Category Archives: Uncategorized

High ankle sprain

Summary

  • A high ankle sprain occurs when there is an injury to the large ligament above the ankle that joins together the two bones of the lower leg. Symptoms include pain when the ankle is externally rotated (turned to the outside) or when the calf is squeezed.

How did I get this?

  • A high ankle sprain occurs from a twisting or rotational injury. The high ankle sprain also can occur in the setting of an ankle fracture, which means the bones of the ankle are broken.

What can I do about it?

  • Rest the leg.
  • Ice application for 20 minutes every two to three hours for minimizing inflammation.
  • Gently compress the leg, and elevate the leg with the toes higher than the nose to decrease inflammation.
  • Seek podiatry consultation.

What help can I get for this?

  • Podiatrist for possible immobilization and taping of the ankle for healing.
  • Feet and ankle surgeon for possible surgery if there is a broken bone or widening of bones involved.

When will it get better?

  • The recovery for high ankle sprains can take considerably longer than typical ankle sprains. It usually takes six weeks or more to return to play, but can sometimes take even longer. One good indication that you are ready to go back to sports is if you can hop on the foot 15 times. Surgery will make even more time for recovery and rehabilitation.

HAMMER TOE

Summary

  • Hammertoe is a contracture (bending) of one or both joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth (little) toes when the long muscles originating from the lower leg overpower the smaller muscles in the foot. This abnormal bending can put pressure on the toe when wearing shoes, causing problems to develop such as pain or irritation of the affected toe when wearing shoes, a buildup of skin (on toe, between two toes, or on the ball of the foot), inflammation, redness, or a burning sensation.

How did I get this?

  • Family history, arthritis, trauma, bunions, tight footwear, and neurological conditions such as stroke or peripheral neuropathy.

What can I do about it?

  • New shoes that have soft, roomy toe boxes (should be 1cm longer than your longest toe).
  • Avoid wearing tight, narrow, high-heeled shoes.
  • Find a shoe with a deep toe box that accommodates the hammer toe.
  • Sandals may help, as long as they do not pinch or rub other areas of the foot.

What help can I get for this?

  • Podiatrist may prescribe pads designed to shield corns and calluses from irritation.
  • Podiatrist may prescribe orthotic devices placed in your shoe to help control the muscle/tendon imbalance.
  • Podiatrist may advise splints or small straps to realign the bent toe.
  • Possible surgery when the hammertoe has become more rigid and painful, or when an open sore has developed.

When will it get better?

  • This is a progressive deformity which can only be corrected with surgery. Treatment for the symptoms and appropriate footwear will help to keep you comfortable.
  • After surgery the length of the recovery period will vary, depending on the procedure or procedures performed.

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Hallux Valgus

Summary

  • It is a deformity of the big toe joint, which pushes it towards smaller toes causing pain, inflammation, swelling, and stiffness around the joint, especially with pressure from tight shoes.

How did I get this?

  • Arthritis can be a risk factor.
  • Family history of Hallux Valgus.
  • Wearing tight shoes can contribute to the problem.

What can I do about it?

  • Wear good fitting shoes.
  • Avoid high heels.
  • Wear a pad over the bunion.
  • See a podiatrist.

What help can I get for this?

  • Podiatrist may advise on appropriate footwear, padding, night splints.
  • Podiatrist may consider prescribing orthotics.
  • Foot and ankle surgeon may advise on surgery if the joint is too painful.

When will it get better?

  • The symptoms may well settle, especially if you are careful with shoes, but the deformity is likely to progress.Surgery is the only effective way of correcting the deformity (but it may still reoccur in the future).

Hallux Limitus / Rigidus

Summary

  • Hallux rigidus/limitusis a disorder of the joint (form of degenerative arthritis)located at the base of the big toe. It causes pain and stiffness in the joint, and with time it gets increasingly harder to bend the toe.

How did I get this?

  • History of trauma in the feet.
  • Faulty foot function.
  • History of arthritis.
  • Family history is a risk factor.

What can I do about it?

  • Rest from activities affecting the joint.
  • Stop wearing high heeled shoes.
  • Applying ice packs reduce inflammation for short period of time.
  • Contrast bath using alternating cold and hot water (30 seconds each for five minutes) to reduce inflammation.
  • Short term use of anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen to reduce pain and inflammation.

What help can I get for this?

  • A podiatrist may provide shoe modifications, padding, or orthoics.
  • An orthopaedic foot surgeon may assist with removing bony lumps or fusing the joint.

When will it get better?

  • It depends on severity, patient activity and expectation as well as the particular treatment used. Podiatry and activity modification can provide fast relief, along with appropriate footwear.

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Freibergs Disease

Summary

  • Freiberg’s disease is a relatively uncommon disorder that affects the joints of metatarsals (the bones that extend from the arch of your foot to your toes).
  • The disease is associated with the gradual collapse or disintegration of the joint surfaces between the metatarsals as well as the formation of abnormal joint tissue. Symptoms include chronic history of forefoot pain, foot stiffness, and walking with a limp.

How did I get this?

  • The specific events or factors that cause Freiberg’s disease are not completely understood.
  • However, there are several risk factors for the disease, which include age and gender (Freiberg’s disease occurs most often in female adolescents and young women, although the disease can occur in any person at any age), excessively long metatarsals, and foot trauma.

What can I do about it?

  • Freiberg’s disease may be asymptomatic or it may heal without treatment. But if symptoms are present, the following will be beneficial:
  • Rest the metatarsal joints allowing the joint Inflammation and irritation to go away.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are used commonly for pain.
  • Seek podiatry consultation.

What help can I get for this?

  • Podiatrist may advise comfort shoes with metatarsal pad to help offload the area and for protection, and a camwalker boot for protected weight bearing for a period of two to six weeks to allow the symptoms to settle.
  • Foot and ankle surgeon for surgical treatment if the nonoperative intervention fails to control the symptoms.

When will it get better?

  • Fortunately, the outcomes of both non-operative and operative management are good to excellent and most patients are able to return to previous activity.

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Cuboid Dysfunction Fact Sheet

Summary

  • The Cuboid is a square shaped bone which lies between your heel and the 5th metatarsal.
  • Cuboid dysfunction can result if this bone and the surrounding joints are subject to repeated trauma and cause intermittent pain.

How did I get this?

  • The way that you walk, or if you have a high arched, or excessively flat foot can cause cuboid dysfunction. There is not usually a specific injury. The joints around the cuboid become inflamed and cause the pain.

What can I do about it?

  • Rest, ice packs, and soft cushioning footwear may be helpful.
  • Short term antiinflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen may relieve symptoms.

What help can I get for this?

  • A podiatrist will assist with footwear advice or modification, strapping, padding, orthotics, or joint mobilisation.

When will it get better?

  • With the correct support and reduction in activity you can expect an improvement over 6-8 weeks.

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Compartment Syndrome

Summary

  • It is a condition where there is excessive pressure in the muscle compartment of the foot following fracture or injury. This can lead to tissue damage and requires immediate emergency attention. The pain is generally far in excess of what would be expected.

How did I get this?

  • If there is fracture or injury in the foot, there can be swelling which compresses the muscle compartment and may lead to severe pain, swelling and tissue damage.

What can I do about it?

  • Rest the area affected.
  • Elevate the feet above the heart to promote blood flow and aid in the inflammation.
  • Seek emergency medical attention.

What help can I get for this?

  • See your podiatrist or doctor without delay.
  • Will usually result in hospital admission and surgery.

When will it get better?

  • Conservative treatment options have not been shown to be effective for this condition.
  • Surgical intervention to relieve the pressure will be a better option for better and fast healing.

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Achilles Tendinopathy

Summary

  • Achilles Tendinopathy is a condition where there is pain, swelling, stiffness, and weakness in your Achilles tendon.
  • It is caused by repeated tiny injuries in this area.
  • Pain develops gradually especially in the morning upon waking up but is worse during rest after exercise.

How did I get this?

  • Achilles tendon is important part of your leg which is found behind and above your heel. It joins the heel bone to your calf muscles. This helps to bend your foot downwards at the ankle. Overuse of tendons, wearing inappropriate footwear during exercise, poor flexibility, and increased intensity of exercise can result to injury in your Achilles tendon. Other causes include arthritis and long-term use of some antibiotics (e.g. Ciprofloxacin).

What can I do about it?

  • Rest and avoid strenuous exercise (such as running). As you improve, you can restart exercise gradually.
  • Cold compress (ice pack) will help to decrease swelling and control the pain.
  • Compression using bandage can also minimize pain and aid in reducing the inflammation.
  • Elevate the injured area above the heart while sitting.
  • For prevention, make sure you stretch before and after exercise.
  • Short term use of anti-inflammatory drugs can be helpful to decrease the pain.

What help can I get for this?

  • A podiatrist for special heel pads to wear in the shoes for cushion and support, and a program of special exercises for the strengthening of the injured tendons.
  • Footwear advice or modification and possible orthoses to relieve strain on the Achilles tendon.
  • A surgeon, if symptoms do not improve after 3 to 6 months, might proceed with surgical repair of the tendons.

When will it get better?

  • Symptoms usually clear within 3 to 6 months of starting nonsurgical treatment (as described above). The earlier the diagnosis and treatment, the better the outcome.

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Accessory Navicular Fact Sheet

Summary

  • Accessory Navicular is a condition where the Navicular bone has developed in two pieces.
  • You have a painful lump on the inside of your foot, usually aggravated by shoes rubbing on it.
  • It can be difficult to walk far, or on uneven surfaces, and climbing stairs or ladders is a real pain.
  • Your ski boots or hiking boots are killing you.

How did I get this?

  • The accessory navicular is an extra bone in your foot, of which there can be many in addition to the 26 bones we usually expect to find there. It is thought to develop in teenage years as your skeleton hardens and finishes growing.
  • This can become painful due to irritation from footwear, unusually high levels of activity, or recent weight gain.

What can I do about it?

  • Wearing shoes that do not irritate the area is the first step. You can add padding around the area or inside your shoe. Reduce your activity so that the bone is not irritated. Lose weight to reduce the stress on the bone.

What help can I get for this?

  • A podiatrist can help with footwear advice or padding for the lump. You may also get some relief by using orthotics which are designed to reduce the stress on the bone.
  • A surgeon can remove the bone, but only after all other options have been tried. Surgery can take 9-12 months to recover fully.

When will it get better?

  • After pressure and stress are reduced on the bone you should start to feel relief quickly.
  • Continued use of appropriate footwear and padding or support should result in more prolonged improvement.

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Turf Toe

Summary

  • It is simply a sprain of the ligaments around the big toe joint. It’s a condition that’s caused by jamming the big toe or repeatedly pushing off the big toe forcefully as in running and jumping. The most common symptoms of turf toe include pain, swelling, and limited joint movement at the base of one big toe. The symptoms develop slowly and gradually get worse over time if it’s caused by repetitive injury. If it’s caused by a sudden forceful motion, the injury can be painful immediately and worsen within 24 hours. Sometimes when the injury occurs, a “pop” can be felt. Usually the entire joint is involved, and toe movement is limited.

How did I get this?

  • The name “turf toe” comes from the fact that this injury is especially common among athletes who play on artificial turf. When playing sports on artificial turf the foot can stick to the hard surface, resulting in jamming of the big toe joint. There has also been some indication that less-supportive flexible shoes worn on artificial turf are also to blame.

What can I do about it?

  • Initial treatments include rest, ice, compression, and elevation. (RICE), as well as a change to less-flexible footwear.
  • Podiatry consultation for further management.

What help can I get for this?

  • Podiatrist may use measures to limit great toe motion such as stiff soled shoes, or a cam walker to protect the injured tissue while it heals.
  • Podiatrist may consider taping the big toe and using a Morton’s extension splint may be beneficial in protecting the toe.
  • Orthopaedic surgeon for surgical correction if nonoperative approach does not work with the symptoms.

When will it get better?

  • In many cases, if adequate compliance is achieved, conservatively and surgically treated patients can return to their preinjury level of function. However, some disability is possible with either form of treatment.

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