Archive for category: Foot Pain

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Foot Pain

Article featured on Mass General BrighamAthletes generally don’t hesitate to seek medical attention for acute (sudden) foot injuries. But it may be tempting to ignore pain that lingers or pain that comes and goes. This type of chronic pain often occurs with overuse.

Persistent foot pain or pain accompanied by certain other symptoms should be assessed by a specialist.

Foot pain causes

Overuse foot pain can occur in a wide variety of sports, particularly those that involve a lot of running. The most common overuse injuries in the foot are:

  • Achilles tendonitis: The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. Tendonitis is a common condition that involves irritation and inflammation of a tendon. Untreated, Achilles tendonitis can lead to a tendon tear or rupture.
  • Morton’s neuroma: Also called intermetatarsal neuroma, this condition affects the ball of the foot. The nerve tissue thickens, causing pain in that specific area. It may feel like burning, tingling, or like you’re walking on a pebble.
  • Plantar fasciitis: This condition happens when the plantar fascia, a band of tissue that supports the arch of your foot, becomes inflamed. Also called plantar heel, it causes heel pain and stiffness.
  • Sever’s disease: This condition involves inflammation in the growth plate in the back of the heel. It is a common cause of heel pain, particularly in children who play sports or exercise regularly.
  • Stress fracture: A stress fracture is a small crack in a bone. It occurs when too much repetitive pressure is put on a bone over time. Stress fractures can become full fractures if they are not allowed to heal.
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome: This condition involves the posterior tibial nerve, located on the inside of the ankle. If the nerve is compressed (squeezed), it can cause painful feelings like electrical shocks in your ankle and foot.

Early treatment for better outcomes

Some athletes hesitate to seek treatment because they don’t want to hear that they need a procedure or rest. An overuse injury can get worse over time and eventually prevent you from participating in the things you love.

Nobody wants to sideline you from your sport. But a quick checkup on an injury can often prevent you from missing months of your sport, instead of just missing a week or two for rest.

Many overuse injuries can be treated with short-term, non-surgical approaches, such as:

  • Activity modifications or a few weeks of rest
  • Advice on how to minimize risk factors for foot and ankle pain
  • Cast or boot rather than surgery
  • Cross-training, such as limiting high-impact movements to a few days a week and adding effective low-impact options
  • Corrections to form, such as adjustments to the way you jump or run
  • Physical therapy or nutrition counseling for musculoskeletal health
  • Proper footwear, such as a different shoe or a corrective insert

The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, foot and ankle conditions, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic and podiatric surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:

503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm

Why Go See a Podiatrist?

Article featured on Northwest Extremity SpecialistsWhen your feet and ankles are tired, in pain, or not working as they should, everything else grinds to a halt. An 8-hour workday feels like 80. Daily chores, exercise, and activities that used to be fun now seem difficult to even contemplate, let alone enjoy.

You could go see your primary care physician, but there are several reasons why you should consider seeing a podiatrist—that is, a foot and ankle specialist—instead.

  • Podiatrists work exclusively on the feet and ankles, and receive extensive training in all aspects of foot and ankle care. If you’re experiencing significant foot pain, would you rather receive care from someone who treats feet once in a while, or someone who works on them all day, every day?
  • Rather than specializing in one just one area of medicine (nerves, bones, etc.), podiatrists are multi-disciplinary doctors trained to “do it all” when it comes to foot and ankle pain and conditions—everything from fungal infections to tendinitis to neuropathy to arthritis to surgery. You are more likely to get a quick and accurate diagnosis from a podiatrist than a generalist.
  • Feet are complex—they have 26 bones and 33 joints each, along with an intricate layering of muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, and blood vessels. Fully a quarter of your bones are at the ankle level and below!

So, now you have an idea of why a podiatrist is the best choice to provide your foot and ankle care. But how do you know when it’s time to go? How do you separate a minor ache or pain from something you should talk to a doctor about?

There are no firm rules, but any of the following scenarios would be solid grounds for booking an appointment as soon as possible:

  • You are experiencing foot pain or motion loss that is affecting your daily life in a negative way.
  • Symptoms are lingering or getting worse over time, rather than better.
  • You notice any changes to the structure or appearance of your feet—bunion, hammertoes, flattening arches, etc.
  • You notice discoloration, swelling, or pain in and around the toenails.
  • You struggle with persistent skin problems or irritation along the feet, such as corns, calluses, or chronically dry and cracked skin.
  • You have diabetes. (Because of the risks to foot health, people with diabetes should see a foot specialist at least once per year.)
  • You experienced an injury (traumatic or overuse) to your lower limb, such as an ankle sprain or Achilles tendinitis.

In short—if your feet are causing you any kind of problem, and you need help, a podiatrist is the person you want to call.


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, foot and ankle conditions, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic and podiatric surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:

503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm

What is Plantar Fasciitis


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, foot and ankle conditions, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic and podiatric surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:

503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm

What to Know About a Broken Pinky Toe

Article featured on Healthgrades

A broken pinky toe can cause significant pain, swelling, and difficulty walking. Rest and toe support can aid recovery and protect against complications.

Some broken toes can be easily treated at home. However, severe symptoms may require a checkup to monitor healing or prevent complications.

This article reviews the symptoms, causes, and treatment of broken pinky toes.

Symptoms

You may have noticed broken toe symptoms when injured, such as pain or a grinding or snapping noise. Other symptoms of a broken pinky toe can include:

  • continued pain
  • skin discoloration or redness
  • bruising
  • swelling
  • the toe appears crooked or different from its usual shape
  • pain or difficulty when moving the toe or placing weight on it

Some people suggest that being able to walk means your toe may not be broken. However, the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons notes that this is a myth.

When to See a Doctor

Contact your doctor if you have any broken toe symptoms, including if:

  • symptoms of pain and swelling haven’t started to improve within 2–3 days of the injury
    you continue to have symptoms weeks after the injury, such as pain when walking or difficulty moving the toe
  • you have an open wound, or the injury broke the skin
  • you have diabetes and toe symptoms
  • you have questions about your symptoms

Some cases of broken toes require immediate care. Visit your local urgent care or call 911 if:

  • your toe is misshapen or is at an unusual angle
  • you can see bone
  • you feel tingling or numbness in your toe or foot
  • you heard a snap, grinding, or pop when the injury occurred
  • you believe your big or first toe may be broken

Can a broken pinky toe heal on its own?

While some mild toe breaks or injuries may heal on their own with at-home care, it’s best to contact a doctor if you suspect a break. Untreated breaks can lead to complications, such as chronic pain or impaired healing.

Doctors can assess the severity of the injury and provide treatment.

Possible Causes

Broken pinky toes are often caused by a direct blow or injury, such as:

  • dropping something on the toe
  • accidentally stubbing your toe
  • kicking something hard

Also, other conditions may cause the same symptoms as a broken toe, such as the following:

Sprains

A sprain is when the ligaments, which connect the bones, become torn or stretched. A pinky toe sprain may occur if the toe is hit or twisted or you fall over.

Symptoms can be similar to a broken pinky toe and may include:

  • pain
  • swelling or bruising
  • difficulty moving the toe a tearing or popping sound when you became injured

Treatment

Treatment for a sprain can include:

  • resting the toe
  • applying a cool compress
  • wearing a bandage or splint
  • anti-inflammatory or pain relief medication

Fractures

A toe fracture is when a toe bone cracks rather than breaks. Sometimes, a fracture can be displaced, in which pieces of broken bone may have separated.

Fractures may develop from one direct injury or repetitive activity, known as a stress fracture. Fractured toe symptoms can include pain, swelling, and difficulty walking.

Treatment

Treatment for a fractured toe can include:

  • resting the toe
  • wearing a bandage, cast, or walking boot
  • pain relief medication

Dislocation

Dislocation is when the bones come out of position in the joint. It can occur due to a direct injury or fall. Symptoms of dislocated pinky toe include:

  • swelling
  • pain
  • a visible change in the shape of the joint or toe
  • difficulty moving the toe or walking

Treatment

Treatment for dislocated bones can include:

  • resting the toe
  • strapping the toe to the next toe for support
  • wearing a splint or bandage
  • pain medication

Differences in toe structure

Hammer toe, claw toe, and mallet toe occur when the toes can become bent out of their typical shape. They can be caused by:

  • muscle and pressure imbalances
  • wearing improperly fitting shoes or shoes that apply pressure
  • nerve damage

Also, some people may be born with an overlapping toe, whereby the pinky toe rests over the fourth toe.

Because these conditions can change the shape of the toe and cause soreness or difficulty walking, they can resemble a broken toe.

Treatment

Treatment toe structural differences can include:

  • wearing sturdy, properly-fitting shoes
  • conducting exercises to strengthen the toe and feet muscles
  • over-the-counter (OTC) straps, splints, cushions, or corn pads
  • surgery

Corns or bunions

Corns are a hardened buildup of skin formed by persistent pressure or friction. Bunions form when bone or tissue around a joint swells due to genetics and tight shoes.

Corns and bunions can cause the toe to:

  • appear a different shape
  • swell
  • be painful

Treatment

Treatment for corns and bunions can include:

  • wearing properly fitting shoes
  • OTC products such as cushions or toe spacers
  • corn removal by a podiatrist or chiropodist

Surgery may be an option for severe bunions.

Broken pinky toe treatment and management

Treatment will depend on the severity of the break. A healthcare team can X-ray the toe, which can also help rule out other conditions like fractures.

You may be able to heal some broken pinky toes at home. If your break is mild, your doctor may recommend:

  • resting the toe
  • avoiding unnecessary walking or weight-bearing
  • placing a small, clean piece of gauze or cotton between the pinky toe and the next toe and gently taping them together for support
  • wearing comfortable, well-secured, nonrestrictive shoes
  • taking OTC medications to relieve pain

If you have a more severe injury, your medical team may also suggest:

  • wearing a protective boot or brace around the foot
  • surgery for multiple breaks or if other treatment doesn’t help
  • antibiotics for any bacterial infection
  • nail removal

How not to care for a broken toe

When caring for a broken pinky toe, the NHS recommends not to:

  • strap up or apply pressure to your toe if it’s misshapen or at an unusual angle
  • apply ice directly on the skin
  • stand or walk for long periods
  • wear tight or pointed shoes
  • play contact sports until the pain has resolved
  • treat a child’s toe without talking with a doctor first

Outlook

According to the NHS, broken toes typically heal within 4–6 weeks. However, healing can take several months for some people.

Without effective treatment, you may experience long-term complications such as:

  • toe deformity
  • limited range of motion
  • persistent pain
  • infection

Summary

A broken pinky toe may be painful, swollen, and bruised.

Some cases can be easily cared for at home with toe taping, rest, and OTC pain medications. However, talk with a doctor if you suspect a broken toe. Severe or untreated breaks may lead to long-term effects such as persistent pain or limited use.

Contact your doctor if you have any broken pinky toe symptoms.


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, foot and ankle conditions, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic and podiatric surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:

503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm

Joints That Are Most Commonly Affected by Arthritis

Article featured on Healthgrades

Arthritis is a long-term (chronic) condition that causes joint inflammation. When you’re living with arthritis, a simple task, such as tying your shoe or buttoning your shirt can become a challenging one. Not only does the swelling and aching interfere with work and daily living activities, it can also be painful and sometimes debilitating.

There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, but the most common include rheumatoid arthritis (an autoimmune disease) and osteoarthritis (a “wear-and-tear” condition related to aging, injury or obesity). Both cause joint stiffness, pain and decreased range of motion, and can affect many different joints throughout the body.

1. Knee

The knee is one of the most common joints affected by osteoarthritis. This happens when there’s a breakdown of cartilage, which cushions the ends of the bones where they meet the joints. Symptoms of knee arthritis include stiffness, swelling, and pain, which can make it hard to walk and get in and out of chairs and bed. In severe cases, osteoarthritis in the knees can lead to disability.

2. Hand

When you have arthritis in your hands, it usually includes aching, stiffness or numbness in the fingers or at the base of the thumb joint, making it difficult to pinch or grip items. Small, bony knobs may appear on the middle or end joints (those closest to the fingernails) of the fingers, which can become enlarged and gnarled. This type of arthritis in the hands seems to run in families.

3. Hip

The hip is also a common arthritis site. You may have pain and stiffness in your hip joint, but some people also notice pain in the groin, buttocks, lower back, or front or inner thigh. Or they may have pain in only one of these areas. This type of hip arthritis can affect your ability to move or bend, and make daily activities a challenge.

4. Spine, Neck and Back

Arthritis in the spine usually results in stiffness and pain in the neck or lower back, but in some cases, it may not lead to any pain at all. Arthritis changes can also cause pressure on the nerves where they exit the spinal column, leading to weakness, tingling or numbness of the arms and legs. Since these symptoms can often seem like other health conditions, always check with your doctor for a diagnosis.

5. Foot and Ankle

Arthritis can also cause swelling and pain in the foot and ankle. It most often affects the joint at the base of the big toe, which can make walking difficult. The swelling can also lead to bunions on the toes, which can sometimes make the pain and deformity of the foot worse. With rheumatoid arthritis, the same joints on both sides of the body (such as both feet or both ankles) are usually affected.

6. Elbow

Joint inflammation can also be to blame for elbow pain or loss of function. Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common type of arthritis in the elbow, and if one elbow is affected, the other likely will be, too. While elbow osteoarthritis is more common in weight-bearing joints, such as the knee and hip, it can also occur in the elbow, and is often the result of overuse or an injury, such as in the case of a tennis or baseball player.


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, foot and ankle conditions, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic and podiatric surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:

503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm

Foot or Ankle Fractures & Dislocations

Article featured on Mercy Health

Causes of foot or ankle fractures or dislocations

A foot or ankle fracture or dislocation can be caused by a variety of factors. Some of these include:

  • An acute injury caused by direct force like a fall, car accident or a sporting accident
  • Overuse or repeated movements that wear down the musculoskeletal tissues

Risk factors for foot or ankle fractures and dislocations

Risk factors for fractures and dislocations are:

  • Foot or ankle fractures and dislocations are most common in high impact or extreme sports such as downhill skiing, football, basketball, soccer or rugby
  • Jobs and sports (such as running) that require repetitive movements lead to a higher risk for stress fractures

Symptoms of foot or ankle fractures or dislocations

The most obvious symptoms of a foot or ankle fracture or dislocation are severe pain, swelling and bruising.

Other symptoms of foot or ankle fractures and dislocations include:

  • Misaligned foot or ankle
  • Numbness to the impacted area
  • Loss of use of the injured area
  • Muscle spasms around the injured area

Not all fractures or dislocations will cause the person to lose mobility. Contact your orthopedic physician if you suspect you have a fracture or dislocation or you have several of the above symptoms. The longer you wait to see a physician, the longer the healing process will be.

Stress fractures are more challenging to self-diagnose because they can be caused by minor injuries and can be mistaken as a sprain or a strain .  If the pain does not subside in 3 – 5 days after a minor injury, schedule a consult with your physician.

Visit the emergency room immediately if the injury is severe and multiple body parts have been impacted.

Diagnosis of foot or ankle fractures or dislocations

A foot or ankle fracture or dislocation is diagnosed under the care of your orthopedic or sports medicine provider.

Typically, the physician will order an x-ray to identify the fracture. In more severe cases, your orthopedic physician will order an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or CT (computed tomography) scan.

Treatment for foot or ankle fractures or dislocations

After suffering a fracture or dislocation apply pressure to the impacted foot or ankle, splint the area, and call for a medical appointment as soon as possible.

  • Surgical realignment
  • Splint/Brace
  • Cast

Recovery from foot or ankle fractures or dislocations

Recovering from a fractured or dislocated foot or ankle can take anywhere from 6 weeks to more than a year depending on the severity of the injury. Staying off the ankle and rest are crucial in allowing you to heal as quickly as possible.

It is important to follow your physician’s recommendations for recovery including follow up visits and x-rays of the injured area.


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, foot and ankle conditions, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic and podiatric surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:

503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm

What is Minimally Invasive Foot Surgery?

Article featured on FootCareMD

Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) treats foot and ankle conditions and deformities using very small incisions. In these procedures, your foot and ankle orthopedic surgeon uses special instruments to cut bones under X-ray guidance and inserts screws through very small incisions. Advantages of minimally invasive surgery over traditional surgery include faster healing, smaller scars, and less stiffness. The main disadvantage is that it takes additional training and practice for your surgeon to feel comfortable performing these procedures without the traditional open visualization.

Diagnosis

A variety of foot and ankle problems, including big toe arthritis, bunions, and hammertoes, can be treated with minimally invasive surgery. Importantly, not all patients are good candidates for minimally invasive surgery, and not all surgeons perform minimally invasive surgery. If you are interested in the procedure, talk to a foot and ankle orthopedic surgeon with experience in minimally invasive surgery to see if you are a good candidate for it.

Recovery

Recovery is often faster from minimally invasive procedures compared to open procedures. Some weight-bearing can be allowed immediately after surgery, but this depends on the procedure you are having done.

Risks and Complications

The risks of minimally invasive surgery are similar to traditional, open surgeries, although the risks of infection and wound healing problems may be lower with minimally invasive surgery because the incisions are so small.

While the small incisions used in minimally invasive surgery can make it easier to damage unseen structures like nerves and tendons, research studies have not shown a higher rate of these injuries. With good technique and surgeon experience, these surgeries may even have lower risk compared to open surgeries. More research still needs to be done on these procedures to determine their risks and benefits relative to more traditional surgical methods.


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, foot and ankle conditions, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic and podiatric surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:

503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm

What’s to Know About Extensor Tendonitis?

Article featured on MedicalNewsToday

The most common cause is overuse of the muscles, bones, and tendons in the feet or hands.

In the feet, it’s most often caused by:

  • spending a lot of time on the feet
  • wearing shoes that are too tight
  • using inappropriate footwear for a sport or activity

In the hands, the most common cause of extensor tendonitis is doing an activity that uses the hands and wrists in a repetitive motion such as:

  • prolonged or high-impact typing with a non-ergonomic keyboard
  • practicing or playing an instrument, such as piano or guitar, excessively
  • regularly playing sports that stress hands and wrists, including baseball or racquetball

Mallet finger is a common type of injury that occurs to the fingers, especially in athletes. It occurs when the tip of the finger is struck hard, such as with a ball, which injures the tendon that runs along the top of the finger.

Without treatment, the tendon can become permanently damaged, causing the tip of the finger to fail to straighten completely.

Symptoms and diagnosis

The most common symptom of extensor tendonitis, whether it occurs in the foot or the hand, is pain. In the feet, the pain is usually localized to the top of the foot, usually close to the center of the foot. In the hands, pain tends to occur on the top of the hand.

Other symptoms of extensor tendonitis include:

  • redness, warmth or swelling near the injury
  • increased discomfort with activity
  • crepitus, which is a crunchy feeling or sound over the affected tendon
  • stiffness of the joint

Diagnosing extensor tendonitis usually requires a physical exam and history with a physician. The doctor will ask questions about the pain and other symptoms.

Common questions are about whether anything makes the pain better or worse, the history of the symptoms, and if anything triggered the discomfort.

Sometimes, the doctor will order an X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test to get a detailed look at all the bones, muscles and tendons around the injury. These images can help the doctor look at the structures around the pain to see where the damage is and if there is another cause for the symptoms.

Treatment

Injuries to the hands and feet are common and usually resolve within a few days with basic care at home.

However, if the pain doesn’t start to improve after a couple of days, or a person experiences swelling, redness, warmth or other symptoms, they should visit their doctor.

There is a range of treatment options available for extensor tendonitis.

Rest and Relaxation

Resting the affected joint is crucial, especially if the tendonitis is caused by overuse. It is essential to stop the activity that is causing the pain until the tendon has healed, to prevent further injury. In less serious cases, rest may be all that is needed until the tendon has healed.

Finger or toe splints

Mallet finger may require splinting for several weeks so that the tendon returns to its previous position and completely heals in place.

It is important to clarify with the doctor about the length of time that the finger must remain in the splint. It is common to have to wear the splint continuously, even in the shower.

Removing the splint and moving the finger before the tendon has healed, could re-injure the tendon.

Physical therapy

Extensor tendonitis of the foot may require physical therapy and special stretches for a tight calf muscle. Also, some orthopedic surgeons or podiatrists will recommend the use of a splint or orthotic shoe inserts.

Surgery

Surgery to repair extensor tendonitis is rare and usually reserved for very special or unique cases. If considering surgical repair of the extensor tendons, people should ensure they see a surgeon who has experience performing these types of procedures.

Outlook

The prognosis of extensor tendonitis is excellent; in most cases, a person with this condition makes a full recovery without any lasting problems in the affected joints. How long it takes to recover depends on how severe the tendonitis was, and how well a person managed it.

For example, a person who rests properly will recover more quickly than someone who “pushes through” and continues to use the affected joint.

Although it can be painful, extensor tendonitis is a fairly preventable and easily treatable disease. It is important to see the doctor with any pain, especially in the hands or feet.

Quick diagnosis and treatment is the key to minimizing tendon damage and recovery.


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, foot and ankle conditions, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic and podiatric surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:

503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm

What is a Calcaneal Fracture?

Article featured on Cedars Cinai

Overview

The calcaneus is the large bone at the heel of the foot. It is usually fractured after a fall from a great height or in a motor vehicle accident.

Symptoms

Some calcaneal fractures are obvious, resulting in an inability to put weight on the heel, swelling of the heel and bruising of the heel and ankle. Pain is usually severe enough to require an emergency room visit. If the fracture is caused by a stress fracture, over time, then symptoms may be far more vague. There may be some pain, increasing throughout the day, often described as being dull and achy. Bruising may or may not be present.

Causes and Risk Factors

Calcaneal fractures are most commonly suffered by roofers and climbers after a fall, although automobile accidents can also cause such fractures to the heel bone. Males between 30 and 50 years old fracture their calcaneal most often of any age group or sex.

Diagnosis

A physical examination followed by X-rays and/or CT scans are generally used to diagnosis calcaeneal fractures. Such diagnostic studies also help determine the extent of the fractures. An MRI can be used to distinguish a calcaneal fracture from plantar fascitis.

Treatment

Calcaneal fractures can be difficult to treat. The heel bone is like an egg with a strong shell and a soft interior. Therefore, the heel bone often shatters when it is traumatized by a fall or accident. Therefore, treatment requires the repair of multiple fractures in the heel bone, as well as restoring the subtalar joint. The subtalar joint connects the calcaneus and the talus, which is the small bone connecting the heel and the leg. Given the joints location, it carries most of the load of the body.

If the fracture has not displaced the bone, rest and partial to complete immobilization can heal the bone. Usually a cast of some sort is used to immobilize the heel. The time required to heal depends on age, degree of fracture and general health of the patient. Some such fractures take more than 6 months to heal.

Some calcaneal fractures can be treated by manipulating the foot while a patient is under anesthesia, but not involving surgery. This procedure is called closed reduction. If such a procedure does not treat the fracture or if the fracture is more extensive, then surgery may be required (called an open reduction). Surgery may be recommended immediately after a fracture or a few weeks later to allow inflammation to decrease. After both closed or open reduction, a patient must avoid putting weight on the foot, usually through the use of a cast or splint.

In severe cases, further surgery may be required to fuse the subtalar joint. If the subtalar joint is severely damaged, fusion is the only option.


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, foot and ankle conditions, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic and podiatric surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:

503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm

3 Common Causes of Heel Pain & How it is Treated

Article featured on NY Orthopedics

Heel pain is one of the most common complaints of patients with foot and ankle disorders — but what causes heel pain, exactly? The pain often occurs at the back surface of the heel and can limit any standing, walking, or running activities. Explore our guide to the common causes of heel pain to learn how a foot and ankle specialist can get you back on your feet in no time.

Why Does My Heel Hurt?

Heel pain is not typically caused by a single injury, like a twist or fall, but from repetitive stress and pounding of the heel. Common heel pain causes include:

  • Plantar fasciitis. Too much running or jumping can inflame the fascia (tissue band) that connects the heel bone to the base of the toes. The pain, centered under your heel, may be mild at first but flares up when you take your first steps in the morning. Muscle cramps in the calf may also occur if the Achilles tendon tightens as well. If plantar fasciitis is left untreated, it may lead to heel spurs.
  • Stress fracture. This is often linked to repetitive stress to the bone over a short period of time, especially in young athletes who alter their training regimen suddenly. This may include more sprints, increased mileage while running, or increased training intensity. Stress fractures can also be caused by osteoporosis.
  • Achilles tendonitis. Achilles tendonitis occurs when the tendon that attaches to the calf muscles to the heel becomes inflamed or painful due to overuse. Any activity that requires pushing off — like basketball or running — can result in tendonitis.

How Can Heel Pain Be Treated?

Treatment for heel pain varies depending on the severity of the injury and your health goals. Your foot and ankle specialist may first suggest some home remedies — like rest, applying ice to the heel, and over-the-counter pain medications — to ease your symptoms. If your heel pain doesn’t get better within a few weeks, you should make an appointment with your doctor so that they can provide you with the appropriate treatment.

Your doctor may prescribe physical therapy in most cases. This can help strengthen the tendons and muscles in your foot, helping to prevent further injury. If your pain is severe, your foot and ankle specialist may provide you with anti-inflammatory medications that can be injected into the foot or taken orally. They may also recommend that you support your foot as much as possible — either by using orthotics or taping the foot.

In very rare cases, your foot and ankle specialist may recommend surgery to correct the problem.


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, foot and ankle conditions, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic and podiatric surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:

503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm