Posts for: March, 2020
There are 52 bones in your feet and ankles, which means that feet contain about 25 percent of the bones in our bodies. Our feet also contain about 20-25 percent of the total joints in our body; therefore, it’s not too surprising to find out that your feet and ankles are unfortunately more likely to deal with tendon and joint pain at some point, whether through injury or certain conditions such as arthritis. When pain and other foot problems arise it’s important that you have a podiatrist you can turn to.
Common Causes of Tendon and Joint Pain in the Feet
Tendons are soft tissues that connect the muscles to the bones. Everything from overuse and foot injuries to structural imbalances can lead to pain. Common causes of tendon and joint pain include:
- Tendonitis: inflammation of the tendon caused by injury or overuse
- Sprains and strains: a common but usually minor foot and ankle injury, typically caused by physical activity
- Arthritis: a chronic, progressive condition that leads to joint pain, stiffness, and damage (osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis to affect feet and ankles)
- Obesity: being overweight or obese can also put excessive pressure on the joints and tendons of your feet and ankles, leading to pain and other problems
Treating Tendon and Joint Pain
Visiting a podiatrist is the best choice you can make if you are dealing with severe, persistent, or new foot and ankle pain. Since some conditions can get worse without proper care and rest it’s important to find out what’s causing your pain so you know how to effectively treat it.
If you are dealing with pain caused by a sports injury or strain it’s a good idea to see a medical professional so you know the extent of the injury. More severe sprains may require protective boots or crutches to reduce the amount of weight being placed on the injured ankle or foot.
Arthritis is also a surprisingly common cause of foot pain. If you notice joint pain and stiffness that affects functionality, range of motion and mobility in your feet then you could be dealing with arthritis. Since arthritis can get worse without treatment, it is important that you work with your pediatrician and a team of medical professionals to determine the best medications and course of action to help manage your foot pain and to prevent permanent joint damage.
If you are experiencing foot pain it’s important to see a qualified medical professional that can determine the best way to treat your symptoms. Call your podiatrist today for a comprehensive evaluation.
If you wear poorly-fitted shoes, have an abnormal walking gait, or repetitively jump or run on hard surfaces, your risk of developing heel spurs increases. Heel spurs are bony protrusions that occur on the underside of the heel bone between the arch and the foot. They develop over time, aren't always visible, and tend to arise when early symptoms, like heel pain, are left untreated. Many of our Reading, MA, patients who have them also suffer from plantar fasciitis and aren't aware. For proper diagnosis and to discuss treatment options, schedule a consultation with Dr. George Abboud at our New England Foot and Ankle Specialists office.
Causes and Symptoms
Plantar fasciitis is also called heel spur syndrome. This condition results from inflammation in the band of tissue that extends from heel-to-toe. The most common cause of plantar fasciitis is faulty foot structure such as fallen arches, or overly high arches. Heel spurs don't always present symptoms, but pain can worsen over months.
You may also notice:
- Heels that ache all-day
- Swelling and inflammation
- Skin that is warm to touch
- Sharp pain in the foot upon rising
How We Can Help Your Heel Spurs
At New England Foot and Ankle Specialists, Dr. Abboud will physically examine the foot before ordering imaging tests. He'll be searching for abnormalities such as redness and tenderness. He may also test your gait to determine if it's causing the problem, which may include standing on one foot at a time or taking a brief walk around our Reading, MA, office. Treatment may consist of cold compresses to numb the area, anti-inflammatory injections, over-the-counter medications, as well as physical therapy or stretching exercises.
Heel spurs are detectable with x-rays that our podiatrist will take during your initial consultation. Most often, they are treatable with conservative measures, and surgery isn't necessary -- however, this will depend on your specific needs and the severity of the condition. For more information about heel pain, other conditions we treat, and services provided by our New England Foot and Ankle Specialists, visit our website. For appointment scheduling with Dr. George Abboud in our Reading, MA, office, please call (781) 944-4044.
Did you know that the metatarsals, or bones in the foot, are the most commonly broken bones in the human body? These long bones run the length of the foot and a fractured metatarsal means that there is a break in at least one of these five bones (the fifth metatarsal is the most commonly fractured metatarsal bone). If you suspect that you’ve broken a bone in your foot it’s important that you see a podiatrist right away.
Broken metatarsals most commonly occur as a result of a sports injury; however, this fracture can also occur over time due to overuse and wear (this is commonly known as a stress fracture). Dropping a heavy item on the foot or experiencing a bad fall can also cause broken metatarsals. Signs and symptoms of a broken toe caused by trauma to the foot include:
- Hearing a snapping or popping sound at the moment of injury
- Severe and sudden pain in the toe immediately after impact or trauma
- Bruising or swelling of the toe (this may not appear until the day after the injury)
- Changes in the alignment or appearance of your toe
Symptoms of a stress fracture will be a bit different from traumatic fractures. Since stress fractures occur over time as a result of overuse you may start to notice foot pain with your routine activities or pain that goes away with rest but is exacerbated by physical activity. A metatarsal that has sustained a stress fracture may also be tender to the touch.
Some people assume that if they can walk on their foot then they must not be dealing with a broken metatarsal, but this is simply not true. This is why it’s always best to play it safe and to schedule an immediate evaluation with a foot and ankle specialist if you have experienced a traumatic foot injury that you suspect has led to one or more broken metatarsals. Not treating the broken bone could lead to certain deformities, which can greatly impact mobility. You may also experience chronic pain or be at an increased risk for arthritis.
Treating Broken Metatarsals
Common ways to treat a traumatic fracture include rest, splinting, or tapping toe affected toe, custom-made shoe inserts and wearing rigid footwear such as a special boot or shoe that provides the foot with protection, support, and cushioning.
If the break is severe enough your podiatrist may recommend surgery, but surgery is rarely necessary for treating broken toes. Those with stress fractures will want to avoid any activity that causes repetitive stress on the foot, to prevent the stress fracture from getting worse.
If you are experiencing symptoms of a broken bone after a fall, accident or injury then it’s time to schedule an immediate appointment with a podiatrist. The sooner you seek treatment the sooner you can begin your road to recovery.