Persistent foot pain can present difficulties in both diagnosis and
This article aims to describe an approach to diagnosis and
management based on the location of the pain, the patient’s age,
and the type of activity being undertaken.
Accurate diagnosis is important for persistent foot pain, as the
investigation and management varies significantly between
conditions. As a background to understanding common
conditions encountered, this article reviews the age related
changes in foot structure, foot loading and pathologies. A more
detailed discussion of commonly encountered conditions follows.
Persistent foot pain can present significant diagnostic challenges. Even if a diagnosis has been made, relevant pathology can be difficult to settle. As an approach to likely diagnoses, the discussion in this article will be in terms of location (rear foot, midfoot, forefoot) with allowances for medial and lateral pain in each region. Likely diagnoses will also vary depending on the patient’s age and activity level.
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