Common Foot Problems
A Bunion is a crooked big toe. Sometimes characterized as a big toe growing sideways. The big toe is angled toward the 2nd toe and a large, painful bump forms at the base of the big toe. Often, bunions run in families. At first, the bunion is only painful when wearing a dress shoe with a narrow, pointed toe box. As the toe becomes more crooked, the bunion hurts even when wearing sports shoes and shoes with a wide toe box. After giving up high fashion shoes, if the bunion is still painful and limits activity, surgery to correct the bunion can be considered. The goal of surgery is pain relief, NOT to create a “prettier foot” or make it possible to wear “high fashion” shoes. If tight pointed toe shoes are worn after surgery, most likely the bunion will come back.
Hammertoe, Claw Toe, and Mallet Toe
A hammer toe is a crooked toe that is painful because the first knuckle of the toe sticks up and rubs on the toe box of the shoe.
A mallet toe is a toe in which the last joint is bent downward at a right angle so that the tip of the toe is pushed into the sole of the shoe.
A claw toe is a toe that is bent at both joints so that it is shaped like a claw.
Hallux Rigidus is arthritis of the joint at the base of the big toe. A large, painful bump forms at the base of the big toe and the joint gets very stiff. Sometimes an injury to the big toe results in arthritis, but more commonly arthritis develops without a known cause or injury. For women, at first the big toe is only painful when wearing a dress shoe with a narrow, pointed toe box and high heel. For men, at first the big toe is painful only when wearing tight dress shoes. As the toe becomes stiffer, the toe hurts even when wearing sports shoes and flats with a wide toe box. When you have pain that affects your lifestyle in spite of wearing appropriate shoes, surgery can relieve pain. The goal of surgery is pain relief, NOT to create a “prettier foot” or make it possible to wear “high-fashion” shoes.
A neuroma occurs when a nerve in the foot becomes trapped under a ligament between the metatarsal heads which causes pain when standing and walking. This results in the nerve being pinched. The nerve responds by becoming inflamed and by forming a build-up of scar tissue in the nerve.
Metatarsalgia, also known as stone bruise, is a type of pain and inflammation that occurs in the ball of the foot at the metatarsal heads – where the three middle toes meet the foot. Calluses can form under the high pressure area of the metatarsals heads. The calluses may aggravate the problem and, although removing the callus may decrease the pain, the callus is not the cause of the problem. Rather it is the result increased pressure from an underlying prominent bone