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Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Services

When you have foot or ankle pain, every step hurts. That's why at UPMC, we bring you in for a timely consult and offer the comprehensive exam and tests you need.

Our diverse team of experts work together, combining multiple therapies to ensure a full recovery.

Foot and Ankle Conditions We Treat

Some of the many foot and ankle problems we treat include:

  • Achilles tendonitis — swelling of the tendon that connects the calf muscles to the heel.
  • Arthritis — involves pain, swelling, and stiffness in one or more joints.
  • Bone problems — including bone spurs (abnormal growths of bone) or infection in the bone.
  • Bunions — when a bony bump sticks out at the side of the inner foot.
  • Diabetic foot problems — such as nerve damage, numbness, and ulcers that can occur in people who have diabetes.
  • Flat feet — occurs when the bones of the foot don’t form a proper arch and leads to pain in the foot or ankle.
  • Fracture of the foot or ankle or a break in the bones.
  • Foot deformities — like hammer toes (where the toes curl up) and club foot (where the foot turns inward).
  • Ligament sprains from overuse or injury.
  • Muscle or tendon strains.
  • Nerve problems in the foot — burning, pain, tingling, or numbness.
  • Plantar fasciitis — pain in the heel, at the bottom of the foot. This happens when the tissues that support the arch become inflamed from too much pressure.
  • Shin splints — pain in the front part of the lower leg, and common in runners.
  • Tendon tears — tendon tears due to overuse or a sudden injury.
  • Ulcers — Also known as sores, occur on the lower legs or feet.

What Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Services Do You Offer at UPMC?

Whenever possible, we offer a holistic, nonsurgical approach. When you need surgery, we carefully plan a precise approach to ensure a fast recovery.

Our orthopaedic doctors take time to answer your questions about your health issue and discuss your treatment options.

Advanced tests for foot and ankle problems

We offer advanced imaging scans and other tests so we can precisely diagnose the cause of your pain. Your doctor will receive your digitized x-rays right away, so you can get same-day results.

Our diagnostic tests include:

  • Arthrogram. Using contrast dye in the joint and a series of x-rays, this test can show problems with the soft tissues and bones in the foot or ankle.
  • Bone scan. An injected radiotracer combined with x-rays or CT scans provides detailed images of the bone. A bone scan helps when the diagnosis isn't clear from routine imaging tests.
  • CT scan.
  • MRI.
  • Ultrasound.
  • Video gait analysis. This allows us to see how your foot or ankle issue affects the way you walk.

Nonsurgical foot and ankle treatments

Wherever possible, we offer a complete suite of treatments to resolve foot and ankle pain without surgery.

Nonsurgical foot and ankle treatments may include:

  • A custom plan for rest and the gradual reintroduction of activities to ensure proper and long-term healing.
  • Boots, casts, splints, and custom braces to take pressure off the foot and ankle joints. Immobilizing the foot and ankle allows the joint to heal in the correct position after an injury or surgery.
  • Medication to treat muscle and tendon pain.
  • Pain management techniques, including injections of medications into the joint, nerve cauterizations, and procedures to block electrical signals from a nerve.
  • Physical therapy to strengthen the muscles in the foot and ankle, improve pain, and prevent problems from recurring.
  • Shockwave therapy to stimulate the body's natural healing process.

Foot and ankle surgery

When you require surgery, we always choose the safest and best option for you.

Our goals are to:

  • Reduce surgical risk.
  • Shorten recovery time.
  • Ensure optimal long-term function.

Our surgeons carefully plan the technique with computer modeling and real-time imaging.

Our orthopaedic surgeons perform all types of foot and ankle surgeries, including:

  • Fracture repairs.
  • Joint replacements.
  • Reconstructive surgeries.
  • Surgical correction of deformities.

Why Choose UPMC for Foot and Ankle Care?

UPMC’s orthopaedic surgeons have innovated better surgical techniques that have been adopted by other centers across the country.

We offer all of the elements of a successful rehabilitation and long-term prevention plan, including:

  • Braces, casts, and boots.
  • Imaging.
  • Pain management.
  • Physical therapy.