THE HUMAN FOOT: Engineering or Art?

Foot_care

Leonardo da Vinci was quoted as saying “The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art”. He wasn’t kidding around considering a human foot contains 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

Because the foot is so intricate, there are so many things that can go awry; a break or fracture in any area can have an effect in another area of the body. In every case, an injury as serious as a fracture will mean the inability to bear any weight. This can be quite painful, offset balance, increase pressure on the opposite leg and joints, and even affect overall mood due to lack of exercise that may ensue. If not addressed quickly, a collapsed bone, severed ligament, or permanent deformity may develop.

In the case of breaks or fractures, foot treatment can be as straightforward as a cast or brace if treated quickly. A digital x-ray will indicate how to proceed. When an MRI is indicated, our office has a digital extremity MRI which means just the foot and ankle are inserted into the machine … no confining tube for your body! If the break is serious or ignored, surgery may be an option to offset the shift in the foot/ankle structure. Stress fractures may require protective footgear for a period of time.

Swelling is a sure sign that medical attention is in order, but it doesn’t always indicate a compromised bone. Swelling of the foot and ankle could be a result of an injury, but may also be caused by a medication, diet, pregnancy, or blood clot. Determining the source of swelling requires a medical diagnosis.

Some of the more common foot conditions we see at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates:

  • Fungal nail infections are hard to treat and unfortunately don’t go away without treatment.
  • Bunions occur at the base of the large toe forcing the toe to migrate toward the smaller ones.
  • Corns and calluses, or thick, hard areas of dead skin, are caused by friction or pressure.
  • Gout is actually a type of arthritis that occurs in the big toe.
  • Athlete’s foot is contagious, usually picked up by going barefoot in damp areas like a locker room.
  • Hammertoes can be painful, generally seen in any of the middle toes when bent at the middle joint. It is often hereditary.
  • Plantar fasciitis is often at the worst case in the morning and is noted with pain across the bottom of the foot.
  • There are more common foot conditions, and fortunately, they are generally correctable.

Our team of physicians at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates handles many types of extremity, joint, and back injuries. While all injuries are to be taken seriously, damage to the foot and ankle musculoskeletal system should be carefully monitored, as these injuries may cause challenges in other parts of the body. If you’ve had an accident and are seeking treatment, contact us today at 941-951-2663 to make an appointment. We have four locations and offer same day appointments when necessary. You may also make an appointment directly through our website at www.SOA.md   Just click on the button at the home page to request an appointment.

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Sources: www.SOA.md and WebMD

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