The NEXT STEP in Orthotics Design for the Entire Family!


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Achilles Tendonitis
The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the human body and can withstand forces of 1,000 pounds or more. But it also the most frequently ruptured tendon.

Both professional and weekend athletes can suffer from Achilles tendonitis, a common overuse injury and inflammation of the tendon.

  • Events that can cause Achilles tendonitis may include: 
    Hill running or stair climbing.
  • Overuse resulting from the natural lack of flexibility in the calf muscles.
  • Rapidly increasing mileage or speed.
  • Starting up too quickly after a layoff.
  • Trauma caused by sudden and/or hard contraction of the calf muscles when putting out extra effort such as in a final sprint.
  • Achilles tendonitis often begins with mild pain after exercise or running that gradually worsens. Other symptoms include: 
    Recurring localized pain, sometimes severe, along the tendon during or a few hours after running.
  • Morning tenderness about an inch and a half above the point where the Achilles tendon is attached to the heel bone.
  • Sluggishness in your leg.
  • Mild or severe swelling.
  • Stiffness that generally diminishes as the tendon warms up with use.

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

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.

An inflammation of a traction epiphysis (growth plate). Calcaneal apophysitis is the most common and is seen in the back of the heel of children between the ages of 8 and 12.

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.



Babinski Reflex
A reflex action of the toes, normal during infancy but abnormal after 12 to 18 months of age, or when locomotion begins; after this, it is indicative of abnormalities in the motor control pathways leading from the cerebral cortex and is widely used as a diagnostic aid in disorders of the central nervous system. It is elicited by a firm stimulus (usually scraping) on the sole of the foot, which results in dorsiflexion of the great toe and fanning of the smaller toes. Normally such a stimulus causes all the toes to bend downward. Called also Babinski's sign. 

an abnormal prominence on the inner aspect of the first metatarsal head, with bursal formation, and resulting in lateral or valgus displacement of the great toe. Bunions can be caused by congenital malformation of the bony structure of the foot or by joint disease such as rheumatoid arthritis and are aggravated by wearing high-heeled shoes with pointed toes. When the shoes do not fit properly they force the great toe toward the outer side of the foot. The result is continued pressure on the joint where the great toe articulates with the first metatarsal head. Chronic irritation causes a build-up of soft tissue and underlying bone in the area. Symptoms are swelling, redness, and pain. Mild cases can be relieved by changing to properly fitting shoes. If there is severe pain making ambulation difficult or impossible, anti-inflammatory agents may be effective. Surgical correction (bunionectomy) is indicated when all other measures fail. 

A tissue space (fibrous sac) that is lined with synovial membrane (joint tissue) and contains a small quantity of synovial fluid (joint fluid). Bursas are found in between tendon and bone, skin and bone and muscles. They function to facilitate fluid movement. 

Inflammation of a bursa, occasionally accompanied by a calcific deposit.



In humans, the calcaneus is the largest of the tarsal bones and the largest bone of the foot. In it, several important structures can be distinguished.

glossary index

A callus is an area of hard, thickened skin that can occur across the ball of the foot, on the heel, or on the outer side of the big toe. While many consider them a skin problem, they actually are systemic of a problem with the bone.

Calluses have painful nerves and bursal sacs (fluid-filled balloons that act as shock absorbers) beneath them, causing symptoms ranging from sharp, shooting pain to dull, aching soreness.

Calluses form from repeated friction and pressure, as the shoe (or ground) rubs against a bony prominence (bone spur) on the toe or foot. The skin thickens in response to this pressure. Small amounts of friction or pressure over long periods of time cause a corn or callus. A great deal of friction or pressure over shorter periods of time can cause blisters or open sores. Calluses typically develop under a metatarsal head (the long bone that forms the ball of the foot) that is carrying more than its fair share of the body weight, usually due to it being dropped down or due to its longer length.

The hindmost part of the foot; the heel.

Affecting the wrist and foot.

A burning pain often associated with trophic skin changes in the hand or foot, caused by peripheral nerve injury. The syndrome may be aggravated by the slightest stimuli or it may be intensified by the emotions. Causalgia usually begins several weeks after the initial injury and the pain is described as intense, with patients sometimes taking elaborate precautions to avoid any stimulus they know to be capable of causing a flare-up of symptoms. They often will go to great extremes to protect the affected limb and become preoccupied with such protection. Any one of a variety of injuries to the hand, foot, arm, or leg can lead to causalgia, but in most cases there has been some injury to the median or the sciatic nerve. Injections of a local anesthetic at the painful site may bring relief. Sympathectomy may be necessary to eliminate the severe pain, and in the majority of cases it is quite successful. Psychotherapy may be necessary when emotional instability is suspected. Emotional problems may have been present before the initial injury, or they may result from the intense suffering characteristic of severe causalgia.

Chopart's amputation
amputation of the foot, with the calcaneus, talus, and other parts of the tarsus being retained.

Claw Toe
Normally is caused by nerve damage from diseases like diabetes or alcoholism, which can weaken tour foot muscles. Having claw toe means your toes "claw," digging down into the soles of your shoes and creating painful calluses. Claw toe gets worse without treatment and may become a permanent deformity over time.Common symptoms include: 
Toes bent upward (extension) from the joints at the ball of the foot.Toes bent downward (flexion) at the middle joints toward the sole of your shoe.Corns on the top of the toe or under the ball of the foot.

Deformity in which the foot is twisted out of normal position; called also talipes. The foot may have an abnormally high longitudinal arch (talipes cavus) or it may be in dorsiflexion (talipes calcaneus) or plantar flexion (talipes equinus), abducted, everted (talipes valgus), adducted, inverted (talipes varus), or various combinations of these (talipes calcaneovalgus, talipes calcaneovarus, talipes equinovalgus, or talipes equinovarus). There are several theories as to the cause of clubfoot. A familial tendency or arrested growth during fetal life may contribute to its development, or it may be caused by a defect in the ovum. It sometimes accompanies meningomyelocele as a result of paralysis. In mild clubfoot there are slight changes in the structure of the foot; more severe cases involve orthopedic deformities of both the foot and leg. Although clubfoot is usually congenital, an occasional case in an older child may be caused by injury or poliomyelitis.


Calluses that form on the toes because the bones push up against the shoe and put pressure on the skin. The surface layer of the skin thickens and builds up, irritating the tissues underneath. Hard corns are usually located on the top of the toe or on the side of the small toe. Soft corns resemble open sores and develop between the toes as they rub against each other.

Cristae cutis
Ridges of the skin produced by the projecting papillae of the corium on the palm of the hand and sole of the foot, producing a fingerprint and footprint characteristic of the individual; called also dermal ridges.


Swelling of the lower leg and foot, covering all but the sole of the foot.

Wedge-shaped bone; applied particularly to three of the bones in the tarsus of the foot.




Dermal ridges
Ridges of the skin produced by the projecting papillae of the corium on the palm of the hand and sole of the foot, producing a fingerprint and footprint characteristic of the individual; called also dermal ridges.

The preferential use, in voluntary motor acts, of the right member of the major paired organs of the body, as the right eye, hand, or foot.

The presence of only two digits on a hand or foot.

Digital ray
A digit of the hand or foot and corresponding metacarpal or metatarsal bone, regarded as a continuous unit.

Distal Phalanges
This isthe medical term used to describe the bones at the end of each of your toes.

Dorsalis pedis pulse
The pulse felt on the top of the foot, between the first and second metatarsal bones. In 8 to 10 per cent of the population this pulse cannot be detected

Dysplasia (Epiphysealis Hemimelica)
Dysplasia is a disorder affecting the bone joints. It is characterized by overgrowth of the cartilage on the end of one or more of the long bones (carpal or tarsal bones) in the hand or foot. Less often, the cartilage on other bones such as those in the ankle, knee or hip joint can be affected. Usually only one limb is involved. The limbs may be unequal in length.



A genus of fungi. E. floccosum attacks both skin and nails but not hair, and is one of the causative organisms of tinea cruris, tinea pedis (Athlete's foot), and onychomycosis.

Secondary growth center of the metatarsals and phalanges.

A name applied to redness of the skin produced by congestion of the capillaries, which may result from a variety of causes.

Erythema Nodosum
A disorder characterized by the formation of tender, red nodules on the front of the legs. Erythema nodosum primarily affects women and has been associated with certain infections: coccidiomycosis, fungal infections, tuberculosis, hepatitis B and syphilis.

A non cancerous growth on the surface of a bone, usually with a cartilage cap, that is due to long-term irritation as a result of osteoarthritis, infections, or trauma.



A firm, benign, nodular, clearly circumscribed and palpable mass of fibrous connective tissue.

A condition in which one or more arches of the foot have flattened out.

A break in bone or cartilage. Although usually the result of trauma, a fracture can be caused by an acquired disease of bone such as osteoporosis or by abnormal formation of bone in a disease such as osteogenesis imperfecta ("brittle bone disease").

A contracture deformity associated with bed rest and immobility, resulting in the inability to place the heel on the ground. 2. dropping of the foot from paralysis of the anterior muscles of the leg.

The front part of the foot.


Damage to tissues from freezing due to the formation of ice crystals within cells, rupturing the cells and leading to cell death. Frostbite goes through several stages:

First degree injury: When only the surface skin is frozen, the injury is called frostnip. Frostnip begins with itching and pain. The skin then blanches and eventually the area becomes numb.

Frostnip generally does not lead to permanent damage because only the top layers of skin are involved. However, frostnip can lead to long-term sensitivity to heat and cold.

Second degree injury: If freezing continues, the skin may become frozen and hard while the deep tissues are spared and remain soft and normal.

This type of injury generally blisters 1-2 days after freezing. The blisters may become hard and blackened. However, they usually look worse than they are. Most of these injuries heal over 3-4 weeks. although, again, the area may remain permanently sensitive to heat and cold.

Third and fourth degree injuries: If further freezing continues, deep frostbite occurs. All of the muscles, tendons, blood vessels, and nerves freeze. The extremity is hard, feels woody, and use is lost temporarily, and in severe cases, permanently. The involved area appears deep purple or red with blisters that are usually filled with blood. This type of severe frostbite may result in the loss of fingers and toes.

It can take several months to determine how much damage has actually been done by the freezing process. For this reason, surgery to remove tissue that is not capable of surviving is frequently delayed. 
Prevention: The best way to prevent frostbite is to dress warmly and move indoors once your fingers or toes begin to feel cold. Always keep your hands and feet dry and your ears covered.

A general term for a group of eukaryotic organisms (mushrooms, yeasts, molds, etc.) marked by the absence of chlorophyll, the presence of a rigid cell wall in some stage of the life cycle, and reproduction by means of spores. Fungi are present in the soil, air, and water, but only a few species can cause disease. Among the fungal diseases (mycoses) are "histoplasmosis, coccidioidomycosis, ringworm, histoplasmosis, coccidioidomycosis, ringworm, Athlete's foot, and thrush. Although the fungal diseases develop slowly, are difficult to diagnose, and are resistant to treatment, they are rarely fatal except for systemic mycotic infections, which can be life-threatening, especially for immunocompromised patients.



Gait analysis
Evaluation of the manner or style of walking, usually done by observing the individual as he walks naturally in a straight line.

Circumscribed subcutaneous herniations of tendon sheaths or joint capsules and contain a clear jelly-like fluid.

Necrosis of tissue due to failure of blood supply followed by infection and decomposition of dead tissue.

Condition characterized by abnormally elevated levels of uric acid in the blood, recurring attacks of joint inflammation (arthritis), deposits of hard lumps of uric acid in and around the joints, and decreased kidney function and kidney stones. Uric acid is a breakdown product of purines, that are part of many foods we eat. The tendency to develop gout and elevated blood uric acid level (hyperuricemia) is often inherited and can be promoted by obesity, weight gain, alcohol intake, high blood pressure, abnormal kidney function, and drugs. The most reliable diagnostic test for gout is the identification of crystals in joints, 
body fluids and tissues.



Haglund's Deformity
Haglund Deformity (also known as "pump bump" or "retrocalcaneal bursitis") is a painful enlargement of the back of the heel bone that becomes irritated by shoes.It normally appears as a red, painful, and swollen area in the back of the heel bone. Women tend to develop the condition more than men because of the irritation from rigid heel counters of shoes rubbing up and down on the back of the heel bone.

This is the medical term for the big toe.

Hallux Limitus
A condition that results in stiffness of the big toe joint. Hallux Limitus is normally caused by an abnormal alignment of the long bone behind the big toe joint called the first metatarsal bone. Left untreated, Hallux Limitus can cause other joint problems, calluses, and diabetic foot ulcers. Painful bone spurs also can develop on the top of the big toe joint.

Hallux Rigidis (rigid big toe)
When you have a stiff big toe, walking can become painful and difficult. An unmovable big toe (Hallux Rigidus) often is the most common form of arthritis in your foot, according to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.

"Wear-and-tear" injuries also can wear down the articular cartilage, causing raw bone ends to rub together. A bone spur, or overgrowth, may develop on the top of the bone. This overgrowth can prevent the toe from bending as much as it needs to when you walk.

Symptoms may include: 
Pain in the joint when you are active, especially as you push-off on the toes when you walk. 
Swelling around the joint. 
A bump, like a bunion or callus, that develops on the top of the foot. 
Stiffness in the big toe and an inability to bend it up or down.

Hallux valgus
Anlation of the great toe toward the other toes of the foot.

Hallux varus
Angulation of the great toe away from the other toes of the foot. Hallux Varus is a condition in which the big toe points away from the second toe. It often is one complication from bunion surgery. The condition has been linked to a number of other causes, including congenital deformity, tight or short tendons, and trauma or injury.

A deformity of the second, third or fourth toes. In this condition, the toe is bent at the middle joint, resembling a hammer.

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease
A mild, highly infectious viral disease of children, with vesicular lesions in the mouth and on the hands and feet.


The hindmost part of the foot; called also calx. By extension, a part comparable to the heel of the foot, or the hindmost portion of an elongate structure.

Hey's amputation
Amputation of the foot between the tarsus and metatarsus.

The posterior portion of the foot, comprising the region of the talus and calcaneus.

The presence of supernumerary digits on the hand or foot.

An autosomal dominant skin disorder, usually occurring in the third or fourth decade of life, characterized by pink or reddish or yellowish brown hyperkeratotic scaly papules on the lower leg and dorsum of the foot, sometimes involving the trunk, thigh, arm, back and palm of the hand, and sole of the foot.

More commonly known as excessive Pronation – too much ‘rolling in’ of your feet when you are walking or running.

Less than the usual number of digits on the hand or foot.



Immersion foot
A condition resembling trench foot occurring in persons who have spent long periods in water.

The dorsal part of the arch of the foot.

Intermittent double-step gait
A hemiplegic gait in which there is a pause after the short step of the normal foot, or in some cases after the step of the affected foot.

Intoeing is a condition caused by curving inward of the feet when walking or running. Young children normally outgrow this condition without special shoes





A localized horny overgrowth of the upper layer of skin such as a callus or wart. Among the common forms of keratosis are actinic keratosis and senile keratosis.

A scar that doesn't know when to stop. When the skin is injured, cells grow back to fill in the gap. Somehow, they normally "know" when the scar tissue is level with the skin, at which point the cells stop multiplying. When the cells keep on reproducing, the result is a what is called a overgrown (hypertrophic) scar or a keloid. The result is a keloid -- a tough heaped-up scar that rises quite abruptly above the rest of the skin. It is irregularly shaped and tends to enlarge progressively.

In other words, keloids are due to an excessive response to trauma such as a cut to the skin. In creating a normal scar, connective tissue in the skin is repaired by the formation of collagen. This occurs in the dermis (the layer of skin just below the epidermis, the outer layer of skin). Keloids arise when there is too much collagen formed in the dermis during the repair of connective tissue.

To develop keloids, a person must be susceptible to keloid formation. This susceptibility is clearly genetic. For instance, keloids are known to have occurred in 5 successive generations within a single family.

People of African or Asian descent are more likely to get keloids than people with lighter skin. These peoples tend to have keloid susceptibility genes. This tendency to form keloids is important when someone of African or Asian descent is considering elective plastic surgery; the surgery can cause more trouble than it cures.



Lateral Ankle Pain
Chronic lateral ankle pain is recurring or chronic pain on the outside part of the ankle that often develops after an injury such as a sprained ankle. Other conditions, however, may also cause chronic ankle pain.

Signs and symptoms include: 
Ankle instability. 
Difficulty walking on uneven ground or in high heels. 
Pain, sometimes intense, on the outer side of the ankle. 
Repeated ankle sprains. 
While ankle sprains are the most common cause of chronic lateral ankle pain, other causes may include: 
A fracture in one of the bones that make up the ankle joint. 
Arthritis of the ankle joint. 
Inflammation of the joint lining. 
Injury to the nerves that pass through the ankle. In this case, the nerves become stretched, torn, injured by a direct blow, or pinched under pressure. 
Scar tissue in the ankle after a sprain. The scar tissue takes up space in the joint, putting pressure on the ligaments. 
Torn or inflamed tendon.

Lichen planus
A common skin disease with small itchy pink or purple spots on the arms or legs.The lesions (abnormal areas) on the skin in lichen planus are typically polygonal, flat (hence, the term planus), and pruritic (itchy). Occurs characteristically on the wrists, shins, lower back and genitalia. Involvement of the scalp may lead to hair loss.

A benign fatty tumor.

Lisfranc's amputation
Amputation of the foot between the metatarsus and tarsus.

Livedo reticularis
A mottled purplish discoloration of the skin. Livedo reticularis can be a normal condition that is simply more obvious when a person is exposed to the cold. Livedo reticularis can also be an indicator of impaired circulation.

Inflammation of the lymph vessels. Any red streaking of the skin around the wound may indicate an infection in the system that drains fluid from the tissues, called the lymph system. This infection (lymphangitis) can be serious, especially if it is accompanied by a fever. Prompt medical care should be sought if streaking redness from a wound is noticed.



Madura foot
Mcetoma of the foot.

March foot
Pinful swelling of the foot, usually with fracture of a metatarsal bone, after excessive foot strain.

Mendel-Bechterew reflex
Drsal flexion of the second to fifth toes on percussion of the dorsum of the foot; in certain organic nervous disorders, plantar flexion occurs.

Metatarsal Phalangeal Joint
The medical term to describe the large joint at the big toe. The MPJ is one of the larger joints in your foot and is designed to cope with a great amount of load. It is this joint that often shows the first signs of wear and tear and to start hurting when it is put under abnormal pressure e.g. ill-fitting footwear, excessive pronation, excessive body weight.

Metatarsalgia (foot pain in ball)
Foot pain in the "ball of your foot," the area between your arch and the toes, is generally called metatarsalgia. The pain usually centers on one or more of the five bones (metatarsals) in this mid-portion of the foot.

Also known as "dropped metatarsal heads," metatarsalgia can cause abnormal weight distribution due to over-pronation.

Metatarsalgia causes one of metatarsal joints to become painful or inflamed. People often develop a callus under the affected joint. Metatarsalgia can also be caused by arthritis, foot injury (sports, car accidents, repeated stress), hard surfaces (cement or tile floors) and specific footwear (rigid soled work boots). Inappropriate shoes will only aggravate the condition.

A simple change of shoes may solve the problem. In more severe cases, full-length custom-molded foot inserts may need to be prescribed.


The part of the foot between the ankle and the toes, its skeleton being the five bones (metatarsals) extending from the tarsus to the phalanges.

A topical antifungal agent available in two formulations: one for dermatophytic infections such as Athlete's foot, and the other for vulvovaginal candidiasis.

The presence of only one finger or toe on a hand or foot.

Morton's neuralgia
Pain in the metatarsus of the foot.

Morton's toe
Tenderness or pain in the metatarsal area of the foot and in the third and fourth toes caused by pressure on a neuroma of the branch of the medial plantar nerve supplying these toes. The neuroma is produced by chronic compression of the nerve between the metatarsal heads. Called also plantar neuroma and Morton's disease, foot, or neuralgia.

A chronic, slowly progressing bacterial or fungal infection usually of the foot or leg, characterized by nodules that discharge an oily pus.



The death of living cells or tissues. Necrosis can be due, for example, to ischemia (lack of blood flow)

Necrotizing fasciitis
A dangerous infection of soft-tissue that starts in the subcutaneous tissue (just below the skin) and spreads along the flat layers of fibrous tissue that separate different layers of tissue (fascial planes). It most commonly occurs in the arms, legs and abdominal wall. The death rate is up to 40%.

A bundle of fibers that uses chemical and electrical signals to transmit sensory and motor information from one body part to another.

Pain along the course of a nerve.

Inflammation of nerves.

A tumor that arises in nerve cells.

Any and all disease or malfunction of the nerves.

Any birthmark. 
A benign pigmented spot on the skin such as a mole (a cluster of melanocytes and supportive tissue that appears as a tan, brown, or flesh-colored spot on the skin). 
A benign blood vessel tumor on the skin such as a vascular nevus, a local collection of capillaries of the skin (a strawberry birthmark, stork mark, or port wine stain).




A support, brace, or splint used to support, align, prevent, or correct the function of movable parts of the body. Shoe inserts are orthotics that are intended to correct an abnormal, or irregular walking pattern, by altering slightly the angles at which the foot strikes a walking or running surface.

A type of arthritis caused by inflammation, breakdown, and eventual loss of cartilage in the joints. Also known as degenerative arthritis.

An abnormal, solitary, benign growth of bone and cartilage, typically at the end of a long bone. Osteochondromas are usually discovered in persons 15 to 25 years of age. They are typically detected when the area is injured, or when they become large. It can be a hereditary condition, in which case it may be called hereditary multiple exostoses (HMS).

Inflammation of the bone due to infection, for example by the bacteria salmonella or staphylococcus. Osteomyelitis is sometimes a complication of surgery or injury, although infection can also reach bone tissue through the bloodstream. Both the bone and the bone marrow may be infected. Symptoms include deep pain and muscle spasms in the area of inflammation, and fever. Treatment is by bed rest, antibiotics (usually injected locally), and sometimes surgery to remove dead bone tissue.

Mild thinning of the bone mass, but not as severe as osteoporosis. Osteopenia results when the formation of bone (osteoid synthesis) is not enough to offset normal bone loss (bone lysis). Osteopenia is generally considered the first step along the road to osteoporosis, a serious condition in which bone density is extremely low and bones are porous and prone to shatter. Diminished bone calcification, as seen on plain X-ray film, is referred to as osteopenia, whether or not osteoporosis is present. The diagnosis of osteopenia may also be made by a special X-ray machine for bone density testing.

Thinning of the bones with reduction in bone mass due to depletion of calcium and bone protein. Osteoporosis predisposes a person to fractures, which are often slow to heal and heal poorly. It is more common in older adults, particularly post-menopausal women; in patients on steroids; and in those who take steroidal drugs.

Cutting into or through bone.



An abnormal sensation of the skin, such as numbness, tingling, pricking, burning, or creeping on the skin that has no objective cause.

Pertaining to the foot or feet.

The design, manufacture, fitting, and modification of shoes and related foot appliances as prescribed for the amelioration of painful or disabling conditions of the foot and leg.

Peroneal Tendon Dislocation/Dysfunction
The Peroneal tendons are two tendons whose muscles (Peroneus Brevis and Peroneus Longus) that originate on the outside of the calves. These two muscles allow you to roll to the outside of the foot while standing.

Also called "stirrup" tendons because they help hold up the arch of the foot, the muscles are held in place by a band of tissue called the peroneal retinaculum. Injury to the retinaculum can cause it to stretch or even tear. When this happens, the peroneal tendons can dislocate from their groove on the back of the fibula. The tendons can be seen to roll over the outside of the fibula, damaging the tendons.

Snow skiing, football, basketball, and soccer are the most common sports activities that can result in peroneal tendon dislocation. Ankle sprains have also known to lead to the condition.

Pes abductus
A deformity in which the anterior part of the foot is displaced and lies laterally to the vertical axis of the leg.

Pes cavus
A foot with an abnormally high longitudinal arch, either congenital or caused by contractures or disturbed muscle balance.

The fourteen small bones that make up the toes. There are two phalanges in each large toe, and three in each smaller toe.

Planta pedis

The bottom of the foot; called also sole.


Pain in the sole of the foot.

Plantar Callus
A callus that forms when one metatarsal bone is longer or lower than the others, and it hits the ground first-and with more force than it is equipped to handle-at every step. As a result, the skin under this bone thickens like a rock in your shoe. Plantar calluses that are recurring are sometimes removed surgically in a procedure called an osteotomy, which relieves pressure on the bone.

Plantar fasciitis
Pain on the bottom of the feet -- very irritating, but rarely serious.Commonly traced to an inflammation of the plantar fascia, the tissue that connects your heel bone and toes.

Plantar Keratosis (IPK)
A deep callus directly under the ball of the foot. IPK is caused by a "dropped metatarsal," which happens when the metatarsal head drops to a lower level than the surrounding metatarsals and protrudes from the bottom of the foot. This results in more pressure being applied in this area and causes a thick callus to form.

Plantar reflex
Plantar flexion of the foot when the ankle is grasped firmly and the lateral border of the sole is stroked or scratched from the heel toward the toes.

Plantar space
A fascial space on the sole of the foot, divided by septa into the lateral, middle, and median plantar spaces.


Plantar wart
A viral epidermal tumor on the sole of the foot, sometimes the result of going barefoot; unlike other warts, this type is usually sensitive to pressure and may be painful during walking. Called also verruca plantaris.

Walking or running flat on the full sole of the foot; characteristic of humans and of such quadrupeds as the bear.

The specialized field dealing with the study and care of the foot, including its anatomy, pathology, medical and surgical treatment, etc.

Neuralgic pain of the heel and sole; burning pain without redness in the sole of the foot.

A supernumerary bone of the foot growing from the medial border of the scaphoid.

The act of assuming the prone position, or the state of being prone. Applied to the hand, turning the palm backward (posteriorly) or downward, performed by medial rotation of the forearm. Applied to the foot, a combination of eversion and abduction movements taking place in the tarsal and metatarsal joints and resulting in lowering of the medial margin of the foot, hence of the longitudinal arch.



is a visual coding method that describes the specific characteristics of a foot type with graphic images. They include anatomical and functional findings that help your doctor define which Quad your foot type is in.

Some of these characteristics will become more obvious to you once you have observed a video showing your gait. Click here for more details



Range of motion
The range through which a joint can be moved, usually its range of flexion and extension.

Breaking out (eruption) of the skin. Medically, a rash is referred to as an exanthem.

Raynaud disease
A condition resulting in skin discoloration of the fingers and/or toes when a person is exposed to changes in temperature (cold or hot) or to emotional events. This condition can occur alone or as a part of another disease (such as rheumatoid arthritis). When the condition occurs alone it is referred to as "Raynaud disease" or primary Raynaud phenomenon. When it accompanies other diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis), it is called secondary Raynaud phenomenon.

The skin discoloration occurs because an abnormal spasm of the blood vessels causes a diminished blood supply. Initially, the digits involved turn white because of diminished blood supply, then turn blue because of prolonged lack of oxygen and finally, the blood vessels reopen, causing a local "flushing" phenomenon, which turns the digits red. This three-phase color sequence (white to blue to red), most often upon exposure to cold temperature, is characteristic of Raynaud disease.

Raynaud's phenomenon
A condition resulting in discoloration of fingers and/or toes when a person is exposed to changes in temperature (cold or hot) or emotional events.

The skin discoloration occurs because an abnormal spasm of the blood vessels causes a diminished blood supply. Initially, the digits involved turn white because of diminished blood supply, then turn blue because of prolonged lack of oxygen and finally, the blood vessels reopen, causing a local "flushing" phenomenon, which turns the digits red. This three-phase color sequence (white to blue to red), most often upon exposure to cold temperature, is characteristic of Raynaud's phenomenon.



Salter-Harris fracture
A traumatic fracture around or through the growth plate (the epiphyseal plate) of a bone in a child.

Pain resulting from irritation of the sciatic nerve, typically felt from the low back to behind the thigh and radiating down below the knee. While sciatica can result from a herniated disc directly pressing on the nerve, any cause of irritation or inflammation of this nerve can reproduce the painful symptoms of sciatica. Diagnosis is by observation of symptoms, physical and nerve testing, and sometimes by X-ray or MRI if a herniated disk is suspected.

Treatment options include avoiding movements that further irritate the condition, medication, physical therapy, and sometimes surgery.

Problems with two small bones (the sesamoids, known as the "ball bearings of the foot") found beneath the first metatarsal bones.  May inflame or rupture under the stress of exercise.

Shin splint
An inflammatory condition of the front part of the tibia (the big bone in the lower leg) that results from overuse as, for example, from running too much on hard roads or sidewalks. Shin splints are due to injury to the tendon (called the posterior peroneal tendon) and adjacent tissues in the front (anterior) of the lower leg.

The pain from shin splints is usually noticed early in exercise, then lessens, and reappears later in running. Characteristically, the pain is dull at first but with continuing trauma worsens. It may cause the person to stop running. Treatment involves a multifaceted approach of "relative rest." The aim is to restore the runner to a pain-free state.

A brief, automatic jerking movement. A muscle spasm can be quite painful, with the muscle clenching tightly. A spasm of the coronary artery can cause angina. Spasms in various types of tissue may be caused by stress, medication, over-exercise, or other factors.


Spinal stenosis
Narrowing of the spaces in the spine, resulting in compression of the nerve roots or spinal cord by bony spurs or soft tissues, such as disks, in the spinal canal. This occurs most often in the lumbar spine (in the low back) but also occurs in the cervical spine (in the neck) and less often in the thoracic spine (in the upper back).

Spinal stenosis is most often caused by degeneration of the discs between the vertebrae due to osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis usually affects people at an earlier age than osteoarthritis does and is associated with inflammation and enlargement of the soft tissues of the joints. The portions of the vertebral column with the greatest mobility (for example, the neck area) are often the ones most affected in people with rheumatoid arthritis. Nonarthritic causes of spinal stenosis include tumors of the spine, trauma, Paget's disease of bone, and fluorosis. Pressure on the lower part of the spinal cord or on nerve roots branching out from that area may give rise to pain or numbness in the legs. Pressure on the upper part of the spinal cord (that is, the neck area) may produce similar symptoms in the shoulders, or even the legs. The symptoms vary depending location on the nerve tissues being irritated and the degree of irritation. When the neck is affected, it can result in unusual sensations in the arms and/or poor leg function and incontinence. When the low back is affected, the classic symptom is pain radiating down both legs while walking that is relieved by resting (called pseudoclaudication).

An injury to a ligament that results from overuse or trauma. Sprains occurs when there is a stretch or tear in one or more ligaments, slightly elastic bands of tissue that keep the bones in place while permitting movement at a joint. The treatment of a sprain involves applying ice packs, resting and elevating the involved joint, and using anti-inflammatory medications. Depending on the severity and location of the sprain, support bracing can help. Local cortisone injections are sometimes given for persistent inflammation. Activity may be resumed gradually. Ice application after activity can reduce or prevent recurrent inflammation. Occasionally, supportive bracing can prevent reinjury. In severe sprains, orthopedic surgical repair may be performed.

Stress fracture
A fracture caused by repetitive stress, as may occur in sports, strenuous exercise, or heavy physical labor. Stress fractures are especially common in the metatarsal bones of foot, particularly in runners. Osteoporosis increases the possibility of stress fractures. Treatment is by rest, disuse, and sometimes splinting or casting to prevent reinjury during healing.

Subcutaneous hematoma
A bruise.

A condition in which two or more of the fingers or toes are joined together. This joining can involve the bones or just the skin between the digits. Joining of the bones is called bony syndactyly. Webbing of the skin between the fingers without any joining of the bones is called cutaneous syndactyly.



Tarsal tunnel syndrome
A complex of symptoms resulting from compression of the posterior tibial nerve or of the plantar nerves in the tarsal tunnel, with pain, numbness, and tingling paresthesia of the sole of the foot.

Surgical fracture of the tarsus of the foot.

The seven bones composing the articulation between the foot and leg, including the talus, calcaneus, navicular bone, cuboid bone, and medial, intermediate, and lateral cuneiform bones.

Inflammation of a tendon (the tissue by which muscle attaches to bone). Tendinitis most commonly occurs as a result of injury, such as to the tendons around the shoulder or elbow. It can also occur as a result of an underlying inflammatory rheumatic disease, such as reactive arthritis or gout. Tendinitis is synonymous with tendonitis.

The presence of four digits on the hand or foot.

Thomas heel
A shoe correction consisting of a heel one half inch longer and an eighth to a sixth of an inch higher on the inside; used to bring the heel of the foot into varus and to prevent depression in the region of the head of the talus.

Tibialis Posterior Tendonitis
Painful, progressive flat foot that is caused by inflammation of the tendon of the tibialis posterior. The tendon then becomes inflamed, stretched or suffers a partial or total tear. If left untreated, this condition may lead to severe disability and chronic pain. Some people are predisposed to this condition if they have flatfeet or an abnormal attachment of the tendon to the bones in the midfoot

To prevent reinjury, orthotic devices often are recommended.


Tinel's sign
An examination test that is used by doctors to detect an irritated nerve. Tinel's sign is performed by lightly banging (percussing) over the nerve to elicit a sensation of tingling or "pins and needles" in the distribution of the nerve.

For example, in a person with carpal tunnel syndrome where the median nerve is compressed at the wrist, Tinel's sign is often "positive" and causes tingling in the thumb, index, and middle fingers.

Tinel's sign is sometimes referred to as "distal tingling on percussion" or DTP.

Trench foot
A condition of the feet resembling "frostbite, " frostbite, due to the prolonged action of water on the skin combined with circulatory disturbance due to cold and inaction.

The presence of only three digits on the hand or foot.

Tripier's amputation
Amputation of the foot through the calcaneus. Turf toe: An injury to the big toe due to forced hyperextension (upward bending back) of the toe. The damage is to the capsule of the joint (the first metatarsophalangeal joint) and the ligaments that connect the big toe to the foot. Hyperflexible shoes predispose to the injury. The big toe is painful, tender and swollen. Treatment is with icing, rest and anti-inflammatory medication. Taping of the big toe and a stiff insole insert in the shoe may help prevent hyperextension of the toe. Turf toe is so named for its occurrence on the artificial playing surfaces used in American football. Turf toe also occurs in other sports played on artificial turf, in grass sports, and the martial arts. Also known medically as a metatarsophalangeal joint sprain.

Two-point gait
That in which the right foot and left "crutch" crutch or cane are advanced together, and then the left foot and right crutch. Tinel's sign

An examination test that is used by doctors to detect an irritated nerve. Tinel's sign is performed by lightly banging (percussing) over the nerve to elicit a sensation of tingling or "pins and needles" in the distribution of the nerve.

For example, in a person with carpal tunnel syndrome where the median nerve is compressed at the wrist, Tinel's sign is often "positive" and causes tingling in the thumb, index, and middle fingers.

Tinel's sign is sometimes referred to as "distal tingling on percussion" or DTP.




An abnormally turned position of a part of the bone structure of a human being, esp. of the leg. Of or in such a position; bowlegged, knock-kneed, or the like.

Abnormal angulation of a bone or joint, with the angle pointing away from the midline.

Volkmann's contracture
Contraction of the fingers and sometimes of the wrist, or of analogous parts of the foot, with loss of power, after severe injury or improper use of a tourniquet or cast in the region of the elbow.

Volkmann's disease
Congenital deformity of the foot due to tibiotarsal dislocation.




High-energy radiation with waves shorter than those of visible light. X-rays possess the properties of penetrating most substances (to varying extents), of acting on a photographic film or plate (permitting radiography), and of causing a fluorescent screen to give off light (permitting fluoroscopy). In low doses X-rays are used for making images that help to diagnose disease, and in high doses to treat cancer. Formerly called a Roentgen ray.

Abnormally dry skin.

A picture of the body recorded on paper rather than on film. Also called a xerogram.

Abnormal dryness of the skin (xeroderma)




A group of single-celled fungi that reproduce by budding.

Most yeasts are harmless (some are used in baking and brewing). Yeast is commonly present on normal human skin and in areas of moisture, such as the mouth and vagina, usually without causing any problems.

However, yeast can produce disease in people. For example, the yeast Candida (once called Monilia) causes thrush (oral infection) and diaper rash in infants, fingernail infections, vaginal area infections in women after puberty, and a host of problems in patients with immune deficiency.

Yersinia pestis
The bacteria that causes the bubonic plague which in the year 541 (as the Black Death) and later in the Middle Ages decimated Europe. Yersinia pestis mainly infects rats and other rodents which are the prime reservoir for the bacteria. Fleas are the prime vectors carrying the bacteria from one species to another. They bite rodents infected with Y. pestis, then they bite people and so transmit the disease to them.

Transmission of the plague to people can also occur from eating infected animals such as squirrels. Once someone has the plague, they can transmit it to another person via aerosol droplets.



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