Although there are many different kinds of arthritis, osteoarthritis is the most common form that affects the foot and ankle. As we age, the cartilage in our joints begins to break down, leading to arthritis from normal wear-and-tear. However, degenerative joint disorders, overuse and repetitive stress may also lead to the development of foot and ankle arthritis.
There are two main categories of osteoarthritis: primary and secondary. Primary osteoarthritis refers to the onset of a generalized condition occurring in the knees, fingers, thumbs, hips and spine that is brought about by normal wear-and-tear. Secondary osteoarthritis refers to the onset of osteoarthritis following an injury, inflammation or some other condition that affects the composition of the cartilage in the joint.
A tendon is a fibrous cord of tissue that connects muscle to bone. Inflammation of a tendon is called tendinitis, which may result from repetitive motion and/or excessive stress being placed on a tendon. In the event of an injury, a tendon may become overstretched, tear or completely rupture. Furthermore, stresses placed on a tendon due to other conditions can cause the onset of tendinitis. These conditions include arthritis, gout and thyroid disorders, just to name a few. In relation to the foot and ankle, tendinitis frequently occurs at the heel where the achilles tendon attaches. Unfortunately, tendons lose their elasticity as part of the natural aging process, increasing the likelihood that everyone will develop some form of tendinitis as we age.
Strains and Sprains
Strains (tendon injury) and sprains (ligament injury) are rated by severity: a slight tear, a partial or incomplete tear, or a severe tear or rupture. A sprain occurs when the tissue connecting the bones becomes damaged or suffers a trauma. A strain affects the tendon and is caused by trauma or damage to the tendon fibers connecting the muscle to the bone. Any sudden motion or fall that puts excessive stress on a joint or muscle can lead to a sprain or strain. Twisting, falling, lifting a heavy object, slipping and participating in sporting events can all lead to a tendon or ligament injury.
The flat band of fibrous tissue that connects the heel bone (calcaneus) to the bones of the toes (metatarsals) is called the plantar fascia ligament. The plantar fascia is responsible for providing support to the arch of the foot. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the fascia becomes strained, leading to inflammation, weakness, and pain in the heel and/or on the bottom of the foot with standing or walking.
This condition is commonly seen in middle-aged patients, but younger people who stand or walk a lot can also suffer from the condition. Furthermore, certain physical characteristics, such as being overweight or having flat feet or high arches, can cause plantar fasciitis, and any individual who runs long distances is more likely to develop plantar fasciitis than an individual who does not.
If you are suffering with lingering or unexplained foot and ankle pain, contact Dr. Joshua G. Hackel to schedule an initial consultation. Dr. Hackel provides patients with non-surgical and minimally-invasive procedures for pain relief and regeneration. He specializes in musculoskeletal ultrasound for the diagnosis and treatment of orthopaedic and musculoskeletal injuries.
Dr. Hackel is a dedicated physician who concentrates on providing his patients with the most innovative diagnostic and pain relief treatment options available. Each patient receives a custom-tailored treatment plan that is specifically designed to meet his or her needs. The caring staff and medical professionals at the Andrews Institute in Gulf Breeze, Florida, work together to create coordinating multidisciplinary rehabilitative treatment programs utilizing a variety of procedures and techniques.
Treatment programs may include bone marrow- and adipose-derived stem-cell therapy, platelet-rich plasma injections, and ultrasound-guided diagnostic and/or therapeutic injections to the tendon sheaths, muscles, joints and/or the bursae. Dr. Hackel also offers detailed physical rehabilitation plans, prescriptions and can recommend nutritional supplements to maximize your health and wellness. To schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Joshua G. Hackel at the Andrews Institute, please call 850-916-8783. The address for Dr. Hackel’s office at the Andrews Institute is 1040 Gulf Breeze Parkway, Suite 200, Gulf Breeze, Florida 32561.