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Understanding Foot and Ankle Disorders: A Comprehensive Guide


The human foot and ankle are made up of 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 tendons. The heel being the largest bone in the foot. If you look at your foot from under it you realize there is much more to an ankle than you think. Your feet and ankles are some of the most sophisticated systems in your body as they are your mode of transportation. They are built for balance and support yet are as prone to injury as any other part of your body. Internal and external factors can cause damage to the 52 bones in your feet. The over 200 muscles, tendons, and ligaments can get misaligned by any irregularity in the 26 bones. The same happens for the network of 33 joints that hold your foot and ankle together. If you live in or near Melbourne this guide will help you understand what sort of conditions your feet might be suffering from, and at what point you need to visit a podiatrist for expert care.



Most Common Foot and Ankle Disorders Plantar Fasciitis:

Causing pain in the heel or bottom of the foot, plantar fasciitis is often most painful with the first few steps in the morning. It is caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia, a band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes. Achilles Tendinitis: When the Achilles tendon becomes inflamed, it can cause difficultly in walking. The Achilles tendon connects your calf muscles to your heel bone, which is why you feel it so sharply behind your lower leg. You may have tenderness and pain in the morning when you waken or when first starting to exercise Diabetic Foot: Because diabetes can cause many different complications in the feet, such as lack of circulation, non healing wounds, infections, painful neuropathy, and deformities of the feet, if you have diabetes, you need to be very careful with your feet. Be sure to have a very good podiatrist if you have diabetic foot because a good podiatrist can save a diabetic foot Ingrown Toenails: An ingrown toenail occurs when the edge of your toenail grows into the skin of the toe. This toenail can aggravate the skin, causing pain, redness, and swelling at the area. Get treatment right away to relieve the pain and to prevent infection.



Treatment for foot and ankle disorders varies greatly based on the disease or severity of the condition. It may include rest, ice, compression, elevation (also known as the RICE treatment plan), physical therapy, medication, orthotic devices or surgery. Plantar Fasciitis for example, could be treated with stretching, orthotics, and anti-inflammatory medications, and if the condition persists, surgery. Preventive measures play an important role in maintaining foot health. Wearing properly fitting shoes, maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding repetitive trauma to the foot (athletes may return to play wearing a walking cast or boot to prevent further injury) and practicing good foot hygiene are all factors to consider as preventive measures. Regular visits with a podiatrist are important because podiatrists can detect early signs of conditions such as arthritis, diabetes or circulatory disorders that show their initial symptoms in the lower extremities.



What is a Podiatrist?

Podiatrists, also known as Doctors of Podiatric Medicine (DPMs), specialize in diagnosing and treating disorders of the foot and ankle. They offer a wide range of treatments, from conservative therapies to advanced surgical procedures, and work closely with patients to determine the best treatment for their individual needs.



To conclude, Foot and ankle conditions can be a significant problem for anyone’s mobility and general lifestyle. The fantastic news is, with the appropriate knowledge and care, many of these conditions can be eradicated or dramatically reduced. If you are from Melbourne and experiencing any of the above foot