The feet take a lot of daily abuse from walking, running, jumping, and climbing, so naturally, they are subject to many different types of problems.
According to the American Orthopedic Association, 77 percent of Americans experience significant foot pain during their life but more than two-thirds avoid seeking treatment.
Foot problems are among the most common complaints of middle and older age people.
From injuries to inflammation, several different types of damage and malfunctions can lead to foot problems. Improper footwear, diabetes, and aging are some of the big contributors to foot problems.
“If the pain continues in spite of things that you know usually work to deal with pain, like taking an anti-inflammatory like for a foot, changing your shoes and seeing if that doesn’t help, and that is not working, you need to come and at least be seen, maybe by the primary doctor, but if it goes on long enough, you need to see a specialist,” said South Texas Bone & Joint Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Dawn Grosser.
Orthopedic surgeon Dawn Grosser with South Texas Bone and Joint says everybody is at risk.
“Probably people who have more miles on their feet or stand for a living, stand on concrete or hard surfaces. They are more likely to wear out their feet faster and their ankles and their knees, than people who have a sit-down job, most likely,” said Grosser.
Over the course of a lifetime, our feet and ankles can take a real pounding. Ankles, in particular, return 50 percent more energy per step than hips and knees.
“Whatever is going on in the foot and ankle affects the rest of the body: the knees, hips, and the back. You can imagine if there is something wrong with the foot, it doesn’t heal as quickly as maybe as something else that is not as stressed like an upper extremity injury so-to-speak. So it takes time, and most of my patients are surprised when I tell them it takes about 3 months to be up and moving and doing well after an injury from the foot and ankle, but it takes most people 6-8 months to really feel normal again, “said Grosser.
Wearing poor shoes with thin soles or no support can doom you.
“It is always about the shoe; a shoe can help you or a shoe can hurt you. If you are choosing the right shoe for your foot and foot type, you can avoid problems in the foot, and not just the right shoe, but sometimes the insert in the shoe. Maybe they are flat-footed or have other issues, a good orthotic could be added to a shoe,” said Grosser.
The human foot and ankle contain over 100 ligaments, tendons, bones, and muscles combined, and consist of 33 joints.
A person will walk an estimated 150,000 miles in their lifetime, roughly the equivalent of walking around the world six times.
Orthopedic surgeons are devoted to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders of the bones, joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles.
The symptoms of a foot injury or condition can indicate if you need to see a specialist, the type of condition you may have, or how severe your foot injury may be.
• Feet tingle upon standing
• Foot pain makes it hard to get to sleep or stay asleep
• Heel-specific pain
• Pain when walking or standing
• Stiffness in the toe joint or joints
• Toes are tender to the touch
MOST COMMON FOOT & ANKLE CONDITIONS:
• Achilles Tendon Injuries
• Callus & Corns
• Toenail Problems
• Diabetic Foot
Foot and Ankle Conditions, Surgeries and Treatments:
Some foot and ankle injuries or disorders may be treated with conservative therapies, such as orthotics, rest and physical therapy.
Other conditions may require foot and ankle surgery.
• Arthritis – arthroscopic interventions, fusions and ankle replacements
• Deformities – reconstruction of conditions such as flat feet or high arches
• Forefoot conditions – surgical repair of bunions, hammertoes and neuromas
• Sports injuries – arthroscopic surgery, ligament reconstruction and tendon repairs
• Trauma – surgical intervention for crush injuries, severe fractures or lacerations