About the Foot and Ankle
Your feet and ankles absorb force with every step you take. With so many delicate, moving parts and near-constant force, it’s no wonder that your feet and ankles are vulnerable to so many potential injuries and degenerative conditions.
Common foot and ankle problems
Foot and ankle arthritis
The ends of all the bones in your feet and ankles are covered with a thin layer of cartilage that helps the bones glide smoothly when you walk, stand, and run. Arthritis causes inflammation within the joints and the deterioration of the cartilage within the foot and ankle joint.
As the cartilage deteriorates, the foot and ankle bones may begin to rub together, leading to pain, inflammation, and stiffness. Foot and ankle arthritis can result from the aging process, repeated injuries to the foot or ankle, or genetic factors.
Ankle sprains are one of the most common orthopedic injuries. When you abnormally turn your ankle, it stretches the ligaments that connect your bones. When your ligaments overstretch or tear, you sprain your ankle. This most often occurs during sports but can also result from something as simple as missing a stair or a fall.
An ankle fracture, more commonly referred to as a broken ankle, is a fracture of one or more bones that make up the ankle joint. Ankle fractures often occur during falls or automobile accidents. Your risk of breaking an ankle increases if you participate in high-impact sports, suddenly increase your activity levels, or have osteoporosis.
Your Achilles tendon is a strong band of tissue that connects your calf muscle to the back of the leg on the heel bone. The Achilles tendon can be damaged or injured in both acute injuries and by repetitive strain. The severity of the injury can vary and range from inflammation to a tear in the ligament.
Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition caused by inflammation of the thick band of tissue at the bottom of the foot, known as the plantar fascia. Plantar fasciitis often results from overuse and is especially common in athletes due to repetitive strains on the tissue.
Over time, the fascia becomes inflamed due to repeat tearing and stretching. Other risk factors for plantar fasciitis include having a high arch in the foot, obesity, and tight calf muscles.
Bunions, also known as Hallux Valgus deformity, develop when your big toe leans toward the other toes, pushing the joint between your toe and the rest of the foot outward. The abnormal pressure on the joint eventually leads to bone spur development.
A bony bump forms on the joint, causing pain that becomes more severe when you walk or put weight on your foot. Bunions may be caused by repetitive actions, arthritis, and poorly fitting shoes.
Hammertoes and claw toes
Hammertoes and claw toes form when a tight ligament pulls a toe into a curled position that resembles a hammer or a claw. As the condition progresses, your toes can curl over their neighbors, interfering with the way your foot moves when you walk.
The difference between hammertoes and claw toes is the affected joints. Hammertoes form on the middle joint in your toe, while claw toes usually affect the first two joints, and in some cases, all three.
People with diabetes, peripheral artery disease, and neuropathy have an increased risk of wounds or ulcers forming on their feet or ankles. The combination of nerve damage and decreased blood flow can lead to small, minor injuries like blisters turning into more severe wounds or ulcers.
When untreated, these wounds can become infected, leading to tissue death and potentially amputation.
A Morton’s neuroma is a benign growth that forms around the nerves in your foot. The ligaments between the metatarsal bones in your foot thicken, usually between your third and fourth toes, although they can form in other parts of your foot.
The thickened tissue presses on the nerves that pass through the ball of the foot. The compression irritates your nerve, which eventually leads to nerve damage.
Foot & Ankle Treatments
The podiatrists and foot and ankle specialists at OrthoNeuro in Columbus provide comprehensive care to address the wide range of painful foot and ankle problems.
The foot and ankle surgeons at OrthoNeuro offer two different surgeries to remove and correct bunions: Modified Lapidus and Osteotomy. Both surgeries involve removing excess bony tissue and correcting the position of the bone, but they involve different approaches and techniques. Talk to your foot and ankle specialist to learn more about these bunion surgeries and discover which approach is best for you.
Ankle arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that uses a small surgical camera and surgical tools. Your foot and ankle specialist uses ankle arthroscopy to treat chronic pain or loss of function in the ankle due to damaged cartilage, ligaments, or bone spurs. Damage to the cartilage, ligaments, or bone spurs can result from previous injuries (such as repeated ankle sprains) or arthritis.
Total Ankle Replacement
Total ankle replacement, also known as total ankle arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure used to remove the damaged parts of the ankle ligament and bone and replace them with metal and plastic components. These prosthetics mimic healthy ankle joint function and allow you to move your ankle normally and without pain. Your orthopedic surgeon may recommend an ankle replacement to treat severe osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and post-traumatic arthritis that does not respond to nonsurgical treatment.
Our skin is your first line of defense. Failure of any wound to heal in a timely fashion is potentially very serious. Non-healing lower extremity wounds can be particularly problematic and can increase your risk for infection, tissue death, and potential limb loss. The team employs state-of-the-art wound care and healing technologies in the office and through affiliate wound care centers.
No one wants ugly or painful feet due to toenail fungus or warts. The podiatry team at OrthoNeuro offers state-of-the-art laser services for nail fungus, warts, and scars to keep your feet looking their best. The team also provides Keryflex nail restoration for damaged and diseased nails.
The team also offers gait analysis and athletic shoe counseling to identify any abnormalities that could contribute to your foot and ankle pain. Healthy feet are an essential part of healthy living. The podiatry and sports medicine specialists can help you foster that active lifestyle no matter what level of sporting activities you enjoy.
Call OrthoNeuro today or make an appointment online for expert foot and ankle care in Columbus, Ohio.
Foot & Ankle
Foot, Ankle, and Podiatry Specialists
If you have an acute injury or live with chronic foot and ankle pain in Call OrthoNeuro today or make an appointment online for expert foot and ankle care in Columbus, Ohio.