Text Size A A A

Treating Pain for: Foot & Ankle

Foot pain and ankle pain can severely limit your everyday activities. Doing the things you love — walking, running, bicycling, gardening — can be impossible. In addition to limiting your mobility, foot pain and ankle pain can make it hard to concentrate at work or get a good night's sleep.

Fortunately, New England Baptist Hospital (NEBH) can help. We are a specialty hospital: Our entire hospital focuses solely on orthopedics, with expertise spanning routine treatments to the most complex surgery. So no matter what the cause of your foot or ankle pain, our podiatric and orthopedic experts are ready to get you moving again.

Our approach to treating foot pain and ankle pain is based on decades of researching new therapies and studying patient outcomes. We also call on our experience of treating a high volume of patients including performing more ankle replacements than any other Massachusetts hospital.

Finding the Cause of Your Foot or Ankle Pain

Normal functioning of the foot and ankle relies on many complex, interrelated structures, including the:

  • Foot, which contains 26 bones (28 if you include the sesamoid bones at the base of the big toe)
  • Ankle, one of the body's most important weight-bearing joints
  • Achilles tendon

Foot_Anatomy2.jpgBecause the anatomy of the foot and ankle is complex, it is not surprising that the broad range of foot and ankle injuries and disorders can be challenging to diagnose and treat.  That is why it is important to see an experienced specialist in a hospital geared toward supporting the orthopedic patient.

When you come to NEBH, your podiatrist or orthopedic surgeon will first discuss your problem in detail and how it has changed your quality of life. He or she then will do a thorough physical examination and review your complete medical history.

Sometimes further testing, such as an MRI, CT scan or X-ray, is needed to make a precise diagnosis. For these cases, NEBH has dedicated musculoskeletal radiologists and neuroradiologists. Their specialized expertise in reading images gives us a distinct advantage in accurately pinpointing the cause of your foot or ankle pain.

Developing a Personalized Treatment Plan

Once a diagnosis is made and your team understands your goals for treatment, we will develop a personalized treatment plan for you. The plan may cover everything from preadmission screening and education through treatment and rehabilitation.

Surgery or Non-surgical Treatment

Whenever possible, we try to treat foot and ankle problems without surgery. Common non-surgical treatment options include:

  • Pain management medications including steroidal and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and cortisone injections
  • Bracing to keep your ankle from moving and allow it to heal
  • Physical therapy

These non-surgical treatment options may be used prior to surgery or by themselves without surgery. If they haven't relieved your foot or ankle pain, or haven't restored you to normal daily activities, foot or ankle surgery may be appropriate. (For some diagnoses, surgery will be the best and first treatment option.) Your doctor will work with you to make the best decision based on your particular needs.

Click here to consult with one of our expert podiatric or orthopedic surgeons, or call NEBH at 855-370-NEBH (6324) for a referral.