Foot and Ankle Injuries

Information

Podiatrists are experts in the assessment and management of all foot and ankle injuries. 

Your podiatrist will identify the cause of your injury, what structure/s are damaged and what needs to be done to heal the injury. 

Your podiatrist can also order imaging such as X-ray, ultrasound and MRI if required.

We will communicate with all the relevant members of your treating medical team to ensure you get back to pain free full function as soon as possible.

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Heel Pain

Heel pain is the most common of foot complaints. Over 80% of Australians will have this problem at some point in their lives.  There are many types of heel pain so it is very important to get the correct diagnosis to guide your treatment & successful recovery

Types of heel pain:

  • Plantar Fasciitis ( Plantar Fasciopathy)
  • Heel Spurs
  • Achilles Tendinopathy
  • Bursitis, Stress Fractures
  • Bruised Heels 
  • Nerve entrapment 
  • Fat pad bruising 

Typical symptoms include: 

  • a painful heel or bruised feeling first thing in the morning
  • throbbing heel at the end of the day
  • stiffness/soreness when standing up after sitting
  • stabbing heel pain or dull ache during/after activity
  • bruising pain under the heel with extended standing

The reasons for your heel pain may include: 

  • Flat feet
  • Playing sports with excessive impact (running, jumping, dancing )
  • previous foot/ankle injuries (altering normal foot function) 
  • Standing/Walking occupations Eg Nursing, hospitality and hairdressing 
  • Poor fitting footwear 
  • high body mass index

Ankle sprains 

Ankle sprain or a “rolled ankle” are very common, particularly in sports such as netball, basketball,football and trail running. 
Ankle sprains can be mild or severe causing considerable pain, swelling and disability. When you sprain your ankle you may also fracture some of the ankle or foot bones. 

Your Podiatrist will assess what structures have been damaged and if required,refer you for an Xray or MRI to determine the extent of the damage. 

Treatment will include a period of relative rest, footwear assessment, an exercise program to heal the damaged structures & the use of splints or braces (if required). Early management is recommended to prevent long term pain and/or ankle instability.

Tendinopathy

A tendinopathy is an overuse injury that results in chronic change to the structure and function of the tendon. Tendinopathies can be frustrating to manage, unfortunately rest alone does not help you return to pain free activity. 

Tendinopathies require a structured and graded treatment program that may include a strengthening program, exercise modification, orthotic therapy and footwear assessment

With the right advice and treatment guided by your Podiatrist you will be back up and moving as quickly as possible.

Tendons that get injured around the foot and ankle?

  • Achilles 
  • Tibialis Posterior 
  • Peroneal
  • Plantar Fascia (which acts like a tendon) 
  • PICTURE 

Typical symptoms include:

  • Pain and stiffness at the site of tendon
  • Pain after rest, especially first thing in the morning
  • Discomfort and pain with walking, running, jumping 
  • Burning pain when standing 
  • Loss of strength around the joint 

We can also refer for imaging with ultrasound the most common imaging for tendon structures.

Fractures 

Podiatrists often play a role in the management of broken bones/fractures.  

Podiatrists can refer for an Xray or MRI if required and refer on for specialist medical review. Podiatrists can fit a cam walker/moon boot for immediate offloading. 

Stress fractures

A stress fracture is an ‘overuse’ injury that causes tiny microfractures of the bone. This gradually occurs over time due to repetitive stress from walking, running or playing sport. These fractures are often missed due to their slow onset and are difficult to diagnose. 

Typical Symptoms include:

  • Night pain
  • Pain after activity
  • Dull throbbing aching pain 

Treatment will include referral for an MRI or bone scan, use of a cam walker to ‘off load’ the injury. Most importantly your Podiatrist will address the reasons why the stress fracture has occurred, such as your running style, footwear or weak muscles & address these to prevent the injury recurring. 

Post surgical rehabilitation

Operations on the Foot and ankle are very important to rehabilitate correctly as you are required to load your foot with all your body weight every step. Your Podiatrist will work with your surgeon, physiotherapist and GP to ensure the most successful outcome of your surgery. We do this by looking at your footwear, re-hab exercises and customized orthotic insoles. 

Some common surgeries we rehabilitate are; 

  • Tibialis Posterior reconstruction 
  • Ankle reconstruction 
  • Bunion Surgery
  • Foot deformities  
  • Plantar Fascia Release
  • Toe and Tendon Disorders 
  • Arthritis and Joint disease 

Team at our Location

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MATTHEW FIELDSEND

Senior Podiatrist

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DAN PURDAM

Director & Podiatrist

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