The top of the foot is called the dorsum of the foot. In anatomy, the term “dorsal” refers to things that are on the top, such as a “dorsal” fin on a shark.
The top bone on the foot is called the talus, and about 70% of it is covered with joint cartilage called hyaline cartilage. The extensor tendons are also located on the top of the foot and function to flex or pull the foot upward.
What Are Symptoms of Problems in the Top of the Foot?
Symptoms of problems in the top of the foot can vary depending on the cause and may include:
- Stiffness that lasts a long time
- A lump along a tendon
- Grating or crackling sensation when moving the foot
- Red, hot, swollen skin
- Abnormal toe curling
- “Pins and needles” feeling or numbness
What Causes Problems on the Top of the Foot?
Within the foot there are muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons, and nerves, all of which can be injured or not function properly, resulting in problems with the top of the foot.
There are many different causes of problems with the top of the foot, such as:
What Is the Treatment for Problems in the Top of the Foot?
Treatment for problems in the top of the foot depends on the cause.
- Rest: keep weight off the affected foot
- Ice: to decrease pain, swelling, and redness
- Use an ice pack or ice wrapped in a towel
- Apply crushed ice for 15 to 20 minutes at a time, several times daily
- Compression: to support the foot and prevent inflammation
- Use elastic wraps such as Ace bandages
- Do not wrap too tightly
- Elevation: prop up the affected foot to help reduce fluid buildup in the injured tissue
- Elevate the foot above the level of the heart if possible
Other home remedies for problems in the top of the foot include:
- Wearing roomy shoes with a low heel and soft sole
- Using soft insoles or pads inside the shoes
- Losing weight if overweight
- Gentle stretching exercises of the foot and ankle
- Taking acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) for pain
- Avoiding sports or other activities that may have caused the pain
- Not walking or standing for long periods
- Avoiding wearing high heels or tight or pointy shoes
If problems with the top of the foot cause severe pain or difficulty walking, treatment may include:
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