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Foot Condition Glossary

Ankle Valgus  - a condition where the ankles roll in, compromising the stability and alignment of the body. Failure to treat ankle valgus can lead to chronic ankle instability including frequent sprains and progressive weakening of the ligaments.

Ankle Varus - a condition where the ankles roll out, compromising the stability and alignment of the body. Failure to treat ankle valgus can lead to chronic ankle instability including frequent sprains and progressive weakening of the ligaments.

Arthritis - refers to the inflammation of a joint resulting from any cause. Pain and swelling can ensue (particularly in the feet), which creates limited movement and mobility.

Blisters - a blister is a small bubble on the skin filled with serum and is caused by friction, burning, or other damage.

Blood Sugar - blood sugar or blood glucose is the amount of glucose or sugar present in the blood. The body naturally regulates blood glucose levels as a part of metabolic homeostasis.

Bunion - bunions are a deformity typically found on the big toe, described as an enlargement of tissue or bone around the joint.

Callus (Tyloma) - calluses are areas of thickened skin in response to excessive, repeated shear or friction forces, commonly due to constant rubbing of the skin.

Corn - corns are thickenings of the skin composed of keratin that are typically found on the toes caused by repeated friction or pressure to the area. The base of the corn is seen on the surface of the skin while the top points inward, causing discomfort.

Diabetic Foot - a foot affected by ulceration that is associated with neuropathy or peripheral arterial disease of the lower limb and is one of the most devastating complications of diabetes

Diabetic Neuropathy - generally referred to as peripheral neuropathy, is a collection of disorders that occurs when nerves of the peripheral nervous system (nervous system outside of the brain and spinal cord) are damaged, causing pain and numbness typically to the feet and hands. Neuropathy can result from traumatic injuries, infections, metabolic disorders and exposure to toxins, but the most common cause is diabetes.

Diabetic Ulcers - an open sore or wound that occurs in approximately 15 percent of patients with diabetes and is commonly located on the bottom of the foot. Of those who develop a foot ulcer, 6 percent will be hospitalized due to infection or other ulcer-related complication.

Diabetes - diabetes is a syndrome in which the patient suffers from absence or shortage of the pancreatic hormone insulin. This deficiency disrupts the vascular system, affecting the eyes, kidneys, legs, and other extremities including the feet. Diabetic foot problems arise from poor circulation that causes hyposensitivity (a lack of feeling).

Diabetes Type 1 - Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes, is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin, a hormone needed to allow sugar (glucose) to enter cells to produce energy.  Symptoms most frequently associated with type 1 diabetes include: Increased thirst and frequent urination, extreme hunger, weight loss, fatigue, and blurred vision.

Diabetes Type 2 - Type 2 diabetes, also known as adult-onset diabetes, is a chronic condition that affects the way your body metabolizes sugar (glucose), your body's important source of fuel.  With type 2 diabetes, your body either resists the effects of insulin, a hormone that regulates the movement of sugar into your cells, or it doesn't produce enough insulin to maintain a normal glucose level. Increased thirst and frequent urination, increased hunger, weight loss, fatigue, blurred vision, Slow-healing sores or frequent infections, and areas of darkened skin are all symptoms of Type 2 diabetes. Factors contributing to Type 2 diabetes are believed to include genetics and environmental factors, such as excess weight and inactivity.

Edema -  is the medical term for swelling.  Edema is an accu of fluid beneath the skin or in cavities of the body. Common symptoms include swelling of the legs and the amount of swelling is dependent on the secretion or removal of fluid.

Foot Trauma - resulting damage caused by injury to any part of the foot. Injuries can leave feet with misaligned bones, hammertoes, swelling, pain and many other conditions.

Foot Ulcers - a breakdown in the skin that may extend to involve the subcutaneous tissue or even to the level of muscle or bone.  Approximately 15% of persons with diabetes will develop foot ulceration during their lifetime.  Most lower extremity amputations in the United States are preceded by a foot ulcer.

Gestational Diabetes - a condition in which women that were not previously diagnosed with diabetes exhibit high blood glucose levels during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes is caused when the insulin receptors do not function properly due to increased hormone levels.

Hammertoes - a contracture (bending) off the second, third, fourth or fifth toes causing the middle joint of the toe to bend and become stuck in this position.

Heel Pain - heel pain is caused by a variety of reasons such as lack of support, cushioning and Plantar Fasciitis. Insoles, orthotics or shoe inserts along with added depth shoes can help alleviate heel pain.

Insulin - a hormone produced in the pancreas hat regulates the amount of glucose in the blood. The lack of insulin causes a form of diabetes.

Metatarsalgia - a pain and/or inflammation in the ball of the foot.

Morton's Neuroma - a pain and/or inflammation in the ball of the foot which may also be associated with a numbness in the toe.

Pes Cavus - a condition in which the foot has a very high arch. Because of this high arch, an excessive amount of weight is placed on the ball and heel of the foot when walking or standing..

Pes Planus - also called flat feet or fallen arches, it is a medical condition where the arch of the foot collapses with the entire sole of the foot coming into complete or nearly complete contact with the ground.

Plantar Fasciitis - is the most common cause of foot pain and discomfort.  It is a painful inflammation of the plantar fascia or connective tissue on the sole of the foot.  It occurs when the thick band of tissue on the bottom of the foot is overstretched or overused.

Peripheral Artery Disease - a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to your limbs.

Peripheral Vascular Disease-  the disease of any blood vessel that is not part of the heart or brain. 

Pronation - the inward roll of the foot while walking or running.