Sandal season is in full swing. Has having your feet exposed more made you aware of foot health issues? Here are some of the most common foot conditions, their symptoms, and possible treatment options available.

1. Bunion
Have you noticed a bump on the side of your big toe? It could be a bunion. Bunions are often thought to be caused by wearing narrow shoes, however the bunion is not caused by the narrow shoe it can just be aggravated by shoe wear.

Symptoms can include:

  • Pain or soreness
  • Inflammation and redness
  • Burning sensations
  • Numbness

Bunions are treatable! Treatment can range from protective padding for the foot, orthotics or carefully fitted footwear, exercise, splints, and surgery depending on the severity of the bunion. Idaho Foot and Ankle Center can treat bunions through conservative and surgical methods. We now offer an innovative procedure called Lapiplasty which can restore your natural anatomy. With Lapiplasty, the bone is rotated and shifted back into position, eliminating the unsightly bump. The unstable foundation is permanently secured with patented, titanium technology allowing you to get back on your feet quickly. For more information on Lapiplasty, click here!

2. Hammertoe
Try this: Relax and set your feet and toes flat on the ground. If it looks as though you are drawing up your toes toward the ceiling, you could have a hammertoe. Hammertoe is a bending deformity of one or both joints of your toes. This abnormal bending can put pressure on the toe when wearing shoes, causing problems to develop. Hammertoes usually start out as mild deformities and get progressively worse over time.

Symptoms can include:

  • Pain or irritation when wearing shoes
  • Contracture of the toe
  • Corns and calluses
  • Open sores
  • Inflammation, redness, or burning

In the earlier stages, hammertoes are flexible and the symptoms can often be managed with noninvasive measures. But if left untreated, hammertoes can become more rigid and will not respond to nonsurgical treatment. Because of the progressive nature of hammertoes, they should receive early attention. Hammertoes don’t get better without some kind of intervention.

3. Melanoma Skin Cancer
Melanoma is the type of skin cancer most often found on the feet, and it is also the most deadly type of skin cancer. It often goes unnoticed during its earliest stage when it is more easily treated. Anyone can get melanoma, but some factors put people at greater risk for developing melanoma. These include: fair skin, skin that freckles, blond hair, red hair, blistering sunburns before the age of 18, and numerous moles, especially that appear at a young age.

Things to watch out for:

  • Asymmetry- Melanoma is usually asymmetric, which means one half is different in shape from the other.
  • Border- The border, or edge, is typically ragged, notched, or blurred.
  • Color- Melanoma is usually a mix of colors or hues, rather than a single, solid color.
  • Diameter- Melanoma grows in diameter whereas moles stay small. A spot that is larger than 5 millimeters (about the size of a pencil eraser) is cause for concern.

If you notice an abnormal freckle or mole anywhere on your foot, even under your toenail, it’s best to have it checked out by a foot and ankle surgeon. Early detection is key.

4. Haglund’s Deformity
Haglund’s deformity is a bony enlargement on the back of the heel. The soft tissue near the Achilles tendon becomes irritated when the bony enlargement rubs against the shoes. It is often called “pump bump” because the rigid backs of pump-style shoes can create pressure that aggravates the enlargement when walking.

Symptoms may include:

  • A bump on the back of the heel
  • Pain in the area where the Achilles tendon attaches to the heel
  • Swelling in the back of the heel
  • Redness near the inflamed tissue

Treatment is primarily to reduce the inflammation. Treatment may include medication, exercises, heel lifts, heel pads, shoe modification, physical therapy, orthotics, and immobilization. Foot and ankle surgeons can treat a Haglund’s deformity nonsurgically, but when conservative methods fail, surgery may be needed to relieve pain.

5. Tailor’s Bunion
Another type of bunion is the tailor’s bunion or bunionette, which occurs near the little toe. It is a prominence of the fifth metatarsal bone at the base of the little toe.

Symptoms usually appear when wearing shoes that rub against it and may include may include:

  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Pain
  • Inflammation

Treatment includes shoe modifications, padding, medications, icing, corticosteroid injections, orthotics, and sometimes in severe cases surgery.

If you think you may have one of these common foot conditions, please contact our specialists at Idaho Foot and Ankle Center for an appointment. We also have same day appointments available so you can receive the proper diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible! Dr. Kylin Kovac and Dr. Jed Erickson have the knowledge and experience to help get you on the path to recovery through both conservative and surgical methods of the foot and ankle.

Some content provided by The ACFAS.