The average person will walk the equivalent of four times around the planet during a lifetime, so you need to take good care of your feet as you age to provide the best foundation for an active retirement. While arthritis is one of the most common conditions that affects the feet and ankles as we age, there are a variety of other problems that can be mitigated or prevented with proactive foot care.
Some common foot and ankle issues that often occur with aging include the following:
- Arthritis—There are several types of arthritis that affect the feet and ankles, with the most common being osteoarthritis. This condition is caused by the wear and tear on your joints and results in joint inflammation, pain, and immobility, especially in the ankle and big toe joints.
- Balance and coordination issues—Nerve disorders such as peripheral neuropathy from diabetes can cause a lack of feeling in the feet that can interfere with balance and coordination.
- Skin problems—Skin dryness that accompanies the aging process can lead to cracked heels, corns and calluses. Abnormal looking skin lesions may be a sign of skin cancer and should be evaluated immediately.
- Toenail fungus and ingrown toenails—Thicker and more brittle nails can become common as you age, and may be the sign of an underlying fungal nail infection. Thickened nails become more difficult to trim properly, and that can lead to an ingrown toenail problem.
- Loosening of tendons and ligaments—The loss of strength and flexibility in the connecting tissues of the feet and ankles often causes tendonitis and fallen arches.
- Fluid retention—Cardiovascular disease and hormonal changes can contribute to swelling of the feet and ankles.
If you are experiencing foot and ankle arthritis or other age-related foot and ankle problems, consult with your board certified podiatrist for the best care. The foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631-549-8637) and Briarwood, NY (718-657-8921).