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Podiatry/Throbbing pain on big toe


Hi! Early this morning, I was woke up with an intense, throbbing pain in the tip of my big toe on my right foot. The throbbing was so intense and painful that I was full-body sweating, and could barely walk because the pressure of standing. The pain/throbbing was localized to a half-inch area that wrapped around the tip of my toe to the outer left edge. So it wasn't near the nail, and it wasn't at all near the joint. (Note: Iíve had many infected hangnails before when I was a dancer, so I definitely know the difference, though this pain did feel similarÖmultiplied by 100). The toe/area was not swollen, wasnít red or inflamed, no burning sensations, had no puncture wounds/cuts/breaks/bites. It was, however, warm to the touch and painful to touch. I hadnít hurt my toe or banged it or done anything prior. This was completely out of the blue and irregular. I took three ibuprofen and waited. After two hours, the throbbing finally stopped, and I drifted back to sleep. Itís been 6 hours since this incident, and though the throbbing hasnít come back, the area still has some residual pain and soreness, probably a 4/10 on the pain scale, and itís kind of uncomfortable to walk on or wear shoes with. Iíve been incredibly worried since, because this incident made no sense to me. My best friend has gout and said that what I described is nothing like goutónot that heís a doctor, of courseóso I have no idea what it could be! I would love any of your thoughts, even though I know an examination is the best course of treatment. Thanks!

Hello Jennifer!

Sorry to hear that your big toe is hurting you.  It is very unusual to have that kind of abrupt pain with no incident of trauma.  Here are my thoughts:

-You have to get examined by a medical professional (preferably a podiatrist)

- It could be gout, neuropathy, unknown trauma, ingrown nail, vascular disease, infection, or anything.  

- I would take an X-ray and make sure that there is noting going on with the bone in that area.

Your diagnosis is difficult without a proper workup.

Please see a medical professional as soon as possible.

Perform activities as tolerated.  If it hurts when you run, then don't run.  Try to stay off of it for now until you see someone.

I hope you feel better soon!

Best Regards,

Dr. Jairo Cruz Jr
Advanced Podiatry
Tampa FL  


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Jairo Cruz Jr


Any question regarding podiatry. Podiatric medicine and also surgery.


Forefoot and rear foot reconstruction. Minimally invasive surgery. Arthroscopy.


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Dr. Jairo B. Cruz Jr Advanced Podiatry 2919 W. Swann Ave. Suite 203 Tampa, FL 33609

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