Are my crunchy feet dangerous?

I have pretty bad arthritis in my left ankle, the aftermath of a severe fracture and much surgery nearly 18 years ago, and a neuroma in the other foot. Lately my feet have been crunchy, not painful, but crunchy (and the feet themselves, not the ankle, which is the part I already know is screwed up. And both feet, not just the one on the side where the screwed-up ankle is.).

It’s kind of like the crunch you get when you crack your knuckles, but with the bones in the front half of my feet. It’s even more pronounced if someone rubs my feet with oil or lotion, but sometimes they crunch when I first stand up in the morning, or sometimes even if I press my shod foot against the seat in front of me on the train. If my feet are rubbed the right way, with lotion, sometimes they practically sound like Pop-Rocks.

What could be causing the crunching, and is it anything to worry about? Is it maybe the result of my walking gait, which isn’t exactly normal due to my gimpy left ankle? Or something else?

(N.B. I am under the care of an excellent foot and ankle specialist, who I will be seeing on Monday morning. I am just collecting theories for the moment.)

I have no knowledge of these matters, but your description does inspire some curiosity in me regarding how this condition has been affecting your physical activity level, both during the past several years, and more recently. I presume you don’t start your day with a hundred jumping jacks. But what is your normal walking gait? Do you have the ability to break into any kind of a run, should the mood strike?

ETA: Good luck at the podiatrist/tarsaliatrist on Monday. :slight_smile:

Moderator Action

This seems to be more speculation than factual, and since it concerns a medical issue it belong in IMHO.

Moving thread from General Questions to In My Humble Opinion.

No idea about the actual question, but good luck on Monday!

I walk reasonably well with shoes and custom orthotics most of the time. Anything high-impact is right out. I limp quite a bit when barefoot because my left ankle bends about to 90 degrees, but not well enough for a normal walking gait. Running would hurt like hell because I basically have no cartilage left in that ankle. I miss a lot more buses than I used to. Lately I’ve been having shooting pains at the base of my toes, which I hope he will tell me is just because my orthotics are worn out.

Most of all, I miss dancing. I can still dance some ways (Latin, baby - it’s all in the hips!), but I was pretty gimpy the morning after my wedding. And I used to play soccer (badly), but no way in Hell can I do that anymore. I can make my way through a modified yoga class, I can swim, I can bike, and every other joint in my body is fine, even more flexible than average. But even my walking endurance isn’t what it used to be - after a mile or two, I’m pretty much kaput for the day.

It improved for the first few years after my initial accident in 1996, but then the arthritis started to set in. Right now I’ve been told my options are to have more surgery to clean crap out of the joint, which may or may not last; to have the joint surgically fused; to have an ankle replacement, which I’m too young to do (and they still aren’t very good, anyway); or to continue procrastinating. I have chosen the last for now - I’m holding out for stem cell regenerated cartilage :slight_smile:

I’ve gone to this orthopedic surgeon for 10+ years, but he never remembered my face (just my X-rays) until I ran into him at last year’s Taste of Armenia (he’s Armenian). Now he remembers my face, but he still can’t figure out how I’m not Armenian, but showed up there anyway!

I hope your foot doc can help. In the meantime, always be careful around firearms.:wink:

I sprained my right hand and wrist a few months ago. Part of my treatment, for that and other things, includes seeing a massage therapist. At one point, she’d massage my hand and I could feel all these little points of crunching and popping. She told me it was lactic acid build-up from the injury. She massaged my hand once a week for three or four weeks, and it got SO much better. Now there are hardly any crunchy bits.

All of that is to say, have you ever considered massage therapy? What’s happening with your feet, especially when you rub lotion on them, sounds like a more extreme version of what was going on with my hand.

I don’t know if you live near a place with a major sports team, but try to find someone who does sports massage. IME, those massage therapists really know their stuff. Good luck!

I live in Chicago - massage availability is not a problem, but it’s crazy expensive.

There’s probably a massage therapy school, look around, there’s one near me and they offer a lot of things at a large discount, as you can imagine.

Check it out! It could prove to be the easiest solution to your issue.

Good Luck!

I don’t know that the crunching is what is causing the pain…the crunching has only been going on for the past year or two and doesn’t seem to be correlated with the pain. I’m just kind of wondering what causes it. I will never turn down a foot massage, though.