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My toe continuously keeps threatening to drop out of joint causing much distress and pain - any ideas about what's going on?
April 24, 2009 11:49 AM   Subscribe

My toe continuously keeps threatening to drop out of joint causing much distress and pain - any ideas about what's going on?

Back in February while out walking, the second toe of my right foot popped right out of joint with no prior warning. After much pain and clutching with both hands, did the toe go back into joint and, while the foot was incredibly tender and sore for the rest of the day, I was up walking fine the next day and... fine also for the two months since. So I just wrote it off as one of those things.

However in the past week, foot-matters have seriously deteriorated - rapidly and out of the blue. What began as the odd niggling 'uh oh here we go again' sensation has now become quite debilitating. It's gotten to the point where if I walk for longer than 5-10 minutes, it feels as if that second toe is going to drop right out of is socket! I get a weird, heavy feeling in the toe, accompanied by a 'knot' of pain in the front/top of the foot or the occasional weakness in the inner side of my right knee. To look at it, the toe doesn't seem swollen or sticking out at a weird angle, nor is it discoloured. When I'm walking, I get the feeling that I shouldn't lift my foot too high [or the toe, you know, drop out] and also the overwhelming urge to scrunch up my toes or grab my foot to keep everything in place. If I DO scrunch my toes, I have to be very, very careful because the dislocation feels like it's going to happen again.

The real weird part is, I can walk around and manage fine if I'm just puttering about the office or house, but the other morning I couldn't complete my usual 30min walk to work and today just walking by the end of the day is making me pause and gasp every few steps, wincing at the pain and what *might* happen. But I've no numbness anywhere and after rest the foot is fine for a while.

I've finally going to the doctor in the morning, I'm just wondering if what's wrong with me will get dismissed as a mere sprain or something trivial [considering I can walk on the foot after resting for a bit and the toe itself isn't, you know, black and swollen], when honestly it feels so much worse. I know what a sprain is like and this is so removed from that. But if it was a break - since February? - I'd certainly know about it before now.

Does anybody have any experience with random dislocation and might know what it is/causes? Or what treatment is ahead of me tomorrow with the doc?
posted by Chorus to Health & Fitness (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
It's been happening to me with increasing regularity (frequency about 2/year now) as I get older. In general this happens either with an ankle (it seems like it just gets hyperextended/pops out during a stride and then I come down on it funny) or my big toe (same sort of deal, probably overall less painful results). The last time this happened was about 3 weeks ago. I favored the ankle for a week including using some braces when I figured I'd probably overtax it and now everything's fine again.

I am 40 years old.

Mostly for dislocations in general, doctors have prescribed both less stress and more exercise toward the goal of increasing the joint's load-bearing ability and the strength of the muscles surrounding the joint.
posted by kalessin at 12:04 PM on April 24, 2009


My "ring" toe used to (seemingly) pop out of its socket at night, as I was falling asleep. It would be a slight tingling followed quickly by sudden, sharp pain, of the kind that makes you mindlessly grab your foot and almost try to crush it to make it stop. After a few minutes the pain would mostly stop and the toe would go back home.

During the pain, the toe would be visibly weird, glommed onto the toe next to it, but not purple or anything. It looked and felt like a severe muscle spasm that somehow pulled the toe up and tight against its neighbor. It usually happened at night, but sometimes while walking, and made me think that maybe I was short on calcium or some other nutrient that prevents muscle spasms. It happens less often now, maybe because I take occasional calcium and magnesium, or maybe for some other reason I know nothing about.

So maybe yours is a muscle spasm and if you don't already take calcium and magnesium, it might be harmless to try a moderate supplement. Emphasis on moderate, as I can guarantee that a kidney stone hurts even more than a spastic toe, and for a lot longer.
posted by PatoPata at 12:31 PM on April 24, 2009


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