Bone on the Outside of the Foot Sticks Out

Bone on the Outside of the Foot Sticks Out

If the bone on the outside of the foot sticks out if something is wrong with you 5th metatarsal bone. 95% of the time it is this bone, but it can be others!




The bone on the outside of the foot sticks out is called the 5th metatarsal bone and it is the bone that connects your midfoot/rearfoot  to your 5th toe. This bone is the first bone in your forefoot to make contact with the ground during walking and run. It is very commonly injured during running and and ankle sprains, it can also develop a mini-bunion called a bunionette.



The bones on the outside of your foot sticking out are usually related to your 5th metatarsal bone.


Causes of bones sticking out on the outside of your foot:

There are many different causes of foot pain on the outside of the foot. Most of the time this is just normal anatomy and has more to do with genetic differences within your foot.


But sometimes there could be abnormal diseases and problems developing. 95% of the time in our experience it is normal foot anatomy, but 5% of the time you do really have to look out for certain disorders!


5th toe hammer toe:

One of the most common prominences on the fifth toe is due to the formation of hammertoe. Hammertoe is the abnormal bending of your fifth toe due to tightness in a shoe 90+ percent of the time. The pressure from the shoe will cause at thickening of the skin, this is a combination of either a corn or a callus. This can become very painful and become red and start robbing for some people.


Hammertoe is best treated by gel padding, and trimming down this court callus. We generally have a lot of success by changing shoes, patting and avoiding surgery for the fifth toe.



Tailor’s Bunion:

Just behind the fifth toe, where the toe connects to the big toe joint/foot, a person can develop a Tailor’s bunion. Detailers bunion is caused by the improper function of the foot and can slowly progress through your life.


Some people naturally have a thickening in this area, but other people it can be caused by tight shoes and lead to sick inflamed tissue called the bursa. The fifth metatarsal joint bursa is a sack of inflamed tissue that protects and rubs against the bone prominence against your shoe. Bursa is very spongy to the touch but can also become very painful.


In our clinic we generally treat this bursa with cortisone injection and almost in one visit it can go away for most people. At other times a gel pad can be utilized in this could really make the pain go away quickly. Sometimes surgery could be utilized to make this go away.



5th metatarsal injuries or pain:

further down the foot closer to your ankle, along the side of the foot you can develop further bone prominences. There is a bone here called the fifth metatarsal bone. This is behind the fifth toe joint closer to your ankle. There is a long bone that flares out roughly in the middle of your foot called your styloid process of the fifth metatarsal.


In children ranging from ages 10 to 14, there can be a growth plate here that could cause pain. It can deftly cause the area to become swollen.


If you feel like you have an injury here, an x-ray can show what is going on in this area. In the age range of 10-14 it could be a growth plate, and you must be very careful that you don’t truly have an injury.


Peroneal tendonitis:


at the styloid process of the fifth metatarsal, there is also a very thick tendon that attaches into this joint. If this tendon become swollen it can deftly create a swelling on the side of your foot that can look like a bump. This is called peroneal tendinitis.


If you felt that you twister sprained her ankle, this tendon might have been injured. It is very common when your foot turns down and in.



Fracture of the fifth metatarsal:

if you feel like you suffered an injury like a bump a twist or large fall. You could’ve very easily broken your fifth metatarsal joint.


This is many different names, but it is most commonly known as a Jones fracture.


If you feel like you might’ve fractured this area, come see us or a podiatrist near you and get this foot and ankle joint x-ray. An x-ray of this fifth metatarsal bone will show whether you have a fracture or not.


Unfortunately, if you do have fracture it takes a long time six weeks or more to take pressure off this bone and let it heal. Some people do need surgery.


Lumps, Bumps and soft tissue swelling on the outside of the foot:


On top of the foot, but still on the outside is a muscle called your extensor digitorum brevis muscle. This is a soft area on top of your foot. This muscle could very easily get bruised with a bump, or it could even develop a large ganglion cyst on this.


If the area is shrinking and decreasing in size, they could easily be fluid buildup in this muscle or cystic area. The best thing to do is to get this ultrasound or even get an MRI for continues to cause a problem.


There is no way to 100% guarantee that there is not something cancerous here, although statistics do show that it is a very very low percent of the time.


If the area is painful, and a ganglion cyst is shown to be the cause, sometimes it makes sense to train this with the syringe in the office. Most podiatrist can do this in the office without taking you to the operating room.


Fat pad on the side of the foot:


At the same time if you stand, and small little regions develop on the side of your foot, especially in groups this could be a fat herniation. Herniation of your fat pad on the outside of your heel or foot is called a Piezogenic papule.

A Piezogenic papule sometimes can look very scary, but it is not anything dangerous to worry about. I have never personally seen one removed, and you probably don’t need surgery or injections. Treating the cosmetics of your foot can sometimes result in even bigger problems. We personally discourage surgery for any type of cosmetic reason, only for functional reasons.




This can be a hard clump that develops on the side of your foot, it is a combination of a callus that plugs sweat glands on your foot. Visiting your podiatrist for a porokeratosis can lead to excision of these with the blade. There is not as painful as it sounds! Sometimes we can solve really bad pain within a couple minutes, and it stays away for good.


Tumors on the side of the foot:

the most common type of tumor is what’s called a safe tumor. This is called the lipoma. Lipomas are very common in people in this is a buildup of fat in a certain area. Lipomas generally are not dangerous.


It is 100% impossible to guarantee that something is not dangerous. Sometimes you can develop a cancerous tumor on the foot, although this is extremely rare. This is one in a million type stuff. But that being said you do have to visit your podiatrist or foot and ankle specialist to have this evaluated. Tumors that are cancerous or malignant on the foot are extremely rare.


Skin conditions on the side of the foot:

sometimes you could have foot fungus, dermatologic conditions such as inclusion cyst, or strange looking calluses.


Something we see frequently are also warts. Warts can be painful and very difficult to treat.


The bone can stick out in 3 places:


1) At the Outside of the Base of the 5th Toe


Bone on the Outside of the Foot Sticks Out


-This Bunionette can be treated at home and the pain could be removed by following the treatment guide provided by clicking on the picture, but surgery is the only way to remove the deformity and get your foot looking like normal. If you choose to control the pain at home you should get yourself some wider shoes, some over the counter inserts like Powersteps and correct and conditions that are causing poor foot biomechanics.


Learn More with this guide:

Pinky Toe Bunion Guide



2)At the Edge of the Outside Heel



There are 3 conditions that commonly occur at the base or styloid process of the 5th Metatarsal. A fracture of the 5th met base as shown above- this may require surgery or casting for a month or more; this really hurts and you are barely able to walk on the side of your foot. If it does not hurt


Bone on the Outside of the Foot Sticks Out


3)The Entire Outside of the Foot Hurts


Bone on the Outside of the Foot Sticks Out


-If there is pain across the entire outside of the foot then it may be nerve pain front any injury radiating if it feels like there is numbness, burning and tingling. But if you have been running heavily lately, or standing on your feet for long periods of time this may be a 5th metatarsal stress fracture.


4)Pinky Toe Pain




Other Outside of the Foot Pain Causes:


Skin Problems:

Calluses are thick patches of skin that appear in sites of friction against the shoe, the floor or any other part of the foot. The danger is a blister can form underneath the callus!

A corn looks like a little pebble that can form, they usually even occur with a callus around them. This can be exceptionally painful.

Follow our at home pain relief guides, how to trim your nails properly and even how to remove them permanently.

These occur from stubbing your toe, so learn how to deal with them properly! Is it broken or is it just bruised, find out with this guide.


Bone and Joint Problems:

This is when you toe looks really big and as if though its popping out at the base.

This is when you have a crooked or curved toe.


5th Metatarsal Pain:


Muscle & Tendon Pain:

About the author

The Modern Podiatrist (Foot and Ankle Specialist Doctor):Today's podiatrist is required to undergo rigorous medical training that licenses them as physicians with equivalent legal standing to the MD and DO degree (These are physician recognized licenses most common only in the USA). Although admittedly the training does differ between the three degrees. The differences are listed below.In Michigan Podiatrists are trained and authorized to perform surgery in the foot and ankle up to the tibial tubercle below the knee.All our podiatrists and foot doctors have undergone rigorous training including a 4 undergraduate college degree, writing the medical school entrance exam (MCAT), followed by a 4 year medical school degree (DPM - Doctor of Podiatric Medicine),Once podiatrists in the USA complete the rigorous 4 year medical school courses, they are required to complete a minimum of 3 years of a surgical and non-surgical residency program. Some podiatrists and foot doctors then choose to go on to further fellowship training specializing in various forms of specialty such as diabetic surgery or reconstructive foot and ankle surgery.The training is not over yet! Each podiatrist must be judged by a governing body where they submit their surgical cases and are reviewed regularly to ensure excellent results. This is a career long evaluation with board qualifications and certifications every few years.So have faith that today's podiatrist is your best choice for your foot and ankle problems! We are able to approach you foot and ankle problems from a non-surgery perspective, but that when necessary we can provide you with the treatment that you need!All articles written by this account are considered to be for educational purposes only. It is impossible for us to truly assess your condition and the advice we give here is meant to give you a basis to then follow up with your podiatrist and foot doctor later.If you have any questions at all, or there is anything that we can help you with, please feel free to contact our office or email us. Podiatrists provide medically necessary treatment which should be covered by valid insurance plans, we are not a cosmetic or elective medical specialty.