It is common for a lot of elderly people to suffer from a variety of basic foot and ankle ailments. As we age, our feet tend to lose some weight and padding which can put extra pressure on our joints, bones, etc. Our general circulation also tends to get worse which can make it difficult for existing problems to heal quickly. Here are a few other problems to watch out for:
Hammertoes – although hammertoes can affect just about anyone, it can be especially dangerous for seniors because when there is any discomfort in the foot it can cause instability, which increases the risks of falls. In order to prevent hammertoes from getting worse, you should make sure to wear comfortable shoes and socks that give your feet room to breathe.
Arthritis – arthritis is a progressive disease that can start early on but with proper care, it can be slowed down before it reaches advanced stages. There are two main types of arthritis: Osteoarthritis, which is the more common form that occurs from natural wear and tear on the joints and cartilage over time and Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), which occurs when there is chronic inflammation in the smaller joints (such as the ankle or the toe.) Arthritis can make mobility extremely difficult for seniors and treatment should be taken seriously to prevent further damage.
Heel spurs – Continuously putting too much pressure on your feet can cause calcium deposits to form on your heels and cause a lot of pain. For seniors a good way to alleviate this pain is to use heel pads, heel cups, or anything else that can give additional support to the feet.
Corns and Calluses – usually corns and calluses don’t pose a huge threat, but for people who already have compromised balance, corns and calluses can make it uncomfortable to walk making the risk of falling or twisting an ankle more likely.
Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm of Clifton Foot & Ankle Center has been practicing in the Centreville, VA area for over seventeen years. If you have any questions call us at 703-996-3000 or make an appointment here.