Foot and Ankle
Foot & Ankle Anatomy
How does the Foot & Ankle joint work?
Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure during which the internal structure of a joint is examined for diagnosis and treatment of problems inside the joint. Ankle Arthroscopy includes the diagnosis and treatment of ankle conditions.
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Ankle injuries are the most common sports-related injury. An ankle fracture is a break in one or more bones that make up the ankle joint. Sometimes ligaments may also be damaged.
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Bunion is a foot deformity that changes the shape of the foot causing the big toe to turn inward, towards the second toe leading to pain and inflammation. A bunion is caused by incorrect footwear, joint damage, arthritis, and genetic disposition.
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Achilles Tendon Rupture
Achilles tendon is a strong fibrous cord present behind the ankle that connects the calf muscles to heel bone. It is used when you walk, run and jump. When the Achilles tendon becomes thin, weak, or if it is not used, it may be susceptible to injury or damage.
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Sprain is characterized either bystretching or tearing of ligaments, which connect adjacent bones in a joint and provides stability to the joint. An ankle sprain is a common injury and occurs when you fall or suddenly twist the ankle joint, or when you land your foot in an awkward position after a jump.
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Common Toe Deformities
Toes are the digits in your foot and are associated with walking, providing balance, weight-bearing and other activities. A variety of toe deformities occur in children’s feet.
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Turf toe is an injury to the ligament at the base of the big toe. It is a painful condition which usually results from jamming of the toe into the ground or excessive backward bending of the toe. As it is more common in athletes playing on artificial turf, especially those involved in field sports such as football, baseball and soccer, it is known as turf toe.
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High arch (cavus foot) is a condition in which the arch on the bottom of the foot that runs from the toes to the heel is raised more than normal. Because of this high arch, excessive weight falls on the ball and heel of the foot when walking or standing causing pain and instability. Children with neurological disorders or other conditions such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida, poliomyelitis, muscular dystrophy are more likely to develop cavus foot. It may sometimes occur as an inherited abnormality.
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Flatfoot, also known as “fallen arches” or Pes planus, is a deformity in children’s feet in which the arch that runs lengthwise along the sole of the foot has collapsed to the ground or not formed at all. Flatfoot is normal in the first few years of life as the arch of the foot usually develops between the age of 3 and 5 years. Flatfoot can be rigid or flexible. Flexible flatfoot usually resolves without any treatment needed unless pain is involved. Rigid pediatric flatfoot however can cause joint pain in the leg when walking or an aching pain in the feet and usually requires intervention.
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Diabetic Foot and Chronic Wounds
Diabetes is a chronic condition that is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels. Diabetic patients are at a high risk for developing chronic wounds, especially in the feet. If left untreated, these wounds can cause serious problems that can lead to infections and eventually gangrene, which may require amputation.
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Ankle instability is a chronic condition characterized by a recurrent slipping of the outer side of the ankle. It usually results from repeated ankle sprains. It is generally noticed during movement of the ankle joint but can also occur during standing as well.
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Congenital Vertical Talus
Talus bone makes up the ankle joint, and navicular bone is a small bone found in the feet. Congenital vertical talus is a foot deformity in which the talus and navicular bones of the child’s feet are abnormally positioned. This leads to rigid flat foot with a rocker-bottom appearance. The hind foot points downwards to the floor while the forefoot points upwards. It is usually present at birth and can occur with other conditions such as arthrogryposis and spina bifida. The exact cause for congenital vertical talus is unknown. One of the studies suggests that the abnormal pressure placed on the foot while the fetus is inside the uterus can cause the deformity. Other school of thought suggests muscle imbalance as the cause for the deformity. In both cases, stiffness in the hind foot causes the forefoot to ride on top of the talus and destabilize the entire foot.
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Plantar fasciitis is a common problem that causes pain under the heel bone often with a lengthy walk and prolonged standing. It is most often seen in middle-aged men and women. Plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that lies at the bottom of the foot. It runs from the heel bone to the toe and forms the arch of the foot. The plantar fascia functions as a shock absorber and also supports the arch of the foot.
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Orthotics and assistive devices
Many diseases and injuries can result in problems in the movement of various parts of the body, which in turn has a major influence on the emotional and independent functioning of the person. These problems can range from fractures to limb length deformity and gait problems with spinal cord injury. Orthotics and assistive devices are tools that assist in moving and performing tasks of daily activities.
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Click on the topics below to find out more from the orthopedic connection website of American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.
- Achilles tendon
- Adult (Acquired) Flatfoot
- Arthritis of the Foot and Ankle
- Ankle Fractures
- Athletic Shoes
- Rotura de tobillo (Broken Ankle)
- Broken Ankle
- Diabetic foot
- Flexible flatfoot in children
- Foot Pain
- Fracture of the Talus
- Fractures of the Heel
- Hammer toe
- Heel Pain
- Ingrown Toenail
- Orthotic Devices
- Paediatric Thigh Bone Fracture
- Plantar fasciitis
- Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction
- Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Foot and Ankle
- Sprained Ankle
- Stiff Big Toe (Hallux rigidus)
- Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
- Toe and Forefoot Fractures
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