The constant pressure and abuse your feet and ankles undergo over the years adds up and makes you more likely to develop a variety of foot and ankle injuries and conditions. You can help keep many foot and ankle problems from developing or worsening by seeing your foot doctor regularly, eating a healthy diet, and getting the proper amount of exercise. Custom orthotics and braces can treat and even prevent many problems.
3 common conditions with the feet and ankles that occur more frequently as you get older include the following:
- Balance and coordination problems that can lead to falls—Circulation problems like peripheral artery disease (PAD) and systemic diseases like diabetes tend to affect people more as they get older, with a concomitant increase in foot and ankle weakness and instability that can lead to debilitating falls. See your foot doctor about custom shoes, orthotics, and balance braces to help prevent falls.
- Skin and toenail conditions—Lesions and infections tend to increase with age. Pay attention to skin anomalies that can look like warts or moles but are skin cancer. Melanoma is an aggressive skin cancer that can be deadly when it spreads, so see your foot doctor for proper identification. Fungal toenails and bacterial infections are more likely as you age since the immune system tends to slow down.
- Arthritis—The complex joints of the ankle and big toe are often made stiff and painful by osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), which tend to increase with age.
For any age-related problems that you may be experiencing with your feet and ankles, be sure to contact your foot doctor for the proper diagnosis and treatment. At Your Next Step, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies, along with years of experience, to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including sports injuries, joint pain, toe deformities, nail fungus, chronic tendon pain, and skin problems. Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich, and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen provide high-quality foot and ankle care to patients in the greater Philadelphia area at our offices conveniently located in Ardmore, Paoli, and Downingtown, PA. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.