Texas Foot Doctor's Blog
Ankle sprains and ligaments of the ankle joint.
Ankle sprains are among the most common sporting injuries that occur during a variety of activities. Spraining refers to wrenching or twisting a ligament aggressively which can lead to swelling, pain and decreased range of motion. To thoroughly understand the mechanism of injury we must first understand the structures that provide stability and structural support to the ankle joint. Ligaments are fibrous connective tissue that connect two or more bones together between a joint space. Ligaments act as protective structures that create structural boundaries to the natural movement of joints. There are two major sets of ligaments surrounding the ankle joint; these are the medial collateral ligaments AKA deltoid ligament and the lateral collateral ligaments. The deltoid ligament complex are those found in the interior portion of the ankle or the medial side, they are composed of the following ligaments: Posterior and anterior tibiofibular ligaments, tibiocalcaneal and tibionavicular ligaments. The deltoid ligament collectively is considered the strongest ligament of the ankle joint providing the most solid structural integrity to the interior portion of the ankle joint. The lateral ligament is the most commonly sprained ligament of the ankle joint, specifically the anterior talofibular ligament. Torsional, or excessive rotational movements, ankle rolling outward damages the lateral ligaments causing swelling, redness and decreased movement; symptoms arise almost immediately.
How are ankle sprains diagnosed?
The patient may be able to walk with decreased range of motion, but will complain of excessive pain and tenderness especially when touched. Obtaining a good history of the injury as well as X-ray imaging of the ankle can provide evidence as to whether there is also a bony injury in conjunction with the sprain. Your doctor may perform a few tests to check for stability of the ankle joint. In more severe cases, an MRI may be needed to rule out other injuries.
How are ankle sprains treated?
The primary treatment is the RICE approach which stands for: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.
Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory medication such as Ibuprofen. During the first 24-48 hours using ice packs intermittently can decrease the swelling in the area surrounding the sprain. An ACE wrap should be used to keep compression over the ankle joint to reduce the swelling, it is important to note that ace wraps do not provide rigid structural integrity the way a cast or walking boot does, and therefore weight bearing should still be limited. Elevation above the level of the heart for 3 hours a day will also help diminish swelling in the area. In some cases Crutches may be used until weight bearing does not produce pain. Physical therapy is vital to strengthening the surrounding muscles in the area.
Returning to sports or regular activities.
After proper rehabilitation, wearing an ankle brace during weight training or exercise can help preserve the structural integrity of the ankle. Typically, once an ankle is sprained it is subject to re-spraining, wearing shoes with lateral support can also help prevent injury. If for some reason pain persists after rehabilitation, a physician may order an MRI and perhaps surgical treatment.
For more information visit us at www.texasfootdoctor.org
For an appointment call us at (817) 424-FOOT (3668).
When your feet hurt, your entire body hurts, especially when you're suffering from painful neuromas or heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis. Generally, rest, anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy or orthotics can effectively treat the pain. But when these conservative treatments aren't enough, chronic heel pain may require surgical treatment.
At our practice, we can treat irritating heel pain and get you back to your active lifestyle quickly with a new, fast-acting procedure known as Cryosurgery. For decades, this technique has been used for various areas of the body and is now proving to be very successful at helping treat and manage foot and ankle conditions.
Also known as Cryotherapy, Cryosurgery is a minimally invasive procedure performed comfortably in our office in just one appointment to alleviate pain and nerve problems of the foot.
Using localized freezing temperatures to deaden the irritated nerve, the treatment involves inserting a probe into the tissue of the foot. The extreme freezing temperatures produce an anesthetic effect, reducing inflammation to the site and causing a mild "numbing" effect for as long as it is applied. The freezing inactivates the nerve and, as a result, painful nerve irritation is relieved.
Benefits of Cryosurgery include:
- Painless procedure
- Use of local anesthetic
- In-office performed procedure
- Minimal to no downtime from walking, work and other activities
- Decreased use of pain medications that can cause complications
- No stitches, hospitalization or sedation are required
Cryosurgery has proven to be an effective and popular alternative for treating many chronic and painful foot ailments that involve irritation of an isolated nerve of the foot. If you're looking to get rid of your heel pain, but haven't had much success with conservative treatments, visit our office and find out if you are a good candidate for Cryosurgery.
If you are one of the millions of Americans that suffer from chronic heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis, you know just how unpleasant this very common foot condition can be. Plantar fasciitis is the most common form of heel pain and occurs when the long, flat ligament on the bottom of the foot stretches irregularly, developing small tears. As a result, the stretched tissue becomes tender and inflamed, making everyday tasks and activities difficult and painful.
At our practice, we've helped numerous patients overcome their chronic heel pain with conservative treatments, including anti-inflammatory medications, stretching exercises and orthotics. For some patients, however, these treatment options are ineffective or provide only temporary relief. So now we offer a new and advanced treatment for chronic heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis -- Shockwave Therapy, a fast and gentle alternative to other invasive and risky surgical procedures.
Shockwave Therapy from our office is a non-invasive surgical procedure that involves directing strong sounds waves to the affected area, penetrating the heel and stimulating a healing response by the body in the affected non-healing tissue. The sound waves break up the tissue, creating small tunnels through which new blood vessels can grow, and the increased blood supply allows the tissue to heal. The result is a reduction in inflammation and pain from the affected ligament.
The outpatient procedure performed in our office is quick and safe. Patients experience a short recovery period, often with few or no side effects. Most patients notice pain relief instantly, but for others, the full results from a single treatment may be experienced within one to three months.
Benefits of Shockwave Therapy:
- Reduces inflammation and stimulates a healing response in the injured tissue
- Fewer side effects compared to surgery
- Quick recovery time
- Risks associated with surgery and general anesthesia are eliminated
Contact our office today to receive more information about Shockwave Therapy. Once we've assessed your condition, we can help you determine the most appropriate treatment for your plantar fasciitis- and this mean putting an end to your heel pain once and for all.
The Achilles tendon is the largest and strongest tendon in the body, located in the back of the lower leg and connecting the heel bone to the calf muscle. This tendon is crucial as it facilitates walking and running by helping to raise the heel off of the ground. While the tendon can withstand immense force, it’s also surprisingly vulnerable. Injuries to the Achilles tendon require prompt treatment.
When the Achilles tendon becomes inflamed from excessive use, tendinitis can weaken it over time and cause small tears. Athletes are at a high risk for Achilles tendon injuries, which often occur at the start of a new exercise or training program, or due to not having enough rest or recovery time.
You don’t have to be an accomplished athlete to suffer an Achilles tendon injury. People with flat feet, arthritis and other foot problems are also more susceptible to develop Achilles tendinitis due to increased demands placed on the tendon when walking.
Common symptoms of Achilles tendinitis include:
Mild pain after running or exercising that intensifies gradually
Localized pain along the tendon, especially after running
Tenderness near the heel bone, with pain being worse first thing in the morning
Stiffness and limited range of motion in the lower leg and ankle
Swelling around the tendon
When the disorder progresses to degeneration, the tendon may become enlarged and develop nodules in the area where the tissue is damaged
To prevent injuries to the Achilles tendon, strengthening and stretching the calf muscles through daily exercise is recommended. Alternating intense exercise with low-impact workouts and wearing proper shoes for your foot type and activity can also help reduce your risk for injury.
Any time you experience pain, tenderness or swelling along the Achilles tendon, visit us for professional diagnosis and treatment. Treatment for an injured Achilles tendon should begin right away with rest, ice, compression and elevation. Without prompt care, Achilles tendinitis will get progressively worse, thus increasing the risk for further deterioration and rupture. As a last resort, surgery may be recommended to repair the tendon.
Our office can provide the best diagnosis and treatment, for optimal recovery. If you suspect Achilles tendinitis is holding you back, call us today to schedule an appointment, and get on the road to walking with ease again.
While high-heeled shoes may look stylish or complement your favorite outfit, they are rarely the best option for a woman's feet. According to a study by the American Podiatric Medical Association, 39 percent of women wear high heels every day; of the women who wear heels daily, three out of four reported foot problems. Despite these numbers, many women continue to underestimate the health risks associated with high heels.
High-heeled shoes disrupt the body's alignment, crowd the toes and force the body's weight onto the ball of the foot. Wearing heels can contribute to a variety of foot and ankle problems, including:
Achilles tendonitis: The Achilles tendon and calf muscles tighten and shorten as the front of the foot moves down in relation to the heel. This causes stress and painful inflammation of the Achilles tendon.
Bunion:. Narrow-toed shoes can cause a bony growth on the joint at the base of the big toe. The bunion forces the big toe to slant in toward the other toes, resulting in discomfort, blisters, corns and calluses.
Hammertoes: A narrow toe box crowds the smaller toes into a bent, claw-like position at the middle joint.
Metatarsalgia: Continued high heel wear can lead to joint pain in the ball of the foot as a result of heels forcing the body's weight to be redistributed.
Ankle injuries: Because heels impair balance and increase the risk of falling, ankle sprains and fractures are common.
Pump Bump: The rigid back of a pump-style shoe can cause pressure that irritates the heel bone, creating a bony enlargement known as Haglund's deformity.
Neuromas: A narrow toe box and high heel can compress and create a thickening of tissue around a nerve between the third and fourth toes, leading to pain and numbness in the toes.
Still not willing to ditch the heels? There are ways to relieve some of the damaging effects of high heels.
Avoid heels taller than 2 inches
Choose thicker, more stable heels. Thicker heels are still stylish, plus they lessen the stress on your feet and provide better shock absorption.
If you must wear heels, wear your gym shoes or flats for commuting and change into your heels once you arrive to your destination.
Stretch and massage your calf, heel, and foot muscles. This helps relax the muscles and tendons and prevents them from tightening and shortening.
Avoid shoes with pointed toes
High heel shoes can cause pain and foot deformities that can last a lifetime. So the next time you go to slip on your heels for a long day at work or a night out, consider the consequences and rethink your options. If foot pain persists, visit us for treatment.
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