Don’t Delay: Treat Foot and Ankle Injuries

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The human foot and ankle support all of our weight. We expect them to take the wear and tear of being stuffed into our workday footwear, running errands, walking the dogs, and pushing through our daily workout. Try as we might to maintain 28 bones and a complex jumble of muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves in good working order, accidents happen and problems develop. We are suddenly sidelined, in discomfort, and impatient to get on with it.

 

A foot or ankle injury can affect our knees, hips, and back, because our gait is also affected. Over time, our altered stride can cause other injuries, extending our down time. Unfortunately, many will delay a visitor to the doctor; this can be a huge mistake. Here are a few foot and ankle problems, and the consequences of not seeking medical treatment:

 

Achilles Tendonitis is an overuse injury to the largest tendon in the body. It causes inflammation, aching and stiffness in the band of tissue that connects your calf muscles to the heel. Achilles tendonitis is usually seen in runners and middle-aged weekend athletes. EPAT (Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology) treatments can help relieve pain and promote healing of the inflamed tissue. If this condition is not treated, it can worsen into a chronic, painful condition that increases chances of a tendon rupture and the surgery to repair it.

Ankle sprain is a common injury to the ligaments of the ankle. When these band-like structures have been over-stretched, they can partially or completely tear. If the pain is severe, you cannot move the injured ankle, or pressing on the bony bumps on either side of the ankle causes serious pain, you need to see the foot doctor. If not treated, you risk causing larger ligament tears, leading to long-term or permanent instability in the joint, loss of flexion, and developing arthritis.

Neuroma - Morton’s neuroma (metatarsalgia) develops when the nerve in the foot that carries sensation from the toes swells. Morton’s neuroma restricts weight-bearing activity of any kind. It’s estimated that up to 33% of all people with pain in the ball of their foot have this disorder that has not been diagnosed or treated. Not seeking treatment for this condition can lead to surgery and/or permanent nerve damage. The good news is that EPAT can break down the scar tissue and encourage healing.

 

Unfortunately, injuries to our feet and ankles are common. If we want them to last as long as we do, we need to seek medical care when there’s a problem. Failing to do so puts our long-term health and mobility at risk. If you are experiencing pain from an ongoing issue or injury, count on Dr. O and her experienced team to get you back on your feet. Visit footdoctorscolorado.com or call 303-805-5156 for an appointment at our Parker, Castle Pines, Aurora, or Cherry Creek office.


 
Dr. Cynthia Oberholtzer-Classen, DPM
Founder and Owner of Podiatry Associates, PC
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