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Islin's Disease DiagramChildren often complain of aches and pain in the side of their foot that usually settles with little more than rest. However, if you child is suffering from acute pain, or general soreness that last more than 5 days it is wise to have this checked out by a Podiatrist.

Children complaining of lateral foot pain on the side of their foot may have a condition known as Iselin’s disease or Iselin’s syndrome.

What is Iselin’s Syndrome?

Iselin’s disease or Iselin’s syndrome refers to the inflammation of the growth plate at the base of the 5th metatarsal. Generally children suffering from Iselin’s syndrome will report pain on the outer edge of the foot, at the prominence known as the styloid process. Some redness and swelling over the area will usually be present, making it difficult to walk and stand.

What causes lateral foot pain?

Barefoot activity, jumping sports and narrow fitting footwear can be aggravating factors that cause lateral foot pain, which is a symptom of Iselin’s syndrome. Individual biomechanical factors need to be assessed and treated, as splaying of the forefoot associated with flat feet, and walking on the outside of the foot with high arched/inverted feet are associated with Iselin’s disease.

Islin's Disease X-rayIt has been reported rarely, but is probably more common than appreciated. Clinically it can be confused with tendonitis, ankle sprains, fractures of the 5th metatarsal or even labelled as  growing pains. Lateral foot pain associated with Iselin’s syndrome appears to be more common in athletically active, older children and adolescents, and more common in males. Early recognition and treatment may prevent long-term complications such as non-union and subsequent pain.

How do you treat lateral foot pain caused from Iselin’s Syndrome?

Early treatment often consists of conservative measures – rest, ice, padding, footwear, orthotics, stretching, massage of peroneals, etc. Delayed intervention can lead to continued stress through the fusion of the secondary ossification centre and even non-union. Non-union is usually very painful and may require surgical excision of the proximal epiphysis or open reduction internal fixation with an orthopaedic screw.

Lateral Foot Pain FAQs

Can plantar fasciitis cause lateral foot pain?

Plantar fasciitis is commonly the cause of stabbing pains that occur in your heel. It involves and inflamed plantar fascia, a tick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your heel bone to your toes. One of the causes for lateral foot pain are conditions that are left untreated, including inflamed tendons. It is important to see a podiatrist about these foot pains.

What causes intermittent pain on the side of the foot?

Lateral foot pain commonly occurs due to conditions that have been left untreated. These include ankle sprains, cuboid syndrome, bunions, peroneal tendonitis, calluses and corns, arthritis, and tarsal coalitions.

Where is the lateral side of the foot?

Lateral foot pain refers to pain that occurs on the outside of your foot. Lateral foot pain can arise from several issues that are associated with everyday life such as walking, jogging or running and can get worse if left untreated. The best way to find out if you need treatment is to book a consultation with your local My FootDr podiatrist.