Common Foot Conditions
Common Foot Conditions
Plantar fasciitis, also called heel spur syndrome, is a condition whereby the connective tissue support structure on the bottom of the foot, called the plantar fascia, becomes damaged and inflamed, resulting in pain, particularly in the morning or upon arising after sitting down for awhile. The discomfort will usually ease after a few steps and may return at the end of the day or night. The condition may or may not include a heel (bone) spur. The heel spur, if present, does not cause the pain.
Common causes include obesity, flat feet, trauma, lack of support in the arches, and over use. This condition is treated non-surgically in an extremely high percentage of patients. The non-surgical treatments include OTC anti-inflammatories, arch supports, ice, rest, and stretching. In some cases, cortisone shots and/or physical therapy is necessary. In resistant cases whereby surgery is necessary (less than 10%), the plantar fascia can be released by utilizing an endoscopic approach. It is important to note that the bone spur does not have to be removed surgically in order for the patient to improve.
The bunion deformity is an extremely common problem which spans all age groups. The bunion deformity is a progressive problem which continues to worsen over time. Shoes and activity can aggravate this condition. If treated in the early stage, one can find temporary relief with pads and splints. Most of the time, surgery is necessary to restore the balance in the big toe joint. The recovery time can range anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks in a surgical shoe to 2 months in a cast or crutches. The earlier the bunion is evaluated by the podiatrist, the less likely that a long period of surgical recovery will be necessary.
Common causes of bunions include flat feet, being overweight, and various types of shoes and floor surfaces.
A neuroma or "pinched nerve" is a condition whereby one of the nerves on the bottom of the feet near the ball of the foot becomes irritated and subsequently inflamed to the point of discomfort. Patients will sometimes feel a "clicking" or "snapping" on the ball of the foot. Additionally, burning and shooting pains into the toes have been described. Some of the common causes include excessive pronation, certain shoes, foot tape, and trauma.
How early the condition is diagnosed determines the success of non-surgical treatments. Surgery may sometimes be necessary to remove the nerve.