The ankle and foot surgeon – podiatrist at The Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Institute are experts at providing diagnosis and treatment for sprains, strains, and broken bones in the foot or the ankle. Our podiatrist is extensively and specifically trained in treating the many intricate structures and systems of the lower leg and foot including circulatory, neurological, epidermal, and musculoskeletal (bones, ligaments, joints, tendons, muscles, and nerves).
Because feet are such complex anatomical structures, skilled, professional care from a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) is often required to treat conditions that affect the foot, lower leg, and/or ankle. At OSMI, you can be assured your physician has completed rigorous years of advanced training, as well as clinical experience, and is uniquely qualified to care for all your podiatric needs. Our podiatric department also works closely with the orthopedic specialists at OSMI to provide the most comprehensive care for all our patients.
What is a Podiatrist?
A podiatrist, or doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM), is a physician and surgeon whose specialty and expertise is in treating the foot, ankle, and all related structures of the lower leg. A podiatrist completes four years of podiatric training in medical school and three years of training as a hospital resident. Many podiatrists also complete fellowship training after their hospital residency.
Fields of podiatric focus can include pediatrics, surgery, sports medicine, wound care, and diabetic care.
Board certification for podiatrists is achieved with advanced training and clinical experience, as well as rigorous examinations. Certifying boards for the field are the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery (ABFS) and the American Board of Podiatric Medicine (ABPM).
Common Podiatric Conditions Treated at OSMI
Achilles Tendonitis: Tendonitis of the heel can occur when the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscle to the heel bone, is injured. Repetitive stress to the Achilles tendon can cause calcification of damaged tendon fibers and bone spurs that can result in Achilles Calcific Insertional Tendinopathy (ACIT).
Arthritis: The foot and ankle contain dozens of joints that can be affected by the inflammation and swelling of arthritis. Gout can occur when uric acid crystals build up and inflame the joint.
Athlete’s Foot: A fungal infection of the skin, typically around the toes, is common if shoes become warm and damp. Since the fungus is highly contagious, athlete’s foot can also be caused by walking around in damp areas such as showers that are shared with others.
Bunions: When the joint at the base of the big toe becomes enlarged, the bone and/or tissue can move out of place, changing the shape of the foot. This misalignment can be extremely painful and can limit daily activities.
Bursitis: Fluid-filled sacs called bursae can become swollen and inflamed causing foot and ankle pain.
Corns and Calluses: Excessive pressure or repetitive rubbing in certain areas can result in the skin of the foot becoming thickened to protect itself from blisters.
Charcot Foot/Charcot Joint: Often presenting in patients with peripheral neuropathy, this progressive degeneration affects a weight-bearing foot joint and can result in bone destruction and resorption, as well as deformity.
Heel Spurs: Calcium deposits can cause a bony protrusion or growth on the underside of the heel bone beneath the arch of the foot. Heel spurs may or may not cause discomfort.
Hyperhidrosis: Excessive sweating from the feet can cause skin irritation or infection.
Ingrown Toenails: When the corner or side of the toenail grows into the nail groove, the toenail is considered to be ingrown. This common and usually painful nail impairment often leads to irritation, redness, and swelling.
Metatarsalgia: Sharp, burning, or aching pain in the ball of the foot that worsens when flexing the foot, walking, or standing can occur from overuse, ill-fitting shoes, or foot deformity. Symptoms may also include numbness or tingling in the toes.
Neuromas: The nerve tissue leading to the toes can become thickened from pressure or injury, causing sharp, burning pain or numbness in the ball of the foot and/or toes. The most common is Morton’s neuroma which presents between the 3rd and 4th toes. Neuromas can appear or feel like a lump in the sole of the foot.
Peripheral Neuropathy and Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD): Often associated with diabetes, damage to the peripheral nerves, such as those in the toes, can lead to neuropathy. PAD occurs when the arteries of the legs become blocked due to plaque build-up.
Plantar Fasciitis: Inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes, is one of the most common causes of heel pain.
Sprains, Strains, and Fractures: Soft tissue injuries, stress fractures, and other breaks of the foot and ankle are common recreational injuries treated at Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine Institute (OSMI).
Toe Problems: When the muscles, ligaments, or tendons surrounding the toes contract or bend into unnatural positions, the toes can become crooked or curled under. Some of the most common toe problems we treat are hammertoe, mallet toe, and claw toe.
Turf Toe: Often occurring in field sports, this joint sprain at the base of the big toe is typically caused by the toe being bent upward forcefully.
Warts: This viral condition that can affect soft tissue on the foot can be quite painful and disruptive to daily activities.
If you are experiencing a problem involving your foot, ankle, or lower leg, contact the experts at OSMI. We are experienced in treating all manners of conditions affecting the intricate structures of the foot and are keenly aware of the delicate nature many foot and ankle injuries involve.