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Conditions & Treatments

Foot & Ankle

Foot & Ankle Pain Treatment

The foot and ankle bear the weight of the entire body.  Many people experience foot and ankle problems that can result in severe pain and limit the things they enjoy or even the ability to perform many of the daily tasks we take for granted such as walking, running and dancing.  Some of the factors that contribute to the cause of pain include:

  • Poorly fitting shoes
  • Heredity
  • Aging
  • Disease
  • Trauma
  • Repetitive Use
  • Overuse

**Athletes and dancers can experience unique foot and ankle problems related to the stress on these joints while practicing or performing.

Expertise and Experience

The Foot and Ankle team at OSS Health has experience in correcting and preventing foot and ankle injuries. Our team consists of an Orthopaedic Surgeon with specialized training in foot and ankle, Podiatrists (foot and ankle specialists) and a team of Physical Therapists. Following a thorough evaluation, your OSS Health Specialist can suggest such options as medications, steroid injections, specific exercises, shoe inserts, foot pads and walking casts.  For foot and ankle problems not relieved by conservative treatment, surgery performed by one of our expert doctors is also an option. Our goal is to keep your feet and ankles free of pain to allow greater mobility and freedom to pursue the activities you enjoy. Let us help you get back to dancing!

Meet The OSS Health Foot & Ankle Team:

Foot/Ankle Conditions

Foot & Ankle Pain

General foot or ankle pain, which is often referred to simply as foot pain or ankle pain, is a common orthopaedic condition, especially in athletes and active individuals, the older population, and patients with diabetes. General foot or ankle pain is a condition that causes inflammation of the bones and soft tissues of the foot or ankle joint, which results in pain and decreased function of the foot and ankle. As the condition progresses, more inflammation occurs and it becomes more difficult to move the foot or ankle.

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Foot & Ankle Arthritis
The foot and ankle are comprised of dozens of bones and the ends of these bones are covered with a thin layer of cartilage that helps the bones glide smoothly when walking, standing and running. Arthritis causes inflammation within the joints as well as deterioration of the cartilage within the foot and ankle joint. As the cartilage deteriorates, the bones of the foot and ankle may begin to rub together. Foot or Ankle Arthritis can be the result of the aging process, repeated injuries to the foot or ankle as well as genetic factors.

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Ankle Sprain

Ankle sprains are one of the most common orthopaedic injuries and are caused when the ankle is abnormally turned inward (inversion) or outward (eversion). The bones of the ankle are connected by strong ligaments. When the ankle is twisted, the ligaments are damaged and this is considered to be an ankle sprain. This injury most often occurs during sports but can also be the result of something as simple as missing a stair or a fall.

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Ankle Fracture

An Ankle Fracture, more commonly referred to as a “broken ankle,” is a fracture to one or more of the bones that make up the ankle joint.  Fractures can occur in any or all of the bones of the ankle joint, including:

  • Tibia – the shinbone
  • Fibula – the smaller bone of the lower leg
  • Talus – a small bone that sits between the heel bone and the tibia and fibula

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Achilles Tendonitis
The Achilles Tendon is a strong band of tissue that connects the calf muscle into the heel bone. This tendon can be damaged or injured in several ways and the severity of the injury can vary and range from inflammation to a tear in the ligament.

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Bone Spurs

Bone spurs, which are often referred to simply as arthritis, are one of the most common orthopaedic conditions, especially in the older population. Bone spurs are a condition that narrow the joint space, causing the bones within the joint to rub together. This results in pain and decreased function of the joint. As the condition progresses, the bone spurs can become worse and the joint space can become narrower. Once there is no more joint space the bones of the ankle can begin to rub together causing increased pain.

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Bunions, also known as a “hallax valgus deformity,” are a condition that causes the big toe of the foot to point outward. Bunions typically occur slowly over time but the pain will increase as the deformity gets worse and it may be difficult to walk, wear shoes or be active. In many cases, bone spurs will also form in the joint of the big toe and cause pain when walking or bearing weight. This condition is thought to affect those who wear tight shoes or high heels, but this condition can also be caused by repetitive actions with improper balance such as running or sports. Deformities in the foot or arthritis have also been known to cause bunions.

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Flat Feet
The arch of the foot consists of the tarsal bones, metatarsal bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. The arch of the foot helps support the weight of the body when standing, walking and running. Flat feet are caused by nondevelopment of the arch during childhood or wear and tear and subsequent weakening of the arch. People with flat feet may or may not have problems.

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Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar Fasciitis is a painful condition caused by inflammation to the thick band of tissue at the bottom of the foot, known as the plantar fascia. This band of tissue begins in the heels and connects in the toes. Plantar fasciitis often results from overuse and is especially common in athletes due to repetitive strains to 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.

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Stress Fractures
A stress fracture is one of the most common sports injuries and although they can occur in many of the bones within the body, they are most common in the lower leg and foot.

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Foot/Ankle Treatments

Ankle Arthroscopy

Ankle Arthroscopy is a procedure that uses a small surgical camera and surgical tools to treat chronic pain or loss of function in the ankle due to damaged cartilage, ligaments or bone spurs. Bone spurs or damage to the cartilage or ligaments can be the result of previous injuries (such as repeated ankle sprains) or arthritis and can limit day-to-day mobility.

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A Bunionectomy is an outpatient surgical procedure used to treat the painful symptoms of a bunion. The goal of this procedure is to remove the bony deformity in the big toe and realign the toe in the correct anatomical position.

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Total Ankle Replacement
Total Ankle Replacement, also known as Total Ankle Arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure used to remove the arthritic portions of the ankle ligament and replace them with metal and plastic components. These components mimic the function of a healthy ankle joint and allow for increased mobility and reduced pain. An Ankle Replacement may be recommended to treat severe osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and post-traumatic arthritis that does not respond to nonsurgical treatment.

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