Pain on the top of the foot can be very painful. Sharp and burning pain on the top of the foot is usually how it's described by patients. The location of the pain will better help determine it's cause and condition. If the pain is coming from the toe area rather than the ankle, the problem will be different. In addition, when the pain occurs will make a difference to the type of treatment. If the pain on the top of the foot happens after running or during/after other sports, it will be a different problem than if the pain happens while you're resting.

Causes of Pain on the Top of the Foot

Pain on the top of the foot after or during an activity can be caused by a condition called a stress fracture. A stress fracture is caused by overuse or strain to the foot that cause tiny cracks in the bones of the foot. Runners and other athletes may experience different types of stress fractures in their feet including navicular stress fractures and posterior tibial tendonitis. A common treatment for these conditions include rest and proper shoes. If this condition is left untreated, the fracture could become worse and require surgery.

Experiencing pain on the top of the foot during regular day to day activities can be caused by arthritis in the foot. Through years of constant walking or running can cause the bone spurs in the joints, commonly near the big toe. The best treatment options for this condition include inflammatory treatments such as medication or injections, properly fitted shoes to prevent further aggravation and orthotics to keep the foot supported.

Another common cause of top of the foot pain is caused by a condition called Tarsal Coalition. This condition usually effects children and adolescents because their bones are growing and still developing. The pain for this problem occurs near or around the ankle. When two bones are not connected properly and there is excess bone growth. Again, orthotics, proper shoes and possible surgery is usually used to treat this condition.

Robert Kosofsky, D.P.M.
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Dr. Robert Kosofsky has over 25 years of experience treating patients in our Hillsborough & Piscataway offices