Foot & Ankle

Foot & Ankle Treatments

Conservative Treatments

Stretching Exercises: Your doctor can provide you with instructions and a demonstration of exercises that you can do at home. Following these directions, you can perform your own therapy and help your injury heal properly.

Rest: Some injuries heal in a matter of weeks, while others take more time—and returning to your normal activity too soon may cause more extensive damage. You may work with your doctor and a physical therapist to determine what level of rest you need, and for how long.

Anti-Inflammatory Medicine: In many cases, you can reduce swelling and pain at home with an anti-inflammatory medication. Your doctor will work with you to find the most effective medication with the fewest side effects for your specific case.

Orthotics and Bracewear: Many foot and ankle conditions can be corrected with custom-made orthotics that slip into your shoes and hold your foot in the perfect position for comfort. For some conditions or injuries, a brace on your foot, ankle or leg can keep your limb in the right position for complete healing.

Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation: At UR Medicine's Sports and Spine Rehabilitation Centers in Brighton, Brockport, Greece, and Penfield, you have the options of working with physical therapists who can help you regain your strength and mobility after an injury or surgery. Find out more about our Rehabilitation Centers.

Injection Therapies

Cortisone (Corticosteroid) Injections: Corticosteroids are not pain relievers—they reduce inflammation, often working within minutes. Once the inflammation is gone, the pain usually disappears as well. You can receive an injection in the doctor's office, and one injection may be effective for months or even longer.

Hyaluronan Injections (Viscosupplementation): If you are diagnosed with mild to moderate osteoarthritis, this injection may be helpful to you. Hyaluronan is a natural substance that is in the joint fluid in a normal joint. Your doctor will inject hyaluronan several times over the course of weeks, and you will begin to feel the greatest relief from pain several weeks after the first injection.

Selective Nerve Root Blocks: When the pain in your foot or ankle follows the path of a single nerve, a nerve root block injection can provide relief. Nerve block injections are a temporary remedy, so you will see the doctor several times a year for these.

Minimally Invasive and Complex Surgical Procedures

Ankle Cartilage Repair: The surgeon makes three small incisions and uses one of several procedures to stimulate the growth of new cartilage. In some cases, when the tear or hole is very small, the surgeon will transfer healthy cartilage from one part of the joint to another to close the defect.

Ankle Fusion, Transfibular: In this complex surgical procedure, the surgeon first removes damaged bone and cartilage. He or she then uses pins, screws and plates to secure the bones in a specific position. Over time, these bones will fuse together, stabilizing the unstable ankle joint.

Ankle Instability Repair: Reconstruction of damaged ligaments can repair an unstable ankle. The extent of the damage will dictate the kind of surgery required to give you the stability you need for daily activity.

Arthroscopy: Using tiny incisions and a special camera, our surgeons can repair torn ligaments and tendons. They can find and remove loose cartilage or bone fragments after an injury—and they can see inside your ankle or foot to find the source of any other pain. You may be back on your feet in a few days.

Big Toe Joint Surgery: Your surgeon may perform a cheilectomy, a removal of the extra bump of bone on top of the big toe, to restore your range of motion. If your arthritis is severe, your surgeon may recommend a fusion of the bones in your big toe, removing any arthritic surfaces and connecting the bone at the base of the big toe (metatarsal) to the toe bone (phalanx). The doctor will use screws or a plate to hold these bones together. After the surgery, the bones will grow together naturally.

Bunionectomy with Wedge Osteotomy: The surgeon removes a portion of the bone from the big toe. A wedge of bone is cut and removed from one of the big toe bones to straighten the joint. Tendons may need to be released to relieve the pull on the big toe. The surgeon then inserts a pin and other hardware to hold the toe in the right position. You may have a walking cast, splint, or a special shoe for several weeks after this surgery.

Cyst and Tumor Removal: When a ganglion cyst becomes painful or interferes with walking, a surgeon can remove the cyst. This procedure is usually done with a local anesthetic, and may be completed in the doctor's office.

Exostectomy: When bony bumps on the body's long bones press on nerves and tendons and cause pain, a surgeon can remove them. Depending on where the bumps are and how many need to be removed, the surgery can be minimally invasive or complex.

Fracture Fixation: Broken bones must be stabilized using surgical hardware until they are strong enough to support a person's weight again—especially if these fractures are in the ankles and feet. The surgeon will use plates, screws, rods, pins and/or wires to repair the bones and hold the pieces in place.

Hammer Toe Correction and Lesser Metatarsal Surgery: By removing part of one of the two small joints in the toe directly under the crooked part (a process called resection), our surgeons can straighten and shorten the affected toe. The surgeon may use a rod to keep the resected bones in place while they heel. Most patients return to their own shoes in a few weeks.

Joint Replacement: Replacing a damaged joint can restore your quality of life, especially if you have been in pain for some time. Our surgeons perform thousands of joint replacements every year—and after the surgery, all of your physical therapy and rehabilitation take place at our location nearest your home: Brighton, Penfield or Greece.

Ligament Reconstruction: Our doctors can repair a torn ligament, or use a ligament or tendon from another part of your body to strengthen a severely torn ligament.

Plantar Fasciotomy: The surgeon makes two tiny incisions in your foot and inserts a camera to see the Plantar fascia. He or she severs a portion of the fascia to eliminate the painful contact with the heel or heel spur. You will begin walking again within 24 hours.

Release Surgeries for Nerve Entrapment (Nerve Decompression): This minimally invasive procedure may be performed to relieve the pain of a pinched or trapped nerve in the foot or ankle.

Revision Surgery: If you have already had a joint replacement at a fairly young age, you may need a replacement joint after ten to twenty years. No matter what medical center did your joint replacement, UR Medicine Foot and Ankle Institute can perform a second procedure, called a revision, to remove the worn joint and replace it with today's joint technology. We can also perform a revision if your joint replacement becomes loose, infected, or dislocated.

Tendon Repair for Achilles, Peroneal, or Posterior Tibial Injuries: Depending on the extent of your injury, our surgeons can either use a minimally invasive arthroscopic procedure to repair the damaged tendon in your foot or ankle, or make a larger incision to repair a broader area. After surgery, you will wear a cast or walking boot for six to twelve weeks.

Tendon Transplantation: When your foot suddenly becomes flat and painful after an injury, you have "foot drop"—and it's likely that you have damaged a nerve or muscle. Our surgeons can re-route a tendon in your foot to replace the damaged tissue. This will relieve your pain and restore some of your foot's function.

Medicine of the Highest Order