Your feet must last a lifetime, and most Americans log an amazing 75,000 miles on their feet by the time they reach age 50. Regular foot care can make sure your feet are up to the task. With proper detection, intervention, and care, most foot and ankle problems can be lessened or prevented. Use our foot health information pages to learn more common foot conditions and treatments.
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- Arthritis - An inflammation and swelling of the cartilage and lining of the joints, generally accompanied by an increase in the fluid in the joints. Each foot has 33 joints that can be afflicted with arthritis.
Diabetes & Cardiovascular Disease
- Diabetes - Today's podiatrist plays a key role in helping patients manage diabetes successfully and avoid foot-related complications.
- Diabetic Wound Care - A diabetic foot ulcer is an open sore or wound that occurs in approximately 15 percent of patients with diabetes and is commonly located on the bottom of the foot.
- High Blood Pressure - High blood pressure is also known as hypertension. Your podiatrist is vitally concerned about hypertension and vascular disease (heart and circulatory problems).
- Peripheral Arterial Disease - PAD is caused by a blockage or narrowing of the arteries in the legs when fatty deposits (plaque) build up. The buildup of plaque causes the arteries to harden and narrow.
- Peripheral Neuropathy - Peripheral neuropathy is damage of the peripheral nerves—the nerves in your toes and fingertips. In the United States, the most common cause of peripheral neuropathy is diabetes.
Foot & Ankle Injuries
- Sprains, Strains & Fractures - The feet and ankles work together to provide support and mobility to the body. A foot or ankle sprain is a soft tissue injury. A fracture is actually a break in the bone.
Muscle & Tendon Problems
- Haglund’s Deformity - Haglund’s Deformity is a bony enlargement of the back of the heel bone. Sometimes it’s called “pump bump” because the deformity often occurs in women who wears pumps.
- Heel Pain - The heel bone is the largest of the 26 bones in the human foot. Like all bones, it is subject to outside influences that can affect its integrity and cause heel pain.
- Tendinitis - Tendinitis is the inflammation of a tendon. Achilles tendinitis, or an inflammation of the Achilles tendon, is one of the most common causes of foot or ankle pain.
- Athlete's Foot - Athlete's foot is a skin disease caused by a fungus. It most commonly attacks the feet because shoes create a warm, dark, and humid environment which encourages fungus growth.
- Corns and Calluses - Corns and calluses are areas of thickened skin that develop to protect that area from irritation. They are usually caused by rubbing or excess pressure against part of the foot.
- Psoriasis - Psoriasis is caused by faster-than-normal turnover of skin cells. In people who have psoriasis, the new cells move to the surface so rapidly that the dead cells build up on the surface in dry, whitish-silver patches.
- Skin Cancers of the Feet - Skin cancer can develop anywhere on the body, including in the lower extremities. Most skin cancers of the feet are painless, and often there is a history of recurrent cracking, bleeding, or ulceration.
- Sweaty Feet - Excessive sweating of the feet is called hyperhidrosis. People whose feet sweat excessively often also have problems with excessive sweating of the palms.
- Warts - Warts are one of several soft tissue conditions of the foot that can be quite painful. They are caused by a virus and can appear anywhere on the skin.
Toe Joint & Nerve Disorders
- Bunions - A bunion is an enlargement of the joint at the base of the big toe that forms when the bone or tissue at the big toe joint moves out of place.
- Hammer Toes - A hammer toe is a contracture, or bending, of the toe at the first joint of the digit, called the proximal interphalangeal joint. This bending causes the toe to appear like an upside-down V when looked at from the side.
- Neuromas - A neuroma is a painful condition, also referred to as a “pinched nerve” or a nerve tumor. It is a benign growth of nerve tissue frequently found between the third and fourth toes.
- Ingrown Toenails - Ingrown toenails, the most common nail impairment, are nails whose corners or sides dig painfully into the soft tissue of nail grooves, often leading to irritation, redness, and swelling.
- Toenail Fungus - Toenail fungus is an infection underneath the surface of the nail caused by fungi. The disease is characterized by a progressive change in a toenail’s quality and color.
- Shoe Inserts and Prescription Custom Orthotics - Shoe inserts are any kind of non-prescription foot support designed to be worn inside a shoe. Custom orthotics are specially-made devices designed to support and comfort your feet.
- Surgery - Often when pain or deformity persists, surgery may be appropriate to alleviate discomfort or to restore the function of your foot.
PODIATRIC PHYSICIAN TO YOUR AID
No matter what causes your feet to ache, podiatrists can help. They are health care professionals whose training focuses on the foot, ankle, and the muscles and tendons governing foot function.
After completing the necessary undergraduate course-work, podiatrists complete four years in one of the seven U.S. colleges of podiatric medicine to obtain a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) degree. Most DPMs then go on to post-graduate residencies, which last from one to three years.