Pain and swelling in top of foot - help!

Hi all,

I'm a first time poster just trying to get some advice or find out if anyone has had the same experience as me. I had been running for about 18 months, having worked up very gradually to my first half marathon in October 2012 which I loved, despite being a mind blowingly slow runner. I began training for my second half without ramping up the distances or pace at all and just before Christmas 2012 I notice a mild pain, like a bruise, on the top of my left foot. I only noticed this very briefly when lacing up my trainers and never during/after runs, so just assumed someone had stepped on my foot and it would heal. Then after an hour's run I got home, my foot felt a bit stiff, and the next day it had swollen massively and was very stiff and painful just behind the toes.

Assuming it was a stress fracture I went to get an xray that didn't show anything, but of course they don't always show up so I was advised to rest and come back if the problem persisted. The swelling went down somewhat and the stiffness and pain lessened significantly but I was still concerned about running so I reduced my exercise to nothing but yoga and waited. Long story short after 7 months I've had three sets of Xrays, an MRI and a series of CAT scans that show nothing other than mild swelling and no one has any idea what is wrong with my foot, so the NHS have now left me to it. The foot is not massively painful but it does ache - not particularly during physical activity but often first thing in the morning or if I sit down for a long time. The aching is often just behind my toes and follows the path of my tendons but I have been repeatedly told that it is definitely not tendinitis.

The big problem is the swelling. Some days my foot is a little swollen, some days it is enormous, but the swelling never goes down completely. It extends along the top of my foot and includes my ankle. It is aggravated f I am hot, dehydrated, if I drink alcohol, wear heels or any clothes/shoes that restrict my leg below the knee (tight jeans, long boots). The amount of exercise I do or lack thereof seems to have little impact, but I am terrified to start running again in case I undo six months of healing.

Does anyone have any idea what this might be or whether I should just push through and get back to running? I miss it massively and am really struggling without it. Thanks for reading my mini essay and any advice you might have!



  • Sounds like gout to me, get tested for that. Lay of the protien and alcohol, if the pain goes away then thats what you have.

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