Treating foot and ankle injuries and conditions

Did you know that 52 of the bones in the human body are in your feet and ankles? This alone makes this area of your body extremely complex. When factoring in how your feet and ankles bear the brunt of your body weight, that’s a lot of pressure on the smallest weight-bearing joints in your body.

If you've had a foot or ankle injury, or if you're experiencing pain, weakness or instability, our expert team of foot and ankle specialists can help. Your HonorHealth specialist will perform an in-depth examination to determine what underlying injuries or conditions may be causing your foot and/or ankle pain.

Our goal is to partner with you to offer the best quality care and treatment for your unique condition and lifestyle. Your specialist will take a conservative approach to treatment, choosing non-surgical options whenever possible. If you do end up needing surgery, your foot and ankle surgeon will develop a plan made just for you from surgery through recovery and getting you back to doing the activities you enjoy most.


Before outlining a treatment plan, your specialist will assess your foot or ankle pain and diagnose your condition using a series of in-office exams or medical imaging tests such as:

  • X-rays
  • MRIs
  • CT scans
  • Ultrasound

We understand you have unique needs; your foot and ankle specialist may also collaborate with other healthcare providers to develop a treatment plan made for you, including:

  • Your primary care physician
  • A physical therapist

Once the exact cause of your pain is identified and any functional limitations of your foot and/or ankle issue is understood, your specialist will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan to account for your unique needs and lifestyle.

Non-surgical treatments

In most cases, your specialist will explore all non-surgical treatments before choosing to operate. Among the non-surgical treatments and therapies for foot and ankle conditions are:

  • Bracing, splinting or casting the foot/ankle
  • Using supports like crutches or other assistive devices
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Lifestyle or activity modifications
  • Corticosteroid injections to help ease pain, relieve stiffness and improve function in your foot/ankle

Surgical treatments

If a non-surgical approach doesn’t fix the issue or relieve your symptoms completely, surgery may be an option for treating your foot or ankle pain, weakness or instability. The type of treatment chosen depends on many factors such as the type, location and extent of your injury or condition.

Surgical foot procedures offered at HonorHealth:

  • Bunionectomy: Part of the metatarsal bone (the part that is protruding from the foot) is removed and may also realign the ligaments around the big toe joint, reshape the bone and fuse the joint where the big toe joins the foot.
  • Flatfoot correction: These procedures involve cleaning and repairing damaged tendons. However, in some cases, joint fusion may be needed. Your surgeon will determine what type of procedure you need based on your condition.
  • Foot fractures/trauma: If you have a broken bone and/or bones in your foot, it may need to be fixed based on the location and severity. This often is fixed with wires, screws and/or plates.
  • Limb salvage: Sometimes called limb-sparing surgery, limb salvage is an alternative to amputation when malignant tumors must be surgically removed. This surgery removes and replaces diseased bone using metal implants and/or bone grafts.
  • High arch surgery: Reconstruction surgery may involve a few different techniques including repositioning the heel bone and aligning the foot, and tendon repair and plantar facia release. Fusion may also be required to fuse the bones together to relieve pain. Bone grafting may also occur in conjunction with fusion which will transplant bone to repair damaged bones.
  • Joint fusion: Arthritis can be very painful and can affect all joints in your foot. The most common spot is the big toe joint. A fusion involves taking the two bones rubbing together and make it one bone to get rid of the pain and is one of the more common procedures for this issue. Also, many other joints in the foot can undergo a fusion if the pain and arthritis is not controllable with conservative treatment.
  • Joint replacement: This procedure removes the damaged toe joint and replaces it with an artificial joint. This is most commonly performed on your big toe to alleviate pain and issues with arthritis. This type of surgery helps to ease your pain and keep range of motion in your toe.
  • Toe correction surgery: This type of procedure is used to correct hammer toes, mallet toes and other toe deformities if less invasive methods aren’t successful. This often requires the removal of the joint on the impacted toe, and it can also be necessary to release or lengthen contracted tendons. A pin is placed in your foot through the toe to stabilize it while it heals. Pins are removed approximately four to six weeks after surgery.
  • Plantar fasciitis surgery: If conservative methods fail, you may need surgery. The procedure detaches your facia from your heel bone in order to relieve tension. As you heal, the connective tissue will create new growth which can help the lengthening of your facia.

Surgical ankle treatments performed at HonorHealth:

  • Ankle arthroscopy: It is a minimally invasive procedure that uses an arthroscope, a tube-like instrument, that is inserted into small incisions that helps your surgeon place a camera to see and treat various conditions including muscles, tendons, ligaments or cartilage in your ankle.
  • Total ankle replacement: This is a type of joint replacement surgery that involves replacing damaged parts of the three bones that make up the ankle joint with specialized metal and plastic implant devices. The procedure provides pain relief while maintaining or restoring joint function, allowing you to walk normally. The new joint prevents stress and strain on other joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons.
  • Ankle fusion: Your surgeon will fuse the damaged ankle joint together with metal and screws to reduce mobility and pain.
  • Ankle fracture surgery: If you have a severe ankle fracture, you may need surgery to realign your bones. Your surgeon will use pins, plates or screws to property align your broken bones.
  • Ankle ligament repair: There are two locations on your ankle that have large ligaments to help stabilize the ankle joint (inside and outside). If either side is damaged and does not respond to bracing, physical therapy and time, then surgery may be needed to help stabilize your ankle and help reduce your pain.
  • Achilles tendon repair: If you have a ruptured Achilles, which is the tendon that connects the calf muscle and the heel bone, as a result of injury, overuse or degeneration, you may need surgery to repair your damaged tendon. Your surgeon will surgically repair the tendon to reconnect the calf muscle and heel bone.

Our surgeons also offer foot and ankle reconstruction to restore foot and/or ankle function. During this procedure, your surgeon may repair or transfer tendons, implant a prosthetic joint, remove a tumor or manipulate the bone by cutting, grafting or fusing.

Need help managing a foot or ankle condition?

Make an appointment with one of our specialists today.

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