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Foot and Anckle:

Heel and ankle problems

Prevention and proper care for foot and ankle problems

There are many foot problems related to the heel, in some cases arise from a bad foot support. This has the following consequences: pain, shoe deformities, difficulty to find comfortable footwear.

The specialist, will diagnose the problem, and will provide prevention hints for the care and changes of patients’ habits, indicating an effective treatment for this ailment. Effective treatment often makes surgery less required.

The most common ailments related to the ankle are:

  • Ankle sprain. It is an injury to the ligaments on the outer ankle area, which are overstretched and can tear. It occurs when the patient moves the foot in a wrong way or falls.

Its symptoms range from a swollen ankle, with bruising and pain while moving or standing, to a broken ankle. The severity of symptoms depends on the severity of the injury. Rehab is essential and must be initiated early to help the ankle to recover.

  • Lateral ankle instability: In cases of sprains incorrectly treated, the patient may suffer repeated sprained ankle. This causes a "weak" ankle that limits the person’s activities.
    This condition depending on the severity, can range from rehabilitation therapies, use of proper footwear, to surgical stabilization of the joint.
  • Peroneal tendon injuries. These tendons are located in parallel behind the outer ankle bone. This type of injury can be acute or chronic, and usually occurs in athletes.
  • Heel pain. Also called "arch pain”, this condition is caused by stress or inflammation of the long ligament on the sole. This pain develops due to overuse, shoes without support, weight gain, or acute injury, and if it persists for more than a week, consult a specialist.
  • Heel Spur. The spur is a bony growth on the bottom of the calcaneus, the bone that forms the heel, and it forms when the plantar fascia pulls away from the heel, where it attaches to the calcaneus. In most cases a suitable medical treatment eliminates completely the pain.
  • Ankle pain. It is often caused by a sprain, but it can also be caused by ankle instability, arthritis, gout, tendinitis, fracture, nerve compression, infection and poor structural alignment of the leg or foot.

Initial treatment may include rest, put ice on the ankle, elevate and immobilize the leg, including anti-inflammatory medication or physical therapy, and in severe cases, surgical procedures.

  • Haglund's disease. It is an enlargement of the posterior/lateral calcaneus, which causes friction with the shoe and with it pain and discomfort. Symptoms can be treated and in severe cases, a surgical procedure is recommended.

  • Tendonitis or inflammation of the Achilles tendon. It is a condition that occurs after a strain on the Achilles tendon (when jumping or running), or in people like marathoners, used to wear high heels and who abruptly change to flat shoes.
  • Charcot Foot: A sudden weakening of the bones in the foot. It usually occurs in patients with pre-existing nerve damage or neuropathy as in the case of diabetics. The bones are weakened enough to fracture.

Charcot foot is a serious condition which if not treated properly, triggers so severe deformities that it may be necessary to amputate the leg.