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Foot and Ankle Injuries

Whether suffering from arthritis, a sports injury or congenital deformities, foot and ankle injuries can be debilitating to your quality of life. At The University of Kansas Health System, we provide care for a wide spectrum of lower extremity and foot and ankle conditions and injuries, from the very common to the very complex.

What are foot and ankle injuries?

Foot and ankle injuries refer to any trauma that occurs to the foot or ankle. These can happen during sports or exercise. Foot and ankle injuries can also happen in the workplace. There are many types of injury and trauma that can affect the foot and ankle area:

  • Ankle pain, ankle injuries and ankle fractures
  • Complex fractures of the foot and ankle
  • Foot pain, foot injuries and foot fractures
  • Lisfranc injuries
  • Sports-related injuries to the ankle and foot
  • Sprained ankle
  • Stress fracture
  • Work-related lower extremity injuries

Specialists at The University of Kansas Health System treat injuries as well as a number of common health conditions related to the foot and ankle region.

  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Bunions
  • Chronic exertional compartment syndrome
  • Degenerative joint disease
  • Joint pain
  • Joint problems
  • Hammer toe
  • Nerve pain or pinched nerve
  • Osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Tendinopathy

We offer a variety of appointment types. Learn more or call 913-588-1227 to schedule now.

Types of foot and ankle injuries

Our health system offers diagnostic, surgery and rehabilitative services across a broad range of foot and ankle injuries and conditions:

  • Acute injuries, including sports-related injuries
  • Arthritis and other chronic or degenerative conditions
  • Bunions
  • Congenital disorders
  • Foot deformities

Our orthopedic surgery team specializes in particularly complex reconstructions and has been recognized among the top foot and ankle resources in the Kansas City metro region.

Foot and ankle injury symptoms and risks

Symptoms of a foot or ankle injury vary depending on the specific cause. There are many signs that could possibly indicate an injury to the foot or ankle:

  • Numbness or tingling in the foot or ankle
  • Pain or discomfort in the foot or ankle, especially pain that worsens when bearing weight on that foot
  • Restricted motion of the foot and ankle
  • Swelling or bruising around the ankle or foot
  • Tenderness to the touch

If symptoms worsen or don’t improve with the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation), it’s a good idea to check with your doctor. You should also call a doctor if:

  • There’s blue discoloration of the skin
  • Walking is painful
  • You can’t move your foot or ankle
  • You notice visible bone misalignment

You can lower your risk of foot and ankle injuries by:

  • Listening to your body, and stopping or modifying activities that cause discomfort
  • Warming up before sports or exercise
  • Wearing appropriate footwear

Older adults and people of any age who are involved in active running sports carry a higher risk of injuring their foot or ankle.

Foot and ankle injury diagnosis and screening

Your doctor will conduct a physical exam to determine the extent of your foot or ankle injury. During the exam, your doctor may evaluate:

  • Range of motion
  • Tender areas on or around the foot and ankle
  • Whether your foot or ankle pain is associated with having your foot in a certain position

Your doctor may also recommend imaging tests to determine the nature of your foot or ankle injury:

  • A CT scan to examine the complex joint structure in more detail
  • An ultrasound to view ligaments and tendons while the foot is held in different positions
  • An X-ray to identify or rule out broken bones
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to create images of the softer foot and ankle structures, like ligaments
Knee pain

Extended hours for sports and orthopedic injuries

Our physicians are available by appointment at the Indian Creek Campus until 7 p.m Monday-Thursday, or for walk-ins 8-11 a.m. Saturday.

Learn more

Foot and ankle injury treatment

There are a number of treatments for foot and ankle injuries, ranging from at-home therapies like the RICE method to medical care like physical therapy, prescription medication or surgery. The best treatment for your foot or ankle injury depends on the nature of your condition. The University of Kansas Health System offers the most advanced surgical techniques to address a number of different injuries and conditions that affect the foot and ankle, including:

  • Achilles tendon repair
  • Ankle arthroscopy
  • Cartilage restoration
  • Foot and ankle reconstruction
  • Nerve decompression
  • Sports medicine arthroscopy

Rehabilitation services may also be recommended after your procedure, or as a treatment option for foot and ankle injuries that don't require surgery.

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The University of Kansas Hospital has been designated a Magnet® facility by the American Nurses Credentialing Center since 2006.
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Top academic medical center
Earned Vizient's 2018 Bernard A. Birnbaum, MD, Quality Leadership Award; ranked 5th out of 99 academic medical centers studied.

Doctor examining patient's foot and ankle.

Sports injury Q&A

Bryan Vopat, MD, answers questions about common sports injuries, including how long it takes to heal and the best way to avoid getting hurt.

Achilles tendon Q&ALisfranc Q&A