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Covenant Health is an innovative, Catholic regional delivery network and a leader in values based, not-for-profit health and elder care. We sponsor hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living residences and other health and elder care organizations throughout New England.

Foot and Ankle

The Orthopedic team at St. Joseph Hospital are trained to correct the pain and/or injury associated with the foot and ankle including sprains, strains, fractures tendonitis, plantar fascitis and osteoarthritis. Specialists employ the use of a variety of assessment and treatment tools, including the latest technological advancements, to establish an accurate diagnosis quickly and develop a plan of care that fits the needs of each patient suffering from foot or ankle pain. Personal lifestyle, future health goals, and occupation are all taken into consideration when developing a treatment programs which may include surgery and/or physical therapy.

Common foot and ankle injuries

Injuries to the foot and ankle are among the most frequently occurring musculoskeletal injuries. The most common of these injuries to the foot and ankle are sprains, plantar fasciitis, achilles tendon, and metatarsal stress fractures.

  • Sprains can vary in severity and complexity. Almost 1 million people are evaluated each year for an ankle sprain and account for 25% of all sports-related injuries. The treatment approach consists of reducing swelling and inducing early mobilization to reduce the amount of mobility and strength that could be lost. The initial treatment includes the combination of protection, rest, ice, compression, and evaluation (PRICE).
  • Plantar Faciitis is the most common cause of plantar heel pain in America. It accounts for about 600,000 office visits a year and affects about 10% of the population. Predisposing factors include obesity, flat feet or high arches, prolonged standing, or certain activities including dancing and running. Reasonable treatments include ice, rest, and a dose of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), which are the hallmark of musculoskeletal medicine and may give some initial relief.
  • The Achilles Tendon is a very large tendon that is vulnerable to injury due to limited blood supply and the magnitude of forces applied during recreational sports. During normal walking, the tendon stretches and glides with the degree of foot motion, which puts repetitive and cumulative forces on the complex. These forces are magnified up to 8 times the body weight with running and jumping. For these reasons, the Achilles tendon is vulnerable to tendonitis, peritendinitis, tendonosis, bursitis, and rupture. Common treatment includes rest, ice massage, NSAIDs, and stretching.
  • Metatarsal Stress Fractures occur as a result of repetitive injury that overwhelms the ability of the bone to repair itself. Any recreational or sports activity that requires running or jumping can predispose to stress fractures. Among athletes with stress fractures, the metatarsals are involved 25% of the time. Initial treatment may depend on the site of stress fracture and severity of pain. Avoiding activities that aggravate the injury is recommended for 4 to 8 weeks in conjunction with ice therapy.

Why St. Joseph Hospital

The ability to use your feet properly and without pain or significant impediment is critical, which is why the orthopedic specialists at St. Joseph Hospital are trained to correct a variety a pain and injuries with the foot and ankle, including sprains, strains, fractures, tendonitis, plantar fasciitis and osteoarthritis.

An overarching plan of treatment and/or physical therapy is designed for every patient by using a variety of assessment and treatment tools, including the latest technological advancements to quickly establish an accurate diagnosis.

Consideration of lifestyle, future health goals and occupation are all taken into consideration when designing treatment.