Podiatric Conditions that Sound Frightening


As Halloween approaches, we at NY Foot Health know that scary is the theme of the season. As a patient, there are certain foot health problems that have alarming names, but often turn out to be fairly common and treatable conditions. Below are some conditions that sound scarier than they actually are.

Haglund’s Deformity—a name like this conjures up a witch with a pointy hat and big wart on her nose! However, Haglund’s Deformity actually refers to a bony bump that can form at the back of the heel. This bony enlargement tends to appear right where the back of pump style shoes would hit, hence it’s more common (and less scary) name, Pump Bump. Causes of this disorder include:

  • Tight Achilles tendon

  • High Arches

  • Tendency to walk on the outside of your feet

Heel pads and shoe modifications will usually do the trick for alleviating the pain of Haglund’s Deformity.

Onychomycosis—if you have this foot problem, it may look like something that emerged from the swamp—thick, yellowish nails that are peeling and crumbling around the edges and maybe even are separated from the nail plate—but it’s just the medical term for a fungal toenail infection. Although they can be difficult to get rid of, fungal toenails are often not painful, which is why patients put off seeking treatment so long. Oral and topical medications are available, and laser therapy has been shown to effectively clear up the infection and get your nail looking normal once again.

Ganglion Cyst—sounds like it came from outer space, but in reality, a ganglion cyst is simply a sac filled with jellylike fluid that appears like a knot that forms below the surface of the skin. It is usually on the top of the foot and often originates in a joint capsule or tendon sheath. These benign soft tissue masses may get smaller or larger, or disappear all on their own. The mass may be tingly or cause a dull ache. It’s a good idea to get any lump on your foot checked out by your podiatrist to rule out more serious conditions. Don’t have a podiatrist? Use our online directory to locate one in your community.

To learn more about common foot problems and how to treat and prevent them, contact us. The more you know, the less you’ll fear!