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Right foot has been swollen and getting popping sound. Have peripheral neuropathy. What can be done?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
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My right foot has been swollen on the top and bottom, just under my ankle for the past 8 weeks. I went to the ER and had it x-rays and there are no broken bones. I did hear an audible popping sound 8 weeks ago when I was putting away laundry and then the swelling began. I cannot feel pain in my feet because I have peripheral neuropathy ( I am a type 2 diabetic). I have no feeling in my feet from my toes to the middle of my arch and very little feeling beyond that. At the ER they gave me crutches and told me to elevate my foot and use ice. I did that for two weeks and followed up with my general practitioner and he said the same thing to elevate it and ice or heat. He also referred me to a podiatrist but because I have no insurance and have to pay full-price I cannot afford to see a podiatrist since it will start at $150 just for the first appointment. Now I hear a popping sound in my foot whenever I move it, even to put on a sock. I can feel something popping inside my foot but again no pain since my nerves do not register it. I have kept off it as much as possible (I work from home) for 8 weeks but see no improvement. The swelling goes down usually when I lie down but it gets worse if I sit or stand. The swelling has traveled a bit up into my calf, a little bit on my XXXXXXX bone and into my ankle. I am usually a pretty productive person around the house and have not been able to do much of anything for the past eight weeks. I want my foot to heal and be normal again, so I can do things the way I always have. I cannot afford to see Doctors and have MRI's or surgery. I am traumatized and depressed by this and I do not know what to do or where I can get help. I do not want to become crippled for life.

I also have a red spot on the bottom of my foot that has been there the entire time. I looked online and see now that this may be a ruptured plantar fascia. At least it looks exactly like the photos I have seen. I have uploaded a photo of what the spot looks like on my foot - this one is NOT my foot (it is a mans foot) but that is exactly what mine looks like. I was unable to get a good shot of the spot on my foot.
Posted Thu, 4 Apr 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 2 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
The swelling in your foot with a popping sound is likely to be related to an infection- cellulitis. Since any fracture has been ruled out already, a take care of the infection. You can consult your orthopedician for a proper treatment as with a history of diabetes, it is actually very difficult to control such long standing infection without a proper antibiotic therapy.
I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Right foot has been swollen and getting popping sound. Have peripheral neuropathy. What can be done? 1 hour later
I don't understand what would cause the infection? I had a blister but it healed rather quickly and do not understand how this would affect the bottom of my foot (since it was on my heel) and cause the red spot in the middle of the arch and create a popping sound. Where did the infection come from? There is slight warmth but not real redness to the foot or the bottom of the foot except in that one spot.

I got the antibiotics from my doc so I just started those today. I also got a walking boot for my foot and I hope that helps. Is there anything else you can recommend?
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 15 hours later
Thanks for writing again.
The infection in such cases can be from a hematoma caused by the injury.
The red spot in the middle of the arch s due to the gravity and the popping sound is likely to be due to infection itself.
You need to avoid weight bearing as much as possible and have broad spectrum antibiotics. Regular follow up visits to assess a clinical improvement is also recommended.
Hope my answer is helpful.
Do accept my answer in case there are no further queries.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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