banner
Book Appointment

Foot and Ankle Disorders: Clubfoot correction


Foot and ankle emergencies happen every day. Broken bones, dislocations, sprains, contusions, infections, and other serious injuries can occur at any time. Early attention is vitally important. Whenever you sustain a foot or ankle injury, you should seek immediate treatment from a foot and ankle physician.
Foot or ankle injuries most commonly occur during:

  • Sports or recreational activities
  • Work-related tasks
  • Work or projects around the home

Foot Problems

Each foot has 33 joints, eight arches, 26 bones, more than a hundred muscles, ligaments, and tendons that all work together to distribute body weight and allow movement. Unfortunately, many people pay no attention to their feet – until they start to hurt. Foot disorders must be diagnosed and treated early, before they become very painful and incapacitating. In some cases, some painful foot abnormalities are already warning signs of even more serious ailments such as diabetes, circulatory disorders, and nerve problems.

Clubfoot Correction
 

Foot problems and Foot Treatment

Some common foot problems are:

  • Fungal and Bacterial Conditions, including athlete's foot, occur because our feet spend a lot of time in shoes - a warm, dark, humid place that is perfect for fungus to grow. Fungal and bacterial conditions can cause dry skin, redness, and blisters, itching, and peeling. If not treated right away, an infection may be hard to cure. If not treated properly, the infection may reoccur. To prevent infections, keep your feet - especially the area between your toes - clean and dry. Change your shoes and socks or stockings often to help keep your feet dry. Try dusting your feet daily with foot powder. If your foot condition does not get better within 2 weeks, talk to your doctor.
  • Dry skin can cause itching and burning feet. Use mild soap in small amounts and a moisturizing cream or lotion on your legs and feet every day.
  • Corns and calluses are caused by friction and pressure when the bony parts of your feet rub against your shoes. If you have corns or calluses, see your doctor. Sometimes wearing shoes that fit better or using special pads solves the problem. Treating corns and calluses yourself may be harmful, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation. Over-the-counter medicines contain acids that destroy the tissue but do not treat the cause. Sometimes these medicines reduce the need for surgery, but check with your doctor before using them.
  • Warts are skin growths caused by viruses. They are sometimes painful and, if untreated, may spread. A doctor can apply medicines, burn or freeze the wart off, or take the wart off with surgery.
  • Bunions develop when the joints in your big toe no longer fit together as they should and become swollen and tender. Bunions tend to run in families. If a bunion is not severe, wearing shoes cut wide at the instep and toes, taping the foot, or wearing pads that cushion the bunion may help the pain. Other treatments include physical therapy and wearing orthotic devices or shoe inserts. A doctor can also prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs and cortisone injections for pain. Sometimes surgery is needed to relieve the pressure and repair the toe joint.
  • Ingrown toenails occur when a piece of the nail breaks the skin - which can happen if you don't cut your nails properly. Ingrown toenails are very common in the large toes. A doctor can remove the part of the nail that is cutting into the skin. This allows the area to heal. Ingrown toenails can often be avoided by cutting the toenail straight across and level with the top of the toe.
  • Hammertoe is caused by a shortening of the tendons that control toe movements. The toe knuckle is usually enlarged, drawing the toe back. Over time, the joint enlarges and stiffens as it rubs against shoes. Your balance may be affected. Wearing shoes and stockings with plenty of toe room is a treatment for hammertoe. In very serious cases, surgery may be needed.
  • Spurs are calcium growths that develop on bones of your feet. They are caused by muscle strain in the feet. Standing for long periods of time, wearing badly fitting shoes, or being overweight can make spurs worse. Sometimes spurs are completely painless - at other times they can be very painful. Treatments for spurs include using foot supports, heel pads, and heel cups. Sometimes surgery is needed.
  • Clubfoot: Clubfoot is a congenital foot disorder that causes a newborn baby's feet to point down and inward. While club feet do not cause pain, it can cause long-term problems, affecting the child's ability to walk. Clubfoot correction begins immediately after the child is born. The pediatric orthopedic surgeon will manipulate the foot and cast it on a weekly basis to try to correct the clubfoot deformity. This manipulation technique is called "The Ponseti Method," named after the doctor who has popularized this treatment.

Ankle Injuries and problems

Your ankle bone and the ends of your two lower leg bones make up the ankle joint. Your ligaments, which connect bones of the ankle to one another, stabilize and support it. Your muscles and tendons move it. The most common ankle problems are sprains and fractures. A sprain is an injury to the ligaments. It may take a few weeks to many months to heal completely. A fracture is a break in a bone. You can also injure other parts of the ankle such as tendons, which join muscles to bone, and cartilage, which cushions your joints. Ankle sprains and fractures are common sports injuries. These foot problems are most often treated by foot and ankle specialists.

Ankle Pain Treatment

As there is no uniform cause for ankle pain, the therapy for ankle pain needs to be individualized according to the cause. Common treatment for ankle injuries and conditions includes:
Ankle fractures: A cast will be used in the case of an undisplaced fracture of only one bone for 3 to 4 weeks. In the case of more complicated fractures or fracture dislocations it is advisable to consult an orthopedic surgeon who will perform a surgery to fix the broken bone.
Ankle strain or sprain: Treatment includes a few days or 1 or 2 weeks of taping to support the ankle followed by strengthening exercises with or without the help of a physiotherapist for 2 or 3 weeks is all that is required. In a more serious case of ankle strain (sprain) a walking cast might be put on for 2 or 3 weeks to allow the torn ligaments to heal prior to remobilization.
Complex Regional Pain Syndromes (CRPS): Sometimes a foot and ankle specialist has to be consulted on a short-term basis and a sympathetic nerve block or an epidural injection may have to be done in an attempt to reverse the pain process.
Circulatory Reasons for Ankle Pain: In the case of Buerger's disease where the arteries to the legs contain narrow passages, the only rational approach is to identify the arterial lesions by angiograms (X-rays of the arteries after infection of dye into the arteries) and perform bypass surgeries. Nerve Entrapment: A foot and ankle physician or a neurosurgeon can then "decompress" the compressed nerve in a daycare type surgery. If this is done early enough there will not be any residual weakness in the nerve or the associated muscles and all of the sensitivity loss usually returns to normal.

Authored By: Dr. S. V. Santpure

Ask Doctor

Testimonials

Book Appointment