April is National Foot Health Awareness Month and what better time to recognize the important role feet play in your day-to-day routine. Feet are your body’s foundation, and foot health is essential to an active lifestyle. Not only is it important to know how to keep your feet healthy, but also who to turn to when you need expert foot (or ankle) care.
While not all foot injuries can be avoided, you can take valuable steps to know what you can do to prevent injury to your feet or ankles.
- Stretch & strengthen! Before a workout or activity, don’t neglect to warm up the muscles in your feet and ankles. Achilles stretch, ankle circles and chair pose are three easy stretches to wake up your ankles, no equipment needed. Learn how to do these stretches, plus several more, at Healthline. To strengthen the muscles in your feet, incorporate exercises such as toe splay, toe curls and marble pickup. Learn more about these strengthening exercises at Medical News Today.
- Modify or stop activity when pain occurs. Listen to your body – if something hurts or just doesn’t feel right, modify the activity or stop completely. It could be improper form, or the beginning of an injury. If pain persists, consult a doctor.
- Wear proper shoes! Shoes that are too tight or narrow can cause long-term problems. Not only should your shoes fit properly, but they should be comfortable, practical and provide support. Additionally, sporting shoes appropriate for your specific activity is just as important as replacing the shoes when they become worn out. Learn more about properly fitting shoes at Healthline.
- Eat healthy foods. Nutrition plays an important role in our overall health and affects different body parts, even your feet. Look for foods that are anti-inflammatory, rich in calcium, vitamin D and healthy fats and low in sodium. Learn more about these recommended foods and the effects they have on your foot health at Everyday Health.
- Watch your step! Use caution when walking or running on uneven terrain.
When should you seek treatment?
Should you experience a foot or ankle injury, Central Indiana Orthopedics can help you get back on your feet. We recommend that you seek treatment if you experience the following symptoms in your feet or ankles.
- Sudden intense pain
- Pain when you’re NOT bearing weight
- Limited range of motion due to stiffness, weakness or swelling
- Numbness in the foot
- Pain in the heel, ball or arch of the foot
- Inability to perform daily activities without foot pain
- Change in sensation or color of skin or toenail
- Swelling or tenderness that persists or worsens after 2-3 days
- If the afflicted area looks deformed, or if you have lost function
In addition to our board-certified orthopedic physicians who can treat foot/ankle injuries, we have two fellowship-trained orthopedic foot and ankle surgeons who have dedicated their practice to treating only the foot and ankle.
Meet Dr. Steven Herbst
Steven Herbst, MD, is a board-certified, fellowship-trained foot and ankle surgeon at our Muncie, Anderson and Fishers offices. His passion for innovation has led him to co-design and patent an ankle replacement implant and perform the first BioPoly® Great Toe surgery in the United States. He enjoys sharing his knowledge and experience with other physicians by teaching orthopedic courses nationally and internationally. His greatest joy comes from serving internationally in the missions’ field, taking annual trips to Central America to perform complex lower-extremity reconstructions. He’s had the opportunity to take 14 mission trips to Central America and perform surgeries that enabled people to walk who otherwise would not have the opportunity for surgery. We should also mention that Dr. Herbst doesn’t shy away from a challenge – read about his 60 mile/30 hour swim adventure with friends to raise funds for his most recent mission trip.
Meet Dr. Adam Lyon
Adam Lyon, MD, is a board-certified, fellowship-trained foot and ankle surgeon at our Anderson and Fishers offices. Dr. Lyon’s patients can expect to be treated with care and competency, and to be treated as a person and not just their injury. He is passionate about making sure his patients are involved in their care plan and believes it’s important to work with his patients to set goals for recovery and then come up with a treatment plan specific to meet or exceed those goals. Dr. Lyon says what motivates him is seeing one of his patients return happy, pain free and doing the things they want to do. Often true in fracture and trauma cases, Dr. Lyon sees patients on what they may consider to be one of their worst days. Watching his patients meet or exceed their goals is what it takes for him to feel like he’s done his job successfully.
Common foot and ankle injuries and conditions
Below are common injuries and conditions treated by our orthopedic foot and ankle physicians:
- Achilles tendonitis or Achilles tear
- Ankle fracture or ankle dislocation
- Ankle sprain
- Arthritis of the foot or ankle
- Foot fracture
- Hammer toes
- Plantar fasciitis
- Stress fractures
The following are common surgical procedures and treatments performed by our orthopedic foot and ankle surgeons:
- Achilles tendon repair
- Ankle arthroscopy
- Ankle fusion
- Ankle replacement
- Bunion removal
- Foot or ankle reconstruction
- Fracture care
- Hammertoe correction
- Neuroma surgery
- Plantar fasciitis surgery
If you are concerned about your foot health and are experiencing pain or injury, we can help. To schedule an appointment with our foot and ankle team, visit https://ciocenter.com/services/ankle-foot/ to chat with us online, or call 800-622-6575.