Foot and Ankle Problems

The foot is one of the most complex parts of the body, consisting of 26 bones connected by numerous joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The foot is susceptible to many stresses that can cause pain, inflammation, or injury.

Types of Foot and Ankle Problems

Foot pain is often caused by improper foot function. Improperly fitted shoes can also worsen and even cause foot problems. There are many types of foot problems that affect the heels, toes, nerves, tendons, ligaments, and joints of the foot, including the following:

  • Cartilage injury
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Bursitis
  • Ligament injury or tear
  • Muscle injury
  • Sprain/strain (ankle/foot)
  • Heel spur
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Bunion
  • Hammertoe
  • Morton’s neuroma
  • Hypermobility
  • Tendinopathy/tendon tear
  • Overuse injury
  • Nerve conditions
  • Bone injury/fracture
  • Dislocation/subluxation
  • Congenital/alignment abnormalities

Diagnosing Foot/Ankle Problems

In addition to a complete medical history and physical exam, your doctor may use the following tests to diagnose foot/ankle problems:

  • X-ray
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Computed tomography scan (also called a CT or CAT scan)
  • Electromyogram/nerve condition (EMG/NCV) to check nerve and muscle function
  • Ultrasound
  • Laboratory tests, if needed

Treatments for Foot/Ankle Problems

Your doctor will work with you to determine the best treatment plan based on your age, overall health, and medical history; the severity of your condition; and your tolerance of certain medications, procedures, or therapies.

Treatments for foot/ankle problems may include activity modification, exercise, medication, physical therapy, bracing, pain management techniques, injections, and surgery.

Why Choose Columbia for Foot and Ankle Care

Our physicians are highly skilled in diagnosing and treating foot and ankle conditions. We perform a thorough diagnostic evaluation to find the cause of your foot or ankle pain and plan the most conservative treatment possible, which may include exercise, lifestyle changes, medications, and if needed, injections or other pain management techniques. Our physicians may use imaging to guide injections so the medication is placed precisely. If a foot or ankle condition does not improve, we work closely with Columbia orthopedic surgeons for cases that require a procedure.