Foot Pain

Get Back on Your Feet Again

Does chronic foot or ankle pain keep you off your feet? Whether it’s a broken bone, sprain or torn ligament, at Baptist Health System, our dedicated foot and ankle specialists know that nothing makes you feel more helpless than losing your ability to walk. More than that, foot and ankle injuries can be extremely painful, so we treat them thoroughly and immediately to limit your pain and help get you on the road to recovery.

Causes of Foot Pain

The feet take the most beating from our daily bump and grind. They are prone to wear and tear from a lifetime of standing, walking, running, jumping and climbing. Because of this, foot pain is common.

Foot pain refers to any pain or discomfort in one or more parts of the foot, such as the toes, heels, instep, arches and soles. Different types of damage and malfunction from injuries or inflammation may cause foot problems. The pain can range from mild to severe, and it may last for a short time or become a chronic or a recurring issue.

Certain medical conditions and lifestyle choices may cause foot pain, including the following:

  • Aging
  • Being on your feet for long periods of time
  • Obesity
  • A congenital foot deformity that you were born with or one that develops later
  • Injury
  • Shoes that fit poorly or do not have much cushioning
  • Too much walking or other sports activity
  • Trauma
  • Arthritis and gout – common in the big toe, which becomes red, swollen and very tender
  • Broken bones
  • Bunions (hallux valgus) – abnormalities of the feet that cause the big toe to turn slightly inward. Wearing narrow-toed shoes may also cause this condition
  • Calluses and corns – patches of thickened skin that usually develop on the balls of the feet or heels or the top of the toes
  • Hammertoes – toes that curl downward into a claw-like position
  • Fallen arches (flat feet)
  • Morton neuroma – a thickening of nerve tissue between the toes
  • Nerve damage from diabetes
  • Plantar fasciitis – an inflammatory condition that causes pain on the bottom of the heel. The pain is usually worse when getting out of bed in the morning
  • Plantar warts – sores on the soles of the feet due to pressure
  • Sprains
  • Stress fracture – a break in the bone that happens with repeated injury that is common among people who do activities that put a lot of pressure on their feet
  • Nerve problems
  • Heel spurs or Achilles tendinitis – an outgrowth of calcium that develops between the heel bone and the arch of the foot. This condition is caused by long-term strain on muscles and ligaments, arthritis, obesity or wearing ill-fitted or worn-out shoes.

When to See Your Doctor

Although there are some home remedies to treat occasional foot pain or discomfort, you should seek immediate medical attention if you have any of the following symptoms:

If you’re experiencing an emergency, please call 9-1-1

  • Sudden and severe foot pain
  • Foot pain following an injury, especially if your foot is bleeding, bruising or unable to support your weight
  • Redness or swelling of the joint, an open sore or ulcer on your foot or a fever
  • Pain in your foot if you have diabetes or a disease that affects blood flow
  • Your foot does not feel better using at-home treatments for one to two weeks

Treatment varies and depends on the exact cause of the foot pain. It may be as simple as taking over-the-counter or prescription medicines to relieve pain. Other treatment options include the following:

  • A splint or a cast, if you broke a bone
  • Shoes that protect your feet
  • Removal of plantar warts, corns or calluses by a foot specialist
  • Orthotics or shoe inserts
  • Physical therapy to relieve tight or overused muscles
  • Ankle replacement surgery

Treating the Full Spectrum of Foot and Ankle Problems

Our foot and ankle specialists have the experience and technology to help you heal and get you back on your feet. Below are just a few of the problems we treat:

  • Broken bones
  • Sprains
  • Torn muscles, ligaments and tendons
  • Inflammation
  • Heel spurs
  • Corns
  • Morton’s neuroma (a painful yet benign condition that affects the ball of the foot)
  • Hammertoes

Considering Ankle Replacement Surgery

If other treatments haven’t worked, it may be time to consider ankle replacement surgery. Our orthopedic experts will replace your ankle joint with an artificial one to ease pain and stiffness and improve function.

Ankle replacement is a procedure used to replace the badly damaged bone and cartilage in the ankle joint with artificial implants or prosthetics to eliminate pain and swelling. 

An incision will be made in the front of your ankle so your surgeon can access the affected joint. After gently pushing aside your tendons, nerves and blood vessels, your surgeon will then remove the damaged bone and cartilage. Artificial metal joints are then attached to the cut bony surfaces with a special glue/bone cement holding them in place. A piece of plastic is inserted between the two metal parts and screws may be placed additionally to stabilize your ankle.

After the surgery, you will may stay in the hospital for at least one night and under pain medication. You may also need to wear a splint, cast or brace for a while.

A successful ankle replacement surgery will likely decrease or get rid of your pain. You should also be able to move your ankle up and down after recovering from the operation. Ankle replacements may last for 10 or more years depending on your level of activity, overall health and how damaged your ankle joint was before surgery.

Treating Your Injury – and You – The Right Way

Our team of foot specialists and orthopedic surgeons are specially trained to treat all sorts of orthopedic problems ranging from fractures, injuries or wear and tear over time.

We are here to support you every step of the way, not just with medicines and procedures, but above all, with safe and compassionate care.

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