It's not a wad of gum, what else could it be?
March 29, 2008 5:24 AM   Subscribe

Last night all was fine when I sat down. When I got up twenty minutes later I began to walk and it felt like there was a wad of gum under the ball of my foot. I checked and under the callous at the distal end of my first metatarsal it is visibly swollen. The area is nearly a quarter inch thicker than the same area on my other foot. The area is not painful, but the shear size of it makes me walk funny. I'll go to the Dr. on Monday, but until then, does anyone have any ideas about what it can be? Googling hasn't given me any clues.
posted by a22lamia to Health & Fitness (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Did you step on a spider?
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 5:25 AM on March 29, 2008

Response by poster: Its definitely not a bite. I have a pretty major callous there, I don't think anything could make it through.
posted by a22lamia at 5:33 AM on March 29, 2008

If you said you were in excruciating pain and couldn't put your foot down on the floor, I would suggest a Morton's Neuroma. But you don't seem to be in pain, so maybe not.
posted by acorncup at 7:11 AM on March 29, 2008

blister-ish fluid beneath the callous? I've had that before. You could jam a sterilized needle in there and see if it drains. I am not a doctor.
posted by mecran01 at 7:36 AM on March 29, 2008

I've had blisters underneath callouses before. Were you doing anything funny [new shoes, disance walking] before this happened? If you can sort of wiggle the callous around on top of it, it very well might be a blister and if you feel empowered you can try to puncture it and see if it drains.
posted by jessamyn at 7:50 AM on March 29, 2008

i was going to suggest blister under callous too. those (for me) are way more painful than just a blister.

also, general suggestion for random foot issues: do a warm epsom salt soak. it won't do any harm, it feels good, and it might help!
posted by misanthropicsarah at 8:36 AM on March 29, 2008

Could you take a picture of it for us?

I would say don't needle it.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:38 AM on March 29, 2008

Is it possible that your callous is actually a plantar wart? They can just be hard places on your foot for a long time, before they start getting really uncomfortable.
posted by hydropsyche at 8:52 AM on March 29, 2008

You may be having your first outbreak of Gout. Look up Gout, and the condition in Gout patients called "Podagra".
posted by giveandgo at 9:44 AM on March 29, 2008

Seconding the possibility of a plantar wart. N.B. -- all of you who have used the word "callous" in your post are spelling "callus" wrong.
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 11:36 AM on March 29, 2008

Response by poster: hey UrineSoakedRube - thanks for the correction. I had thought it looked wrong this morning when I posted, but honestly I was too lazy to check.

I'm thinking all of you who have said blister are correct although I've never had a blister quite like it. I'm pretty sure it is not gout, as it doesn't hurt and I'm just barely over 30 (women tend to get it in their fifties)

Thanks for your help.
posted by a22lamia at 11:48 AM on March 29, 2008

I thought the spelling was a reverse of the US/British English thing (Color/Colour)!

(and I echo the fact that a Morton's is painful, or at very least uncomfortable. )
posted by Wilder at 12:27 PM on March 29, 2008

I've had something very similar happen, and it was a blister. It didn't hurt as bad as some do because of the callus. (Thanks to the surprisingly grammar-savvy UrineSoakedRube.) It grew after I took my shoes off, as well. Enjoy!
posted by theredpen at 3:15 PM on March 29, 2008

Possibly Morton's Neuroma, often described as feeling like a stone under the ball of the foot.
posted by JackFlash at 3:39 PM on March 29, 2008

theredpen> Thanks to the surprisingly grammar-savvy UrineSoakedRube.

One, how dare you.

Two, speaking of grammatical savvy, when I used the word "wrong" in my post, I had misstyped the word "incorrectly".

Three, I'm going to stop derailing the conversation before the mods slap me down. In all seriousness, a22lamia, I would like to see a picture and a followup once you figure out what it is.
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 5:23 PM on March 29, 2008

I get hives as part of allergic reactions, and have sometimes had them on the bottom of my feet, and it feels much like you describe--walking on a wad of gum. For me, an antihistamine brings the swelling down (some benadryl or what-have-you).
posted by not that girl at 7:12 PM on March 29, 2008

I was diagnosed with Morton's Neuroma when I was in High School...

It didn't cause excruciating pain all the time mostly only when I stood up after sleeping or sitting for an extended period. Most times though it just felt like something was under my foot and it was a bit tender at times. I described it as feeling like having a sock bunched up under my foot even though I might not be wearing any foot wear at all. Or if I was wearing shoes I could swear that the shoe itself had a arch in the ball of my foot area.

kinda sounds like you could be in the very beginning stages of this... i would be interested to hear what your doctor says.

I visited a podiatrist and had orthotics made. The fact that I have what the Dr called flexible flat feet(meaning that when I was standing I had flat feet but a perfect arch when off my feet) and tend to walk(and run) on my toes was decided to be the cause... the fact that I have always walked on my toes has caused a pretty substantial callus to form in this area of my foot.
The orthotics did help in the long run even though they were uncomfortable to wear and I often had to decide which was more uncomfortable.

It still bothers me pretty regularly but not near as bad as when I was younger. I no longer run on a regular basis (being a soccer player in High School) and no longer ride horses which also puts lots of pressure on that area of the foot.

I found that massaging my feet (always nice), heat in any form and anti inflammatory drugs helped alot.

hope this wasn't alot of extraneous info.
posted by fogonlittlecatfeet at 8:31 PM on March 29, 2008

Response by poster: Just to update - it appears it really was a blister. I woke up this morning and it is nearly gone. Thinking back to my activities on Friday, I spent the better part of the day swaying with my 2 month old son in a carrier trying to get him to sleep. The side to side motion must have aggravated the area.

UrineSoakedRube I'm sorry I didn't get to take a picture, but my callused feet really don't belong anywhere on the internet.
posted by a22lamia at 9:12 AM on March 30, 2008

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