Symptoms of Foot and Ankle Disorders
Depending on the nature of the injury, the symptoms of foot and ankle disorders vary. Following are the common symptoms:
- Continuous pain in the ankle and foot
- Swelling in the ankle and foot
- Feeling of stiffness
- Pain and difficulty in moving the ankle and foot
- Pain in the ankle while bearing weight
Similar symptoms may also appear in the case of tendonitis and Achilles tendonitis along with the following symptoms.
- Continuous pain at the back of the heel which may increase during the day
- Thickening of the tendon
- Worsening of swelling while performing or after physical activity.
- Sensing an unusual sound at the back of the heel while walking. This symptom may indicate a tendon rupture.
Diagnosis of Foot and Ankle Disorders
Physical assessment: The doctor will ask questions regarding your symptoms. The affected region will be physically examined for stiffness, tenderness, swelling, pain, and bone damage.
Lab tests: Blood and urine test will be conducted to identify the level of uric acid, rheumatoid factor indicating the presence or absence of gout or arthritis. Tests will be conducted from the fluid drawn from bone joints to know if there is gout or bacteria infecting the joints.
X-ray: With the help of an X-ray of the affected region, the condition of the bones and joints can be visualized.
Arthrography: This is an imaging procedure where contrast dye is injected into the joint or blood stream to have a clear view with the help of X-ray.
CAT Scan / CT scan: With the help of X-rays and computers the structure of bones, soft tissues, such as muscles, ligaments, and cartilage can be identified better than with a normal X-ray.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan: With the help of strong magnetic fields, a contrast dye, and a computer, a clear image of bones, soft tissues such as tendons, muscles, cartilages, and ligaments can be viewed for damages.
Bone scan: In this procedure, radioactive material is injected into the blood stream. These radioactive materials get settled where there is bone damage.
Video fluoroscopy: Using an X-ray and fluorescent contrast material, the internal structure of the ankle and its movements can be visualized in the form of a video.