Common Foot Problems:
Below you will find the most common foot problems which include the following conditions:
- Ingrown nail
- Athlete’s foot/fungal infection
- Fungal Nail Infection
- Heel Spur (calcaneal exostosis)
- Bunion Deformity (Hallux Abductovalgus)
- Hammertoe Deformity
- Intermetatarsal Neuroma
- Stress Fracture
This small lesion is usually seen on the tops of the toes and can also present between toes. It consists of compact and hard skin and occurs in response to increased friction and pressure between the toes or overlying ill fitting shoes. Often, these lesions may cause pain, redness and a burning sensation of the affected toe.
These lesions are commonly located on the bottom of the foot in the area of the ball of the foot or under the heels. They are a result of too much pressure or frictiond under certain areas of the foot and may be related to the position of the underlying bones that make up the ball of the foot
This entity most commonly occurs on the inside(medial) or outside(lateral) portion of the nail of the great toe. It can occur spontaneously, but more often occurs as a result of shoes that are too tight or toenails that are improperly cut. Ingrown nails are usually very painful and often become infected. When they do get infected, immediate attention is required.
_Athlete’s foot/fungal infection
This commonly seen infection can occur at anytime during the year but is most frequently seen in the spring and summer during the more humid months. It usually presents as red, peeling areas of the skin with small fluid filled blisters present. It can occur anywhere on the foot or ankle or between the toes.It is usually accompanied by reported itching or burning sensations. It is contagious and does require treatment. Often this problem is recurrent, but can be effectively stopped with appropriate medications and techniques to minimize/contol moisture.
_Fungal Nail Infection
These unsightly infections cause the nails to discolor and thicken often to the point of causing pain in shoes. The very same organism that causes athlete’s foot can invade the nail and produce this chronic and progressive process. Like athlete’s foot, it is contagious. Several treatment options are now available to address this challenging problem.
_Heel Spur (calcaneal exostosis)
This painful condition is located on the bottom of the heel area. Often it is most painful when arising from bed or a seated position and gets better to some degree with continued walking. It can be caused by direct trauma to the heel or more commonly from overuse. Usually, this condition is associated with a very flexible foot type that causes the arch to break down during ambulation. If left untreated, it can lead to compensation of the normal gait(walking) pattern and cause a host of secondary tendon , hip or low back issues. There are many non-surgical treatment options to remedy this problem. Our current success rate for resolution is approximately 98% without the need for surgical intervention.
__Bunion Deformity (Hallux Abductovalgus)
This is both a soft tissue and bony deformity that occurs as a result of the 1st metatarsal drifting away from the 2nd metatarsal. It is often associated with a flexible foot type with low arch. Unfortunately, this is a progressive deformity that eventually causes pain and influences the adjacent smaller toes into malposition. As the magnitude of this deformity gets worse over time, more aggressive and invasive surgical procedures are required to correct it on the back end. So the earlier intervention/correction is done, typically, the less involved the surgery and more rapid the recovery.
This deformity is very common and involves the smaller toes. The digit slowly contracts into a bent or “hammer” position and results in the rubbing of the top of the toe against the shoe producing both redness and a burning sensation. Corns can accompany these contractures. Like bunions, these deformities do get worse with time and affect adjacent joints, eventually requiring additional procedures to restore normal anatomical position.
Symptoms of a neuroma frequently include a reported tingling or shooting pain that involves 2 adjacent toes. A feeling of a fullness located on the bottom of the foot is noted. It is usually made worse with the use of heels or no shoes at all and can be very painful and produce a burning or “pins and needles” sensation with increased activity. Neuromas are almost always benign. They can be treated conservatively but more often than not, go on to surgical removal.
A stress fracture is an actual fracture throught a portion or the entire bone structure. It is very fine and is usually not seen on standard x-rays. It is caused by overuse or improper shoe gear during increased activity. Pain is usually located on the top of the foot over the metatarsal area and is localized to a very specific area. Pain can be severe and will get worse with increased activity and gets better with rest. Often the diagnosis is made clinically based on symptoms and objective findings. Treatment is important as continued pain and activity will likely produce a full fracture in the area of weakened bone.
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