The foot and ankle provides support and mobility to the body. The foot consists of 28 bones and over 30 joints that allow for a wide range of movement, with 3 bones making up the ankle joint. Ligaments connect the bones and keep the joints in place, whereas muscles and tendons provide joint and movement support.
Foot and ankle injuries are among the most frequently occurring musculoskeletal injuries. In severe cases, surgical intervention may be required. In this section, we explore the common conditions affecting the foot and ankle, and the treatment options available.
Impact during sports, recreational activities, or accidental falls may injure the foot and ankle. While minor cuts and bruises heal on their own, more severe injuries require prompt medical attention to avoid long term consequences.
Arthritis is a condition where one or more joints become inflamed. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are common conditions when it comes to foot and ankle injuries.
Osteoarthritis commonly occurs due to age-related wear and tear of the cartilage between the joints. Other causes include joint instability, genetic factors and injury. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that affects the joints. Over time, the surrounding bone, cartilage, ligaments and tendons become damaged, resulting in severe joint deformity and loss in walking ability. The common signs and symptoms for rheumatoid arthritis include swelling and inflammation of the joints and joint deformity.
Symptoms of arthritis in the foot and ankle include pain, stiffness, limited movement, swelling, and difficulty walking. Speak to your orthopaedic specialist to understand your condition and the treatment options available
A fracture in the foot or ankle are may result in difficulty in walking and weight bearing. Common signs and symptoms include pain, tenderness, swelling, deformity at the area of the fracture and not being able to apply any weight to the injured foot.
Diagnosis usually involves a physical examination and diagnostic tests such as an x-ray. For minor fractures, treatment usually requires immobilisation with cast support until the bone heals, which can take up to several months. In certain cases where the bone is displaced from its original position, surgical intervention may be required. Talk to your orthopaedic specialist to understand the treatment options available