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Foot & Ankle

  • Common Foot & Ankle Conditions

    foot and ankle injury

    The foot and ankle are joined together by an extensive network of ligaments, tendons and muscles that work together to provide support and mobility to the body. The foot consists of 28 bones and over 30 joints, with 3 bones making up the ankle joint. Accidental falls, sports and recreational activities may lead to injuries to the foot and ankle.

    Foot injury in its early stages may present with subtle symptoms which could worsen over time. Learn more about the common symptoms and conditions that affect the foot and ankle, as well as the specialty treatments available at Mount Elizabeth Hospitals.

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    Achilles Tendonitis

    pain in the back of ankle

    The Achilles tendon is the large tendon in the back of the ankle that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. These muscles are essential for walking, running and jumping. The Achilles tendon withstands a great deal of stress during normal daily life. Achilles tendonitis occurs when the muscles and tendon are overused, causing irritation and inflammation of the tendon.

    There are 2 types of Achilles tendonitis:

    • Insertional Achilles tendonitis, which affects the lower portion where the tendon attaches to the heel. This can occur at any age
    • Non-insertional Achilles tendonitis, which affects the middle part of the tendon and there is swelling and thickening in this area. This is most common among young active people

    Hardening (calcification) of the damaged tendon fibres can occur in both types of Achilles tendonitis. 

    Achilles tendonitis is often caused by continuous stress on the affected area, usually from repetitive movements during sports or recreational activities such as running, jumping, or even from a sudden change in intensity of an activity. Poor stretching or conditioning before exercise or playing sports also increases the risk.

    Common symptoms of Achilles tendonitis include pain or swelling at the back of the heel, inability to bend the ankle, discomfort when walking, swelling of the calf, joint deformity, pain in the ankle area, as well as signs of infection such as fever, redness, or warmth.

    If you experience any of these symptoms, consult your orthopaedic specialist. Your doctor will recommend treatment options that best suit your lifestyle needs. Find out more about the treatment options and sports rehabilitation services available.

    Plantar Fasciitis

    plantar fasciitis

    Plantar fasciitis (pronounced fash-ee-eye-tus) is an inflammation of the band of muscle (called the plantar fascia) under the foot that supports the arch. Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. It can occur in one or both feet.

    Plantar fasciitis is caused by strain to the Plantar Fascia muscle under the foot. The cause could be degenerative or it could be from a previous injury. It can occur if you wear poor footwear, for example shoes with thin soles or that are not supportive enough. Other causes include:

    • Going back to strenuous activity after a long period of rest
    • Having a short calf muscle
    • Having poor ankle range of motion

    Middle-aged people are most commonly affected.

    Common symptoms of Plantar fasciitis include 'first step pain', which is pain that occurs when taking the first steps upon waking up in the morning, or swelling observed at the foot area.

    If you experience any of these symptoms, consult your orthopaedic specialist. Your doctor will recommend treatment options that best suit your lifestyle needs. Find out more about the treatment options and sports rehabilitation services available.

    Fracture

    young woman with fractured foot

    A fracture is a broken bone which occurs when the physical force exerted on the bone is stronger than the bone itself. Fractures may occur at any age. Certain conditions such as osteoporosis that commonly affect older people may lead to brittle bones, increasing the risk of bone fracture.

    Symptoms of bone fracture include pain, swelling, bruising, loss of function and bone deformity at the injured area.

    If you experience any of these symptoms, consult your orthopaedic specialist. Your doctor will recommend treatment options that best suit your lifestyle needs. Find out more about the treatment options and sports rehabilitation services available.

    Bunion

    foot bunion

    Bunion is a painful, bony bump that develops around the joint area of the big toe. The condition develops gradually and causes a deformity whereby the big toe leans towards the second toe. Common causes include ill-fitted footwear, family history, or medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.

    Common symptoms of bunions include a visible bump at the big toe joint area, deformity, inflammation or redness, pain, stiffness in the big toe, tenderness at joint area, or callus on the bump.

    If you experience any of these symptoms, consult your orthopaedic specialist. Your doctor will recommend treatment options that best suit your lifestyle needs. Find out more about the treatment options and sports rehabilitation services available.

    Arthritis

    runner with ankle pain

    Arthritis refers to inflammation of the joints. Your joints can become stiff or deformed, resulting in decreased mobility and increased disability. In the foot and ankle, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are common.

    Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease caused by overuse of the affected joint(s). Although it is usually a disease of ageing, young people can also have osteoarthritis from previous sports injuries.

    Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by the immune system attacking your body instead of protecting it, causing inflammation of the joints.

    Common symptoms include a dull ache that worsens throughout the day, a sensation of grating or grinding in the affected joint due to rubbing of the damaged cartilage surfaces (crepitation), changes in surrounding joints, pain, stiffness, swelling, or warmth felt at affected joint due to inflammation.

    If you experience any of these symptoms, consult your orthopaedic specialist. Your doctor will recommend treatment options that best suit your lifestyle needs. Find out more about the treatment options and sports rehabilitation services available.

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    *This is not a complete list of all the conditions and treatments that we provide.

    The symptom checker is not a diagnostic tool. Please consult one of our qualified orthopaedic specialists for an accurate diagnosis of what condition is causing your symptoms.