ankle

Together the

foot and ankle joint work together to stabilize thousands of steps a day along with more explosive athletic movements. We treat individual injuries by strengthening the joint and surrounding muscles to regain essential range of motion and function.

Achilles Tendonitis

The Achilles tendon spans the back of the lower calf and serves as the attachment of the gastrocnemius/soleus (calf) muscle complex to the calcaneus (heel). Tendonitis (inflammation of the tendon) may occur as a result of overuse/overtraining in combination with muscle and flexibility imbalances in the lower leg. Signs and symptoms include pain and swelling over the Achilles tendon, loss of motion, and stiffness with prolonged inactivity. In addition to rest, ice, and medications to reduce pain and inflammation, physical therapy is indicated to strengthen and stretch lower extremity muscles and maximize function through lifestyle modifications.

Ankle Sprain/Instability

The ankle joint is supported by several ligaments which provide stability during movement. The four-part deltoid ligament spans the medial side, while three distinct ligaments span the lateral side. Medial ankle sprains are less common and occur with forceful outward rotation (eversion) of the foot. Lateral ankle sprains are much more common and occur with inward rotation (inversion) of the foot, or “rolling” over the outside of the ankle during activity. Lateral ligament tears are graded I-III based on severity of the tear and degree of involvement of additional structures (surrounding ligaments or tendons). Signs and symptoms of ankle sprain include pain and tenderness over the ligament, swelling, bruising, and limitations in mobility. In addition to rest, ice, and medications to reduce pain and inflammation, physical therapy is indicated to strengthen lower leg muscles for maximal dynamic stability. Surgery may be indicated for more severe or chronically recurring ankle sprains.

Plantar Fascitis

Plantar fascitis is inflammation of the soft tissue that spans the bottom of the foot (plantar fascia). Injury most often occurs due to repetitive overuse, in overweight individuals, or with prolonged standing on hard surfaces. Signs and symptoms include burning pain on the bottom of the foot which is often worst in the morning and during walking. In addition to rest, ice, and medications to reduce pain and inflammation, physical therapy is indicated to strengthen and stretch lower extremity muscles and maximize function through lifestyle modifications.

Tibialis Posterior Tendonitis

The tibialis posterior tendon passes behind and around the medial malleolus (ankle bone) to attach the tibialis posterior (lower leg muscle) to the underside of the foot. Weakness of this muscle causes constant stress to the tendon as the muscle attempts to stabilize the arch of the foot during walking. Signs and symptoms include a flattened arch and pain over the tendon. In addition to rest, ice, and medications to reduce pain and inflammation, physical therapy is indicated to strengthen and stretch lower extremity muscles and maximize function through lifestyle modifications. Additionally, orthotics may be prescribed to provide stability to the arch and reduce stress on the tibialis posterior muscle.

Torn Achilles (Achilles Rupture)

The Achilles tendon spans the back of the lower calf and serves as the attachment of the gastrocnemius/soleus (calf) muscle complex to the calcaneus (heel). Rupture (tear) of the tendon may occur as a result of forced dorsiflexion in weight bearing (as during a jumping activity). Signs and symptoms include a “pop” heard during injury, pain, swelling, bruising, and visible deformity where the tendon may retract after tear. In addition to rest, ice, and medications to reduce pain and inflammation, physical therapy is indicated to strengthen and stretch lower extremity muscles and maximize function through lifestyle modifications. Surgery is often indicated for those individuals wishing to return to higher level activity.