Although your arches start at your forefoot, we associate them mostly with your midfoot. Of the seven tarsal bones, the five that make up the middle of your feet are the three cuneiforms, the cuboid, and the navicular. Let Bay Area Foot & Laser Podiatry Group diagnose and treat your arch and midfoot conditions.
Arch and Midfoot Problems
Here are simple descriptions of the most common conditions associated with the arch or the top of the midfoot.
ACCESSORY NAVICULAR SYNDROME
Do you see a bony prominence in the inner side of your foot just above the arch? Some people are born with an extra bone called an Accessory Navicular. If you notice skin irritation and swelling there, and feel pain or throbbing there during or after activity, then you likely have Accessory Navicular Syndrome. Dr. Huey can help with a treatment plan that provides relief.
Do you feel pain at the bottom of your foot between the ball and heel? Most arch pain comes from Plantar Fasciitis, the inflammation of the plantar fascia ligament that connects your heel bone to your toes. If your arch pain doesn’t subside in a few days, then it’s a good idea to seek treatment. Dr. Huey can help.
Osteoarthritis (a gradual wearing down of the cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones) can damage any joint. If you have inflammation and stiffness in the joints where your inner and outer midfoot bones meet your heel bone, then it may be a form of osteoarthritis.
If you’ve ever fractured a bone, then you could develop Post-traumatic Arthritis. Often, people don’t notice the problem until years later. Be sure to tell Dr. Huey if you ever had an injury where you’re currently experiencing pain, stiffness, or swelling.
If you have inflammation in the same joint of both feet or ankles, then it’s an indication of Rheumatoid Arthritis. This autoimmune form of arthritis inflames the joint lining causing pain and swelling. Also, it can affect other joints in your body.
ATHLETE'S FOOT (TINEA PEDIS)
If you notice dry, scaly skin and an itching and burning sensation between your toes or on your soles, then you might have Athlete’s Foot. The rash can spread up the sides of your feet as well. Blisters may even form because of it. This skin infection is caused by a fungus that thrives in warm, damp environments like swimming pools, locker rooms, and your shoes. Because it’s contagious, it can spread to other areas of your body as well.
For a complete overview, check out this Sutter Health article on Athlete’s Foot.
Does your foot feel warmer than the other, and/or do you feel numbness, redness, swelling, or tingling? Nerve damage (neuropathy) in your foot reduces your ability to sense pain. If you break a bone or damage your joints and it goes unnoticed, you’ll make matters worse by continuing to walk on the injury. When left untreated, your foot structure weakens. This leads to deformity (rocker bottom) and disability, and the possibly of surgery or amputation. You can understand why early diagnosis of Charcot Foot is really important.
If your foot comes in contact with an irritant, then it could inflame your skin. You could be allergic to irritants such as poison ivy, harsh chemicals, and even the materials used to construct your shoes. Reactions such as itchiness, redness, and small blisters take place usually within 24 hours. Dr. Huey can evaluate your condition and treat your problem with care.
Fallen arches usually develop when the Posterior Tibial Tendon, the main tendon that supports the arch, becomes weaker or gets injured. It’s a flatfoot condition that can lead to other problems including Arthritis, Plantar Fasciitis, Tendinitis, and tired feet.
FLATFOOT: ADULT (PTTD)
If you develop fallen arches as an adult, you might have Adult Acquired Flatfoot which is also known as Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction (PTTD). It can occur in one or both feet. This painful condition is usually caused by overusing the tendon. The areas of pain shift as the arches flatten more and more. Because it’s progressive, early treatment prevents it from getting worse.
The interesting characteristic of Flexible Flatfoot is your foot flattens out when you stand but arches back when you don’t. This progressive condition usually starts in childhood and gets worse into adulthood. As it gets worse, your tendons and ligaments can stretch and tear, which in turn causes pain and swelling.
If you notice any awkwardness such as clumsiness or outward tilting of the heels when your child walks, or a lack of energy or interest in physical activities, then an examination for Pediatric Flatfoot might be in order. Some children with this condition may also feel pain, tenderness, or cramping. If left untreated, problems including deformity can arise in adulthood.
If you notice pain, swelling, redness, or bruising after a repetitive activity or an injury, then it may be a fracture. Stress fractures (tiny breaks in the bone) can develop over time and lead to a full fracture (complete break). If you suspect a fracture, Dr. Huey can provide you with a complete diagnosis and treatment.
Osteoporosis causes the weakening and thinning of bones due to the lack of calcium and/or Vitamin D; thereby, increasing the risk of bone fractures. The condition is mostly seen in women over 50 but men and younger people can develop it, too. Common areas of bone fractures because of it are the hips, wrists, and spine but for podiatrists, we see it in the metatarsals and other bones in the foot as well. If you see redness and swelling on the top of your foot and it hurts more when you walk, then you may have a foot fracture due to Osteoporosis.
If you notice a round knot-like lump under the skin, then it may be a Ganglion cyst (also called a Bible cyst). This noncancerous sac is filled with a jellylike fluid. Although these cysts most often develop on the wrists and hands, they also can show up on the ankles and feet.
HIGH-ARCH (CAVUS FOOT)
When you have a high arch, the ball and heel of your foot must pick up the slack to support your weight. This could lead to pain and instability when you’re on your feet. You can develop a high arch in one or both feet at any age. The type of treatment we provide depends on the cause, such as an underlying condition or a structural issue, and the severity of the problem.
After having twisted your foot or dropped something heavy on it, do you notice pain throughout your midfoot when you try to stand? Do you see swelling, bruising or blistering on your arch or bruising on the top of your foot? You may have injured your Lisfranc Joint that connects your metatarsal and tarsal bones. The injury could be a sprain, fracture, or dislocation so it’s important to get it diagnosed as soon as possible.
OPEN SORE/WOUND (ULCER)
If you have an open sore, then please don’t wait to get it properly treated. Because your foot is farthest away from your heart, foot ulcers are very slow to heal; for that reason, it increases your risk of infection not just in the skin but the bone. Besides inflammation and thickening of the tissue, telling signs include drainage and odor from the wound. For diabetics, even the smallest scrape or blister can turn into an ulcer and can become limb- or life-threatening.
The plantar fascia ligament connects your heel bone to your toes. When this thick band of tissue gets inflamed, it’s called Plantar Fasciitis. With this condition, you might experience pain and swelling in the bottom of your heel and also pain in the arch of your foot. The symptoms can increase over time. Another telling sign is pain that’s worse when you get up in the morning or after you’ve been sitting for a while, but better in minutes after you start walking.
Do you feel a firm lump in the arch of your foot? A Plantar Fibroma is a non-cancerous knot that forms in the plantar fascia, a ligament that runs from your heel to your toes. The fibrous knot doesn’t usually go away; in fact, it may get larger over time and more of them may even develop. If this knot is causing you pain, we invite you to come in and see Dr. Huey for treatment.
Warts are small, rough-looking growths that are similar in color to your skin. They’re caused by exposure to a virus and can spread by touch. It’s common to find them anywhere on your hands or feet. The ones that appear on the bottom of your feet are called Plantar Warts.
With Psoriasis, new skin cells turn over faster than normal, building up over your old skin cells. If you notice whitish/silvery scales over dry, red patches of skin on the bottom of your feet, then chances are good that you have Psoriasis. This very common condition can happen anywhere on the body.
These twisted, enlarged veins may show up most commonly in your legs, ankles, and feet. This happens when the vein valves or walls become weak or damaged. If you have Vericose Veins, you might experience aches, pain, swelling, bruising, itching, nighttime cramps, skin discoloration, and the feeling of heavy legs and feet. You’re also at risk of developing complications such as bleeding, Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), and skin sores. If you’re bleeding from this condition, please get emergency medical help.