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A teaching trip to Derry

16th November 2023

Elaine McLaughlin is a well-known Podiatrist in Derry, Northern Ireland who this year is celebrating 30 years in business – an amazing achievement.

She trained back in the early 90’s with Lee and they’ve remained friends ever since. She has a staff of 8 Podiatrists and asked us if we could do a refresher course for them and other interested Pods, on MSK Podiatry, which we were happy to do.

Can you spot the young Lee?

The facilities at her Carlisle Street practice ar


Runners Knee

As the name suggests, runner's knee is a common ailment among runners. But it can also strike any athlete who does activities that require a lot of knee bending -- like walking, biking, and jumping. It usually causes aching pain around the kneecap. Runner's knee isn't really a condition itself. It's a loose term for several specific disorders with different causes.

Shin Splints and Medial Tibilal Stress (MTSS)

Shin Splints are extremely common amongst runners, especially when they start to increase their mileage from what is their norm. Athletes from other sports, such as basketball or soccer, can also develop shin splint from the pounding they receive from the court or grass. Increased tension of the muscles on the front and back part of the leg pulls on the covering of the bone (periosteum) and causes the constant inflammation and irritation to the area.

Bunions (Hallux Valgus)

What are bunions? Bunions (also known as “Hallux Valgus”) refer to an enlargement of the inside of the big toe joint, with deviation of the big toe towards the second. Patients with bunions often have a posbunionitive family history. It is common for patients to have a first-degree relative who has had a bunion, flatfoot deformity, or significant clawing of their lesser toes. This is may be the biggest risk factor for developing a significant bunion deformity.

Ankle Joint Arthritis

Ankle arthritis leads to pain and swelling in the ankle joint. Symptoms are often aggravated by standing and walking and patients often walk with a limp. Ankle arthritis commonly results from a history of trauma to the ankle, either a severe ankle injury such as a bad ankle fracture, or a series of recurrent injuries to the ankle.

Achilles Tendinopathy

The Achilles tendon is the largest and strongest in humans. Despite this it is commonly injured, especially in sports people. MSK podiatrists are very effective in altering the mechanical strain on the Achilles and we resolve many cases every year. At podiatry clinics we are able to provide advice on the latest medical rehabilitative techniques and provide Gait analysis to help establish underlying cause.

Toe Deformities


Most bones in the human body are connected to each other at joints. But there are a few bones that are not connected to any other bone. Instead, they are connected only to tendons or are embedded in muscle. These are known as sesamoids. The kneecap is the largest sesamoid in the body. Two other very small sesamoids bones which are about the size of a small frozen pea are found in the underside of the forefoot near the great toe, one on the outer side of the foot and the other closer to the middle of the foot.

Heel Pain / Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is by far the most common sports injury presenting to the sports clinician and affects 10% of the general population.

With the exception of trauma, it is the most frequent cause of chronic pain in the heel is a musculoskeletal disorder primarily affecting the fascial insertion into the heel bone.

Morton's Neuroma

Patients with Morton’s neuroma present with pain in the forefoot, particularly over the sole of the forefoot. However, not all pain in the forefoot is a Morton’s neuroma. In fact, most chronic pain in the forefoot is NOT the result of a Morton’s neuroma, but rather is from metatarsalgia – inflammation (synovitis) of the “toe/foot” joints.

Tibialis Posterior Dysfunction

Tibialis posterior is a very important muscle arising from the back of the leg, under the inside of the ankle, and under the foot. Failure of this muscle is painful and serious to your foot health. You are more likely to need a custom device for this problem than any other, particularly if the condition has been troubling you for several months. Arch pain should be check if it persists over two weeks.

Ingrowing Toenails

Onychocryptosis is the medical term for an ingrowing toenail. They can range from a mild discomfort where the nail is wider than the sulcus it lives in, to intensely painful where the nail has pierced the skin and infection has set in. The only way to relieve the pain is to remove the offending piece of nail.


There are many causes of pain in the forefoot, some of the most common are flexor plate dysfunction, capsulitis, Morton’s neuralgia and stress fractures. Also conditions such as Rheumatoid arthritis can first present as forefoot pain. Diagnosis is essential for the management of metatarsalgia.

Hip Pain

Common conditions affecting the hip include arthritis, sciatica, trochanteric bursitis and iliotibial band syndrome. Conditions such as this are caused by biomechanical imbalances readily identified at Podiatry clinics using in-depth biomechanical assessment and gait analysis.

Metatarsal Stress Fracture

A metatarsal stress fracture is a crack or break in one of the five metatarsal bones found in the foot. Sometimes these fractures will cause pain in the ball of the foot. A suspected stress fracture warrants an evaluation by a foot fracture specialist, even if initial treatment has been started in the emergency room. Runners and triathletes should stop any activity until they make sure the bone isn’t broken.

Back Pain

The connection between compromised back function and foot and leg mal-alignment is well documented. In most cases back pain is caused, at least in part, by the presence of abnormal biomechanical forces. At Podiatry Clinics a detailed biomechanical assessment and gait analysis is undertaken to diagnose mal-alignments, so that effective treatment can be expedited.