Suffering With A Foot or Ankle Injury?: The Most Common Foot and Ankle Injuries
Whether it’s a sports injury, ankle arthritis, or a the result of a slip around the home, many individuals suffer from serious foot or ankle injuries and defects and don’t even know it. Do you have a foot or ankle giving you trouble? Is this an ankle sprain or something more serious?
Achilles Tendon Injuries
The Achilles tendons are the thick tendons along the back of your ankle. Overuse can lead to Achilles tendon ruptures and Achilles tendon partial tears.
There are more than 26 bones in the foot. That said foot and ankle fractures are common injuries. Many foot and ankle fractures are caused by hard falls and car accidents. Stress fractures of the foot or ankle are caused by repetitive use and are often a chronic condition.
Ankle osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis affect the cartilage of the ankle limiting the overall mobility of the joint. Depending on the severity, these conditions may require surgery.
Hammer toe is a common foot deformity causing the to bend downward. Hammer toe often affects the second toe of the foot but it is possible for more than one toe to be affected with hammer toe.
A Full Range of Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Care for Your Foot and Ankle Injuries
At Sports Medicine Oregon, we understand that every foot and ankle injury is unique. With this in mind, we take a personalized and methodical approach to your injury and then design a plan of action. After all we are here to treat our patients not just their symptoms.
The Sports Medicine Oregon orthopedic care capabilities include everything from cutting edge regenerative injections to ankle replacement surgery and individually tailored strength training and physical therapy regimens. A treatment program focused on pain alone won’t remedy the underlying problem.
So what are your treatment options? It all starts with a detailed history of your problem and an exam by a board certified orthopedic or sports medicine physician and ends with a personalized plan of action specific to your foot or ankle injury.
At Sports Medicine Oregon, we’ve treated thousands of foot and ankle injuries and it all starts with a thorough history of your problem and examination at our state of the art facility. We will diagnose the root cause of your foot or ankle pain and then design a strategy to help you restore your active lifestyle.
Simply put: Different types of foot and ankle pain will indicate different types of injuries. What is your body trying to tell you? Your specific symptoms and your activity level will give us a clear way to help you manage pain, swelling, stiffness and instability in a manner that will avoid further injury to your foot or ankle.
Once we’ve established your diagnosis, one of our board certified orthopedic and sports medicine physicians will assess and diagnose the cause of your foot or ankle pain symptoms. An accurate diagnosis is paramount to the shortest possible road to recovery.
Return to Play Guidelines
Understanding how often and how aggressively you can go about your normal activity regimen will depend on your injury, your lifestyle, and your foot and ankle diagnosis. Many symptoms can be adequately managed with strengthening and activity adjustments. At Sports Medicine Oregon, we call these personally tailored instructions your “Return to Play” guidelines.
Integrated Physical Therapy
Have you adjusted your lifestyle but your feet and ankles are still holding you back? Physical therapy can strengthen the surrounding muscles and increase flexibility. It is often a necessary step to take when your underlying foot or ankle injury is capable of healing without surgical intervention, Our on staff physical therapists will work directly with your physician to assure that your time is well spent.
Today, we are witnessing a true renaissance in sports medicine treatment and the latest biotech solutions can regrow healthy tissue and set you free from chronic foot and ankle pain and reduced range of motion. Is platelet rich plasma (PRP), prolotherapy, or stem cell (bone marrow aspirate concentrate) therapy right for you?
Imaging and Interpretation
If the previous treatment options haven’t adequately managed your symptoms it may be time to address the structural cause of your foot or ankle pain. Fortunately, we can image and diagnose many common foot and ankle injuries on-site.
Minimally Invasive Corrective Surgery
Unlike more invasive “open” surgery, arthroscopic foot and ankle surgery involves less pain, less swelling and shorter recovery times. After outpatient foot or ankle arthroscopy, patients return home the same day and can be back to their active lifestyle in a minimal amount of time.
Total Joint Replacement
Are you experiencing bone on bone pain or ankle clicking? As a last resort, ankle joints damaged by severe ankle arthritis are often treated with total ankle replacement surgery. If it turns out that this is the best option for you, our board certified orthopedic surgeons are leaders in the field.
Foot and Ankle Swelling, Foot and Ankle Pain: Time to See an Orthopedist
There are many common foot and ankle injuries each with a range of symptoms and degrees of severity. It’s important to understand exactly what these foot and ankle pain symptoms signify. What is your body trying to tell you?
Symptoms associated with less severe injuries (namely bumps, bruises, and mild ankle sprains) can often be managed with rest, ice, compression, and elevation. However, structural injuries and more severe conditions will require professional treatment. Are these ankle pain symptoms signs of a sprained ankle or a potentially more serious injury?
Foot and Ankle Pain? Foot and Ankle Swelling?
Overuse of the Achilles tendons can cause Achilles tendinitis and these symptoms include general foot and ankle pain and swelling. Chronic swelling and pain along the foot and ankle could also be signs of a condition known as ankle tendinosis. If a toe or multiple toes are inflamed, sore, and bent with limited mobility you may be suffering from hammer toe. Foot fractures and stress fractures may include bruising and swelling near the specific injury.
Foot or Ankle popping? Ankle stiffness?
While not all foot and ankle popping and clicking (known medically as crepitus) are ankle injury symptoms, some are linked with serious ankle injuries. After a foot fracture, some patients experience popping or locking in the foot or ankle. Similarly, many people hear an audible “pop” during a full Achilles tendon tear.
Ankle sprains can cause the ankle to feel unstable and with more severe ankle sprains and ligament damage it may be difficult to bear weight on the injured ankle. Repeated ligament and tendon injuries can cause chronic ankle instability. Ankle instability is also typically associated with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid ankle arthritis.
Best Foot and Ankle Injury Treatment Options
Depending on your age and activity level you may not need to undergo surgery. Fortunately, at Sports Medicine Oregon, we offer many non surgical foot and ankle treatment options for your foot or ankle injury including personalized rehabilitation at our state-of-the-art outpatient physical therapy center.
Your specific symptoms as well as your lifestyle activity level will give us a clearer idea of the treatment options to consider moving forward.
Accurate Diagnosis and Return to Play Guidelines
Once your foot or ankle injury has been assessed and diagnosed by our board certified orthopedic and sports medicine surgeons, we can determine your Return to Play guidelines. These treatments will establish specific rules regarding your expectations and limitations until you return to your active lifestyle without foot or ankle pain.
While competitive athletes and active individuals may need surgery, less active individuals often benefit from the same techniques used to treat high-level athletes, such as physical therapy, strength training, and assistive braces alongside general lifestyle adjustments. In fact, foot and ankle injuries often respond well to nonsurgical treatment.
From ankle arthritis to sprained ankles, your nonsurgical options will be determined by the severity of your injury or joint inflammation. With this in mind, those in the preliminary stages of osteoarthritis can greatly benefit from the full spectrum of nonsurgical treatments.
Physical therapy will allow you to strengthen the surrounding muscles and also increase range of motion. Based on your foot or ankle injury we will determine a plan of action and create a strength training regimen based on you and your activity goals.
For decades, patients were exceedingly limited to cortisone and steroid injections designed to treat foot and ankle pain. Today, that has all changed and there are many state of the art biological regenerative injections, including PRP therapy, to regrow and build joint tissue. Come in today and let’s talk about your regenerative injection options.
When Foot or Ankle Surgery is the Best Option for Your Foot or Ankle Injury
Let’s say you’ve changed your lifestyle, shed a few pounds and your ankles are still holding you back. If your symptoms cannot be managed with nonsurgical treatments or your functional plateau is keeping you from your active lifestyle it may be time to consider foot or ankle surgery.
Achilles Tendon Surgery
Achilles tendon surgery is designed to repair a Achilles tendon rupture or partially torn achilles tendon. During the procedure, your surgeon will gather the torn or partially torn Achilles tendon and stitch them together or reattach the tendon.
Ankle Replacement Surgery
Total ankle replacement surgery is typically used to treat a severely damaged or diseased ankle joint. During this ankle arthroscopy, your surgeon will insert a device or a series of assistive devices to help restore ankle mobility.
Ankle Fracture Surgery
Fibula and tibia ankle fractures are common. Ankle fracture surgery stabilizes the damaged bone or bones using a fixation plate to support the fractured bone allowing the area to heal.
Hammer Toe Surgery
Hammer toe deformities are corrected using hammer toe surgery. During the procedure, your surgeon will remove a portion of the bone to shorten the overall length of the toe.
Foot and Ankle Arthroscopy: Minimally Invasive Foot and Ankle Surgery
Today there are many outpatient foot and ankle arthroscopy options and typically patients are free to return home just hours after the procedure. Unlike more invasive procedures, arthroscopic foot and ankle surgery doesn’t require large incisions, reducing swelling and recovery times. These surgeries are geared toward tendons, ligaments, and joint preservation not joint replacement.
What exactly is arthroscopic surgery? During a typical procedure, the surgeon guides a small camera (arthroscope -- hence the name) through the ankle, foot, or lower leg via a small incision and uses this visual data and surgical instruments to diagnose and treat the underlying cause of your pain.
Less Pain and Swelling
Unlike traditional arthrotomy surgeries (also known as “open surgeries”) foot and ankle arthroscopy use small incisions to treat the underlying problem. This means less swelling, less damage to normal tissue, and less ankle pain after surgery.
Smaller incisions often enable shorter recovery times allowing you to get back to your normal daily activity faster.
Decreased Risk of Infection
These smaller incisions minimize the overall healing time and also reduce patient’s risk of infection.
Almost all arthroscopic ankle procedures are performed as outpatient surgeries and patients are normally free to return home just 1-2 hours after the surgery.
What Is the Recovery Time for Arthroscopic Foot or Ankle Surgery?
Now that the surgery is over, it’s time for the healing process to begin. Knowing what to expect during the recovery process can help us set realistic goals beforehand. What’s the average arthroscopic surgery recovery time? How long does swelling last after arthroscopic surgery?
Patients are able to return home an hour or two after surgery. At home, it’s important to keep the foot and ankle elevated and apply ice packs as needed to minimize any swelling and pain. While you may need crutches immediately after surgery, many individuals are able to walk on the repaired foot or ankle after the procedure.
Most patients return to work the week following surgery and individuals with less strenuous “desk” jobs can go back to work even earlier. A full recovery following
foot or ankle arthroscopic surgery will take between 4-6 weeks. Active individuals can expect to return to their competitive lifestyles about a month after surgery.
During this time, your doctor will design a physical therapy regimen. These foot and ankle rehab exercises are designed to strengthen the muscles surrounding the joint and also increase flexibility to restore your active lifestyle.