Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. My big toe is swollen, tender, painful and a little slanted. What’s going on?
A. It may be a BUNION, a fairly common problem in adults, especially those over 65. It tends to be hereditary, but can be aggravated by narrow-toed shoes. There are both surgical and non-surgical solutions to this problem.

Q. What are the thick areas of skin on my feet and toes?
A. You’re probably talking about CORNS and/or CALLUSES which generally develop over areas that take a lot of pressure like on the big toe, the pads of the foot and the heel. They can also be the result of ill-fitting shoes. Corns generally form between the toes. A thorough examination can determine exactly what’s going on, but as with many foot problems, proper fitting shoes, pads or orthotics may be part of the solution.

Q. I have a really painful bit toe. It feels like something is digging into the flesh by the side of the nail. Is this an ingrown toenail?
A. Yes, it sounds like it is. An INGROWN TOENAIL is often caused by improperly trimming the nail. It can also be caused by an injury, fungus, infection or shoe pressure. This can be taken care of in our office with some minor surgery.

Q. Why do I experience a jolt of pain in my heel when I walk or run?
A. This sounds like it may be HEEL PAIN or a HEEL SPUR. This can be caused by an inflammation of connective tissue on the sole of the foot or when the plantar tendon pulls at the heel bone. If it calcifies, it becomes a spur. Usually, with proper treatment, the solution is fairly simple and rarely is surgery indicated.

Q. There is a small spot on my foot that looks like a callus, but it is quite painful. What is it?
A. It’s hard to say for sure without examining the foot, but it sounds like it may be a common condition called a PLANTAR’S WART. They do look a little like a callus but they grow inward and it is caused by the infection of a virus. Plantar’s Warts do need to be treated before they will go away, but most treatments are easy, in-office procedures.

For questions concerning these and other medical conditions of the foot and ankle, log on to these helpful websites:
American Diabetes Association - www.diabetes.org
Arthritis Foundation - www.arthritis.org
Virginia Podiatric Medical Association - www.vpma.org
American Podiatric Medical Association - www.apma.org

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