Foot and Ankle Physicians and Orthopedic Surgeons
Foot and ankle problems may cause many different symptoms and result in activity limitations. Patients may complain of pain, tightness, stiffness, instability, popping, catching, clicking, warmth, swelling, redness, inability to walk, and inability to exercise. An important goal of treatment is often times to decrease pain, which in turn frequently leads to improved function.
Our foot and ankle physicians will offer procedures that are aimed towards healing the injured body in addition to treating any systemic factors than may contribute. Frequent factors that may add to pain and poor function include obesity, diabetes, depression, anxiety, low back nerve impingement, and poor shoe wear including heels. Nonoperative orthopedic treatments help most patients and include but are not limited to medications (including anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and naproxen), physical therapy, and activity modifications. Surgery is recommended when nonoperative treatments are not working or are no longer working, or in circumstances where surgery is the best options to restore activity and avoid pain.
Some of the most common injuries to the foot and ankle are traumatic. These usually involve a slip and fall or a sporting injury. Ankle sprains are very common. Treatment may include non-operative treatment such as a walking boot or physical therapy. Sometimes, surgery is required to tighten torn ligaments or repair cartilage that was injured at time of sprain. Fractures are also very common including ankle fractures, 5th metatarsal fractures, calcaneus fractures, and Lisfranc fractures.
Cartilage problems can lead to arthritis. Common areas of arthritis include the ankle, midfoot, and big toe. These areas may have bone spurs that are painful or noticeable. Also, patients may note decreased range of motion of certain joints, affecting their ability to push off or go upstairs.
Patients may also have tendonitis or tears of multiple tendons in the foot. Large tendons such as the Achilles tendon may need to be repaired if torn. One of the most common locations of tendonitis is on the back of the heel, where patients may have a bone spur, or pump bump, on the back of the heel. Others, such as the posterior tibial tendon (affected in flat foot) or peroneals may also need to be repaired if torn. Heel pain, such as from plantar fasciitis, may benefit from a comprehensive treatment plan, including stretching.
Forefoot deformity is also very common, with hammertoes and bunions being frequently associated with tight shoe wear. If shoe wear modification fails to help symptoms, surgery may be needed to alleviate symptoms and to correct deformity. There are many other ailments that our fellowship-trained orthopedic foot and ankle specialists are trained to evaluate and treat for you.
Click on a foot and ankle doctor to learn more about his work and to schedule an appointment.
For more detailed information on foot and ankle care, please visit the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society's website, FootCareMD.com.