Treatment of foot conditions can be a complex process due to its large number of bones, joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments. The foot and the ankle provide support, shock absorption, balance and several other functions that are essential for standing and motion. Puget Sound Orthopaedics (PSO) foot and ankle surgeons use the most advanced surgical and nonsurgical treatments including braces, orthotics and minimally invasive surgery to help patients get back on their feet.
The foot is divided into three sections: the hindfoot (heel and ankle bones), midfoot (bones that form the foot’s arch) and forefoot (toe bones and adjacent long bones). The combined number of bones in the each foot – 28 in all – makes up approximately one-quarter of all of the bones in the human body. There also are 30 joints in the foot, allowing for flexibility and a wide range of movement. The largest bone in the foot is the calcaneus (heel bone). The calcaneus and talus (the bone that sits above the heel bone) are responsible for side-to-side movement.
INJURIES TO THE FOOT
While arthritis can take many forms, osteoarthritis (“wear-and-tear”) can cause inflammation of one or more of the joints in the foot. Rheumatoid arthritis and post–traumatic arthritis also are common types of arthritis that can affect the foot.
A bunion is a bump in the bone along the inside of the foot around the big toe. A bunionette is similar and is found on the outside of the foot around the little toe. The bony bump forms at the joint, where the phalanx (toe bones) and metatarsal (long bones above the phalanx) meet. Wearing shoes that don’t fit properly can lead to bunions, corns, calluses and hammer toe.
Two major complications of diabetes that affect the foot are nerve damage and poor circulation. A foot affected by diabetes can lead to loss of sensation in the foot, skin infections and a susceptibility to incurring a high number of broken bones.
Pain in the heel is typically caused by plantar fasciitis, a condition that occurs when the plantar fascia ligament (tissue located in the bottom of the foot that connects the heel to the front of the foot and supports the foot’s arch) becomes irritated and inflamed.
Stress fractures are typically caused by overuse and are small cracks or bruises within the bone. The foot bones are vulnerable to these fractures because of the forces they absorb during walking, running and jumping.
COMMON FOOT CONDITIONS
Hammer toe – when the toe is bent at the middle joint
Turf toe – a sprain of the main joint of the big toe
Lisfranc (midfoot) injury – when the bones in the midfoot are broken or ligaments in the midfoot are torn. The lisfranc is a joint that provides stability in walking.
WHEN TO SEE A FOOT SPECIALIST
Seek medical treatment from an ankle and foot specialist if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
Pain that accompanies foot movement
Recurring pain that occurs following vigorous activity
One of the joints becomes tender when pressure is applied
A joint shows signs of redness and/or swelling and is warm to the touch
Pain and swelling is worse upon waking in the morning, or after longer periods of sitting or resting
Walking becomes difficult or painful in conjunction with any of the above symptoms.
Your doctor will discuss all treatment options with you. The best treatment for your injury or condition will be determined in combination with your overall health.
There are several nonoperative treatment options for foot pain. These might include braces, orthotics, physical therapy and pain management in the form of over-the-counter or prescribed medications and/or anti-inflammatories. If surgery is necessary, then PSO foot and ankle specialists can perform a wide variety of procedures ranging from minimally invasive to major reconstruction.
A bunion is a bump in the bone along the inside of the foot around the big toe. A bunionette is similar and is found on the outside of the foot around the little toe. Bunions are slow to develop because they gradually change the natural structure of the bone itself. They become painful as […]
The plantar fascia is a long tendon that runs under the foot to support the arch and sustain the stress and strain that our feet are under. When the tendon is damaged it will become irritated and inflamed and pain will radiate around the heel. Plantar fasciitis can occur from various reasons, including playing sports, […]
Hammer toe can be a painful condition caused by an imbalance in your foot and step. Shoes, especially shoes with tight toe beds, can negatively impact toes and cause hammer toes. Hammer toes are exactly what they sound like. Hammer toes bend in a shape similar to the shape of a hammer. Hammer toes are […]
"Mrs. Rades is exceptionally thorough and knowledgeable. She takes great care to explain every element and/or issue." - Bette
"My experience was very much appreciated! The receptionist and the complete staff was very friendly! We new that Dr. Martin is one of the best in his field!"
"I was so pleased with my appointment. So impressed with the promptness. The staff was pleasant and nice. Meeting Dr. Gray was an enjoyable experience. He was pleasant and explained how my knee replacement after 7 yrs presented in the X-rays. It was good news. What a great surprise and lovely experience to meet the doctor and staff. I am happy!"
“I recommend Dr. Martin to anyone I know that needs a good doctor.” - Gary
“What a friendly, charming, helpful doctor. I was surprised at how many of my friends have been to Dr. Yearian, and all of them had only positive things to say. Now, I see why.” - Anonymous
"I have to say that I am totally glad that I saw Dr. Vaughan and Puget Sound Orthopaedics for my knee. Everyone that I interacted with for my treatment was kind, warm and professional. All of the clinic staff at all three locations were wonderful. I will definitely use you again if I need any future treatments, hopefully not though. Thank you again for taking such great care of me." - Art
"Dr. Vaughan is a very knowledgeable and thorough doctor. I feel he really cares for all his patients, treating them with respect and explaining everything." - Johanna
"I was impressed by Dr. Coray's listening skills and genuine concern for my issues." - Carolyn
“Dr. Ghidella is always informative, shows concern, and speaks in a language in which I can understand. I would definitely recommend him to others.” - Kristina
"Dr. Yearian and his surgical team were amazing! All my questions were answered and I felt very comfortable throughout my procedure. Every need was taken care of before I even asked! Compassion and commitment is evident!!"
“I am very impressed with Dr. Jenkins. He really put me at ease with what to expect. I would recommend him very highly to anyone who needs shoulder work!” - Nancy
"I love the personalized care I am given every time I have an appointment. Dr. Krumins is fantastic."
"Dr. Gray is warm, down to earth and knows his stuff. I had over a dozen questions and he addressed all of them. He has a professional manner with a side of humor. I think that is a great quality in a doctor." - Marilyn
"It was good to talk to someone who explained the options on knee care and replacement alternatives to me so well, not filled with technical jargon, but in terms easily understood."
"Rades PA-C is greatly appreciated by me and my wife. Really happy to have her on Dr. Arroyo's team." - Lisle
"Dr. Jenkins has great bedside manner. He is very informative and calming. I am fortunate to have him as my surgeon." - Don
“I go to Dr. Blair first regarding my back. I had surgery with him 11 years ago, and he gave me my life back.” - Judith
"Charlene, MA is an angelic in her duties. She is prompt, caring, and very attentive to my needs." - Tyrone
"Dr. Yearian has provided me with exceptional care for nearly 20 years." - Roger
"I have been at this center several times and I am met with the most professional staff each time. They show that they care about each patient and you feel that at that moment no one is more important than you. Hats off to my nurse Sharon. She was awesome. Thank you." - Anonymous
"Dr. Yearian is the best! And Joyce, his medical assistant, makes every appointment an enjoyable experience. Thank you for taking care of me!"
"Dr. Thomas is a peach. One of the nicest, most thoughtful, and personally engaged doctors we have seen." - Sheila
“I have been with Dr. Michael Martin and Nick Harrison for many years and I would not trust the care of my back to any other clinic nearly as much.” - Wendy
"Dr. Thomas explained things to me very thoroughly, which put me at ease." - Anonymous
“I enjoyed talking with Dr. Bede. He looks at you like he is there for you and is in no rush to get to the next 'thing'.” - Allison
"Thank you for my shoulder surgery and rehabilitation. Before my surgery, I was unable to sleep and the use of my right arm was painful. After 6 weeks in a sling and 2 1/2 months of physical therapy I am pain free...sleeping in comfort and using my arm with ease and no pain. Although Dr. Jenkins said I still have a couple of months to go for full recovery (so I should not be moving couches around), I can perform most activities I used to do...swimming breaststroke, running, hiking, paddle boarding, etc. New lease on life! At 72 much more fun to be had!!!" - Anonymous
“At Puget Sound Orthopaedics, you’re not just a small part of a large organization. You are an important member of a team that’s constantly working together to better serve our patients.” - Leslie K.
"Dr. Arroyo was awesome, friendly and helped my son quickly with his broken arm." - Simon
"Dr. Coray went above and beyond, and I truly appreciated his time with us." - Jacob
"Very impressed with Dr. Arroyo - he was highly recommended by many of my friends." - Sharon