Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Capsulitis and Your Foot

In our second toe, there are ligaments that surround the joints at the base of the toe, forming what are called capsules. Capsulitis is an inflammation of these capsules. While capsulitis can affect your third or fourth toes, it most commonly affects the second toe. Capsulitis can also be known as predislocation syndrome, due to the fact that if the condition is left untreated, it can lead to a weakening of surrounding ligaments and cause a dislocation of the toe.
Capsulitis in your foot is thought to be caused by abnormal foot mechanics, especially when the ball of the foot takes a great deal of weight-bearing pressure. Other conditions may predispose you to capsulitis, including bunion deformities, your second toe being longer than your big toe, an unstable arch of your foot, or a tight calf muscle.
Capsulitis is a degenerative disease and therefore should be treated as soon as you notice the condition. Symptoms in the early stages may include:
1. Pain in the ball of your foot, almost like there is a bunched up sock .
2. Swelling in the area.
3. Difficulty wearing or putting on your normal shoes.
4. Pain when in barefeet.
In more advanced cases, the affected toe may start to drift over to the big toe and cross over.
This condition may often be confused with Morton's Neuroma, which has similar symptoms, so it is crucial that you get an accurate diagnosis from a podiatrist. Your podiatrist will manipulate the affected area to produce symptoms and X-rays will be ordered.
Will you need surgery? Not if it is caught in the early stages before it crosses over. Once it has crossed over, the toe will never go back to its original place and will need to be surgically corrected. Things that can be done prior to that are:
1. Rest and Ice.
2. Anti-inflammatory medications, like ibuprofen.
3. Taping and splinting.
4. Stretching.
5. Shoe modifications.
6. Orthotic devices.
Always contact your podiatrist first when you think you have capsulitis in your foot!
Dr. Tina A. Boucher, DPM
Central Connecticut Foot Care, LLC
Meriden, CT Podiatrist
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