Glossary

Arch - The arch of the foot is the area of the bottom of the foot between the heel pad and toe pad.

Acrokeratosis verruciformis - a hereditary dermatosis characterized by the presence of numerous flat wart-like papules on the dorsal aspect of the hand, foot, elbow, and knee.

Ankle - the part of the leg just above the foot; the joint between the leg and the foot. It is a hinge joint formed by the junction of the tibia and fibula with the talus, or ankle bone. The bones are cushioned by cartilage and connected by a number of ligaments, tendons, and muscles that strengthen the joint and enable it to be moved. Because it is in almost constant use, the ankle is particularly susceptible to injuries, such as sprain and fracture. It is also often one of the first joints to be affected by arthritis or gout.

Ankle clonus - a series of abnormal reflex movements of the foot, induced by sudden dorsiflexion, causing alternate contraction and relaxation of the triceps surae muscle.

Athlete's foot - a fungal infection of the skin of the foot; called also tinea pedis. It causes itching and often blisters and cracks, usually between the toes. Causative agents are Candida albicans, Epidermophyton floccosum, and species of Trichophyton, which thrive on warmth and dampness. If not arrested, it can cause a rash and itching in other parts of the body as well. It is likely to be recurrent, since the fungus survives under the toenails and reappears when conditions are favorable. Although Athlete''s foot is usually little more than an uncomfortable nuisance, its open sores provide excellent sites for more serious infections. Early treatment and health care supervision insure correct diagnosis and prevention of complications. Specific diagnosis is made by microscopic examination or culture of skin scrapings for the fungus.

People call a doctor of podiatry for help diagnosing and treating a wide array of foot and ankle problems. Please contact our office if you experience one of the following:

  • Persistent pain in your feet or ankles.
  • Changes in the nails or skin on your foot.
  • Severe cracking, scaling, or peeling on the heel or foot.
  • Blisters on your feet.

There are signs of bacterial infection, including:

  • Increased pain, swelling, redness, tenderness, or heat.
  • Red streaks extending from the affected area.
  • Discharge or pus from an area on the foot.
  • Foot or ankle symptoms that do not improve after two weeks of treatment with a nonprescription product.
  • Spreading of an infection from one area of the foot to another, such as under the nail bed, skin under the nail, the nail itself, or the surrounding skin.
  • Thickening toenails that cause discomfort.
  • Heel pain accompanied by a fever, redness (sometimes warmth), or numbness.
  • Tingling in the heel; persistent heel pain without putting any weight or pressure on your heel
  • Pain that is not alleviated by ice or over-the-counter painkillers (such as aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen).
  • Diabetics with poor circulation who develop Athlete's Foot.



Sterling and Gaston