Foot and Ankle Pain
Ankle osteoarthritis. We can appreciate the space of the right ankle preserved. On the left side we can see bone and bone arthritis.
Anatomy of the foot and ankle bones
Your foot is an intricate network of bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles. Strong enough to bear your body weight, your foot can be prone to injury and pain.
Foot pain can affect any part of your foot, from your toes to your Achilles tendon at the back of your heel.
Your ankle is an intricate network of bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles. Strong enough to bear your body weight and enable you to move, your ankle can be prone to injury and pain.
You might feel the pain on the inside or outside of your ankle or along the Achilles tendon, which connects the muscles in your lower leg to your heel bone.
What are the most common causes of Foot pain?
Peripheral neuropathy, a result of damage to the peripheral nerves (nerves outside of spinal cord), often causes weakness, numbness and pain, usually in the hands and feet.
Peripheral neuropathy is nerve damage caused by a number of different conditions. The most common cause is diabetes.
Signs and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy might include:
- Feeling that pins are being buried in the feet or legs.
- Gradual onset of numbness, prickling or tingling in your feet.
- Sharp, jabbing, throbbing or burning pain
- Extreme sensitivity to touch
- Pain during activities that shouldn’t cause pain, such as pain in your feet when putting weight on them or when they’re under a blanket
- Lack of coordination and falling
- Muscle weakness
- Feeling as if you’re wearing gloves or socks when you’re not
- Paralysis if motor nerves are affected.
Your plantar fascia is in the shape of a bowstring, supporting the arch of your foot and absorbing shock when you walk. If tension and stress on this bowstring become too great, small tears can occur in the fascia. Repeated stretching and tearing can irritate or inflame the fascia, although the cause remains unclear in many cases of plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis typically causes a stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot near the heel. The pain is usually the worst with the first few steps after awakening, although it can also be triggered by long periods of standing or when you get up after sitting. The pain is usually worse after exercise, not during it.
Morton’s neuroma is a painful condition that affects the ball of your foot, most commonly the area between your third and fourth toes. Morton’s neuroma may feel as if you are standing on a pebble in your shoe or on a fold in your sock.
Morton’s neuroma involves a thickening of the tissue around one of the nerves leading to your toes. This can cause a sharp, burning pain in the ball of your foot. You may have stinging, burning or numbness in the affected toes.
Typically, there’s no outward sign of this condition, such as a lump. You may experience:
- A feeling as if you’re standing on a pebble in your shoe.
- A burning pain in the ball of your foot that may radiate into your toes.
- Find that removing your shoe and rubbing your foot often helps to relieve the pain.
Stress fractures are caused by repetitive force, often from overuse, such as repeatedly jumping up and down or running long distances. Stress fractures can also develop from normal use of a bone with osteoporosis.
Stress fractures are most common in the weight bearing bones of the lower leg and foot. Track and field athletes and military recruits who carry heavy packs over long distances are at highest risk, but anyone can sustain a stress fracture. If you start a new exercise program, for example, you might develop stress fractures if you do too much too soon.
The tenderness usually starts at a specific spot and decreases during rest.
What are the most common causes of Ankle pain?
Cartilage is a firm, slippery tissue that enables nearly frictionless joint motion. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that cushions the ends of bones in your joints gradually deteriorates. Eventually, if the cartilage wears down completely, bone will rub on bone.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis often develop slowly and worsen over time. Signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis include:
- Pain. Ankle pain during or after movement.
- Stiffness. Ankle joint stiffness might be most noticeable upon awakening or after being inactive.
- Tenderness. Tender Ankle Joint when you apply light pressure to or near it.
- Loss of flexibility. You might not be able to move your joint through its full range of motion.
- Grating sensation. You might feel a grating sensation when you use the joint, and you might hear popping or crackling.
- Swelling. This might be caused by soft tissue inflammation around the joint.
Achilles tendinitis is an overuse injury of the Achilles tendon, the band of tissue that connects calf muscles at the back of the lower leg to your heel bone.
Achilles tendinitis most commonly occurs in runners who have suddenly increased the intensity or duration of their runs. It’s also common in middle aged people who play sports.
The pain associated with Achilles tendinitis typically begins as a mild ache in the back of the leg or above the heel after running or other sports activity. Episodes of more-severe pain may occur after prolonged running, stair climbing or sprinting.
Gout occurs when urate crystals accumulate in your joint, causing the inflammation and intense pain of a gout attack. Urate crystals can form when you have high levels of uric acid in your blood.
Normally, uric acid dissolves in your blood and passes through your kidneys into your urine. But sometimes either your body produces too much uric acid or your kidneys excrete too little uric acid. When this happens, uric acid can build up, forming sharp, needlelike urate crystals in a joint or surrounding tissue that cause pain, inflammation and swelling.
The signs and symptoms of gout almost always occur suddenly, and often at night. They include:
- Joint pain. Gout usually affects the big toe, ankles and knees, but it can occur in any joint.
- Inflammation and redness. The affected joint or joints become swollen, tender, warm and red.
- Limited range of motion. As gout progresses, you may not be able to move your joints normally.
A sprained ankle is an injury that occurs when you roll, twist or turn your ankle in an awkward way. This can stretch or tear the ligaments that help hold your ankle bones together. Most sprained ankles involve injuries to the ligaments on the outer side of the ankle.
Failing to treat a sprained ankle properly, engaging in activities too soon after spraining your ankle or spraining your ankle repeatedly might lead to Chronic ankle pain, Chronic ankle joint instability or Arthritis in the ankle joint.
Plantar Fasciitis, one of the most common causes of foot pain
Video animation of an ankle sprain and tendon rupture
So…How can we help you?
At Regenecare we aim to improve the quality of life of our patients, freeing them from the pain that afflicts them and preventing future complications. We base our treatments on Regenerative Medicine, but we also carry out the rest of the conventional treatments according to the needs of each of our patients for the management of their pain. We have developed a comprehensive method of care for our patients, based on wellness goals, with close monitoring and always seeing the patient as a whole and not just as a disease.
Regenerative therapy is an alternative treatment option for patients with shoulder pain. Minimally invasive procedures like stem cell and platelet-rich plasma therapies involve an outpatient procedure performed under local anesthesia in our clinic, using the patient’s own adult stem cells or patients own blood to help the shoulder heal.
Stem cells are found throughout the body and have the potential to become any type of cell, including those found in cartilage. They can help the body regenerate tissue by stimulating healing and reducing the painful effects of osteoarthritis. And furthermore, researchers believe adult stem cells can repair and replace cartilage as well as other tissue damaged by arthritis. In the same way, this treatment prolongs the longevity of the joint.
Stem Cells extraction process
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
The human blood contains red and white bloods cells, platelets and plasma. PRP refers to blood plasma that contains a large concentration of platelets. Platelets contain the necessary bioactive proteins and growth factors to repair and regenerate human tissue. PRP injections produce regeneration and repair of damaged tissues. At Regenecare Pain Clinic we obtain great results of pain relief and improvement of function with our PRP treatment protocol.
The PRP technique begins with the collection of peripheral blood
Steroid injections generally help relieve pain and swelling and make movement easier. Steroids are powerful anti-inflammatories that, when injected directly into the pain site, greatly reduce inflammation and thus pain. In the case of the knee, the steroid is injected directly into the painful joint. The benefits can last for several months and the side effects are minimal with proper administration.
All our procedures are performed under ultrasound control
Ankle surgery may be an option when other conservative treatments fail to relieve ankle pain caused by severe arthritis. The type of surgery depends on your conditions, joint damage or deformity, your age, your level of activity.
When the ankle is severely damaged, you may be in need for ankle joints fusion or even replacement with an artificial joint.
At Regenecare Pain Management Clinic our objective is the comprehensive well-being of our patients, therefore, although we base our treatments on Regenerative Medicine and consider surgery the last of our therapeutic options, we have the orthopaedic surgery department that, if necessary, will offer the best surgical option for our patients. At Regenecare we see surgery as an excellent therapeutic option, as long as it is strictly necessary and we have previously exhausted all conservative alternatives.
In this procedure, the surgeon roughens the ends of the damaged bones and then fastens them together with metal plates and screws.
Am I a good candidate for Regenerative Treatments?