Extensor Tendinitis

Top of Foot Pain

What could be my problem?

Extensor Tendinitis is Inflammation or irritation of the tendons that pull the toes up, usually from repeated friction or compression from a poorly fitting shoe.

What causes Extensor Tendinitis?

  • Improper footwear
  • Spending long periods of time on your feet
  • Walking or running on uneven surfaces or up and down hills
  • Lacing shoes too tightly
  • Calf tightness
  • High foot arches
  • Flat feet
  • Foot injury

When to see a podiatrist (foot specialist) about Extensor Tendinitis:

  • Top of foot pain that gets worse with activity
  • Painful to wear shoes
  • Daily activities are limited due to foot pain
  • Visible swelling and bruising across the top of the foot

What are my treatment options for Extensor Tendinitis?


  • Rest
  • Ice/cold wrap
  • Nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Physical therapy
  • Corticosteroid injection therapy
  • Custom orthotics


If rest and conservative treatment fail to treat the symptoms, your podiatrist may recommend surgery to correct bony spurring that could be rubbing or cutting into the tendon.