Foot and Ankle
Some of the most common orthopaedic problems people have involve areas in the foot and ankle. All-Star Orthopaedics and our lead foot and ankle surgeon, Dr. Brian Straus, offer a variety of treatments to help you reduce the pain and discomfort associated with injuries or conditions afflicting the feet and ankles. We offer only the most advanced techniques and therapies, and we only recommend surgery when all other options have been exhausted. If surgery is necessary, our board-certified orthopaedic surgeon can help to improve your condition and get you back to living an active lifestyle.
Please contact All-Star Orthopaedics to schedule a consultation with our specialists here in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas region. You can also visit Dr. Straus’ professional site for more information.
Visit the American Association of Foot and Ankle Surgeons patient education page Foot Care MD for additional topics and information.
Damage caused by arthritis can cause pain and disability. Ankle replacement surgery, or total ankle arthroplasty (TAA), is used to treat this condition and help patients return to comfortable movement. During the procedure, damaged tissues and bone are removed and replaced with metal and plastic components that mimic the natural ankle joint. Dr. Straus, who is certified in the latest ankle replacement methods and technology, can determine if this technique is appropriate for your needs. We emphasize non-surgical treatments foremost, but if those prove ineffective, TAA may be able to help you to enjoy greater ankle motion and significantly less discomfort.
Common afflictions of the foot and ankle include:
When the foot rolls, turns, or twists beyond its normal abilities, a sprained ankle is often the result. Ankle sprains typically occur when the foot lands in an odd position and with great force, causing stretched ligaments and sometimes an actual tearing of elastic fibers. Pain, swelling, and trouble walking are common symptoms from this very common injury. Depending on the severity of the sprain, most ankle sprains need only time and adequate protection to heal. Rest and elevation of the ankle, along with ice and compression are often recommended. Sometimes immobilization and/or crutches may be necessary. Medication can help with pain and swelling in many cases of ankle sprain. Severe sprains may require physical therapy, casting, and – only in rare cases – surgery. Ankle sprains can often be prevented by properly warming up before exercise, paying close attention to surfaces while walking, and wearing good, comfortable shoes.
Click on the image below to download Dr. Straus’s Ankle Sprain Interview
A broken bone, or fracture, can occur as a result of trauma, overuse, or disease. Stress fractures typically occur from repetitive activity, such as running, particularly if the individual suddenly increases their activity or changes exercises suddenly. Diseases like osteoporosis and arthritis can also lead to a stress fracture, as these conditions weaken bones. Any bone in the foot or ankle can fracture, but stress fractures more commonly happen in the heel, fibula (outside bone of the lower leg), talus (a small bone located in the ankle joint), and the metatarsals (located on the midfoot). Some symptoms of a fracture include:
- Pain that diminishes when you rest or stop exercising
- Pain that increases during normal activity
- Swelling in the affected area
- Tenderness to touch
If you suspect that you have a broken bone, you should schedule a visit with your primary care physician or an experienced orthopaedic foot surgeon. In the meantime, rest the injured foot or ankle, apply ice, wrap the area to minimize swelling, and elevate the leg above the heart.
Bunions are typically enlarged joints in the big toe which can become very swollen and painful. Usually caused by ill-fitting shoes or an inherited genetic trait, bunions can often be treated by wearing shoes that conform to your foot and does not cause undue stress on the toe. Painful symptoms may be treated by various shoe inserts and padding. Severe cases of bunions may require surgery.
Heel Pain /Plantar Fasciitis
Sometimes, the connective tissue between the sole of the foot and the heel bone can become inflamed and cause pain and discomfort. Although this condition often improves by itself, medication, shoe inserts, and stretching exercises can help alleviate the pain. However, more severe cases may need steroid injections or walking casts to treat the condition, and prolonged cases of heel pain may require surgery.
Morton’s Neuroma occurs most commonly between the third and fourth toes, but may occur between any of the toes. A nerve between these toes can become pinched because of wearing tight shoes or other factors, leading to pain and discomfort in the toes. Wearing wider shoes and taking oral medications can reduce the inflammation and swelling around the nerve, and a foot pad to help keep the bones spread may also be helpful. Cortisone injections may also be beneficial; if pain persists, surgical intervention may become necessary.
The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscle to the heel bone, and is the most frequently injured tendon in the body. Achilles Tendonitis is typically caused by inflammation and overuse, often after a sudden change or increase in your exercise routine, trauma from a calf muscle contraction, or inadequate stretching before and after exercise. Pain in the area after exercise and swelling are common symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis. Our orthopaedic surgeons generally recommend rest of the inflamed area, avoidance of activities which may exacerbate the condition, gentle stretching, a shoe insert or heel pad, oral anti-inflammatories, or complete immobilization for a temporary period of time. Surgery is typically a last-resort option. To avoid problems like Achilles Tendonitis, individuals should choose comfortable running shoes, always do stretches and warm-ups before exercise, increase speed or distance on a gradual basis (no more than 10% a week), and perform the proper cool-down regimen after exercise.
A hammertoe is characterized by a deformity of the second, third, or fourth toe. The toe is bent at the middle joint, and can be aggravated by ill-fitting shoes. Pain maybe felt along the top or bottom of the toe, and can lead to the development of a hard corn in the area. Better-fitting shoes can often lessen the pain from hammertoe, and shoe pads or inserts may also be beneficial. Surgery may become necessary if non-surgical options are not helping.