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Pain in the foot and ankle is most frequently secondary to static and degenerative changes, eg, corns, hammer toes, bunions, anterior metatarsalgia, and heel pain. A second common group consists of rheumatologic disorders that encompass immune and hereditary factors. This group includes rheumatoid arthritis, the often underdiagnosed seronegative spondyloarthropathies, and, less commonly, crystalline deposit disorders and diffuse connective tissue diseases. Both the physician and the public need a heightened awareness of the existence and presence of these disorders, which may be devastating, eg, psoriatic arthritis and tenosynovitis. To these groups, we now must add
Lyme disease and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. The advances in testing, including immunologic and nuclear imaging (eg, magnetic resonance imaging), have permitted more rapid and specific diagnosis with earlier treatment.