The foot and ankle specialist treats various conditions from fractures and sports injuries to neurological problems. This field of medicine typically requires a fellowship in a concentration such as orthopedics or podiatry after completing medical school and residency. People with foot and ankle injuries or conditions may need to see one of many different types of practitioners. However, Dr. Visoth Chan, a specialist in foot and ankle conditions, has the training and expertise needed to make an accurate diagnosis regardless of your situation. Here are some of the most common conditions that may require a visit to a foot and ankle specialist.

1. Bunions

A bunion is a deformity of the big toe joint in which it deviates toward the other toes. Bunions are caused by an inherited weakness in the foot structure combined with shoes that crowd the toes. This pressure causes tissues to grow outside of the joint, deforming the toe and creating what has come to be known as a bunion. A bunion can become red, inflamed, and very painful if left untreated.

2. Hammertoes

A hammertoe is an abnormal bending of the toe in which it resembles a claw or hammer shape. Although shoes that are too narrow or those with high heels usually contribute to the development of this condition, it may also develop in people who habitually wear shoes without adequate foot support. Hammertoe is characterized by burning, cramping, or sharp pain, severe enough to restrict walking or other daily activities.

3. Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus is a common condition that causes the toenails to become discolored, develop pits or spots, and crumble at the edges. This condition affects people of every age group, but it most often occurs in older individuals or those with diabetes. Keeping nails short will help prevent this situation from worsening by avoiding rubbing against the skin and allowing for moisture to accumulate under the nails.

4. Diabetic Foot Disease

It’s no secret that diabetes is a severe disease, and if left untreated, it can cause damage to almost every body system. However, this illness also can affect the feet leading to ulcers, sores, and infection, which can potentially lead to amputation of the foot or leg following severe cases. Reasonable blood sugar control and proper care of the feet, including keeping them dry and free of injury, are paramount to preventing this from occurring.

5. Warts

Warts are benign growths on the skin caused by a virus known as the human papillomavirus (HPV). Warts are widespread. Those that appear on the bottom of the foot or toes are usually caused by HPV 16. This condition is easily spread through activities such as walking barefoot in public places such as swimming pools, gyms, and locker rooms.

Foot and ankle specialists treat various conditions, such as fractures, sports injuries, and neurological problems. However, many people visit a foot and ankle specialist due to specific conditions such as bunions and hammertoes. Diabetic foot disease, toenail fungus, and warts are common reasons people visit foot and ankle specialists.