Common Foot Problems

It is not normal for anyone to have foot pain. The old adage “When your feet hurt, you hurt all over” is true. There are many causes of foot pain. We have listed some of the more common ones below. All of these problems are treatable. Find out more in the What We Do section.

Bunion:  An enlargement of bone at the big toe joint area. They can be mild, moderate, or severe. A common cause is an abnormal motion of the foot called pronation which is a turning in of the inside part of the arch area.  This then tends to flatten out the arch and may lead to a bunion deformity.  If left untreated they may eventually interfere with the quality of life including a reduction of activity and shoegear.  Treatment should be focused on keeping pressure off the area and trying to support the arch. 

Corns and Calluses:  Are the results of abnormal contraction and a muscle imbalance that leaves your toe in a bent position. Once hammertoes stiffen they can rub against the shoe and cause pain. If too much pressure is put on the area then a corn can develop.  They can be aggravated by improper fitting shoes. Treatments should focus on keeping pressure off of the area.  Treatments may include padding, larger shoes, orthotics and others.  Since they are bony in nature often times surgery may be needed to correct the deformity

Hammertoes: Are the results of abnormal contraction and a muscle imbalance that leaves your toe in a bent position. Once hammertoes stiffen they can rub against the shoe and cause pain. If too much pressure is put on the area then a corn can develop.  They can be aggravated by improper fitting shoes. Treatments should focus on keeping pressure off of the area.  Treatments may include padding, larger shoes, orthotics and others.  Since they are bony in nature often times surgery may be needed to correct the deformity. 

Heel and arch pain:  Is a common condition which may be due to a condition known as plantar fasciitis.  Typically patients will experience pain with the first steps after getting out of bed, after resting for awhile, and after being on the feet for a long period of time.  There are many things which may cause it including:  change of shoe gear, change of activity, change of walking surface, change of weight, injury and others.  Conservative treatments should be exausted before surgical intervention is considered.  Conservative treatments may include strapping and padding, anti-inflammatory medication, soaks, night splint, physical therapy, orthotics, and others. 

Ingrown or infected nail: Is when the corner of a nail is poking into or has penetrated the skin.  Often the area may get red, swollen and painful.  There may also be some type of drainage from the area.  Treatment is focused on the removing the offending border.  This can be a very serious problem in someone who is diabetic or has poor circulation. Permanent removal of the corner of the nail is an option to help prevent the nail from returning and causing continued problems.

Neuroma: An inflammation of a sensory nerve in the foot ( a sensory nerve gives you the ability to sense pain). It is most common between the 3rd and 4th toes. Symptoms may include numbness, tingling, shooting or radiating pain, cramping sensation and others. Treatment should be focused on reducing the swelling of the nerve.  Treatments may include offloading of the area, antininflammatory medication, physical therapy, injections, and others

Neuropathy: A disease of the sensory and motor nerves that result in burning, stinging, numbness, or tingling. This is commonly associated with Diabetes, but can also be related to other conditions. Tests including epidermal nerve fiber testing may be perfomed to help determine the extent of damage of the small fibers. 

Warts (Plantars Wart): These are cause by a virus know as HPV or human papilloma virus. Children, Teens, and people with weakened immune systems are most often affected. The most common area on the foot is the bottom or plantar surface. Patient may experience a lot of pain with them depending where they are located. Often times over-the-counter medications are not strong enough to get rid of them.  Other stronger medications may be used to help blister the wart out of the skin.  They should be treated soon after they are noticed to prevent them from spreading. 

Wound Care: This is a specialized part of our practice. Nursing home patients, Diabetes, vascular compromised , and patients with Neurologic diseases are most often affected. It is important to treat these after being noticed to help prevent them from getting larger and/or infected.  Treatment is focused on keeping pressure away from the area and keeping the would from getting infected.  The use of wound care products can allow them to heal quickly.  Often times they are located on bony prominences.  There are times the bone needs to be addressed along with the wound to help further complications from developing. 

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