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Ball of the foot pain, I can't walk

Discussion in 'Ask your questions here' started by Speck, Oct 31, 2018.

  1. Speck

    Speck New Member

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    Hi I’m 29 and live in Western Australia. I have been suffering with ball of the foot pain in both feet for over 3 months now. So far I have been to the GP, seen 2 podiatrists, a podiatry surgeon and a rheumatologist and none of the suggested treatments have worked. I currently do not know what to do or who else to see and am looking for any help or guidance. For the last 2 and a half month the pain has been so severe that I can barely walk and even standing is painful. If I have to walk I put the majority of the pressure on my big toe, limp and walk very slowly. It is worse bare feet so I wear shoes whenever I need to walk or stand.

    I had never had a problem with ball of the foot pain before this but it all started when I got a new pair of orthotics that did not fit correctly. During this time I also squashed my foot into a business shoe that was a size too small, I wore the uncomfortable orthotics for 2 weeks and the tight pair of shoes for 3 days in total. After this I switched back to my old pair of orthotics that I have been wearing for 10 years. Over the next two weeks after this the pain started as a discomfort and gradually got worse. I believe that the main cause was due to the tight shoes but I think that ill fitting orthotics also added this.

    The majority of the pain is between the 2nd/3rd and 3rd/4th Metatarsals however I have had pain in-between the 4th/5th Metatarsals as well. When walking if I put any pressure around the 3rd/4th metatarsal I get a squishing feeling, sort of like I stood on a soft pea, when this happens it is normally painful and it can feel like an electric shock. In between the 2nd/3rd it doesn’t feel as squishy it is more of a burning/stinging feeling. For a few weeks the area in between my 4th/5th metatarsal was also very sensitive, if I applied any pressure to that area I got an electric shock feeling, this has calmed down over the last few weeks though. Initially it was only painful when I applied pressure but when it is aggravated it will hurt when I am off my feet. If I try to walk or stand to long it seam to aggravate it and the only way to relieve the pain is resting it.

    An ultrasound has detected Morton’s Neuroma between the 3rd/4th interspace on both feet, but all the other interspaces came back fine on the ultrasound. Other than the diagnosis of the Morton’s Neuroma I have not been told any explanation for the pain in the other interspaces. I did get an ultrasound guided cortisone shot in both Neuromas and during the time the doctor checked again for a Neuroma in-between the 2nd/3rd and he was not able to see one but did mention that there may be some fluid that he could see, he was quite vague explaining what he saw though. I have had each of the joints checked by a number of different Drs / podiatrists and I have not pain in the joints, the pain is between the interspaces. I know that there is a neuroma but there has been nothing to explain what is going on with the other interspaces.

    Past Treatment (I have try all of the conservative treatment as well as cortisone injections):
    • Rest (Duration: 3 Months) - As soon as I started getting the pain I restricted my walking, for the last 3 month I have sat on the couch all weekend. I have still been going to work Monday to Friday but I get dropped at the front of the building to eliminate the walking. I work an office job lucky so I just sit down all day. I have tried resting it for 5 consecutive days (not walking or standing) but the pain comes back when I go to walk or stand.
    • Anti inflammatories - These don't seam to help at all, I was prescribed naproxen.
    • Stretching (Duration: Tried for 1 month) – Stretched calves and toes without weight bearing, just while sitting, also rolled a tennis ball around the heel area (not near the ball of the foot at all). This did not seem to help and if anything once I gave up doing these daily stretched it felt less aggravated.
    • Metatarsal Pads (Duration: 2.5 Months) – This may have helped but there is no noticeable difference.
    • New wide shoes (Duration: 2 Months) - I bought a wide pair of shoes Saucony Echelon LE2 one size larger than normal. This has made it tolerable to actually wear a shoe. I have built up to being able to wear the shoe all day at work without needing to take it off. The shoe also has a slight rocker which puts lets pressure on the ball of the foot. I was next going to try Hoka's or Altras to see if they are more comfortable.
    • Toe Spacers (Duration: 2 Months): I have tried toes spacers on and off over a 2 month period, this make no noticeable difference, I still wear them 24/7 anyway because they are not doing any harm.
    • Strapping (Duration 1.5 Months) – I came up with a good way to strap my feet with rock tape which had helped to prevent the Neuroma from squishing around as much. I think this has helped but not to the point where it feels noticeably better.
    • Supplements (Duration: 1.5 months) – I started taking Serrapeptase, Vitamin B, Turmeric, Magnesium Tablet, and also rub magnesium cream on my feet before bed. I’m not sure it this is helping but I will continue taking the supplements anyway. Around the time I started the Serrapeptase the pain level went down slightly, I have tried so many thing though so I it hard to tell if this was from the supplements.
    • Panafcortelone Tables (Duration: 1 Month) – The Rheumatologist prescribed cortisone tables to help determine if I have an inflammation disease, after the month trial these did not make a noticeable so it was recommended to get cortisone injection.
    • Cortisone Injection (Duration: 3 Weeks ago) – 2 Podiatrists recommended to get the injection earlier, the rheumatologist told me to wait until I tried the cortisone tables though. Once the tablets did not help I got an injection both of the neuromas that were identified between the 3rd/4th interspace. So far I don’t know it that has helped at all, the pain level may be a little lower but I'm still getting pain and it is squishy if I put any pressure on that area.
    After all of this I am still getting pain in both feet in the 2nd/3rd and the 3rd/4th interspace where the neuroma was identified. I occasionally get pain in-between the 4th/5th but this me no longer as bad in this area. The doctors all seam confused as to a clear diagnoses and I’m not sure where to go from here. I have been told to see how it goes over the next month and it if is still causing problems to get an MRI to see it that will help diagnose anything. If anyone can offer any guidance it would be much appreciated.
  2. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Active Member

    Has anyone mentioned something like a "plantar plate tear" or dysfunction?
  3. Speck

    Speck New Member

    Hi Craig, one of the podiatrists did mention that it could be a plantar plate tear, however when I did get a ultra sound they did check each of the planter plates and everything came back looking normal.

    A few drs/podiatrists have squeezed each of the joints and wiggled the corresponding toe, and I have not had any pain. While doing this if they moved there finger closer the the interspace that I were I an feeling the discomfort.

    When looking different conditions it seams to fit the location of either morton's neuroma or inter-metatarsal bursitis.

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