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Foot & Ankle

Foot & Ankle Anatomy

The foot and ankle in the human body work together to provide balance, stability, movement, and propulsion.

In order to understand conditions that affect the foot and ankle, it is important to understand the normal anatomy of the foot and ankle.

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Ankle Sprain

A sprain is stretching or tearing of ligaments, which connect adjacent bones in a joint and provides stability to the joint. An ankle sprain is a common injury and occurs when you fall or suddenly twist the ankle joint or when you land your foot in an awkward position after a jump. It most commonly occurs when you participate in sports or when you jump or run on a surface that is irregular. Ankle sprains can cause pain, swelling, tenderness, bruising, and stiffness, numbness in the toes, and inability to walk or bear weight on the ankle.

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Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a common problem that causes pain under the heel bone often with lengthy walks and prolonged standing. It is most often seen in middle-aged men and women.

Plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that lies at the bottom of the foot. It runs from the heel bone to the toe and forms the arch of the foot. The plantar fascia functions as a shock absorber and also supports the arch of the foot.

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Achilles Tendon Rupture

Achilles tendon is a strong fibrous cord present behind the ankle that connects the calf muscles to heel bone. It is used when you walk, run and jump. When the Achilles tendon becomes thin, weak, or if it is not used, it may be susceptible to injury or damage. Achilles tendon rupture occurs most often in middle-aged athlete participating in sports that involve running, pivoting, and jumping.

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Common Toe Deformities

Toes are the digits in your foot and are associated with walking, providing balance, weight-bearing and other activities. A variety of toe deformities occur in children’s feet.

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Ankle Fracture

Ankle injuries are the most common sports-related injury. An ankle fracture is a break in one or more bones that make up the ankle joint. Sometimes ligaments may also be damaged. Ankle fractures are most often caused by motor vehicle accident, rolling or twisting of ankle, and by tripping or falling. People participating in sports such as basketball, football, soccer and skiing are at a high risk of developing ankle fractures.

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Ankle Arthroscopy

Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure during which the internal structure of a joint is examined for diagnosis and treatment of problems inside the joint. Ankle Arthroscopy includes the diagnosis and treatment of ankle conditions. In arthroscopic examination, a small incision is made in the patient’s skin through which pencil-sized instruments that have a small lens and lighting system (arthroscope) are passed. Arthroscope magnifies and illuminates the structures of the joint with the light that is transmitted through fiber optics.

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Bunion Surgery

Bunion is a foot deformity that changes the shape of the foot causing the big toe to turn inward, towards the second toe leading to pain and inflammation. A bunion is caused by incorrect footwear, joint damage, arthritis, and genetic disposition. Some of the commonly observed symptoms are pain, inflammation, bony bump on the side of the foot.

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Click on the topics below to find out more from the orthopedic connection website of American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

Credibility

  • Louisiana State University - Health Sciences Center
  • Cincinnati Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center
  • American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery