Common foot and ankle injuries and conditions

Considering all the loads they bear, the feet are very durable, but sooner or later certain medical conditions can develop that make us start to notice them more. Although women have up to four times more foot problems, which is mostly attributed to inappropriate shoe selection, men are also not spared from some medical conditions. The foot and ankle are parts of our body that are highly exposed to injuries. Often after an injury, reduced function and pain remain. These are complaints that can be durable at first, and later worsen or lead to permanently reduced function.

Types of Problems

  • Foot fractures

  • Achilles tendon problems

  • Ankle fractures

  • Hammertoes

  • Heel pain and spurs

  • Arthritis

  • Bunions

  • Nerve problems, including Morton’s neuroma

  • Ankle sprains

  • Corns, calluses, and blisters


  1. Plantar fasciitis

Plantar fascitis is the most common cause of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a large, broad ligament on the bottom of the foot that attaches to the heel. If an inflammatory reaction occurs, it causes sharp pain in the heel, which can be most pronounced during the first steps in the morning or after sitting.

  1. Change in gait

A change in the way you walk can be the first sign of a change in an underlying medical condition. It can manifest as a slower or wider gait, imbalance, foot dragging and stumbling.


  1. Cold feet

Peripheral neuropathy is the result of damage to the peripheral nerves, most pronounced in the nerves of the feet and hands, and is also one of the reasons for cold feet. They are most often manifested by symmetrical changes in sensation (tingling and/or weaker sensation) and/or motility (weakness and/or atrophy of the muscles of the lower legs, feet and hands). Learn more about peripheral artery disease.

  1. Swollen feet and ankles

Swelling of the feet can be temporary, for example due to prolonged standing or sitting in one position. It occurs particularly often during pregnancy and is usually of a benign nature.

Conversely, persistent swelling of the feet and legs can be a sign of a serious underlying medical condition, including cardiovascular problems such as congestive heart failure, poor blood circulation, or venous insufficiency.

  1. Cramps in the foot

A foot cramp is a sudden and sharp pain in the foot that causes the toes to curl or spread. Although the cause of the appearance can be various conditions, it most often occurs due to excessive use and fatigue of the foot muscles, as well as dehydration.

  1. Pain in the feet

Maybe your feet don't just hurt because of your shoes. Although four out of five women complain of foot pain due to uncomfortable shoes, the cause of the problem may be another condition that high heels or ill-fitting shoes can make worse.

  1. Raynaud's syndrome

If your toes turn white, then blue and red again with spots, you may have Raynaud's syndrome. Symptoms develop after exposure to low temperatures or due to emotional stress, which causes spasm of blood vessels with sudden narrowing of small arteries in the skin of the feet and toes. Learn more about Raynaud's syndrome.


  1. Non-healing wounds: infections, circulation problems

Non-healing foot sores are a major cause for concern. The three main causes are infection, repetitive abnormality and poor circulation.

  1. Morton's Neuroma

Morton's neuroma is a condition that causes pain, numbness, or tingling in the ball of the foot, typically between the third and fourth toes. It is caused by a thickening of the tissue around one of the nerves leading to the toes. Morton's neuroma is often caused by wearing shoes with a narrow toe box or high heels. Treatment typically involves wearing shoes with a wider toe box, using orthotics, and in severe cases, corticosteroid injections or surgery.


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