How many bones are in you feet?
Your feet consist of 52 bones, 66 joints, 214 ligaments, and 38 muscles. They account for approximately one-quarter of all the bones in your body.
Can serious medical problems first show up in the feet?
Your feet can mirror your general health. Conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, nerve and circulatory disorders can show initial symptoms in the feet. For example, swelling of the lower legs and pigmentation in the nail can be a sign of certain cardiovascular problems.
Do broken toes need medical attention? Yes. Prompt medical attention can prevent improper bone healing.
What are orthotics?
Orthotics are custom-made sneaker inserts that function to prevent excessive joint motion. Excessive joint motion and abnormal function is thought to help cause bunion deformity, hammertoe deformity, plantar fasciitis, and arthritis. Orthotics encourage the foot muscles and tendons to perform more efficiently. Are people born with foot problems or do they develop later?
The American Podiatric Medical Association estimates that only a small percentage of foot problems are genetic. Foot problems often develop because of neglect and poor understanding of proper foot function. However, people are born with a particular foot type (high arch, flat feet) that make them more likely to develop particular foot problems over time.
Do women have more foot problems than men?
Women have approximately four times as many foot problems as men. Wearing the wrong shoes (high heels) does not necessarily cause foot problems. They can, however, aggravate pre-existing conditions.
How many people suffer from foot problems?
Studies show that 75% of the population will experience foot problems at some point in their lives.
It is a common misconception that only older people have foot problems. Dr. Levenstien treats children and teenagers. All too often, children have structural imbalances of the feet that go unrecognized. These imbalances generally lead to common foot problems that are seen in adulthood. Such problems include: bunion deformity, hammertoe deformity, heel pain (Plantar Fasciitis), flat feet, and arthritis. These conditions can be treated early in life, making it less likely that they will develop when the child becomes an adult. Parents should pay attention to the way in which their children walk. Parents may notice that their children tend to walk with their “toes pointed inward” (Internal Tibial Torsion, Metatarsus Adductus), or that their children’s feet appear “flat” (Pes Planus). Active children and teenagers tend to complain of heel pain (Achilles Tendonitis, Osteochondrosis). Those children who take part in school sports are more likely to encounter foot and ankle sprains, fractured bones, and turf toe. Runners and sprinters may notice pain on the bottom of the heel, discomfort in the shins (Shin Splints), and pain in the arches. Children may notice dark lesions on the bottom of the foot (Warts), or painful ingrown toenails. It is not uncommon for them to step down upon a foreign object and develop an infection.
Dr. Levenstien treats adults. Throughout adulthood, a host of foot pathology generally goes untreated. Both men and women are likely to notice Bunion Deformities and curling of the toes (Hammertoe Deformity). These conditions begin early in adulthood and they tend to get worse with time. Bunion deformities are generally best treated from early to middle stages of adulthood. Women who wear elevated shoes more commonly complain of “pins and needles pain” in the foot and often state that they feel as if they are “stepping upon a pebble” (Morton's Neuroma), Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome). They tend to complain of “bump pain” in the back of the heel (Haglund’s Deformity). A high percentage of adults often complain of pain in the heel upon the first step in the morning (Plantar Fasciitis). Some adults will complain of pain in the ankle, and notice that they have trouble “standing upon their tiptoes” (Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction). Men over the age of 40 may complain of sharp pain and swelling of the big toe or the ankle (Gout). Many adults may notice skin abnormalities (Dermatitis), change color of their toenail (Nail Fungus), or ingrown corners of the nail (Ingrown Toenail).
Dr. Levenstien treats seniors. Senior citizens may complain of “stiffness in the joints” (Arthritis). They tend to be concerned about ambulating comfortably. They may notice lesions on their skin that are aggravated by their shoe gear. Seniors may complain of painful foot deformities that were left untreated when they were younger. Circulatory impairment (Atherosclerosis), degenerative joint disease, and abnormal skin lesions are common findings. With proper treatment, seniors may enjoy many years of pain free walking. It is recommended that individuals with Diabetes Mellitus should have the feet examined. Diabetic patients are at high risk for developing Peripheral Vascular Disease, Peripheral Neuropathy, Ulcers, and Infections.