You are currently viewing Podiatrist Foot Terminology – Michigan Avenue Podiatry

Podiatrist Foot Terminology – Michigan Avenue Podiatry

The following resources contain terminology when referring to treatments, education, surgery, and medically related information about the feet.


Your feet are remarkable structures made up of many different parts that work together to support your body and enable you to move. Let’s break down some of the key terms related to foot anatomy in simple language so everyone can understand.

  1. Arch: The arch of the foot is the curved area on the bottom of your foot between the heel pad and the toe pad. It helps distribute your body weight and absorb shock when you walk or run.
  2. Ankle: Your ankle is the joint that connects your leg to your foot. It allows you to move your foot up and down. Because it’s used a lot, it’s prone to injuries like sprains and fractures.
  3. Athlete’s Foot: Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that affects the skin of your foot, causing itching, blisters, and cracks, usually between the toes. It’s caused by fungi that thrive in warm and damp environments.
  4. Bunion: A bunion is a bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of your big toe. It can be caused by wearing tight shoes or by certain medical conditions like arthritis. It can be painful and may require surgery to correct.
  5. Flatfoot: Flatfoot is a condition where the arches of the feet flatten out, causing the entire sole of the foot to touch the ground when standing. It can sometimes cause pain and may require special shoes or orthotic inserts for support.
  6. Heel: The heel is the hindmost part of your foot. It absorbs the impact of your body weight when you walk or run.
  7. Plantar Wart: A plantar wart is a viral growth on the sole of your foot. It’s usually sensitive to pressure and can be painful when walking.
  8. Toe Deformities: Toe deformities like Hallux Valgus (bunions), Hallux Varus, and Morton’s Toe can cause pain and affect the way you walk. They may require special footwear or surgery to correct.
  9. Pronation and Supination: Pronation is the inward rolling of your foot when you walk or run, while supination is the outward rolling. Both movements are normal but excessive pronation or supination can lead to foot problems.
  10. Gait Analysis: Gait analysis is a method used to evaluate how you walk or run. It helps identify any abnormalities in your walking pattern that may contribute to foot pain or injury.
  11. Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome: Tarsal tunnel syndrome occurs when the posterior tibial nerve or plantar nerves in the tarsal tunnel are compressed. It can cause pain, numbness, and tingling in the sole of the foot.
  12. Hyperkeratosis: Hyperkeratosis is a skin disorder characterized by the thickening of the skin, often resulting in scaly patches or papules on the foot and lower leg.
  13. Mycetoma: Mycetoma is a chronic bacterial or fungal infection usually affecting the foot or leg. It’s characterized by nodules that discharge pus.

To schedule an appointment with our board-certified foot and ankle specialists, Book Your Appointment Now