Why Choose a Foot and Ankle Surgeon?
In Orthopaedics, the best surgeons for a particular injury are often “specialists”. That is, they have specific training to treat a specific part of the body.
A Foot and Ankle Surgeon (Specialist)
For instance, my speciality is the foot & ankle. And while I am trained to deal with orthopaedic trauma, many people seek me out for my unique skill, training and ability to treat foot and ankle injuries.
Today let’s talk a bit about the foot and ankle, and touch upon why it’s so important to see a foot & ankle specialist if you have an injury to this part of the body.
The Foot and Ankle are Surprisingly Complex
The foot is a complex structure, containing 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, and 19 muscles. Due to its unique anatomy, the foot is susceptible to a wide range of injuries and conditions and can be the source of significant, often debilitating, pain.
Many People Experience Foot & Ankle Pain
At some point in their lifetimes, most Americans will experience foot pain, which can be the result of a wide range of injuries and conditions, from improper footwear and misalignment of the spine to traumatic injuries or chronic inflammation.
Some Common Causes of Foot & Ankle Pain
Common causes of foot pain include, but are not limited to:
Traumatic injuries, such as fractures and strains
Overuse injuries, such as stress fractures
Chronic conditions and diseases, such as arthritis, diabetes, and plantar fasciitis
Deformities, such as bunions and flat foot
Please Don't Ignore a Foot Injury
Ignoring a foot injury or condition can be counterproductive, cause further damage, and is ill-advised, as foot pain can emanate from the bones, tendons, nerves, and ligaments of the foot, making self-diagnosis extremely difficult.
When is it Time To Consult Specialist (Surgeon) for a Foot Injury?
It may be time to consult a foot specialist if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms of foot pain:
Numbness in the foot
Pain in the heel, ball, or arch of the foot Inability to perform daily activities without foot pain
Change in sensation or color of the skin or toenails
Swelling or tenderness in the foot
Loss of function
Why Doesn’t Foot Pain Just “Go Away?”
Because the foot endures constant weight bearing, stress, and frequency of use, foot pain generally does not subside without proper treatment. A consultation with a foot doctor is the best way to differentiate between a severe foot condition and minor foot injury. The reality is that foot pain can dramatically reduce your mobility, disrupt your lifestyle, and decrease your quality of life.
What a Good Foot & Ankle Specialist (Surgeon) Can Do For You
A great Foot & Ankle specialist will be committed to working with you to develop a customized treatment plan to accommodate your specific needs and get you back on your feet quickly and safely.
Foot specialists know that a prompt, accurate, and proper diagnosis is critical in determining the most effective treatment approach for your individual condition.
Though most commonly the result of acute trauma or sports-related injuries, such as fractures and sprains, ankle pain can also be caused by overuse.
Overuse injuries of the ankle typically result in agitation and discomfort, ranging from mild joint pain to Achilles tendonitis (medically referred to as tendinitis).
If you think you are suffering from an ankle injury or condition, it may be time to seek treatment.
When is it Time To Consult a Specialist (Surgeon) for an Ankle Injury?
Consult a foot and ankle specialist for an ankle problem if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
Sudden intense pain
Pain when you're not bearing weight
Pain that lingers for more than two weeks
Localized swelling that persists or worsens after 2 - 3 days
Stiffness or weakness restricting your range of motion
Additional Symptoms of Ankle Problems
Additionally, if you develop a fever or experience increased pain, swelling, redness, or warmth around the affected area, seek immediate treatment from a foot and ankle specialist, as these symptoms may indicate an infection.
Ankle pain typically does not subside without proper treatment due to constant weight bearing, stress, and frequency of use. An accurate diagnosis is crucial in determining the most effective course of treatment for your individual condition.