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 […]
"Dr. Vaughan and his staff have always been the most courteous and professional. I have nothing but good things to say." - Anonymous
“I recommend Dr. Martin to anyone I know that needs a good doctor.” - Gary
"Dr. Krumins and his PA were amazing. Both were patient and answered all my questions and concerns to completion." - Stephen
"Dr. Smith is great and always made me feel important." - Kevin
“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 love the personalized care I am given every time I have an appointment. Dr. Krumins is fantastic."
"Dr. Arroyo is kind, listens well and explained my condition in laymen's terms. If I require surgery in the future for rotator cuff injury, he will be the one I will have do it." - Verla
"Dr. Martin is an excellent surgeon and has shown me great kindness and respect. I can not thank him enough for his care and concern given to me before, during, and after the two surgeries he performed." - John
"Maggie, Dr. Thomas' PA, is great. Really knows what she is doing. The whole staff is very good." - Diana
"My care was exceptional. Everyone was very professional and accommodating. I would recommend everyone there! Thank you so much."
"Excellent care provided by entire team. Everyone was friendly, caring, and professional. This practice was highly referred by friends and rehab staff – and I can see why. I have the utmost confidence in this team and I have highly recommended them to everyone I talk to." - Elaine
"I just love Dr. Thomas. He's very friendly with a wonderful sense of humor." - Colleen
“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
"Love Puget Sound Orthopaedics. Dr. Hassan is amazing!! Great attitude, friendly, compassionate, empathetic and he is always smiling!! Those girls at the front desk are also always smiling, no matter what is going on. When checking in patients, they greet each and every patient with a smile. Huge kudos to this clinic. Everyone is so welcoming, kind, friendly, and smiley. Great job everyone!!" - Anonymous
“I have given out your business cards to co-workers and others; this is the best practice I have ever been to!” - Bill
"I will highly recommend Dr. Gray and his staff. Their understanding and service to me is excellent." - Karen
"Maggie is awesome. Friendly, understanding, and a great person." - Michele
"Dr. Blair spent a good deal of time with me and was clearly confident in his assessment and treatment options for my condition." - Peter
"I have been a patient of Dr. Michael Martin for 11 years. In that time, Dr. Martin has always been up front about my treatment plan. He has always been professional, kind and caring." - Steven
"My appointment with Lindsay was good. She is very thorough and concerned with how you are feeling, what your limitations are, and the level of pain you are experiencing." - Tania
"This was my first visit with Dr. Ghidella. He was very professional and explained thoroughly what the issue was with my thumb. We went over the possibilities of treatment. I was very satisfied with the procedures recommended."
“Puget Sound Orthopaedics is the most positive place I have ever worked. My co-workers and our providers all work together to give the best patient care. We are all a great team.” – Alissa F.
"Dr. Jenkins is a superb physician who is always up-to-date with my condition and helpful in explaining my problem." - George
“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
"I appreciate Dr. Arroyo's concern for my well-being. He answers and explains all the answers to my questions. He doesn't rush through the visit and he is friendly, objective, and direct to what needs attention. I am very happy he is taking care of my shoulder." - Virginia
"I was so impressed by the staff. Everyone was professional and made me feel safe. I was impressed by Dr. Ghidella and felt fortunate to be able to have found him."
"Dr. Bargren is a professional and explains things in a manner that you can understand. His staff is very friendly and courteous." - Anonymous
"I had a wonderful experience at your surgery center. The nursing staff was helpful and patient. After going home to recover, your nursing staff was willing to help me through all of my post op questions and concerns. The Lakewood Surgery Center's staff was always willing to answer my questions professionally and with compassion." - Chris
"I have the upmost respect for Dr. Martin and Nick. The whole office personnel treats you with kindness and respect. I would gladly tell a friend to try Puget Sound Orthopaedics before going to any other place."