Foot & Ankle

The foot and ankle are two of the most versatile and complex areas of your body. One foot alone contains 26 bones supported by a network of muscles, tendons, and ligaments. When everything is working well, you hardly give them a thought. But when a problem arises, it’s often impossible to ignore.

Experts at Getting You Back on Your Feet

The foot and ankle are generally the foundation for movement — and pain that hinders this and keeps you from your day-to-day activities is difficult. Moreover, what might seem like an inconvenience now can lead to a variety of physical issues over time.


More than an estimated 11 million visits are made to physicians’ offices annually because of foot and ankle problems. This includes more than 2 million visits for ankle sprains and strains and more than 800,000 visits for ankle fractures. Orthopaedics East & Sports Medicine Center has performed thousands of these examinations and provided treatment options and positive outcomes for our patients across Eastern North Carolina for more than three decades. We have significant experience and expertise in non-surgical and surgical options to get you back on your feet.


To learn more about our foot and ankle orthopedics services, explore the injuries, conditions, and treatments within this section. A qualified health care provider should properly evaluate and potentially treat any injury to the foot and ankle, because even injuries that seem mild or harmless may lead to complications and disability down the road.



There are 33 joints in the foot, making it especially prone to wear and tear of the cartilage in those joints. As the cartilage wears away, pain and stiffness increase over time and make it difficult to walk. The ankle joint primarily controls up and down movements of the foot. When it becomes arthritic, there will be problems with foot mobility and sporting activities, like walking, running, and jumping. The foot and ankle can experience rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Previous injury to the foot or ankle can increase the chances of developing arthritis.


The ankle is one of the most common areas to develop tendonitis. The tendons around the ankle connect the muscles of our lower leg to the many bones of our foot. When these tendons are overused, small tears can develop, leading to pain, swelling, and inflammation. There are several factors that increase your risk of developing foot/ankle tendonitis: flat or high-arched feet, poorly fitted shoes, older age, obesity, or your sport/job requiring long periods of time on your feet.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of pain on the bottom of the foot or base of the heel. Approximately two million patients are treated for this condition every year. The plantar fascia is a long, thin ligament that lies directly beneath the bottom of your foot and connects the heel to the front of your foot to support the arch. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the tissue that supports the arch becomes irritated and inflamed. Most patients with plantar fasciitis will improve within a year of starting nonsurgical treatments such as anti-inflammatories or cortisone injections, nighttime splinting and stretching. Those individuals that continue to have pain can also opt for surgical treatment.

Achilles Tendinosis or Acute Tear

The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body, connecting your calf muscles to your heel bone. It is used when you walk, run, and jump. A rupture of the tendon is a tearing and separation of the tendon fibers. A complete rupture may require surgical intervention. Achilles tendinosis is wear and tear of the tendon over time. The pain from this can come on gradually at the back of the heel. There are various nonsurgical and surgical treatments to help this condition.

Other Common Issues:
  • Bunions
  • Hallux Rigidus
  • Toe Deformities
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Midfoot Arthritis
  • Flat Feet (Pes Planus)
  • Diabetic Arthropathy
  • Ankle Instability and Sports Injuries
  • Injuries Including:
    • Fractures of the foot and ankle
    • Sprains of the foot and ankle
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