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Lynn asked...

My 13 year old son has been complaining his middle toe hurts when he walks.

Tags: bones , children

My 13 year old son has been complaining his middle toe hurts when he walks. He has been limping for approx 3 months. We have changed his shoes, which has helped but not resolved the issue. The doctor says its growing pains but Im sure it's more that.

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The answer

Children don’t often complain of painful feet and toes. If they get pain just on walking, my first thought is whether they have a verruca pressing into the flesh. This is a simple wart which affects the feet, and some quite small verrucas in an area which gets lots of pressure can cause significant pain. However, if there’ nothing to see on the skin at all, I would think of a foreign body such as a splinter. This may not be visible but will cause a very well localised tender spot. Morton’s neuroma – a thickening of one of the nerves between the bones of the forefoot. It tends to cause symptoms on the forefoot, below the base of the third and fourth toes, but can cause toe pain. If his symptoms are troublesome, I would suggest seeing a podiatrist or possibly a podiatric surgeon.

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