Meet Your Feet
Common Foot Problems
Achilles Tendinitis is the inflammation of the Achilles Tendon located in the heel, and is typically caused by overuse of the affected limb. Most often, it occurs in athletes who are not training with the proper techniques and/or equipment.
When the Achilles Tendon is injured, blood vessels and nerve fibers from surrounding areas migrate into the tendon, and the nerve fibers may be responsible for the discomfort. Healing is often slow in this area due to the comparably low amount of cellular activity and blood flowing through the area.
Treatment can range from cold compress and heel pads for minor cases, to physical rehabilitation, anti-inflammatory medicine, ultrasound therapy, and manual therapy. If you are a Michigan resident that suspects they have Achilles Tendinitis, please contact Dr. Young immediately; Achilles Tendinitis, if left untreated, can eventually result in an Achilles Tendon Rupture, which is a serious condition that is a partial or complete tear in the tendon. It can severely hinder walking and can be extremely painful and slow to recover.
While they stem from different causes and attack the feet in different ways, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can cause similar symptoms, including joint pain which may affect the feet.
Osteoarthritis otherwise known as degenerative joint disease is the most common type of arthritis. It most commonly occurs in the weight bearing joints of the hips, knees, and spine. However, it can also disturb the fingers, thumb, neck, and large toe.
Osteoarthritis tends to affect women more often than men. Most people that are 60 years or older have osteoarthritis to a varying degree. However, it has been diagnosed in individuals in their 20s and 30s, as well.
Symptoms often develop gradually and include:
- Joint aching and soreness.
- Pain after overuse or after long periods of inactivity.
- Bony enlargements in the middle and end joints of the fingers which may or may not be painful.
- Joint swelling and fluid accumulation.
An individual’s chances of developing osteoarthritis are based on several factors including:
- Joint Overuse
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic disease. It causes inflammation of the lining of the joints, and can lead to long-term joint damage which results in chronic pain, loss of function and disability.
Stages of Rheumatoid Arthritis
The disease progresses in three distinct stages:
- First Stage: Swelling of the synovial lining, producing pain, a warming sensation, stiffness, redness, and swelling around the joint.
- Second Stage: Rapid division and growth of cells which causes the synovium lining to thicken.
- Third Stage: The inflamed cells release enzymes that may digest bone and cartilage, often causing the infected joint to lose its shape and alignment. This causes more pain and some loss of movement.
There is no cure for RA and flares in disease activity occur spontaneously. RA can also begin to affect other organs in the body. However, studies have shown that early aggressive treatment of RA can limit joint damage, somewhat eliminating loss of movement, decreased ability to work, and potential surgery.
Currently, RA affects 1.3 million Americans and its cause remains unknown. However, through the use of new drugs, exercise, joint protection techniques and self-management, more people than ever are living with RA and leading happier, healthier and more fulfilling lives.
Concerned You Have Arthritis?
Both osteoarthritis and RA can make the joints in your feet very painful. If you are concerned that you may be suffering from arthritis, don’t suffer a moment longer! Schedule an appointment with a podiatrist today.
Brachymetatarsia is characterized by a shorter than usual metatarsal bone, one of the five long bones in the feet that end in the toes. This causes one of the toes to be ‘pulled back’ from the rest, or overlap the others. If more than one of the long bones of the foot is affected, it is known as brachymetapody. The disease is often congenital, but can also be caused by an injury to the growth plate of the short toe.
Symptoms and Treatment
If you suffer from brachymetatarsia, you may find it difficult to properly balance or smoothly transfer weight across the toes when walking or running. To correct this problem, extra padding can be used in the shoe to protect the short toe from excessive friction and pressure. Orthotics may also be used to properly distribute the weight across the foot while in motion. A surgical graft of bone to lengthen the short toe may also be an option in some cases.
If you suffer from brachymetatarsia, our podiatry professionals can help you find the right treatment option for you based on your unique situation. Contact us today to learn how we can help you regain a greater sense of balance and a smoother range of motion.
What Are Bunions?
A bunion, or hallux valgus, is a misaligned or excess bone within the joint of the big toe. This is a common, yet very uncomfortable and painful issue, because your big toe is the most often used toe; every time your foot takes a step, the big toe supports most of your body’s weight. Because of this very important weight bearing function during movement, any problems can make walking or even standing very painful. In addition to causing pain, a bunion alters the shape of your foot, making it difficult to find shoes that fit comfortably. Luckily, bunions are treatable, and Dr. Young is one of the most experienced podiatrists in the region when it comes to bunion treatment.
What Causes Bunions?
Bunions, which occur on the biggest (and occasionally, smallest) toe, can be caused by several different factors relating to mechanics. A bunion may form if the foot flattens too much and the toe joint regularly moves beyond normal range, or if the toe joint is injured by arthritis or injury. Although not genetic, some people are born with the tendency to develop bunions.
How Can I Prevent Bunions?
Wear properly fitting shoes to reduce the chances of developing a bunion, and immediately stop wearing any shoes that cause discomfort after periods of wear. Talk to a podiatrist like Dr. Lawrence Young to find out if you’re at risk for developing a bunion, and to help you recognize shoes that match your foot size and shape. Michigan residents can use the contact form below.
Types of Bunions
- Positional (mild) bunions are caused by the growth of new bone in the joint.
- Structural (severe) bunions happen when the joint in the base of the toe changes position.
Bunions can exhibit signs of both types, and can be identified by a bony lump, typically near the base of the big toe where the joint is located.
Flat feet, or pes planus, is a condition in which the arch of the foot collapses or was never raised, and the entire sole of the foot is, or is close to, making contact with the ground. It can be both hereditary and caused by aging, injury, illness, or constant stress.
You can test the “flatness” of your foot with a “wet footprint test”. Simply put your feet in water, then step onto a flat surface like cardboard or concrete. The print that your foot makes will indicate the arch of your foot – the more sole in the imprint, the flatter the foot.
Typically, flat feet are asymptomatic and are a natural condition of some people. However, some people have painful versions of this condition, such as rigid flatfoot (where the sole is always rigid), and tarsal coalition, where bones in the midfoot begin to join.
Bone disorders related to flat feet, such as tarsal coalition, are best treated in younger people, before the bone structure has solidified, and typically involve orthoses and physical therapy. If you are a Michigan resident that suspects you or a child has flat foot issues, it is best to have it looked at by a qualified podiatrist like Dr. Young to avoid future issues that are harder to treat.
Sometimes known as “pump bump” because of its prevalence among women who wear pump-style shoes, Haglund's deformity can occur in one or both of the feet. If you are suffering from Haglund's deformity you will most likely have noticed a bony enlargement at the back of the heel. This inflammation is caused when the bursa, a fluid filled sac between the Achilles tendon and your heel bone, becomes irritated. Other signs of Haglund's deformity include pain where the Achilles tendon and the heel meet, swelling, and redness.
While genetic factors influence your likelihood to develop Haglund’s deformity (high arches, a tight Achilles tendon), stiff shoes are also a major risk factor.
Treatment for Haglund’s Deformity
Although surgery is an option, non-surgical treatment options are plentiful. Utilizing anti-inflammatory medication can reduce swelling and pain at the site of the problem. Other conservative treatments include:
- Heel lifts and pads
- Shoe modification
- Physical therapy
- Orthotic devices
- Contact your podiatrist today to lean which treatment options may work best for you.
Hallux Rigidus is a condition that affects the joint at the base of the big toe. If you suffer from this condition, you will notice pain and stiffness. The symptoms are often worsen while walking,running, or when the weather is cold or damp. Individuals with this condition may notice swelling and inflammation around the joint.
If the condition worsens, the big toe joint may become painful when at rest, and bone spurs may develop. To lessen the pain, sufferers will often begin to limp, which can lead to pain in the ankles, knees, hips and lower back.
What Causes Hallux Rigidus?
Technically a form of degenerative arthritis, hallux rigidus wears out the cartilage in the joint that it affects. It may be caused by improper alignment of the feet or genetic abnormalities in the foot structure.
Treatments available for this condition include shoe modification, anti inflammatory medication, orthotics, physical therapy and surgery. As with many foot problems, learning and practicing correct alignment is often helpful. Surgery is recommended as a last resort. Contact us today to determine which treatment option might work best for you.
Characterized by a bend in one or both joints of any but the big toe, hammertoe is a common podiatric issue. In early stages the toe can still be extended, but will be bent upward in its resting state. If left untreated, however, the condition will worsen progressively.
Signs and Symptoms
Hammertoe is typically straightforward to identify on a simple physical examination. Symptoms include:
- A contracted toe or toes.
- Corns between toes or on the top, side or end of the affected toes. Corns are a buildup of skin caused by friction at the contact point between the toe and shoe.
- Calluses on the bottom of toes or on the ball of the foot. Calluses are rough, dry patches of dead skin that has built up.
- Pain or irritation when the toes come into contact with the shoe.
Hammertoes and their symptoms generally worsen over time, as the friction between the foot and footwear becomes more severe. Over time, they can become rigid, and open sores may form.
If you are suffering from hammertoes, it is important to seek help sooner rather than later, as they will not heal without treatment. Treatment options include:
- Changing footwear
- Padding the corns and calluses that form
- Trimming the corns and calluses
- Custom orthotics
- Anti inflammatory medications
- Splinting the affected toe.
Surgery may also be recommended in more severe cases.
You don’t need to suffer with hammertoes. Contact our office today, and we can begin down theroad to treatment with you!
Heel Issues & Disorders
Heel Issues & Disorders
The heels are the part of the foot that contacts the ground first while walking, and therefore suffers a great amount of wear, pressure, and stress. This makes injuries and disorders in the heel particularly debilitating and painful, and many of these issues stem from the stress that the heel bone and its surrounding tissues suffer from daily living. Heels can undergo unnatural stress due to injuries, high-impact physical activity (sprinting, leaping), and wearing low-quality or ill-fitting shoes. One common heel affliction is plantar fasciitis, and its related issues, heel spurs and bursitis.
Heel treatment typically includes rest, medication, compression, exercise, medical footwear, and wraps. Invasive surgery is usually not necessary for these issues, but a qualified podiatrist like Dr. Young can provide you with the proper advice, medication and equipment to ensure a full recovery of one of the most important parts of your foot. If you are a Metro-Detroit resident whose heel has been bothering you for an extended period of time, contact Dr. Young in the window below with your symptoms for a treatment recommendation.
Does standing on tiptoe make you wince with pain? You may have metatarsalgia, or inflammation of the ball of the foot.
Symptoms and Causes
- Metatarsalgia can make your feet extremely uncomfortable, with symptoms including:
- Sharp pain or dull ache just behind the toes on the ball of the foot.
- Pain that worsens while walking, running or jumping and improves when at rest.
- Numbness or pain in the toes.
- Pain in the feet that worsens when barefoot.
While there is occasionally one singular cause for metatarsalgia, it is typically caused by several factors, including:
- Improper foot alignment
- Improper walking mechanics
- Unusual foot shape
- Intense training and activity
- Excess weight
- Tight shoes
- Morton’s Neuroma
- Stress fractures
Often pain in the foot can be healed with a day or two of rest, some ice and over the counter pain medication. However, if your pain is severe or ongoing, it may be time to see a podiatrist.
What are Neuromas?
euromas, sometimes known as Morton’s neuroma, is a nervous issue when the outer coating of a nerve within your foot becomes thicker. This nerve thickening typically happens when two bones frequently rub together, and the area between the fourth and third toes is the most susceptible to neuromas, although the area between the third and second toes can also be afflicted. Other nerve-related issues, such as diabetes or alcoholism, can also cause neuroma-like symptoms.
What are the Symptoms of a Neuroma?
Pain and discomfort from neuromas typically happen over time and gradually worsen. You may experience cramping, numbness, burning, or tingling in the suspected area. These symptoms may worsen or appear after a sustained period of walking or standing, and many relate the sensation to standing on an electrical cord. Rubbing a foot with neuroma can temporarily relieve some symptoms, but speak to your podiatrist if you suspect you have a neuroma.
What causes Neuromas?
Neuromas are typically caused by repeated wear of ill-fitting shoes, or improper walking posture. Your podiatrist can give you tips on purchasing properly fitting shoes and walking habits to prevent neuromas from occuring. If you are a Michigan resident and suspect you have a neuroma, please contact Dr. Young immediately in the form below for treatment recommendations.
Onychomycosis (Foot Fungus)
Onychomycosis (Foot Fungus)
Onychomycosis is a fungal infection of the toenails or fingernails. This ailment causes fingernails or toenails to thicken, discolor, disfigure, and split. At first glance, onychomycosis appears to be only a cosmetic concern. However, without treatment, the toenails can become abnormally thick, forcing the toe to press against the inside of the shoes, causing pressure, irritation, and pain. If the disease continues to progress without treatment, onychomycosis may interfere with standing, walking, and exercising.
Spotting Foot Fungus
Onychomycosis is easily identified by its appearance, but there are similar conditions and infections that can cause similar symptoms. Foot fungus should always be diagnosed by your podiatrist before you begin treatment.
Risk factors making one more susceptible to onychomycosis include:
- Family history
- Advancing age
- Poor health
- Showering in communal showers
- Wearing shoes without good airflow
Treatments for onychomycosis vary depending on the individual and the severity of the case. Recent breakthroughs have yielded new treatments which can cut traditionally long treatment times dramatically. To learn more, schedule an appointment with your trusted podiatrist.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
The plantar fascia is the ligament-like band off tissue that attaches from your heel to the ball of your foot.The plantar fascia pulls on the heel bone, raising the arch of your foot as it pushes off the ground. However, if your foot moves irregularly, the plantar fascia can get strained. A strained fascia may swell and the tiny fibers it’s composed of may begin to fray, resulting in plantar fasciitis.
What causes Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is typical caused by issues with foot mechanics. If your feet flatten too little, the fascia may get irritated from being pulled too tight.
A heel spur is an extra bone that may grow near the area where the plantar fascia meet the heel. The heel spur may form due to the plantar fascia’s repeated tugging on the heel bone.
Bursitis is the swelling of the bursa, a fluid-filled sac that reduces friction and acts as a lubricant between a ligament and a bone. Bursitis can be caused by a swollen plantar fascia pressing up against a plantar bursa.
What are the symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?
If the bottom of your foot hurts when you stand, particularly when you first get out of bed, you may be exhibiting signs of Plantar Fasciitis. Pain is typically focused on the inside of the foot, near the area where your arch and heel meet. Although the discomfort may lessen after your first few steps, it will return after a period of rest or with prolonged activity. If you are a Michigan resident and suspect that you have Plantar Fasciitis, please contact Dr. Young in the form below immediately.
You likely think of your bones as part of a system, connected to one another by joints. Sesamoids are exceptions to this rule, ‘free floating’ bones that offer a smooth surface for your tendons to slide over, creating a sort of pulley system for the muscles. The sesamoids in your feet help you as you walk, and without them, your big toe would lose some of its power and force. Sesamoiditis itself is pain or inflammation of the sesamoids.
Symptoms of Sesamoiditis
Sesamoiditis can generally be identified from other foot ailments due to the gradual onset of symptoms just beneath the big toe.
The most common symptoms include:
- The area is tender when direct pressure is applied.
- Mild pain occurs when walking barefoot or in thin soled shoes.
- Pain worsens while running or jumping.
- Pain is alleviated quickly with rest.
- In later stages, constant pain is present under the sesamoids.
There are numerous treatments available for sesamoiditis. Icing and resting the area can be helpful, and your podiatrist can prescribe orthotic devices and leg braces. Sesamoiditis does not commonly require surgery, but should be diagnosed by your trusted podiatrist before it worsens. If you suspect you may be suffering from this painful condition, schedule an appointment with our office today.
Tailor’s bunions, sometimes called ‘bunionettes,’ are a variation on more common bunions, which appear on the inside of the foot, under the big toe. Tailor’s bunions instead develop on the outside of the foot, under your smallest toe. Like bunions, tailor’s bunions rub against your shoes and can create redness and swelling.
Causes and Treatment of Tailor’s Bunions
Like bunions, tailor’s bunions can be caused by hereditary mechanical issues in the foot, and can be exacerbated by wearing narrow, unsupportive, and highheeled footwear.
Treatment for tailor’s bunions is also similar to treatment of more traditional bunions, though treatment varies depending on the severity of the condition and its cause (Tailor’s bunions can also be caused by bone spurs). Nonsurgical treatments are the most commonly tried first, including injections, orthotics, changing your footwear, and padding. Surgery is an option if these more conservative treatments do not help alleviate your pain.
Your podiatrist is happy to discuss available treatments with you, and a clinical diagnosis is an important first step toward pain-free feet. Contact our office for an appointment today if you believe you have developed a tailor’s bunion.
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a painful foot condition in which the tibial nerve is compressed as it travels through the tarsal tunnel. This tunnel is found along the inner leg, behind the bump on the inside of your ankle. This disorder is relatively rare, and can be caused by a wide variety of factors.
Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms of this ailment include:
- Pain and tingling in and around ankles
- Swelling of the feet
- Electric shock sensations
- Pain radiating up into the leg, and down into the arch, heel, and toes
- Hot and cold sensations in the feet
- Feeling as though the feet do not have enough padding
- Burning sensation on the bottom of foot that radiates upward
Because it’s difficult to determine the exact cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, it’s important to determine the source of the problem. The nerve can be compressed by benign tumors or cysts, bone spurs, inflammation of the tendon sheath, nerve ganglions, varicose veins, or swelling from a broken or sprained ankle.
TTS tends to be more common in athletes or individuals who stand for hours at a time, as they commonly put excessive stress on the tarsal tunnel area.
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome is not common, but it can be a sign of other problems in the foot, as well as cause you pain and making walking difficult. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, contact your trusted podiatrist for an appointment as soon as possible.
Call Us Today At ♦ (313) 565-8080
Dr. Lawrence Young
22161 W Outer DrivePhone: (313) 565-8080
Dea, MI 48124
Dea, MI 48124
Mon - Fri: 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM
Sat: 09:00 AM - 01:00 AM