heel, called the inferior calcaneal nerve or Baxter's nerve, becomes compressed, irritated or inflamed. This can cause pain and tingling or numbness in the heel and surrounding area, making it difficult to walk or stand for extended periods of time. It is often caused by repetitive strain or pressure on the nerve from wearing tight shoes, high heels, or from participating in activities that involve jumping or running. It can also occur as a result of a traumatic injury to the foot or ankle.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It is the inflammation of a thick band of tissue (plantar fascia) that runs across the bottom of each foot and connects the heel bone to the toes. It causes stabbing pain in the heel that radiates under the foot.

Bunion Pain

A bony projection on the joint at the base of the big toe sometimes causing redness, soreness and swelling around the joint. It grows gradually and your toe turn inwards over time. It is associated with wearing ill-fitting shoes.

Turf Toe

Turf Toe is the name given to a common injury in sportspeople playing on artificial turf. It is a sprain of the big toe caused by the toe bending back too far, causing pain and swelling.

Gout

It is the result of a build-up of uric acid crystals in the big toe joint causing toe pain, swelling and redness. The signs of gout occur suddenly, and often at night causing intense joint pain. Gout usually affects the big toe, but it can occur in any joint. i

Hallux Rigidus

Hallux Rigidus affects the joint at the base of the big toe, known as the first metatarsophalangeal joint. It is a type of arthritis that causes stiffness, pain, and difficulty moving the big toe. It develops when the cartilage on the ends of the bones in the joint wears away, causing the bones to rub against each other, leading to the growth of bone spurs, or overgrowths, which can make movement even more difficult. It is usually caused by genetics, injury to the toe, or repetitive stress to the joint. 

Accessory Novicular a/k/a OS Tibiale Externum or OS Naviculare Secundarium

The accessory navicular is an extra bone that some people are born with. It is located on the inside of the foot, near the arch, and is connected to the navicular bone, one of the bones in the midfoot. While present in about 10-20% of the population, it usually causes no symptoms or problems. However, it can be a source of foot pain in athletes or individuals who engage in activities that involve running or jumping. When it becomes irritated or inflamed due to overuse, it can lead to accessory navicular syndrome, causing pain, swelling, redness, and difficulty walking or standing for long periods.

Novicular Fracture

A navicular fracture is a break in the navicular bone, which is located in the midfoot, just above the arch. This type of fracture can be a significant source of foot pain and dysfunction. They are typically caused by a direct blow to the foot or a fall from a height and are more common in athletes who participate in high-impact sports such as basketball, soccer, or gymnastics.

Kohler’s Disease a/k/a Kohler Disease II a/k/a Navicular Osteochondrosis

This is a rare condition that affects children between the ages of 2 and 10 and is more common in boys than girls. It is a form of osteochondrosis involving the navicular bone in the foot, wherein a piece of cartilage or bone dies due to a lack of blood supply. The cause is not fully understood, but it is thought to be related to a disruption in blood flow to the navicular bone during growth and development that causes pain, swelling, tenderness, and difficulty walking or bearing weight on the foot.

Mid-Portion Plantar Fasciitis

Mid-portion plantar fasciitis is a condition characterized by pain and inflammation in the middle part of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot from the heel to the toes. The plantar fascia acts as a shock absorber and helps to support the arch of the foot during weight-bearing activities such as walking, running, and jumping. It is most commonly seen in middle-aged individuals who are active or have jobs that require a lot of standing or walking. It is believed to result from overuse or repetitive strain of the plantar fascia, leading to microscopic tears and inflammation.

Calcaneus Stress Fracture

A Calcaneus Stress Fracture occurs in the heel bone (calcaneus) from overuse or repetitive stress on the bone, such as from running or jumping activities. It can cause pain, swelling, bruising, tenderness and limit mobility.

Heel Fat Pad Atrophy

Heel fat pad atrophy occurs when there is a loss of the protective fat pad on the underside of the heel. The fat pad in the heel helps to cushion the foot and absorb shock during activities such as walking, running, and jumping. When the fat pad becomes thinner or less effective, it can lead to pain and discomfort in the heel. This condition can be due to aging, repeated trauma, or certain medical conditions.

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