FOOT & ANKLE

Foot & Ankle

If you can’t hit the mats, ride the bike, or hike the trails, it’s time for Desert Orthopedics.

Foot and ankle injuries affect the health of your entire body with a highly complex system of bones, ligaments, joints and tendons that also impact your knees, hips and back. We see sprains and fractures, arthritis, tendonitis and deformity of toes,  Achilles tendon and even chronic pain in the ball or heel of the foot.

Our orthopedic specialists offer expert diagnosis and treatment options including non-surgical and surgical solutions. To get back on your feet, give us a call today.

Sprained Ankles

There’s a good chance that while playing as a child or stepping on an uneven surface as an adult you sprained your ankle -some 25,000 people do it every day.

A sprained ankle means one or more ligaments on the outside of your ankle were stretched or torn. If it is not treated properly, you could have long-term problems.

You need an X-ray of a severe sprain to ensure no bones are broken. For a sprain, and not a broken bone, we recommend the following for treatment:

  • Rest your ankle by not walking.
  • Use ice to keep the swelling down.
  • Compressive bandages immobilize and support your injury.
  • Elevate your ankle above your heart level for 48 hours.

For severe ankle sprains, we may consider treating you with a short leg cast for 2-3 weeks or a cast-brace. People who sprain their ankle repeatedly may also need surgical repair to tighten their ligaments.

Rehabilitating your sprained ankle

Every ligament injury needs rehabilitation. Otherwise, your sprained ankle might not heal completely and you might re-injure it. All ankle sprains, from mild to severe, require three phases of recovery:

Phase I includes resting, protecting and reducing swelling of your injured ankle. Early weight bearing with proper protection is actually a benefit for healing.

Phase II includes restoring your ankle’s flexibility, range of motion and strength.

Phase III includes gradually returning to low impact activity and doing maintenance exercises, followed later by more cutting sports such as tennis, basketball of football.

It’s important to complete the rehabilitation program because it makes it less likely that you’ll hurt the same ankle again. If you don’t complete rehabilitation, you could suffer chronic pain, instability and arthritis in your ankle. If your ankle still hurts, it could mean that the sprained ligament(s) has not healed right, or that some other injury also happened.

To prevent future sprained ankles, pay attention to your body’s warning signs to slow down when you feel pain or fatigue, and stay in shape with good muscle balance, flexibility and strength in your soft tissues.

Bunions

If the joint that connects your big toe to your foot has a swollen, sore bump, you may have a bunion. More than half the women in America have bunions, a common deformity often blamed on wearing tight, narrow shoes, and high heels. Bunions may occur in families, but many are from wearing tight shoes. Nine out of ten bunions happen to women. Nine out of ten women wear shoes that are too small. Too-tight shoes can also cause other disabling foot problems like corns, calluses and hammertoes.

Treatments for Bunions

Most bunions can be treated without surgery. But when nonsurgical treatments are not enough, surgery can relieve your pain, correct any related foot deformity, and help you resume your normal activities. We can help you decide if surgery is the best option for you.

Avoiding Bunions

When it comes to avoiding bunions, it’s all about choosing the right shoes for your feet. Here are some tips to consider when buying your next pair of shoes:

  • Do not select shoes by the size marked inside the shoe. Sizes vary among shoe brands and styles. Judge the shoe by how it fits on your foot.Select a shoe that conforms as nearly as possible to the shape of your foot.
  • Have your feet measured regularly. The size of your feet change as you grow older.
  • Have both feet measured. Most people have one foot larger than the other. Fit to the largest foot.
  • Fit at the end of the day when your feet are the largest.
  • Stand during the fitting process and check that there is adequate space (3/8″ to 1/2″) for your longest toe at the end of each shoe.
  • Make sure the ball of your foot fits well into the widest part (ball pocket) of the shoe.
  • Do not purchase shoes that feel too tight, expecting them to “stretch” to fit.
  • Your heel should fit comfortably in the shoe with a minimum amount of slippage.
  • Walk in the shoe to make sure it fits and feels right.
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