Foot and Ankle Pain - Crozer-Keystone Health System - PA

Foot and Ankle Pain

We rely on our feet and ankles for our everyday mobility, whether we’re carrying out our daily routines, keeping up with an exercise program, playing sports or working at our jobs. Yet studies show that at least 75 percent of Americans experience foot problems at some point in their lives.

Common Conditions

Foot and ankle injuries are among the most common orthopedic injuries. Most of us, especially athletes, put a tremendous amount of strain on our feet and ankles every day. Common foot and ankle conditions include:

  • Plantar Fasciitis: A condition that causes heel pain. Plantar fasciitis is irritation and inflammation of the tight tissue that forms the arch of the foot. Common symptoms of plantar fasciitis include heel pain with prolonged walking and standing.
  • Heel Spur: A condition closely related to plantar fasciitis. A heel spur is a hook of bone that forms where the plantar fascia attaches to the heel bone.
  • Ankle Sprain: Results when the foot’s ligaments are either stretched too far or tear from an injury. Treatment of an ankle sprain is important so that you can get back to activity quickly.
  • High Ankle Sprain: A term used to describe an injury to the ligaments that connect the two bones of the lower leg. The ligament, called a syndesmosis, joins the bones together and runs from the knee to the ankle. In a high ankle sprain, the syndesmosis is injured.
  • Achilles Tendonitis or Rupture: Achilles tendonitis causes pain at the back of the calf and in severe cases may result in a rupture of the Achilles tendon.
  • Posterior Tibial Tendonitis: An uncommon problem of one of the major tendons in the foot. Problems with this tendon can be debilitating.
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome: A pinched nerve in the back of the foot.

Treating Foot and Ankle Pain

Some of these common conditions can be treated with stretching, exercises and other forms of physical therapy. Sprains to the feet and ankles may require a cast or splint to keep them immobilized.

Surgical treatment options are often recommended for conditions that don’t respond to conservative treatment, or if the foot and ankle condition is emergent.