Foot & Ankle
The foot and ankle are made of a complex system of 26 bones, nerves, muscles, tendons and ligaments. This architecture permits us to stand up, balance, run, jump, walk and play. The ankle joint bears a force of about 5x body weight in normal walking and up to 13x body weight when running. The feet are the foundation for the body’s entire skeleton. Problems in the feet and ankles can affect your knees, spine, hips and neck!
An injury to, or disease of, the foot and ankle can impact not only walking but also pelvic rotation, the knee, and alignment of the leg bones. Age and gender influence function and range of motion. Arthritis affects range of motion and ankle power.
Musculoskeletal conditions of the foot and ankle can have a substantial, negative impact on a person’s quality of life. As our population ages, these problems will continue to escalate and as a result, will increase the incidence of disability and poor quality of life, including depression and isolation.
Studies report that people with foot and ankle pain often have multiple co-existing impairments in alignment, motion and load distribution–the mechanics of foot and ankle function.
Orthopedic Specialists of SW Florida Practice Philosophy
We believe in early treatment with nonsurgical, conservative therapies. Acute pain tends to indicate a fracture and requires immediate medical care. Chronic pain requires an investigation into the cause, and should be addressed as early as possible to avoid complications. Pain and swelling should resolve within a week of a sprain or strain.
Foot and Ankle Pain
Identifying the cause of foot and ankle pain depends on where it is located, what caused or worsened the pain, and whether it is accompanied by specific factors such as difficulty pushing off with the toes, or swelling, bruising and instability. The pain may be at the front of the foot, or in the heel and may feel sharp or tingling and burning.
Every day wear and tear, injury, and degenerative changes related to aging can cause problems with the toe, foot or ankle. The toe joint is the most common site of joint injury. The toe joint is often affected by arthritis, bunions and gout.
Foot problems frequently result from weak muscles, tendons and ligaments which cause misalignment of the bones and can result in pain and limited mobility. Poor foot posture and function have been implicated in the onset of low back pain. This interconnectedness is essential to recognize and respect in order for the patient to achieve pain relief and improved quality of life.
Ankle pain from an injury is usually accompanied by swelling. Athletes are more prone to ankle problems, especially sprains that result from abnormal twists or bends of the joint. Ankle pain without swelling is linked to excessive muscle strain and fatigue over long periods of time.
Common causes of foot and ankle pain
- Achilles tendinitis
- Tendon ruptures (tears)
- Broken ankle
- Talus fractures of the ankle
- Broken foot-heel fractures
- Midfoot fractures
- Stress fractures of the foot and ankle
- Toe and forefoot fractures
Treatment options depend on the type and severity of the problem.
The fellowship-trained orthopedic foot and ankle surgeons at OSSWF specialize in the diagnosis, care and treatment of patients suffering with injuries and conditions of the foot and ankle. Their primary objective is to relieve pain and restore proper mechanics in order for patients to resume normal daily life and the activities they love.
Our foot and ankle specialists utilize combination therapies including medical, physical and rehabilitation strategies, as well as wellness-based approaches for physical activity and self-management. We treat the bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, tendons, nerves and skin of the foot and ankle. Reconstructive ankle surgery or replacement, fractures, sports injuries and trauma are all conditions treated.
Our Foot and Ankle Specialists
When you feel pain in your feet or ankles, due to injury, weakness, numbness and slow healing its time to see our exceptional foot and ankle specialists:
Jason T. Nemitz, MD received his fellowship training at Michigan International Foot and Ankle Center. His goal is to help his patients to live pain free and maximize their function to prevent future disability.
Jeremy A. Schwartz, MD specializes in foot and ankle reconstruction and sports medicine. His goal is to help you get back to the sports you love to restore your quality of life. He received his fellowship training at Tampa General Hospital.
When you seek a consultation with one of our foot and ankle specialists, you will receive a complete examination and review of your medical history. You will discuss your symptoms and complaints. Imaging tests may be ordered to confirm a diagnosis, and depending on your symptoms, some lab tests may be ordered. When your pain fails to resolve with conservative treatment, surgery may be recommended.
At OSSWF you can expect personalized, compassionate care from highly skilled experts, who will use all the tools at their disposal to bring you back to health.
When to see a doctor
- Severe pain and swelling
- Swelling that does not improve with home care after 2-5 days
- Inability to put weight on the foot or ankle
Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent further damage and disability. Surgery can often be avoided with nonsurgical therapies. We encourage you to schedule a consultation and learn about your condition and what we can do to help.