Foot & Ankle Pain

Foot Pain

Plantar Fasciopathy

The plantar fascia is the ligament that connects the front of your foot to your heel.

Plantar Fasciopathy describes a chronic overuse syndrome of the plantar fascia that causes heel pain, and bottom of the foot that is usually most severe with the first steps of the day or following a period of rest.

Heel Spur Syndrome

A heel spur is a condition, which causes calcium deposits that lead to a bony intrusion under the heel bone.

Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (PTTD)

PTTD, also known as adult-acquired flatfoot, occurs when you have an injury or inflammation to the posterior tibial tendon. The posterior tibial tendon connects the inner foot to a muscle in the calf. PTTD can cause arch pain if the posterior tibial tendon is no longer able to support the arch.

With PTTD, arch pain is likely to extend along the back of the calf and inner aspect of the ankle. You may also have ankle swelling. Pain typically occurs during activities, such as running, not afterward.

Overpronation

Overpronation puts people at an increased risk of developing specific injuries that include:

  • shin splints
  • bunions
  • heel pain
  • plantar fasciopathy
  • iliotibial band syndrome, an inflammation of a ligament on the outside of the knee
  • chronic lower back pain
  • stress fractures in the foot or lower leg
  • patellofemoral pain syndrome
  • Achilles tendinopathy

Cavus foot

Cavus foot is a condition where the foot has a very high arch. It may be an inherited structural abnormality, or it could be caused by neurological conditions, like cerebral palsy, stroke, or Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. Pain is most commonly felt in people with cavus foot when walking or standing.

Metatarsalgia

The primary symptom of metatarsalgia is pain at the end of one or more of the metatarsal bones. The pain is typically aggravated when walking or running. Athletes who participate in high-impact activities and may also have an inflammatory condition such as bursitis often have diffuse forefoot and midfoot pain.

Most often, the pain comes on over a period of several months, rather than suddenly.

A condition known as Morton’s neuroma (intermetatarsal neuroma) produces symptoms of metatarsalgia due to irritation and inflammation of a nerve at the site of pain.

Morton’s neuroma (intermetatarsal neuroma)

Morton’s neuroma (intermetatarsal neuroma) is a condition associated with the common plantar digital nerves, caused by entrapment of the nerve and repetitive traction underneath the deep transverse metatarsal ligament leading to epineural and perineural fibrous overgrowth. The main symptoms are pain and/or numbness, sometimes relieved by removing footwear.

Sesamoiditis

Sesamoiditis is a condition that causes pain under the base of the big toe in the foot.

Gout

Gout is a common form of arthritis characterised by repeated attacks of extreme joint pain, swelling and redness.

Gout occurs when uric acid, a normal waste product, builds up in your bloodstream and forms urate crystals in a joint.

Neuropathy

Neuropathy, or nerve damage in the feet, is most often caused by diabetes. The pain can be burning, stinging, or feel like electricity.

Tenosynovitis

Tendons are enclosed by a fibrous sheath that acts as a pulley, where they angulate about bony structures on the way to their destination. The sheath may become thickened, usually under conditions of excessive and constant movement of the tendon, and constrict the enclosed tendon.

Tenosynovitis, an inflammation of the synovial sheath surrounding the tendon, gives rise to pain aggravated by active movements of the tendon, or by passive stretching. Condition reportedly involves the tibialis anterior, tibialis posterior, extensor digitorum longus, and peroneal tendons.

Ankle Sprain

An ankle sprain occurs when the strong ligaments that support the ankle stretch beyond their limits and tear.

Most sprains are minor injuries that heal with home treatments like rest and applying ice.

Some sprains are severe enough to strain or tear the tendons on the outside of the ankle, called the peroneal tendons.

Chronic Ankle Instability

Chronic ankle instability is a condition characterised by a recurring giving way of the outer (lateral) side of the ankle. This condition often develops after repeated ankle sprains.

People with chronic ankle instability often complain of:

  • A repeated turning of the ankle, especially on uneven surfaces or when participating in sports
  • Persistent (chronic) discomfort and swelling
  • Pain or tenderness
  • The ankle feeling wobbly or unstable

Ankle Pain

Achilles Tendinopathy

The Achilles tendon runs down the back of the lower leg and connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. The Achilles tendon facilitates walking by helping to raise the heel off the ground.

Peroneal Tendinopathy

The main function of the peroneal tendons is to stabilise the foot and ankle and protect them from sprains.

The weakness of Peroneus lessens the ability to rise on the toes, decreases the lateral stability of the ankle and allows a varus position of the foot.

Fracture

A fracture is a partial or complete break in a bone.

Fractures in the ankle can range from the less serious avulsion injuries (small pieces of bone that have been pulled off) to severe shattering-type breaks of the tibia, fibula or both.

Ankle fractures are common injuries most often caused by the ankle rolling inward or outward.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a condition characterised by the breakdown and eventual loss of cartilage in one or more joints. Cartilage (the connective tissue found at the end of the bones in the joints) protects and cushions the bones during movement. When cartilage deteriorates or is lost, symptoms develop that can restrict one’s ability to easily perform daily activities.

People with osteoarthritis in the foot or ankle experience, in varying degrees, one or more of the following:

  • Pain and stiffness in the joint
  • Swelling in or near the joint
  • Difficulty walking or bending the joint