Posts for category: Foot Care
An ankle sprain occurs when the foot rolls or twists to the point where a ligament inside stretches beyond its normal capacity. Ankle sprains are extremely common, with an estimated 25,000 sprains happening in the United States every day. Athletes and people who work outdoors or on uneven surfaces are at a higher risk for spraining their ankle. Regular wear of high-heeled shoes is also a risk factor.
Sprained ankles are diagnosed by degree; that is, the severity of the sprain and the symptoms it produces. Grade 1 sprains are the mildest, with minimal swelling and tenderness due to a slight ligament tear. Usually, Grade 1 sprains still allow for weight to be put on the ankle. Grade 2 sprains have a more significant injury to the ligament and, while walking may still be possible, it is painful. Grade 3 sprains are diagnosed when the affected ligament has sustained a complete tear and the ankle cannot bear weight. Grade 3 sprains typically display obvious bruising and swelling around the ankle.
The grade of an ankle sprain will determine the treatment. The tried-and-true RICE method - rest, ice, compression, and elevation - is usually sufficient for Grade 1 sprains. Refraining from walking, keeping the ankle elevated for the first two days, stabilizing the ankle with a compression dressing, and applying ice to reduce swelling helps the sprain resolve within 2 to 4 weeks. Grade 2 sprains also respond well to RICE treatment, although healing typically takes longer and a firmer immobilization device, like a splint, is typically recommended. Grade 3 sprains often require similar treatment used for ankle fractures; a cast or brace may be needed and surgery may be considered for some patients.
To ensure proper healing, it is important to follow the recommendations of your podiatrist. Attempting to return to normal activity too soon could result in a repeat injury or permanent ankle instability.
What is Sesamoiditis?
Sesamoids are small bones that are only connected to tendons or surrounded in muscle. This only appears in a few places in the body, one of which is the foot. Two very tiny sesamoids are found in the underside of the foot near the big toe. One is on the outer side of the foot and the other bone is close to the middle of the foot. This structure provides a smooth surface for the tendons to slide over, which helps the tendons move muscles. They help with weight bearing and also help to elevate the bones of the big toe. So now that you know what sesamoids are, you might be wondering what sesamoiditis is and what its symptoms are.
Just like any other bone, sesamoids can unfortunately fracture. The tendons surrounding the sesamoids may also become irritated or inflamed and this is what sesamoiditis is. Sesamoiditis is also a form of tendonitis and is a common condition among ballerinas, runners, and baseball catchers due to the pressure that is constantly placed on their feet.
Symptoms of Sesamoiditis
Symptoms of Sesamoiditis may include:
- Pain under the big toe or ball of the foot
- Swelling and/or bruising
- Difficulty in bending and straightening the big toe
- Resting and stopping any activity that could be causing pain and inflammation
- Anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen and aspirin only after consulting your physician
- Icing the sole of the foot
- Wearing soft-soled and low-heeled shoes
- Cushioning inserts in the shoes
If symptoms persist after treatments, you may need to wear a removable brace for 4-6 weeks to help the bones heal. Call your podiatrist today to ask any questions about sesamoiditis and get on your way to pain-free feet once again!
Corns are thickened areas of skin that develop in response to excessive pressure and friction. This can occur when one toe rubs repeatedly against another, or when the toes rub against ill-fitting footwear. Typically hard and circular, corns are usually not a serious problem, but can be quite painful if untreated, especially when wearing shoes.
How Are Corns Treated?
Since corns are often symptoms of underlying problems such as faulty bone structures or abnormal gait, self-treatment should only involve footwear modification. Never attempt to cut or scrape away a corn on your own, as this can lead to infection. It’s best to consult a podiatrist first, as many times over-the-counter treatments fail to effectively treat the underlying foot disorder and can damage the healthy surrounding skin if used incorrectly.
A podiatrist will assess your corn, determine the cause, and help you determine a treatment plan to manage the pain and eliminate the pressure that is causing the corn. These conservative treatments may include padding to prevent pressure, footwear modifications, and orthotics to relieve stress under the foot. When pain is persistent or conservative treatment isn’t effective, minimally-invasive surgical correction may be recommended to remove the corn or repair the bone structure beneath the corn.
The surgery can often be performed in the doctor's office, the recovery time is brief, and many patients obtain relief within days. Corns always require consultation with an experienced podiatrist. When treated early, most corns can be resolved with non-surgical treatments.
Heel pain is one of the leading problems that sends patients to visit their podiatrist, and it’s no wonder. The relentless ache in the bottom of your foot or the sharp pain as you step out of bed in the morning is often enough to persuade even the most stubborn patient to make an appointment with his or her podiatrist.
Because there are many potential causes of heel pain, such as a stress fracture, tendonitis, nerve damage or arthritis, it’s important to have your foot examined by a podiatrist with expert training in heel pain. Our practice will examine your foot, determine the underlying source of your heel pain, assess your symptoms, make a proper diagnosis and recommend a treatment plan based on your individual case. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent more serious problems.
Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain, occurring when the thick band of tissue (plantar fascia) that connects the heel to the toes becomes irritated and inflamed. When the plantar fascia is strained over time beyond its normal extension, tissues of the fascia may tear or stretch, which leads to pain.
Faulty foot structures, such as flat feet or high arches, are common causes of plantar fasciitis. Non-supportive shoes and increased weight or strain may aggravate the condition as well.
Common symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:
- Bottom of the heel pain
- Pain that intensifies after sitting for extended periods of time and subsides after a few minutes of walking
- Pain that worsens over a period of months
Most types of heel pain, once properly diagnosed, can be successfully treated with conservative measures, such as use of anti-inflammatory medications and ice, rest, stretching exercises, orthotic devices, footwear modifications, and physical therapy. The longer heel pain is allowed to progress, the longer treatment can take. When plantar fasciitis doesn’t respond to conservative care, your podiatrist may recommend surgery as a last resort. Always seek care from our office for heel pain in its earliest stages for proper treatment.
When foot problems don’t respond to conservative treatments, your podiatrist may recommend surgery to relieve pain, correct a foot deformity or restore function in your foot and/or ankle.
Podiatric surgery is performed by board certified foot surgeons who specialize in surgery of the feet and ankles. An expert podiatrist can diagnose the cause of your foot pain and determine whether surgical intervention may be helpful for you based on factors such as type of procedure being performed, your age and medical history.
Our practice offers a variety of surgical procedures aimed at solving your lower extremity pains and deformities. Foot surgery is performed to treat many foot problems including:
- Heel pain
- Nail problems
Surgical treatment for foot and ankle problems can help you return to your active lifestyle while relieving pain and discomfort. Benefits of surgery include:
- Resolution of painful, chronic foot problems
- Increased mobility and ability to perform and participate in everyday activities
- Improved foot appearance
- Ability to wear a broader range of footwear and walk more comfortably
Following surgery, your podiatrist will provide you with detailed instructions on caring for your foot/feet during recovery. Your podiatrist will work with you to ensure the foot heals normally and without complications for the best possible outcome.
When your feet hurt, your entire body hurts. At our practice, we do everything possible to get you back on your feet with the latest conservative treatments to resolve your problem without surgical intervention. And when conservative methods aren’t responsive, we can provide the highest quality of expert care for all foot and ankle conditions using the most current surgical techniques for shorter recovery times and an enhanced outcome.