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Common Problems

Common Lower Limb Problems

At The Foot Spot we work tirelessly to bring our patients the latest techniques & research in lower limb care. Below you will find some of the common problems of the lower limb we manage on a daily basis.

These are designed to provide a brief overview of the problem and how it can be managed at The Foot Spot.  For more information on your specific problem we recommend making an appointment.

  • Ingrown Toenails
  • Flat Feet
  • Heel Pain
  • Bunions & Hammer Toes
  • Fungal Nails
  • Tinea
  • Warts
  • Corns & Callous
Ingrown Toenails

Red, swollen, painful, with or without any pus – ingrown toenails can be extremely painful and unsightly. The treatment for this condition though is extremely easy to perform and surprisingly painless. If you have or have had an un-successfully resolved ingrown toenail, The Foot Spot can deal with it quickly and simply!

CAUSE: Although ingorwn toenails do have a hereditary component they are generally caused by poor toenail cutting technique. Other causes include ill-fitting footwear, certain medications such as Roaccutane (Isotretinoin) which is commonly used to treat acne.

TREATMENT: Treatment or management consists of treating the infection (either conservatively or with antibiotics) and removing the offending cause, which is usually a small fragment of nail penetrating the skin. This can generally be perfomed painlessly with or without local anaesthetic depending on the extent of the issue.

RECOVERY TIME: Pain after removal is negligable. Patients can normally return to immediate work/school. Redressings may be required and are painless to perform. Patients will normally make a full reovery within a week or so.

Heel Pain

One of the most common complaints in the world is heel pain. It comes in many shapes and sizes, effecting kids all the way through to adults. At The Foot Spot are have a long history of successfully resolving heel pain – no matter who it effects.

CAUSE: There are many different types of heel pain – ranging from Severs Disease which commonly effects children to the extremely common Plantar Fasciosis. Each different type of heel pain has its own unique cause. Understanding the cause of the problem makes solving it extremely easy. All types of heel pain can be successfully resolved.

TREATMENT: Treatments differ depending on the cause Anyone having heel pain should have it thoroughly examined and diagnosed by their Podiatrist.

RECOVERY TIME: Most heel pain can be successfully dealt with within 4-12 weeks, depending on its cause.

Bunions & Hammer Toes

This is an extremely complicated disorder which effects over 50% of the worlds population – both males and females. Commonly thought of as an “inherited” issue or related to high heels, there is a much more complicated and treatable reason behind bunions and hammer toes. The Foot Spot can can give you education, advice and options for managing this condition, which can often be less problematic than you think!

CAUSE: Footwear such as high heels are commonly blamed for bunions and hammer toes. ALthough footwear may indeed be a precipitating factor, it is not the real cause of the issue. ANother misconception is that bunions and hammer toes are hereditary – again this is not entirely true. The real cause of this defomrity is a complex failure of the biomechanics of the foot, in particular the big toe joint.

TREATMENT: Treatments start out conservatively with changes to footwear, orthotics, rehabilitation excercises and investigation via plain x-rays to establish the extent of damage. Further treatment may include corticosteroid injections or even surgery – which in this day and age is very effective and generally well tolerated.

RECOVERY TIME: This depends on the method of management. Relief can generally be provided from adherence to conservative care in as little as a few days. Recovery from surgery is procedure dependant, but most people can be back to walking within 2-3 weeks.

Fungal Nails

Discoloured, yellow and general unsightly this condition is extremely common. Nearly all of us at sometime in our lives will have a fungal infection in our nails. Although these are not complicated in their origin, they can be extremely tough to treat.

CAUSE: Easily obtained at anytime when the nail is lifted from the nail bed. This allows the introduction of fungal spores which commonly inhabit the environment around us. Also easily obtained through “nail salons” who do not sterilse their instruments between clients.

TREATMENT: There are a multitude of ways to resolve this issue, however it is important that each person is individual and several factors including medical history must be taken into careful consideration. From topical lacquers, oral drugs, topical 1064nm laser or surgical correction – it is imperative that your Podiatrist careful decides which treatment plane is correct for you – otherwise treatments may be unsuccessful.

RECOVERY TIME: Depending on the treatment plan it can vary – a minimum of 12 months is required if the entire nail is infected.

Tinea

Painful, itchy, scaly and red – tinea (commonly known as athletes foot) is a simple fungal infection which thrives in moist, warm, dark environments.The Foot Spot can deal with this issue quickly and simply!

CAUSE: Multiple types of fungus which inhabit the skin of humans.

TREATMENT: Normally topical treatments are successful, however in severe cases topical corticosteroids as well as oral drugs are commonly used.

RECOVERY TIME: Usually fairly quickly. Relief from the discomfort and itching can be obtained within days. Eradication of the infection can take several weeks though.

Warts

Appearing as single isolated lesions or multiple ones with satellites – warts come in many different forms, shapes and locations. Commonly referred to on the feet as “verrucae” warts are a virus which is easily picked up and transmitted. At The Foot Spot, we can easily and painlessly resolve these unsightly and often painful lesions.

CAUSE: A form of the human papilloma virus (HPV). Viral particles are steped on and small breaches in the skin allow it to populate. It is a localised infection but may be aggrevated by systemic disease.

TREATMENT: Treatment is patient dependant. SOmetimes no treatment is necessary and resolution will occur. More frequently than not, these lesions do cause pain on walking or wearing shoes and must be managed. Treatment is usually painless and can involve topical acids, liquid nitrogen or even surgical removal. COntrary to popular belief surgical removal by an experienced Podiatrist does not cause scarring.

RECOVERY TIME: Depending on the treatment plan chosen, from a few days to a few months. Generally painful lesions can be improved within a few days.

Corns & Callous

How can such a simple thing be so painful right? A build up of dead skin caused via friction (callous) or direct pressure (corns) can not only be painful, but can cause serious issues if not treated. The Foot Spot will simply and painlessly deal with your corns and callous and having you walking pain free in no time!

CAUSE: Generally speaking sheer friction causes callous and direct pressure causes corns. There are several types of corn described in medical literature but the most common are the helloma durum (hard corn) and the helloma molle (soft corn). Hard corns can generally be found on the top of digits or bottom of the feet whilst soft corns are generally found between the toes.

TREATMENT: Immediate relief from pain is possible via removal of the hard skin making up the callous or corn – this is commonly performed by a Podiatrist using a scalpal. This is painless and relief is instantaneous. Advice on footwear should be taken as if the pressure is not removed the callous or corn will simply return in short time. Long term solutions include surgical correction of underlying biomecahnical problems.

RECOVERY TIME: Recovery from conservative care is instantaneous – surgical correction may take a few weeks recovery.

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