Symptoms and Treatments of Common Foot Conditions

At Eglinton Kennedy Foot Clinic we want to make sure you know where your pain is coming from and what the solution is. Read about the following list conditions and solutions to see what issue is ailing your feet and how Eglinton Kennedy Foot Clinic can solve the problem for you. Call us today if you think you have any of these conditions or if you want more information on a specific condition.

Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles Tendonitis
  • Achilles tendonitis is the overuse injury of the achilles tendon, the band of fibrous tissue that connects the calf to the back of the heel. It is a most often caused by increased in activities such as running and jumping. It can cause pain at the back of the leg near the heel.
  • Treatment: Achilles tendonitis can be treated through non-surgical methods such as low-level laser therapy, NSAIDs, icing, stretching, strengthening, heel lift and custom made orthotics. For more severe cases, cortisone injection may be necessary.

Athlete’s Foot

  • Athlete’s foot is a common and contagious fungal skin infection that usually causes itching and flaking of the skin of the foot. It begins in the web space or in any part of the feet. As the disease progresses, the skin cracks may become a portal of entry for bacteria to infect the skin. Fungus may also spread to the toe nails causing fungal nail infection (onychomycosis).
  • Treatment: Athlete’s foot can be treated by daily washing of the feet, daily change of socks, disinfection of footwear and application of prescription topical antifungal.

Bunions (Hallux Valgus)

Bunions
  • A Bunion is a bony deformity of the 1st metatarsal phalangeal joint (the joint connecting the big toe to the foot). It is characterized by medial deviation of the 1st metatarsal, lateral deviation and valgus rotation of the big toe. It could put pressure on the second toe and the lesser digit. Bunions can cause swelling, building up of calluses and corns in between the digits and the foot, and sometimes causing the lesser digits to deform. The bunion can also be irritated by incorrectly fitted footwear causing inflammation and discomfort.
  • Treatment: Conservative treatment involves wearing correctly fitted footwear, putting padding and splinting over the joint, debridement of calluses, orthopaedic footwear to accommodate the deformity and orthotics to support the deformity. For more severe cases, surgical procedures may be needed.

Children’s Feet

Children's Feet
  • Children’s feet can be vulnerable to several foot problems, such as in-toeing and out-toeing, ingrown toenails and calcaneal apophysitis, a heel pain caused by body growth. Clubfoot is a rare deformity that requires correction. Many of these problems are caused by incorrectly-fitting footwear, activities and congenital deformity.
  • Treatments: A thorough podiatric assessment will be required to determine appropriate treatment if necessary.

Chondromalacia Patella Syndrome

  • Chondromalacia Patella Syndrome (CPS) is a condition in which the cartilage on the lining of the tissue of the patella (knee cap) deteriorates and softens, causing knee pain. This syndrome often manifests in young adults, especially in females. Flat feet or increased activity can also cause CPS.
  • Treatment: CPS can be treated by icing, NSAIDs, stretching, splinting and orthotics.

Calluses and Corns

Corns and Calluses
  • Calluses and corns are areas of skin thickening caused by friction and pressure against the foot. They can cause pain and discomfort. Diabetes and poor circulation may cause further complications from corns and callouses and result in diabetic or ischaemic ulceration. They can also result in complications such as bacterial infection. Bacterial infection is also a possible sequelae.
  • Treatment: Conservative treatment includes routine debridement, padding and orthotics to deflect pressure. In severe cases, surgical reconstruction of the deformity may be necessary.

Diabetic Feet

Diabetics
  • Uncontrolled diabetes can cause nerve damage that may result in numbness, tingling or burning sensations of the feet. It could also reduce sweating and oil secretion in the foot; thus, the natural lubrication of the foot is impaired. This condition could also reduce blood flow to the foot and impair wound healing. The diabetic foot can be further complicated by increased calluses and corns due to pressure on the foot and on the foot from skin rubbing on the shoe. If left untreated, ulceration and bacterial infection can occur and lead to gangrene and amputation in extreme cases.
  • Treatments: It is important to keep blood sugar under control. Daily monitoring of foot and diabetic nail and foot care must be acquired from qualified professionals to prevent problems from occurring.

Fungal Nail (Onychomycosis)

  • A fungal infection in the nail usually begins as a white or yellow area under the nail. Progression of the infection can cause thickening of the nail and crumbling around the edges. It may also cause pain and inflammation from rubbing against footwear.
  • Treatment: Fungal nail is usually treated with mechanical reduction of the nail thickness along with daily application of topical antifungal medications.

Gout

Gout
  • Gout is an arthritic disorder in which defective metabolism uric acid causes inflammation in the tissues or a joint. It most often affects the joint of the big toe and causes pain, inflammation, swelling and deformity to the area.
  • Treatment: Conservative treatment includes dietary restraint, oral medication and prescription of NSAIDs to reduce inflammation. In severe cases, intra-articular injection of cortisone may be necessary in management of an acute episode.

Hallux Rigidus

Hallux Rigidus
  • Hallux rigidus is a stiffening of the big toe due to arthritic changes. It would cause walking to be painful. It often occurs as a result of birth deformity, toe injury or increased joint stress. Early diagnosis is critical to avoiding surgical intervention. 
  • Treatment: Hallux rigidus can be treated early by orthotics with a rigid Morton’s extension to immobilize the painful joint, orthopaedic footwear to accommodate the deformity and NSAIDs to reduce pain and inflammation. For more severe cases, surgical interventions such as the removal of bone spurs (cheilectomy) or bones fused together (arthrodesis) to reduce pain.

Hammer Toes

Hammer Toes
  • Hammer toe is a toe that is bent downwards and can be present in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th toe. Hammer toes are often caused by wearing incorrectly fitted shoes or bunions. Usually affecting the second toe, the middle joint of the toe is bent into a claw-like position. 
  • Treatment: Conservative treatments often include but are not limited to debridement, orthopaedic footwear and a toe prop to accommodate the deformity.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown Toenails
  • Ingrown toenails occur when the toenail edge grows into the skinfold, causing pain and swelling. Improperly fitting shoes or toenails that are not trimmed correctly are often the culprits. Severe cases may cause infection.
  • Treatment: Conservative treatments often include warm soak and frequent nail care. Severe cases will involve nail surgery such as partial or total nail avulsion with matrixectomy to eliminate re-occurrence.

Morton's Neuroma

Morton's Neuroma
  • A neuroma is a thickening of nerve tissue that may develop in various parts of the body. The most common neuroma in the foot is a Morton’s neuroma, which occurs between the third and fourth toe. The thickening is often caused by repeated injury to the nerve due to flat feet, high arches, bunions, hammer toes, or tight shoes. The result is tingling between the two toes, and recurring pain in the ball of the foot.
  • Treatment: Conservative treatments include NSAIDs to reduce inflammation, padding and orthotics. More aggressive treatment involves injection of cortisone or a serial injection of sclerosing agent. Surgical removal of the neuroma may be required in very severe cases.

Plantar Fasciitis

Heel Bone Plantar Fasciitis
  • Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of arch and heel pain. It is a degenerative condition due to long-term wear and tear. The plantar fascia connects the toes to the heel and supports the arches. The plantar fascia is designed to absorb the high stresses and strains we place on our feet. However, too much pressure could damage the fascia and create micro tears to the tissues. The body's natural response to injury is inflammation, which results in scarring and thickening of the plantar fascia. It is especially painful for the patient’s first step in the morning. Thus, it causes heel pain and stiffness which results in plantar fasciitis. After years of suffering from plantar fasciitis, a heel spur may result.
  • Treatments: 90% of plantar fasciitis and heel spurs can be treated through non-surgical methods such as low-level laser therapy, icing, stretching, strengthening and custom made orthotics. For more severe cases, cortisone injection and even surgery may be necessary.

Plantar Warts (Verrucae)

Warts
  • Plantar warts are benign growths caused by a viral infection of the human papillomavirus (HPV) on areas of the sole or toes. Similar to fungus, HPV are often caught from common surfaces such as showers and swimming pools. HPV can be contagious and painful. It may grow in diameter and depth, thus becoming more and more resistant to treatment if left untreated.
  • Treatment: Conservative treatments of plantar warts include mechanical debridement of overlying callus, application of topical medication such as salicylic acid or canthacur PS. Resistant or multiple warts may require surgical treatments such as dry needling or excision.

Eglinton-Kennedy Foot Clinic

Unit 11 – 2425 Eglinton Avenue E.

Scarborough, ON M1K 5G8

Hours

Monday & Thursday: 12:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Saturday: 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM

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