By Dr. Daniel Ross

The foot is a complex part of the human body composed of 33 joints, 26 bones, and more than a hundred muscles, tendons and ligaments, all working together to provide support, balance and mobility. The average person has walked about 75,000 miles by the time they’re 50 years old. Given how many moving parts the foot has, it makes sense that it’s vulnerable to injury and overuse.

A few of the most common causes of foot pain include plantar fasciitis, bunions, and ankle arthritis.

  • Plantar fasciitis is caused by inflammation in the thick band of tissue on the underside of the foot that connects the heel bone to the toes. It’s usually related to overstretching or overuse. Symptoms include pain in the heel and arch that is often worse in the mornings. Most patients respond well to conservative treatments like stretching, physical therapy, and/or more supportive shoes.
  • Bunions are a bony protrusion on either the inside edge of the foot or the pinky-toe side. Bunions are caused when something, often tight shoes, puts extra pressure on your big toe and pushes it out of alignment and toward your other toes. The primary symptoms are bone deformity, pain in the joint, stiffness or swelling, and redness or tenderness. Many patients respond well to conservative treatments including changing shoes or anti-inflammatory medications. Painful bunions can be removed with a minimally-invasive surgical procedure.
  • Ankle arthritis is a condition in which the ankle joint has damage or worn-out cartilage. Symptoms include pain and stiffness, tenderness when touching the joint, swelling all around or on only one side of your ankle, and decreased range of motion. Depending on the severity, treatments can range from simple lifestyle and activity modifications to ankle replacements for those who haven’t responded to other treatments.

Most foot problems can be diagnosed with a physical exam, a review of your symptoms and medical history, a gait analysis, and an imaging test such as an X-ray, CT scan or MRI.

The treatment for foot pain is based on the condition but can involve over-the-counter or prescription pain medication, orthotics, custom-fitted shoes, physical therapy, or surgery.

If you’re experiencing foot or ankle pain, seek a professional opinion. We can evaluate, diagnose and treat your condition and get you back to moving and living better!

Dr. Daniel Ross joined Capital Ortho in September as an orthopedic surgeon specializing in the treatment of foot and ankle problems. For over 30 years, Capital Ortho has provided general and specialized orthopedic care to residents throughout the state. They have locations in Flowood, Madison, Clinton, Brookhaven, Hazlehurst and Kosciusko. To learn more or schedule an appointment, visit or call 601-987-8200.