Suffering from Foot or Ankle Pain? See Why You Should Choose a Foot & Ankle Orthopedic Surgeon for the best possible care.
Whether you’re injured at work, home, or at an athletic event, or just have been experiencing increasing discomfort, foot pain or ankle pain can hinder your mobility — and life. At MD West ONE, our foot surgeons and ankle surgeons are highly experienced at getting you back on your feet.
When you come to MD West ONE, you will see a foot and ankle specialist who is ready to undertake even the most complex problems. Unlike a generalist, podiatrist, or other foot and ankle care providers, our orthopedic foot and ankle specialists intensely focus on the foot and ankle – based on a framework of general orthopedic knowledge to provide the best understanding of how all the parts of the body work together to keep you moving. And for you, that means the pinnacle of foot and ankle care.
Patient Education Videos
Achilles Tendon Injuries
The Achilles tendon is a fibrous band of tissue that links the muscles in your calf to your heel and is important for everyday activities like walking, jumping, and running. The Achilles tendon can develop tendonitis when overused or damaged which can cause pain down the back of your leg and around your heel. You might also notice that parts of your tendon are getting thicker, and hardening as symptoms from the tendonitis.
Increased activity or a fall may also cause a rupture in the Achilles tendon. Symptoms of a ruptured Achilles tendon include feeling as if you’ve been kicked in the calf, severe pain and swelling near the heel and an inability to bend the foot downward or "push off" the injured leg when walking.
→ Make an appointment if you are experiencing signs and symptoms of an Achilles tendon injury.
Ankle instability is a condition characterized by a recurring giving way of the outer (lateral) side of the ankle. This condition often develops after repeated ankle sprains.
Symptoms of ankle instability include:
- A repeated turning of the ankle, especially on uneven surfaces or when participating in sports
- Persistent (chronic) discomfort and swelling
- Pain or tenderness
- The ankle feeling wobbly or unstable
→ Make an appointment if you are experiencing signs and symptoms of ankle instability.
An ankle sprain occurs when the strong ligaments that support the ankle bones stretch beyond their limits and tear. Ankle sprains are common injuries and can range from mild to severe, depending upon how much damage there is to the ligaments. An ankle sprain can happen due to a fall, walking or exercising on uneven surfaces, or another person stepping on or landing on your foot during a sports activity.
Signs and symptoms of a sprained ankle vary depending on the severity of the injury. They may include:
- Pain, especially when you bear weight on the affected foot
- Tenderness when you touch the ankle
- Swelling and bruising
- Restricted range of motion
- Instability in the ankle
- Popping sensation or sound at the time of injury
→ Make an appointment if you are experiencing signs and symptoms of an ankle sprain.
Arthritis of the Ankle
Arthritis in the ankle can lead to pain, swelling, deformity, and instability in the ankle joint. Ankle arthritis affects the tibiotalar joint, which forms between the shin bone (tibia) and ankle bone (talus) and is typically caused by normal wear and tear of the joint.
Other symptoms of ankle arthritis include:
- Tenderness when pressure is applied to the joint
- Increased pain and swelling in the morning, or after sitting or resting
- Pain with motion or that flares up due to activity
→ Make an appointment if you are experiencing signs and symptoms of arthritis of the ankle.
Arthritis of the Foot
There are 28 bones in the foot and more than 30 joints that allow for a wide range of movement. Arthritis of the foot is inflammation of one or more of these joints. There are more than 100 forms of arthritis that typically develop through wear and tear on the joints.
Symptoms of foot arthritis include:
- Pain with motion
- Pain that flares up with vigorous activity
- Tenderness when pressure is applied to the joint
- Joint swelling, warmth, and redness
- Increased pain and swelling in the morning, or after sitting or resting
- Difficulty in walking due to any of the above symptoms
→ Make an appointment if you are experiencing signs and symptoms of arthritis of the foot.
A bunion also referred to as hallux valgus, is a bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of your big toe. It occurs when some of the bones in the front part of your foot move out of place. This causes the tip of your big toe to get pulled toward the smaller toes and forces the joint at the base of your big toe to stick out.
Wearing tight, narrow shoes might cause bunions or make them worse. Bunions can also develop as a result of the shape of your foot, a foot deformity or a medical condition, such as arthritis. Smaller bunions (bunionettes) can develop on the joint of your little toe.
Symptoms of bunions include:
- Pain and tenderness
- Redness and inflammation
- Hardened skin on the bottom of the foot
- A callus or corn on the bump
- Stiffness and restricted motion in the big toe, which may lead to difficulty in walking
→ Make an appointment if you are experiencing signs and symptoms of bunions.
It is a common misconception that the foot deformity claw toe is caused by wearing shoes that squeeze your toes, such as shoes that are too short or high heels. However, claw toe also is often the result of nerve damage caused by diseases like diabetes or alcoholism, which can weaken the muscles in your foot. Having claw toe means your toes "claw," digging down into the soles of your shoes and creating painful calluses.
Symptoms of claw toe include:
- Your toes are bent upward (extension) from the joints at the ball of the foot.
- Your toes are bent downward (flexion) at the middle joints toward the sole of your shoe.
- Sometimes your toes also bend downward at the top joints, curling under the foot.
- Corns may develop over the top of the toe or under the ball of the foot.
→ Make an appointment if you are experiencing signs and symptoms of claw toe.
Clubfoot describes a range of foot abnormalities usually present at birth (congenital) in which your baby's foot is twisted out of shape or position. In clubfoot, the tissues connecting the muscles to the bone (tendons) are shorter than usual making it difficult to eventually walk normally. Doctors recommend for it to be treated soon after birth once the condition is diagnosed.
Symptoms of clubfoot include:
- The top of the foot is usually twisted downward and inward, increasing the arch and turning the heel inward.
- The foot may be turned so severely that it actually looks as if it's upside down.
- The affected leg or foot may be slightly shorter.
- The calf muscles in the affected leg are usually underdeveloped.
→ Make an appointment if you or your child are experiencing signs and symptoms of clubfoot.
Diabetes is a condition of elevated blood sugar that affects about 6% of the population in the United States or about 16 million people. Diabetic foot problems are a major health concern and are a common cause of hospitalization.
Most foot problems that people with diabetes face arise from two serious complications of the disease: nerve damage and poor circulation. One of the more critical foot problems these complications can cause is Charcot arthropathy, which can deform the shape of the foot and lead to disability.
Although many patients will not experience pain due to diabetic foot, they may experience other symptoms such as:
- The most sensitive sign of early Charcot foot is swelling of the foot. This can occur without an obvious injury.
- Redness of the foot can also occur in the early stages.
The swelling, redness, and changes to the bone that are seen on the x-ray may be confused for a bone infection. A bone infection is very unlikely if the skin is intact and there is no ulcer present.
→ Make an appointment if you are experiencing signs and symptoms of diabetic foot.
Flatfeet occurs when the arches on the inside of your feet are flattened, allowing the entire soles of your feet to touch the floor when you stand up. A common condition, flatfeet can occur when the arches don't develop during childhood. In other cases, flat feet develop after an injury or from the simple wear-and-tear stresses of age.
Flatfeet can sometimes contribute to problems in your ankles and knees because the condition can alter the alignment of your legs. Most people have no signs or symptoms associated with flatfeet but some people with flatfeet experience foot pain, particularly in the heel or arch area. Pain may worsen with activity. Swelling along the inside of the ankle can also occur.
→ Make an appointment if you are experiencing pain due to flat foot.
Foot & Ankle Stress Fractures
A stress fracture is a small crack in a bone or severe bruising within a bone. Most stress fractures are caused by overuse and repetitive activity and are common in runners and athletes who participate in running sports, such as soccer and basketball.
Bone is in a constant state of turnover—a process called remodeling. New bone develops and replaces older bone. If an athlete's activity is too great, the breakdown of older bone occurs rapidly — it outpaces the body's ability to repair and replace it. As a result, the bone weakens and becomes vulnerable to stress fractures.
Symptoms of a stress fracture in your foot or ankle include:
- Pain that diminishes during rest
- Pain that occurs and intensifies during normal, daily activities
- Swelling on the top of the foot or on the outside of the ankle
- Tenderness to touch at the site of the fracture
- Possible bruising
→ Make an appointment if you are experiencing signs and symptoms of a foot or ankle stress fracture.
Tingling in the feet can be a symptom of many different causes ranging from diabetic neuropathy or vitamin deficiency to autoimmune diseases or a pinched nerve. Since there is a wide range of possibilities for the symptom, it is important to see a medical professional to determine the correct course of treatment.
→ Make an appointment if you are experiencing foot tingling.
Fractures and Trauma
When any part of the foot dynamic becomes injured, serious complications can result. There are multiple causes of ankle and foot fractures, including twisting or rolling of the ankle, tripping, and/or falling.
Symptoms of a fracture in the foot or ankle include:
- Deformity (bones becoming misaligned and misshapen)
- Pain (often severe)
- Hearing a “snap” or “pop” at the time of the injury
- Trouble walking or bearing weight
→ Make an appointment if you are experiencing signs and symptoms of fractures or trauma to the foot or ankle.
Gout is a common and complex form of arthritis that can affect anyone. It's characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, swelling, redness, and tenderness in the joints, often the joint at the base of the big toe.
An attack of gout can occur suddenly, often waking you up in the middle of the night with the sensation that your big toe is on fire. The affected joint is hot, swollen and so tender that even the weight of the sheet on it may seem intolerable.
→ Make an appointment if you are experiencing signs and symptoms of gout.
Haglund’s deformity is a bony enlargement on the back of the heel. The soft tissue near the Achilles tendon becomes irritated when the bony enlargement rubs against shoes. This often leads to painful bursitis, which is an inflammation of the bursa (a fluid-filled sac between the tendon and bone).
Haglund’s deformity is often called “pump bump” because the rigid backs of pump-style shoes can create pressure that aggravates the enlargement when walking. In fact, any shoes with a rigid back, such as ice skates, men’s dress shoes or women’s pumps, can cause this irritation.
- Haglund’s deformity can occur in one or both feet. The symptoms include:
- A noticeable bump on the back of the heel
- Pain in the area where the Achilles tendon attaches to the heel
- Swelling in the back of the heel
- Redness near the inflamed tissue
→ Make an appointment if you are experiencing signs and symptoms of Haglund's Deformity.
A hammer toe is a deformity of the second, third or fourth toes. In this condition, the toe is bent at the middle joint, so that it resembles a hammer. Hammer toe results from shoes that don't fit properly or a muscle imbalance, usually in combination with one or more other factors.
Symptoms of hammer toe may include corns or calluses on the top of the middle joint of the toe or on the tip of the toe. Individuals with this condition may also feel pain in their toes or feet and have difficulty finding comfortable shoes.
→ Make an appointment if you are experiencing signs and symptoms of hammer toe.
Heel Bone Fracture
A fracture of the calcaneus, or heel bone, can be a painful and disabling injury. This type of fracture commonly occurs during a high-energy event—such as a car crash or a fall from a ladder—when the heel is crushed under the weight of the body. When this occurs, the heel can widen, shorten, and become deformed.
Symptoms of a heel bone fracture include:
- Heel deformity
- Inability to put weight on the heel or walk
→ Make an appointment if you are experiencing signs and symptoms of a heel bone fracture.
Heel pain can be the result of many different types of causes including:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Sprains and strains
- Fracture or break
- Achilles tendonitis
Many of these causes are the result of normal wear and tear of the body but are treated in different ways.
→ Make an appointment if you are experiencing heel pain.
A Jones fracture refers to a break between the base and shaft of the fifth metatarsal bone of the foot. The fifth metatarsal is the long bone on the outside of the foot that connects to the smallest toe.
Typically, this type of fracture results from stress on the bone caused by repeated motion, but it may also result from overuse or a sudden acute injury. Common symptoms include pain and swelling on the outside of the foot at the base of the little toe as well as problems walking and bruising.
→ Make an appointment if you are experiencing signs and symptoms of a Jones fracture.
Midfoot (LisFranc) Fracture
Lisfranc (midfoot) injuries result if bones in the midfoot are broken or ligaments that support the midfoot are torn. The severity of the injury can vary from simple to complex, involving many joints and bones in the midfoot. These injuries can happen with a simple twist and fall. This is a low-energy injury. It is commonly seen in football and soccer players. It is often seen when someone stumbles over the top of a foot flexed downwards.
The most common symptoms of a LisFranc injury include:
- The top of the foot may be swollen and painful
- There may be bruising on both the top and bottom of the foot—Bruising on the bottom of the foot is highly suggestive of a Lisfranc injury
- Pain that worsens with standing, walking or attempting to push off on the affected foot
→ Make an appointment if you are experiencing signs and symptoms of a midfoot fracture.
Morton's neuroma is a painful condition that affects the ball of your foot, most commonly the area between your third and fourth toes and may feel as if you are standing on a pebble in your shoe or on a fold in your sock. Morton's neuroma involves a thickening of the tissue around one of the nerves leading to your toes. This can cause a sharp, burning pain in the ball of your foot. Your toes also may sting, burn or feel numb.
High-heeled shoes have been linked to the development of Morton's neuroma but it can also occur in response to irritation, pressure, or injury to one of the nerves that lead to your toes. There is no outside sign of this condition such as a lump.
Typically individuals experience the following symptoms:
- A feeling as if you're standing on a pebble in your shoe
- A burning pain in the ball of your foot that may radiate into your toes
- Tingling or numbness in your toes
→ Make an appointment if you are experiencing signs and symptoms of Morton’s Neuromas.
Peroneal Tendon Tears
There are two peroneal tendons in each leg that run side by side down the lower leg bone (fibula) and behind the bony lump on the outside of the ankle called the lateral malleolus.
A tear in the peroneal tendon can be caused by overuse of the tendon from a sport or work activity that causes your foot and ankle to roll inward, like when you run on sloped surfaces or run in shoes that are getting worn out on the outside of the heel. It may also be caused by a sudden activity that forces your foot upward toward your shin, like landing on your feet after a fall, or rolling your ankle on a rock while running.
You may hear a snap when the tendon tears followed by pain and swelling on the outer side of your lower leg or ankle.
→ Make an appointment if you are experiencing signs and symptoms of peroneal tendon tears.
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes (plantar fascia).
Plantar fasciitis commonly causes stabbing pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. As you get up and move more, the pain normally decreases, but it might return after long periods of standing or after rising from sitting.
Plantar fasciitis is more common in runners. In addition, people who are overweight and those who wear shoes with inadequate support have an increased risk of plantar fasciitis.
→ Make an appointment if you are experiencing signs and symptoms of plantar fasciitis.
Sports-related injuries to the foot or ankle are a common occurrence for athletes. These types of injuries can include anything from a sprain or strain to a break or fracture. It is important to be seen by a doctor after enduring an injury and adhere to the treatment regimen for proper recovery.
→ Make an appointment if you are experiencing signs and symptoms of a sports-related injury.
Stiff Big Toe
Hallux rigidus or “stiff big toe,” is a form of degenerative arthritis that causes pain and stiffness in the joint where the big toe joins the foot. It can occur through overuse of the joint or after an injury. Movement in the toe gradually decreases due to this condition and a bump, like a bunion or a callus, often develops on the top of the foot and makes wearing shoes difficult.
→ Make an appointment if you are experiencing signs and symptoms of stiff big toe.
Structural deformities in the feet can not only cause symptoms in the feet, but they can also lead to skeletal misalignment causing problems in the hips, back or knees. One-quarter of the bones in the human body are in the feet. Our feet are comprised of 33 joints and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments. Some types of structural deformities include skew foot, claw foot, or splay foot.
→ Make an appointment if you are experiencing signs and symptoms of structural deformities in the feet.
A tendon is a fibrous connective tissue that attaches muscle to bone. Tendons in the ankle and foot help us walk, run, and jump on a daily basis. An injury to any of these tendons can create difficulties walking or moving the ankle or foot at all. Typically individuals may hear a popping sound if the tendon were to rupture followed by severe pain and possibly the inability to bear weight on the injured area. Tendon injuries are most commonly caused by a sudden change in movement or an increase in activity.