Can you identify what's wrong with my toes?
March 5, 2009 2:13 AM   Subscribe

I have chronic toe discomfort/pain. Any thoughts?

For as long as I can remember (I'm 26), I have had toe pain. This is almost exclusively in both little toes. It feels like they're being pulled out, sideways, to almost breaking point. Chronically. I can't handle anyone putting their fingers between my little and next-littlest toes.

When I was younger, I had my feet xrayed. There was a slight outward bend to my toe-bones, but nothing that really explained the pain. I almost got them amputated because of this, but I thought I'd just bear it. I tried spongey toe-separators (not sure why, that just pushed them out more!), which didn't help.

When I wear bare feet, and I'm sitting, I often have to turn my knees out so that my toes will be pressing on the ground, to relieve the pressure.

Possibly related, I also grew up with what I thought was a phobia, about inner wrists. I couldn't stand seeing someone's inner wrist, and especially couldn't handle my inner wrists being touched. I still have difficulties here, too. I thought this stemmed from seeing a horror movie where someone slit their wrists, but I'm wondering if this is related to the toe thing. It seems to be more the arteries/tendons (or whatever those cabley bits are that link to the fingers) that most disturb me.

Any thoughts? Is this anything other than a misshaped toe bone and a phobia?
posted by The bat in the hat to Health & Fitness (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I think you have bone spurs.

You might want to read about the condition here
and find out what people are doing to heal themselves - here.

Be well.
posted by watercarrier at 2:32 AM on March 5, 2009

Definitely go see a podiatrist as soon as possible. The fact that one or more didn't diagnose anything when you were younger doesn't rule out a diagnosable condition or the possibility that a good podiatrist will be able to make use of some general methods for alleviating the pain.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 6:10 AM on March 5, 2009

Sounds like a phobia to me.
posted by tiburon at 7:03 AM on March 5, 2009

Go see the doctor. If you don't know how to find a podiatrist get your primary to hook you up with one. All you've got to lose is that chronic pain. NO ONE should have to live with chronic pain. Sounds like those little toes are asking you with some insistence to see to toe doc too.
posted by dog food sugar at 7:34 AM on March 5, 2009

Go see a podiatrist.
posted by charlesv at 7:58 AM on March 5, 2009

IANAD but it doesn't sound like a phobia to me. Not that kind of chronic pain, which sounds just awful. Definitely see a podiatrist as others have suggested - and keep trying until you get an answer. If this pain has been lifelong, it sounds like a developmental issue. Like your pinky toe bones grew awkwardly to press on nerves in your feet. Good luck.
posted by meerkatty at 8:04 AM on March 5, 2009

I'm biased, but if a podiatrist wants to operate on it (depending on what it is), I would be more comfortable having it performed by a Foot and Ankle specialized Orthopedist.
posted by texas_blissful at 9:40 AM on March 5, 2009

How about gout?
posted by greekphilosophy at 12:23 PM on March 5, 2009

Have you considered bunions? Bunions--not just for old ladies anymore! I had excruciating little toe pain, in both feet, caused by tailor's bunions. They were hereditary--my mom's feet look exactly the same as mine. (Looked like there was a sixth toe growing out of my foot!) I was 27 and 28 when I had them removed. Totally worth it.
Ironically, the first podiatrist I went to did not identify the cause of my pain as bunions. It was mis-diagnosed as a stress fracture. I got a second opinion from a different doctor, who also did both of my surgeries, and am completely pleased with my outcomes.
I would suggest seeing a podiatrist. I don't think a foot and ankle specialized orthopedist will do a better job, necessarily, than a podiatrist.
Your feet are complicated things. Take them to an expert. Good luck.
posted by FergieBelle at 12:56 PM on March 5, 2009

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