Foot & Ankle

Get back to doing what you love.

Don't let foot or ankle discomfort stop you from your daily life, whether it's going for a walk or meeting friends for dinner. Understand the causes, symptoms and treatments for foot and ankle pain.

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Why does my foot or ankle hurt?

Foot and ankle pain can come on suddenly after an injury or develop over time due to a chronic condition affecting your ligaments, bones or tendons. Common causes of foot and ankle discomfort are overuse, inflammation or an injury. Other health conditions contributing to foot pain include diabetes, gout and arthritis. Our foot and ankle specialists will pinpoint the source of your pain and work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan.

How do I soothe a foot or ankle injury?

If foot or ankle pain keeps you from participating in your favorite activities, there are steps you can take to alleviate it. Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers, ice and rest can ease minor discomfort from overuse or a mild sprain.

Consult with our therapists to create an exercise routine that strengthens and stretches the muscles and tendons in your feet and ankles. If the pain doesn't improve or it worsens, it may be time to see a foot and ankle orthopedic surgeon.

When do I need a foot and ankle doctor?

If you hear a loud snapping or popping sound, or you can't bend your foot downward, stand on your toes or you have pain and swelling, seek immediate treatment. You may have a severe sprain, an Achilles tendon injury or a bone fracture. Our urgent and emergency care teams can assess and X-ray the problem area and refer you to a nearby orthopedic foot doctor. Addressing the issue right away could avoid more significant problems down the road.

Why Choose Novant Health?

At the Novant Health Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Institute, we listen to your concerns and collaborate with you to create a personalized treatment plan.

You'll have access to an entire care team, including orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists, nutrition experts and mental health specialists. They'll walk you through each step of your journey, from diagnosis to treatment to rehabilitation.

Dr. Harvey is bending over to exam a patient's ankle and foot

As you're recovering from a foot or ankle condition, take advantage of the tools and resources we offer to get stronger and live a healthier life. We offer a range of wellness programs that will help you as you heal

A Novant Health team member is wrapping a patients ankle

Modern treatment techniques yield better results and faster recovery times. At Novant Health, we're dedicated to advancing healthcare through technological research. Our care experts make regular improvements to treatment to ensure you receive the safest, highest quality of care.

You'll have access to our advanced diagnostic and imaging tools, artificial intelligence for enhanced safety and quality, 3D modeling for custom implants and robotic-assisted surgical procedures.

A nurse is smiling at a patient as she holds their imaging scans

We make every interaction a convenient and personalized experience, from finding educational resources online to scheduling an appointment. We'll work with you to determine the costs of your care and give you the tools to take charge of your healthcare.

Get access to invaluable tools including:

  • Financial Navigator Service
  • Mobile primary care units
  • 24/7 on-demand virtual care
  • Online MyChart access
Woman provider looking up smiling as she exams a patient.

What are the symptoms of an Achilles tendon injury?

An Achilles tendon injury stems from overuse or damage to your tendon. Several risk factors increase your chances of an Achilles tendon injury, such as bone spurs, wearing the wrong shoes or not properly stretching before exercising.

You may feel pain along the back of your leg near the heel or notice stiffness in the tendon when you wake. Other Achilles tendon injury symptoms include difficulty flexing your foot, discomfort or swelling and worsening foot or ankle pain during exercise.

Your orthopedic foot surgeon may recommend low-impact physical therapy and strength training, heel lifts or orthotic shoes, depending on the severity of the situation.

What are diabetic feet?

If you have diabetes, watch for signs of diabetic feet, also known as diabetic neuropathy. This occurs when high blood sugar damages the blood vessels and nerves in your feet, affecting blood flow. You may notice swelling, numbness or a loss of feeling in your feet.

Those with diabetic feet often don't realize they have a cut or blister. Poor blood flow means injuries to your foot and ankle take longer to heal, increasing the risk of infection. Early diagnostic and proper therapeutic approaches can get your condition under control.