Ankle sprains are caused by an unnatural twisting force on the ankle and foot bones, which may result in stretching or tearing of one or more ligaments on the outside of the ankle. The severity of the sprain can impact the degree of damage as well as the type and duration of treatment. If not properly treated, ankle sprains may develop into long-term problems.
Primary symptoms of ankle sprains are pain following a twisting injury with swelling, and bruising. In some cases a fracture of the bones may occur. If you are experiencing significant pain, swelling and bruising an x-ray should be taken to make sure there is no damage to the bones.
Treatment includes resting and elevating the ankle and applying ice to reduce swelling. Compressive bandages also may be used to immobilize and support the injury during healing. Serious ankle sprains, particularly among competitive athletes, or when associated bone damage or fracture occurs, may require surgery to repair and tighten the damaged ligaments. Foot and Ankle Center providers are highly trained to evaluate ankle injuries and recommend the best treatment. When surgery is needed we can provide the most advanced arthroscopic treatments to get you back to full speed in the least amount of time.
To prevent ankle sprains, try to maintain strength, balance, and flexibility in the foot and ankle through exercising, stretching, and wearing well-fitted shoes. If you experience repeated sprains we can help guide you through a regimen to strengthen your ankle and prevent further injury.
Hammertoe is a deformity of the second, third, or fourth toes. In this condition, the toe is bent at the middle joint, causing it to resemble a hammer. Left untreated, hammertoes can become stiff and painful and require surgery. People with hammertoe may have corns or calluses on the top of the middle joint of the toe or on the tip of the toe. They may also feel pain in their toes or feet and have difficulty finding comfortable shoes.
Causes of hammertoe include improperly fitting shoes and muscle imbalance. Generally the hammertoe will gradually worsen over a period of months or years.
Treatment for the condition typically involves wearing shoes with soft, roomy toe boxes and toe exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles. Commercially available straps, cushions, or nonmedicated corn pads may also relieve symptoms.In severe cases, hammertoe surgery may be recommended to correct the deformity. To learn more contact Foot and Ankle Center of Iowa.
Flat feet are a common condition leading to pain in kids and adults. In infants and toddlers, prior to walking, the arch is not developed, and flat feet are normal. The arch continues to develop throughout childhood, and by adulthood most people have developed normal arches.
Flat feet are generally associated with pronation, a leaning inward of the ankle bones toward the center line. Shoes of children who pronate, when placed side by side, will lean toward each other.
Many people with flat feet do not experience pain or other problems. However, when pain in the foot, ankle, or lower leg does occur, especially in children, the feet should be evaluated.
Painful progressively worsening flatfoot can lead to tendonitis and arthritis of the foot and ankle. Because of the abnormal position of the foot tendons and ligaments becomes stretched or torn and the joints can wear out. Left untreated, it may lead to severe disability and chronic pain.
Supportive shoes, orthotic arch supports, bracing and physical therapy are common treatments for painful progressive flatfoot. In some cases, surgery may need to be performed to repair a torn or damaged tendon and restore normal alignment and function. In the most severe cases, surgery on the bones may be necessary to treat the painful flatfoot condition. Foot and Ankle Center providers are experts at both non surgical and surgical treatment of this condition.
Plantar fasciitis is the term commonly used to refer to heel and arch pain. Although we often use the term heel spur to describe this condition, pain on the bottom of the heel is rarely caused by a bone spur. The most common cause of this heel pain is plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the connective tissue, called plantar fascia. The plantar fascia stretches from the base of the toes, across the arch of the foot, and attaches to the bottom of the heel bone. As the foot rolls inward when walking, it flattens the foot, lengthens the arch, and puts excessive tension on the plantar fascia leading to damage and pain.
Heel pain can successfully treated with a combination treatments including proper shoes, orthotic arch supports, exercises and physical therapy. In persistent cases, injections and other treatments can be prescribed by our doctors.
The doctors at Foot And Ankle Center of Iowa have studied the cause of this condition for many years and have noted a link to a tight calf muscle and achilles tendon. When this tightness is present the pain will persist until the tight muscle is treated. Our doctors can evaluate this condition and recommend the best treatment course if tightness is present.
Corns are calluses that form on the toes because of bones that push up against shoes and build up pressure on the skin. The surface layer of the skin thickens, irritating the tissues underneath. Hard corns are usually located on the top of the toe or on the side of the small toe. Soft corns resemble open sores and develop between the toes as they rub against each other.
Improperly fitting shoes are a leading cause of corns. Toe deformities, such as hammertoe or claw toe, also can lead to corns. In some situations especially with diabetes, corns can become deep and form open sores and result in an infection. If there is any discoloration of a corn or a callus, you should be evaluated by our doctors to make sure you are not developing a sore, ulcer or an infection.
Self-care for corns includes soaking feet regularly and using a pumice stone or callus file to reduce the size of the corn. Special over-the-counter, non-medicated, donut-shaped foam pads can be worn to help relieve the pressure and discomfort. For large or persistent corns, if you are diabetic or have toe deformities, please contact our office and set an appointment to evaluate the cause of your problem and recommend the best solution so that you can do your normal activity without pain or possibility of complications.
Athlete’s Foot, also known as tinea pedis, is a skin disease caused by a fungus that usually occurs between the toes. The fungus attacks the feet because shoes create a warm, dark, and humid environment that encourages fungus growth. Warm, damp areas around swimming pools, showers, and locker rooms, are also breeding grounds for fungi.
Symptoms of Athlete’s Foot include drying skin, itching, scaling, inflammation, and blisters on and between the toes. Athlete’s Foot can spread to the soles of the feet and to the toenails as well as other parts of the body, which is why timely treatment is so important.
While fungicidal and fungistatic chemicals are commonly used to treat Athlete’s Foot problems, they often fail to kill the fungi in the lower layers of the skin and these conditions can recur. For persistent Athlete’s Foot, testing may need to be done to determine the cause and prescription topical or oral antifungal drug may be needed. Other skin conditions can look very similar to athlete’s foot and our doctors can evaluate and perform testing to determine the cause and recommend the best treatment. Note: Please consult your physician before taking any medications.