When Should You See a Doctor for Outside of Foot Pain?

When Should You See a Doctor for Outside of Foot Pain?

Foot pain can disrupt daily activities and significantly impact your quality of life. While many people experience discomfort within the foot itself, pain on the outside of the foot can also be a cause for concern. As the Foot and Ankle Center of Arizona, led by renowned podiatric foot and ankle surgeon Dr. Kris A. DiNucci, we understand the importance of addressing foot pain promptly to prevent further complications. In this blog post, we’ll explore the various causes of outside-of-foot pain, when to seek medical attention, and how our expert team can help you find relief.

Understanding Outside of Foot Pain

Outside of foot pain refers to discomfort experienced along the outer edge of the foot, including the area from the heel to the toes. This type of pain can range from mild to severe and may present as sharp, dull, throbbing, or burning sensations. It can occur suddenly or develop gradually over time, impacting your ability to walk, stand, or engage in physical activities.

Common Causes of Outside-of-Foot Pain


  • a. Stress Fractures: Overuse or repetitive stress can lead to small cracks in the bones of the foot, known as stress fractures. These fractures often occur in the metatarsal bones, causing pain along the outer edge of the foot.
  • b. Peroneal Tendonitis: The peroneal tendons run along the outer side of the foot and can become inflamed due to overuse or injury, resulting in pain and swelling.
  • c. Cuboid Syndrome: This condition occurs when the cuboid bone, located on the outer side of the foot, becomes dislodged or irritated, causing pain and instability.
  • d. Sprained Ankle: Ankle sprains can affect the ligaments on the outside of the foot, leading to pain, swelling, and instability.
  • e. Bursitis: Bursae are small fluid-filled sacs that cushion the joints, and inflammation of these sacs can cause pain on the outside of the foot.

When to See a Doctor

While mild foot pain may improve with rest and home remedies, certain symptoms warrant medical attention from a qualified podiatric specialist like Dr. DiNucci:


  • a. Persistent pain that does not improve with rest or over-the-counter medications.
  • b. Swelling, bruising, or tenderness that worsens over time.
  • c. Difficulty bearing weight on the affected foot.
  • d. Changes in foot shape or appearance.
  • e. Pain that interferes with daily activities or sleep.

Diagnosis and Treatment Options

Upon visiting the Foot and Ankle Center of Arizona, Dr. DiNucci will conduct a comprehensive evaluation to diagnose the underlying cause of your outside-of-foot pain. This may involve a physical examination, imaging tests such as X-rays or MRI scans, and possibly laboratory tests to rule out certain conditions. Once a diagnosis is made, a personalized treatment plan will be recommended, which may include:


  • a. Rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE therapy) to reduce inflammation and pain.
  • b. Immobilization with a brace, splint, or walking boot to allow the foot to heal properly.
  • c. Physical therapy exercises to strengthen the muscles and improve flexibility.
  • d. Custom orthotics or shoe inserts to provide support and alleviate pressure on the affected area.
  • e. In severe cases or when conservative treatments fail to provide relief, surgical intervention may be necessary to repair damaged tissues or stabilize the foot.


Q: Can wearing improper footwear cause outside-of-foot pain?

A: Yes, wearing shoes that are too tight, narrow, or lack proper support can contribute to foot pain, including discomfort along the outer edge of the foot. It’s essential to wear shoes that fit well and provide adequate cushioning and support.

Q: How long does it take for outside-of-foot pain to heal?

A: The healing time for outside-of-foot pain depends on the underlying cause and the severity of the condition. With prompt medical attention and appropriate treatment, many cases of foot pain can improve within a few weeks to a few months. However, more severe injuries or chronic conditions may require longer recovery periods.

Q: Is it normal for outside-of-foot pain to worsen with activity?

A: Pain that worsens with activity, particularly weight-bearing or high-impact exercises, may indicate an underlying injury or condition that requires medical attention. It’s essential to listen to your body and avoid activities that exacerbate your symptoms until you can see a doctor for an evaluation.


Don’t let outside-of-foot pain keep you from enjoying life to the fullest. If you’re experiencing persistent discomfort or have concerns about your foot health, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Foot and Ankle Center of Arizona. Our experienced team, led by Dr. Kris A. DiNucci, is dedicated to providing compassionate care and personalized treatment options to help you find relief and get back on your feet. Schedule an appointment today and take the first step toward better foot health. Read more arizonafoot.com


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