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Foot and ankle

Home Services Orthopedics Foot and ankle

Get help for foot and ankle pain to prevent other health problems

Your feet and ankles get a workout probably every day. Lasting discomfort in these areas is not normal — at any age. Foot and ankle pain can keep you from activities that promote good health, including walking and other forms of exercise.

Foot and ankle specialists are called podiatrists. These doctors provide comprehensive medical and surgical care for everything from sprained ankles to Achilles tendon repair. In many cases, a podiatrist can manage foot and ankle disorders without surgery, using physical therapy, medication or custom shoe inserts to reduce foot pain.

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Conditions we treat

Our specialists use sophisticated diagnostic imaging and nerve and muscle tests to choose the right treatment for you. If you need surgery, your doctor can arrange for you to meet with a skilled orthopedic surgeons. Contact a Novant Health podiatrist for help with these and other conditions:

  • Achilles tendon injuries
  • Amputation
  • Ankle sprain
  • Arthritis (osteoarthritis, post-traumatic, rheumatoid or gout)
  • Bunion
  • Chronic pain of the feet and ankles
  • Claw toe and hammer toe
  • Diabetic feet
  • Foot and ankle deformities
  • Foot trauma, including fractures and sprain
  • Heel pain and spurs
  • Numb feet
  • Morton's neuroma
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Tumors or cysts
 How we help

Novant Health foot and ankle specialists use the latest techniques and years of experience to provide expert evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of foot, ankle and lower leg problems.

Diagnostics: Identifying the cause for your pain and discomfort helps to ensure that treatment will be effective. Our providers use a range of diagnostic tools, from ultrasound to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), both noninvasive procedures that provide images of tissue and bones.

Physical therapy: Outpatient rehabilitation centers in your area mean the specialized care you need is nearby just around the corner. Our physical therapists will design a plan to help improve your strength, flexibility, stability and endurance.

Surgery: Traditional and minimally invasive surgical treaments are available for many foot and ankle conditions. Should you require surgery, our skilled orthopedic surgeons, anesthesiologists, physician assistants and nurses are available to care for you.

Medication: Anti-inflammation medication and other remedies can be effective in many cases. These may be taken orally or, as with a cortisone shot, injected into the affected area.

 Home treatment

See your doctor right away if you are injured or sick. Until you can get to your doctor’s office or a clinic, take these steps to prevent further damage: Rest. Ice. Compression. Elevation. (Also known as R-I-C-E.)

How to prevent foot and ankle injuries
There are things you can do to avoid injuries that cause pain and keep you off of your feet.

Change footwear: Replacing old and worn out footwear can add stability and protective padding. Make sure your shoes are the proper size and width – and the right choice for the activity – to prevent unnecessary pressure and irritation.

Stretch: Many foot and ankle symptoms can be improved with stretching exercises. Your foot specialist or physical therapist can advise you on the best techniques for your condition.

Orthotic devices: Your foot specialist may recommend adding padding for your shoes or a heel insert. These devices can make sensitive feet more comfortable.

 When to see a specialist

Contact your doctor or podiatrist if you notice any of the following conditions:

  • Persistent swelling that remains after two to five days
  • Pain that persists for several days
  • Burning, numbness or a tingling sensation
  • Discomfort when walking or performing daily activities
  • Cracked or bleeding heels