Combined, your two feet comprise one quarter of the total number of bones in your body. Given the numerous ligaments, muscles, nerves and other tissues contained in them, it is no surprise they can be prone to injury or damage. Combined, your two feet comprise one quarter of the total number of bones in your body. Given the numerous ligaments, muscles, nerves and other tissues contained in them, it is no surprise they can be prone to injury or damage.
If your foot or ankle has been affected by injury or disease, it can make standing, walking and moving painful and more tiring. You might find it more challenging to walk up and down stairs, while for more severe problems, you may struggle to safely weight-bear, only able to move about with great difficulty or by using a walking aid like crutches.
Foot and ankle conditions are often categorized by where they occur:
Some of the problems in each of these areas commonly seen by our Consultants include:
Toe & forefoot:
- Toe deformities,
- Big toe pain – normally caused by arthritis,
- Forefoot pain,
- Bunions (Hallux Valgus) – formation of a bony lump on the side of the feet.
- Bursitis – inflammation of a fluid-filled sac that acts as a cushion to a joint (this sac is known as a bursa).
- Morton’s Neuroma – caused by irritation or damage to a nerve in your foot.
Midfoot & hindfoot:
- Midfoot pain,
- Plantar fasciitis – causes pain in your heel or the bottom of your foot.
- Heel pain,
- Achilles tendonitis – pain along the back of the heel, caused by overuse of the Achilles tendon,
- Flat feet (“fallen arches”)
- Pain in the ankle,
- Ankle sprain,
- Stiffness in the ankle – may follow an injury or gradually get worse over a longer period of time.
- Achilles Pain
The foot and ankle are also prone to developing arthritis. The most common type of arthritis in the UK is osteoarthritis, which causes the smooth joint surfaces to wear down. This generates friction in the joint as the bone surfaces rub against one another, leading to stiffness and pain in the joint. As the arthritis progresses, symptoms tend to get worse. With advanced osteoarthritis, the ankle may barely be able to move and the pain can be extremely severe.
With the presence of so many bones in the foot, osteoarthritis has the potential to cause significant problems with both mobility and function. Arthritis in the big toe joint (known as Hallux Rigidus) is a particularly common problem.
Whether you’ve been struggling with pain in your ankle for a number of months or have recently injured your foot, it is sensible to seek medical assessment and advice to make sure you heal and recover properly. Our Foot and Ankle Consultants treat all foot and ankle conditions, and they can help get you back to better health again.