Read below about sharp, stabbing foot pain, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your sharp, stabbing foot pain from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

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A.I. Health Assistant Causes for Sharp, Stabbing Foot Pain

The list below shows results from the use of our A.I. Health Assistant by Buoy users who experienced sharp, stabbing foot pain. This list does not constitute medical advice.

  1. 1.Foot Sprain

    The bones of the ankle and foot are held together by ligaments, which are bands of tough tissue. A sprain is a type of injury where one or more of the ligaments is stretched too far, causing tiny fibers in the ligaments to tear. In most cases, the ligament does not tear completely.

    An uncomplicated foot sprain should improve in 3-6 weeks.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in one foot, foot injury, limping, warm red foot swelling, swelling of one foot
    Symptoms that always occur with foot sprain:
    pain in one foot, foot injury
    Symptoms that never occur with foot sprain:
    recent cutting accident
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit
  2. 2.Plantar Fasciitis

    Plantar fasciitis is a condition where the thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed. This is a common problem in runners, people who are overweight, and those who wear shoes with inadequate support. When the thick band of tissue (fascia) becomes inflamed, it can cause heel pain.

    Pain can last weeks to months.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in the sole of the foot, sharp, stabbing foot pain, pain in one foot, severe foot pain, heel pain
    Symptoms that always occur with plantar fasciitis:
    pain in the sole of the foot, sharp, stabbing foot pain
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  3. 3.Posterior Tibialis Tendinopathy

    Posterior Tibialis Tendinopathy is the dysfunction of a tendon (muscles to bones) in the back of the foot, which can lead to having flat feet. It's unclear why exactly it happens, but might be related to poor blood flow and mechanical issues specific to the person.

    Progressive and relapsing, needing several attempts to fix the problem

    Rarity:
    Ultra rare
    Top Symptoms:
    swollen foot, pain in one foot, limping, pain in one ankle, spontaneous ankle pain
    Symptoms that never occur with posterior tibialis tendinopathy:
    recent cutting accident
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  4. 4.Foreign Body in Foot

    A foreign body in foot occurs when something like a splinter, nail, or glass becomes lodged in the skin.

    With medical treatment, the condition should resolve within 2 weeks.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    foot pain, foot stepping on an object
    Symptoms that always occur with foreign body in foot:
    foot pain, foot stepping on an object
    Urgency:
    In-person visit

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  5. 5.Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

    The tarsal tunnel is a narrow space that lies on the inside of the ankle next to the ankle bones. Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a compression, or squeezing, on an important nerve called the posterior tibial nerve. This compression produces symptoms anywhere along the path of the nerve running from the inside of the ankle into the foot.

    Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a long-term condition that may need to be managed for months up to 1-2 years.

    Rarity:
    Ultra rare
    Top Symptoms:
    tingling foot, pain in one foot, spontaneous foot pain, heel pain, pain in the top of the foot
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  6. 6.Jones Fracture (Broken Foot)

    A Jones Fracture is a fracture of a bone on the outside of the foot (called the fifth metatarsal). A Jones fracture can be either a stress fracture (a tiny hairline break that develops with time), or a sudden break due to trauma. This can result in pain, swelling, and tenderness on the outside of the foot.

    6-8 weeks healing time with cast or splint.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    difficulty walking, constant foot pain, pain in one foot, foot bruise, foot injury
    Symptoms that always occur with jones fracture (broken foot):
    foot pain from an injury, pain when touching the foot, constant foot pain, pain in the front half of the foot, pain in the outside of the foot
    Urgency:
    In-person visit
  7. 7.Chronic Idiopathic Peripheral Neuropathy

    Nerve damage in the limbs can be caused by diabetes, toxic substances, immune system issues and low vitamin levels. However, in about one of every four cases no cause can be found and then the condition is called 'idiopathic'. Symptoms of nerve damage can be (burning) pain sensations, numbness, tingling and weakness in hands, feet or lower legs.

    This is a chronic condition.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    distal numbness, muscle aches, joint stiffness, numbness on both sides of body, loss of muscle mass
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  8. 8.Frostnip of the Lower Limbs

    Frostnip is damage of the outermost layers of the skin caused by exposure to the cold (at or below 32F or 0C). It is most commonly found in people doing leisurely activities like camping, hunting, or snow sports.

    As long as you are able to get to a place to re-warm, the damage should be reversible.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    foot pain, swollen foot, foot numbness, foot redness, limping
    Symptoms that always occur with frostnip of the lower limbs:
    cold toe
    Urgency:
    In-person visit
  9. 9.Charcot Arthropathy of the Foot

    Charcot Arthropathy of the foot is a syndrome where patients with numbness of their feet, which can be caused by a variety of underlying conditions such as diabetes, develop weakening of the bones in the foot and ankle. Thus they may have fractures and dislocations of the bones and joints that occur with little trauma.

    Healing may require several months.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    joint pain, constant foot swelling, pain in one foot, warm red foot swelling, swelling of both feet
    Symptoms that always occur with charcot arthropathy of the foot:
    warm red foot swelling, constant foot swelling
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Sharp, Stabbing Foot Pain

  • Q.Did you recently injure your foot?
  • Q.Have you ever been told you have flat feet?
  • Q.Do you run for exercise or sport?
  • Q.What is your body mass?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our sharp, stabbing foot pain symptom checker to find out more.

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Sharp, Stabbing Foot Pain Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced sharp, stabbing foot pain have also experienced:

    • 5% Foot Numbness
    • 4% Swollen Foot
    • 3% Tingling Foot
  • People who have experienced sharp, stabbing foot pain had symptoms persist for:

    • 32% Over a Month
    • 26% Less Than a Week
    • 22% Less Than a Day
  • People who have experienced sharp, stabbing foot pain were most often matched with:

    • 50% Posterior Tibialis Tendinopathy
    • 33% Foot Sprain
    • 16% Plantar Fasciitis
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

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