Getting sick is never enjoyable. Even a small sniffle can drag you down, not to mention the more serious coughs and colds that cause life to stop momentarily and prevent you from functioning at full capacity. In due time though, with some TLC you can jump back into normal life. Diseases are a different kind of sickness—they are often here to stay and bring life-altering change. Some can be managed easily with the right care, while others may be aggressive and cause long-term damage. There are several foot diseases that greatly affect a person’s quality of life. At Richardson Podiatry Associates, we are dedicated to providing the most effective foot and ankle care so you can live life to the fullest no matter what problem or condition may come your way.
A disease of the lower extremity impairs the ability of the foot or ankle to function normally. Depending on the type and severity of the disease, there can be significant pain and damage to the structure on the inside. Fortunately, with prompt attention and expert care from Dr. Gene Reister, many foot diseases can be treated conservatively. Some of the most common diseases that we treat include:
Arthritis - This disabling and sometimes crippling disease is characterized by an inflammation of the cartilage and lining of the joints. There are several different types of arthritis, but the three kinds most likely to cause damage in the foot and ankle are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and post-traumatic arthritis.
Gout - This is a form of arthritis that most often affects the first joint of the big toe. A build up of uric acid causes needle-like crystals to form within the joint, causing severe pain and inflammation. Symptoms are often sudden and intense and may come and go over time.
Charcot Foot - This serious and disabling disease is usually the result of long-term damage from peripheral neuropathy. Loss of feeling can lead a patient to walk on fractured bones. Over time, the bones begin to break down, the foot collapses, and open sores and ulcers can develop.
Cancer - There are many kinds of cancers of the foot although cancers of the skin and bone are the most common. An osteochondroma is a benign bone tumor under the toenail, a plantar fibroma is a benign tissue tumor on the bottom surface of the foot, and a malignant melanoma is a skin cancer that can develop anywhere on your feet and ankles. Cancer is often curable if caught early, so do not wait if you notice any symptoms or changes in the health of your feet.
Sever’s Disease - This is a common cause of heel pain in children and adolescents. The discomfort is due to inflammation of the growth plate at the back of the heel. High impact activity combined with rapid growth can strain and cause significant discomfort in the Achilles tendon, which is attached to the heel bone. Rest from activity is the first step of treatment, but there could be a secondary reason for the pain if it continues.
Other diseases that we treat that are somewhat less common include Freiberg's Disease, Kohler's Disease, AIDS-related Kaposi's Sarcoma, Ollier's Disease, Raynaud's Disease, and Maffucci's Syndrome. Any lingering symptom or foot pain that lasts beyond a day or two is worth checking out. It could be a minor injury or an underlying problem that requires prompt attention from Dr. Gene Reister before serious complications develop. Contact our office in Richardson, TX, if you have any questions or concerns. You can make an appointment by calling (972) 690-5374 or scheduling one directly from our website.