foot and ankle conditions

Foot and ankle conditions

The human foot and ankle is a complex structure, made up of 26 bones, 33 joints, and over 100 tendons, muscles, and ligaments. Given its intricate makeup and the weight it bears every day, it’s no surprise that foot and ankle problems are common. Today, we’ll delve into some of the most common food and ankle conditions: Plantar Fasciitis and Achilles Tendinitis, while also touching on a few others.

Plantar Fasciitis

What is it?
Plantar Fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia – a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot, connecting your heel bone to your toes.


  • Sharp pain near the heel, especially when taking the first steps in the morning.
  • Pain after prolonged periods of standing or walking.

Causes and Risk Factors

  1. Age: Common in people between the ages of 40 and 60.
  2. Certain exercises: Activities that put stress on the heel, like long-distance running.
  3. Foot mechanics: Being flat-footed or having high arches.
  4. Obesity: Extra weight exerts more pressure on the plantar fascia.

Initial treatments include rest, icing, and over-the-counter pain medications. For persistent pain, physical therapy or orthotics might be beneficial.

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis from Mayo Clinic

Achilles Tendinitis

What is it?
Achilles Tendinitis refers to the inflammation of the Achilles tendon, which connects your calf muscles to your heel bone.


  • Mild pain after exercise, escalating over time.
  • Tenderness or stiffness, especially in the morning.

Causes and Risk Factors

  1. Age: It’s more common as we age.
  2. Certain sports: Activities that involve sudden starts and stops, like tennis.
  3. Foot mechanics: Overpronation increases stress on the Achilles tendon.
  4. Medical conditions: High blood pressure and psoriasis have been linked to a higher risk.

Rest and at-home care (like cold compresses) can be effective. Severe cases might require physical therapy or even surgery.

More on Achilles Tendinitis from WebMD

Morton’s Neuroma

What is it?
A thickening of the tissue around a nerve leading to the toes, often between the third and fourth toes.


  • Sharp, burning pain in the ball of the foot.
  • Tingling or numbness in the toes.

Orthotics, corticosteroid injections, or surgery in some cases.

Peripheral Neuropathy

What is it?
Damage to peripheral nerves, often affecting the feet and legs, commonly seen in diabetics.


  • Numbness, tingling, or burning sensation.
  • Increased sensitivity to touch.

Medications, topical treatments, and managing underlying conditions.

Flat Feet (Fallen Arches)

What is it?
The arches on the feet’s inside are flattened, allowing the entire sole to touch the ground.


  • Foot pain, especially in the arch or heel.
  • Feet may tire easily or become painful with prolonged standing.

Orthotics, supportive shoes, or physical therapy.

Heel Spurs

What is it?
Calcium deposits that form a bony protrusion on the heel bone’s underside.


  • Intermittent or chronic heel pain.
  • Inflammation at the front of the heel.

Rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, or shoe inserts.

Other Notable Foot and Ankle Conditions:


A bony bump at the big toe’s base. Often a result of tight shoes, genetics, or arthritis.

Read more about bunions here

Hammer Toe

An abnormal bend in a toe’s middle joint, primarily from ill-fitting shoes or muscle imbalance.

Ankle Sprains

Ligament injuries in the ankle due to a twist or turn beyond its normal movements.

Read this article to help understand ankle sprains in greater detail.

While this list is not exhaustive, these are some prevalent foot and ankle conditions. If you suspect any of these issues, it’s crucial to see a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment. Your feet support you every day; ensure you’re giving them the best care possible.

Dayton Orthopedic Surgery has the facilities, experience and expertise needed to diagnose foot and ankle conditions, from several comfortable locations throughout the Dayton region.