Our feet and ankles literally support us through life, so there are few things more frustrating than pain and discomfort in our lower extremities. Complications in the feet and ankles can make it difficult to perform everyday tasks and can seriously impact your quality of life. Our podiatric providers and board certified podiatric surgeon provide an unmatched experience in treating the appearance and function of the feet/ankles. Prairie Orthopaedics offers a variety of treatments and care options for the following conditions in order to alleviate discomfort and get you back on your feet again!
Ankle Sprains and Arthroscopy
An ankle sprain occurs when the ligaments that support the ankle stretch and tear. Arthroscopy is a minimally-invasive surgical technique that we use to diagnose and treat problems in the ankle.
Ankle Fracture Care and Repair
A fractured ankle can range from a simple crack in the bone to multiple breaks that force the ankle out of place. Ankle fractures must be treated carefully so the patient regains full mobility.
Three bones make up the ankle joint: The tibia (shinbone), fibula (small bone in the lower leg) and talus (sits between the heel bone, tibia and fibula. If you are unsure if you have an ankle fracture, common signs include swelling, bruising, and immediate pain.
Doctors will perform x-rays, stress tests and possibly CT or MRI scans.
Sports Medicine and Biomechanics
Sports-related injuries are common in the lower extremities. In sports podiatry, the mechanics of the foot (the way we walk, run, etc.) are analyzed and treated to improve lower limb function.
Common sports injuries in the foot and ankle include plantar fasciitis, achilles tendonitis, severs disease, stress fractures, sprains and strains, and bones spurs.
Heel Pain and Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis involves inflammation of a thick band of tissue, called the plantar fascia, that runs along the bottom of the foot. Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain and is common in runners.
Some techniques for alleviated pain and curing plantar fasciitis include rolling the bottom of the foot on a tennis ball or a frozen plastic water bottle and stretching the foot. Stretching can be done by grabbing a bath towel, placing it on the balls of your feet and slowly pulling your toes toward your shins.
Achilles tendonitis involves inflammation of the Achilles tendon, which connects calf muscles to the heel bone, causing severe pain and discomfort. This condition is caused by a sudden increase in physical activity, tight calf muscles, and bone spurs.
While the achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body and can take significant amounts of stress, it can still become overused. Patients will often feel pain the middle or bottom portion of the tendon near the heal. It’s essential that those with achilles tendonitis rest the area, as fibers are often become damaged with slight tears and can cause the achilles tendon to rupture. A common sign of achilles tendonitis is visible swelling and thickness along the achilles tendon.
Diabetic Foot Care
If you have diabetes, it’s important to have regular medical check-ups to detect and treat any issues before they become more serious. Prairie Orthopaedics offers comprehensive diabetic foot care services, including inspections, routine nail care, surgical care, and more.
It’s not uncommon for diabetes to cause nerve damage in the feet, also called Charcot’s. In addition, the disease can damage blood vessels and restricts blood flow to the feet. This can lead to weakened bones and joints in the lower extremities.
The most common signs of Charcot’s foot is swelling and redness in the foot and ankle, even without obvious injury. X-Rays will be done for further diagnosis.
We provide care for patients who are at risk for foot and leg amputation due to diabetes, infections, or other serious diseases. Limb preservation methods include both surgical and nonsurgical practices.
Foot and ankle deformities can be the result of injury, birth defect, infection, or disease. Prairie Orthopaedics treats deformities in the lower extremities associated with ligaments, tendons, muscles, and bones.
Correction of Bunions and Hammertoes
A bunion is a dislocation of the joint in the big toe and a hammertoe is the contracture of one of the smaller toes, both of which can be extremely painful. These conditions are often caused by the hereditary faulty structure of the foot as well as the rubbing of the toes against tapered shoes.
Bunions develop slowly over time. Tight shoes squeeze the toes together and increase the likelihood of developing bunions or worsen the symptoms if a bunion already exists. Wearing wider shoes with more toe space is the best immediate way to relieve bunion pain. For more extreme cases, surgery may be required.
Hammertoes occurs when a toe or toes curl upward and often occur on multiple toes, mostly caused by wearing shoes with restrictive toe space. Wearing more spacious shoes can sometimes correct the issue. Toe splints and strapping techniques are also used to alleviate hammer toe.
Flat Feet and Neurological Foot Treatment
Flat feet are the result of a collapsed arch that causes the entire foot to lay flat when standing. Flat feet can cause foot pain, difficulty stretching and standing, swelling of the feet and ankles, and dry, flaky skin.
Flat feet can cause pain in other areas of the body. For instance, flat feet can affect knee posture, resulting in joints twisting inward and aggravating muscles, ligaments and tendons in and around the joint.
Treatment of Nerve, Skin, and Nail Conditions
Prairie Orthopaedics offers treatment for common nerve, skin, and nail conditions in the lower extremities, including calluses, fungus, ingrown toenails, plantar warts, athlete’s foot, and more.
Treatment of Arthritis
Arthritis in the feet and ankles can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling. Although incurable, Prairie Orthopaedics offers both surgical and nonsurgical treatment of arthritis in the lower extremities to relieve and manage pain and help patients lead an active, fulfilling life.
If you have not been diagnosed with arthritis but are concerned you have it, the common symptoms are:
- Pain with motion
- Pain during physical activity
- Swelling, redness, warmth and tenderness
- Increased pain after a period of sedentariness, such as sleeping.
Nonsurgical methods include:
- Lifestyle modifications: minimizing actives that irritate the area and increasing activities that allow patients to stay active while avoiding pain, and weightless
- Physical therapy: to strengthen eh surrounding muscles to take pressure of the arthritis-stricken joint
- Assistive devices: such as a cane, brace or shoe inserts.
Surgical methods include:
- Arthroscopic debridement: a surgery that removes loose cartilage, inflamed tissue and bone spurs to alleviate and clean up the joint.
- Arthrodesis: a surgical technique that fuses the bones of the arthritis stricken joint. This will eliminate the arthritis from the joint completely but can cause mobility issues.
Total Ankle Replacement
A total ankle replacement may be recommended to those who have advanced arthritis and/or ankle pain that interferes with daily activities. A total ankle replacement involves removing damaged cartilage and bone, and replacing it with prosthetic components.
Prairie Orthopaedics provides care for post-surgery wounds, diabetes-related wounds, and other open sores. It’s important to receive professional care for any lower extremity wounds to help prevent infection.