Get pain relief and restored function

Northwestern Medicine Orthopaedics provides specialized care for injuries of the foot and ankle, including the latest minimally invasive procedures. From evaluation to rehabilitation, skilled orthopaedic specialists* will guide your every step through a wide range of medical and surgical solutions for your foot and ankle issues,

Foot and ankle issues

Foot pain is often caused by improper foot function. Poorly fitting shoes can worsen and, in some cases, cause foot problems. Shoes that fit properly and give good support can prevent irritation to the foot joints and skin. There are many types of foot problems that affect the heels, toes, nerves, tendons, ligaments and joints of the foot.

Foot pain can be debilitating to an active lifestyle and can have many sources, from fractures and sprains to nerve damage. With 26 bones in a single foot, almost any of them can be broken. Many fractures do not require surgery, or even a cast, as they will heal on their own with some support. When a foot is fractured, the site of the fracture usually is painful and swollen. The site of the fracture will determine the course of treatment, if needed, including:

  • Ankle joint fractures: These fractures may be serious and require immediate medical attention. Ankle fractures usually require a cast, and some may require surgery if the bones are too separated or misaligned.
  • Metatarsal bone fractures: Fractures of the metatarsal bones, located in the middle of the foot, often do not require a cast. A stiff-soled shoe may be all that is needed for support as the foot heals. Sometimes, surgery is needed to correct misaligned bones or fractured segments.
  • Sesamoid bone fractures: The sesamoid bones are 2 small, round bones at the end of the metatarsal bone of the big toe. Usually, padded soles can help relieve pain. However, sometimes, the sesamoid bone may have to be surgically removed.
  • Toe fractures: Fractures of the toes normally can heal with or without a cast.

The symptoms of foot problems may look like other medical conditions and problems. Always see your doctor for a diagnosis.

Ankle sprains

An ankle sprain is an injury to the foot's ligaments in the ankle. Ligaments are tough bands of elastic tissue that connect bones to each other. Ankle sprains may occur if the ankle rolls, turns, or twists beyond its normal range of motion. Ankle sprains may be caused by awkward foot placement, irregular surfaces, weak muscles, loose ligaments, or wearing shoes with spiked heels.

The symptoms of a sprain will depend on how severely the ligaments are stretched or torn, but usually include swelling, pain, or bruising. Treatment will depend on the severity of the sprain, but may include:

  • Resting the ankle
  • Wrapping the ankle with elastic bandage or tape
  • Ice pack application (to reduce inflammation)
  • Elevating the ankle
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen to help reduce the pain and inflammation
  • Gradual return to walking and exercise
  • A walking cast (for moderate sprains)
  • Surgery (for severe sprains)
  • Physical therapy

Conditions

Click here to learn more about the Center for Comprehensive Orthopaedic and Spine Care.

Specialists at the Center for Orthopaedic and Spine Care can also be seen at the following locations:

Northwestern Medicine River Forest
420 Thatcher Ave.
River Forest, IL 60305

Northwestern Medicine Elmhurst
1200 S. York Road
Elmhurst, IL 60126

Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital offers comprehensive orthopaedic services and performs more orthopaedic surgeries for Lake County residents than any other hospital. More than 30 of Lake County's top orthopaedic surgeons practice at Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital, and many have specialized fellowship training. They perform leading-edge procedures both in Lake Forest and at the Northwestern Medicine Grayslake Surgery Center, including:

  • Ankle replacement
  • Anterior approach total hip replacement
  • Arthroscopic cartilage regeneration and reconstruction
  • Arthroscopic hip reconstruction
  • Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair
  • Cartilage repair, restoration and transplantation
  • Cervical disc replacement
  • Computer-guided customized knee replacement
  • Elbow disorders
  • Hand surgery
  • Hip replacements, total and partial
  • Knee replacements, total and partial
  • Ligament reconstruction
  • Minimally invasive knee replacement
  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Orthobiologics (tissue engineering)
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections
  • Reconstruction of the knee, hip, shoulder, foot/ankle, back and hand
  • Shoulder reconstruction and replacement

To schedule an appointment please call 847.535.8500.


From acute injuries to joint pain, Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital and Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital offers comprehensive care for all types of conditions affecting your bones and joints, including:

  • Arch, heel and toe pain
  • Arthritis
  • Foot and ankle problems
  • Fractures
  • Hand, wrist and elbow problems
  • Hip problems
  • Joint deterioration
  • Knee problems
  • Muscle sprain and tendon injuries
  • Nerve and neuromuscular problems
  • Orthopaedic-related diabetes complications
  • Osteoporosis
  • Scoliosis
  • Shoulder problems
  • Spinal injuries or pain
  • Sports-related injuries
  • Sprains
  • Tendon injuries
  • Trauma

If you’re considering joint replacement surgery, Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital and Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital have board-certified orthopaedic specialists who can help. As a regional leader in joint replacement, Central DuPage Hospital performs the second highest number of lower extremity joint replacements in Illinois, and brings you the latest advances and innovations in care.

To schedule an appointment with one of our orthopaedic specialists, please call 630.225.2663.

Legal Information
*

In the spirit of keeping you well-informed, some of the physician(s) and/or individual(s) identified are neither agents nor employees of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare or any of its affiliate organizations. They have selected our facilities as places where they want to treat and care for their private patients.

Close