Foot and Ankle Disorder: Types, Risk Factors, and Treatment

Whether you have arthritis or tendon tears, surgery may be necessary to address foot and ankle conditions. Marque A. Allen DPM, FACFAS, will consider other non-surgical methods before recommending surgery. A thorough exam is performed to determine the most effective customized treatment plan.

Foot and ankle conditions

If untreated, minor foot and ankle problems can progress into debilitating conditions. Therefore, it is essential to establish the exact cause of the problem before choosing a treatment option.

Conditions like Achilles Tendinopathy occur when there is excessive strain on the Achilles Tendon. It may arise due to overuse from sporting activities. It is also common among non-athletes with poor flexibility of the Achilles Tendon.

Another common ankle condition may occur due to a degenerative joint disease like ankle arthritis. It may start with swelling and inflammation around the joint. With time, the cartilage deteriorates, removing the cushioning around the ankle. Symptoms include tenderness, stiffness, and pain when moving or touching the joint.

A bunion is a painful bony lump on the outer side of the big toe. It is a prevalent problem in older adults, affecting one in three Americans. The foot condition often occurs due to excessive pressure on the big toes from wearing ill-fitting shoes.

There are many other foot and ankle conditions including:

  • Midfoot arthritis
  • Flatfoot deformity
  • Hammertoe deformity
  • Foot fractures
  • Morton’s neuroma

Risk factors for foot and ankle disorders

Foot and ankle problems are prevalent across people of all ages. Your lifestyle or existing health issues may increase your susceptibility to foot and ankle disorders.

One of the factors is repetitive use of the foot, which causes rapid degeneration of the joint. Construction workers and athletes are prone to these disorders from excessive foot and ankle strain. Women who wear high heels frequently also have an increased risk.

Smoking can impact the body’s immune response, slowing healing after joint inflammation. Overweight patients may develop foot and ankle deformities due to uneven and excessive weight.

Diabetes also affects inflammatory processes and may cause the deterioration of the bones and tissues. Other health conditions may include osteoarthritis, gout, and rheumatoid arthritis, which also affects joints.

Diagnosis for foot and ankle disorders

If your foot or ankle sustains injuries or succumbs to inflammation, timely evaluation can prevent complications. Your provider will conduct a visual exam before performing advanced tests on the joint.

Your provider may also perform X-rays and MRI scans to generate detailed images of the joint. The results from the initial visual exam will determine if an ultrasound or CT scan is necessary.

Treatment options for foot and ankle disorders

Treatment options may range from PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma), physical therapy, and foot balancing training. Platelet-Rich Plasma injects plasma with a high concentration of platelets to address inflammation.

Sometimes physiotherapy is sufficient to manage mild symptoms. You can perform home strengthening exercises at home to reduce the risk of injuries on your foot. Surgical procedures are prescribed as a solution of last resort.

Contact Dr. Marquee A. Allen, DPM, FACFAS, to book your appointment today. 

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments