Foot & Ankle

Foot and Ankle

The foot and ankle are a complex unit that work together to provide stability, balance, and mobility to the lower extremities and disperse gravitational forces. The ankle joint is composed of three joints: the talocrural joint, the subtalar joint, and the inferior tibiofibular joint. The foot is made up of several bones, ligaments, and muscles (similar to the hand) that enables it to move in all three planes of motion and support the full weight of the body.

Injuries to the foot and ankle are some of the most common we treat due to their frequent use during everyday activities, sports, and exercise. Here are some of the most common issues that can affect the foot and ankle:

  • Inversion Ankle Sprain: This occurs when the foot turns inward, causing damage to the ligaments on the outer side of the ankle.
  • Eversion Ankle Sprain: When the foot turns outward, causing damage to the ligaments on the inner side of the ankle.
  • High Ankle Sprain: Damage to the ligaments above the ankle joint, at the distal aspect of the tibiofibular joint which can result in delayed healing time.
  • Achilles Tendinitis/Tendinosis: Normally an overuse injury that affects the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscle to the heel bone (calcaneus).
  • Ankle Fracture: A broken bone in your ankle from trauma and can cause significant pain and limited range of motion if not addressed.
  • Ligament Tears: Ligament tears can occur from sudden trauma, causing pain and limiting range of motion.
  • Muscle Strains: Muscle strains can result for any reason, but most commonly from overuse, fatigue, or trauma.
  • Plantar Fasciitis: A condition that affects the plantar fascia, dense tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot, often resulting in shooting pain, inability to bear weight, and can limit overall mobility.
  • Osteophyte (Bone Spur): Growths, usually benign, that can develop on the bones of the foot and ankle.
  • Stress Fractures: Cracks in the bone that can occur from overuse or repetitive impact and are usually found in people with osteoporosis.
  • Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction (Shin Splints): A very common condition, especially in runners, that can cause intense pain.
  • Arthritis: A degenerative joint disease where the cartilage between joints breaks down and causes pain.
  • Compartment Syndrome: A very serious condition that occurs when pressure builds up within the lower leg due to trauma, leading to reduced blood flow and nerve damage. This condition requires a trip to the ER.
  • Hallux Valgus (Bunion): A “bump” that forms on the joint at the base of the big toe, causing pain and discomfort, and can limit movement.
  • Hallux Rigidus (Stiff Big Toe): The joints in the base of the big toe can lose its mobility and cause pain. 
  • Turf Toe: A sprain of the ligaments around the base of the big toe, typically caused by hyperextension during trauma.
  • Plantar Plate Injuries: Damage to the ligaments that connect the toes to the foot, causing pain and instability.
  • Morton’s Neuroma: A painful condition that occurs when the nerve between the toes becomes compressed and inflamed.
  • Lisfranc (Midfoot) Injury: This injury can occur from trauma, such as a fall or a car accident, and can result in significant pain and instability.
  • Sesamoiditis: Commonly an overuse injury that affects the sesamoid bones, which are small bones located under the big toe joint.

It is important to seek professional medical advice if you are experiencing any foot or ankle pain or discomfort. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent the condition from worsening and improve your chances of a full recovery. At Lifestyle Physical Therapy, our expert therapists are trained to diagnose and treat a wide range of foot and ankle conditions. We also work with patients to develop home exercise programs and ergonomic adjustments to prevent future injuries. 

Contact us today at (212) 577-9313 to schedule a consultation and get started on your path to pain-free living.

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