Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Care
Your feet and ankles are incredibly complex and consist of 26 bones, 33 joints, and over 100 ligaments, tendons, and muscles in each foot. An injury to any of these components can make activities like walking, running, jumping, or just standing difficult.
If you’re like most Alaskans, you count on your feet and ankles to get you where you need to go and support you while performing activities you love. Hiking, snowboarding, running, and hunting all require you to stay mobile. Having difficulties standing or walking can throw off your training and may bring the season to an end.
There are many injuries or painful conditions that can affect your feet and ankles. Fortunately, our skilled team of orthopedic specialists have extensive experience treating common issues with these body parts.
Common Foot & Ankle Issues We Treat
Inflammation and cartilage loss in any of the joints of the feet or ankles is caused by arthritis. Gout is a common type of foot arthritis that often affects the big toe. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and can lead to other painful issues, such as bone spurs or bunions.
Bursae are fluid-filled sacs that sit between bones, tendons, and muscles throughout the body to provide cushioning and reduce friction. These sacs can be inflamed or irritated, causing foot or ankle bursitis. This condition can make walking painful and can lead to muscle deterioration and limited movement over time.
Inflammation of any of the tendons in the foot or ankle, causing swelling, pain, and stiffness in the affected area. It is most often caused by overuse of the feet or ankle but can also result from an infection, gout or rheumatoid arthritis, or a previous sprain.
Achilles Tendon Injury
The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body and stretches from the heel up to the calf. Injuries to this tendon can include strains, tears, or ruptures. A popping sensation may happen at the time of the injury, and it can lead to pain along the back of the feel and foot.
Ankle Sprain or Fracture
A sprain or fracture can occur if the ankle is overstretched or twisted at am improper ankle. This often occurs on the outside of the ankle due to an inversion injury, meaning the foot rolls inward underneath the ankle.
The bones in the foot and toes can become fractured from impact against a hard object (a common injury caused by improper kicking in sports like karate or kickboxing) or from twisting awkwardly during a fall. Foot fractures are often very painful and can get worse if more weight is placed on the injured area.
Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Treatments
Since there are many different causes of foot and ankles problems, the first step in getting treatment is getting a diagnosis from an orthopedic specialist. A physical exam may be all your doctor needs to determine what’s causing your discomfort, but X-rays, MRIs, ultrasounds, and blood tests are all useful tools for making an accurate diagnosis.
Some foot and ankle issues can be controlled by modifying footwear, using foot inserts, wearing foot or ankle braces, and resting the injury. Ice and anti-inflammatory medications can also help soothe some conditions, in addition to starting a stretching program.
More serious injuries caused by fractures, tears, or sprains and painful conditions that don’t get better with more conservative treatments may require surgery. Our surgeons can perform ligament reconstruction and other major foot and ankle procedures to help you get back on your feet.