Heel pain is one of those issues that can affect most of what you do in a day and can be disabling. A common cause of heel pain is the Achilles tendon. What is the Achilles tendon? What is Achilles tendonitis? What are the different injuries? Is stem cell therapy for Achilles tendonitis a viable option?
Where & What Is the Achilles Tendon?
A tendon is a thick fibrous band of connective tissue that connects a muscle to bone. There are more than 30 million tendon and ligament injuries annually. The Achilles tendon, which is the thickest tendon in the body connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. It consists of the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles that unite to form a thick band that is immediately above the heel tab on your shoe. It enables the downward movement of the foot and bending of the knee.
Read More About Achilles Tendonitis
Your ankle is located where the distal ends of the tibia and fibula bones (lower-leg bones) meet the talus bone at the foot. Between these bones are the ankle joints (e.g., tibiotalar, tibiofibular, subtalar, etc.). The ankle joint also consists of strong supporting tendons and ligaments. If you consistently experience ankle pain with walking or running or carrying a heavy load, this could be tendon inflammation, ligament instability, or arthritis in one of those joints.
Read More About Ankle Arthritis
The ankle is susceptible to injury. It is the most injured joint in sports and accounts for 10-30% of all sports injuries. A sprain (aka twisting the ankle) is when one or more of the ligaments is stretched or torn. Pain, swelling, and bruising are common. Sprains are classified into grades 1, 2, or 3 based upon the severity of the injury. Simple tasks like stepping off the curb or sports can lead to ankle sprains. Ligaments stabilize the ankle joint and when sprained can lead to ankle instability. When acute ankle sprains are not identified, treated, and allowed to heal chronic…
Read More About Ankle Instability
Ankle Tendon Tear
Have you been told you have an ankle tendon tear and need surgery? Do you really need this procedure or will less invasive injections do the trick? Let’s review ankle tendon surgery and who needs it and who doesn’t.
The ankle has many tendons that come from leg muscles. They help stabilize the ankle and move the foot up, down, left, and right.
The ankle tendons include:
FHL (Flexor Hallicus Longus)
FDL (Flexor Digitorum Longus)
These can be torn in trauma or due to wear and tear.
Read More About Ankle Tendon Tear
It is an entrapment syndrome, like carpal tunnel syndrome in your hand. This is an entrapment of a nerve in your foot, right around your heel, on the inside part compressing a branch of your tibial nerve called your inferior calcaneal nerve, and that is the Baxter’s nerve. Now, the inferior calcaneal nerve is the first branch of the lateral plantar nerve, which is a branch off your tibial nerve. It lives between a muscle belly called your abductor hallucis muscle, as well as the medial calcaneal tuberosity, which is a small bump where a common heel spur occurs in the foot.
Read More About Baxter’s Neuropathy
Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS)
Disorders that affect and weaken the connective tissues such as tendons and ligaments. It is a hereditary disorder which means you are born with it. EDS has many different signs and symptoms which can vary significantly depending upon the type of EDS and its severity. It most commonly affects the skin, joints, and blood vessels. Joints are typically hypermobile with excessive joint range of motion because of a defect in collagen formation. In most cases Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is inherited. That is to say that you are born with it. The two main ways EDS is inherited are: autosomal dominant inheritance and autosomal recessive inheritance…
Read More About Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS)
Your heel pain initially was mild and aching. It is now a constant forest fire at the base of your heel. Each morning you take your first step with great trepidation knowing that the searing pain is literally a step away. Medications, rest, and physical therapy have not helped. Your doctor is concerned and thinks you may have Plantar Fasciitis. What is Plantar Fasciitis? What are the symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis? What are the risk factors? Is Plantar Fasciitis simply inflammation? What are the treatment options for Plantar Fasciitis? What to do for Plantar Fasciitis so bad I can’t walk? Beware as not all heel pain is Plantar Fasciitis.
Read More About Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar Plate Tear
The plantar plate is a fibrocartilage structure located at the ball of the foot. The ball of the foot involves a joint which anatomically is called the metatarsal phalangeal joint (MTP) joint. The MTP joint is where the long foot bone (metatarsal) meets the toe (phalanx).
Each toe in the foot has an MTP joint which is numbered 1 through 5. The plantar plate allows the foot to absorb the enormous forces of walking and running in addition to limiting extension (1). There are ligaments that attach the plantar plate to the long bones of the foot which are illustrated by the red and blue bands in the picture. The plantar plate and the supporting ligament provide critical stability for the MTP joint.
Read More About Plantar Plate Tear
Your ankle is comprised of bones held together by a bunch of ligaments. These ligaments end up getting damaged when you sprain or roll your ankle.
Common causes are trauma or injury related, such as twisting your ankle.
Read More About Sprained Ankle
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome (TTS)
Carpal tunnel syndrome is compression of the median nerve at the level of the wrist with resultant hand and wrist pain. Tarsal tunnel syndrome (TTS) is the equivalent in the ankle.
What is Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome (TTS)?
Also called tibial neuralgia, TTS is compression of the tibial nerve as it passes through the tarsal tunnel at the ankle. The tarsal tunnel is located behind the medial malleolus, the bump on the inside of the ankle.
Read More About Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome (TTS)