Posts for category: Ankle conditions
With two dozen bones, 33 joints, and over a hundred connective tissues and muscles inside each of them, your feet are complex structures. It's no wonder, then, that foot injuries are so common. Some, like a stubbed toe, can be painful but heal quickly without any complications. Others, as we'll discuss below, usually require the help of the podiatrists at Southern Maryland Foot and Ankle such as Dr. Larry Hotchkiss and Dr. Justin Pointer in Clinton, Maryland. Here are three of the most common foot injuries we see in our office.
This injury is an inflammation of a large ligament in the arch of the foot. Often the first symptom is a pain when stepping down on your foot after a long period of rest, and although you may be able to "walk it off" early on, the pain may begin to intensify, especially if you have a job that requires long periods of standing. To manage this foot injury, your Clinton podiatrist may recommend rest, ice, and supportive shoe inserts that help take the pressure off your arches. Steroid injections or physical therapy is typically used for persistent cases of plantar fasciitis. For a few people, surgery to sever the ligament may be necessary for full relief.
A bunion isn't actually a foot injury; it is an abnormality in the joint at the base of the big toe that often occurs due to the consistent wear of narrow, confining shoes. Women are typically more affected by bunions than men due to the styles of their footwear. The big toe begins to shift toward the smaller toes, resulting in a large, bony lump on the inside of the foot. Many people with bunions aren't bothered by them, but sometimes they can be painful. Cushions and shoe inserts can help take pressure off the bunion while wearing shoes, and splints to wear at night can help guide the big toe back into place. Wearing shoes with more room in the toe area can also make a big difference.
The Achilles tendon is another large band of tissue inside the foot and runs along the back of the leg to the heel. It can become inflamed and painful after adopting a new, high-impact exercise routine such as tennis or jogging. Changing to a less intense workout, such as biking or swimming, combined with physical therapy as recommended by your Clinton podiatrist, can often resolve this foot injury.
Call Us Today!
If you think you've injured any part of your foot or ankle, don't hesitate to call Southern Maryland Foot and Ankle in Clinton or Waldorf to schedule an appointment with one of our podiatrists. Call (301) 868-3899 for the Clinton office and (301) 843-9581 for the Waldorf location.
At Southern Maryland Foot & Ankle we see many patients suffering with long term, chronic ankle problems, two of the most common being chronic lateral ankle pain and chronic ankle instability. Symptoms of these disorders include:
- Pain on the outside of the ankle that can be extreme at times
- Swelling and tenderness of the ankle
- Ankle feels like it’s going to give way
- Difficulty walking in heels or on uneven surfaces
What’s Behind Long Term Ankle Disorders?
The number one cause of long term ankle pain and instability is an ankle sprain that was not fully healed and properly rehabilitated. Many patients with a sprained ankle make the mistake of thinking it’s healed once the pain and swelling are gone. In reality, it takes at least two weeks of resting the ankle for even a minor sprain before the ligaments begin to regain their strength. Many times the foot doctor will prescribe exercises designed to help strengthen the muscles around the ankle to further help support the ligaments and prevent future sprains. Some experts estimate that up to 40% of patients with an ankle sprain will have long term ankle problems in the future.
What Can be Done?
Although you can’t turn back the clock and go back and rehabilitate your old sprain, there are steps the foot doctor can take to help relieve your current symptoms. Our board certified foot and ankle surgeon, Dr. Larry Hotchkiss, will want to do a complete exam on your foot and ankle and also get a medical history including previous sprains and injuries. The foot doctor will then develop a treatment plan that best suits your individual injury and lifestyle. Options may include:
- Medications such as steroids or anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce pain and swelling
- Ankle brace or support
- Physical therapy and exercises to strengthen muscles and increase range of motion
If you are experiencing pain or instability with your ankle getting it evaluated sooner rather than later is the best way to prevent another sprain or fracture. Contact our Waldorf or Clinton office today to schedule an appointment.