What is arthritis?rsz_1arthritis

By definition, arthritis is a painful condition that can affect any joint in your body. In the lower extremity, the joints that are typically affected are your knee, ankle and the small joints in your feet.

Arthritis leads to a destruction of the cartilage inside the joint and eventual deformity. On an x-ray, this is characterized by joint space narrowing, bone spur formation, and swelling around the joint.


Some form of trauma to the joint usually causes osteoarthritis but age, weight, and changes in foot structure are variables that can impact the development of arthritis. Other causes include inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis or infections from viruses and bacteria.


  • Joint pain
  • Bone spurs, joint swelling
  • Difficulty walking
  • Stiff joints


Your foot doctor will evaluate all of your joints to assess their range of motion and to see if there is any limitation in movement. X-rays are typically ordered to evaluate affected joints in more detail. This will help in assessing the severity of the condition to dictate the most appropriate treatment.

Achilles Tendonitis

What is Achilles Tendonitis?

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Achilles tendonitis is an inflammatory condition, which usually afflicts athletes or people with tight calf musculature. The Achilles tendon is an extension of the calf muscles and runs down the back of the leg to connect to the heel bone.

There are different types of tendonitis that are classified based on location, history, and activity level. Commonly, pain occurs at or near the insertion of the Achilles tendon. Bone spurs, calcifications, thickening can all be seen with Achilles tendon conditions.


Achilles tendonitis is usually not caused by a specific injury, but rather a repetitive stress to the tendon. This often occurs when the body is not used to changes in the amount of activity or intensity or exercise.


  • Pain and stiffness along tendon
  • Pain at the back of the heel
  • Tendon thickening
  • Swelling / redness


After you describe your symptoms and discuss your concerns with your doctor, they will examine your foot and ankle. X-rays may be ordered to assess whether there are any associated calcifications, which will indicate an insertional tendonitis. If surgery or further evaluation is necessary, an MRI scan is ordered to gage the severity of the damage to the tendon.

Charcot Deformity

What is Charcot?

People who have severe nerve damage (neuropathy) are susceptible to developing a condition that causes weakening of the bones in the foot. This is known as “Charcot.” The bones of the foot can fracture, and with continued weight bearing, Charcot can lead to significant deformity. The small joints of the foot collapse as the disorder progresses, eventually causing a “rocker bottom” appearance. This can be a very dangerous situation as wounds can form on the bottom foot making the limb at risk of amputation. Therefore it is important to take preventative measures by seeking a foot and ankle specialist in a timely manner.charcot


Charcot foot occurs because of neuropathy (nerve damage). In North America, neuropathy is most commonly caused by uncontrolled diabetes. With the reduced sensation of temperature, pain and trauma, diabetic patients continue to walk and destroy there foot without noticing it.

Symptoms (one foot)

  • Swelling
  • Warmth
  • Redness
  • Soreness


After taking a thorough history to determine possible causes of neuropathy, your foot and ankle specialist examines your foot to rule out other possible causes of a red, hot, swollen foot (ex. Infection). Blood tests and x-rays are typically ordered and are often routinely followed.

Athlete’s Foot

What is Athlete’s Foot?

Athlete’s Foot (also known as Tinea Pedis) is a fungal infection of the skin of the foot often resulting in itching, peeling, scaling and cracking of the skin. It can occur between the toes, on the sole of the foot or on the top of the foot.


A fungus is known to cause this condition and it tends to thrive in dark, moist, and warm environments. Going barefoot in areas such as locker rooms, pools, and saunas are common places where one can pick up this type of fungus.


  • Itchy skin
  • Scaling, peeling, or cracking
  • Moisture and irritation between the toes
  • Redness


Given the symptoms and visual appearance of Athlete’s Foot, it is very simple to make a diagnosis of Athlete’s Foot. Your podiatrist will perform a thorough history and physical to rule out any other possible conditions that can mimic the appearance of this condition.


Flat Feet

What is a flatfoot?img09

The basic definition of a flatfoot is the partial or total collapse of the arch of the foot. This can occur in children or adults, but when it occurs in children it is referred to as “pediatric flatfoot.” This condition can be painful to some children but others are completely asymptomatic. 

In children, it’s important to comprehend normal growth patterns in order to diagnose and appropriately treat suspected flatfeet.


When a pediatric flatfoot patient is seen in a foot and ankle specialist’s office, the main cause that needs to be ruled out is a coalition. This occurs when two bones of the hindfoot are fused together and leads to a rigid flatfoot condition. The usual cause behind most forms of pediatric flatfoot is genetics.


  • Arch fatigue / pain
  • Rolled in ankle
  • Reduced energy when participating in activities
  • Difficulty fitting into shoes