Bump on the Side Foot – Common Causes & Treatment Options

Bump on the Side Foot - Common Causes & Treatment Options

If you got a bump on the side foot, how did it get there, and what caused it? 

Bump on the side of the foot is one of the widespread problems and may arise due to different reasons. It might be a wound caused by some injury or a serious concern that needs medical attention. 

Let’s understand what the bump on the side of the foot actually is, what its common causes are, and what its symptoms and treatments are. 

What Causes Bump On The Side Foot?

There are various reasons for the appearance of bumps on the side of the foot. From trauma and injuries to severe medical conditions, such as cysts or syndromes, bumps can appear in either case. 

However, it is essential to know the underlying issue so that prompt treatment can be given. Since every cause leads to different symptoms, here we have listed them for better understanding-

Types Of Bump On Side Foot: Causes And Symptoms 

A bump can sometimes cause severe foot pain or inconvenience while walking or wearing footwear. A bump on your foot can be uncomfortable and disrupt your daily routine, no matter how active and healthy you are.

Here, we are listing a few common and serious causes of a bump on the sides of the foot.

1. Accessory Navicular Syndrome

Accessory Navicular Syndrome

If you experience a bump in the inner center side of the foot arch, it is known as accessory navicular (1). It is extra cartilage or bone. 

The additional bone is often dormant until, in adolescence, it begins to calcify and becomes a noticeable bump on the inner side of the arch of the foot. It can sometimes be associated with a flat foot.


The first symptom of accessory navicular would be a painful bump on the inside side of the foot; it usually becomes inflamed and swells when rubbed against the footwear.

2. Bunions and Tailor’s Bunion or Bunionette

Bunions and Tailor’s Bunion or Bunionette

The most common cause of a bump on the side foot is a bunion or Hallux Valgus (2). A bunion is a big bony bump on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. It may be caused by arthritis, wearing misfit footwear, or hereditary.

Likewise, Tailor’s Bunion or Bunionette appears on the side of the little toe and is caused by the same reasons as bunions. 


The big toe slowly drifts toward the second toe while the base of the toe shifts outward, causing a hard bump at the joint. The bump gets inflamed while rubbing against the footwear and becomes very painful. Stiffness in the big toes, which could make walking difficult.

3. Ganglion Cyst

Ganglion Cyst

Ganglion cyst is another commonly caused bump on the side of the foot (3). These cysts are soft, filled with fluid placed under the skin, and benign cysts. 

Although they can occur anywhere on the foot, they can mainly be seen on the side or top of the foot. Women are more prone to getting ganglion cysts than men. They can exist without causing symptoms and become painful only if rubbed against the footwear.


If the bump is soft and lumpy and causes pressure or pain when bending at the joints, it could be an indication of a ganglion cyst. You may feel a tingling sensation or numbness, especially when the cyst is pressing on a nerve.  

4. Fracture


Fracture can also be one of the reasons for the bump on the side of the foot. The 5th metatarsal base (the bone that joins your little toe to the base of your foot) fracture, also known as “Jones fracture” (4), is among the most common fractures of the foot. 

It is caused when you put sudden pressure on the outside of the foot, twisting it away from the body. Sports injuries and falls are the main reason for Jones fracture. Often, urgent care is needed depending on the severity of the condition.


Pain, swelling, bruise, difficulty in walking, bump and tenderness.

5. Gout


Gout is a common but complex form of arthritis. It can form anywhere but most often in the joint of the big toe. When the body has extra uric acid, the urate crystals accumulate in the joints, causing intense pain and inflammation.


Some of the symptoms of gout are severe joint pain, inflammation, redness, swelling, and difficulty in walking.

How to Treat Bump on Side Foot

Now that we know bumps on the side foot could be of different types with varying symptoms, here are the possible treatment lines for each of them.

1. Accessory Navicular Syndrome

To relieve the inflammation, the icing on the area is suggested. A session with physiotherapists helps to strengthen the muscles and reduce inflammation. If the condition worsens and disrupts daily activity or normal walking, surgery is the last resort.

2. Bunions and Tailor’s Bunion or Bunionette

It is advised to treat bunions as soon as the issue is detected because it becomes difficult to correct it once the deviation becomes greater. 

Treatment starts with wearing an ample toe arch support that helps the toe get back in position, wearing the right kind of footwear, which is not tight but spacious towards the front part, and inserting padding in the footwear to avoid inflammation.

3. Ganglion Cysts

The ganglion cyst usually does not need any treatments and goes away by itself or by doing a hot pack compress. Sometimes, the doctors can drain the fluid from the cyst with the help of a syringe, or a simple surgery procedure is performed to remove the cyst.

4. Fracture

The bump on the side foot due to a broken bone needs to heal back together. The healing process usually includes a combination of RICE (Rest, Icing, Compression, and Elevation). The fracture often needs to be cast to avoid the foot’s movement and protect against any direct weight on the affected area.

5. Gout

OTC medicines would help in reducing the pain attacks caused by gout. Avoid food that could increase the level of uric acid, which could flare up the pain and inflammation. Doing regular physiotherapy to improve the movement and reduce the inflammation.

When To See A Doctor?

Bumps or lumps on the side foot are usually not harmful or life-threatening. All the above causes are not fatal; however, can make walking discomforting. Still, it is better to let the doctor check if there is any unusual growth on the foot in the form of a bump or lump. 

A podiatrist can check the size and growth of the bump and provide the right diagnosis. If the pain on the bump is increasing and getting worse with time or is growing rapidly, it seeks medical attention. 

Moreover, if the bumps are accompanied by pus or discharge, numbness, or inability to walk, consult a podiatrist immediately. 


Now that we know the possible reasons and types of bumps on the side of the foot, it is essential to keep an eye on its growth or any unusual symptoms. 

Consider seeking medical help if you witness anything suspicious instead of self-diagnosing and treating it at home. 

Even if the bump isn’t causing any pain or inflammation, it is important to consult a doctor and start appropriate treatment to rule out the conditions for any serious issue.


  1. Symptomatic accessory navicular bone: A case series-https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1110116417300248
  2. Hallux Valgus- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK553092/ 
  3. Persistent Symptoms of Ganglion Cysts in the Dorsal Foot-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5721324/
  4. Jones type fifth metatarsal fracture fixation in athletes: A review and current concept-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8472442/

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