Foot & Ankle Specialists Baton Rouge
Foot & Ankle Overview
The feet and ankles can withstand a lot. Comprised of many bones (the feet alone contain 1/4 of the bones in the human body), muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves, they are designed to work together to withstand thousands of pounds of force each day. Still, despite their resilience, the frequent use and pressure they sustain make feet and ankles particularly susceptible to injury and other medical conditions.
Common Foot & Ankle Conditions
Conditions impacting the feet and ankles are likely to affect most people at some point in their lives. They may be mild, easily resolved, and cause minimal discomfort. Still, there are others that may result in significant amounts of pain, swelling, and other bothersome symptoms. No two conditions are the same, just as no two patients are the same, and treatment and recovery will look different from one case to the next. These conditions are treated by a foot and ankle specialist.
Some of the more commonly encountered medical conditions include:
Top Foot & Ankle Injuries
Considering that the average adult walks up to 7,000 steps per day and over 100,000 miles in their lifetime, it really isn't any wonder that foot and ankle injuries occur as frequently as they do. Furthermore, many patients have a habit of wearing the wrong shoe size, jumping too quickly into new activities, and generally not taking proper precautions when it comes to the care of their lower extremities. Various forms of injury are often the result, particularly the following three:
Ankle Sprains - Sprains occur when the ligaments of the ankle are overstretched, resulting in tears ranging from microscopic to complete. They are typically the result of an unnatural and unexpected twisting of the foot while walking, exercising, or participating in sports. With millions occurring each year, they are by far the most commonly observed foot or ankle injury.
Plantar Fasciitis - The plantar fascia is a supportive ligament of the foot arch and runs the length of the foot from heel to toe. When overused or stressed, it can develop small tears, resulting in irritation, inflammation, and pain near the heel. As many as 1 in 10 Americans will suffer from plantar fasciitis.
Stress Fractures - Stress fractures are small fractures that occur within a bone. They are most often associated with overuse or repetitive activity. Most commonly, they occur at the top of the foot, between the second and third metatarsal bones. They may also be observed in the calcaneus (heel bone) or talus (a small bone within the ankle joint).
Tips to Protect the Foot & Ankle
In most cases, some simple precautions are all that is needed to protect the health of the feet and ankles. These include:
- Wearing proper fitting shoes and socks that are neither too tight nor too loose
- Keeping feet clean and dry
- Using proper nail trimming techniques
- Pacing yourself when beginning a new physical activity
- Using caution when walking or running on new or uneven surfaces
- Not ignoring symptoms of a problem such as pain, redness, swelling, or discoloration
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