Foot and Ankle Pain and Injury | Orthopaedics | Loyola Medicine

Foot and Ankle Pain and Injury

Multidisciplinary Team to Diagnose and Treat Foot and Ankle Pain and Injury

Loyola Medicine’s foot and ankle team is comprised of orthopaedic surgeons who specialize in foot and ankle surgery, highly trained podiatrists, pediatric specialists and physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists. These doctors work together as an integrated team to provide treatment for every source of foot and ankle pain and injury to get you back to your regular activities. 

Foot and ankle problems can disrupt your life and keep you from your daily activities. To that end, Loyola treats the entire range of foot and ankle conditions, including:

  • Abnormal walking patterns
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Achilles tendon rupture
  • Arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis of the foot and ankle
  • Athletic injuries
  • Bursitis in the heel bone
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT)
  • Clubfoot
  • Corns, calluses, warts and ingrown toenails
  • Deformities, including bunions, claw toes and hammer toes
  • Diabetic (Charcot) foot
  • Flatfeet
  • Fractures and stress fractures of the ankle, foot, forefoot, heel bone, pilon, talus and toe
  • Ganglion
  • Geriatric foot problems
  • Haglund’s deformity
  • Heel, arch, toe, ankle and shin pain
  • Intoeing
  • Lisfranc (midfoot) injury
  • Morton's neuroma
  • Nerve injuries or damage (neuroma)
  • Osteochondritis
  • Plantar fasciitis and bone spurs
  • Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction
  • Sesamoiditis
  • Sprains and strains of the ankle and foot
  • Stiff big toe (hallux rigidus)
  • Tarsal coalition
  • Tendon and ligament injuries
  • Vertical talus

Loyola’s orthopaedic surgeons and podiatrists work as a team to care for foot and ankle injuries. Orthopaedic surgeons are capable of treating all bones, joints and soft tissues in the body, while podiatrists are specially trained in the treatment of the foot and ankle.  

Why Choose Loyola for Foot and Ankle Pain and Injury?

Loyola’s foot and ankle surgeons and podiatrists specialize in diagnosing and treating problems of the foot and ankle and have experience caring for the most common to the most complex cases. Our team is active in clinical medical research, helping improve foot and ankle care for all patients. Loyola’s pediatric orthopaedic specialists also treat injuries and congenital problems in children and adolescents.

With some foot and ankle conditions, it is possible to prevent problems before they occur. That’s why Loyola has one of the leading programs in the country for patients with diabetic foot problems. A member of Loyola’s orthopaedic team is the most published foot and ankle surgeon in the nation on diabetic (Charcot) foot

How is Foot and Ankle Pain and Injury Diagnosed?

Your Loyola doctor understands that foot and ankle pain limits your movement and daily activities. First, you will have a thorough physical examination and if necessary, your Loyola doctor may recommend testing to make a definitive diagnosis. Testing to determine the cause of your foot or ankle pain may include:

  • Arthrography
  • CT scan (computed tomography)
  • Fluoroscopy
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
  • Ultrasound
  • X-rays, including stress radiography

Loyola also offers extremity MRI scans for examinations of the ankles and feet. This option provides more comfort for patients, particularly those who are uncomfortable in small enclosed spaces.

What Treatment Options are Available for Foot and Ankle Pain and Injury?

Your Loyola healthcare team aims to diagnose your foot or ankle problem and develop a treatment plan in a timely fashion, so that you can begin your treatment and return to your normal activities as soon as possible. Your Loyola foot and ankle specialist will first try to use non-surgical treatment options, including bracing, custom orthotics, medication, physical therapy, prosthetics, splinting, steroid injections and custom footwear.

If surgery is necessary, Loyola’s foot and ankle surgeons will approach your surgery with great care and precision. Loyola’s foot and ankle surgeons are specially trained to provide the following surgical treatments for foot and ankle conditions:

To regain your normal function and activities, you likely will work with a rehabilitation specialist or physical medicine doctor. For some cases, physical therapy may be recommended as your primary method of treatment; it is also recommended as a follow-up to surgical treatment. Loyola’s experienced, internationally recognized rehabilitation team will treat you with care and compassion, helping you achieve a healthy recovery, returning to your daily activities. Learn more about orthopaedic rehabilitation.

Choosing the Right Specialist for Your Foot or Ankle Condition

Orthopaedic foot and ankle specialists and podiatrists work collaboratively to treat patients with foot and ankle pain or injury. Though orthopaedic surgeons and podiatrists treat many of the same conditions, they have received slightly different training. 

Orthopaedic surgeons complete four years of medical school followed by a residency program, earning a doctor of medicine degree (MD). Podiatrists complete four years of podiatric school followed by a residency program, earning a doctor of podiatric medicine degree (DPM). 

A podiatrist’s entire education and residency training focuses on the care of the foot and ankle. Orthopaedic training includes the foot and ankle, as well as all musculoskeletal conditions; and some orthopaedic surgeons go on to complete a fellowship specifically focused on the foot and ankle. 

Both orthopaedic surgeons and podiatrists perform surgical procedures on the foot and ankle. In addition, podiatrists are more likely to treat dermatologic foot problems, such as ingrown toenails, and skin conditions, such as bunions and plantar warts. Podiatrists also help manage ongoing foot conditions related to diabetes and other systemic illnesses. Orthopaedic surgeons are more likely to perform large surgical reconstructions and surgery for complex traumas and fractures.