Foot and Ankle
Foot and Ankle Surgery in Little Rock, AR
Most people experience some form of foot and ankle pain at some point in their lives. It usually occurs as a result of a soft tissue injury, such as a sprain or strain, that gradually heals with simple, self-care measures. However, long-term foot and ankle pain could be due to structural changes in the foot or ankle, or an underlying condition, such as osteoarthritis, inflammatory arthritis, connective tissue disease, poor blood circulation, or nerve damage.
Martin Orthopedics specializes in treating foot and ankle pain and injuries.
The foot and ankle are one of the most complex areas of the body with 26 bones and 33 small joints. We take the time to evaluate your condition and recommend the best and least invasive treatment option to relieve your pain and improve your foot or ankle’s functionality.
COMMON FOOT AND ANKLE PROBLEMS
These are the typical problems evaluated by our physicians. Our doctors are highly experienced in each issue, and the staff of Martin Orthopedics is happy to answer questions about your specific symptoms.
Osteoarthritis of the Foot and Ankle
Osteoarthritis is often a wear-and-tear disease in which the cartilage in a joint erodes after repeated stress or use over time. As the joint cartilage deteriorates and gets thinner, the bones lose their protective covering and may start to rub against each other together, which causes pain and inflammation of the joint.
However, an injury can also lead to osteoarthritis months or years after it occurs. For example, osteoarthritis in the big toe, midfoot, or ankle can be the result of a sprain or fracture. Also, osteoarthritis can develop due to abnormal foot mechanics, such as having flat feet or high arches. That’s because there is less stability in ligaments with a flat foot, causing excessive strain on joints, which can lead to arthritis. A high arch, on the other hand, is rigid and lacks mobility, which causes joints to jam and increases the risk of arthritis.
An ankle fracture, also known as a broken ankle, is when one or more of the bones that make up the ankle joint are broken. Ankle fractures can range from a simple break in one bone to several fractures. The more bones that are fractured, the more unstable the ankle becomes. In many ankle fractures, ligaments (that hold the ankle bones and joint in position) are also damaged. In situations where your ankle is too unstable, or nonsurgical treatment options do not work, surgery may be recommended by your orthopedist.
Ankle sprains happen when the ligaments that support the ankle stretch beyond their limits and tear. A sprained ankle is a common injury that can occur among people of any age. Depending on how much damage occurs to the ligaments, ankle sprains can range from mild to severe. Although most minor sprains heal with treatments like rest and ice, be sure to see a doctor if your ankle is very swollen, painful to walk on or if you are having trouble putting weight on it.
Achilles tendon injuries
There are several types of Achilles tendon injuries:
- An Achilles tendon rupture usually occurs when sudden, extreme stress is applied to the tendon, causing it to tear either partially or completely. This injury can be treated surgically or non-surgically, depending on the severity of the tear. Either treatment types need to be paired with physical therapy exercises to return to former activity levels.
- Achilles tendonitis is a common condition that occurs when the large tendon that runs down the back of your lower leg becomes irritated and inflamed. The Achilles tendon, which is also known as the calcaneal tendon, is a tough, fibrous band of tissue that connects the calf muscle to the heel bone (calcaneus). The severity of the tendonitis is a major factor in the type of treatment you will receive. Whatever kind of treatment they receive, most people make a full recovery in approximately 12 months.
- Achilles insertional calcific tendinopathy (AICT) is a condition caused by the deterioration of the Achilles tendon in the heel, resulting in bone spurs. AICT can cause heel pain in both active and inactive people and can be aggravated by activity or footwear. It does not happen instantly; it usually takes many years for AICT to occur. Many treatment options are available for a quick return to everyday life. The condition is also called Insertional Achilles Tendinitis.
Arthritis of the Foot and Ankle
Foot and ankle arthritis is a common problem and requires careful management to maintain motion while minimizing pain. The first line of treatment remains oral medications, but corticosteroid injections are frequently used to minimize inflammation within the ankle joint that causes pain. When this is not effective, arthroscopy may be used remove irritating tissue.
These minimally invasive procedures are designed to prevent the need for an open procedure. However, when arthritic pain and deformity prevents patients from maintaining a normal lifestyle, either a fusion or in the case of ankle arthritis, joint replacement may be recommended.
Total Ankle Replacement
After carefully evaluating your situation, and if other surgical and non-surgical procedures prove ineffective , your surgeon may offer you ankle replacement surgery. The benefits associated with total ankle replacement include the relief of pain and return of function to the ankle. Ankle replacement gives a patient more mobility by reducing pain, restoring alignment and replacing the flexion and extension movement in the ankle joint. It is designed for patients with ankle joints damaged by severe rheumatoid, post-traumatic, or degenerative osteoarthritis.
Bunions are painful bony bumps that tend to develop over time on the inside of the foot at the base of the big toe. They can alter the shape of your foot, limit your daily activities, and can be quite painful. Non-surgical treatments can sometimes help eliminate symptoms, unfortunately they will not go away without surgery.
Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) Bunion Correction:
Utilizing MIS techniques, the surgeon uses micro-incisions (needle-puncture of the skin), rather than using an “open” approach where inner tissue is exposed. By utilizing these micro-incisions, MIS procedures tend to have less post-operative pain, earlier return to function, and smaller scars when compared to traditional “open” bunion surgery.
In many adults, having a low arch or a flatfoot is painless and causes no problems. However, when a flat foot is painful flatfoot, it may be a sign of a congenital abnormality or the result of an injury to the muscles and tendons of the foot. If the condition progresses, you may experience problems with walking, climbing stairs and even wearing shoes.
Treatment options for this condition depend on the cause and progression of the flatfoot. Conservative treatment options include shoe modifications, anti-inflammatories and/or physical therapy.
In some cases, surgery is needed to correct the problem, help reduce pain, and improve bone alignment. Flat feet are a serious matter. If you are experiencing foot pain and think it is related to flat feet, talk to your orthopedic surgeon.