Foot & Ankle

Foot & Ankle Services

Arthritis

Your feet contain almost a quarter of all the bones in your body. That means there are many places where painful arthritis can strike. Our 5-star-rated podiatrists can help you alleviate or even eliminate the arthritic discomfort in your ankle or foot. In addition, if your foot or ankle has been injured by ongoing arthritis, we may be able to help correct the damage and get you back to a more active lifestyle.


Bunions

Hallux valgus is the medical term for a bunion deformity involving the large big toe joint. In the simplest terms, a bunion is a partial dislocation of the joint at the base of the big toe. In the most advanced cases, it may even be a complete dislocation. As the big toe progressively dislocates toward the smaller toes, the head of the 1st metatarsal becomes more prominent; eventually, it can become painful. Despite what a bunion looks like, it is not an abnormal growth of bone or a tumor. The gradual dislocation of the joint causes abnormal function, and as the big toe goes in one direction, the first metatarsal head goes in the opposite direction and becomes prominent. Any joint in the body that is partially or completely dislocated cannot function normally until it is corrected.


Corns/Calluses

Corns and calluses are your body’s way of protecting you from blisters or open sores. Your body builds up hard, dead skin to thicken and toughen an area wherever there is increased pressure or friction. The most common place that calluses develop is on the ball of the foot. Corns, on the other hand, are most commonly found on top of or between the toes, especially the fourth and fifth toes. When the corn or callus becomes too thickened, increased pain and redness may result. Corns and calluses can develop in any age group.


Cosmetic Foot Surgery

Aesthetic foot surgery can be performed strictly for cosmetic reasons, but the benefit is twofold. Besides an increase in the attractiveness of the foot, function is generally improved and/or restored. Conservative care should be considered, but often is impractical and temporary with aesthetic surgery being the best definitive option.


Custom Orthotics

Custom orthotics are specially-made devices designed to support and comfort your feet. Prescription orthotics are crafted for you and no one else. They match the contours of your feet precisely and are designed for the way you move.


Hammertoe/Claw Toe

The most common toe deformities are hammer toes, claw toes, and bone spurs. These involve the lesser toes (2nd through 5th toes). In a hammer toe, the toe is bent at the middle knuckle of the toe, while in a claw toe the toe is bent at both the middle knuckle and tip of the toe. A bone spur can occur anywhere on the toes but most commonly affects the 4th and 5th toes. Each of the deformities can create corns on the toes, and in more severe cases redness, swelling, and even an open sore can develop. It is important to note that the corns are not a skin problem! They develop because the skin is being crushed and irritated between the bones in your toes and your shoe.


Heel Pain

Heel pain is most often caused by plantar fasciitis, a condition that is sometimes also called heel spur syndrome if a spur is also present. Heel pain may also be due to other causes, such as a stress fracture, tendonitis, arthritis, nerve irritation, or a cyst.

Because there are several potential causes, it is important to have heel pain properly diagnosed. A foot and ankle doctor is able to distinguish between all the possibilities and determine the underlying source of your heel pain.


Ingrown Toenail

This condition occurs when the toenail cuts into the surrounding skin. This may be due to a congenital curving of the nail, improper trimming, high heeled shoes, too narrow shoes, or toe deformities such as a bunion or overlapping toes that cause increased pressure on neighboring toes.

Changes in the nail due to previous trauma or fungus in the nail may also contribute to ingrown nails. The most common site for ingrown nails is the big toe.


Neuromas

A neuroma (Morton’s neuroma) is a condition that arises from irritation of a nerve resulting in inflammation of the nerve sheath, or covering, and the possible formation of scar tissue around the nerve. It is a benign condition that occurs most commonly in the small nerve that runs between the metatarsal bones in the ball of the foot and into the third and fourth toes. Irritation to the nerve can result from improper shoes (too narrow, high heels), injury, or a mechanical abnormality of the foot.


Pediatric & Foot Care

Our Chicago pediatric podiatrists have significant experience treating a variety of foot and ankle conditions that arise while children and teenagers are still growing and physically developing. Whether your child needs help with a one-time injury or an ongoing concern, we can provide expert care while ensuring that your child feels comfortable and relaxed throughout the treatment process. Read further to learn more about some common ways that we frequently help our pediatric foot and ankle patients.


Foot/Ankle Injuries

From the repeated pounding that runners’ feet receive on paved surfaces to the side-to-side motion seen in court sports, there’s no question that athletes’ feet and ankles are prime candidates for injuries.


Toenail Fungus

A fungus is an organism that thrives in warm moist areas. Toenail fungus is a common problem that can affect people of all ages, although it most commonly affects individuals who are older.

Toenail fungus often begins as an infection in the skin called tinea pedis (also known as athlete’s foot). The fungus often starts under the nail fold at the end of the nail. Over time it grows underneath the nail and causes changes to its appearance, such as a yellow or brownish discoloration. It can also cause thickening and deformity of the toenail.