Here is a list of some of the most common foot problems
If you are concerned or feel that you may be suffering from one of these foot health problems, please make an appointment with your doctor or schedule an appointment with Dr. Howard Burkett, DPM at Family Foot Health.
During a sudden sideway motion or twist, especially when your foot lands off-balance, muscles may give way allowing the ankle joint to move too far. Ligaments connecting the foot and ankle overstretch or may tear resulting in a sprain. These sudden injuries are painful, both at the time of occurrence and during the healing process.
A deformity where the great toe is leaning toward the second toe and a bump is present at the great toe joint. The bunion deformity may present in varying degrees of severity, both in size and symptoms. Generally both feet are affected, although it is not uncommon to have a bunion on one side only, or to have one side worse that the other. Since bunions are developmental deformities, they are more often seen in adults and generally become more severe as we grow older.
A child’s feet grow rapidly during the first year, reaching almost half their adult size. Many adult foot ailments, like other bodily ills, have their origins in the childhood. This is why foot specialists consider the first years as the most important in the development of the feet.
Diabetes (Diabetes Mellitus) is a disease in which the plasma glucose levels are too high and the affected person must generally take insulin or a hypoglycemic medication to control it. The types of foot problems that can be associated with diabetes mellitus may include lack of feeling in the feet (polyneuropathy), poor circulation, ulcers (especially areas on the sole of the foot that receive a lot of pressure),dry, burning, itchy,hypersensitive feet.Due to the many serious foot problems associated with diabetes, a diabetic individual should have their feet examined and treated periodically by a podiatrist to help prevent these problems.
Foot Fungus, Athletes Foot
Athlete’s foot is caused by a fungal infection of the skin on the foot. Most of these infections are caused by one of three fungal agents called dermatophytes. Athlete’s foot is by far the most common fungal infection of the skin. The infection can be either acute or chronic. The recurrent form of the disease is often associated with fungus-infected toenails.
A condition characterized by buckling of any of the toe joints, more commonly at the end or middle of the toes as well as the joint near the ball of the foot. Toe joints usually curl as a result of muscle imbalance or tight tendons. This condition varies in severity and in the number of joint involved.
This condition develops when one of the nerves running along the sole of the foot becomes squeezed, or inflamed between two of the bones of the foot (metatarsals). Morton’s neuroma is most often caused by poorly fitting footwear and is usually found to occur between fourth, third, and second toes. Similar neuroma-like symptoms can be caused by alcoholism or diabetes-related complications.
Plantar wart, verruca, papilloma, or verruca vulgaris are all infection caused by a virus, which can enter the foot through a small break in the skin or cut. Although more commonly seen on the bottom of the foot they may also appear on top and between the toes. More susceptible to such infections are children, teens, and people with weakened immune systems.
Ingrown Nails & Fungus Toenail
In their protective role toenails bear the stress of daily activity like walking, running, or participating in sports. All or portion of a nail plate can be damaged or infected when the toes are injured or abused. Some of the common problems are ingrown toenails, fungus infected toenails, and thick or dystrophic nails.
Degenerative arthritis is a condition characterized by the slow wear and erosion of the joint cartilage. Initially affected joint may seem stiff and may possibly ache. Subsequently joint lining breaks down and the bones begin to rub against each other resulting in pain and swelling.
As part of foots defense against excessive pressure and friction calluses form from accumulation, hardening, and thickening of dead skin cells. Although often found on the ball-of-the-foot, heel, and big toe, callus formation is NOT normal.
In response to the friction caused by shoe pressure on the skin of a crooked joint, a painful thickening and hardening of the outer layer of skin may occur, a condition commonly called a corn. In many cases corns look bad but are not harmful, however in more severe cases they may become infected, destroy healthy tissue, or affect foot movement.
Flat Foot (PTTDS)
Adult Dysfunctional Flat Foot (PTTDS) involves the collapse of the medial arch of the foot and the problems that develop from this abnormal position. The collapse of the arch usually develops later in life, and has a relatively acute or sudden onset. PTTDS can be broken down into three stages. Stage 1, is tendonitis with possible attenuation or stretching of the tendon. Stage 2 is describes as a tendonitis with partial tear of the tendon. Stage 3 is described as a complete rupture of the tendon.
Heel Spur/Plantar Fasciitis
Heel spur also known as plantar fasciitis is a very common, painful foot disorder that involves inflammation of the ligament attached to the bottom of the heel bone. It frequently appears during more active years on an individual but can occur at any time. Most people with plantar fasciitis complain of sharp pain following rest, and some even develop a limp because of the discomfort.
In the case of nerve entrapment syndrome, post traumatic / post surgical nerve entrapment, and tarsal tunnel syndrome, nerve injury is caused by either compression from scar tissue or other growths exerting pressure on the nerve.
Tailors bunion, bunionette
A bunionette, is similar to a bunion, but occurs on the outside of the foot. It is sometimes referred to as “tailor’s bunion” due to the fact that tailors once sat cross legged all day with the outside edge of their feet rubbing on the ground, resulting in formation of a callus at the base of the fifth toe.
Tendonitis, Achilles Tendonitis
Tendonitis is an inflammation (swelling) of the tendon, which usually occurs as a result of overuse injury. Basketball players are the most susceptible to Achilles tendonitis because of the frequent jumping. Any activity requiring frequent jumping or a constant pushing off the foot, such as basketball, soccer, running or dancing, may result in swelling of the tendon. Common symptoms include pain and irritation at the back of the heel, pain along the tendon above the heel bone during or after exercise, and tenderness above the heel upon taking the first steps in the morning. Extracorporeal Shock Wave Treatment (ESWT) is also indicated for patients who have experienced chronic pain for an extended period of time and have not responded to conservative treatment.
These sores occur when pressure cuts off the blood supply to the skin. Combination of stress and body weight place big toe, the ball of the foot, and the heel at a greater risk of such ulcers. Untreated, ulcers may result in infection, potentially threatening your life or leading to a loss of the infected limb.