For what it’s worth, I also experienced acute pain in my right foot starting right after I retired (2010). The pain was in the top middle portion of my foot. It showed itself in two ways: one was that my arch pretty much collapsed; like having fallen arches. Secondly, when that happened the bones in the top of my foot shifted position, causing lots of sharp pain as they touched other bones. I need to mention that I carry too much weight, and I know this was a factor.
My first podiatrist had a custom made inner sole for my shoe prepared. It’s purpose was to try to hold the arch up and keep the bones more stable. I don’t remember exactly, but I seem to recall hearing there are 10-12 different bones in the top center of the foot. This treatment did offer some help, but did not solve the problem. Shortly after this, my wife and I moved to a medium sized city in North Carolina and I contacted a new Podiatrist who had been recommended. This guy was quite a character. His first comment to me after viewing the x-rays was something like “you really have a messed up foot.” I have cleaned up his sentence for the benefit of all. Interestingly, there was no damage of any kind in the left foot, only the right. He went on to tell me (and show me on the x-rays) that the edges of many of these bones had essentially been destroyed by the arthritis. His background included some time on the medical staff of the Philadelphia Eagles football team and he seemed to have a real grasp of how the foot functioned, how it was supposed to function, and cause/effect of why it was not functioning correctly. Essentially what he told me was that our feet were the load bearing parts of our body. Nothing earth shattering there. He then explained that because these bones and joints in my mid-foot were so corroded, they could no longer support the body as they had previously done, without touching each other.
He offered me two courses of treatment: (1) surgery and (2) a weight shifting foot brace which is worn inside the shoe. He went on to say that the damage was so significant he personally would not attempt the surgery. He said the only place he would send me was to Duke University Hospital if I wanted surgery. He mentioned that other docs in town would offer assurances that they could correct the problem with surgery. He urged caution. He explained very clearly that this was not a simple surgery. He said that the surgical repair would have to be perfect; if not the result might end up being worse than the current condition. It also would require a long rehab, with no foot movement for months, followed by extensive PT.
The alternative, which I selected, is called a Ritchie Brace. This brace works by slightly altering the way the body’s weight is supported by the foot. His explanation was that it moved the foot towards the rear of the shoe, which allowed the larger leg bones coming into the top of the foot and ankle to handle more of the load, freeing pressure on the mid-foot. I may not have it exactly as he explained it, but it has worked for me since 2013.
This damned disease has cause me to have too many surgeries, and I do not wish to have any others unless there is no other choice. This has worked so far for me. If you or anyone else is considering surgery of the mid-foot (fusing all of those bones and joints), this Ritchie Brace may be something you want to talk to your Podiatrist about.
I hope this helps. Good luck.