Glossary

  • Achilles tendonitis
    Achilles tendonitis (usually referred to as Achilles tendinopathy or tendinosis) occurs when there is irritation to the achilles tendon at the back of the ankle. This is a common overuse injury that can lead to small tears within the tendon making it vulnerable to rupture.
  • Arthroscopy
    Arthroscopy is a now common orthopaedic surgical procedure that uses a television camera to see the inside of a joint and perform surgical procedures.
  • Athlete’s foot
    A common fungal infection of the feet.
  • Biomechanical Assessment
    A biomechanical assessment involves professionally assessing and measuring the different motions of the foot, ankle, leg and lower back to determine whether they are functioning and moving correctly together.
  • Bow legs
    Bowlegs is where the legs are curved where the ankles are closer together than the knees and normally occurs in young children usually self correcting by about 3 years of age. Bow legs can also be as the result of a growth abnormality in early childhood. In adults it is generally associated with osteoarthritis.
  • Bunions
    Bunions are a bony protrusion at the base of the big toe caused by the big toe pushing sideways towards the 2nd toe, and can be painful and difficult to fit shoes. A bunion, however, is more complicated than simply a bump on the foot and sufferers should seek advice. A bunionectomy is the surgical procedure when a bunion is removed, this a painful operation with a long recovery period, and may in most instances be avoided or pain reduced with orthotic management.
  • Corns / Callus
    A thickening of the skin which occurs where a bone is rubbing against a hard surface (for example, the big toe rubbing against the side of a shoe). It is a core of hard skin within the skins surface due to excessive direct pin point pressure. A corn is similar to a callus, and can be readily treated by a podiatrist.
  • Dupuytren’s Contracture
    A condition that occurs in both the hands and feet where fibrous nodules grow in the tissue of the hand and the plantar fascia of the foot. These nodules cause puckering of the skin and may interfere with mobility of the hand or foot affected.
  • Flat Foot
    A condition in which the medial arch of the foot is flattened. This can occur in both children and adults and may lead to pain or discomfort in the feet, ankles, knees or hips. Flat foot can often be managed by the use of foot orthoses.
  • Heel spur
    While they are related heel spurs and plantar fasciitis are not the same thing. A heel spur is a hook of bone that can form on the heel bone (calcaneus) and is associated with plantar fasciitis, which is the thickening from the overuse and stress of the plantar fascia–the tissue that forms the arch of the foot.
  • Insole
    A device that is worn inside the shoe which may take the form of padding to increase shoe comfort or may incorporate an orthotic device to support and correct any deformity that may be present in the foot.
  • Ingrown toenail
    An ingrown toenail is when the toenail grows into the surrounding tissue. The irritation from the toenail causes swelling of the tissues, inflammation and pain.
  • Morton’s Neuroma
    A benign growth of a nerve’s sheath between the toes is called Morton’s neuroma. Shooting pains or tingling extending into the toe adjacent to the neuroma is a common symptom. Pain is usually most significant with more strenuous activity and when wearing shoes with a narrow toebox that compress the forefoot.
  • Orthotics
    These are devices that provide support and correct your foot when it may be misaligned or not functioning as it normally would. There are different types of orthotics and to be effective have to be comfortable, and fit well in shoes.
  • Overpronation
    The excessive movement of the foot as it rolls inward on the ankle. This movement may predispose to problems in the ankle or knees hip and back and affect posture.
  • Pes cavus
    A foot with an excessively high arch is said to be a cavus foot, and may involve symptoms such as areas of increased pressure and reduced shock absorption. A pes cavus foot is often related to chronic ankle spraining.
  • Plantar fasciitis
    A common, painful foot condition referring to the inflammation of the band of tissue that runs from the heel along the arch of the foot. May be associated with heel spurs.
  • Posture / Gait Analysis
    Posture analysis assesses the body position and function while standing.. Watching their gait carefully as a person walks / runs can give invaluable information as to where problems may occur.
  • Pronation
    Refers to the ‘normal’ action of the foot as you apply weight through the gait cycle. As the foot strikes the ground a specific series of movements takes place called pronation. Essentially, the heel and ankle roll inwards slightly after the heel strikes the ground, as weight is transferred to the midfoot, and is a necessary part of good gait.
  • Quinti varus deformity
    This occurs when the little toe overlaps the adjacent toes.
  • Ricketts
    This is condition caused by malnutrition which may include symptoms such as bow legs
  • Sever’s disease
    Mostly occurs in the growth plate at the back of the heel bone in active teenagers. This condition does not occur when the heel bone fully develops and is fused. Sufferers of Severs experience pain in one or both of their heels when walking, running or playing sport. It is commonly very painful after rest or in the morning, causing severe limping until the area has warmed up. It is most common with growing adolescents between 9 and 14 years of age.
  • Shin-Splints
    A generic term for exercise related pain in the lower leg, this may relate to symptoms including stress fractures of the tibia, and increases pressure inside the muscular compartments of the leg as well as muscle soreness at the attachment to the shin bone amongst many other symptoms.
  • Stress Fractures
    A overuse injury manifesting as microfractures in the shaft of bones, leading to bone weakness and an increased risk of complete fractures.
  • Tibia
    The large bone that runs down the front of the lower leg, the tibial tubercle is the bony area just below the knee.

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