PROBLEMS & CARE

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FOOT & ANKLE PROBLEMS

Foot and ankle problems can be brought about by many factors:

  1. Physical stress or small changes in the foot
  2. Improper footwear
  3. Arthritis
  4. Genetics
  5. Infection
  6. Tumors
  7. Injury

The problems most commonly treated in our office are bunions; hammertoe; heel spurs; ingrown toenails; neuromas; plantar fasciitis (heel pain); sesamoiditis; stress fractures; and diabetic foot problems.

If you think that you may be suffering with any of these problems, don't hesitate to give us a call and set up an appointment.

 

FOOT & ANKLE CARE

Not all foot and ankle problems require a visit to the doctor or podiatrist. Certain foot and ankle problems can be treated with over-the-counter medication at home. However, if you are unsure about the steps to take care of your problem, do not hesitate to give us a call and set up an appointment.

- Athletic Foot Care

Whether you are a professional athlete or just play sports for fun, foot and ankle complaints such as corns, calluses and Athlete's foot are issues that may arise. To help prevent these issues, we recommend washing your feet every day and dry thoroughly; wearing properly-fitting, good-quality cotton socks; and purchasing the correct shoes. Sports shoes should protect as much as possible, be durable and should be right for the sport and surface.

- Blisters

Most blisters are caused by friction or minor burns and do not require medical attention. You can soothe ordinary blisters with vitamin E ointment or an aloe-based cream. Do not puncture a blister unless it is large, painful or likely to be further irritated. Do not remove the skin over a broken blister. The new skin underneath needs this protective cover. Prevent blisters by putting petroleum jelly or an adhesive bandage on areas that take the rub and wearing socks that have heels instead of tube socks. Acrylic and other synthetic-fiber socks are good choices.

- Bunions

Bunions develop slowly overtime, so taking proper care of your feet during childhood and early adulthood will pay off later in life. Pay attention to the shape of your feet as they develop overtime. Exercise like picking up small objects with your toes can strengthen your feet, as can wearing shoes that fit properly and do not cramp or pinch your toes.

- Burning Feet

Burning feet are a complaint most common among diabetics and those over 50 years of age. There are many causes like heavy alcohol, neuropathy and loss of sensation, thyroid dysfunction, gastric restriction caused by obesity, and in some rare cases, infectious diseases, such as leishmaniasis. Treatments vary, depending on the cause of the burning foot syndrome.

- Corns and Calluses

Corns and calluses are protective layers of compacted, dead skin cells. They are caused by repeated friction from skin rubbing against bony areas or against an irregularity in a shoe. Corns ordinarily form on the toes and calluses on the soles of the feet. The friction and pressure can burn or otherwise be painful and may be relieved by moleskin or padding on the affected areas. Never cut corns or calluses with any instrument, and never apply home remedies, except under a podiatrist’s instructions.

- Diabetic Foot Care

Keep these tips in mind for diabetic foot care:

  • Always wear shoes with socks.
  • Buy shoes late in the day.
  • Request shoes with deep toe boxes and made of leather upper material.
  • Do not buy shoes that need "breaking in." Shoes should be immediately comfortable.
  • Do not wear new shoes more than two hours at a time.
  • Do not wear the same shoes every day.
  • Do not file down, remove or shave calluses or corns yourself.
  • Do not smoke. It decreases the blood supply to your feet.
  • Do not trim your own toenails.
  • Do not use any chemicals or strong antiseptic solutions on your feet.
  • Do not wear stockings or socks with tight elastic backs and do not use garters.
  • Do not use any tape or sticky products such as corn plasters on your feet. They can rip your skin.
  • Never walk barefoot, neither indoors nor out.
  • Never wear sandals or flip flops.
  • Examine your feet daily for redness, warmth, blisters, ulcers, scratches, cuts and nail problems from shoes or other sources. Look at the bottoms and between toes. Use a mirror or have someone else look for you.
  • Examine your shoes for foreign objects, protruding nails and rough spots inside before putting them on.
  • In the winter, wear warm socks and protective footwear.
  • Keep feet away from heat (heating pads, hot water pads, electric blankets, radiators, fireplaces).
  • Water temperature should be less than 92 degrees. Estimate with your elbow or bath thermometer.
  • Lubricate your entire foot if your skin is dry, but avoid putting cream between toes.
  • Contact our office immediately if you experience any (even minor) injury to your foot.
  • Contact our office if the circulation in your feet is impaired.
- Foot Care for Seniors

Experts say that problems with our feet can be the first sign of more serious medical conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, and nerve and circulatory disorders. Keep blood circulating to your feet as much as possible by putting your feet up when you are sitting or lying down; stretching your feet if you've had to sit for a long while; avoid sitting for long periods of time. Avoid exposing your feet to cold temperatures and smoking, which will decrease blood supply and increases the chance of swelling and other circulatory problems. Most importantly, wear comfortable shoes that fit well. Check your feet regularly, or have a member of your family check them.

- Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) is a serious condition that occurs when blood flow through the arteries is decreased due to the build-up of plaque along the arterial walls. People who suffer from Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) have an increased risk of heart attack, stroke and critical limb ischemia (CLI). It is estimated that approximately 8 to 12 million people in the United States are affected with PAD. Patients with diabetes are among those with the highest risk of developing the condition. The ADA urges PAD screenings for all diabetic patients over the age of 50 and those under 50 who have other risk factors. We provide this testing inside the office.