Forefoot Pain

Pain in the area of your foot from the middle of the foot to the ends of your toes.  Forefoot pain can be from many sources including but not limited to:


Stress fracture

A stress fracture is a fracture that occurs typically from an overuse injury that results in a small hairline fracture. Pinpoint tenderness over a bone is characteristic of this injury.  It can happen in any bone in your foot or ankle and commonly occurs in the forefoot- the area between your midfoot and the ends of your toes. Stress fractures do not always show up on x-ray within 14 days of the injury.  Stress fractures typically require taking pressure off of your foot to heal for 6-8 weeks.



Fractures can occur in any bone of the foot or ankle and frequently require offloading and occasionally surgical intervention.  Fractures of the foot often result in swelling, bruising and pain on direct pressure over the location of the bone. Fractures are distinguished from stress fractures by being larger and sometimes displaced.  Fractures can result in long-term arthritis in the joints surrounding the fractured bone and it is best to have these evaluated as early as possible. Both ankle fractures and foot fractures can be treated at Carolina Foot and ankle.

If you have any of these symptoms or think your suffering from a stress fracture or fracture give the Doctors at Carolina Foot and Ankle Associates a call as soon as possible as these injuries are time sensitive.  Both ankle fractures and foot fractures can be treated at Carolina Foot and ankle. If it is a weekend it would be best to seek care as early as possible at an urgent care or emergency room.

Both ankle fractures and foot fractures can be treated at Carolina Foot and ankle. If it is a weekend it would be best to seek care as early as possible at an urgent care or emergency room.



Sprains are typically caused by twisting your foot or ankle and by overextending your toes during running or walking.  Sprains may result in bruising, swelling and pain during movement of your foot or when walking.  A sprain is when a ligament is either torn or injured.  Serious sprains may result in poor alignment of your joints that may need to be surgically corrected or reduced.  Sprains are typically treated conservatively with offloading and staying off of your feet.  It is important to have x-rays of your foot to ensure that the joints are in appropriate alignment.  Early treatment of these injuries is recommended.



A neuroma is associated with an aggravated nerve that is typically located between two bones in the forefoot.  Stinging, shooting, and numbness frequently results.  Shooting pains or numbness may also extend into the toes during ambulation.  This especially occurs with tight shoes.  Using wider shoes may help.  Additional treatments include inserts or pads in your shoes and occasionally injections to decrease inflammation around the nerve.



Arthritis is a common cause of joint pain which may result from a prior injury or long-term damage to the joints.  It can occur in any joint in the foot or ankle.  The cartilage in the joints can get eroded away resulting in bone on bone movement which results in pain with motion of the joint.  Occasionally small pieces of bone can get stuck in the joint.  There are many treatments for arthritis that may result in palliative relief.  Shoe inserts can decrease the movement of the affected joint. Injections can decrease inflammation in the joint.  Oral medications like NSAIDS (ibuprofen) can also help, but this is not recommended for long-term use.  Your doctor should be consulted before starting NSAIDS.  The affected joint can also be surgically corrected to either reduce the grinding of the bone on bone motion or eliminate the joint with a fusion. 



Metatarsalgia is pain in the bones on the balls of your feet.  It can feel like walking on a rock or pebble.  It can result in strain and inflammation in the bones on the balls of your feet which can result in painful ambulation and can predispose you to a stress fracture. Walking on hardwood floors and concrete can aggravate your conditions. Inserts or offloading pads are recommended to assist with offloading these painful areas.



Corns are small circular thickened areas of skin that often occur on the tops of toes or in between toes that rub on each other. Corn pads can cause ulcerations or infections if not monitored by a physician.  In Diabetic patients or in patients with compromised feeling in their feet it is highly recommended not to self-treat corns.  It is also dangerous to cut on corns at home as it can cause infection.  Filing corns can sometimes be safe and creams can soften corns safely resolving some of the pain associated with them.  Do not file corns beyond pink skin.  In the office, there are many treatments for corns including padding, offloading, wider or taller shoes, and occasionally surgical intervention of the underlying biomechanical problem.

At Carolina Foot & Ankle, we can determine the cause of your corn and help provide you with relief.



Calluses are thickened areas of skin caused by rubbing or pressure and are often located on the soles of your feet.  Cutting on these lesions at home is not recommended as it can lead to infection or ulceration.  Filing these lesions is sometimes acceptable and utilizing a cream or lotion on these lesions can soften them making them less painful.  Do not file calluses beyond pink skin.  There are many treatments that can be performed for calluses in the office including offloading the lesions with inserts or padding. There are also specialized prescription creams specifically directed at resolving calluses and physician debridement can provide palliative relief.



A bunion is a bump on the inside or outside of your foot right in front of the big toe or pinky toe.  It can be painful in certain shoes or all the time.  Bunions can result in arthritis of the joint and long-term pain.  Bunions can also result from flat feet.  Bunions can often be rendered painless with inserts and shoe modifications such as wider shoes.  Sometimes surgical correction is required to alleviate pain. 



Hammertoes or curly toes are toes that typically look deformed, raised, or have a bump on top of them.  They often result from flat feet and can cause painful corns on the tops of the toes or where two toes touch each other.  There are many conservative methods for relieving painful hammertoes including padding and strappings.  Hammertoes can also be surgically corrected.


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