What would make the top of my right foot go totally numb?

First and foremost: I am under a doctor’s care and see a physical therapist twice a week, and they are aware of this problem. They’re (currently) vexed…although I can’t speak for the nerve specialist as he’s out of the office until next week. The PT wasn’t freaked enough for me to freak out, and he seems to think it’s okay to wait until doc gets back. However, this is odd enough to bring me here out of nothing more than idle-until-doc-gets-back curiosity.

As you probably gleaned from the thread title, the top of my right foot has gone completely numb. This first became apparent yesterday morning around 10am. At 6am, while doing stretches for my back, I know it was fine. But a few hours later, I could be doing exploratory surgery on myself (cooooooooool!). The numbness begins at the front/top of my ankle and is at its deadest on the very top of the foot itself, directly above the arch. There’s a gradiation of funky tingling/pins and needles as you go outside from there; toes and bottom of the foot are normal.

My MRI shows two protruding disks, pressing on the LEFT side of the sacral nerve root. This explains my years of pain down the LEFT leg. As I’ve started PT, I’ve had some periodic tingling, but never numbness, and never on the right. There was no event whatsoever preceding the numbness–I was just out at duty on the school campus, fiddling with my feet, when I noticed.

According to the PT, this makes no sense. First, it’s the wrong side, and second, if I were to have numbness, it should be running up and down the side of the leg (the left one), not on the top of the foot. He says it sounds like tarsal tunnel (?)–which is like carpal tunnel in the foot, and which also makes no sense.

So, my beloved Dopers … WTF?

IANAD but I am the proud owner of one protruding disc and familiar with the left leg on fire syndrome. I also have some numbness and “pins & needles” in both feet. Last time I talked to my doc about it we both thought it was poor blood circulation rather than nerve irritation. (My first thought was incipient diabetes but the blood work ruled that out.) If your problem happened all of a sudden it might be a blood clot blocking an artery and cutting off blood flow to that portion of your foot. If so the skin should be cooler (and maybe blueish) in the numb area. In any event it needs professional followup.

Thankfully, there is no obvious change in circulation–color and skin temperature seems good. (If there is a difference, it’s too subtle for me to discern.) Movement is normal as well–it simply feels very much like I’ve had a shot of lidocaine in the area.

I’m seeing the PT this afternoon. Whee. Top of the foot is still numb–this makes day three. Whee again, I say.

Please post the results Ruffian. I’m having the same symptoms!

I’m sure that zombies don’t have any feeling in their feet (or elsewhere).

Seriously, this thread is 8 years old, although at least the OP is still active, but I don’t think he will see this thread.

It appears that Ruffian is still active – last activity was 7/28/2012. But I didn’t post just to say that. I’m betting that Ruffian is a “she” not a “he.” I remember Ruffian as one of the great fillies in thoroughbred racing and still get choked up when I remember her tragic end.

The top of my right foot goes numb and is to some degree numb all the time. I think I have the equivalent of carpal tunnel in my ankle causing this. Mine started when I was working on my knees putting in a heavy diesel clutch and fell backward hyper extending my ankle. Has been like this for 5 or 6 years now. Sometimes very painful if I walk too much on concrete.

The above replies probably contain the correct answer but there is one other thing to consider. I frequently wake up with some area of skin numb because I have a (relatively benign) case of multiple sclerosis. This could be a little episode of demyelination ( which could be a one time thing from a virus e.g.). If it disappears in 4-6 weeks as mysteriously as it appeared, this is a possible cause. Again, not likely - just a possibility.

Oh, another clue would be a subtle loss of strength (foot drop) on the opposite side.

[Moderator Note]

Since this thread is so old, I’m going to close it. If you want, you may start a new thread about your own symptoms in IMHO, where requests for medical advice now go.

General Questions Moderator

Wow, here’s a helluva zombie that was dragged out of the dead. I just noticed it yesterday. What a random thing to resurrect.

Anyway, I asked Colibri if he would reopen it so I could post the answer I later discovered. It’s pleasantly, surprisingly simple, and WTH, if it’s going to be resurrected, may as well as tag on the ending of the ancient story.

I was wearing new paddock boots (riding boots that stop above the ankle), and that particular brand and style–for whatever reason–pinched a nerve on the top of my foot when I rode my horse. I ride with my heels down, toes up, and this perfectly pinched the nerve right at the center of the V that position creates with the foot and leg. New paddock boots + time = perfectly fine foot. I’ve not had any symptoms like it since. The neurologist I saw for this wasn’t concerned and told me it appeared to be a local issue, as indeed it was, then ominously expressed concern over my spinal MRI.

I’ve had two back surgeries (and two babies, so yes, I’m a she) since then, but no numbness. So, woot.