Six Problems a Podiatrist Will Treat

podiatrist treatments

If you have sustained an injury or have chronic pain in your foot or ankle, you may need to see a podiatrist. At Horizon Foot & Ankle Institute, our doctors provide patients with comprehensive podiatric treatments to care for the ankle, foot, and lower leg. You will benefit from seeing a podiatrist, especially if you are experiencing any of these six most common foot and ankle problems.

1. Ankle Damage

Ankle damage can occur if you have osteoarthritis in the ankle joint, bone deterioration, sustained multiple sprains, or have a severe fracture.¬† Your doctor will diagnose ankle damage by taking an x-ray, ultrasound, or MRI. They will also check your ankle’s range of motion, reflexes, and flexibility. Your doctor will also look for swelling and inflammation around your ankle.

2. Bone Spurs

A heel or bone spur in your foot is painful. If you have a bone spur, you might experience the following symptoms:

  • Ankle or toe stiffness
  • Difficulty walking
  • Corns on or between your toes
  • Restricted motion
  • Swelling
  • Redness

To diagnose a bone spur, your doctor will complete a physical assessment and order an x-ray. Your doctor will treat a mild case with over-the-counter medicine and home treatments. Home treatments include ice therapy, rest, and shoe supports. More extreme cases require bone spur removal surgery.

3. Bunions

A bunion results from your big toe pushing against your second toe. The joint at the base of the big toe pushes outwards. If you have a bunion, you might have soreness, stiffness, swelling, or redness. Bunions form due to arthritis, foot stress, or tight-fitting shoes.

Treatment options include:

  • Managing pain with medication
  • Padding the foot or toe joint
  • Adjusting or changing shoes

Your doctor could suggest bunion removal surgery if you have a severe bunion.

4. Chronic Foot Pain

Chronic foot pain is caused by overuse, injury, repeated damage to the foot, arthritis, flat feet, high arches, and plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes becomes inflamed.

Symptoms of plantar fasciitis include sharp heel pain, pain in your foot sole, swelling, and tenderness. Your symptoms might be worse in the morning and ease with light activity. Pain can also worsen if you stand after sitting for long periods or after you exercise.

To confirm whether or not your foot pain is caused by plantar fasciitis, make an appointment to see a podiatrist at Horizon Foot & Ankle Institute.

5. Corns & Calluses

Corns and calluses are areas of thickened skin that develop over time to protect your foot from irritation. They occur on any part of your foot exposed to repeated rubbing or excess pressure. You might experience corns or calluses if you wear new shoes for the first time, have foot deformities, have an improper gait, or wear shoes or sandals without socks.

We recommend visiting with one of our physicians to evaluate the cause of your pain. Your doctor may suggest at-home treatment options to try while they work with you to help fix the underlying cause of your corns and calluses.

6. Toe Problems

Your foot or ankle pain could stem from a problem with your toes. If you experience toe pain, you might suffer from hammer toe, ingrown toenails, or toenail fungus. Your podiatrist will evaluate your toes, toe joints, and toenails during your exam.

Hammer Toe

A hammer toe is a condition where one or more of your toes has an irregular bend at the middle joint. The toe most likely to suffer from this condition is the toe adjacent to your big toe. Symptoms of a hammer toe include a toe deformity, pain or stiffness in the affected toe, calluses, and swelling.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused by injury, nail shape, footwear, and posture. An ingrown toenail can cause severe pain in your foot while you’re walking or resting. Symptoms of an ingrown toenail include swelling, tenderness, and redness. Fluid can build up under the nail, which puts pressure on the affected area.

To prevent your toe from becoming infected, seek treatment for an ingrown toenail. You could experience tissue death or decay, open sores, and loss of blood flow if your toenail infection is left untreated.

Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus can also cause pain in your toes if left untreated. Symptoms include crumbling, brittle, or thickening nails. To treat toenail fungus, your podiatrist at Horizon Foot & Ankle Institute will recommend an over-the-counter treatment or call-in prescription medication.

Treatment Options

Doctors at Horizon Foot & Ankle Institute will take your symptoms, the physical assessment of your foot and ankle, and images into consideration when developing your treatment plan.

We have conservative treatment options, minimally invasive procedures, and surgical treatments. Medications to treat pain or swelling, ice therapy, physical therapy, and orthotics are all treatment options, depending on your diagnosis.

Schedule an Appointment With a Podiatrist Today

Don’t let your chronic foot or ankle pain keep you from doing the things you love. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of the podiatrists at Horizon Foot & Ankle Institute. Our caring physicians will listen to your concerns, make a diagnosis, and offer treatment options. Our goal is to use the best techniques to relieve your symptoms to improve your quality of life.