Conditions and Treatments for the foot and ankle. Foot and ankle problems usually fall into the following categories:
- Acquired from improper footwear, physical stress, or small mechanical changes within the foot.
- Arthritic foot problems, which typically involve one or more joint.
- Congenital foot problems, which occur at birth, are generally inherited.
- Infectious foot problems, which are caused by bacterial, viral, or fungal disorders.
- Neoplastic disorders, usually called tumors, which are the result of abnormal growth of tissue and may be benign or malignant.
- Traumatic foot problems, which are associated with foot and ankle injuries.
The top foot problems are:
Plantar Fasciitis – Plantar fasciitis (PF), also known as Plantar Heel Pain (PHP) is a painful inflammatory process of the plantar fascia, the connective tissue or ligament on the sole (bottom surface) of the foot. It is the most common cause of heel pain and is often caused by overuse of the plantar fascia, increases in activities, weight or age. It is a very common condition and can be difficult to treat if not looked after properly.
Bunions – misaligned big toe joints that can become swollen and tender, causing the first joint of the big toe to slant outward, and the second joint to angle toward the other toes. Bunions tend to be hereditary, but can be aggravated by shoes that are too narrow in the forefoot and toe. Surgery is frequently performed to correct the problem.
Hammertoe – a condition, usually stemming from muscle imbalance, in which the toe is bent in a claw-like position. It occurs most frequently with the second toe, often when a bunion slants the big toe toward and under it, but any of the other three smaller toes can be affected. Selecting shoes and socks that do not cramp the toes will alleviate aggravation.
Ingrown nails – toenails whose corners or sides dig painfully into the skin. Ingrown toenails are frequently caused by improper nail trimming, but also by shoe pressure, injury, fungus infection, heredity and poor foot structure. Women are much more likely to have ingrown toenails than men. Ingrown nails can be prevented by trimming toenails straight across, selecting proper shoe style and size – not too tapered or shallow – and paying special attention to foot pain.
Athlete’s Foot – Athlete’s foot is a common skin problem caused by a fungus. Usually beginning on the skin between the toes, the fungus infection becomes scaly and itchy. Over time it may cause a break in the skin and become sore. Another term for athlete’s foot is tinea pedis.
Heel spurs – growths of bone on the underside, forepart of the heel bone. Heel spurs occur when the plantar tendon pulls at its attachment to the heel bone. This area of the heel can later calcify to form a spur. With proper warm-up and the use of appropriate athletic shoes, strain to the ligament can be reduced.
Neuromas – enlarged benign growths of nerves, most commonly between the third and fourth toes. They are caused by tissue rubbing against and irritating the nerves. Pressure from ill-fitting shoes or abnormal bone structure can also lead to this condition. Treatments include orthoses (shoe inserts) and/or cortisone injections, but surgical removal of the growth is sometimes necessary.
Plantar fasciitis (heel pain) – usually caused by an inflammation on the bottom of the foot. Our practice can evaluate arch pain, and may prescribe customized shoe inserts called orthoses to help alleviate the pain.
Sesamoiditis – inflammation or rupture of the two small bones (sesamoids) under the first metatarsal bones. Proper shoe selection and orthoses can help.
Shin splints – pain to either side of the leg bone, caused by muscle or tendon inflammation. It is commonly related to excessive foot pronation (collapsing arch), but may be related to a muscle imbalance between opposing muscle groups in the leg. Proper stretching and corrective orthoses (shoe inserts) for pronation can help prevent shin splints.
Stress fractures -incomplete cracks in bone caused by overuse. With complete rest, stress fractures heal quickly. Extra padding in shoes helps prevent the condition. Stress fractures left untreated may become complete fractures, which require casting and immobilization.
Ankle Sprains – This is the most common ankle injury. Ankle sprains are the result of twisting of the ankle causing injury to the underlying soft tissue structures/ligaments usually on the outside of the ankle. Ligaments are like rubber bands holding the bones together. An injury may cause them to stretch and become partially or completely torn. When left untreated, this type of damage can result in abnormal motion due to ankle instability.
Hammer Toes – This is a condition characterized by dislocation or bend of any of the joints of any one of the toes. Second toe is the most commonly involved toe. Precipitating factors include genetics, trauma, ill-fitting shoes and muscle imbalance (weak muscles) of the foot. Arthritis, diabetes and alcoholism may also result in weakening of the foot muscles and causing this painful deformity.
- Achilles Tendonitis
- Ankle Sprains
- Arthritic Foot Conditions
- Athlete’s Foot
- Black Toe Nail
- Diabetic Foot Problems
- Foot and Ankle Fractures
- Foot and Ankle Injuries
- Foot Health
- Foot Cryosurgery
- Flat Feet
- Forefoot Surgery
- Fungal Nails
- Ganglion Cyst
- Haglund’s Deformity
- Hallux Limitus
- Hammertoe Deformity
- Hallus Valgus / Bunion Deformity
- Heel Fissuring
- High Arched Feet / Pes Cavus
- Heel Pain
- Ingrown Toenails
- Morton’s Neuroma
- Nail Problems
- Orthotics Custom-Made
- Pediatric Deformities
- Plantar Fasciitis/Heel Spur Syndrome
- Plantar Warts
- Rearfoot Surgery
- Subungual Exostosis
- Toenail Fungus
- Leg and Foot Ulcers