Foot & Ankle
A bunion is the prominence at the base of your big toe. Often the big toe deviates towards the lesser toes. It is caused by abnormal bone alignment, called Hallux Valgus. The time to consider surgery is when there is pain and/or difficulty fitting shoes and all other treatments have failed.
The terms claw and hammer toe are often used interchangeably. Although they are different conditions, the end deformity/appearance of the toe in both is similar with a prominent ‘knuckle’ which rubs on footwear and results in pain or a wound. Sometimes the tip of the toe is painful. The cause is thought to be an imbalance of the muscles/tendons that move the toes. The mainstay of treatment is appropriate footwear (wide, deep toe box) and protective splints (usually soft silicone). If these fail to control the symptoms, you may need surgery.
Pain and swelling at the base of the big toe is frequently caused by osteoarthritis of the 1st (big toe) metatarso-phalangeal joint. It results in pain, spurs and progressive restriction of movement. The cause is unfortunately unknown in most cases. The treatment is aimed at relieving pain. If non-operative means such as anti-inflammatories, accommodative footwear or orthoses fail to control symptoms surgery may be indicated.
Mortons neuroma is a thickened/irritated inter-digital nerve often surrounded by an inflammed inter-metatarsal bursa. It results in forefoot pain which can radiate into the toes. The pain it produces can often be made better with simple treatments including wide and deep toe box shoes, avoiding aggravating footwear and occasionally an orthotic. An injection of cortisone can also be helpful. If simple treatments don’t help then surgery is an option.
Toe Curls With Towel
- Place a small towel on the floor. Using involved foot, curl towel toward you, using only your toes. Relax.
- Repeat 10 times, 1-2 times per day.
Most ankle ligament injuries heal with non-operative treatment. If the ligaments don’t heal properly it can lead to chronic ankle instability. This can manifest as recurrent sprains, avoidance of uneven surfaces, apprehension and occasionally pain or discomfort and swelling. The first-line treatment for chronic instability is usually physiotherapy. If the symptoms persist despite conservative treatment, you may be a candidate for surgery.
Bunion is latin for turnip. It is also the bump at the base of your big toe. The medical name for this condition is Hallux Valgus. It only requires treatment if it is painful or interfering with shoes, and the first line treatment is conservative, with wide, deep toe-box footwear, silicone pads, sleeves or insoles. Surgery is required only if pain and/or difficulty wearing shoes persists despite conservative measures.
Metatarsophalangeal joint (MTPJ) is a junction between the metatarsal bones (long bone in the foot) and proximal bones (bone in toes). 1st MTPJ refers to the joint in the big toe of the foot. Cheilectomy is a surgery to remove excessive bone from the 1st MTPJ. The operation is performed through a very small incision which is why it is referred to as minimally invasive. This surgery is intended to treat pain and stiffness and to increase the motion in the joint of the big toe.
Ankle sprains are a common injury that occurs from over stretching or tearing of the ligaments that support the ankle. The ankle is composed of bones forming a joint and ligaments are the elastic structures which are responsible for holding these bones in their proper place. Ligaments and other soft tissues function to prevent abnormal movement such as twisting, turning, and rolling of the foot beyond the normal range.
Feet support your body weight, help maintain proper posture and help in movement. As the feet bear the entire weight of the body and are involved in most activities, they are more prone to problems such as calluses, corns, cracks, infections and traumatic injuries. To maintain good health of your feet, you should always wear comfortable, good quality and proper fitting footwear. Specially-designed shoe inserts, called orthotics, help in alignment and stabilization of the feet and can also reduce foot pain.
Tendons are soft tissues connecting muscles to bone. The Achilles tendon is the longest tendon in the body and is present behind the ankle, joining the calf muscles with the heel bone. Contraction of the calf muscle tightens the Achilles tendon and pulls the heel, enabling foot and toe movements necessary for walking, running and jumping.
A Foot and Ankle conditioning program is recommended after foot or ankle injury to help individuals safely return to their regular activities. The program is usually comprised of exercises and activities to help improve strength and flexibility.
A sprain is stretching or tearing of a ligament. Ligaments connect adjacent bones in a joint and provide 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. It most commonly occurs when you participate in sports or when you jump or run on a surface that is irregular.
Fibreglass material is now being used to make plaster casts to treat fractures. The material is light, very strong and requires less maintenance when compared to the traditionally used Plaster of Paris.
Custom foot orthotics are specially designed corrective devices to restore the natural position of the feet. The orthotics acts as an interface between the feet, the shoe and the ground. The purpose of the device is to support the bones and joints of the feet to maintain optimal neutral position and to eliminate or compensate any misalignments or structural problems of the feet.
The ankle joint connects the leg with the foot and provides free movement to the foot. It is formed by connecting the bones of the lower leg, tibia and fibula, with the talus, or ankle bone.
Ankle arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure in which an arthroscope, a small, soft, flexible tube with a light and video camera at the end, is inserted into the ankle joint to evaluate and treat a variety of conditions.
Ankle arthrodesis is the surgical fusion of bones that form the ankle joint. The ankle joint is formed by the tibia, talus, and the fibula bones.
Extracorporeal shock wave therapy is a non-invasive treatment procedure that uses high-energy shock waves to deliver a mechanical force to injured body tissues triggering the healing process.
Peripheral neuropathy is a condition of nerve damage, usually in the lower extremities, and is a complication of uncontrolled diabetes causing diminished sensation and decreased ability to feel pain and temperature in your feet. Because of this loss of sensation, you may not be aware of infections or trauma, and continue to walk, which can lead to Charcot neuropathy, a condition characterized by fragile bones that can break or dislocate even with minor forces.