There are many conditions and injuries that impact the feet and ankles. In this article, we are going to outline five common foot and ankle conditions that require treatment.
Ankle arthritis is a condition characterized primarily by inflammation in the joints, resulting in pain and stiffness. There are many treatment options for ankle arthritis which can either diminish the inflammatory reaction, or mechanically address the underlying joint structure, in an effort to diminish or eliminate the pain associated with arthritis.
A hammertoe is an abnormality that occurs in the second, third, and fourth toes that causes an abnormal bend in the middle joint of a toe. If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort in your toes, swelling, redness, a burning sensation, the formation of corns, calluses, or sores, and/or an inability to straighten the toe, then it’s appropriate to have a proper diagnosis by a physician specializing in foot issues.
Ankle fractures most commonly occur when there is a direct impact to the bone or a sharp twist that goes beyond the ankle’s allowed range of motion. If the fracture only involves one malleolus and the bone segments lie very close together, your physician will likely treat the injury by immobilizing the area in a cast for 6 to 8 weeks. If the bone segments are further apart or more extensive damage has been done, surgery may be the recommended course of action.
A sprained ankle occurs when the ankle is rolled, twisted, or turned in a way that stretches or tears the ligaments that surround your ankle bones. For mild ankle sprains, your doctor will likely prescribe what is known as the RICE method—-Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. For a more significant sprain, several weeks is not an unrealistic expectation for a sprained ankle to begin to feel better. Your physician may recommend physical therapy to assist you in regaining strength and range of motion, which will help you rebuild the stability of your ankle.
A bunion (also known as a hallux valgus) forms on the joint at the base of your big toe when the skeletal structure of your foot causes your big toe to lean toward the second toe rather than pointing straight ahead. Your surgeon can assess whether your specific situation would necessitate surgery after methods such as changes in shoe wear, anti-inflammatory medication, icing, injection therapy, padding, and/or orthotic devices have been unsuccessful in attaining long-term symptom relief. As with many other orthopedic conditions, when a bunion begins to interfere with daily activities, it is always a good idea to discuss other options with your physician.