3 Foot and Ankle Conditions You Should Be Aware Of
The human foot is a complex structure containing 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments. This intricate system is responsible for supporting the entire weight of the body and providing the necessary shock absorption when we walk or run.
Because of the immense amount of stress that the feet are subjected to on a daily basis, it’s not surprising that problems can develop. In fact, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association, nearly 75% of adults experience some form of foot pain or injury in their lifetime.
There are a number of different foot and ankle conditions that you should be aware of. This article will provide an overview of some of the most common problems that can affect the feet and ankles.
Hallux valgus, commonly called a "bunion," is a deformity of the joint at the base of the big toe. In this condition, the big toe points abnormally toward the second toe, causing the joint to protrude outward. This can cause pain and difficulty when wearing shoes.
There are several reasons why someone might develop hallux valgus. It can be caused by an injury, arthritis, or even genetics. Treatment for this condition often includes wearing shoes that fit well and do not rub against the foot. Surgery is also an option for severe cases.
Achilles tendonitis is a common condition that can cause pain and stiffness in the Achilles tendon, which is the large rope-like tendon that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. Achilles tendonitis is usually caused by overuse or repetitive motions that put stress on the tendon. This can happen during activities like running, jumping, or climbing.
Achilles tendonitis can be treated with rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain medications. In some cases, Physical therapy may also be recommended. Surgery is rarely needed.
Osteochondral lesions of the talus (OLTs) are a type of degenerative joint disease that affects the ankle. OLTs are often caused by repetitive trauma to the joint, such as from running or jumping. The condition can also be caused by a single traumatic event, such as a fall or car accident.
OLTs typically occur in middle-aged adults, although they can also occur in younger people. Symptoms of OLTs include pain, swelling, and stiffness in the affected joint. The condition can often be diagnosed with a physical examination and X-rays. Treatment for OLTs typically includes rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medication. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the damaged joint.
Your feet are essential for mobility and quality of life, so it’s important to take care of them. Be aware of common conditions that can affect the health of your feet. If you have any pain or discomfort in your feet, seek professional help to get the treatment you need.