What are the signs of foot problems?

Foot symptoms include pain, numbness, weakness, stiffness, swelling, or problems moving your foot. The symptoms may be constant or variable and may improve or worsen with movement. If foot pain is present, it may be described as sharp, dull, stabbing, burning or throbbing and may range in intensity from mild to severe.

Foot Problems Must Reads

Foot symptoms can result from damage or injury to any of the structures in the feet, including bones, joints, tendons, nerves, muscles, blood vessels, connective tissue, skin, or toenails. Arthritis and other types of degenerative joint diseases are among the common causes of foot symptoms. In some cases, foot symptoms may be related to a chronic underlying disease that affects other regions of the body. Simple problems, such as poorly fitting shoes, can also lead to temporary, acute foot symptoms.

Diseases or conditions that affect the nerves and muscles, such as cerebral palsy and myasthenia gravis (autoimmune neuromuscular disorder causing muscle weakness), can be associated with symptoms that involve both the legs and feet. Disorders of the spine, such as infection, fracture, tumor, or disc disease, often produce symptoms in the legs and feet. Infections of the nails, bone, or skin and underlying tissue are further causes of foot symptoms.

The duration and course of foot symptoms vary widely, depending on the cause. Symptoms caused by injury often have a sudden onset, whereas foot symptoms resulting from diseases and disorders, such as arthritis or plantar fasciitis, develop slowly and persist or worsen over time.

The sudden onset of weakness or numbness in the feet, especially if it occurs on only one side of the body, can be a sign of stroke. Also, in rare cases, infections of the bone or skin and soft tissues of the foot can spread throughout the body, resulting in shock and organ failure. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) for serious symptoms, such as an extremely severe headache, high fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit), paralysis or inability to move a body part, sudden numbness in one side of the body, vision or speech changes, or a change in level of consciousness, such as passing out or unresponsiveness. Also seek immediate medical care (call 911) for foot injuries that cause profuse bleeding or severe tissue damage.

If your foot symptoms are persistent, recurrent, or cause you concern, seek prompt medical care.

SYMPTOMS

What other symptoms might occur with foot symptoms?

Foot symptoms may accompany other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Symptoms that frequently affect the feet may also involve other body systems.... Read more about foot symptomssymptoms

CAUSES

What causes foot symptoms?

Injury or damage to any of the structures in the foot can cause foot symptoms. Diseases that affect the entire body, such as diabetes, arthritis, or vascular disease, can also lead to foot symptoms.... Read more about foot symptomscauses

Medical Reviewer: All content has been reviewed by board-certified physicians under the direction of Rich Klasco, M.D., FACEP. Last Annual Review Date: May 2, 2011 Copyright: © Copyright 2011 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Injuries and Wounds


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