Common foot and ankle conditions.

As podiatrists, we’re uniquely qualified to treat your feet.

Our extensive, focused foot and ankle training allows us to provide expert treatment and the unique
ability to detect diseases that affect other parts of the body just by what the feet reveal. In that way, we
play an important role as part of your total healthcare team in managing your overall well-being.

Below are some of the conditions we treat on a regular basis.

ACHILLES TENDONITIS


Description

Inflammation of the Achilles tendon (heel cord) usually caused by overuse. The Achilles is the largest and strongest tendon in the body. It gives us the ability to rise up on our toes and facilitates walking.

Symptoms

Pain and stiffness at the back of the lower leg above the heel which is often worse first thing in the morning or after running or other sports activity. You may also have swelling or a feeling of “fullness” in the lower leg.

Treatment

Treatment normally involves medication, devices to support the lower leg and relieve stress on the tendon, and rest until the condition improves. In severe cases, surgery may be needed to remove fibrous tissue and repair any tears.

ARTHRITIS


Description

Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage gradually wears away. Rheumatoid arthritis attacks the membrane covering the joint and damages bone and cartilage. Gout is a form of arthritis caused by excess uric acid in the blood that most commonly affects the big toe joint.

Symptoms

Joint swelling, warmth, and redness. Tenderness when pressure is applied to the ankle or joints in the foot. Increased pain and swelling in the morning, or after sitting or resting. Walking may be difficult.

Treatment

Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications. Exercises to increase flexibility and strengthen the foot and ankle muscles. An ankle-foot orthosis (AFO) or other devices may be used to improve mobility. Arthroscopic surgery or fusion may be required.

ATHLETE’S FOOT


Description

A very common foot rash usually caused by fungus. Up to 70% of the population may have it at some point during their lives.

Symptoms

Dry, itchy, scaly skin between your toes with possible blisters and inflammation. The infection can spread to the soles of the feet, toenails, or other parts of the body, including the groin or underarms.

Treatment

Topical or oral antifungal medications are often prescribed. If the condition is found to be caused by bacteria and not fungus, antibiotics may be prescribed. Prevention and proper foot hygiene are key to stopping reoccurrence.

BUNION


Description

A deformity of the big toe caused by misalignment of the big toe (metatarsal phalangeal) joint. Bunions occur nearly 10 times more frequently in women.

Symptoms

A bulging lump at the side and base of your big toe. The skin over it may be red and tender and it may hurt when walking. Your big toe may angle toward your second toe or move all the way under it.

Treatment

Often treated with wider shoes and orthotics. While this approach helps reduce pain and slow the progression of the deformity, it will not cure the condition. If your bunion gets too severe, you may develop arthritis. In some cases, surgery may be recommended.

BURNING FEET


Description

Morton’s neuroma, a noncancerous growth of nerve tissue that can develop usually between your third and fourth toes, is the most common culprit of burning pain in the feet.

Symptoms

Thickening of the tissue around the nerve causes sharp, burning pain in the ball of your foot. Your toes may also sting or feel numb.

Treatment

Commonly, a change in footwear or arch supports. Sometimes, corticosteroid injections or surgery may be necessary. Early diagnosis and treatment greatly increase the chance of long-term pain relief.

COLD FEET


Description

Usually the result of poor blood circulation (peripheral vascular disease) which narrows, hardens, and blocks arteries. Lack of physical activity, smoking, high blood pressure, chronic alcohol abuse, and certain vitamin deficiencies are known causes, but the most common is diabetes.

Symptoms

Feet feel cold and are sensitive to touch. Sometimes there is a pale or bluish tint to the skin.

Treatment

Poor circulation can be treated by medication to prevent clotting, controlling blood sugar levels, or addressing other underlying causes. Surgical correction is sometimes required.

DIABETIC ULCERS


Description

An open wound or sore, commonly on the sole, that affects approximately 15% of diabetics. Ulcers form due to factors such as lack of feeling, foot deformities, irritation, trauma, and poor circulation (peripheral vascular disease).

Symptoms

Many people who develop foot ulcers have lost the ability to feel pain, so pain is uncommon. Many times, the first thing you may notice is some drainage on your socks. Redness and swelling may occur and an odor may be present.

Treatment

Measures to prevent infection and managing underlying conditions are key. Taking pressure off the area is essential as is appropriate wound management, which includes dressings and topical medications shown to effectively heal ulcers.

FLAT FEET


Description

A common condition where the entire sole of the foot comes into complete or near-complete contact with the ground. An estimated 20–30% of adults in the general population have an arch that simply never develops in one foot or both feet.

Symptoms

Flat feet don’t usually present problems. However, foot, ankle, or lower leg pain, especially in children, may be a result of flat feet and should be evaluated. Flat feet are also associated with pronation (inward leaning ankles).

Treatment

Proper, supportive footwear may be recommended or prescribed. Orthotic devices, supportive taping and bracing, and physical therapy are also common ways of treating flat feet.

FLAT FEET – PROGRESSIVE


Description

Progressive flatfoot, or Tibialis Posterior Tendonitis, occurs when the posterior tibial tendon becomes inflamed or torn. Some people are predisposed to this condition if they have flat feet or an abnormal attachment of the tendon to the bones in the midfoot.

Symptoms

Pain along the inside of the foot and ankle that worsens with activity. High-impact activities, such as jogging, and even walking or standing for any length of time can be difficult. The shape of your foot may change; the heel may tilt outward and the arch may be collapsed.

Treatment

Medications, physical therapy, bracing, or orthotics are common treatments. In some cases, surgery may be required to repair the tendon. Surgery on the midfoot bones may also be needed to treat the associated flatfoot condition. Left untreated, progressive flatfoot may lead to severe disability.

FOOT ODOR


Description

Bromhidrosis (smelly feet) is a very common, very annoying condition. It’s caused by increased sweating combined with the bacteria and fungus that live in your socks and shoes. These micro-organisms not only smell bad but can lead to potentially serious infections—especially in diabetics.

Symptoms

Moist, wet feet with an unpleasant smell often compared to moldy cheese. You may also have a rash or infection on your feet.

Treatment

Foot odor can usually be controlled with simple measures such as keeping your feet clean and dry and applying baby powder. Any attempt to reduce foot odor must address both your sweating and your footwear.

HAMMERTOE


Description

Deformity of the second, third, and/or fourth toes where the toe remains bent at the middle joint. The most common cause is a muscle and tendon imbalance.

Symptoms

Toes look and stay bent, even at rest. You may have corns or calluses on top of the middle joint or on the tip of your toe. You may also feel pain in your toes or feet and have trouble finding comfortable shoes.

Treatment

Recommended or prescribed shoes with roomy toe boxes and exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles. Surgery may be necessary in severe or longstanding cases.

HEEL PAIN


Description

Plantar fasciitis (heel pain) is inflammation of the soft tissue that stretches across the bottom of the foot from the base of the toes to the heel bone. It’s most commonly caused by poor foot mechanics. A heel spur may or may not also be present but is rarely the source of the pain.

Symptoms

A stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot near the heel especially when taking the first several steps in the morning. The pain usually lessens as walking continues, but the bottom of the foot may feel still tight.

Treatment

Conservative measures such as medication, exercises, shoe inserts, and physical therapy can help. If these measures prove unsuccessful, we offer the most advanced surgical treatments such as endoscopic fasciotomy and shockwave therapy.

NUMB FEET


Description

Peripheral neuropathy is the most common cause of numbness in your feet. It can result from traumatic injuries, infections, metabolic problems, and exposure to toxins. One of the most common causes is diabetes.

Symptoms

A loss of sensation in the foot or feet that’s often compared to the feeling of wearing a thin stocking. You may also experience tingling or burning pain.

Treatment

Peripheral neuropathy symptoms can improve with time—especially if it’s caused by an underlying condition that can be resolved. Medications are often prescribed to reduce pain.

PLANTAR WART


Description

A plantar wart is a non-cancerous skin growth caused by a viral infection on the skin of the sole of the foot. Plantar warts usually don’t stick up above the skin partly because of the pressure of walking and its flattening effect.

Symptoms

Plantar warts may appear spongy with tiny red, brown, or black spots. You may have a single wart (as large as an inch across or more) or a cluster of smaller warts. Plantar warts are sometimes mistaken for corns or calluses.

Treatment

Removal relieves any pain the wart may cause when you walk and keeps it from spreading. Your doctor will numb your foot with local anesthesia, then painlessly remove the wart with a small, spoon-like tool or a laser.

SWEATY FEET


Description

Hyperhidrosis (sweaty feet) seems to be an inherited condition. Some cases of excessive sweating of the feet can be caused by a low blood count or overactive thyroid, but most are of a local cause.

Symptoms

Excessively sweaty feet. Some people sweat so much that their feet slip around inside their shoes. Your feet may have a whitish, wrinkled appearance. Foot odor is common and infections may also be present.

Treatment

Proper hygiene and wicking socks to draw moisture away from the skin can help. Oral medication or injections can temporarily control the condition. Severe cases may require a procedure to interrupt the nerve signals that tell the body to over sweat.

SWOLLEN FEET


Description

Usually the result of poor circulation (peripheral vascular disease) which narrows, hardens, and blocks arteries. Lack of physical activity, smoking, high blood pressure, alcohol abuse, and vitamin deficiencies are known causes, but the most common is diabetes.

Symptoms

Feet are puffy with possible pain or burning. The skin may be cool and look shiny, stretched, or discolored. Your foot may also retain a dimple after you press the skin with a finger.

Treatment

Poor circulation can be treated by medication to prevent clotting, controlling blood sugar levels, or addressing other underlying causes. Surgical correction is sometimes required.

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