Our team of medical experts are ready to help

Your questions answered

Sam asked...

Foot problems

Whilst walking to work two days ago, my left foot became numb and continued to be in this state during the duration of the 20 minute walk. For the rest of the day, it was fine when I was sat down but felt numb when walking. This progressed to a relatively sharp pain on the outer mid area of the sole of my foot, with this pain translating to the outside of my knee when walking downhill or down stairs. What would you recommend that I do? Should I look to visit a GP? Thanks.

  • mother-thermometer-doctor-at-hand

    Do you need to see a GP quickly?


    Would you like to speak with a doctor by video or phone at a time that suits you?

    Our Doctor@Hand service, delivered by Doctor Care Anywhere, offers a doctor appointment by video or phone at a time that suits you.

The answer

Numbness is often associated with a nerve issue, this can be caused by inflammation or impingement for example and usually there is a primary cause producing an issue with a nerve. From the way your symptoms presented and given that this has gone on to develop into a sharp pain on the sole of your foot which refers to the side of your knee when walking down hill it is possible there is either a problem in the knee which is showing when you are walking or going downhill, or in your foot which is referring up to the knee.

With symptoms like this it is sensible to rest your leg as much as possible and to try to keep it elevated when you are resting. Often this type of symptom may be transient and only last for a few days with rest and elevation but if you find it continues to be a problem then it would seem prudent to ask your GP to assess this for you.

They will be able to examine both your foot and knee and also arrange any investigations such as x rays or scans that will aid in the diagnosis. They will also be able to suggest or prescribe any medications to help both relieve your symptoms and treat the problem if appropriate.

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses  

Newsletter sign up

Sign up to our monthly newsletter, Better Health, to receive our latest health and wellbeing updates.

Sign up to newsletter