Achilles tendonitis happens from tiny tears in a tendon, which cause inflammation and swelling. The pain that results with this condition can go on for many years if left untreated. Tendonitis has a wide range of symptoms from a dull aching sensation, stiffness and burning that surrounds the entire involved joint. However, noticeable signs of inflammation of the joint may include the skin feeling hot, swelling around the joint, pain at the joint that may extend farther away from the joint and also joint stiffness due to swelling. Achilles tendonitis will often begin in subtle stages and feel similar to a sore muscle. If nothing is done to repair the tendon, it will continue to progress until the pain is unbearable. Without treatment the tendon can rupture, which causes it to break.
Ankle sprains are a common injury among athletes and non-athletes. With an ankle sprain, the foot at one point has twisted, turned or rolled beyond its normal position. What happens is that the ligaments that connect the bones in your ankle to one another, and to your foot bones, have stretched or snapped. Ankle sprains can happen by simply stepping off of a curb wrong or losing balance while walking. Symptoms of an ankle sprain include pain, swelling and bruising. However, depending on the severity of the sprain your symptoms may also include pain with walking and instability.
Neuropathy is a condition resulting from damage to the nerves. There are many causes for this condition, but our office sees it most frequently as a result of diabetes. However, other causes may be an injury to the area, such as pressure on the nerve. The condition can also be inherited, from infection, alcoholism or even a vitamin deficiency. Symptoms of neuropathy include pain, tingling, or loss of sensation in the area where the neuropathy is present.
A neuroma occurs when nerve tissue grows improperly and causes the tissue to thicken. They are typically benign growths found between the third and fourth toes. Neuromas can develop from a variety of factors, such as biomechanical deformities like flat foot. Symptoms can include a burning sensation, tingling, numbness between the toes and in the ball of the foot. Neuromas can cause severe pain due to inflammation, which can occur from the pressure the neuroma places on its surroundings.
A foot ulcer is an open wound or sore. They happen when an increased amount of pressure is exerted on a specific part of the body. For a person with diabetes who has lost sensation in their feet, something as small as a pebble in the shoe can cause an ulcer to form. Unfortunately, if the injury is not noticed right way the ulcer can become worse and even lead to amputation. Symptoms can include pain, burning, itching, swelling and discoloration of the skin.
Plantar fasciitis results from small micro tears occurring in the plantar fascia on the bottom of the foot. This condition often occurs in people with flat feet that put constant strain on the fascia. It is also seen frequently in runners that average a high number of miles each week. However, due to the repetitive stretching of the tissue inflammation occurs and causes pain and tissue swelling.
Toenail fungus, also called onychomycosis, is a fungal infection that affects one or more of your toenails. This type of fungus lives in dark, moist and warm environments. It can infect the skin through visible or invisible cuts and starts out as a tiny white or yellow spot under the tip of the nail. Symptoms can include thickened, brittle, crumbly and dark toenails. If the infection is not treated it can continue indefinitely.
If you suffer with any of these conditions, please call our office to set up an appointment with Dr. Wachtel, podiatrist North Andover, at (978) 794-8406. At our office, Dr. Wachtel deals with a variety of foot conditions by treating them with K-Laser therapy. He would be happy to assist you in providing answers to your questions and treatment options.