Your feet and ankles are complex structures that play a crucial role in your daily life. They support your weight, allow you to walk, run and jump, and enable you to maintain balance. Each foot and ankle is made up of more than 50 bones, which account for a quarter of all the bones in your body. These bones are connected by joints, tendons and ligaments, working together to provide support and mobility.

The Anatomy of Our Feet and Ankles

  • Bones: The foot and ankle contain 26 bones each, including the tarsal bones in the ankle and the metatarsals in the foot.
  • Joints: These are where the bones meet and include the ankle joint, which allows up-and-down movement.
  • Tendons and Ligaments: These strong, fibrous tissues connect bones and muscles. The Achilles tendon, for example, is a vital tendon that attaches the calf muscle to the heel bone.

How They Function

  • Weight Bearing: Your feet and ankles bear the entire weight of your body, adjusting to different surfaces and absorbing shock with each step.
  • Movement: They allow for a wide range of movements, from walking to complex actions in sports and dance.

Understanding Foot and Ankle Injuries and Conditions

Despite their strength, the foot and ankle are prone to various conditions and injuries, which can result from many factors. Overuse, common in athletes or individuals with active lifestyles, can lead to conditions like tendonitis or stress fractures. Improper footwear, contributing to misalignment or insufficient support, can cause issues like bunions or plantar fasciitis. Accidents like falls or sports injuries often result in sprains or fractures. Age-related changes, including the wear and tear of joints and weakening of bones and tissues, can lead to arthritis or decreased mobility.

Each of these factors underscores the need for proper care and attention to foot and ankle health.

Impact on Daily Life

When your foot or ankle is injured or affected by a specific issue, it can significantly impact your life. You may experience pain, reduced mobility and difficulty in performing everyday activities.

Treatment and Care at the Orthopaedic Institute of Ohio

At the Orthopaedic Institute of Ohio, we understand the importance of healthy feet and ankles. We offer comprehensive diagnostics and a range of treatment options to address various conditions and injuries with the best possible results. Our goal is to reduce your pain, improve mobility and restore your quality of life.

Common Foot and Ankle Conditions That Require Treatment

We diagnose and treat numerous foot and ankle conditions, including but not limited to:


Bunions are large, painful bumps that form on the outside of the foot next to the large joint in the big toe. They usually occur after wearing shoes with tight or pointed toes.

Bunions are often treated by changing footwear and using orthotic devices (shoe inserts designed to alleviate pressure and discomfort). However, surgery is an option when conservative treatments don’t offer sufficient relief.

Toe Deformities (Hammer Toes, Claw Toes, Stiff Big Toe)

Toe deformities can be caused by the abnormal position of the foot bones due to poor-fitting shoes or some diseases or injuries. These issues can cause considerable discomfort and lead to other problems over time.

Surgery may be needed to correct the deformity and bring the toes back into proper alignment.

Achilles Tendonitis

The Achilles tendon connects the muscles from the calf to the heel. Achilles tendonitis is an overuse injury that affects this tendon in the back of the foot, causing aching after periods of activity. It is frequently seen in “weekend athletes” and others who participate in physical activity sporadically.

Medication and physical therapy are usually recommended, while surgery is reserved for cases that do not resolve.

Achilles Tears and Ruptures

When the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf to the heel, tears or ruptures completely, you might experience intense pain that will restrict your movement.

While nonsurgical repair can be an option for some, surgery is usually recommended for these injuries to promote the best possible result.

Heel Spurs

These bony growths are caused by calcium deposits that form on the bottom of the heel. They may be accompanied by pain, inflammation, warmth to the touch and swelling. However, some heel spurs are asymptomatic.

In most cases, heel spurs can be treated with conservative methods, but surgery may be recommended in severe cases.

Foot and Ankle Sprains and Fractures

Ankle sprains are characterized by damage to the soft tissue of the ankle, while fractures are a break in the bone. Sports are a common culprit in these types of injuries, particularly soccer, basketball and football. They can also be the result of a fall or overuse of the joint.

Most injuries of this nature can be treated without surgical intervention, but surgery may be required for some fractures.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition causing heel pain, often described as stabbing pain that usually occurs with the first steps in the morning. It involves inflammation of the plantar fascia, the thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of the foot and connects the heel bone to the toes.

Treatments typically include rest, ice, exercises and orthotic devices. In more persistent cases, medications or surgery might be considered.

Treatment Options for Foot and Ankle Conditions

At the Orthopaedic Institute of Ohio, we prioritize a patient-centered approach to foot and ankle treatments, beginning with the least invasive methods. Whenever possible, our team of skilled physicians and specialists try gentler techniques that are easier and less stressful for you first. If these don’t work as well as we hope, we then consider other options, including more advanced treatments like injections or surgery. Our focus is on providing compassionate, expert care, taking into account your unique needs so you feel supported and confident throughout your treatment process and recovery.

To address your foot and ankle concerns, we may use one or more of the following treatment options:

Orthotic Devices

Orthotic devices for the feet and ankles are specialized inserts placed inside shoes to correct structural and functional abnormalities. They provide support, redistribute pressure and improve the alignment of the foot and ankle. The options for orthotics range from over-the-counter devices to custom-made devices tailored to your specific needs.

Orthotics are particularly beneficial for conditions like flat feet, high arches, bunions, heel spurs and plantar fasciitis. By improving foot mechanics, orthotics can alleviate pain, enhance comfort and prevent further injury.


Medications for foot and ankle conditions encompass a range of options, each tailored to specific patient needs and types of issues. Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs are used to manage pain and reduce swelling in conditions like Achilles tendonitis or arthritis. More severe cases may require stronger prescription medications. The choice of medication depends on the severity of your condition, with the aim to provide relief and aid in the healing process.

Our physicians will carefully review your symptoms and medical history to determine the most appropriate medication for your specific concern.


Immobilization, also called external stabilization or supportive bracing, is a technique that limits movement in the affected area to facilitate healing, reduce pain and reduce the risk of further injury. This treatment is carried out using a brace, splint or cast. Braces and splints offer support and are typically used for less severe injuries, while casts provide more rigid support for serious conditions like fractures.

Immobilization is crucial for ensuring proper alignment and healing, especially in cases where bones need to mend or ligament damage requires time to repair. This method is effective for injuries such as sprains and fractures as well as post-surgical recovery.


Injections for treating foot and ankle conditions can be a vital part of a treatment plan. These injections, often containing corticosteroids, are used to reduce inflammation and pain in the affected area. They are particularly beneficial for conditions like arthritis and tendonitis. Another type of injection, hyaluronic acid, can be used for joint lubrication. These treatments are typically considered when other less invasive methods haven’t provided sufficient relief.

Ankle Arthroscopy

This minimally invasive surgical procedure is used to examine, diagnose and treat various conditions within the ankle joint. Through very small incisions, the surgeon inserts a tiny camera (called an arthroscope) and other instruments to view and repair the inside of the ankle.

Ankle arthroscopy is often best suited for cases where precise visualization and treatment of internal joint issues are required. This technique is particularly effective for diagnosing and treating conditions such as ligament tears, ankle impingement, arthritis and cartilage damage. It offers the advantage of a quicker recovery and less postoperative pain compared to traditional open surgery, and it is a safe procedure with rare incidences of complications.


Surgery for foot and ankle conditions encompasses various procedures tailored to specific injuries or issues. For example, bunion surgery realigns the toe, while ligament repair is used for severe sprains. Ankle fusion or replacement may be necessary for advanced arthritis.

Surgery aims to restore function, alleviate pain and improve quality of life. While surgery is always an option in treating the foot and ankle, it is not typically our first choice. Surgery is reserved for cases where other treatments will not be successful or alternative therapies have not produced the desired effect.

Get Relief for Foot and Ankle Pain and Injuries

Foot and ankle injuries and conditions can be painful and debilitating. If you are suffering, now is the time to contact the Orthopaedic Institute of Ohio at 419-222-6622. We provide full diagnostic services and multiple treatment options to meet your needs.