All posts by Foot & Ankle Center

Why is it Important for Seniors to Maintain Proper Foot Care?

There are several ways seniors can practice proper foot care. These may include wearing shoes that fit correctly and are comfortable to wear during daily activities. It’s important the toes have adequate room to move around inside, and this may possibly avoid a pre-existing case of bunions from becoming worse. It may also prevent corns from developing. Additionally, performing a gentle exercise program frequently, may aid in keeping the blood flowing. These may include walking and stretching, which may help to maintain proper circulation. Washing the feet and drying thoroughly between the toes may be beneficial in preventing athlete’s foot from developing. When a moisturizing lotion is used, a painful condition referred to as cracked heels may be avoided. When the toenails are trimmed properly, occurrences of ingrown toenails may decrease. If you are a senior, it’s suggested to consult with a podiatrist on a frequent basis to discuss any foot conditions that may be present.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from the Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

The Elderly and their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet, and can hide many life threating medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Marrero, LA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Elderly and their Feet

While proper foot care is important for everybody, senior citizens have the tendency to be more susceptible to certain foot conditions. The elderly should therefore be well informed about any problems that may arise and about what they can do to properly avoid or treat them.

Some of the most common foot problems seniors are susceptible to include foot ulcers, ingrown toenails, fallen arches, and fungal nails. A foot ulcer is an open sore on the foot and can be a result of diabetes and decreased sensation in the feet. An ingrown toenail is defined as when the nail grows into the side of the toe. Fallen arches are indicated by the instep of the foot collapsing. A fungal nails is a condition that results in deformed and discolored toenails.

In order to avoid these conditions it is recommended that the feet be inspected by the patient on a regular basis. If these inspections are carried out routinely, there is a good likelihood that problems can be identified before they become severe, or can even be avoided altogether. If any abnormality is discovered, it is important that the individual consult a podiatrist for diagnosis and information on treatment options.

Proper foot hygiene is also important. Making sure that you always have clean, dry socks on can be a major deterrent to many different problems including bacterial infections, foot odor, and certain types of fungus. Wet feet are a major cause of many of these problems.  If your socks get wet, it is important to change them. Walking around in wet socks may not only lead to various infections, but can irritate the skin and result in a number of various complications. Clean, dry feet are less likely to be affected by fungal and other infections.

As people age, the fat present on your feet begins to deteriorate. The protective nature of this fat keeps the feet healthy by providing a barrier between your bones and the ground. This also aids in giving the skin on the feet a certain amount of elasticity. This is one factor that causes elderly people to develop some serious foot issues. Foot moisturizers can be helpful to avoid certain problems associated with this. However, water-based moisturizers do not work as well for elderly people as they do for the young. Instead, it is more effective to use an emollient instead. An emollient is effective because it binds the water in the foot, keeping it from becoming absorbed too readily which will result in dry skin. Emollients also have a special property called occlusion, which provides a layer of oil on the skin. This layer prevents the foot from drying up and can be very effective in treating dry skin disorders.  If you can keep the skin on your feet healthy, this will substantially reduce the number of foot problems you will encounter in old age.

Proper footwear is another way to keep feet healthy. Shoes that fit well and provide proper support help prevent ingrown toenails and fallen arches.

Certain medical conditions such as diabetes or poor blood circulation increase the risk for foot issues. For individuals with any of these conditions it is extremely important to conduct regular foot inspections to make sure that there are no sores or infections present.

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What are the Symptoms of a Broken Toe?

There are several ways to incur a broken toe. Repetitive motions can cause a hairline fracture in the toe, in addition to dropping a heavy object on it. Some people may experience stubbing a toe, which is the result of hitting it against a hard surface. This may produce severe discomfort and pain, and a broken toe may be an unfortunate result. There are noticeable symptoms associated with a broken toe, including swelling, bruising and difficulty in walking. The toe may appear deformed, and this may depend upon the severity of the fracture. It’s important to have a proper diagnose performed, and this is often accomplished by having an X-Ray taken. Treatment of a broken toe may include taping it to the toe next to it, which is often referred to as buddy taping. It’s important to speak with a podiatrist as quickly as possible to learn about additional treatment options concerning a broken toe.

Broken toes may cause a lot of pain and should be treated as soon as possible. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from the Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What is a Broken Toe?

A broken toe occurs when one or more of the toe bones of the foot are broken after an injury. Injuries such as stubbing your toe or dropping a heavy object on it may cause a toe fracture.

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • Swelling
  • Pain (with/without wearing shoes)
  • Stiffness
  • Nail Injury

Although the injured toe should be monitored daily, it is especially important to have a podiatrist look at your toe if you have severe symptoms. Some of these symptoms include: worsening or new pain that is not relieved with medication, sores, redness, or open wounds near the toe.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Marrero, LA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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What to Know About a Broken Toe

The forefoot is composed of five metatarsal bones and fourteen phalanges. Each toe has three phalanges except for the big toe which only has two. Our toes play an essential role to the walking process, which is why a broken toe could seriously disrupt one’s ability to move around. Toe fractures are common and can be very painful. Fortunately, these injuries rarely require surgery and usually heal with rest and a change in activity.

Broken toes typically result from a traumatic event such as falling, stubbing the toe, or dropping something on the toe. Traumatic toe fractures may be categorized as either minor or severe fractures. At times, one may hear a “pop” or “crack” sound when the bone breaks. Common symptoms of a traumatic toe fracture include pain, throbbing, bruising, swelling, and redness.

Another type of toe fractures is a stress fracture. These injuries usually appear in the form of small hairline breaks on the bone. Stress fractures develop after repetitive activity instead of a single injury. Stress fractures occur when the muscles in the bone become too weak to absorb impact. Consequently, the toe bone becomes vulnerable to any pressure and impact it endures. Symptoms for a stress fracture in the toe include swelling without bruising, tenderness to the touch, pain that goes away with rest, and pain after walking or running.

If you suspect that you have a broken toe, you should make an appointment with your podiatrist. He or she will likely diagnose you by performing a physical exam and an X-ray. Treatment for a broken toe may include the R.I.C.E. method, buddy taping, surgery, or antibiotics. The R.I.C.E. method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) is a common treatment method for many injuries because it decreases pain. Buddy tapping involves wrapping the injured toe next to an adjacent toe to keep it supported and protected. These two methods have proven to be effective in the healing process for toe fractures. The estimated healing time for a broken toe is approximately four to six weeks. If the injury becomes infected or requires surgery, the estimated healing time may take eight weeks or more. 

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Preventative Ways to Protect Diabetic Feet

Patients who are diabetic often experience conditions involving the feet. These may include corns, blisters, and foot ulcers, which may typically be a result of elevated blood sugar levels. Many patients experience a tingling sensation and this may prevent cuts, sores, and bruises from being noticed. There are several preventative measures to ensure the feet can feel good. These generally include inspecting the feet daily for any type of cuts or wounds, maintaining dry feet to reduce the possibility of infection, and always wearing shoes or having your feet covered while inside or outside. Additionally, if smoking is part of the patients daily routine, research has shown it is advised to quit, and this may improve circulation in the feet. If you are diabetic, it’s suggested to have your feet checked regularly by a podiatrist who will be able to properly treat any foot conditions related to diabetes.

Diabetic foot care is important in preventing foot ailments such as ulcers. If you are suffering from diabetes or have any other concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from the Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes affects millions of people every year. The condition can damage blood vessels in many parts of the body, especially the feet. Because of this, taking care of your feet is essential if you have diabetes, and having a podiatrist help monitor your foot health is highly recommended.

The Importance of Caring for Your Feet

  • Routinely inspect your feet for bruises or sores.
  • Wear socks that fit your feet comfortably.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that provide adequate support.

Patients with diabetes should have their doctor monitor their blood levels, as blood sugar levels play such a huge role in diabetic care. Monitoring these levels on a regular basis is highly advised.

It is always best to inform your healthcare professional of any concerns you may have regarding your feet, especially for diabetic patients. Early treatment and routine foot examinations are keys to maintaining proper health, especially because severe complications can arise if proper treatment is not applied.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Marrero, LA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Diabetic Foot Conditions

According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), diabetes is a condition that affects approximately 23.6 million Americans.  Around 750,000 new cases are diagnosed each year, and the disease’s most common form, Type 2 diabetes, makes up for 90 to 95 percent of these cases.  Type 2 diabetes is especially prevalent among older Americans, those who are obese, and those who lead sedentary lifestyles.

Complications of the disease may lead to several foot and ankle-related conditions.  The loss of nerve sensation, or neuropathy, can cause diabetics to lose feeling at the bottom of the feet and therefore leave them unaware of pain, pressure, and heat.  Decreased circulation is another complication of diabetes that can slow down the healing of wounds and injuries; this can lead to the development of foot ulcers.

To prevent foot ulcers from forming, diabetics should examine their feet every day for small cuts and wear shoes that curtail pressure.  Constant monitoring for the risk factors associated with ulcer formation can allow for early detection and therefore lessen the possibility of ulcers or, even worse, amputation.  The removal of calluses and ingrown toenails should be left to the podiatrist to avoid improper removal and possible infection.

Diabetic patients may also experience foot deformities due to complications in their feet, such as limited joint mobility, muscle atrophy, and decreased fat padding.  These complications can increase pressure in certain areas of the foot, which in turn can cause certain deformities, such as hammertoe, to form.  Another deformity, Charcot foot, develops due to the collapsing of microfractures in the bones of the feet.  The resulting deformity is a foot that is flattened and wider in appearance.

To help minimize pressure and prevent the development of these diabetes-related foot and ankle conditions, your podiatrist may consider using orthotics or special shoes.  Charcot foot may be treated using walkers, custom orthotic insoles, or non-weight-bearing or rigid weight-bearing casts or braces.  In more serious cases, surgery may be considered to treat more developed deformities.  Ulcers can be further cared for with the help of proper diet, medication to control glucose, intensive wound care, and infection treatment.

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Causes of an Achilles Tendon Rupture

The purpose of the Achilles tendon is to connect the heel bone to the calf muscles and it is considered to be the largest tendon in the body. The ability to point and flex the foot occurs naturally when the Achilles tendon contracts and this also enables people to walk, run, and stand on tiptoe with ease. If the patient should experience a tear in this tendon, this condition is referred to as an Achilles tendon rupture. General reasons for this to occur may include the tendon weakening with age, which may promote injury. It typically occurs when activities that are pursued require running and jumping, also when proper stretching is not practiced beforehand. Typical symptoms may include experiencing an immediate and severe pain in the back of the heel, as well as swelling and bruising. If you feel you have ruptured your Achilles tendon, please consult with a podiatrist to learn about correct treatment techniques.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of the Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What are the symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Marrero, LA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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Achilles Tendon Injuries

The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body; it is a tough band of fibrous tissue that stretches from the bones of the heel to the calf muscles. This tendon is what allows us to stand on our toes while running, walking, or jumping, it is common for this tendon to become injured. In severe cases, the Achilles tendon may become partially torn or completely ruptured. However, this tendon is susceptible to injury because of its limited blood supply and the high tensions it endures.

The people who are more likely to suffer from Achilles tendon injuries are athletes who partake in activities that require them to speed up, slow down, or pivot. Consequently, athletes who engage in running, gymnastics, dance, football, baseball, basketball, or tennis are more likely to suffer from Achilles tendon injuries. Additionally, there are other factors that may make you more prone to this injury. People who wear high heels, have flat feet, have tight leg muscles or tendons, or take medicines called glucocorticoids are more likely to have Achilles tendon injuries.

A common symptom of an Achilles tendon injury is pain above the heel that is felt when you stand on your toes. However, if the tendon is ruptured, the pain will be severe, and the area may become swollen and stiff. Other symptoms may be reduced strength in the lower ankle or leg area, and reduced range of motion in the ankle. When the Achilles tendon tears, there is usually a popping sound that occurs along with it. People who have acute tears or ruptures may find walking and standing to be difficult.

If you suspect you have injured your Achilles tendon, you should see your podiatrist to have a physical examination. Your podiatrist will likely conduct a series of tests to diagnose your injury including a “calf-squeeze” test. Calf squeeze tests are performed by first squeezing the calf muscle on the healthy leg. This will pull on the tendon and consequently cause the foot to move. Afterward, the same test will be performed on the injured leg. If the tendon is torn, the foot won’t move because the calf muscle won’t be connected to the foot.

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The Causes of Hammertoe

Research has shown the main cause for developing the foot condition known as hammertoe originates from wearing poorly fitting shoes. Shoes that have little or no arch may cause the middle joint in the toe to bend downward abnormally, and this may cause the bent toe to resemble a hammer. This condition typically causes severe pain and discomfort, and may affect the surrounding muscles that are used to keep the toe straight. There may be several reasons why this muscle imbalance occurs, including wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move about, having specific diseases such as diabetes or arthritis, or genetic factors. Some of the symptoms that may accompany this ailment may include redness and swelling, open sores on the affected toe, and noticeable pain and discomfort. Certain measures are typically taken to treat hammertoe, and these may include performing gentle foot exercises that incorporate the muscles of the toes, in addition to choosing proper footwear. It’s important to speak with a podiatrist who can determine a treatment plan that is best for you as quickly as possible.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists from the Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctors will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

If you have any questions please contact our office located in Marrero, LA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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