The A to Z

Browse for the key concepts in the footcare sector


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Obesity

Obesity is a term used to describe somebody who is very overweight with a high degree of body fat.

There are a number of ways a person's weight can be assessed. The most widely used method is body mass index.

Being obese increases your risk of developing a number of serious and potentially life-threatening diseases, such as:

  • type 2 diabetes 
  • heart disease 
  • some types of cancer, such as breast cancer and colon cancer
  • stroke

In addition, obesity can damage your quality of life and can often trigger depression.

Source: NHS choices


Osteoarthritis of the Foot and Ankle

Osteoarthritis is a condition characterized by the breakdown and eventual loss of cartilage in one or more joints. Cartilage (the connective tissue found at the end of the bones in the joints) protects and cushions the bones during movement. When cartilage deteriorates or is lost, symptoms develop that can restrict one’s ability to easily perform daily activities.

Osteoarthritis is also known as degenerative arthritis, reflecting its nature to develop as part of the aging process. As the most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis affects millions of Americans. Some people refer to osteoarthritis simply as arthritis, even though there are many different types of arthritis.

Osteoarthritis appears at various joints throughout the body, including the hands, feet, spine, hips, and knees. In the foot, the disease most frequently occurs in the big toe, although it is also often found in the midfoot and ankle.

Source: www.foothealthfacts.org


Osteomyelitis (Bone Infection)

Osteomyelitis (an infection of the bone) can be caused by a variety of microbial agents (bacteria, fungus), the most common of which is staphylococcus aureus.

This serious infection can occur from a number of sources:

• It may enter bone through an injury, such as an open fracture with the bone ends piercing the skin.
• It can spread from elsewhere in the body or through the bloodstream.
• It can result from a chronic foot wound or infection, such as a diabetic ulcer.

To diagnose the condition, the foot and ankle surgeon will examine the area and may order blood tests and x-rays or other imaging studies. Treatment options include surgery and antibiotic therapy.

Source: www.foothealthfacts.org


Osteoporosis (Osteopenia)

Osteoporosis, which means “porous bone,” is a condition in which bones become weak and thin due to lack of calcium. People with osteoporosis have an increased risk of bone fractures (breaks).

Osteoporosis is often called the “silent disease” because many people do not realize they have it. However, pain can occur when a bone becomes so weak that it breaks.

Osteoporosis is most commonly seen in women over age 50, but younger people and men can also have it. While the bones of the spine, hip, and wrist are the most common bones to become fractured as a result of osteoporosis, metatarsals and other bones in the feet can be affected. In fact, some people first find out they have osteoporosis because of a fracture in the foot.

Increased pain with walking, accompanied by redness and swelling on the top of the foot, is a sign that you should see a foot and ankle surgeon for x-rays and examination.

Source: www.foothealthfacts.org


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