Fast Facts about Feet

Board-certified podiatrist Kenneth R. Wilhelm, DPM of Clifton Foot & Ankle Center has been in practice for more than 20 years. He knows a thing or two about feet! The entire human body is made up of some amazing parts. But our two feet are the only ones that literally bear the body’s entire weight.

Here are some interesting, random facts about these complicated structures:

  • A normal foot is made up of 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
  • Toenail growth slows down as we age, leading to thickened toenails.
  • Babies are born with a fat pad in their foot that eventually develops into an arch. If no arch develops, that person has flat feet.
  • Pregnancy, illness, injury, and normal aging can all change the size of your foot.
  • Between 25-35% of people wear shoes that are too small. Incorrect shoe size is linked to painful foot problems like hammertoes, bunions, corns, and calluses.
  • High heels are also the cause of many foot problems. Dr. Wilhelm recommends that heels be kept at 2 inches or less. Women should wear them a maximum of 3 hours at a time.
  • An unexplained broken bone in the foot may be the first sign of weak bones (osteoporosis).
  • Custom orthotics, available here at our Fairfax County office, can treat a wide variety of foot problems including bunions, flat feet, arthritis, and in-toeing or out-toeing in children.
  • Prolotherapy and PRP injections are innovative methods to treat chronic pain. We offer them right here in our office in Centreville, Virginia.
  • Diabetes is extremely threatening to feet. Uncontrolled blood sugar can cause problems with blood circulation. Diabetes can also cause nerve damage and bone degeneration (Charcot foot).
  • On the amusing side, every year the makers of Odor-Eaters sponsor a “Rotten Sneaker Contest” for kids. The 2019 award for the smelliest sneaker in America was handed to 15-year old Senneca Slocombe of Alaska on March 26. Senneca won $2500 with the help of the thousands of sweat glands in her feet.

Dr. Wilhelm treats smelly feet, aging feet, baby’s feet, and misshapen, scaly, or painful feet. If you’ve got a problem with your feet, we’ll help you find a solution. Call us at (703) 996-3000 or make an appointment online.

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