Foot, Ankle and Leg Problems

Considering how much we use (and unknowingly abuse) our feet, ankles and legs, it’s no surprise many of us develop problems with our lower limbs. Such problems range from visible bone deformities that interfere with shoe fit, to hidden inflammation that makes it hard to walk.

Types of Acquired Foot, Ankle and Leg Disorders

Whether your job keeps you on your feet, or you’ve spent years wearing pointed-toed shoes, your lifestyle can take a toll on your feet and ankles. Common disorders include:

  • Bunions, a painful, bony lump on the inside of your foot, near the base of your big toe. Bunions develop when the bottom of your toe joint moves out of place, causing your big toe to curve toward your other toes.
  • Bone spurs, bony masses that form on the edges of bones. Bone spurs in your feet usually occur on the heel bone and can cause sharp or aching pain.
  • Hammer toe, claw toe and mallet toe are toe bone deformities. They are often caused by tight-fitting shoes that crowd your toes. Over time your toe joints may bend abnormally even when you’re not wearing shoes.
  • Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain. It occurs when the thick band of tissue that connects your heel and toes becomes inflamed.
  • Tendonitis, a painful condition caused by inflamed tendons. It often affects the ankle joint and the Achilles tendon near the heel.

Most of these conditions develop over time, and pain and other problems come on gradually. Even if your symptoms are mild, you should talk to your doctor. If caught early, many foot and ankle problems can be managed without surgery. But if left untreated, pain or deformities may eventually need surgical correction. 

Foot, Ankle and Leg Care at Mercy

Mercy’s orthopedic specialists and podiatrists understand that foot and ankle pain is more than just a nuisance. Any problem that affects your ability to stand or walk also impacts your ability to work and play.

Our physicians provide many treatment options for foot and ankle disorders. These include:

  • Medicine and steroid shots (cortisone injections) to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Orthotics (shoe inserts) to redistribute your weight. This takes pressure off the painful part of your foot.
  • Orthopedic rehabilitation to strengthen your muscles and stretch your tendons and ligaments.
  • Treatment for underlying medical conditions that can increase foot or ankle pain, including gout, arthritis and diabetes.
  • Surgery to remove bone spurs or bunions and correct toe deformities.

If you’ve forgotten what it’s like to live without foot pain or disfigurement, talk to your Mercy physician about your treatment options. We’ll help you put your best foot forward.

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