Lots of people suffer from foot pain, and in many cases, discomfort is ignored or “written off” as just part of the natural wear-and-tear of everyday living, the effects of aging or wearing ill-fitting shoes. But is it? The feet are some of the most complex structures in the body, comprising dozens of bones, joints, muscles, ligaments and other components, and that means there are a lot of factors that can cause or contribute to foot pain. And while aging, strain and bad shoes can cause foot pain, there are other issues – often overlooked – that may also be at play. Among the more common issues are plantar warts.
What are Plantar Warts?
Plantar warts are growths that occur on the bottom of the foot, and like other types of warts, they’re caused by a viral infection that can be spread from one person to another. You can “catch” the virus that causes plantar warts by walking barefoot in public areas like locker rooms or public showers, pools or hot tubs, or by wearing the shoes of someone who’s infected.
The virus usually enters the skin through a tiny cut or abrasion on the foot, and skin that’s been softened by soaking in water is especially prone to becoming infected. People with diabetes and those with compromised immune systems are also more likely to contract the virus.
Once inside the body, the virus puts down “roots” deep beneath the skin and grows upward, causing the fleshy portion you see. In fact, the wart extends into the deeper tissue, which is why you need to see a skilled orthopedic doctor to eradicate it completely.
How are Plantar Warts Treated?
Sometimes, a wart may be treated with a prescription topical medication designed to penetrate to the base of the wart and destroy the virus. More often, the wart – and the virus that causes it – must be destroyed with cryotherapy, which uses liquid nitrogen to “freeze” it off or with lasers to destroy the virus with heat. Very deep warts including those resistant to lasers and cryotherapy can be removed with minimally invasive orthopedic surgery designed to remove the wart while preserving the healthy tissue that surrounds it.
If you have foot pain, delaying care can cause symptoms and the underlying cause to become worse, making treatment more difficult and more costly. Having an evaluation is the best way to relieve painful symptoms so you can get back to enjoying your life. To schedule your evaluation with Southeast Orthopedic Specialists in Jacksonville, call (904)634-0640 or use our online form.Return to Blog