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Foot and ankle

Orthopaedic foot and ankle conditions are very common and vary widely – from anatomical deformities to overuse injuries to sprains, strains and fractures. Due to the heavy use and reliance on our feet, they are subjected to a lot of stress and pressure. In fact, the College of Podiatry states that on average, a person will walk nearly 150,000 miles in their life, which is equal to walking around the world 6 times.

Our foot and ankle specialists are expertly trained to treat a wide variety of these conditions, using both conservative measures and surgical treatment when necessary. Read on to learn more about the foot and ankle care offered at Parkview Orthopaedic Group.

ANATOMY OF THE FOOT

The foot is built for walking, running, jumping and a host of other high-pressure activities. It carries the weight of the entire body. It must be strong with healthy bones and muscles to do an effective job. The foot is also capable of absorbing a good deal of shock. If you fall from a height, you are less likely to suffer an injury if you land on your feet, compared to any other body part. The human foot is made up of 26 bones, 42 muscles, 33 joints, and over 50 tendons and ligaments, including fibrous tissues that enable movement in the foot.

SECTIONS OF THE FOOT

The foot can be divided into three sections. The forefront includes the toes and ball of the foot. The midfoot is the arch-shaped part that allows the foot to flex, bend and perform a variety of other movements. The hindfoot consists of the heel and ankles that join with the forelegs above.

BONES IN THE FOOT

The foot consists of a total of 26 bones, connected together in 33 joints.

The toes are called phalanges. The big toe, known as the hallux, is made up of two bones—the proximal and distal phalanges. Each smaller toe is made up of three bones called the proximal, middle and distal phalanges. The distal phalanges lie at the tip of the toes, while the proximal phalanges are at the base of the toes.

The phalanges connect to the 5 metatarsal bones that lie in the middle of the foot. These bones form the arch of the foot.

Behind the metatarsals are the tarsals, a set of seven bones that form the hindfoot and ankle area. The tarsal bones are organized in rows. The row closest to the metatarsals is called the distal row and it is made up of 4 bones, the cuboid and three cuneiforms. Next is the intermediate group, which consists of one bone called the navicular. The tarsals that make up the back of the foot are called the proximal group—the bones in this group are the talus and calcaneus.

The talus and calcaneus articulate with the fibula and tibia bones that run down the foreleg.

MUSCLES IN THE FOOT

There are more than a hundred muscles in the foot that control the movement and protect the foot against shock. The foot’s movement originates in the lower leg, where leg muscles are connected to the foot muscles through ligaments that control the movement.

The main muscles in the foot belong to four groups, based on location. The medial muscles are located in the sole and provide shock resistance. The lateral muscles are a protective group of muscles that cover the sides. The dorsum muscles at the top of the foot are not as thick and aid in movement. The central muscles lie in the center and responsible for movement, support and shock resistance.

TENDONS IN THE FOOT

Tendons enable movements such as walking, running and jumping. The most notable foot tendon is the Achilles tendon, which extends from the calf to the heel. You can see it just above the heel. Other main tendons are the tibialis posterior, which controls the foot’s arch; tibialis anterior, that allows the foot to extend upward; and tibialis peroneal, that lets the foot move outside the ankle. Then there are extensors and flexors that move the toes and ball of the foot.

LIGAMENTS IN THE FOOT

Ligaments connect bones together and make it possible for them to move against one another. The main ligament in the foot is the plantar fascia, which runs along the sole of the foot. It starts from the heel and extends all the way to the toes. The plantar calcaneonavicular ligament connects the calcaneus and navicular and provides support to the talus bone. The calcaneocuboid ligament connects calcaneus to the tarsal bones and supports the arch in the foot.

COMMON FOOT CONDITIONS

    • Achilles Tendonitis / Achilles tendon injuries
    • Bunions and bunionettes
    • Calcific tendonitis of the ankle/foot
    • Charcot’s joint
    • Chronic instability of the ankle & foot
    • Clubfoot
    • Dislocation/subluxation of foot & ankle joints
    • Enthesopathy of foot
    • Flat foot
    • Fractures of the foot/ankle
    • Ganglion cysts of the foot/ankle
    • Hallux rigidus
    • Hammertoe(s)
    • Heel spurs
    • Metatarsalgia
    • Osteoarthritis of the ankle & foot
    • Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD) of the foot/ankle
    • Osteomyelitis of the ankle/foot
    • Peroneal tendonitis
    • Plantar fasciitis
    • Plantar nerve lesion
    • Posterior tibial tendonitis
    • Shin splints
    • Sprains and strains of foot/ankle
    • Synovitis and tenosynovitis of foot/ankle
    • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
    • Ulcers of the foot

COMMON TREATMENTS FOR FOOT CONDITIONS

    • Achilles tendon surgery and repair
    • Ankle instability
    • Arthroscopy of ankle
    • Bunion surgery
    • Calcaneal osteotomy
    • Cortisone (Steroid) Injections
    • Custom Orthotics
    • Flatfoot surgery
    • Gastrocnemius release (Strayer procedure)
    • Hammertoe correction
    • Joint replacement
    • Lateral column lengthening (Evans osteotomy)
    • Lateral ligament reconstruction
    • MTP joint fusion
    • Removal of heel spur
    • Surgical treatment of foot/ankle fractures
    • Surgical treatment of foot/ankle joint dislocation
    • Tarsal tunnel release
    • Tendon repair
    • Tibiotalocalcaneal fusion
    • Total Ankle Arthroplasty
    • Triple arthrodesis
    • Ultrasound-Guided Cortisone (Steroid) Injections
    • Weil osteotomy

All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Please consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.

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