Foot, Ankle & Lower Leg
Since 1989, Florida Orthopaedic Institute surgeons have helped thousands of patients get back on their feet with Tampa Bay’s most advanced orthopedic lower extremity service. Knowledgeable and experienced physicians, therapists and nurses work in concert to cover the total spectrum of foot and ankle musculoskeletal care. Our Foot, Ankle & Lower Leg Center includes diagnostic imaging, physical therapy, on-site MRI, and surgical treatments.
Whether tendon, ligament, bone injuries, arthritis, or acute/chronic conditions, Florida Orthopaedic Institute surgeons are fellowship trained and have extensive knowledge in the management of all conditions affecting this region of the body. Thankfully, many of these problems require conservative management before requiring surgery. Shoe modifications, bracing, physical therapy, and medications are only a part of what is offered. When surgery is indicated, the operative experience of the surgeon is critical. With the largest combined experience in Florida, the Florida Orthopaedic Institute team has performed tens of thousands of these procedures including flat foot corrections, ankle and subtalar fusions, midfoot osteotomies, bunion surgery, soft tissue reconstructions, as well as fracture reconstruction.
Ankle Fractures (Broken Ankle)
An ankle fracture, also known as a broken ankle, is when one or more of the bones that make up the ankle joint are broken.
Ankle fractures can range from a simple break in one bone to several fractures. The more bones that are broken, the more unstable the ankle becomes.
In many ankle fractures ligaments (that hold the ankle bones and joint in position) are also damagedLearn more about Ankle Factures
Podiatrist or an Orthopaedic Physician?
Orthopedic surgeons, podiatrists, primary care physicians, and physical therapists all evaluate and treat conditions of the feet. How do you know who to choose for your foot and ankle problems?Orthopaedic Physician or a Podiatrist?
Achilles Tendon Ruptures
The Achilles tendon connects the muscles in the back of your calf to your heel bone. It is a strong fibrous cord that can withstand great stresses from running and jumping. But it is vulnerable to injury.
When the tendon is stretched beyond its capacity, an Achilles tendon rupture can occur. It can be a complete or partial tear. Achilles tendon ruptures mainly occur in people playing recreational sports, but they can happen to anyone.Learn More about Achilles Tendon Ruptures
If you participate in activities that involve running and jumping, you can get a condition in which the ball of your foot becomes painful and inflamed. This is called metatarsalgia. It is also caused by foot deformities and shoes that are ill-fitting.
Symptoms of metatarsalgia can include sharp, aching or burning pain in the ball of your foot, pain that worsens when you stand, run, flex your feet or walk, sharp or shooting pain, numbness, or tingling in your toes or the feeling of having a pebble in your shoe.Learn More about Metatarsalgia
Achilles Calcific Insertional Tendinopathy (ACIT)
Achilles tendinitis occurs when the large tendon that runs down the back of your lower leg (the Achilles tendon), becomes irritated and inflamed.
Achilles Calcific Insertional Tendinopathy (also known as Insertional Achilles Tendinitis) affects the lower portion of the heel, where the tendon attaches to the heel bone. When there is repetitive stress to the tendon, damaged tendon fibers can harden (calcify) and extra bone growth (bone spurs) can be formed causing Achilles Calcific Insertional Tendinopathy.Learn more about Achilles Calcific Insertional Tendinopathy (ACIT)
When the cartilage in the ankle joint becomes damaged from severe arthritis (or from a previous injury or ankle fracture), ankle fusion is used to permanently join the damaged bones, preventing them from rubbing against each another and causing pain.
The ankle joint consists of the shin bones (tibia and fibula) and the ankle bone (talus). Where these bones meet, they are covered by a smooth cartilage lining in the joint that allows you to move your ankle freely. As the cartilage wears, the space in the joint gradually narrows, causing bone-on-bone contact, resulting in pain and stiffness.
For those patients that are not candidates for an ankle replacement, ankle fusions remain the gold standard. Patients can walk without a limp using modern techniques to remove minimal amounts of bone and position the ankle so the joint below moves well.Learn more about Ankle Fusion
One of the most common causes of heel pain, Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammation of the thick band of tissue (plantar fascia) that runs across the bottom of your foot connecting your heel bone to your toes.
Active men between the ages of 40-70 are most affected. Improper footwear (not enough arch support), running on uneven surfaces, long-distance running, and downhill running are contributing factors. Arch problems in the foot (flat feet or high arches) and sudden weight gain or obesity can be causes.
People with Plantar Fasciitis commonly get a stabbing pain with their first steps in the morning. As they get up and move, the pain normally decreases, sometimes returning after long periods of standing or sitting.
Learn more about the symptoms and treatments of Plantar Fasciitis.LEARN MORE ABOUT PLANTAR FASCIITIS
Bunions are bony bumps that forms on the joint at the base of the big toe. They are very common, with more than 3 million U.S. cases every year. Bunions are often referred to as hallux valgus.
Bunions are formed when the big toe pushes against the next toe. The structure of the bone changes over time, resulting in the bunion bump. This deformity gradually increases and makes it painful to wear shoes or walk. Tight shoes, foot stress, and arthritis are some of causes.
The symptoms include bone deformity, pain, and stiffness.
Ankle sprains happen when the ligaments that support the ankle stretch beyond their limits and tear. They are a common injury that can occur among people of all ages. Depending upon how much damage there is to the ligaments, ankle sprains can range from mild to severe.
While most minor sprains heal with treatments like rest and ice, be sure to see a doctor if your ankle is very swollen, painful to walk on or if you are having trouble putting weight on it.
To learn more about the causes, symptoms, and treatments for ankle sprains, click below.Learn more about Sprained Ankles
Unfortunately, this is a rather common problem and requires careful management to maintain motion while minimizing pain. The first line of treatment remains oral medications, but stem cell injections are frequently used by the staff to minimize the inflammation within the ankle that causes the pain. When this is not effective, arthroscopy may be used remove irritating tissue.
These minimally invasive procedures are designed to prevent the need for an open procedure. However, when arthritic pain and deformity prevents patients from maintaining a normal lifestyle, either a fusion or an ankle replacement is required.
Total Ankle Replacements
In 1995, the Agility® total ankle prosthesis became available in the U.S. Florida Orthopaedic Institute was the third center in the country to implant this device, with our surgeons involved in design, teaching, and evaluation of the implant. Later that year a European ankle known as the S.T.A.R.® was released, and Florida Orthopaedic surgeons were involved in the first trial of that prosthesis in the U.S.
Since that time, Florida Orthopaedic Institute surgeons (all trained on total ankle replacements) have performed hundreds of replacements. With over 20 years of experience, the foot and ankle surgeons of Florida Orthopaedic Institute remain leaders in the field.Learn more about Total Ankle Replacements
REVISIONS & REFERRALS
Because of the combined expertise of the Florida Orthopaedic Institute foot and ankle surgeons, as well as their national reputation, patients are referred not only locally, but from all over the country. Many of the referrals are patients with significant post-surgical complications including infections, failed joint replacements, poorly positioned fusions, and non-healed fractures. These patients are sent to the Center for definitive solutions to their problems, and in most cases our surgeons are able to improve their lives. This ability to solve complex problems and help patients is the driving force behind maintaining the high quality of care offered, and why Florida Orthopaedic Institute is a regional and national referral center.
Specialties include the treatment of:
- Achilles Tendon Injuries
- Chronic Ankle Ligament Injuries
- Adult Acquired Flatfoot
- Bunion Surgery
- Hammer Toe
- Morton’s Neuroma
- Stem Cell Injections
- Arthritis of the Foot and Ankle
- Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
- Total Ankle Arthroplasty (Replacement)
The following Florida Orthopaedic Institute physicians specialize in Feet, Ankles & Lower Legs:
See how Dr. Arthur Walling utilized improved Ankle Replacement technology to help a Mt. Dora woman return to her active lifestyle.
Common Foot, Ankle & Lower Leg Conditions:
- Accessory Navicular
- Achilles Tendon Injuries
- Ankle Sprains
- Chronic Lateral Ankle Pain
- Claw Toe
- Clubfoot (Talipes Equinovarus)
- Diabetic Foot
- Fracture of the Heel Bone (Calcaneus)
- Fracture of the Talus
- Haglund’s Deformity (Retrocalcaneal Bursitis)
- Hammer Toe
- Hallux Rigidus
- High Ankle Sprain (Syndesmosis Ligament Injury)
- Ingrown Toenails
- Jones Fractures
- Lisfranc (Midfoot) Fracture-Dislocation
- Morton’s Neuroma
- Osteochondrial Injuries of the Talus
- Peroneal Tendon Tears
- Peroneal Tendonitis
- Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction (PTTD)
- Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Foot and Ankle
- Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
Common Foot, Ankle & Leg Procedures:
- Achilles Tendon Lengthening
- Ankle Fracture Surgery
- Ankle Fusion, Transfibular
- Ankle Replacement
- Arthroscopic Articular Cartilage Repair (Ankle)
- Bunionectomy (Chevron Bunionectomy)
- Bunionectomy with Wedge Osteotomy
- Debridement of the Achilles Tendon
- Diagnostic Ankle Arthroscopy
- Endoscopic Plantar Fasciotomy (EPF)
- Excision of Mortons Neuromas
- Excision of Soft Tissue Masses
- First Metatarsal-Phalangeal Joint (MTP) Arthrodesis
- Fixation for Lisfranc Injury
- Kidner Procedure
- Lateral Ankle Ligament Reconstruction
- Midfoot Fusion
- Pulse Dye Laser Wart Removal
- Resection of Haglunds Deformity
- Subtalar Fusion
- Surgery for Achilles Tendon Rupture
- Triple Arthrodesis
- Weil Osteotomy for Claw Toe