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Foot & Ankle Injuries

  • Common Foot & Ankle Injuries

    Foot and ankle injury

    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

    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

    Fracture

    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

  • Plantar Fasciitis

    Runner with ankle pain

    The plantar fascia is the flat band of tissue (ligament) that connects the heel bone to the toes, and functions to support the arch of the foot. Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain and occurs when the ligament is injured.

    People commonly at risk of developing this condition include runners, individuals with a high foot arch, overweight individuals, and people who frequently wear ill-fitting shoes that provide inadequate support. Repeated strain on the ligament may result in tiny tears, causing swelling and pain.

    Signs & Symptoms

    Common symptoms for plantar fasciitis include:

    • Pain after a long period of rest or after exercise
    • Pain at the bottom of the foot, near the heel

    Diagnosis

    Your doctor may check your medical history and perform a physical examination. The following diagnostic tests may be prescribed for complete assessment:

    • X-ray
    • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

    Treatment

    Depending on the severity of your condition, your doctor may prescribe medication to help reduce inflammation and pain. Surgical intervention may be required should symptoms persist.  Talk to your orthopaedic specialist to understand the treatment options available

  • Achilles Tendonitis

    Pain in the back of ankle

    The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body and connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. Repetitive stress, overuse, and age-related wear and tear may lead to inflammation of the tendon.

    Signs & Symptoms

    Common symptoms of Achilles tendonitis include:

    • Pain at the back of the heel that worsens with movement
    • Thickening of the tendon leading to a protrusion at the heel
    • Stiffness along the Achilles tendon

    Consult your orthopaedic specialist if you experience any of the above symptoms. Prompt diagnosis and treatment is important for a good recovery and to prevent any long-term complications.

    Diagnosis

    Your doctor may check your medical history and perform a physical examination. For a complete assessment, the following diagnostic tests may be prescribed:

    • X-ray
    • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

    Treatment

    Depending on the severity of the condition, your doctor may also prescribe medication to help alleviate the pain. Should symptoms persist, surgical intervention may be required. The type of surgery will depend on the severity of the injury and the location of the tendonitis.  Talk to your orthopaedic specialist to understand the treatment options available

  • Bunions

    Foot bunion

    Bunions are painful, bony bumps that develop around the joint area of the big toe. The condition develops gradually and affects the normal bone structure, leading to a deformity where the big toe leans towards the second toe. Bunions usually result from wearing poorly fitted shoes that squeeze the toes together, thereby increasing the pressure on the big toe. Other risk factors include genetic factors or certain medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.

    Signs & Symptoms

    • Visible bump at big toe joint area
    • Big toe leaning towards second toe
    • Inflammation and redness
    • Pain or discomfort
    • Difficulty walking
    • Tenderness at the joint area
    • Stiffness in the big toe
    • Callus on the bump

    Diagnosis

    Your doctor may check your medical history and perform a physical examination. Diagnostic tests such as an x-ray may be prescribed to further assess the condition.

    Treatment

    In most cases, a change to footwear that fit properly and do not compress the toes can help to alleviate and manage the pain. Depending on severity of the condition, medication such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) or corticosteroids may be prescribed to help alleviate the pain and reduce swelling. If symptoms persist, surgical intervention to realign the bone and soft tissues may be required.  Talk to your orthopaedic specialist to understand the treatment options available

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