Ankle & Foot (Podiatry)
Injuries to the ankle and foot can be painful and debilitating. DMC Orthopaedic and Podiatry specialists are able to treat your ankle and foot problems with the latest technologies, improving your health and getting you up and moving as soon as possible.
Treating foot problems and injuries promptly is important, not only to reduce pain and discomfort, but because leaving some foot conditions untreated can lead to very serious complications. DMC Podiatrists understand the need for prompt, effective foot care, and are here to provide their expertise for any foot-related health issues you may have.
With diabetes cases on the increase, more and more people need to be reminded to manage the health of their feet carefully. DMC Podiatrists treat many types of foot conditions, however about 70 percent of their work now involves patients with diabetes or circulatory problems. Common podiatry issues are:
- Ingrown nails
- Heel pain
- Fungus nails
- Skin problems
- Ankle injuries and dislocations
- Ankle and foot deformities
The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the human body. It connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. However, this tendon is also the most common site of rupture or tendonitis, an inflammation of the tendon due to overuse.
- mild pain after exercise that gradually worsens
- stiffness that disappears after the tendon warms up
- non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)
- supportive devices and/or bandages for the muscle and tendon
- strengthening exercises
These fractures may be serious and require immediate medical attention. Ankle fractures usually require a cast, and some may require surgery if the bones are too separated or misaligned.
A common symptom of an ankle fracture is pain and swelling at the site of the fracture.
Treatment for Ankle Fracture may include casting, surgery, and or rehabilitation therapy.
Bone Spur Correction
"Bone spur" is a general term used to describe a knobby, abnormal bone growth, also known as osteophytes. Bone spurs occur because of osteoarthritis or when the body tries to heal itself by replacing bone after a trauma. The growth is usually small and often undetected.
A heel spur is a bone growth on the heel bone. It is usually located on the underside of the heel bone where it attaches to the plantar fascia, a long band of connective tissue running from the heel to the ball of the foot.
This connective tissue holds the arch together and acts as a shock absorber during activity. If the plantar fascia is over-stretched from running, wearing poor-fitting shoes or being overweight, pain can result from the stress and inflammation of the tissue pulling on the bone. Over time, the body builds extra bone in response to this stress, resulting in heel spurs.
- cold packs
- anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen
- proper stretching prior to activity
- proper footwear or shoe inserts
- corticosteroid injections
- surgery (for more severe conditions)
A bunion (hallux valgus) is an enlargement of the bone or tissue around a joint at the base of the big toe or at the base of the little toe (in which case it is called a "bunionette" or "tailor's bunion"). Bunions often occur when the joint is stressed over a prolonged period.
They are nine times more common in women than in men, primarily because women may be more likely to wear tight, pointed and confining shoes. Bunions may be inherited as a family trait, or may result from arthritis.
Reasons to undergo bunion surgery include severe foot pain that occurs even when walking or wearing flat, comfortable shoes, or when chronic big toe inflammation and swelling does not go away with rest or medications. Other reasons for surgery include toe deformity, a drifting in of the big toe toward the small toe, and an inability to bend and straighten the big toe.
Initial treatment of bunions may include wearing comfortable, well-fitting footwear (particularly shoes that conform to the shape of the foot and do not cause pressure areas) or the use of splints and orthotics (special shoe inserts shaped to your feet) to reposition the big toe. For bunions caused by arthritis, medications may help reduce pain and swelling.
If non-surgical treatment fails, your physician may suggest surgery, which corrects the issue for most people. The goal of surgery is to relieve pain and correct as much deformity as possible, keeping in mind that bunion correction surgery is not cosmetic and is not meant to improve the appearance of the foot.
A hammertoe is a condition in which the toe buckles, causing the middle joint of the affected toe to poke out. This condition is often aggravated by tight-fitting shoes that put pressure on the toes, often causing a corn to develop at the site.
- applying a toe pad specially positioned over the bony protrusion
- changing your footwear to accommodate the deformed toe
- surgical removal