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Why does only one foot have a problem?

Written by Michelle Champlin BSc Pod., M.Ch.S., S.R., Ch., (UK)
Chief Podiatrist Michelle Champlin explains a common foot mystery – why is there a problem or pain on one foot and not the other?
Why are the toenails on only my right foot thickened and discoloured, and only my right heel dry and cracked, for over 25 years?
Our bodies, including our blood circulation, are not symmetrical. Your left and right foot are different to one another. The fact that there is a one sided issue here with only the right foot affected suggests there may be an impairment with the blood supply to the right foot. It is less likely to be due to a fungal infection, a common source of dry looking skin and discoloured toenails, as after 25 years we would expect to see this in both feet. There may be a delay in the blood supply – due to a tight ligament in the groin for example. We will assess blood supply – pedal pulse weaker for example and we can refer on to a vascular specialist if we do find reason to investigate further.
It’s usual to see for example, one arch more collapsed than the other, a more advanced bunion on one foot than the other (or only one bunion) and one leg shorter than the other. Podiatrists will also look for differences between legs, hips, ankles and feet, ranging from a tilted pelvis, to a larger calf muscle on one side, or impaired blood circulation in one foot only. Podiatrists therefore will create custom solutions to address these differences. At Dubai Podiatry Centre, this means the left and right orthotic for each foot will have a slightly different prescription tailored for each foot, for example.
For any foot, ankle or leg concern, contact the UK trained Podiatrists at Dubai Podiatry Centre on +971 4 3435390 for expert investigation and treatment

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