persistent swelling, top of foot

I'm a runner and cyclist. I had an active Thanksgiving week, but felt great at the end of the weekend. No pain anywhere. I did a 45 minute spinning session on Sunday. On Monday, I had tightness in the tendon running down the inside of my tibia and into my big toe. I chalked it up to bike shoe irritation and did a three mile run Monday night. I was in pain the first 1/4 mile, but felt just fine after warming up. Felt fine the rest of the evening.

The next morning the top of my foot was swollen and extremely tender. A week of meetings and a job interview kept me in tight (although not high-heeled) dress shoes until the weekend. I stayed off my feet all weekend, taping the foot and ankle. Quickly the swelling on inside of the ankle and the area over the big toe went down and I began gently massaging out the knots I traced down the length of the tendon. The area is still very tender, but it's loosening up and is no longer painful to walk on.

The rest of my foot, though, is still swollen! It's been just over a week and the area over the four outer metatarsals and the area just under the malleolus is still quite swollen. I have no pain in this area, other than the discomfort of the swelling.

Throughout this experience, I've noted the following:

* No single area of localized pain.
* No pain with hard pressure anywhere.
* No bruising.
* No pain upon holding heel firmly and rotating forefoot in circle each way, up and down, etc.
* No pain upon similarly rotating toes.
* No pain when standing flat-footed or standing on toes. When standing on good foot and raising injured one, the heel drops toward the inside, as is normal.
* No history of increasing pain leading up to this injury.
* No obvious trauma.
* The last time I ran, initial pain went away in 1/4 mile and my foot felt good and strong immediately after.

All of this leaves me suspecting nothing more serious than a nasty case of tendonitis. But shouldn't the swelling have gone down by now? And most important, why would I have continued swelling in an area (outer foot and malleolus) that has had no pain at all throughout this little drama? I can barely get into my oldest shoes, and I don't dare exercise until the swelling goes down, so what gives? Ice and ibuprofen don't seem to be helping. Any ideas?

Posted By Ann on December 10, 2003 at 11:32:46:

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