Foot Pain and Injury

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An active lifestyle requires feet that work well and are free of pain. Our foot and ankle specialists treat foot-related pain and foot injuries that can sideline you from your favorite activities. Common conditions we treat include:

•    Bunions and bunionettes
•    Claw toes and hammer toes
•    Diabetic foot issues 
•    Flatfoot
•    Foot sprains and fractures and sports-related foot injuries
•    Foot arthritis and rheumatoid foot disorders
•    Heel pain, heel spurs, and plantar fasciitis
•    Ligament and tendon injuries
•    Neuromas and nerve pain 

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If You Need Immediate Treatment

Visit Duke Orthopaedic Urgent Care
Our convenient orthopaedic urgent care clinic is open seven days a week. Get fast service with no long waits and no unnecessary exposure to illness. No appointment needed; walk-ins are welcome.

Our Locations

Duke Health offers orthopaedic clinics throughout the Triangle. Find one near you. In-person and virtual appointments are available.


Our foot and ankle specialists take into account your complete health history, activity level, and lifestyle goals to create a treatment plan that is right for you.

Nonsurgical Treatments

We will do our best to manage your foot issues safely and effectively without surgery. Before surgery is considered, our team of specialists may recommend nonsurgical treatments. These include medications, orthotics, bracing, injections, and physical therapy. In some cases, surgery may be needed.

Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes can lead to numerous problems with your feet. These may include numbness and tingling, arch collapse (flatfoot), foot wounds, and more. Our foot and ankle specialists are experienced at diagnosing these issues and providing you with the proper care.

Trauma and Fractures 

Foot injuries include sprains, tendon injuries, fractures, or dislocations. Whether it’s a new injury that needs to be evaluated or an old injury that is not healing properly, we use on-site imaging to diagnose your injury and create a treatment plan. We may recommend a range of treatments from bracing, splinting, or casting to surgery.

Arthritis Surgery

Surgery may be needed to remove part or all of a bone or replace or fuse joints to provide pain relief. For example, arthritis in the joint of the big toe can be treated with surgery that shaves off underlying bone spurs. We also offer artificial cartilage implants than can provide pain relief while preserving range of motion.

Bunion Surgery

Bunions and bunionettes (bumps on the outer edge of the small toe) can be painful and may lead to difficulty with shoe wear. No two bunions are alike, and our providers are skilled at various surgical techniques to remove them, restore proper alignment of your foot, and relieve your pain. Duke is also one of the few hospitals in the region offering minimally invasive bunion surgery.

Claw Toe, Hammer Toe Surgery

Claw toes and hammer toes are deformities of the smaller toes, in which the toes appear crooked or stiff. They can be painful, affect shoe wear, and cause calluses and other skin issues. Surgery may be needed to realign the toes and relieve pain.

Flatfoot Surgery

Surgery may be recommended to prevent your fallen arches from worsening and to relieve pain. The procedure may include bone realignment, ligament or tendon release, tendon transfers, or foot fusions.

Morton’s Neuroma Treatment

When the nerves in the forefoot are compressed or injured, you may experience pain that feels like stepping on a pebble. If nonsurgical treatment does not relieve pain, surgery may be recommended to remove the injured nerve.

Foot and Ankle Arthroscopy

Our surgeons specialize in this minimally invasive surgical technique, in which a tiny camera and surgical instruments are passed through small incisions to repair torn ligaments and tendons or remove loose bone or arthritis-damaged cartilage. Minimally invasive surgery helps you recover faster with less blood loss.

Heel Pain and Plantar Fasciitis

Heel pain is a common issue that can be debilitating. Common causes include Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, flatfoot, arthritis, or tendonitis. These conditions can often be treated without surgery, but it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis to help guide your treatment plan. 

Bone and Tissue Grafts

Bone and tissue grafts can repair fractures that failed to heal, correct foot deformity, and replace worn out or torn ligaments and tendons. Our foot and ankle surgeons are involved in research on bone and tissues grafts and helped develop novel techniques to make them safer and more successful. 


Because the exact source of foot pain is not always obvious, our doctors may use a variety of tests to diagnose your foot condition.


We often use weightbearing X-rays to assess your foot issue. This type of X-ray can help diagnose many foot and ankle issues that may not be seen with traditional X-rays. 


Fluoroscopy provides real-time X-ray imaging of the foot in motion. It can be used to diagnose joint instability and help guide injections in an affected joint.

Blood Tests

Blood tests diagnose certain health problems that affect the feet. These include autoimmune disorders, arthritis, infection, healing problems, and electrolyte imbalances.

Ultrasound, MRI, CT

Other non-invasive imaging tests may be needed to help diagnosis your foot issue and create a treatment plan. 

  • Ultrasound uses sound waves to create pictures of the structures inside your body. It may be used to visualize blood vessels to rule out blockages or to evaluate tendon or ligament injuries. 
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses a powerful magnet and and radio waves to create a 3D image of your soft tissues including cartilage, tendons, and ligaments. 
  • Computed tomography (CT) uses radiation to create 3D images of denser tissues such as bone. Our weightbearing CT scanner can also assess your alignment and overall foot and ankle structure.
Best Orthopaedic Hospital in North Carolina

Where you receive your care matters. Duke University Hospital is proud of our team and the exceptional care they provide. They are why our orthopaedics program is nationally ranked, and the highest-ranked program in North Carolina, according to U.S. News & World Report for 2023–2024.

Leaders in Foot Injury Diagnosis and Treatment

A Team of Foot and Ankle Specialists
Our foot and ankle specialists are experienced in diagnosing and treating the full range of foot pain and injury, from bunions to fractures. They are board-certified and fellowship-trained in foot and ankle surgery and perform hundreds of foot and ankle procedures each year. 

Minimally Invasive Techniques
If your foot pain or injury requires surgery, we are experts in minimally invasive surgical techniques. The small incisions translate to faster recovery and a quicker return to your daily activities.

Dedicated Physical Therapy
Our physical therapists focus exclusively on foot and ankle injuries and rehabilitation. They work in tandem with your doctor to devise a personalized rehabilitation plan that includes sport-specific therapy.

This page was medically reviewed on 03/01/2021 by