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Painful Ankle & Foot Conditions Overview

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Get relief for injuries and conditions that cause pain in the ankles, feet and toes at USA Spine Care & Orthopedics

Because of their intricate construction and indispensable nature, the lower extremities consisting of the feet and ankles can be very injury prone. The feet and ankles combined have a total of 52 bones, comprising just over 25% of the total bones in the body. This is because the foot moves in a highly complex and coordinated fashion to carry out walking, running and direction changes.

Injuries, degeneration and biomechanical issues can all work together to create pain and movement problems that can become highly disruptive to your quality of life if they become chronic. If you are in this situation, it’s crucial to stay positive as you seek relief and a return to a normal activity level. The following information can help you learn more about the causes of pain and the specific conditions that can be treated by our experts here at USA Spine Care.

We’re here to help and invite you to call us with any questions or if you’d like more information on getting the treatment you deserve.

Ankle and foot anatomy basics

If you think about the tremendous balancing act that must occur with each step we take, it’s easy to understand why our ankles and feet are so intricately constructed. We basically roll over the entire foot every time we walk and then that weight must be transferred smoothly to the other foot, which is why it is so flexible.

To accomplish this, the feet and ankles are made of a collection of bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Foot bones include the tarsals, metatarsals and phalanges that form the toes, as well as the calcaneus, or heel bone while ankle bones include the talus, cuboid, navicular and cuneiform bones. Connecting these bones and facilitating movement are a wide array of joints and soft tissue.

Causes of foot and ankle pain

As the primary contact point between the feet and the ground, a very high proportion of the body’s weight and energy travels through the feet. This stress is often compounded by factors like poor posture, carrying extra weight and biomechanical and structural issues. In addition to sudden foot trauma, repetitive motion injuries can also arise that can cause lower limb pain.

Additionally, the feet and ankles are also subject to the same aging process as other joints throughout the body. Namely, this means joint inflammation caused by cartilage breakdown commonly diagnosed as osteoarthritis.

USA Spine Care treats the following lower extremity conditions

Patients seeking lasting relief from chronic foot and ankle pain are very often diagnosed with one or more of the following conditions:


  • Foot and ankle arthritis — Although there are many forms, the most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis. When it develops in the feet or ankles, the resulting aches, stiffness and grinding sensations can be seriously debilitating.
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome — Similar to carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrists, tarsal tunnel syndrome is compression of the posterior tibial nerve in the ankle. This is often caused by prior injury or repetitive motion.
  • Peroneal nerve compression — This is a lower branch of the sciatic nerve that supplies movement and sensation to the lower legs, ankles and toes. If it becomes compressed due to injury it can cause painful neuropathic symptoms.
  • Hammer toe — Any toe with an abnormal bend in the middle joint, typically caused by a muscle imbalance.
  • Fractures — Fractures in the feet can be caused by an acute injury as well as repetitive movements that lead to compression fractures.
  • Bunions — Bunions are bony bumps that develop on the outer joint of the big toe. Although not always painful, they can require treatment if they interfere with basic mobility.


Other foot and ankle problems include bursitis, Achilles tendinitis and plantar fasciitis. While these are typically less serious injuries that can heal with time, it’s critical to see a doctor for any issues that don’t improve after a short period of time with rest. Many injuries can become chronic if they do not receive proper attention and therapy.

Learn more about your treatment options today

For any of the above causes of your ankle or foot pain, the caring USA Spine Care team can help. Our multidisciplinary experts have decades of combined experience helping patients from all walks of life develop an individualized care plan to achieve lasting relief and a return to a regular activity level.

Contact us today to learn more. Call toll free 1-866-249-1627.

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