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Top of the Foot Pain

Arch Foot & Ankle treats a variety of conditions that contribute to pain on the top of the foot.

What conditions cause pain on the top of the foot?

Stress Fractures

Stress fractures are tiny hairline breaks that can occur in any of the bones of the foot. They can be caused by overtraining or overuse; improper training habits, surfaces, or shoes; flat feet; and osteoporosis. A foot and ankle surgeon should be seen as early as possible to start treatment and possibly shorten the recovery time.

Symptoms of Stress Fractures:

  • Pain

  • Swelling

  • Redness

  • Bruising



  • Rest

  • Immobilization

  • Surgery (in severe cases)

Fifth Metatarsal Fractures

Fractures (breaks) are common in the fifth metatarsal—the long bone on the outside of the foot that connects to the little toe. They are typically avulsion fractures where a small piece of bone is pulled off the main portion of the bone by a tendon or ligament (result of a rolled ankle) or Jones fractures where a small area of the fifth metatarsal receives less blood, making it more prone to healing difficulties (caused by overuse/repetitive stress). A foot and ankle surgeon should be seen as early as possible.

Symptoms of Fifth Metatarsal Fractures:

  • Pain, swelling, and tenderness on outside of foot

  • Difficulty walking

  • Bruising


  • Rest

  • Ice

  • Compression

  • Elevation

  • Immobilization using a cast, boot, or stiff-soled shoe 

  • Crutches (if necessary)

  • Bone stimulation

  • Surgery (if bone is displaced, multiple breaks, or failure to heal)

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