Seniors must be more mindful of issues with their feet as they age. The sensations in the foot become more dull, and minor problems can become serious health issues before the senior feels much pain in the area. Daily inspection of the feet is needed for any signs of redness, swelling or sores. Should any of the following issues be spotted, a trip to the podiatrist is in order to prevent further complications from the problem.
This is caused by abnormal bone growth at the base of the large toe. The bone pushes out from the side of the foot and forces the big toe to be pushed against the other toes. The lump caused by the bone growth rubs against shoes, causing pain and swelling in the area. It may be difficult finding shoes that are comfortable and don't put pressure on that area. A foot doctor can treat this by stretching the shoes and using padding to make the shoe more comfortable. When this fails to give enough relief, the excess bone must be shaved away to reduce the size of the lump at the base of the toe.
This is caused by the contraction of the tendons in the toes. This draws the toes toward the foot, bending them at the joint. The tops of the bent toes rub against the shoe, causing pain and swelling. As with bunions, it can hard to find shoes that are comfortable. Shoe inserts can support the foot and relieve pressure on the toes. When this isn't enough, the doctor can surgically release the tense tendons, allowing the toes to relax back into their normal positions.
When a shoe rubs over a bony place on the foot for a long time, the skin forms a rough callus. It can become hard and painful. Pads can be used to relieve pressure against the skin in that area. Over-the-counter-medicine is available to dissolve the hard tissue. Surgical removal of the corn can be done if these remedies don't give enough relief.
Continuous rubbing in some areas of the foot, especially between the toes, can irritate the nerves there. The tissue covering the nerve can become painful and inflamed. It can become so sensitive that just brushing a sock across the area is painful. The podiatrist can surgically remove the irritated tissue to reduce the pain and swelling.
Redness, swelling and pain at the edge of the toenail can indicate an ingrown toenail. If not treated, an infection can occur in the area, requiring antibiotics and draining of fluid collecting under the toenail. A severely ingrown toenail untreated can result in the loss of the toenail. Seniors who have reduced pain sensation in their feet can develop a serious ingrown toenail without being aware of it.
For more information, contact Camden County Foot & Ankle Center or a similar location.