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TOPIC: Side of foot pain - possible tendonitis / stress fracture ?

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April 22, 2012 8:46 AM
Hi all,

I've started to get some pain/ache in the outside of my left foot and I was wondering if any people who have experienced problems with peroneal tendonitis or 5th metatarsal stress fractures could comment if they recognise the symptoms etc.

About a month ago I had a skydiving accident which resulted in me taking a hard landing and twisting my right ankle and ending up with a mild case of extensor tendonitis, my left foot had some slight bruising and tenderness at the ankle but after x-rays (same week as accident) the docs said they didn't think there were any fractures and to take it easy and keep an eye on it.

I too a 4 week break from running and I had no problems in the left foot and only the tendonitis in the right, I saw a physiotherapist and they said no problems, no fractures and to carry on running, icing and ibuprofen for the pain in the top of my right foot.

I've been running 2 x 10k since then (3 weeks back) and also some intervals on the treadmill at the gym but I have recently started getting some slight discomfort in the outside of my left foot.

On my last run, I didn't have any problems except that my calves were quite tight about the 5k mark so I stopped, stretched off for a few mins and then carried on, after the run I didn't have any problems nor did I on my next visit to the gym a few days later,

It seems to be around the base of the 5th metatarsal (see image below) and also the ache seems to be a bit towards the heel also. I can push on the point and it sometimes hurts and sometimes doesn't but its never a sharp pain.

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I have used both the exercise bike and cross trainer at the gym since noticing it starting and with exercise it can be a little sore initially and then the pain pretty much goes away and doesn't come back, when it was present on the cross trainer I did notice that if i dug my toes in/down the pain seemed to be a tiny bit worse but if i extended my toes / raised them up the pain seemed to abate a tiny bit.

At rest it seems to be more of an annoying ache every now and again than anything else and icing/ibuprofen seems to be managing it fine but I am worried about causing more damage and I have army selection hopefully coming up next weekend.

Does it sound more like tendonitis or could this be a stress fracture ?

I'm hoping to see my doc / physio sometime this week time permitting buy any comments would be welcome !
April 22, 2012 8:52 AM
It could be a Jones fracture. I would suggest returning to your health care provider for a repeat X-ray.
April 22, 2012 8:54 AM
I have mild tendonitis in my left ankle, as well. A bit higher than your picture. I've had physical therapy before, but it's never helped. I can't run because of it. Even power walking after a while causes it to flare up with extreme pain. However, at rest, I don't feel it.

That's about all I can offer. I hope it's not a fracture. But I can't imagine tendonitis continuing to ache after a while at rest. Good luck with the doc.
Edited by Qarol On April 22, 2012 8:55 AM
April 22, 2012 8:54 AM
You might want to keep in mind that it might also be a bone spur. These usually occur from an injury, the brain thinks the bone has been injured & starts repairing, adding extra bone at the site.
April 22, 2012 8:59 AM
You definitely need to consult with your PCP, your Podiatrist or perhaps go to your local Urgent Care Facility. This website, nor MFP staff or members can do anything for you.

You definitely need to be seen
April 22, 2012 9:03 AM
It sounds very similar to the tendonitis I had/still sometimes mildly get at the side of my right foot. I initially thought I'd fractured it as I could barely walk on it but after having it x-rayed the hospital sent me to a sports physio who said it was tendonitis. Mine seemed to start when I was in the treadmill at the gym. I haven't used a treadmill since, but have recently started running again and I have new trainers. I haven't had the pain since, not while running anyway. I occasionally get it when I've done some exercise (I tend to go over on the side of my foot sometimes) but the physio gave me massaging exercises to do and if I ever get pain I massage the foot and rest it, and it clears up within a day or two.

I'd suggest seeing if the physio can give you any massaging exercises to do on the foot, as that really helped me anyway.
April 22, 2012 9:13 AM
Thanks for the replies, the ache isn't there all the time, only every now and again, I can hop on the foot without pain which makes me think its not a fracture but it is tender after I press in on the base of the metatarsal although it does feel quite gristly which is due to the tendon i guess.

I might pop down to the walk in and have them take a look at it tonight.
April 22, 2012 12:32 PM
Just got back from the hospital and they took some new x-rays and can't see a current stress fracture which is good news but they mentioned an old injury with some avulsions (bits of bone) present.

These have to be from the skydiving accident on the 6th March as I had X-Rays on the 9th and there was nothing present then so I can't see where they can have come from otherwise.

The 5th metatarsal is nice and smooth so they don't believe that there is any damage they can see at the moment but have advised to come back in 10 days and have another X-Ray.

They mentioned it could be the old avulsions could be causing some irritation/inflamation, especially if I have upped my training in the last 2 weeks.

They reckon to keep off it for the rest of this week, so no running and to keep icing it and taking ibuprofen and if its all good at the end of the week, I can go and do my selection for the territorial army if I feel up to it.

Thanks to all who commented, has anyone else had 'afterpains' after an avulsion ?
August 15, 2013 10:28 AM
It sounds like I'm experiencing the same symptoms. I had a severe ankle sprain about 2 years ago about 10 weeks before ironman, let it heal the minimal amount possible before starting to run again (2 weeks) then completed ironman. Took a lot of time off post race to really let things heal up, and didn't have many problems until this past May when I had another major ankle sprain in the same ankle while trail running. Went to the doc for xrays and he said it looked like I had an old avulsion fracture I'm guessing from the pre-ironman ankle sprain. I let the ankle heal for about a month before I started running again. For the past couple months I've had a pretty awesome bout of plantar faciitis (I think that was actually coming on just before the ankle sprain) and major pain at the base of my 5th metatarsal that is really bad in the morning when I get up, usually feels better after a few minutes of running, and then is really rough a few hours after running. When I massage the area, it feels pretty grindy and gritty. I'm guessing it's tendonitis and am stupidly trying to run through it (keeping mileage low and only running every other day) right now hoping it just goes away on its own. Any suggestions for exercises, stretches, etc. to help with the healing process.

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