When it comes to our toes, there seems to always be a focus on our big toe and the pain and deformities associated with it. But did you know that many people suffer from pain and deformities of their lesser toes, the little toes?
At the end of each toe is an attachment site for the ligaments and tendons. These ligaments and tendons, when contracted, flex and curl the toes under. While standing and walking, our toe tendons provide us with extra stability for balance and allow us to properly toe off, thus propelling us forward.
So, what is the difference between claw, hammer and mallet toes?
If you have been following along with the CFL and getting ready to watch the Grey Cup, you will have heard many times now about a few of the athletes unable to play because of a Lisfranc joint strain and not being able to bear much weight on their foot restricting them from playing and being on the injured list. One thing that the reporters are explaining to the viewers is:
What is a Lisfranc joint strain??
This past summer the Pedorthic Association of Canada has been working diligently on increasing their exposure in social media. Many videos were developed to create awareness and increase education to the public on our roles as Canadian Certified Pedorthist. I had the opportunity to create a video answering the question: What is Metatarsalgia?
Watch to learn more!
When some people experience pain at the ball of the foot, depending on where the pain is, it can either be sesamoiditis or metatarsalgia. Though many think they are one in the same thing. The difference between the two is the mechanism of injury and the location of the pan. For this blog, I will be focusing on sesamoiditis but to understand the difference, please read about metatarsalgia.
On occasion I have parents bring in their child, under 3 years of age, in for an assessment because they notice their feet and legs not lined up properly. The parent is scared that their child will have a permanent deformity of the lower limb as they continue to grow. In some cases a child may have a rotational or angular abnormality and a proper assessment is needed to rule out any lower limb deformity and abnormality.
If anyone has ever experienced a calcaneal fracture, they know that it is extremely difficult to heal this type of fracture completely in an adequate amount of time. Weight bearing is essential to our everyday living and because we cannot fully offload a calcaneal fracture, even when wearing an air cast, the healing process can be very long.
A calcaneal fracture can occur in many ways:
Hallux rigidus is a condition of the big toe joint (1st metatarso-phalangeal (MTP) joint) where the articular cartilage begins to degenerate and form osteophytes (bone spurs along joint margins). When this occurs, a stiffening of the joint is the end result. Visibly the joint will often become enlarged and painful with movement. In its later stages of development, pain may be experienced along the lateral boarder (outside edge) of the foot due to trying to unload the 1st MTP joint. There may also be an uneven wear pattern in the upper of the shoe with oblique creasing signifying a lateral toe-off pattern.
In my clinics I don’t often see many individuals with a drop foot but it is a common lower limb condition. Drop foot is described as a dysfunction of the anterior compartment muscles that result in the inability to effectively dorsiflex the foot. The primary cause of this dysfunction is through pathology to the common peroneal nerve (CPN), which innervates the tibialis anterior as well as the lateral and anterior compartments. The CPN originates from the L4-L5 spinal nerve roots with the sciatic nerve then branches off just proximal to the knee. If the sciatic nerve is compressed or invaded in the lumbo-sacral nerve trunk or L4-L5 root areas may cause weakness to the anterior compartment muscles.
Our big toes (hallux) play a very large role in the way that we walk. During our later stage of gait, we use our toes to push off so that we can propel forward and transfer our body weight from one leg to the other. But, many problems can arise from such a small restriction of one joint. When there is a limited range of motion in our 1st MTP joint (our big toe), problems can arise leading to abnormal forefoot plantar pressures, pain and difficulty walking.
As a certified pedorthist, because I am working very closely to an area of the body that is trapped inside of a warm, moist environment for most of the day, our feet are prone to many types of fungus. While I am in clinic completing assessment after assessment or adjusting a pair of existing custom made foot orthotics that have been in a pair of shoes for a prolonged period of time, I am always thinking about coming in contact with various types of foot fungus. So, as a clinician seeing many pairs of feet a day, I make sure that I am always wearing a pair of gloves to help protect myself from these fungus. During my time as a certified pedorthist, I have come across a few foot fungus, that I thought needed to be addressed because not many people know how to treat them when they have a fungus on their feet.
The three common types of foot fungus are: