Our feet are made up of 26 bones and more than 33 joints arranged in columns and arches that vary in stiffness and flexibility. The foot is usually separated into three different parts:
The muscles in your lower leg are attached to bones in your feet by tendons, and they control movement that allows us to stand, walk, go on tiptoes and jump. These muscles move your toes and control the position of your foot as it hits the ground, allowing it to become flexible and cushioning the impact. They also make the arches of your feet more rigid to push your body forward when you move.
Your heel bone is connected to the calf muscles in your lower leg by your Achilles tendon, which is the most important tendon for movement. The tibialis posterior tendon, which attaches the underside of your foot to your lower leg, helps supports the arch of your foot and allows you to turn it inward.
The main nerve of your foot controls the muscles in your sole and gives feeling here and to your toes. Other nerves give feeling to the top and outside edge of your foot.
When issues arise in the foot and ankle, it may be necessary to see a specialist. For some conditions, a foot and ankle specialist will first try to resolve the problem with nonsurgical treatments, such as a course of physical therapy. When nonsurgical foot and ankle pain treatments aren’t enough, your doctor may recommend surgery to relieve pain. Surgery is also necessary to correct physical problems with any of the foot or ankle structures. The general treatment goals are to improve ankle or foot function, reduce disability, and improve your quality of life. Below are lists of both nonsurgical and surgical treatments.
At Iowa Specialty Hospitals & Clinics, our foot and ankle specialists have years of training, education, and practice. They are experts in their field and are focused on providing the best treatment for each patient's individual situation. If you are experiencing foot or ankle issues, please schedule an appointment now to work with our specialists to restore your foot health.