Common foot problems

Achilles Tendonitis

What is Achilles tendonitis? The Achilles tendon is located on the back of the ankle. It is the largest tendon in the human body, serving to connect large calf muscles to the back of the heel bone. Since this tendon pulls such large muscles, it is prone to stress due to high activity, such as running and jumping. A common condition in the Achilles tendon is called Achilles tendonitis, which...

Black Toenails

What are black toenails? Repeated trauma to the top of the toe can lead to dark or black toenails — a condition known as subungual hematoma. This condition is common among athletes or others who may wear tight shoes, which causes the toes to hit the end of the shoes during activities such as running or hiking. The dark color is the result of bruising under the nail. The toenail may even...

Bunions

What is a bunion? A bunion is a painful bump on the side of the big toe joint. This is one of the most common conditions treated by podiatrists. It’s often associated with poorly fitted footwear or tight dress shoes and high heels. The bump is located on the side of the first of the long bones (metatarsals) down the inside of the foot, near the big toe. Sometimes, the great toe will overlap...

Fungal Toenails, Yellowed or Deformed Toenails

The most common cause of yellowed, thick and /or deformed toenails is a fungal infection of the toenail. The fungus that infects the nail, most commonly, is the same fungus that causes athletes foot. It tends to be slowly progressive, damaging the nail to a greater and greater degree over time. The infection usually starts at the tip of the nail and works its way back. It usually is not painful...

Hallux Limitus (Big Toe Arthritis)

Stiffness of the big toe joint is termed Hallux Limitus. Hallux is the medical term for the big toe. When the big toe possesses no motion, it is termed Hallux Rigidus. To confuse the topic, the big toe joint may appear to have normal motion, but this motion can be limited when weight is on the foot and during the normal standing and walking. This is termed functional Hallux limitus, because it...

Hammertoes

What are hammertoes? An imbalance between the tendons located on the top and bottom of your toe can cause a contracture of the toes, a condition known as hammertoes. Hammertoes can be flexible or rigid. When rigid, they make it impossible to straighten your toe out by manipulating it.Hammertoes can cause you to develop corns on the top of your toe from constant rubbing against your shoe....

Heel Pain, Heel Spurs

What is heel pain? Most heel pain occurs on the bottom of the heel. Heel pain can seem to occur for no apparent reason and can become worse when you attempt to put weight on the foot. Patients commonly notice the pain when they first get out bed in the morning or when getting up to stand after sitting for a long period of time. Most of the time the pain is caused by overuse, such as extra...

Ingrown Toenails

What is an ingrown toenail? An ingrown toenail occurs when the edges of your toenail grow into the skin surrounding the nail. At first, an ingrown toenail may be little more than an irritation, but, if ignored, it can grow infected, and become a more serious problem.Risks of ingrown toenails Patients with diabetes or poor circulation should note the risks that an ingrown toenail poses to...

Metatarsal Stress Fracture

When excessive stress is placed upon the ball of the foot, a hairline break (fracture) of a long metatarsal bone may occur. This occurs most frequently to the second, third, or fourth metatarsal but can occur in any bone. Frequently, the injury is so subtle that you may not recall any specific occurrence. These fractures were at one time referred to as "March Fractures" in soldiers, who...

Neuromas

What is a neuroma? A neuroma is a swollen growth of nerve tissue, typically in bottom of the foot between the third and fourth toes. It’s often referred to as a pinched nerve or a nerve tumor. This growth is benign, but is painful and can lead to permanent nerve damage. Neuroma pain is often described as burning and tingling, sometimes accompanied by numbness in one or two toes....

Sesamoiditis

Sesamoid bones are commonly found in and around joints. While sesamoid bones can be found around any joint in the foot, they are consistently found within the joint of the great toe. The great toe joint contains 2 sesamoid bones, the tibial and fibular sesamoids.The sesamoids serve 2 very important functions based on their location: 1) they serve to protect the large tendon to the great toe,...

Tailor's Bunion - Bunionette

A tailor's bunion is a common condition of the foot that often leads to discomfort and pain when wearing shoes. This condition is frequently progressive and becomes worse with time. Anatomically, the toes are connected to long bones in the mid-foot called metatarsals. The tailor's bunion is a prominence or enlargement of the head of the fifth metatarsal. The cause of the tailor's bunion is...