Most of the time our body movements do not cause problems, but it’s not surprising that symptoms develop from everyday wear and tear or overuse. Toe, foot, or ankle problems can also occur from injuries or the natural process of aging.

Your toes, feet, or ankles may burn, sting, hurt, feel tired, sore, stiff, numb, tingly, hot, or cold. You may have had a “charley horse” (muscle cramp) in your foot while lying in bed at night. Your feet or ankles may change colour or swell. You may have noticed an embarrassing odour from your feet. Some changes in your feet and ankles are normal as a person ages or during pregnancy.

But Toe, foot, or ankle problems may be caused by an injury. But there are many non-injuries causes of toe, foot, or ankle problems.

Structure

Your ankle and foot are an intricate network of bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles. Strong enough to bear your body weight and enable you to move, your ankle and foot can be prone to injury and pain.

Ankle : The ankle, or the talocrural region, is the region where the foot and the leg meet. The ankle includes three joints: the ankle joint proper or talocrural joint, the subtalar joint, and the inferior tibiofibular joint

Foot: The human foot is a strong and complex mechanical structure containing 26 bones, 33 joints (20 of which are actively articulated), and more than a hundred muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

The joints of the foot are the ankle and subtalar joint and the interphalangeal articulations of the foot.

Symptoms

  • Ankle or foot swelling,
  • Bruising,
  • Redness,
  • Numbness or tingling,
  • Burning pain,
  • Inability to bear weight on the affected ankle,
  • Stiffness, and
  • Weakness.
  • pain on the outer side of the ankle
  • instability of the foot
  • Tenderness
  • Difficulty in walking
  • Susceptibility to ankle sprains
  • Difficulty in standing on the foot

Causes

Common medical issues which cause the hip and ankle pains:

  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes
  • Women often wear tight shoes that are narrow and constrictive. Continuous use of high heels.
  • Overuse: The most common cause of tendinitis is overuse, which means that the tendon is overstretched and may be slightly pulled apart or torn. This happens when activities increase, including everything from walking to participating in competitive sports.
  • Abnormal foot structure: Problems such as flat feet or high arches can create muscle imbalances that put pressure on one or more tendons.
  • Trauma: Injury to the foot or ankle can cause tendinitis. This can happen by sudden and powerful actions such as jumping. Another form of trauma is chronic friction on the shoe, which usually occurs at the top of the foot or heel, causing tendinitis in these areas.
  • Medical conditions: Certain diseases that cause general inflammation can cause tendinitis. Inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis, gout and spondyloarthropathy can cause Achilles tendinitis or posterior tendonitis.
  • Flatfeet – This can sometimes contribute to problems in your ankles and knees because the condition can alter the alignment of your legs.
  • Nerve damage such as sciatica.
  • Blocked blood vessels.
  • Ingrown toenails.

Diseases

Bone spurs

Bone spurs are bony projections that develop along bone edges. Bone spurs (osteophytes) often form where bones meet each other — in your joints.

Morton’s neuroma

is a painful condition that affects the ball of your foot, most commonly the area between your third and fourth toes.

Bunions

A bunion is a bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of your big toe. It occurs when some of the bones in the front part of your foot move out of place.

Corns and calluses

they are thick, hardened layers of skin that develop when your skin tries to protect itself against friction and pressure.

Bursitis (joint inflammation)

Bursitis is an inflammation of a small fluid-filled sac, called a bursa, located near a joint, bone or tendon. In the foot, the heel and the toes are most often affected.

Diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage caused by diabetes

Diabetic neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that can occur if you have diabetes. High blood sugar (glucose) can injure nerves throughout your body.

Peripheral neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy refers to the conditions that result when nerves that carry messages to and from the brain and spinal cord from and to the rest of the body are damaged or diseased.

Plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes (plantar fascia).

Plantar warts

Plantar warts are small growths that usually appear on the heels or other weight-bearing areas of your feet.

Psoriatic arthritis

a condition that features red patches of skin topped with silvery scales.

Rheumatoid arthritis (inflammatory joint disease)

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that can affect more than just your joints.

Septic arthritis

Septic arthritis is a painful infection in a joint. The infection can come from germs that travel through your bloodstream from another part of your body.

Gout

(arthritis related to excess uric acid) is a type of arthritis that causes inflammation, usually in one joint, that begins suddenly.

Hammertoe and mallet toe

Hammertoe and mallet toe are foot deformities that occur due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight.

Metatarsalgia

Metatarsalgia is a condition in which the ball of your foot becomes painful and inflamed.

Osteoarthritis (disease causing the breakdown of joints)

Ankle and foot osteoarthritis is the occurrence of osteoarthritis (OA) in the ankle joint. The ankle joint consists of two synovial joints, namely the talocrural joint and the subtalar joint.

Osteomyelitis (a bone infection)

Osteomyelitis is an infection in a bone. Infections can reach a bone by traveling through the bloodstream or spreading from nearby tissue.

Paget’s disease of bone

Paget’s disease of bone interferes with your body’s normal recycling process, in which new bone tissue gradually replaces old bone tissue.

Tumours

Most of tumours of the foot are tumour-like (synovial cyst, foreign body reactions and epidermal inclusion cyst) or benign conditions (tenosynovial giant cells tumours, planta fibromatosis)

Raynaud’s disease

It causes some areas of your body — such as your fingers and toes — to feel numb and cold in response to cold temperatures or stress.

Reactive arthritis

It is joint pain and swelling triggered by an infection.

Retrocalcaneal bursitis

This pain spreads from the bursa located between the Achilles tendon and the heel bone

Haglund’s deformity

Haglund’s deformity is a bony enlargement on the back of the heel. The soft tissue near the Achilles tendon becomes irritated when the bony enlargement rubs against shoes.

Injuries

Achilles

Achilles tendinitis is an overuse injury of the Achilles tendon, the band of tissue that connects calf muscles at the back of the lower leg to your heel bone.

Achilles tendon rupture

Achilles tendon rupture is when the Achilles tendon, at the back of the ankle, breaks. Symptoms include the sudden onset of sharp pain in the heel.

Avulsion fracture

An avulsion fracture is an injury to the bone in a location where a tendon or ligament attaches to the bone. When an avulsion fracture occurs, the tendon or ligament pulls off a piece of the bone.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a compression, or squeezing, on the posterior tibial nerve that produces symptoms anywhere along the path of the nerve running from the inside of the ankle into the foot.

Broken foot

A broken foot is an injury to the bone. Fractures can range from tiny cracks in your bones to breaks that pierce your skin.

Broken toe

A broken toe is a common injury that’s most frequently caused by dropping something on your foot or stubbing your toe.

Stress fractures

Stress fractures are tiny cracks in a bone. They’re caused by repetitive force, often from overuse — such as repeatedly jumping up and down or running long distances.


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