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Conditions Treated

Bunions

  What Is a Bunion? Bunions are often described as a bump on the side of the big toe. But a bunion is more than that. Even though bunions are a common foot deformity, there are misconceptions about them. Many people may unnecessarily suffer the pain of bunions for years before seeking treatment.The visible bump actually reflects changes in the bony framework of…

Hammertoe

What Is Hammertoe? Hammertoe is a contracture— or bending—of one or both joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth (little) toes. This abnormal bending can put pressure on the toe when wearing shoes, causing problems to develop. Common symptoms of hammertoes include: Pain or irritation of the affected toe when wearing shoes.  Corns (a…

Heel Pain

Heel pain is most often caused by plantar fasciitis—a condition that is sometimes also called heel spur syndrome when a spur is present. Heel pain may also be due to other causes, such as a stress fracture, tendonitis, arthritis, nerve irritation, or, rarely, a cyst. Because there are several potential causes, it is important to…

Morton’s Neuroma

What Is a Neuroma? Aneuroma is a thickening of nerve tissue that may develop in various parts of the body. The most common neuroma in the foot is a Morton’s neuroma, which occurs at the base of the third and fourth toes. It is sometimes referred to as an intermetatarsal neuroma. “Intermetatarsal” describes its location—in…

Ingrown Toenail

What Is an Ingrown Toenail? When a toenail is ingrown, the nail is curved downward and grows into the skin, usually at the nail borders (the sides of the nail). This “digging in” of the nail irritates the skin, often creating pain, redness, swelling, and warmth in the toe. If an ingrown nail causes a…

Tailors Bunions

What Is a Tailor’s Bunion? Tailor’s bunion, also called a bunionette, is an enlargement of the fifth metatarsal bone at the base of the little toe. The metatarsals are the five long bones of the foot. The enlargement that characterizes a tailor’s bunion occurs at the metatarsal “head,” located at the far end of the…

Tarsal Tunnel

What Is the Tarsal Tunnel? The tarsal tunnel is a narrow space that lies on the inside of the ankle next to the ankle bones. The tunnel is covered with a thick ligament (the flexor retinaculum) that protects and maintains the structures contained within the tunnel—arteries, veins, tendons, and nerves. One of these structures is…

Puncture Wound

What Is a Puncture Wound? Puncture wounds and cuts are not the same. A puncture wound has a small entry hole caused by a pointed object — for example, a nail that you step on. In contrast, a cut is an open wound that doesn’t produce a “hole” but rather a long tear in the…

PTTD

What Is PTTD? Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (PTTD) is an inflammation and/or overstretching of the posterior tibial tendon in the foot. An important function of the posterior tibial tendon is to help support the arch. But in PTTD, the tendon’s ability to perform that job is impaired, often resulting in a flattening of the foot.…

Peroneal Tendons

What Are the Peroneal Tendons? Atendon is a band of tissue that connects a muscle to a bone. In the foot, there are two peroneal tendons. They run side-by-side behind the outer ankle bone. One peroneal tendon attaches to the outer part of the midfoot, while the other tendon runs under the foot and attaches…

Pediatric Flatfoot

What Is Pediatric Flatfoot? Flatfoot is common in both children and adults. When this deformity occurs in children, it is referred to as “pediatric flatfoot,” a term that actually includes several types of flatfoot. Although there are differences between the various forms of flatfoot, they all share one characteristic — partial or total collapse of…

Osteoarthritis

What Is Osteoarthritis? Osteoarthritis is a condition characterized by the breakdown and eventual loss of cartilage in one or more joints. Cartilage—the connective tissue found at the end of the bones in the joints—protects and cushions the bones during movement. When cartilage deteriorates or is lost, symptoms develop that can restrict one’s ability to easily…

Pediatric Heel Pain

What Is Pediatric Heel Pain? Heel pain is a common childhood complaint. That doesn’t mean, however, that it should be ignored, or that parents should wait to see if it will “go away.” Heel pain is a symptom, not a disease. In other words, heel pain is a warning sign that a child has a…

Hallux Rigidus

Each day, with every step you take, your big toe bears a tremendous amount of stress—a force equal to about twice your body weight. Most of us don’t realize how much we use our big toe. We tend to take it for granted, unless a problem develops. One problem that afflicts the big toe is…

Gout

What Is Gout? Gout is a disorder that results from the build-up of uric acid in the tissues or a joint—most often the joint of the big toe. An attack of gout can be miserable, marked by the following symptoms:  Intense pain that comes on suddenly—often in the middle of the night or upon arising…

Haglund’s Deformity

What Is Haglund’s Deformity? Haglund’s deformity is a bony enlargement on the back of the heel that most often leads to painful bursitis, which is an inflammation of the bursa (a fluid-filled sac between the tendon and bone). In Haglund’s deformity, the soft tissue near the Achilles tendon becomes irritated when the bony enlargement rubs…

Ganglion Cyst

What Is a Ganglion Cyst? Aganglion cyst is a mass of tissue that is filled with a jellylike fluid. The word “ganglion” means “knot” and is used to describe the knot-like mass or lump of cells that forms below the surface of the skin. Ganglion cysts are among the most common benign soft-tissue masses. Although…

Fractures

The structure of your foot is complex, consisting of bones, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues. Of the 26 bones in your foot, 19 are toe bones (phalanges) and metatarsal bones (the long bones in the midfoot). Fractures of the toe and metatarsal bones are common and require evaluation by a specialist. A podiatric foot…

Flatfoot

What Is Flatfoot? Flatfoot is often a complex disorder, with diverse symptoms and varying degrees of deformity and disability. There are several types of flatfoot, all of which have one characteristic in common—partial or total collapse (loss) of the arch. Other characteristics shared by most types of flatfoot include:    “Toe drift,” where the toes…

Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetic Foot Care Diabetes can be dangerous to your feet—even a small cut could have serious consequences. Diabetes may cause nerve damage that takes away the feeling in your feet. Diabetes may also reduce blood flow to the feet, making it harder to heal an injury or resist infection. Because of these problems, you might…

Diabetic Complications

Diabetic Complications People with diabetes are prone to many foot problems, often because of two complications of diabetes: nerve damage (neuropathy) and poor blood circulation. Neuropathy causes loss of feeling in your feet, taking away your ability to feel pain and discomfort, so you may not detect an injury or irritation. Poor circulation in your…

Crossover Toe

What Is Crossover Toe? Crossover toe is a condition in which the second toe drifts toward the big toe and eventually crosses over and lies on top of the big toe. Crossover toe is a common condition that can occur at any age, although it is most often seen in adults. Some people confuse crossover…

Chronic Ankle Instability

What Is Chronic Ankle Instability? Chronic ankle instability is a condition characterized by a recurring “giving way” of the outer (lateral) side of the ankle. This condition often develops after repeated ankle sprains. Usually the “giving way” occurs while walking or doing other activities, but it can also happen when you’re just standing. Many athletes,…

Charcot Foot

What Is Charcot Foot? Charcot foot is a sudden softening of the bones in the foot that can occur in people who have significant nerve damage (neuropathy). The bones are weakened enough to fracture, and with continued walking the foot eventually changes shape. As the disorder progresses, the arch collapses and the foot takes on…

Ankle Fracture

What Is an Ankle Fracture? Afracture is a partial or complete break in a bone. In the ankle, fractures can range from the less serious avulsion injuries (small pieces of bone that have been pulled off) to severe shattering-type breaks of the tibia, fibula, or both. Ankle fractures are common injuries that are most often…

Ankle Sprain

What Is an Ankle Sprain? An ankle sprain is an injury to one or more ligaments in the ankle, usually on the outside of the ankle. Ligaments are bands of tissue—like rubber bands—that connect one bone to another and bind the joints together. In the ankle joint, ligaments provide stability by limiting side-to-side movement. Some…

Acute Inflammation

What Is Acute Inflammation? Inflammation is the body’s normal protective response to an injury, irritation, or surgery. This natural “defense” process brings increased blood flow to the area, resulting in an accumulation of fluid. As the body mounts this protective response, the symptoms of inflammation develop. These include:  Swelling  Pain  Increased warmth and redness of…

Common Disorders of the Achilles Tendon

What Is the Achilles Tendon? A tendon is a band of tissue that connects a muscle to a bone. The Achilles tendon—the longest tendon in the body—runs down the back of the lower leg and connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. Also called the “heel cord,” the Achilles tendon facilitates walking by helping…

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