Arthritis: Arthritis can affect any joint in the foot and ankle. The most common arthritis in the front part of the foot (forefoot) involves the big toe joint. Common symptoms include bone spurs/bumps, pain in the joint, stiffness and in some cases, deformity. Clinical exam, x-rays and in some cases CT scans are used in the workup of this condition.
Bone Spurs: Often a sign of underlying arthritis or past injury, bone spurs are not well tolerated in the foot and ankle. They present as a hard bump that may rub or hurt with pressure. Numbness and tingling are common as nerves can rub on the bump. Clinical exam, x-rays and in some cases MRI and/or CT scan are used in the work up of this condition.
Lumps/Masses: A new lump or mass is always concerning. Proper evaluation including clinical exam, xrays and in some cases MRI and/or CT scan are essential to rule out a malignant process. Although primary tumors in the foot are not common, they do happen.
Neuroma: This common problem often presents as a lump in between the toe joints. Common symptoms include pain, numbness, tingling/zinging, and the feeling of a mass that moves. They are often aggravated by tight fitting shoes, high heels or barefoot walking on hard surfaces. Clinical exam, x-rays and ultrasound are often used to confirm the diagnosis. In some cases, MRI may be necessary.
Fractures: Fractures can occur with or without trauma. Abrupt changes in activity can precipitate stress fractures, as can osteoporosis and certain vitamin deficiencies, such as Vitamin D. Because we walk on our feet, timely healing and healing in the correct position are essential. Acute pain associated that may be associated with redness, warmth and/or bruising are warning signs. Clinical exam, x-rays and in some cases MRI, CT and/or bone scans may be necessary.
Tendon Problems: The two most commonly effected tendons on the top of the foot are the tibialis anterior and posterior tendons. Tendon pain may come on slowly and get progressively worse or be acutely sharp and painful. They can present with or without a known injury. There may or may not be redness and warmth over the effected area. Pain is usually worse in morning or with movement. Clinical exam and in some cases x-rays, MRI or ultrasound may be used in the work up of this condition.
Bunions: Bunion deformities can affect the big (1st) or little (5th) toe joints. Often associated with a painful bump over the joint, there may be redness, swelling, numbness and tingling. The affected toe will often curve or sit “crooked”. This is a progressive problem with the toe drifting more and the bump getting larger over time. Proper work up usually includes clinical exam and x-rays. More advanced imaging may be needed in select cases.