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Extensor Tendonitis: What…
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Extensor Tendonitis: What You Should Know About This Common Foot Condition

April 21, 2022

If you’re experiencing pain on top of your foot around the midpoint, decreased ability to move your toes on the affected foot, or weakness / pain after standing or walking for long periods of time, you may have extensor tendonitis. Quite simply, extensor tendonitis in the foot is inflammation of the extensor tendon, which allows you to move your toes. It’s a common condition that often only affects one foot or the other, though both may be affected at the same time.

What Causes Extensor Tendonitis?

This condition is commonly caused by wearing shoes that don’t fit properly. When shoes are too tight, they cause pressure on the extensor tendons, and that constant pressure leads to inflammation. You’re also at risk if you have a high instep or suffer trauma to the foot, including overuse injuries.

What Are the Symptoms of Extensor Tendonitis?

Unfortunately, the most common symptom is pain, typically on the top and center of your foot. You may also experience discomfort during activities involving the feet, such as walking and running, swelling, redness, and / or warm sensations in the area, and even joint stiffness. 

When It Comes to Extensor Tendonitis, a Proper Diagnosis Is Key to Successful Treatment!

To receive a proper diagnosis and a treatment plan, you need an exam by an orthopedic specialist. Oftentimes, only an exam and medical history are needed to diagnosis extensor tendonitis, but you may also need X-rays and sometimes an MRI.

What Extensor Tendonitis Treatments Are Available?

A typical course of treatment for extensor tendonitis includes NSAIDs or other anti-inflammatory medicines in either topical or oral form, steroid injections, physical therapy, and / or in platelet-rich plasma therapy, or PRP therapy. In a situation where the tendon is beginning to pull away from the bone, surgery may be necessary.

Can I Try Home Remedies First?

Yes, you sure can! The most important thing you can do is rest. You need to give the tendons in your foot a break. Ice your foot for 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours, and wrap your foot (not too tightly) with an elastic bandage. Also, invest in new shoes that fit properly. 

When Should You Call an Orthopedic Specialist?

If you notice the pain has lasted more than a week despite your best efforts at home, or if you feel burning and / or numbness, call a specialist to avoid developing a serious foot concern. 

Want Some Helpful Tips to Help Prevent Extensor Tendonitis?

There are a few things you can do to prevent this type of pain on top of the foot, in addition to wearing shoes that correctly fit. Try regular exercise with proper form, pay attention to how your feet feel during walking or exercise, and always warm up as well as cool down when exercising.

Your orthopedic specialist can provide a more comprehensive list of preventative measures to keep your feet in optimal shape.

For a Quick and Correct Foot Diagnosis for Extensor Tendonitis or Other Conditions, Turn to the Docs at DOC!

Direct Orthopedic Care (DOC) provides high-quality care and a treatment plan geared towards getting you safely and successfully back on your feet. To schedule an appointment contact our Guest Care Team   at 855-921-0799 or visit our locations page for comprehensive foot care, from heel to toe.

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