Stats on foot and ankle problems

Catagories of Foot Common Foot Conditions

  • Conditions brought on over time by use of poor footwear, by physical stress, or mechanical changes in a patient's step.
  • Structural foot problems which have often been inherited and are present as early as birth.
  • Infections relating to the foot. These are often brought on by untreated fungal, bacterial, or viral problems.
  • Abnormal growths in the foot area - These growths can be benign or malignant.
  • -Injuries that are brought on by physical events. These often include sports-related injuries such as fractures, or ankle injuries.

Leading foot problems are:

Bunions—A bunion is when the big toe starts to point toward the second toe and creates an uncomfortable bump on the inside of the foot. Over time, this bump (bunion) becomes increasingly painful due to friction and pressure from foot wear. Dr. Danciger can usually diagnose bunions just by looking at them, but x-rays are sometimes taken for extra measure to get a better feel for the structure of the bones in the foot. Bunions are often passed on genetically, but many patients can prevent painful bunions by avoiding tight, pointed, narrow shoes and especially high heels. Visit our page on bunions for more information, or schedule an appointment to have a bunion checked.

Hammertoes—This is a condition where the toe curls at the knuckle and points downward. It's often brought on my poor foot wear. Tight shoes or high heels force toes to the front of the shoe so toes are pushed up against the front of the shoe in an unnatural bent position. Hammertoes can sometimes be relieved by changing shoes and wearing inserts; in some situations surgery is required to restore toes to normal shape.

Heel Spurs—soft, bendable calcium deposits that often develop as a result of plantar fasciitis. Heel spurs occur when the plantar tendon pulls at its attachment to the heel bone. This area of the heel later calcifies to form a spur. Proper warm-up and the use of appropriate athletic shoes can reduce the strain to the ligament and prevent the formation of heel spurs.

Ingrown Toenails—toenails with corners or sides that dig painfully into the skin. Ingrown toenails are usually caused by improper nail trimming, but can also result from shoe pressure, tight fitting socks,  injury, fungus infection, heredity, and poor foot structure. Women are more likely to have ingrown toenails than men. The problem can be prevented by trimming toenails straight across, selecting proper shoe styles and sizes, and responding to foot pain in a timely manner.

Neuromas—enlarged benign growths of nerves, most commonly between the third and fourth toes. Neuromas are caused by tissue rubbing against and irritating the nerves. Pressure from ill-fitting shoes or abnormal bone structure can also lead to this condition. Depending on the severity, treatments may include orthotics (shoe inserts), cortisone injections, and, in extreme cases, surgical removal of the growth.

Plantar Fasciitis—an inflammation on the bottom of the foot that leads to heel and/or arch pain. The band of tissue on the bottom of the foot connecting the heel bone to the base of the toes is the plantar fascia. It can become inflamed from overuse or excess pressure. A variety of foot injuries or improper foot mechanics can lead to plantar fasciitis. Treatments range from icing and foot exercises to the prescription of custom orthotics to correct the foot position and help alleviate pain.

Sesamoiditis—A form of tendonitis, Sesamoiditis affects the area on the bottom of the foot, near the big toe. Your sesamoids are tendons that connect muscles to bones and sesamoiditis occurs when there's been damage to this tendon. This condition is most common among runners, ballet dancers, and baseball catchers. Pain can develop gradually, but in the case of a fracture, pain will be immediate. Depending on whether the sesamoids are inflamed or fractured, treatment may involve taping the area or a small brace to restrict movement. Proper shoe selection and orthotics can help.

Shin Splints—pain on either side of the leg bone caused by muscle or tendon inflammation. Shin splints are related to excessive foot pronation, but also may be related to a muscle imbalance between opposing muscle groups in the leg. Proper stretching before and after exercise and corrective orthotics for pronation can help prevent shin splints.

Stress Fractures—incomplete cracks in bone caused by overuse. With complete rest, stress fractures in toes or any bones of the foot heal quickly. Extra padding in shoes can help prevent the condition. Left untreated, stress fractures may become complete bone fractures, which require casting and immobilization.

If you are struggling with your foot or ankle health, or would like additional information, our staff is ready to help! Contact our Coachella Valley office by phone at (760) 568 - 0108 or contact us online.

Dr. Harvey Danciger
Dr. Harvey Danciger is a podiatrist and foot surgeon in Palm Desert, CA specializing in the foot and ankle