Foot and Ankle Conditions Q & A

What Causes Foot and Ankle Conditions and Pain? The foot and ankle work synergistically to allow mobility and provide support to the body. The ankle  is a large  joint that is made up of three bones put together; the tibia, the fibula and the talus. The foot on the other hand  is comprised of several bones and joints. The foot and ankle joint allow mobility in different directions which are important for mobility and balance. Injury to the cartilage, the soft tissues, and bones of the foot and ankle can cause severe discomfort, immobility and possibly long or short term disability. Frequently experienced injuries include:
  • Sprains and Strains
  1. Ankle sprain- ligaments of the ankles which can be:
  2. Anterior Talofibular Ligament Sprain (ATFL) is the most common type of sprain.
  3. Calcaneal Fibular Ligament Sprain (CFL)
  4. Posterior Taloibular Ligament Sprain (PTFL) is the least common ankle sprain.
  5. High Ankle Sprain- ligaments involving the lower end of the tibia or fibula that connects to the talus.
  • Fractures of the Tibia, Fibula or Talus bone
  • Arthritis of the foot or ankle
  • Achilles tendonitis- injury to your Achilles tendon due to trauma (injury) or repetitive stress.
  • Plantar Fasciitis- inflammation of the plantar fascia (thick band of tissue that connects your heels with your toes).
  • Calf muscles strains
What Symptoms Are Associated with Foot and Ankle Conditions and Pain? Warnings of a foot or ankle problem can include:
  • Pain or discomfort with movement or upon waking
  • Swelling or bruising
  • Limited movement or stiffness of the ankle
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Joint instability
What treatments are used in Foot and Ankle Conditions and Pain? Treating foot and ankle conditions will depend on the type and severity of the injury. Injuries such as fractures, sprains and strains may require resting accompanied with icing the area will be the first form of treatment. Braces or an ankle stirrup or boot  may also be necessary to provide support and stability to the joint. It is important to avoiding baring weight to the injured foot to allow inflammation to decrease. Once inflammation has ceased, then we can focus on re-strengthening the foot and ankle through exercise. Our Physical Therapists utilize the Pilates Method on the apparatus (Pilates machines) to improve strength, increase flexibility thereby improving posture, balance and joint stability. For conditions such as plantar fasciitis, using the Pilates method may aid with stretching muscles of the lower leg to alleviate symptoms.