Listed below are some of the most common foot conditions we frequently treat at Richmond Foot and Ankle Clinic Call today to schedule an appointment and get your feet feeling good again!
Plantar Fasciitis (pronounced plan-tar fash-ee-eye-tis) is a common cause of heel and foot in adults. “Plantar” means the bottom of the foot; “fascia”is a type of connective tissue, and “itis” means “inflammation”. The classic symptoms of plantar fasciitis include heel pain that is usually most severe first thing in the morning. This condition is characterized by inflammation at the insertion point of the plantar fascia on the heel bone. Plantar fascia is a layer of tough fibrous tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot and supports your arch. This is one of the longest and strongest ligaments in the body. As the plantar fascia pulls on the heel, your body will respond by laying down more bone in the area. This can be seen on an x-ray and is known as a heel spur. Treatment for this condition often includes shoe modifications, stretching exercises, anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections, custom orthotics and possibly surgery.
A custom orthotic is a supportive device which is placed inside footwear, to change the mechanical function of the foot. It works dynamically during weight-bearing activities like walking, running and standing. Ideally, it should provide full, custom and corrected arch contact so that the foot works in a biomechanically correct way. Pain and deformities can arise in the feet such as bunions, plantar fasciitis, corns, and hammertoes. Because foot function affects the entire chain of bones leading to the spine, pain and dysfunction in the knee, hip and low back often result as well. In all there are over thirty common diagnoses related to poor foot function. Pain and deformity can often be prevented. Regular use of these unique custom orthotics can often reverse deformity development or, at least, prevent surgery. How? Because when you restore normal function you give your body what it needs to heal itself. A typical orthotic only masks your symptoms temporarily –until further deformity makes things worse. When you restore healthy foot function other treatments or therapies are more effective and last longer.
Common Injuries – Sports Injuries
The most common issues affecting the foot and ankle are sprains, fractures, and shin splints, mostly resulting from exercise or sports. Appropriate evaluation, X–rays, and treatment provide a faster return to full function.
Achilles Tendon Problems
The Achilles tendon contributes to several different ailments, such as bunions and hammertoes. The tendon can cause direct injuries, including partial and total ruptures. Evaluation and treatment reduce the risk of further injury and restores the tendon to its original function.
A neuroma is a common and painful inflammation of the nerve between the metatarsal bones near the smaller toes. Symptoms include swelling, numbness, and tingling. They usually progress but respond well to treatment, such as orthotics, padding, and possible surgery.
Ulcers & Heel Spurs
Common symptoms of ulcers include bleeding, tenderness, and foul order. They progress through the layers of the skins to the bone. Early detection and treatment are critical, especially for diabetic patients. Custom orthotics are a great way to prevent ulcers.
The majority of heel spurs do not require surgery but are still serious. Treatment includes orthotics, padding, physical therapy, and braces.
Oftentimes, custom orthotics are necessary to provide support and correction. These devices reduce discomfort associated with many foot and ankle problems and are usually enough to cure your issue.
If conservative care is not enough, our foot doctors will recommend surgical care. Appropriate follow-up is necessary to ensure a complete recovery. Surgery is available for:
- Tendon Ruptures
- Heel Spurs
- Flat Feet
Diabetic Foot Care
If you suffer from diabetes, you may experience diabetic wounds, peripheral neuropathy, and ulcers. Due to poor circulation, you may have no feeling and more wounds can come up. If left untreated, the wounds can develop into gangrene and possible amputation.
Thickened and discolored nails frequently indicate fungal infection, and may require medication or surgery. Progression can lead to discomfort, bacterial infection, and a possible loss of the toe or foot in diabetic patients.
Childhood foot and ankle problems should be addressed immediately in order to prevent progression of any conditions before adulthood. Common conditions include:
- Toe Walking
- Gait Issues
- Heel Pain
- Curly Toes
- Flat FeetIngrown Nails
Sometimes the nail grows into the skin along the side of the tie and causes significant pain, which is known as an ingrown nail. A quick, single office procedure can usually resolve the issue.
Hammertoes & Bunions
Toes that are contracted and are rigid or flexible can be very painful and can cause corns, calluses, or bursitis. Hammertoes are associated with an improper gait. Treatment varies from shoe modification to orthotics. An enlargement of the bone or soft tissue, called a bunion, is often hereditary and occurs mostly in women. Symptoms include tenderness and swelling. Surgery may be required to permanently remove bunions.
Bone spurs usually occur around a joint due to injuries, pressure, and stress. They are generally associated with osteoarthritis. Appropriate evaluation is critical to understand the cause and to provide prevention.