Your feet and ankles have a very important function. They keep you balanced and mobile. Don’t feel guilty about being extra careful with them since you rely on them a lot and any issues that may develop can affect your balance and mobility. So, whenever you feel pain in your foot and ankle, you shouldn’t ignore it.
Pain in the foot and ankle can range from mild to severe. Mild pain eventually goes away while severe pain indicates a more serious condition.
Maybe you’re feeling pain in your lower extremities right now and are wondering what it could be. Here are the common conditions that cause foot and ankle pain.
Each foot has 26 bones and 33 joints, with the joints covered by a protective layer of cartilage. If the cartilage thins as a result of wear and tear, arthritis, or osteoarthritis, it could lead to pain, stiffness, and swelling. Foot and ankle arthritis requires a combination of treatments that include activity modification, orthotics, injection therapy, and physical therapy.
Sprain or Strain
A sprain is an injury to the ligaments in the foot or ankle, while a strain is an injury to the muscle or tendon. With ankle sprains, there may be a bruising over the site of the sprain, and the injury is preceded by a popping sound. Ankle sprains occur due to a sudden twisting motion, usually from a fall, an awkward landing on your foot, or exercising on an uneven surface. If you touch it, the tenderness is in a soft part and not on the bone, and you should still be able to put weight on it.
An ankle strain is an injury to the muscle or tendon usually caused by slipping or sliding during exercise or sports. However, it is more common for an ankle strain to develop gradually, as a result of overuse. Muscle spasms are common in people who have strained their foot and ankle.
A fracture is a break to any of the three bones in an ankle or the 26 bones in a single foot. All in all, you’re talking of 29 bones on each side. The movements/incidents that can cause an ankle sprain or strain can also result in a fracture. People with weak ankles are prone to this type of injury. Other causes include a blunt force to the region such as a heavy object falling on it.
Foot and ankle fractures are common injuries during sports, exercise, accidents, and emergency evacuations and are usually preceded by a cracking sound. If it hurts to put weight on the foot, then it could be a fracture. Not all fractures are severe, but a hairline or stress fracture still requires treatment by an orthopedic specialist.
Board-Certified Foot & Ankle Surgeon in St. Peters and O’Fallon, Missouri
For top-of-the-line foot orthopedic care, our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Anthony Lombardo at Advanced Bone & Joint can diagnose and treat your condition. He has over 20 years of experience treating all types of foot and ankle conditions. He will educate you on what caused your injury, how to care for it, and how to prevent it. Dr. Lombardo is highly skilled in foot and ankle surgery, should your condition require it.
To request an appointment with Dr. Lombardo, call our clinic at (636) 229-4222 or use our convenient online request form.