Foot and Ankle Orthopedics
A subcategory of orthopedic surgery is orthopedic surgery of the foot and ankle. These surgeons specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders of the musculoskeletal system of the foot and ankle. Musculoskeletal refers to the bones, muscles, joints, ligaments, nerves and skin.
The foot and ankle area is a highly complicated, heavily used one, and an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in its treatment can work wonders for many people. This often-afflicted area can experience a long list of common ailments, including broken bones, sprains, arthritis, plantar fasciitis, fractures, bunions, warts, heel spurs, corns, calluses, neuromas, toenail infections and ingrown toenails, arch problems, and diabetes-related nerve damage. An orthopedic surgeon may be able to help with any of these afflictions, and those listed on our site are highly qualified and compassionate to be better able to serve you.
One thing orthopedic foot and ankle surgeons commonly see is sports-related injuries. Athletes wear on this area of their bodies even more than most people do, and can see many issues as a result, from athlete's foot to fractures and broken bones. An orthopedic surgeon can both help treat injuries and ailments and also help the athlete prevent further issues.
It is also common for an orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon to see patients with diabetes. Diabetes can weaken the nervous system and make it difficult for patients to sense discomfort or pain in their feet. This can result in a number of issues, including infection and worsening of an existing problem. A diabetic patient who gets a blister, for example, from a pair of uncomfortable shoes, may not notice the blister and leave it untreated. This could become infected or open up further, turning a small problem into an emergency. Diabetic patients can also find themselves walking in ways that would normally be uncomfortable to them, which can in turn warp the shape of the foot. This is called Charcot foot. Orthopedic surgeons can help diagnose the problem, treat the result, and prevent further complications or issues.
Foot pain from plantar fasciitis or arch issues is another thing commonly seen by orthopedic foot and ankle surgeons, and can cause much distress to the patient. Plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the tissue on the bottom of the foot, can be very painful. An orthopedic surgeon may prescribe special shoes, massage, or many other forms of treatment for plantar fasciitis. Arch pain can also become a problem for a patient, as walking uncomfortably on your arch can cause it to change shape, among many other complications. Often an orthopedic surgeon will prescribe a special shoe to properly support the foot arch.
Foot and Toes
A patient with ingrown toenails, toenail infections, or toenail fungus may be sent to an orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon as well. On top of being painful, toenail issues can be more dangerous than expected, and it is important to treat these ailments in a timely manner. An orthopedic surgeon may prescribe ointments or antibiotics, or depending on the severity of the problem may wish to perform surgery. Sometimes a surgery can be performed for an ingrown toenail, for instance, that will prevent further occasions of ingrown nails in that toe.
Orthopedic foot and ankle surgeons can help with a wide array of ailments, injuries and disorders. It is important to be educated about what they can do for you, to help you maintain a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle.