Foot Conditions

Allergic Contact Dermatitis

When the skin of the foot comes into contact with a material or substance that sets off an allergic reaction (i.e. rash), Allergic contact dermatitis can occur.  These allergens are usually harmless, though some people are born with or become hypersensitive to them.  When a hypersensitive person comes into contact with allergens (which are often chemicals or organic substances) an allergic reaction occurs.
Read More »


Ankle Injuries

Ankle injuries are very common. The entire body weight rests upon the ankles at all times as a person is standing, and every year, some 2 million people are treated for problems in this area. This makes ankle sprains and strains or fractures of the ankle among the most commonly treated injuries by orthopedists and podiatrists.

Risk Factors & Causes of Ankle Injuries

Anyone can fall prey to an ankle injury, from well conditioned athletes, to people of more sedentary lifestyles. Usually the cause is accidental, although people who are overweight or wear high-heeled shoes regularly may be at increased risk. Slipping on ice, tripping over a pothole, or uneven stairs may cause and injury to the ankle.
Read More »


Athlete’s Foot

Tinea pedis, or Athlete’s foot, is a commonly occurring persistent infection.  It is caused by a microscopic fungus living on dead tissue of the hair, toenails, or outer layer of skin. As with many fungi, these fungi survive and thrive in a moist, dark, and warm environment, such as shoes, stockings, and the wet floors of locker rooms, public showers, or swimming pools.

Contact with an infected surface can transmit Athlete’s foot, especially if there is a cut or abrasion on the bottom plantar surface of the foot. Rarely, transmission occurs from infected animals to humans.
Read More »


Brachymetatarsia

Brachymetatarsia refers to the condition of one metatarsal being abnormally short. Metatarsals are the five long bones of the foot, and this condition usually occurs in both feet and generally in the fourth toe. Sometimes more than one toe is affected, in a condition called brachymetapody.

Causes of Brachymetatarsia

Usually the cause of brachymetatarsia is the premature closing of the metatarsal growth plate. When this growth plate closes, the bone itself can no longer grow. This may be caused by a trauma to the foot, resulting in a growth plate fracture, or the cause may be a genetic factor.
Read More »


Bunions

A bunion is a painful swelling on the foot – most commonly found of the inner side of the foot at the base of the first toe, and sometimes at the base of the fifth toe, refferrd to as a “tailor’s bunion.”

Bunions are caused by inflammation and thickening of the bursa, the fluid-filled sac in the connective tissue where the toe meets the foot. This inflammation causes an abnormal bone formation and leads to misalignment of the toe.
Read More »


Calluses

Calluses are thick skin areas that are caused by pressure or friction repeatedly being applied to the skin. The calluses, also called keratomas or tylomas, form as a protection to the skin and structures beneath it, and can appear on any part of the body. Musicians who play sting instruments will often form calluses where their fingers touch the string, and people who work with their hands will often develop calluses as their bodies protect the palm and fingers.

Calluses on the feet will generally develop on the heel or underneath the metatarsal heads, where the long inner bones of the toes extend into the foot. These are the areas of the foot which bear most of the weight and pressure of standing and walking. As the calluses grow and thicken, pain may result when added pressure is applied to the skin; pain may also come from nucleated skin lesions under the plantar surface of the foot.
Read More »


Hammertoe

Toes are vitally important to stability while standing and walking. Deformity of the toes are caused by muscle imbalances in the foot, which come about through traumatic injury, disease of the toe joints, or flat feet.
Six or more sets of muscle work together and control the action of each toe. Two tendons (the extensor digitorum longus and the extensor digitorum brevis) join on the top of the toes, and insert into the bones of each toe. On the bottom of the toes lie two muscles that remain separate, unlike the extensors which are joined.

All of these muscles have important roles to play in the stability of the toe. In an imbalance of the foot, the larger muscles can overpower the smaller ones, leading to problems.
Read More »


Heel Pain

One of the most common types of foot pain for adults, heel pain very often occurs from normal daily activities or exercise. The bone of the heel (calcaneus) is the largest in the foot, and the heel makes contact with the ground first during normal walking.

The plantar fascia is a band of fibrous connective tissue, and the flexor digitorum brevis (a muscle) supports the arch and flexes all four small toes. These two structures are the primary structures associated with heel pain.

As the foot absorbs the body’s weight during normal walking, 80% of the stability of the foot comes from the arch area joint locking mechanism. The plantar fascia and muscles, tendons, and ligaments make up the other 20% of biomechanical stability.
Read More »


Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails, known to physicians as onychocryptosis, are common and painful conditions that come about as the skin on both sides of the nail grows up and over the edge of the nail. They also occur when the nail itself grows into the surrounding skin.

Causes of Ingrown Toenails

Many things can lead to ingrown toenails, from trauma to fungal infections. Sometimes there is a genetically inherited tendency, or the toenails themselves are too large. People with curled toes, either from disease such as arthritis or congenitally, are also susceptible to onychocryptosis.
Read More »


Morton’s neuroma

Morton’s neuroma refers to an enlarged nerve between the third and fourth toes (see image). We will look closer at this condition by considering the anatomy of the foot.

Two nerve sections combine in this area: part of the medial plantar nerve and part of the lateral plantar nerve. When these nerves combine, they can become larger in diameter than the nerves of the other toes. Additionally, the nerves are close to an artery and vein in the subcutaneous tissue, and lie just above the fat padded area of the foot.
Read More »


Onychomycosis

Onychomycosis is a fungal infection, causing toenails or fingernails to thicken, discolor, split, and disfigure. Onychomycosis refers to the fungal infection, if the problem is caused by bacterium, the condition is referred to as paronychia.

Initially, people with onychomycosis have cosmetic concerns due to the appearance of the nail. However, without treatment the nails can become extremely thick, and will press against the inside of the shoe, causing irritation and pain.

Causes of Onychomycosis
Read More »


Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. Also called degenerative joint disease and osteoarthrosis, is it the breakdown of cushioning cartilage in the joints, and is caused by “wear and tear,” either through aging or an injury. The cartilage cushions the bone ends and allows free movement within the joint. As osteoarthritis develops and progresses, bone spurs may develop and narrow the joint space, increasing pain and leading to a decrease in mobility.

Joint pain and joint stiffness from Osteoarthritis may result in a loss of joint function. The disease can cause a significant disability, and thus it is the reason for most knee and hip replacement surgeries.
Read More »


Plantar Warts

Plantar Warts are benign growths on the sole, heel, or ball of the foot. They often grow into the deep layers of the skin as a result of pressure from standing and walking.

The human papilloma virus (HPV) can cause several different types of warts as well. Sometimes the HPV virus dies off within a year or 2, and the warts disappear on their own. Podiatrists may recommend having plantar warts removed, especially if they are irritating to the patient or cause pain.

Plantar Warts Incidence and Prevalence

Although anyone can contract the virus that causes plantar warts, the American Podiatric Medical Association says that they occur most often in children and young adults between age 12 and 16. People who share a common bathing area, such as in a dormitory or gym shower, see a higher rate of infection.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

A chronic autoimmune disease, Rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by an inflammation of the lining of the joint capsule, and an inflammation of the lining of the tendons. It is a serious and sometimes disabling condition causing chronic pain, loss of joint function, and possibly permanent joint damage. Instead of being a single condition, rheumatoid arthritis may be a group of different diseases having some common features according to some research.

As an autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis attacks the normal cells in the body, leading to damage and inflammation. The immune system itself is a very complex network of organs, cells, and proteins that protect the body from disease and illness. The system attacks foreign organisms such as germs, identifies and destroys abnormal cells, and also flushes dead and damaged cells out of the body. When it attacks normal cells instead of damaged ones, this is said to be an autoimmune disorder.
Read More »


Running Injuries

Although they are excellent forms of exercise, running and jogging do subject the body to a considerable amount of stress. Considering that each time the runner’s foot hits the ground a force up to three times the athlete’s body weight is imparted to the foot, everything possible must be done to protect the feet, ankles, hips, knees, and lower back vertebrae.

By employing proper running technique and the correct equipment, running can in fact help relieve pain in the joints. Good running sneakers are absolutely essential. The best ones have great cushioning and provide stability to the foot and support to the arch. The shoes should always be replaced every 3 to 6 months as they deteriorate over time.

Several types of injury can develop from running or jogging. Injuries to the legs, ankles and feet are possible, including heel pain, Achilles tendonitis, sesamoiditis, and tarsal tunnel syndrome.


Shin-splints

The term shin-splints is often used incorrectly as a catch-all for pain between the knee and ankle. The lower leg is made up of three compartments, and the proper treatment must start with an identification of the specific muscles injured.

Shin-splints occur on the inner side of the leg, a few inches below the knee. The pain comes from the posterior tibial muscle/tendon, which starts below the knee and wraps around the inside of the ankle, attaching to the underside of the foot. The route of the muscle causes a pulley-like action generating a large amount of force at each end. If running is excessive, or technique is incorrect, the muscle can be overstretched and pull too much where it is attached to the tibia (large bone of the lower leg).

Generally this excessive muscle stretching is caused by hyperpronation, or a flattened arch. The hyperpronation causes the foot to lengthen and the posterior tibial muscle/tendon to stretch. Your podiatrist may custom-mold an orthotic device for placement inside the shoe to support and stabilize the foot to prevent the arch from flattening.
Read More »


Sesamoiditis

Sesamoiditis is a painful inflammation of the sesamoid apparatus, located in the forefoot. This common condition generally affects physically active young people. Sesamoiditis especially affects the inner part of the ball of the foot, and may be constant or may occur with movement of the big toe joint. Sometimes swelling throughout the bottom of the forefoot is also present.

Anatomy of the Forefoot

The forefoot is made up of the five long bones of the foot (metatarsals) and the five toes. Each toe is made up of smaller bones call phalanges, which are connected to the metatarsals by joints at the ball of the foot. The forefoot area bears half of the body’s weight and balances the pressure onto the ball of the foot.
Read More »


Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome refers to an entrapment of the tibial nerve. This nerve curves down the back of the leg to the ankle, where it attaches. In three of the compartments of this region, muscles are routed from the leg to the foot. In the fourth, the tibial nerve and the posterior tibial vein and artery are surrounded by muscles.

The roof of these four structures is formed by the laciniate ligament. There is little room for expansion in this area, so if any of the structures become enlarged or a foreign object intrudes into the space occupied by the tibial nerve, entrapment occurs.
Read More »


Toe Deformities

Toes are vitally important to stability while standing and walking. Deformity of the toes are caused by muscle imbalances in the foot, which come about through traumatic injury, disease of the toe joints, or flat feet.
Six or more sets of muscle work together and control the action of each toe. Two tendons (the extensor digitorum longus and the extensor digitorum brevis) join on the top of the toes, and insert into the bones of each toe. On the bottom of the toes lie two muscles that remain separate, unlike the extensors which are joined.

All of these muscles have important roles to play in the stability of the toe. In an imbalance of the foot, the larger muscles can overpower the smaller ones, leading to problems.
Read More »

Call to Schedule an Appointment | 318-213-FOOT (Shreveport) | 318-629-FOOT (Bossier)