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Lancaster Physical Therapy

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Common Foot & Ankle Injuries

The Foot and Ankle

diagram highlighting common location of foot and ankle injuries

The foot and ankle complex can be an intimidating series of bones, ligaments, and muscles that function together to keep us moving. From the talocrural (ankle) joint, to the subtalar joint, to the joints of the midfoot, to the forefoot, the foot and ankle move in unique fashion to propel us forward.

Common, acute injuries to the foot and ankle include lateral ligament sprains, as well as strains and tears of the Achilles tendon and gastroc region. Pain, at times, develops in a more chronic fashion with diagnoses such as plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinosis, posterior tibialis tendinitis, and shin splints (both anterior and posteromedial). Sometimes conditions of the foot and ankle require surgical intervention to achieve your goals. We work with all local surgeons and communicate with them for optimal post-operative care.

Treatment of the foot and ankle complex begins with a biomechanical analysis of the entire lower extremity in static and dynamic positions. We use an iPad® gait and/or running analysis to see your foot in slow motion. With this technology, we can better see movement as well as dysfunctional patterns.

We feel strongly about placing your foot in the optimal environment for recovery, thus we include footwear prescriptions when care is initiated. This will help to control inflammation and pain throughout your daily routine. At times, recommendation of an over-the-counter insert or orthosis may be warranted. We also have the capability of evaluation and casting for custom orthoses if your physician or we prescribe it.

Standard treatment of the foot and ankle follows with an emphasis on manual therapy (ASTYM®/IASTM), exercise prescription, and patient education for management of symptoms.

Did you Know?
Some of the strongest research in physical therapy supports the use of eccentric exercise (“heel drops”) and heavy, slow, resistance training in the treatment of mid-substance Achilles tendinopathy.