Foot and ankle problems usually fall into the following categories:
- Acquired from improper footwear, physical stress, or small mechanical changes within the foot.
- Arthritic foot problems, which typically involve one or more joint.
- Congenital foot problems, which occur at birth, are generally inherited.
- Infectious foot problems, which are caused by bacterial, viral, or fungal disorders.
- Neoplastic disorders, usually called tumors, which are the result of abnormal growth of tissue and may be benign or malignant.
- Traumatic foot problems, which are associated with foot and ankle injuries.
The foot contains 26 bones and more than 30 joints. Many people experience pain involving one or more of these joints. The pain may be accompanied by swelling, tenderness, stiffness, redness, bruising and/or increased warmth over the affected joints.
Joint pain may be caused by trauma, infection, inflammation, arthritis, bursitis, gout, or structural foot problems. It is initially treated with rest, elevation and limitation of walking/weight bearing on the painful foot. Use of non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, and ice can help to reduce local inflammation and pain. Custom orothotic devices may also be prescribed to support the foot and reduce pain. A foot and ankle surgeon can best determine the cause of joint pain and recommend the appropriate treatment.
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Osteoarthritis of the Foot and Ankle