Common Foot and Ankle Problems and Treatments
Achilles tendinitis is an inflammation of the tendon from acute overuse.
The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the human body. It can withstand forces of 1,000 pounds or more. It is also the most frequently ruptured tendon. Both professional and weekend athletes can suffer from Achilles tendinitis, a common overuse injury and inflammation of the tendon.
An ankle sprain occurs when the ankle twists, while walking or during physical activity, causing damage to the ligaments on the outside of the ankle.
An audible “pop” may sometimes be heard.
Osteochondritis dissecans (stiff ankle), presents as lesions that usually cause pain and stiffness of the ankle joint. Osteochondritis affects all age groups.
A bunion is a bony prominence on the side of the foot at the base of the big toe joint. There is progressive movement of the big toe outward toward the other toes. The term Hallux Valgus is the medical name for this condition.
The skin on your feet responds to friction and pressure by thickening. In some cases, the skin can become so thick that it begins to hurt. Skin that thickens without a core is called a callus, and usually forms under the foot.
Corns are thick spots of skin with a deep, central core which usually form on the toes.
The normal arch functions as a shock absorber for our entire body. Each time we step down, we place up to five times our body weight onto the foot, depending on whether we are walking, running, or jumping.
If there were no shock absorber in the foot, the force of each step would eventually fracture or dislocate the bones of the foot, leg, and lower back.
When the arch is flat (a flat foot), it is “sick,” and cannot function properly.
If it is left untreated, this will lead to a completely collapsed foot which cannot function as a shock absorber at all. This, in turn, will cause constant pain in the foot and, eventually, the knee, hip and lower back.
During the past 30 years, doctors have noted an increase in the number and severity of broken ankles, due, in part, to an active older population of “baby boomers,” according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.
The ankle has two joints, one on top of the other. A broken ankle can involve one or more bones, and can also injure surrounding connecting tissues or ligaments.
Stress fractures can occur with sudden increases in athletic training such as running or walking for longer distances or times, improper training techniques, or changes in training surfaces.
Most other fractures usually result from trauma such as dropping a heavy object on your foot or from a twisting injury.
Toenails that are discolored, thickened, brittle, and (sometimes) malodorous may have fungus.
Hammertoes, mallet toes, and claw toes are all deformities describing bending or clawing of the toes. The toe ligaments and tendons tighten, causing a buckling of the toe joints.
Edges of toenails that press into the flesh can cause pain, swelling, redness, and even infection. Ingrown toenails start out hard, swollen and tender, and later, may become sore, red and infected. Your skin may start to grow over the ingrown toenail.
A neuroma, sometimes referred to as a pinched nerve, is thickened nerve tissue that is benign in nature. This most often occurs between the third and fourth toes, which is termed a Morton’s neuroma. A neuroma may develop secondary to injury, improper or ill-fitting shoes, high heels, repetitive stress, or foot deformities (hammertoes, bunions, flat feet, high arches, etc.).
If you have pain under your heel, after sitting or sleeping and starting to walk, but it gets better as you walk around, you probably have plantar fasciitis. This is a painful inflammation of the ligament that runs along the bottom of foot, between the ball of the foot and the heel.
A wart is a callus-like growth on the skin caused by a virus. They can appear anywhere on the foot, but those to the sole of the foot are called plantar warts, and can be quite painful.