Overview of Feet and Ankle Problems
Our feet are essential in our daily lives, whether it be for walking, running, driving, or a number of other activities. Since we use our feet so regularly, injuries or problems with the feet may arise due to many factors including congenital defects and heredity, degenerative diseases, fungal, viral or bacterial infections, abnormal tissue growths, improper footwear, or slight mechanical changes. The majority of people will have an issue with their feet at some point in their lives due to any of these factors.
If you have issues with your feet, our podiatrist in Douglaston may be able to help with any of the following problems:
- Bunions: A bunion is a deformity of the big toe joint that results from the repositioning of the joint or bone misalignment. Bunions can also occur on the outside of the foot at the base of the small toe.
- Fractures: Bones are susceptible to stress fractures and general fractures. A stress fracture is a small fissure or cracks in the surface of the bone, whereas a general fracture travels deep into the bone beyond its surface. Stress fractures can become general fractures if not properly treated.
- Hammertoe: Hammertoe occurs when the second, third, or fourth toe bends at the middle joint, causing the toe to bend downward, rather than straight forward. Ill-fitting shoes, genetics, arthritis, and muscle imbalance can cause hammertoe.
- Plantar fasciitis: Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia. Since the plantar fascia is subjected to great amounts of impact and pressure while supporting the foot’s arch, it can become inflamed and irritated. In some cases, it begins to deteriorate.
- Heel spurs: Spurs are outgrowths of bone. In the feet, they most commonly occur in the heel where there is constant pressure. Heel spurs occur as a result of calcium deposits forming over time.
- Ingrown toenails: Ingrown toenails, known as onychocryptosis, most commonly occur on the big toe and are caused by pressure that drives the edge of the nail into the surrounding skin. This results in pain, redness, inflammation, swelling, and sometimes, infection. Clipping the toenails too short or exercising poor foot hygiene can also lead to ingrown toenails.
- Neuromas: Neuromas are benign growths of nerve tissue that form when the nerves are irritated by surrounding tissue rubbing against them. Symptoms of a neuroma include intense pain, swelling, tingling, numbness, and/ or a burning sensation in the toes and forefoot area.
- Sesamoiditis: There are two sesamoids underneath the top of the foot and near the big toe that allow the toe to move up and down freely, helping with push-off activities such as walking, running, and climbing. Since the sesamoids are exposed to excessive force and pressure during weight-bearing activities, they are often prone to injury and trauma, as well as stress from overuse or from standing on hard surfaces for prolonged periods.
- Ankle Sprain: When the ankle bones twist or receive too much force, the ligaments surrounding the outside of the bones may suffer from overstretching or tearing, resulting in a painful ankle sprain. There are different levels of severity when it comes to ankle sprains, and if the sprain is not properly diagnosed and treated, it can cause permanent, lasting ankle trouble.
- Shin splints: Shin splints, a common condition, happens when the muscles or tendons surrounding the leg bone become inflamed, irritated, and painful, which can result from overuse, a collapsing arch, stress fractures in the lower leg bones, or imbalance between opposite leg muscle groups. Shin splints can be prevented by properly stretching prior to and after exercise.
Podiatrist in Douglaston
If any of these injuries or conditions arise, it is important for a patient to seek medical care as soon as possible so that immediate, proper diagnoses, treatments, and care can prevent your issue from worsening or resulting in permanent damage. If you are seeking help from a podiatrist in Douglaston, Great Neck Family Foot Care is here to get you back on your feet!