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  • Achilles Tendon
  • Ankle Sprains
  • Athlete's Foot
  • Bunions
  • Ingrown Toe Nails
  • Mortons Neuroma (English)
  • Mortons Neuroma (Español)
  • Onychomycosis (English)
  • Tailors Bunions (English)
  • Toes & Metatarsal Fx (English)
  • Toes & Metatarsal Fx (Spanish)

Achilles Tendon Rupture

Achilles Tendon Rupture

What is the Achilles Tendon?

A tendon is a band of tissue that connects a muscle to a bone. The Achilles tendon runs down the back of the lower leg and connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. Also called the "heel cord," the Achilles tendon facilitates walking by helping to raise the heel off the ground.

What is an Achilles Tendon Rupture?

An Achilles tendon rupture is a complete or partial tear that occurs when the tendon is stretched beyond its capacity. Forceful jumping or pivoting, or sudden accelerations of running, can overstretch the tendon and cause a tear. An injury to the tendon can also result from falling or tripping. Achilles tendon ruptures are most often seen in "weekend warriors" – typically, middle-aged people participating in sports in their spare time. Less commonly, illness or medications, such as steroids or certain antibiotics, may weaken the tendon and contribute to ruptures.

Signs and Symptoms

A person with a ruptured Achilles tendon may experience one or more of the following:

  • Sudden pain (which feels like a kick or a stab) in the back of the ankle or calf – often subsiding into a dull ache
  • A popping or snapping sensation
  • Swelling on the back of the leg between the heel and the calf
  • Difficulty walking (especially upstairs or uphill) and difficulty rising up on the toes

These symptoms require prompt medical attention to prevent further damage. Until the patient is able to see a doctor, the "R.I.C.E." method should be used. This involves:

  • Rest: Stay off the injured foot and ankle, since walking can cause pain or further damage.
  • Ice: Apply a bag of ice covered with a thin towel to reduce swelling and pain. Do not put ice directly against the skin.
  • Compression: Wrap the foot and ankle in an elastic bandage to prevent further swelling.
  • Elevation: Keep the leg elevated to reduce the swelling. It should be even with or slightly above heart level.
  • Diagnosis
    • In diagnosing an Achilles tendon rupture, the foot and ankle surgeon will ask questions about how and when the injury occurred and whether the patient has previously injured the tendon or experienced similar symptoms. The surgeon will examine the foot and ankle, feeling for a defect in the tendon that suggests a tear. Range of motion and muscle strength will be evaluated and compared to the uninjured foot and ankle. If the Achilles tendon is ruptured, the patient will have less strength in pushing down (as on a gas pedal) and will have difficulty rising on the toes. The diagnosis of an Achilles tendon rupture is typically straightforward and can be made through this type of examination. In some cases, however, the surgeon may order an MRI or other advanced imaging tests.

  • Treatment
    • Treatment options for an Achilles tendon rupture include surgical and non-surgical approaches. The decision of whether to proceed with surgery or non-surgical treatment is based on the severity of the rupture and the patient’s health status and activity level.

      Non-Surgical Treatment
      Non-surgical treatment, which is generally associated with a higher rate of re-rupture, is selected for minor ruptures, less active patients, and those with medical conditions that prevent them from undergoing surgery. Non-surgical treatment involves use of a cast, walking boot, or brace to restrict motion and allow the torn tendon to heal.

      Surgery
      Surgery offers important potential benefits. Besides decreasing the likelihood of re-rupturing the Achilles tendon, surgery often increases the patient’s push-off strength and improves muscle function and movement of the ankle.
      Various surgical techniques are available to repair the rupture. The surgeon will select the procedure best suited to the patient.
      Following surgery, the foot and ankle are initially immobilized in a cast or walking boot. The surgeon will determine when the patient can begin weightbearing.
      Complications such as incision-healing difficulties, re-rupture of the tendon, or nerve pain can arise after surgery.

  • Physical Therapy
    • Whether an Achilles tendon rupture is treated surgically or non-surgically, physical therapy is an important component of the healing process. Physical therapy involves exercises that strengthen the muscles and improve the range of motion of the foot and ankle.

Ankle Sprain

Ankle Sprain

What Is an Ankle Sprain?

An ankle sprain is an injury to one or more ligaments in the ankle, usually on the outside of the ankle. Ligaments are bands of tissue – like rubber bands – that connect one bone to another and bind the joints together. In the ankle joint, ligaments provide stability by limiting side-to-side movement.
Some ankle sprains are much worse than others. The severity of an ankle sprain depends on whether the ligament is stretched, partially torn, or completely torn, as well as on the number of ligaments involved. Ankle sprains are not the same as strains, which affect muscles rather than ligaments.

Causes

Sprained ankles often result from a fall, a sudden twist, or a blow that forces the ankle joint out of its normal position. Ankle sprains commonly occur while participating in sports, wearing inappropriate shoes, or walking or running on an uneven surface.
Sometimes ankle sprains occur because of a person is born with weak ankles. Previous ankle or foot injuries can also weaken the ankle and lead to sprains.

Symptoms

The symptoms of ankle sprains may include:

  • Pain or soreness
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Difficulty walking
  • Stiffness in the joint

These symptoms may vary in intensity, depending on the severity of the sprain. Sometimes pain and swelling are absent in people with previous ankle sprains. Instead, they may simply feel the ankle is wobbly and unsteady when they walk. Even if there is no pain or swelling with a sprained ankle, treatment is crucial.
Any ankle sprain – whether it’s your first or your fifth – requires prompt medical attention.


Why Prompt Medical Attention Is Needed

There are four key reasons why an ankle sprain should be promptly evaluated and treated by a foot and ankle surgeon:

  • An untreated ankle sprain may lead to chronic ankle instability, a condition marked by persistent discomfort and a “giving way” of the ankle. Weakness in the leg may also develop.
  • A more severe ankle injury may have occurred along with the sprain. This might include a serious bone fracture that, if left untreated, could lead to troubling complications.
  • An ankle sprain may be accompanied by a foot injury that causes discomfort but has gone unnoticed thus far.
  • Rehabilitation of a sprained ankle needs to begin right away. If rehabilitation is delayed, the injury may be less likely to heal properly.
  • Diagnosis
    • In evaluating your injury, the foot and ankle surgeon will obtain a thorough history of your symptoms and examine your foot. X-rays or other advanced imaging studies may be ordered to help determine the severity of the injury.

  • Non-surgical Treatment
    • When you have an ankle sprain, rehabilitation is crucial—and it starts the moment your treatment begins. Your foot and ankle surgeon may recommend one or more of the following treatment options:

      • Rest: Stay off the injured ankle. Walking may cause further injury.
      • Ice: Apply an ice pack to the injured area, placing a thin towel between the ice and the skin. Use ice for 20 minutes and then wait at least 40 minutes before icing again.
      • Compression: An elastic wrap may be recommended to control swelling.
      • Elevation: The ankle should be raised slightly above the level of your heart to reduce swelling.
      • Early physical therapy: Your doctor will start you on a rehabilitation program as soon as possible to promote healing and increase your range of motion. This includes doing prescribed exercises.
      • Medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may be recommended to reduce pain and inflammation. In some cases, prescription pain medications are needed to provide adequate relief.
  • When Is Surgery Needed?
    • In more severe cases, surgery may be required to adequately treat an ankle sprain. Surgery often involves repairing the damaged ligament or ligaments. The foot and ankle surgeon will select the surgical procedure best suited for your case based on the type and severity of your injury as well as your activity level.

      After surgery, rehabilitation is extremely important. Completing your rehabilitation program is crucial to a successful outcome. Be sure to continue to see your foot and ankle surgeon during this period to ensure that your ankle heals properly and function is restored.

Athlete's Foot

Athlete's Foot

Causes

Is a skin infection caused by fungus. A fungal infection may occur on any part of the body; on the foot it is called athlete’s foot, or tinea pedis. Fungus commonly attacks the feet because it thrives in a dark, moist, warm environment such as a shoe.

Fungal infections are more common in warm weather when feet tend to sweat more. Fungus thrives in damp areas such as swimming pools, showers, and locker rooms. Athletes commonly have sweaty feet and use the facilities where fungus is commonly found, thus the term "athlete's foot."

Athlete's foot usually produces itchy, dry, scaling skin. It is commonly seen on the soles of the feet and in between the toes. In advanced cases, inflammation, cracks, and blisters may form; an infection caused by bacteria can also result. The fungus can spread to other areas of the body, including toenails.

Avoiding walking barefoot combined with good foot hygiene can help reduce the spread of the fungus. Feet should be washed every day with soap and water and thoroughly dried, including between the toes. Feet should be kept as dry as possible. If your feet sweat a lot you may need to change your socks during the day. Anti-fungal powders, sprays, and/or creams are often utilized to treat athlete's foot. Your foot and ankle surgeon will recommend the best treatment for you.

Bunions (Hallux Abducto Valgus)

Bunions (Hallux Abducto Valgus)

Even though bunions are a common foot deformity, there are misconceptions about them. Many people may unnecessarily suffer the pain of bunions for years before seeking treatment.

What is a Bunion?

A bunion (also referred to as hallux valgus or hallux abducto valgus) is often described as a bump on the side of the big toe. But a bunion is more than that. The visible bump actually reflects changes in the bony framework of the front part of the foot. The big toe leans toward the second toe, rather than pointing straight ahead. This throws the bones out of alignment – producing the bunion’s “bump.”

Bunions are a progressive disorder. They begin with a leaning of the big toe, gradually changing the angle of the bones over the years and slowly producing the characteristic bump, which becomes increasingly prominent. Symptoms usually appear at later stages, although some people never have symptoms.

Causes

Bunions are most often caused by an inherited faulty mechanical structure of the foot. It is not the bunion itself that is inherited, but certain foot types that make a person prone to developing a bunion.

Although wearing shoes that crowd the toes won’t actually cause bunions, it sometimes makes the deformity get progressively worse. Symptoms may therefore appear sooner.

Symptoms

Symptoms, which occur at the site of the bunion, may include:

  • Pain or soreness
  • Inflammation and redness
  • A burning sensation
  • Possible numbness

Symptoms occur most often when wearing shoes that crowd the toes, such as shoes with a tight toe box or high heels. This may explain why women are more likely to have symptoms than men. In addition, spending long periods of time on your feet can aggravate the symptoms of bunions.


  • Diagnosis
    • Bunions are readily apparent – the prominence is visible at the base of the big toe or side of the foot. However, to fully evaluate the condition, the foot and ankle surgeon may take x-rays to determine the degree of the deformity and assess the changes that have occurred.

      Because bunions are progressive, they don’t go away, and will usually get worse over time. But not all cases are alike – some bunions progress more rapidly than others. Once your surgeon has evaluated your bunion, a treatment plan can be developed that is suited to your needs.

  • Non-surgical Treatment
    • Sometimes observation of the bunion is all that’s needed. To reduce the chance of damage to the joint, periodic evaluation and x-rays by your surgeon are advised.

      In many other cases, however, some type of treatment is needed. Early treatments are aimed at easing the pain of bunions, but they won’t reverse the deformity itself. These include:

      • Rest: Stay off the injured ankle. Walking may cause further injury.
      • Ice: Apply an ice pack to the injured area, placing a thin towel between the ice and the skin. Use ice for 20 minutes and then wait at least 40 minutes before icing again.
      • Compression: An elastic wrap may be recommended to control swelling.
      • Elevation: The ankle should be raised slightly above the level of your heart to reduce swelling.
      • Early physical therapy: Your doctor will start you on a rehabilitation program as soon as possible to promote healing and increase your range of motion. This includes doing prescribed exercises.
      • Medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may be recommended to reduce pain and inflammation. In some cases, prescription pain medications are needed to provide adequate relief.
  • When Is Surgery Needed?
    • In more severe cases, surgery may be required to adequately treat an ankle sprain. Surgery often involves repairing the damaged ligament or ligaments. The foot and ankle surgeon will select the surgical procedure best suited for your case based on the type and severity of your injury as well as your activity level.

      After surgery, rehabilitation is extremely important. Completing your rehabilitation program is crucial to a successful outcome. Be sure to continue to see your foot and ankle surgeon during this period to ensure that your ankle heals properly and function is restored.

Ingrown Toe Nails

Ingrown Toe Nails

Mortons Neuroma (English)

Mortons Neuroma (English)

Mortons Neuroma (Spanish)

Mortons Neuroma (Spanish)

Onychomycosis (English)

Onychomycosis (English)

Tailors Bunions (English)

Tailors Bunions (English)

Toes & Metatarsal Fx (English)

Toes & Metatarsal Fx (English)

Toes & Metatarsal Fx (Spanish)

Toes & Metatarsal Fx (Spanish)