Many people resist going to the doctor at all costs, especially when dealing with seemingly “minor” injuries. Studies in the past have shown that men are more likely than women to avoid doctors.
According to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS), foot problems are among the most likely to go untreated for men. In a recent release, ACFAS has issued a warning to men about five foot conditions that should not be left untreated.
In no particular order of severity, these five conditions are ankle sprains, big toe stiffness and pain, ingrown toenails, heel pain, and achilles tendinitis. Each condition comes with risks and possible complications.
Ankle sprains, when untreated, can become recurrent and cause long-term ankle instability.
Big toe stiffness and pain often results from cartilage in the big toe joint wearing down. This is the primary precursor to arthritis, which can be avoided with early treatment.
Ingrown toenails can be easily cured, permanently, with a simple procedure from a doctor. If untreated, in addition to discomfort, an ingrown toenail can pierce the skin and lead to bacterial infection.
Heel pain can have many causes, such as “tissue inflammation, but can also result from a broken bone, a tight Achilles tendon, a pinched nerve, or other problem.” Proper diagnosis should be performed by a professional.
Achilles tendinitis, characterized by pain and soreness in the heel or back of the foot, can lead to achilles rupture if left untreated.
The important thing for all these conditions is to get them checked early. They are all “minor” if treated quickly, but can turn into serious problems if not attended to.
Source: Defeat Diabetes Foundation: ACFAS news release. January 2008.