Foot and Ankle Treatments
Customized care that fits your life.
We put a lot of stress on our feet and ankles each day. Minor aches and pains are par for the course. But don’t let a simple foot or ankle issue turn into a serious condition. Get an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment from experts you can trust.
Foot and ankle treatments: Why choose Henry Ford Health System?
The foot and ankle specialists at Henry Ford focus on getting you back on your feet, without pain. We offer a wide range of effective treatments for injuries, degenerative conditions that worsen over time and congenital disorders present at birth.
Features of our program include:
- Experienced team: Our foot and ankle team includes board-certified orthopedic and podiatric specialists. Their combined experience and training means you get the highest quality care for all foot and ankle conditions.
- Care coordination: From diabetic foot care to rehabilitation after surgery, we make sure you get the right treatments. When needed, our specialists connect you to physical therapists, rheumatologists, vascular specialists and other providers in the Henry Ford network.
- More treatment options: We want you to have as many choices as possible when it come to your foot and ankle treatment. We offer noninvasive treatments, regenerative therapies and innovative surgeries.
- Easy access: Care is tailored to your busy life. We have foot and ankle clinics throughout southeast and central Michigan and can guarantee appointments within 24 business hours. Find a foot and ankle location.
Foot and ankle treatments without surgery
For many people, self-care in the form of RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) is enough to relieve foot and ankle pain. But if pain persists, or you find it hard to walk or wear shoes comfortably, it’s time to see a doctor. We can treat the majority of foot and ankle conditions without surgery, including:
- Foot and ankle arthritis
- Foot and ankle injuries, including sprains, fractures and tendinitis
- Plantar fasciitis
Orthotics are shoe inserts that can relieve pain and provide support when walking. They’re usually the first choice for treating many foot conditions. Orthotics should be customized for your particular diagnosis. They can take many different forms, including:
- Arch wedges for flat feet
- Braces for ankle instability
- Custom ankle-foot orthoses (AFOs)
- Heel cups for plantar fasciitis pain
Foot and ankle physical therapy
Foot and ankle physical therapy can help you regain strength and mobility. It’s ideal for issues such as arthritis, sprains, tendon injuries and recovering from surgery. Our specialists work closely with physical therapists at Henry Ford rehabilitation centers throughout the region. We can coordinate your care and monitor your progress from start to finish.
Injections of a slow-release steroid called cortisone can relieve pain and inflammation for a variety of foot and ankle conditions. Steroid shots are usually recommended with other conservative treatments such as physical therapy.
We use ultrasound imaging to give our steroid injections. By using ultrasound to see inside your foot or ankle joint, we can guide the injection to the exact area of damage. This approach means more targeted pain relief, with fewer risks.
We may recommend cortisone injections for:
- Ligament injuries
- Plantar fasciitis
- Tendon injuries
Regenerative medicine with platelet or stem cell therapy
Some nonsurgical treatments help stimulate your body’s natural healing mechanisms. Platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy uses platelets from your blood to boost repair of tendons and ligaments.
Similarly, therapy using stem cells from your own bone marrow or fat can slow cartilage deterioration and encourage the growth of new cells. We give both PRP therapy and stem cell therapy as an ultrasound-guided injection.
Conditions such as plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendon injuries can produce chronic pain. Over time, scar tissue forms around the damaged tendon, tissue we can treat with a procedure called percutaneous ultrasonic fasciotomy. This treatment is a form of microdebridement, or “cleaning,” that uses an ultrasonic needle to remove damaged tissue.
Foot and ankle surgery
We may recommend foot or ankle surgery for conditions that haven’t improved with conservative treatments. The type of surgery you undergo depends on your diagnosis, age and activity level.
Surgery is often followed by weeks of recovery, during which you need to adjust how you use your foot. In addition to fully discussing the risks and benefits of surgery, our team works with you on expectations for recovery. It’s important to think through how surgery might impact you and to have a plan in place.
If you decide to proceed, we offer a range of innovative options for foot and ankle surgery. You can watch orthopedic surgeon Dr. Erik Eller discuss questions you should ask before undergoing foot or ankle surgery.
What to expect after surgery
Rehabilitation after surgery is different for each person. Also, while some procedures can get you back on your feet quickly, other treatments require a lengthy recovery. You may not have full use of one leg for several months. Also, most people need to wear a soft cast or boot after surgery. And you may need physical therapy to help restore strength and mobility to your foot or ankle.
Any surgery comes with its own set of risks and benefits. At Henry Ford, we want you to have realistic expectations about surgery and what rehabilitation may entail. We take the time to answer your questions and evaluate your goals for recovery. Together, we determine if surgery is the best path to a positive outcome.