Foot conditions can be caused by a variety of reasons and can affect people of all ages. Medical treatment may be necessary if the condition persists or if there is a foot infection that does not subside.
From standing and walking to playing sports and running, our feet play a very important role in supporting our body weight and providing natural mobility. They are made up of 26 bones and 33 joints, along with many tiny ligaments, tendons, and muscles.
The complexity of these structures and the tremendous forces placed on our feet can take its toll and leave them vulnerable to a variety of injuries and deformities.
Common Orthopedic Problems with the Feet
Some of the more common orthopedic injuries and conditions relating to the foot include the following:
Foot fractures can occur from direct impact, overuse, and diseases that weaken bones such as osteoporosis. A fracture often causes sudden, severe pain, followed by immediate swelling of the area.
The area that is adjacent to the broken bone will be tender to the touch, with visible bruising or discoloration, and you may not be able to move the fractured area of the foot. If you suspect that you have a fracture, seek medical care by an orthopedic doctor. If a bone has been badly fractured, surgery may be required to realign the fractured bone fragments in order to allow them to heal correctly.
A bunion (hallux valgus) is a common and sometimes painful foot deformity which more commonly occurs in women, because they are more likely to wear ill-fitting shoes. Footwear that is too tight or which puts pressure against the toes can cause a bunion to form. Bunions cause inflammation and irritation, and they form as the bones at the base of the big toe create a hard, bony lump on the outside of the foot.
Swollen or red skin covers the lump, and pain develops along the side or bottom of the feet. The big toe begins to point inward, toward the other toes.
Hammertoe usually affects the second toe on the foot, next to the big toe, and causes the middle joint to bend upward – causing a hammer-like shape of the toe. It is most frequently caused by structural problems in the foot or from wearing tight shoes. Hammertoe is the most common toe deformity, but similar toe deformities include claw toe and mallet toe.
Arthritis is a common disease that can cause pain, stiffness, immobility, and swelling inside a joint, including in the feet and toes. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, and this wear-and-tear arthritis causes the protective cartilage in the joint to gradually wear down and cause painful bone-on-bone rubbing.
Orthopedic Foot Care in Watertown
If you have a painful or debilitating foot condition, talk to the experts at North Country Orthopaedic Group. Our fellowship-trained foot-and-ankle surgeon Dr. Natalie Nielsen and her team provide the latest techniques and treatment methods for an extensive range of foot and ankle conditions, and she can help provide the relief that works for you.
If you would like to find out more or to schedule an appointment, contact our friendly staff today by calling us at (315) 782-1650 or request an appointment via our online form now. We look forward to helping you get back in step!