The foot and ankle program at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University Orthopedics is led by a nationally-recognized team of physicians specializing in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of ankle and foot conditions. The program is supported by the latest imaging technology and dedicated facilities specifically designed for care related to the skeletal system and associated muscles, joints and ligaments. By using the latest techniques and therapies, our foot and ankle specialists strive to relieve ankle and foot pain along with other symptoms and place patients on the best path of recovery.
From acquired foot problems to foot deformities or trauma, Barnes-Jewish foot and ankle specialists treat a wide range of foot and ankle conditions, including:
- Acquired foot problems: bunions, digital neuromas, acquired flat foot deformity, clawtoes/hammertoes, heel pain (plantar fasciitis), overuse injuries, tendonitis
- Reconstruction following foot and ankle injuries
- Neuromuscular deformities: foot drop, deformities caused by muscle or nerve disorders
- Reconstruction of arthritic joints and deformities, and total ankle replacement
- Sports injuries: Achilles tendon, heel spurs, fractures, sprains
- Trauma: simple and complex fractures, tendon/ligament injuries
- Congenital foot and ankle deformities: clubfoot, flat foot, high arch
- Diabetic foot complications: neuropathic fractures (Charcot), ulcers, amputations, corns, ingrown toenails
Advanced Techniques and Therapies to Manage Foot and Ankle Conditions
The dedicated foot and ankle team at Barnes-Jewish is skilled in the most advanced surgical techniques and is considered a leader in total ankle replacement surgery. Many procedures are performed on an outpatient basis and are followed up with an individualized rehabilitation program. To speed up recovery, arthroscopy of the foot and ankle is performed when possible. Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that enables orthopedic surgeons to view and then repair or correct orthopedic problems through only a small incision.
Washington University foot and ankle specialists also are adept at using shockwave therapy, a noninvasive method for treating chronic heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis. For accurate diagnosis and ongoing treatment of arthritic or painful joints, injections of anesthetic or cortisone are prescribed. To determine the optimal site for these injections, x-rays are used to identify specific areas for treatment. The medical team also is engaged in leading research analysis regarding diabetic foot complications, foot and ankle fusions, forefoot deformity and sports injuries.
Rehabilitation & Follow-Up Care
Foot and ankle patients at Barnes-Jewish have access to on-location rehabilitative services with therapists, nurses and board-certified physiatrists on staff. The majority of foot and ankle rehabilitation occurs in an outpatient setting and is focused on rapidly regaining range of motion, strengthening of the foot and ankle, and correcting gait problems.
Patients are taught proper exercises for their feet and may be given a custom orthotic (foot support) to enhance recovery and rehabilitation. A certified orthotist is available to create custom braces to help straighten or correct misaligned joints. A pedorthotist certified in the design and fabrication of shoes and shoe inserts also is part of our team. Ultrasound, ice massage or other therapy may be used to help manage pain throughout rehabilitation.
Specialized Services for Diabetes-Related Foot Conditions
To further complement the foot and ankle program, consultation and specialized care is available for patients with diabetes-related foot problems. Through the hospital’s diabetes center, patients can receive education on prevention, pedorthic and orthotic management, salvage options and amputations, as well as learn state-of-the-art wound management.