Podiatrists in Aurora, Colorado
At The Medical Center of Aurora, our ankle and foot doctors know how important your feet are to your mobility. That is why we are dedicated to providing comprehensive orthopedic care and a wide range of treatment options for foot and ankle conditions.
If you’d like to learn more about the orthopedic treatment methods for foot and ankle conditions or if you’d like to schedule an appointment, call (303) 870-0630.
Our foot and ankle specialists are committed to offering care for your specific injury. Working with a team of medical professionals, including nurses and physical therapists, we make sure your foot or ankle injury heals quickly, so you can get back to your life as soon as possible.
Our facilities include renovated surgical suites, the latest in advanced orthopedic technology and comprehensive physical therapy and rehabilitation services. And as part of the Own The Bone program, we help providers recognize and prevent osteoporosis-related incidents in patients.
Care for ankle injuries and conditions
The most common types of ankle injuries are sprained ankles and fractured ankles. Athletes who play football, basketball, soccer and volleyball often have ankle injuries because of the pressures they put on their ankles.
Ankle injuries are not just “sports injuries,” they can happen to anyone at any time. It’s possible to twist or turn an ankle simply by walking on an uneven sidewalk, tripping over an obstacle or stepping into a small hole. This type of injury can be extremely painful and potentially cause a debilitating sprain. That’s why it’s important to never ignore an ankle injury.
If you twist, roll or injure your ankle, your physician will examine the extent of the injury and determine the best course of treatment.
An ankle sprain is a partial or complete tear of the ligaments, which support the ankle. Ankle sprains are caused by a sudden and violent twisting of the ankle. When you sprain your ankle, there may be pain, swelling and bruising around the ankle. The pain will worsen if you walk, stand, put pressure on or move the ankle.
Healing and recovery will take time, but is rather simple. Most importantly, the ankle will need to rest after an ankle sprain. Care may also include ice, compression, elevation and support, such as wearing a brace or a boot. Physical therapy will help strengthen the ankle once it has begun to heal and help prevent further injuries. Your physician will develop a care plan to help recovery. Surgery is rarely needed to repair an ankle sprain.
Similar to a sprain, an ankle fracture is painful and will include immediate and intense pain, swelling, bruising and tenderness. If you have a fracture, you will not be able to put any weight on the affected foot. An ankle fracture happens when the ankle sustains a direct blow or the joint is forced well beyond its normal range of motion either from a violent twist or falling with such great impact it forces the ankle out of its normal range of motion.
The treatment method recommended by your physician will depend on the severity of the fracture and may include surgery, support devices, physical therapy and pain relief medications.
Ankle replacement is a surgical procedure to place an artificial implant in the ankle. The implant replaces bone and joint structures damaged by disease and injury. This surgery helps strengthen injured ankles and relieves ongoing pain. In general, a total ankle replacement can last 10 years, depending on your physical activity.
After surgery, pain medications may be prescribed to help manage any discomfort while you heal. Recovery time will depend on your overall health and amount of work done. During recovery, your ankle will not be able to support any weight and may be immobilized for up to six weeks. It is important to discuss with your physician if ankle replacement is your best option.
Achilles tendinopathy is pain to the tendon at the back of the ankle accompanied by swelling. Symptoms include pain, swelling, stiffness and tenderness at the heel or general pain in the ankle. The swelling and stiffness in the ankle will make it difficult to move. Achilles tendinopathy is most often caused by overuse of a muscle and tendon.
Achilles tendinopathy may take weeks or months to fully heal. Treatment includes rest and physical therapy to strengthen the tendons and muscles to prevent further injury. Prescription or over-the-counter medications may be prescribed to reduce pain. Surgery is typically not prescribed for Achilles tendinopathy.
Ruptured Achilles tendon
Symptoms of an Achilles tendon rupture include sudden, extreme pain and swelling at the back of the heel and an inability to walk or place pressure on the leg.
An Achilles tendon rupture occurs when there is a tearing of the tendon fibers. Achilles tendon rupture can be caused by overuse, overstretching or overworking an inflamed tendon. It can also be caused by a serious injury or trauma.
It is important to see a doctor if you believe you have ruptured your Achilles tendon. Initial treatment can include bed rest and restricted activity, ice to reduce swelling, elevation and compression bandages. Crutches or a walker may be recommended, and over-the-counter or prescription pain medication may be prescribed to reduce discomfort. However, surgery is the most common treatment for this condition.
During surgery, an orthopedic surgeon will sew the tendon back together. After surgery to repair an Achilles tendon rupture, a cast, splint, walking boot or brace is worn for six to eight weeks to support the ankle. One of the benefits of surgery is that it lowers the risk or re-rupturing the tendon and supports patients who are physically active.
Care for foot injuries and conditions
Foot pain is common for everyone. Illness, ill-fitting shoes, poor foot care or trauma can cause many foot and toe conditions. Because our feet are under constant pressure every day, it is important to consider when you need to see a specialist for a foot problem.
Foot pain that is out of the norm, more intense than normal or includes swelling or redness should be seen by a physician. Women need to pay attention to the high heeled or tight shoes they wear, as these can be especially problematic on the feet.
A foot fracture is a break in any of the bones in the foot. The foot is made up of 26 small bones, any of which can potentially break in a trauma situation, such as when something heavy is dropped or slammed into the foot.
In order to treat a foot fracture, your orthopedic surgeon will put the bones of the foot back into place either through surgical or nonsurgical methods. Post-surgery, and in order to aid in recovery, you may be prescribed medications for pain management, support devices to immobilize the foot during the healing process (such as a splint, walking boot or cast) and possibly physical therapy.
A bunion is a thickened, boney, often painful lump at the base of the big toe. It is the result of the movement of the base of the big toe away from the smaller toes. This instability creates joint inflammation and bursitis.
To treat your bunion, your orthopedic surgeon may recommend padding the bunion or taping the area to reduce pain and wearing wider shoes. Prescription or over-the-counter medications may also help reduce pain. In some cases, surgery to remove the bunion may be needed to relieve the pressure and repair the toe joint.
Calluses and corns
Calluses and corns form when layers of skin build up to protect against friction. Calluses usually form on the soles of the foot that are repeatedly exposed to pressure. They are usually painless or mildly painful.
A corn is a small, well-defined, thickened area of skin that forms on the toes. Corns put pressure on the underlying skin against the bone. They are usually inflamed and painful, especially when touched.
Generally, treatment of calluses and corns include self-care and medication. However, if you have diabetes or poor blood flow, you should speak with an orthopedic surgeon before treating a callus or corn. In severe cases, minor surgery may be necessary.
A dislocated toe is a misalignment of the toe bones. A dislocation can also cause injury to the nerves and ligaments that normally keep the bones in place. A dislocated toe may cause severe pain, deformity or displacement of the toe, swelling, numbness or tingling or difficulty moving the toe.
An orthopedic surgeon can safely guide the toe back into place, although emergency care may be needed to prevent further damage. The orthopedic surgeon can usually guide the bone back into place by hand, making surgery unnecessary. After the toe bones are put back into place, recovery may include taping, a brace or crutches, ice packs, elevation and rest. Physical therapy is also sometimes helpful.
A hammer toe is a toe that is bent at the middle joint in a claw-like position, as opposed to pointing forward and lying flat. A flexible hammer toe can be straightened by hand, while a rigid hammer toe cannot be pulled straight and is extremely painful. A hammer toe is typically the result of wearing poor, ill-fitting shoes, such as tight or pointed heels. It can also be caused by arthritis.
Treatment for a hammer toe can include splinting the affected toe, switching footwear or having corrective surgery to straighten the joint or repair tendons.
A toe fracture is a break in a toe bone. Proper treatment can prevent long-term complications or problems with the toe, such as immobility or misalignment. Treatment for a toe fracture includes putting the bones of the toe back in place, either by hand or through surgical methods.
Recovering from a toe fracture often involves extra support through taping or wearing a walking boot or cast. Although the toe will need time to heal, complete rest is rarely required. Ice and elevating the leg at rest will help with managing the discomfort and swelling.
Turf toe is a sprain of the base of the big toe where the big toe meets the foot. It is usually a hyperextension sprain of the first joint of the toe caused by an excessive upward bending of the big toe during athletic activities. Turf toe is an injury that usually affects athletes, such as football players and soccer players. The name is derived from sports being played on artificial turf.
Orthopedic surgeons treat turf toe with ice, elevation, compression and rest. In some cases, a cast or walking boot may be needed for isolation and support to protect the toe from further injury while it’s healing. Surgery isn’t typically required unless a piece of bone has been broken off by the injury or the ligament is torn completely.