Overview of Foot and Ankle Problems

Patient Conditions

Pain and discomfort of the feet can affect our mood and overall ability to enjoy each day. At Rieter Podiatry Associates, we want you to feel your best every day! Many foot and ankle conditions can be easily prevented or treated when patients are equipped with the necessary information. Browse through our conditions library to learn more about topics that interest you. When you're ready, call for an appointment. 

Arch and Ball of the Foot

These conditions generally develop as a result of improper footwear, injury, or overuse. Weight gain may also play a contributing role.

Children’s Feet

Children have flexible, resilient feet that are much less susceptible to the pains and discomforts associated with adulthood. None-the-less, childhood development poses a few concerns. It is very important to pay attention to a child's gait.

  • Cavus Foot
  • Clubfoot
  • Flat feet
  • In-toeing
  • Out-toeing
  • Sever’s Disease
  • Tarsal Coalition

Common Foot and Ankle Injuries

Throughout an individual's lifetime, they are exposed to a plethora of pain inducing foot and ankle injuries. The following conditions are caused by injury, repeated trauma, or accident.

Deformities

Foot and ankle distortions are associated with inheriting certain foot structures. Deformities develop on their own but can become excessively aggravated through wearing improper footwear.

Diabetes and Circulatory Disease

Individuals with diabetes are prone to developing foot and ankle conditions. Due to the reduction of blood flow to the feet and loss of sensation there is an increased risk of danger as many symptoms  go unnoticed until after they've become severe.

Diseases of the Foot

Feet are known to display the first signs and symptoms of disease in the body. The distance from the foot to the heart and exposure to stresses make it prone to developing disease.

  • Arthritis (Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Charcot Foot
  • Gout
  • Raynaud’s Disease
  • Sever’s Disease

Heel Pain

Pain located in the heel can cause great discomfort. These conditions are not associated with life-threatening circumstances, but heel pain when the feet are at rest is indicative of a problem more severe than what meets the eye.

Nail and Skin Problems

Invasive foreign bodies, such as bacteria and fungi, may infect the skin and toenails. These conditions are associated with two extremes: overly dry environments or exceedingly moist environments.  Improper footwear can also be a contributing factor.

Nerve/Vascular Disorders

Symptoms of nerve and vascular disorders include burning or stabbing pain. These sensations occur at irregular intervals, even during times of rest and relaxation.

  • Diabetic Neuropathy
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Peripheral Nerve Compression
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Toe Problem

The toes provide the entire body with the ability to move and a sense of balance while standing, walking, or running. Problems develop as a result of trauma to the foot, improper footwear, and overuse.

  • Bunions
  • Hallux Rigidus
  • Hammertoe
  • Intoeing
  • Overlapping/underlapping toes
  • Turf toe

Patient education is vital to patient health. Dr. Todd Rieter wants you to make the best decisions possible when it comes to your health and well-being. If you have a condition that has gotten out of hand, let us help! Call 262-338-0901 or book your appointment online. Help us, help you.

Foot and ankle problems usually fall into the following categories:

  • Acquired from improper footwear, physical stress, or small mechanical changes within the foot.
  • Arthritic foot problems, which typically involve one or more joints.
  • Congenital foot problems, which occur at birth and are generally inherited.
  • Infectious foot problems, which are caused by bacterial, viral, or fungal problems.
  • Neoplastic disorders, also known as  tumors, which are the result of abnormal growth of tissue anywhere on the foot and may be benign or malignant.
  • Traumatic foot problems, which are associated with foot and ankle injuries, such as fractures.

Leading foot problems are:

  • Bunions—misaligned big toe joints that swell and become tender, causing the first joint of the big toe to slant outward and the second joint to angle toward the other toes. Bunions tend to be hereditary, but can be aggravated by shoes that are too narrow in the forefoot and toe. Surgery is frequently performed to correct the problem.
  • Hammertoes—usually stemming from muscle imbalance, this condition occurs when the toe is bent into a claw-like position. Hammertoe can affect any toe, but most frequently occurs to the second toe, when a bunion slants the big toe toward and under it. Selecting shoes and socks that do not cramp the toes may help alleviate any aggravation of pain or discomfort.
  • Heel Spurs—growths of bone on the underside, forepart of the heel bone. 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, 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. 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—an inflammation or rupture of the two small bones (known as sesamoids) under the first metatarsal bone. 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.

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*open 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month