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At Chattanooga Foot and Ankle, we specialize in adult and pediatric pathology of the foot and ankle.

Click on a condition below to learn more:

What are bunions? A bunion is described as a bump on the side of the big toe. The big toe leans toward the second toe, rather than pointing straight ahead. This throws the bones out of alignment —producing the bunion’s bump. Bunions are progressive and can become larger with time. Symptoms appear at later stages although some may never experience symptoms. Bunions can be caused through inheritance or predisposed by certain foot types.

What are signs and symptoms of bunions?
Symptoms typically occur at the site of the bunion, including: inflammation, redness, burning, pain or soreness, and numbness.

Treatment for Bunions? Conservative treatment for bunions include changes in shoewear, padding and orthotics. Surgery may be needed if conservative measures fail to relieve the pain. At Chattanooga foot and ankle, we can determine which procedure is best for you.

What are hammertoes? Hammertoes is a deformity characterized by the bending of one or both joints of the second, third, fourth or fifth toes. They can worsen with time and become rigid. Hammertoes do not get better with time and therefore should get early attention. Hammertoes may be aggravated by tight shoes but are usually caused by early trauma or inherited.

What are signs and symptoms of hammertoes? Symptoms with hammertoes include,
-Pain or irritation of the affected toe
-Corns and calluses (a buildup of skin) on the toe, between two toes or on the ball of the foot.
-Inflammation, redness or a burning sensation
-Contracture of the toe
-In more severe cases of hammertoe, open sores may form.

What are treatments of hammertoes? Conservative care includes padding, changes in shoe gear, medications and orthotics. When the hammertoe becomes rigid or becomes continuously painful, it may be time to discuss surgery with your physician. At Chattanooga foot and ankle, we can determine which procedure is best for you.

What are plantar warts? Warts are small growths on the skin caused by a virus (HPV). They commonly occur in the bottom part of the foot in children, adolescents and the elderly. Warts can appear as a single growth or in clusters.


Signs and symptoms of warts? Small growths that look like calluses or thickened tough skin. These growths can become larger with time. Some people experience pain if the wart is squeezed or upon walking.


Treatment for warts? Treatments can include topical medication, laser therapy, cryotherapy and acid treatments.

What are ankle sprains? Ankle sprain is an injury to one or more ligaments in the ankle, usually on the outside of the ankle. he severity of an ankle sprain depends on whether the ligament is stretched, partially torn or completely torn, as well as on the number of ligaments involved. Ankle sprains can be caused by a sudden twist or a blow that forces the ankle joint out of its normal position.

What are signs and symptoms of ankle sprains? The symptoms of ankle sprains may include:
Pain or soreness, swelling, bruising, difficulty walking and stiffness of the ankle. An xray or other advanced images may be ordered to determine severity of the injury.

What are treatments of ankle sprains? Your doctor may recommend immobilization involving a cast or walking boot, icing may reduce inflammation, orthotics, physical therapy or a night splint. If nonsurgical approaches fail, surgery may be indicated based on the amount of damage, age, activity level and other factors. Surgery involves the repair of the damaged ligaments. At Chattanooga foot and ankle, we can determine which procedure is best for you.

What is plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the band of tissue (the plantar fascia) that extends from the heel to the toes. In this condition, the fascia first becomes irritated and then inflamed, resulting in heel pain.

What are signs and symptoms of plantar fasciitis? Pain on the bottom of the heel
Pain in the arch of the foot
Pain that is usually worse upon arising Pain that increases over a period of months Swelling on the bottom of the heel


What are treatments for plantar fasciitis? Exercises that stretch out the calf muscles help ease pain and assist with recovery. Putting an ice pack on your heel for 20 minutes several times a day helps reduce inflammation. Wearing supportive shoes that have good arch support and a slightly raised heel reduces stress on the plantar fascia. Oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may be recommended to reduce pain and inflammation. Placing pads in the shoe reduces the impact of walking. Taping and strapping help support the foot and reduce strain on the fascia.
Custom orthotic devices that fit into your shoe help correct the underlying structural abnormalities causing the plantar fasciitis. In some cases, corticosteroid injections are used to help reduce the inflammation and relieve pain. A removable walking cast may be used to keep your foot immobile for a few weeks to allow it to rest and heal.Wearing a night splint allows you to maintain an extended stretch of the plantar fascia while sleeping. This may help reduce the morning pain experienced by some patients. Exercises and other physical therapy measures may be used to help provide relief.

What are flatfeet? There are several types of flatfoot, all of which have one characteristic in common: partial or total collapse (loss) of the arch. Other characteristics shared by most types of flatfoot include toe dri!, in which the toes and front part of the foot point outward. The heel tilts toward the outside and the ankle appears to turn in.


What are signs and symptoms of flatfeet? Pain in the heel, arch, ankle or along the outside of the. Pain along the shin bone (shin splint). General aching or fatigue in the foot or leg. Low back, hip or knee pain

What are treatments for flatfeet? Cut down on activities that bring you pain and avoid prolonged walking and standing to give your arches a rest. If you are overweight, try to lose weight. Putting too much weight on your arches may aggravate your symptoms. Your foot and ankle surgeon can provide you with custom orthotic devices for your shoes to give more support to the arches.
In some cases, it may be necessary to use a walking cast or to completely avoid weightbearing. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, help reduce pain and inflammation. Ultrasound therapy or other physical therapy modalities may be used to provide temporary relief. Wearing shoes that support the arches is important for anyone who has flatfoot. Your foot and ankle surgeon may recommend advanced bracing to modify your walking and to support your arches. In some patients whose pain is not adequately relieved by other treatments, surgery may be considered

What is Hallux Limitus/rigidus?Hallux rigidus is a disorder of the joint located at the base of the big toe. It causes pain and stiffness in the joint, and with time, it gets increasingly harder to bend the toe.
What are signs and symptoms?Pain at the great toe joint, difficulty wearing shoes because bone spurs (overgrowths) develop, dull pain in the hip, knee or lower back due to changes in the way you walk, and limping (in severe cases).

What are Treatments? Shoes with a large toe box put less pressure on your toe. Sti! or rocker-bottom soles may also be recommended. Custom orthotic devices may improve foot function. Oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may be recommended to reduce pain and inflammation. Injections of corticosteroids may reduce inflammation and pain. Ultrasound therapy or other physical therapy modalities may be undertaken to provide temporary relief.

Diabetes can be dangerous to your feet—even a small cut can produce serious consequences. Diabetes may cause nerve damage that takes away the feeling in your feet. Diabetes may also reduce blood flow to the feet, making it harder to heal an injury or resist infection. Because of these problems, you may not notice a foreign object in your shoe. As a result, you could develop a blister or a sore. This could lead to an infection or a non-healing wound that could put you at risk for an amputation. Ulcers are commonly seen in patients living with diabetes, neuropathy or vascular disease. Open wounds can put patients at increased risk of developing infection in the skin and bone.

What is onychomycosis? Toenail fungus, or onychomycosis, is an infection underneath the surface of the nail caused by fungi. When the tiny organisms take hold, the nail often becomes darker in color and smells foul. Debris may collect beneath the nail plate, white marks frequently appear on the nail plate, and the infection is capable of spreading to other toenails

What are signs of onychomycosis? The disease is characterized by a progressive change in a toenail’s quality and color, which is often ugly and embarrassing.

What are treatments for fungal nails? Your podiatrist can detect a fungal infection early, perform a lab test, determine the cause, and form a suitable treatment plan, which may include prescribing topical or oral medication, and debridement (removal of diseased nail matter and debris) of an infected nail.

What are ingrown toenails? When a toenail is ingrown, it is curved and grows into the skin, usually at the nail borders (the sides of the nail). This digging in of the nail irritates the skin, creating pain, redness, swelling and warmth in the toe.

What are signs and symptoms of ingrown toenails? marked by drainage and a foul odor of the affected toenail. However, even if the toe is not painful, red, swollen or warm, a nail that curves downward into the skin can progress to an infection.


What are treatments for ingrown toenails? If an infection is present, an oral antibiotic may be prescribed.
Sometimes a minor surgical procedure, often performed in the office, will ease the pain and remove the offending nail. After applying a local anesthetic, the doctor removes part of the nail’s side border. Some nails may become ingrown again, requiring removal of the nail root.

What is a neuroma? A neuroma is a thickening of nerve tissue that may develop in various parts of the body. The most common neuroma in the foot is a Morton’s neuroma, which occurs between the third and fourth toes

What are signs and symptoms of neuroma? Tingling, burning or numbness, Pain, a feeling that something is inside the ball of the foot or something in the shoe or a sock is bunched up

What are treatments for neuroma? Padding techniques provide support for the metatarsal arch, thereby lessening the pressure on the nerve and decreasing the compression when walking. Placing an icepack on the a!ected area helps reduce swelling. Custom orthotic devices provided by your foot and ankle surgeon provide the support needed to reduce pressure and compression on the nerve. Wear shoes with a wide toe box and avoid narrow-toed shoes or shoes with high heels. Oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may be recommended to reduce pain and inflammation. Treatment may include injections of cortisone, local anesthetics or other agents. Surgery may be considered in patients who have not responded adequately to nonsurgical treatments.

What is arthritis? A condition characterized by the breakdown and eventual loss of cartilage in one or more joints.
What are signs and symptoms of arthritis? Pain and stiffness in the joint, swelling in or near the joint
and difficulty walking or bending the joint.

What are treatments of arthritis? Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, are helpful in reducing inflammation and pain. Occasionally, a prescription for a steroid medication is needed to adequately reduce symptoms. Custom orthotic devices (shoe inserts) can be prescribed to provide support to improve the foot’s mechanics or cushioning to help minimize pain. Bracing, which restricts motion and supports the joint, can reduce pain during walking and can help prevent further deformity.Protecting the foot from movement by wearing a cast or removable cast-boot may be necessary to allow the inflammation to resolve. In some cases, steroid injections are applied to the a!ected joint to deliver anti-inflammatory medication. Exercises to strengthen the muscles, especially when osteoarthritis occurs in the ankle, may give the patient greater stability and may help him or her avoid injury that might worsen the condition. If conservative treatment fails to improve the condition, surgery may be indicated.

WHAT ARE CUSTOM ORTHOTICS? Custom orthotics are made specifically for your feet. Your podiatrist creates a casting to manufacture an orthotic that fits the unique contours of your foot. This process is known as custom orthotics casting. It ensures that the orthotic not only matches the shape of your foot but is designed specifically for the way you move.

The orthotic is then sent to a lab with your podiatrist’s instructions for the orthotics design to correct your particular issue.

What are types of orthotics? Functional orthotics help control motion, therefore, they are made with semi-rigid materials. Accommodative orthotics provide cushioning and support, so they use softer materials.

Are prescription orthotics better than over the counter orthotics? Custom orthotics are made for your specific foot and deformity; therefore, they can address an issue better. However, many insurance companies do not cover custom orthotics, therefore, Chattanooga Foot & Ankle clinic can provide over the counter orthotics that can address your problem.

Ulcers, which are open sores in the skin, occur when the outer layers of the skin are injured, and the deeper tissues become exposed. They can be caused by excess pressure due to ill-fitting shoes, long periods in bed or an injury that breaks the skin. The signs and symptoms of ulcers may include drainage, odor or red, inflamed, thickened tissue. Pain may or may not be present.
Diagnosis may include x-rays or MRI to evaluate possible bone involvement. Other advanced imaging studies may also be ordered to evaluate for vascular disease
Ulcers are treated by removing the unhealthy tissue and performing local wound care to assist in healing. Special shoes or padding may be used to remove excess pressure on the area. If infection is present, antibiotics will be necessary. In severe cases that involve extensive infection or are slow to heal, surgery or other advanced wound care treatments may be necessary.

PLANTAR FASCIITIS/ HEEL PAIN

What is plantar fasciitis? Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the band of tissue (the plantar fascia) that extends from the heel to the toes. In this condition, the fascia first becomes irritated and then inflamed, resulting in heel pain. What are signs and symptoms of plantar fasciitis? Pain on the bottom of the heel Pain in the arch of the foot Pain that is usually worse upon arising Pain that increases over a period of months Swelling on the bottom of the heel What are treatments for plantar fasciitis? Exercises that stretch out the calf muscles help ease pain and assist with recovery. Putting an ice pack on your heel for 20 minutes several times a day helps reduce inflammation. Wearing supportive shoes that have good arch support and a slightly raised heel reduces stress on the plantar fascia. Oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may be recommended to reduce pain and inflammation. Placing pads in the shoe reduces the impact of walking. Taping and strapping help support the foot and reduce strain on the fascia. Custom orthotic devices that fit into your shoe help correct the underlying structural abnormalities causing the plantar fasciitis. In some cases, corticosteroid injections are used to help reduce the inflammation and relieve pain. A removable walking cast may be used to keep your foot immobile for a few weeks to allow it to rest and heal.Wearing a night splint allows you to maintain an extended stretch of the plantar fascia while sleeping. This may help reduce the morning pain experienced by some patients. Exercises and other physical therapy measures may be used to help provide relief.

FLATFEET

What are flatfeet? There are several types of flatfoot, all of which have one characteristic in common: partial or total collapse (loss) of the arch. Other characteristics shared by most types of flatfoot include toe dri!, in which the toes and front part of the foot point outward. The heel tilts toward the outside and the ankle appears to turn in. What are signs and symptoms of flatfeet? Pain in the heel, arch, ankle or along the outside of the. Pain along the shin bone (shin splint). General aching or fatigue in the foot or leg. Low back, hip or knee pain What are treatments for flatfeet? Cut down on activities that bring you pain and avoid prolonged walking and standing to give your arches a rest. If you are overweight, try to lose weight. Putting too much weight on your arches may aggravate your symptoms. Your foot and ankle surgeon can provide you with custom orthotic devices for your shoes to give more support to the arches. In some cases, it may be necessary to use a walking cast or to completely avoid weightbearing. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, help reduce pain and inflammation. Ultrasound therapy or other physical therapy modalities may be used to provide temporary relief. Wearing shoes that support the arches is important for anyone who has flatfoot. Your foot and ankle surgeon may recommend advanced bracing to modify your walking and to support your arches. In some patients whose pain is not adequately relieved by other treatments, surgery may be considered

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