The foot may look like a simple part of the body but with 26 bones, 33 joints and numerous tendons, muscles and nerves it represents a complex structure. As such pain in the foot and ankle can arise from many different causes. An orthopaedic foot and ankle specialist will be able to get to the source of the problem and work with a team of specialists to resolve the pain. Many problems do not require surgery and can be resolved with either physiotherapy or with foot wear adaptations or insoles.
One of the most common areas of pain is in the forefoot where causes include bunions, arthritis and neuromas (lumps on nerves).
Bunions are an extremely common problem with pain resulting from a lump on the inside of the foot at the big toe joint causing pressure in shoes. The lump represents a part of normal bone that has moved across towards the skin. If adapting footwear is not successful in resolving pain, surgery aims to move the bone back to its normal position thereby removing the lump.
Arthritis in any area of the foot can be very debilitating as you use the foot a lot every day. Using insoles and physiotherapy to balance the load going through the foot can be very successful in resolving pain. If this does not succeed, surgery to either replace or stiffen the joints involved is a very reliable way of eliminating pain. You will be able to discuss with your orthopaedic foot and ankle specialist which approach is likely to be most successful in your situation.
Lumps on the nerves in the front of the foot can produce significant pain when walking around. Ultrasound guided injections are a very good way of settling the pain as are insoles to offload the area that hurts. If this does not work, an operation to remove the lump should cure the pain.