Achilles Tendon Rupture
Dr. Harris has treated many patients with Achilles tendon ruptures both surgically and non-surgically. Often he can use minimally invasive techniques to repair ruptured Achilles tendon. This technique will speed up the recovery for the patient and minimize the time off of work and off of their feet.
Sometimes the Achilles tendon will develop a painful bump that results from microscopic degeneration and micro tears within the tendon. This can often be treated with stem cells, physical therapy and activity modifications. Rarely, surgery will be needed with a minimally invasive approach.
Achilles' Tendon Disorders
The Achilles tendon is a group of tough fibrous tissue that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. It functions to lift the heel while walking or running.
The calcaneus or heel bone is the largest bone in the ankle forming the heel and is situated at the lower back part of the foot. The calcaneus forms the subtalar joint with the talus, which helps in the inward and outward movement of the foot. Fracture of the calcaneus reduces or prevents movement of the subtalar joint.
The lisfranc joint or tarsometatarsal joint refers to the region in the middle of the foot. It is a junction between the tarsal bones (seven bones in the foot arch) and metatarsal bones (five long bones in the foot). Lisfranc fracturescan occur due to a fall from a height or traumatic motor accidents.
Peroneal Tendon Tears
Tendons are strong fibrous tissues that attach muscles to bones. The peroneal tendons are two tendons in the foot that run side-by-side behind the outer bone of the ankle. One tendon runs under the foot and attaches near the arch, while the other attaches to the outside of the midfoot. These two tendons are responsible for supporting the foot and ankle and protecting them from injury.
Flatfoot, also called fallen arches or Pes planus, is a deformity in children's feet where the arch that runs lengthwise along the sole of the foot collapses to the ground or is not formed at all. Flatfoot is normal in the first few years of life as the arch of the foot usually develops between the age of 3 and 5 years.
Hallux Rigidus is an arthritic disease involving the great toe, specifically, the MTP joint. Dr. Harris has done many surgeries and written multiple papers on this topic. He often performs joint sparing procedures that avoid fusion (or arthrodesis) of the great toe.
A valgus or bunion is a bump on the base of the big toe due to the enlargement of bone or soft tissues around the joint. Bunions develop due to imbalance in weight-bearing on the joints and tendons of your foot. This uneven shifting in pressure makes the joint unstable, slowly leading to the formation of a hard knob that protrudes out of your foot. The most common cause of a hallux valgus is prolonged wearing of ill-fitting footwear that are high-heeled, narrow, too small or pointy, with a narrow toe box, which compress the toes into unnatural positions.
The tibia or shin bone is a major bone of the leg which connects the knee to the ankle. A fracture or break in the upper part of the tibia is known as a proximal tibial fracture and commonly occurs just below the knee joint.
Jones Fractures (5th Metatarsal)
The metatarsal bones are the long bones in your feet. There are five metatarsal bones in each foot. The fifth metatarsal is the long bone that is located on the outside of the foot and connects to the small toe. The fifth metatarsal bone is more commonly fractured.
Toe & ForeFoot Fractures
The forefoot is the front of the foot that includes the toes. Fractures occurring in this part of the foot are painful but very often not disabling. There are 2 types of fractures namely, traumatic fracture and stress fracture. Traumatic fractures occur when there is a direct impact of your foot on a hard surface. Stress fractures are tiny hair line cracks in the bone, most commonly caused due to repeated stress. The symptoms of toe and forefoot fractures include pain, bruising, swelling and inability to walk.
The plantar fascia is a long, thin ligament present along the bottom of the foot that creates the arch of the foot. It extends from the heel bone, and then splits and fans out to attach itself to the toes.
Morton's neuroma refers to a nerve injury between the toes, usually the third and fourth toes, which causes pain and thickening of the nerve tissue. Compression or chronic irritation of this interdigital nerve is the main cause of Morton's Neuroma. Excess pressure is exerted on the nerves due to narrowing of the gap between the toe bones causing thickening of the nerve tissue from scar tissue formation. This causes swelling of the nerve and the surrounding tissue.
Our blood consists of a liquid component known as plasma. It also consists of three main solid components which include the red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs), and platelets. Platelets play an important role in forming blood clots. They also consist of special proteins, known as growth factors, which help with our body’s healing process. Platelet-rich plasma or PRP is a high concentration of platelets and plasma.
Foot reconstruction is a surgery performed to correct the structures of the foot and restore the natural functionality of the foot that has been lost due to injury or illness.
A hammertoe is a deformity of a lesser toe (second through fifth toes), where the toe gets bent upward at the toe’s middle joint, resembling a hammer. The bent portion may rub against a shoe causing pain, irritation and develop corns. It is caused by wearing shoes that are too tight or narrow near the toes, when the second toe is larger than the first, and as a complication of arthritis and certain neuromuscular conditions.
Claw toe is a deformity, where a toe bends and looks like a bird’s claw. The affected toe is bent upward from the joint at the ball of the foot and downward at the joints in the middle and tip of the toe, to curl under the foot. Hard, thick skin called corns may develop under the ball of the foot or on the top of the affected toe, causing pain while walking.
A cavus foot is considered a foot with a very high arch. Often patients with cavus feet will have increased pain and require shoe modification, orthotics or rarely surgery.
A stress fracture is a small crack in the bone which occurs from overuse injury. It commonly develops in the weight-bearing bones of the lower leg and foot. When the muscles of the foot are overworked or stressed, they are unable to absorb the stress and transfer it onto the bone, which cracks under the pressure.
Sesamoiditis is the inflammation of the sesamoid bone and its associated tendons. It is commonly seen in ballet dancers, sprinters and basketball players, and is an overuse injury caused by increased pressure over the sesamoid bones.
Rheumatoid Arthritis: This is an auto-immune disease in which the body’s immune system (the body’s way of fighting infection) attacks healthy joints, tissues, and organs. It can cause pain, stiffness, swelling, and loss of function in joints. Rheumatoid Arthritis affects mostly joints of the hands and feet and tends to be symmetrical. This means the disease affects the same joints on both sides of the body (both feet) at the same time and with the same symptoms.
Dr. Harris is very interested in the use of stem cells for diseases of the foot and ankle. Often stem cells can be used in the office setting and can preclude a patient from needing a surgery.