Foot & Ankle Conditions We Treat - Foot, Ankle and Wound Specialist


A Simple Medical Terminology Guide & What We Mean By It

Ankle Instability

Ankle pain can have many sources including ankle sprains, naturally loose ligaments, peroneal tendon tears, ankle arthritis, or osteochondral lesion (cartilage damage) from an injury, to name a few. When there is ankle instability, you may be experiencing frequent uncomfortable sensations where it just "gives out."

Athlete's Foot = Tinea Pedis

Tinea = fungal infection, Pedis = foot so together means fungal foot infection aka Athlete's Foot. This is a common skin infection that can cause itchiness, scaling and redness of the skin. Some also refer to it as ringworm.

Bunion = Hallux Valgus

A bunion is a bone deformity where the first long bone (metatarsal) drifts causing an abnormal bump on the inside of your foot. The medical term "hallux valgus" refers to the big toe (hallux) and the direction of the deformity (valgus = displacement toward the midline of your body).

Callus = Thickening of Skin

The skin responds to abnormal pressure points by developing thick skin. Overtime, this can cause pain and if left ignored it can break down the skin underneath the callus and create another problem, an ulcer (also called wound). People are familiar with the word ulcer, like in the stomach, but it really means a crater to any soft tissue lining. An ulcer is a wound which is an opening below the skin.

Flat Feet = Pes Planus

Flat feet refers to the relative flatness of the arch, or instep, of the foot. A normal balanced foot has an arch that supports your body weight (think of the architectural design of a bridge). A flat foot does not have an arch and may lead to many foot problems in some individuals. On the other end of the spectrum, the arch may be very high (pes cavus), which can cause increase pressure points and callus formation around the bony areas of the foot.


Fracture is another way of saying there is a broken bone.


A hammertoe describes a toe that is abnormally bent at the joint. It can either be flexible, meaning it can straighten if gently manipulated. Or it can be rigid, meaning the joint is stiff no matter how hard you try to straighten the joint.

Heel Pain

Heel pain can mean several things including plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis. Words that end in -itis simply means inflammation. So the plantar fascia (a thick band of tissue on the bottom of the feet) or Achilles tendon (the strongest and largest tendon in the whole body) can cause pain if there is inflammation. Typically overuse or poor biomechanics causes inflammation, which causes you pain.

Ingrown Toenail = Onychocryptosis

A ingrown toenail is when the toenail grows into the skin. This can be from the natural shape of the nail (from your genetics), improper nail cutting, excessive pressure (shoes that fit too tight), or from an injury (somebody stepped on it). If the nail continues to grow into the skin, it can cause infection (paronychia) and pus can build up causing even more pain.

Toenail Fungus = Onychomycosis

"Onycho" means nail and "mycosis" means infected with fungus so together this word means toenail fungus.

Wart = Verruca

A wart is an abnormal thickening of the skin caused by a virus. It can be confused with a callus which is thickening of the skin but is not caused by an infectious agent. A plantar wart simply means the wart is on the bottom of the foot.