Foot Injury: Introduction
The foot is an extremely complex structure allowing us to adapt to the forces of the ground with each and every step. Along with the ankle, it propels us forward, alternating as a strong rigid structure and a soft accommodating adapter. The bones, joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons work intricately together to allow for shock absorption and motion. Unfortunately, such a finely tune system ends up overused frequently causing foot and ankle pain. When you’re experiencing this annoying pain, the foot and ankle specialists of New Jersey, AOSMI, can help.
Foot and Ankle Pain Causes
- Trauma – An injury caused by anything from dropping something on your foot or a twisting your ankle
- Overuse – Very common, as most of us spend a lot of time on their feet. Athletes who engage in high-impact activities, like runners, often have problems with their feet because of overuse.
NJ foot doctors find that the most common conditions affecting the foot and ankle include:
- Plantar Fasciitis – Inflammation of the area of the fascia of the foot. This causes significant pain and difficulty walking.
- Ankle Sprain – One of the most commonly sprained areas of the body occurs when the ankle is rolled or twisted, and the ligaments that stabilize the ankle become stretched or torn
- Bunions – A deformity of the bone involving the base of your great toe, making it difficult to wear shoes due to pain and pressure
- Peripheral neuropathy and diabetic neuropathy – Damage to the nerves going down to the foot, resulting in a lack of sensation, and can result in ulcers and infections of the foot and ankle.
- Fractures of the foot and ankle – Often caused by falls and sporting injuries
Foot and Ankle Pain Treatments
Foot and ankle problems are often healed with non-invasive treatments including:
- Medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Massage, Acupuncture and Physical Therapy – To restore function and deal with inflammation
- Injections – PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma) and Steroid injections are helpful in treating plantar fasciitis
- Bracing and Casting – Provide help with pain and instability
- Shock Wave Therapy – Specifically used for heel pain in the foot.
Top foot and ankle surgeons commonly perform surgery for certain problems of the foot and ankle that are unresponsive to conservative treatments, such as:
- Open Reduction and Internal Fixation – A procedure that brings a fracture back into position by holding it with screws and plates. Sometimes screws are used alone for certain fracture patterns. Pins and wires can be used as well, depending on the bone and the type of fracture.
- Arthroscopy of the Ankle – Tiny incisions are made around the ankle in order for a narrow fiber optic instruments to look deep within your ankle joint to repair or remove cartilage or other tissue that is causing the problem.
- Bunion Surgery – Corrects the deformity at the base of your great toe to straighten it out and relieve the pain from pressure.
- Surgery for Infection – Often needed to treat infections of the foot, especially if your bone becomes infected
- Tendon Transfers – If your foot becomes flat from posterior tibialis tendon insufficiency which alters the balance of your foot, our surgeons can move the tendon to take the place of the injured tendon, or perform an osteotomy, where the bones of your foot are realigned to help achieve a normal arch.
Pain or injury of the foot and ankle can affect the quality of your life. Whether you know the cause of your pain or you have no idea why you’re experiencing such discomfort, you should seek the help of AOSMI, a foot specialist in NJ. Call today to schedule an appointment.