Foot and ankle orthopedic surgeons are medical doctors who focus on the diagnosis and treatment of injuries, diseases, and other conditions of the foot and ankle. OrthoSouth foot and ankle surgeons have completed five years of orthopedic surgical residency training, and most have completed additional fellowship training dedicated to treatment of foot and ankle disorders.
To view additional board-certified orthopedic physicians who are qualified to handle a range of foot and ankle issues, visit our provider page.
We use many tests to evaluate the foot and ankle. In the office, we routinely employee x-ray which gives a great 2-dimensional view of the bones. When a 3-dimensional perspective is needed, we will order advanced imaging. MRI gives specific detail to the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. CT gives better resolution to the bones and bony alignment of the joints. Electromyography and nerve conduction studies evaluate nerve issues. PET scans are a special CT scan for tumor evaluation among other things.
The ankle is made up of the lower end of the shin bone (tibia), the small bone on the outside of the leg (fibula), and the talus. The ankle joint and surrounding soft tissues can cause painful conditions requiring treatment. Pain generators include joint pain from loss of cartilage (arthritis or acute injuries), ligament tears (ankle sprains), tendon tears, and nerve compression. If you have had an acute injury, chronic ankle pain, ankle instability, or progressive deformity, you should be evaluated by one of our orthopedic trained, foot and ankle surgeons.
Fractures are a common cause of acute pain in the lower extremity. Many fractures can be managed nonoperatively with a cast or brace, but some fractures require surgery to restore bone or joint alignment. If you have had an acute injury with subsequent difficulty with and/or inability walking, then you should see one of our orthopedic trained, foot and ankle surgeons or be evaluated in our urgent care clinic.
Disorders of the hindfoot typically involve bones called the talus and calcaneus. The talus makes up the lower half of the ankle and connects the foot to the leg. The calcaneus is the heel bone. Most hindfoot issues are progressive, and some lead to deformities about the foot and ankle. Common examples include adult flatfoot and high arches. Initial treatment generally includes bracing or orthotics. Some deformities require surgical treatment. If these conditions cause you pain, then you should be evaluated by one of our orthopedic trained, foot and ankle surgeons.
The midfoot region contains 5 bones: the medial, middle, and lateral cuneiforms, navicular, and cuboid. This area helps form the arch of the foot. Midfoot conditions can involve the bone or tendinous structures in this region. Examples include plantar fasciitis, midfoot arthritis, tears of the surrounding tendons, and nerve entrapment issues. These issues can be treated with rehabilitation or orthotic issues. If nonoperative treatment does not alleviate symptoms, surgery may be indicated. If you have pain in your midfoot region, then you should be evaluated by one of our orthopedic trained, foot and ankle surgeons.
The forefoot consists of the metatarsals and toes. Most conditions affecting the toes are progressive. Fortunately, not all toe deformities are painful and thus do not necessarily require surgery. Many of these can be treated with shoe wear modifications, orthotic inserts, or other nonoperative means. If these modalities fail, then surgery may be indicated. If you have progressive deformity or pain in your toes, then you should be evaluated by one of our orthopedic trained, foot and ankle surgeons.
Some systemic issues can cause specific deformities about the foot and ankle. The most common of these is diabetes. Foot issues arising from diabetes can range from ulcers and non-healing wounds on the foot to severe deformities about the foot and ankle. Gout most commonly affects the big toe, but it can also affect the lesser toes, midfoot, or ankle regions. Rheumatoid arthritis can cause many different toe deformities. Charcot-Marie-Tooth is an inherited condition that affects the nerves and muscles of the foot. Osteomyelitis is an infection in the bone. In the adult population, osteomyelitis is usually caused by an injury, surgery, or immunosuppressed individuals. Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), formerly reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), usually occurs after an injury or surgery. Unfortunately, it is impossible to tell which patients will develop this condition. If you have been told that you have any of these conditions and have problems with your feet, then you should be evaluated by one of our orthopedic trained, foot and ankle surgeons.
Many patients undergoing surgery have questions about anesthesia. For many foot and ankle surgeries, we utilize a combination of anesthesia modalities for maximum pain control and comfort. In consultation with you and your anesthesiologist, we will select the combination that gives the best comfort and safety in the perioperative period based on your medical history and personal choice.