Foot problems are more prevalent in the elderly as the padding in the feet wears down. There is no cushioning to protect aged feet from daily pounding, and seniors’ feet need special care as the risks for chronic foot problems increase. Let’s take a look at some of the common foot problems that plague the elderly.
- Morton’s Neuroma – Morton’s Neuroma is a benign growth (thickening) caused by an inflammation of nerve tissue. It causes foot pain in the ball of the foot.
- Cracked Heels – Cracked heels occur as aged skin tends to dry faster. It can hurt to walk on, and the skin can break and bleed. Open wounds on the feet can lead to infection.
- Ingrown Toenails – A common elderly problem involving nail curving down, ingrown toenails can be painful and display redness, swelling, and infection.
- Corns and Calluses – Corns form on the top of the foot or toes, over a joint or bone, and a callus is a dull yellow, flat, rough layer of skin usually found on the sole. Corns and Calluses are caused due to friction with a shoe and can make it hard to walk or run, and are prone to infection.
- Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition in which the articular cartilage of joints wears thin and eventually breaks down. Without cartilage to protect the bones from the friction of motion, the bones might suffer stress fractures in the elderly.
- Flat Foot – Adult acquired flat foot is not a congenital flat foot but developed over time. It occurs when the posterior tibial tendon (tendon supporting the foot arch) gets damaged. Years of abnormal strain can cause the arch to collapse, causing stiff feet.
- Diabetic Foot Ulcer – Blisters and sores may appear on numb areas of the feet of a person with diabetes. Because there is limited or no feeling, the injury goes unnoticed and can eventually become infected
These common geriatric foot problems can limit mobility and decrease independence. Maintaining healthy feet and not letting foot problems ruin your golden years is essential. A good podiatrist in Los Gatos will check your feet regularly and ensure they are healthy.