Dr. Wayne Hurst, DPM, FACFAS, of Foot Specialists of Austin, Cedar Park, and Georgetown, is a podiatrist who can diagnose, treat and manage ankle pain. He serves the residents of Austin, Cedar Park and Georgetown, Texas.
The ankle is a complex, flexible joint that is susceptible to injury, wear and tear and other problems. Injuries to the supporting structures (muscles, ligaments, and tendons) of the ankle can cause both acute and chronic pain, as can fractures. Inflammatory conditions like gout and several types of arthritis are often painful. Septic arthritis is an actual infection of the ankle joint and can cause pain. The source of the pain may be an indication of its cause; Achilles tendonitis, for example, typically causes pain in the back of the lower leg and heel.
The patient's history is often key to making a diagnosis. For example, athletes may develop overuse syndrome that causes tendonitis or stress fractures. Details of a fall or other injury can provide clues. The podiatrist will also conduct a careful physical examination to see whether certain positions or movements make pain worse or better. Blood tests can indicate conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and a test of fluid aspirated from the joint with a needle can help diagnose an infection or gout. Other diagnostic tools include X-rays, MRIs, and ultrasounds.
Treatment is dependent on the cause. For something like an acute but mild injury, the standard treatment is RICE: rest, ice, compression (with an elastic bandage) and elevation. Overuse problems are also treated this way, although the rest period may last several weeks or more. Arthritis and gout are commonly treated with oral medications and an infection may be treated with oral or intravenous antibiotics. Fractures, torn tendons, and ligaments might be treated with a brace or cast, or might require surgery.
Podiatrists specialize in the treatment of lower leg, ankle and foot injuries and medical problems of those structures. They are trained in the diagnosis and management of injuries and diseases that affect these areas. In addition to conservative medical management such as oral medications, braces or orthotics, a podiatrist is also a surgeon who can repair problems like torn tendons or ankle instability.
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"I can't thank you enough for the quality of care, as well as the improvement with the foot injection! You are a rock star!"
"Dr. Hurst was very kind and extremely knowledgeable when it came to my foot pain. I would recommend that if you are in pain, go see Dr Hurst and his wonderful team."
"You're treated like an old friend right down to the hug you get. Most importantly, the results seem to be working."
"Dr. Hurst is truly a Specialist in his field and I would not ever again consider anyone else taking care of my foot problems."