Foot And Ankle News

Are the Feet Affected by Obesity?

Recent research has suggested there’s a strong connection between obesity and medical concerns involving the feet and ankles. Typically, the additional weight may alter the structure of the foot, allowing ailments such as plantar fasciitis, tendinitis, and fallen arches to occur. These conditions affect the feet, which can hinder the daily routine and activities. Additional consequences may include the onset of type 2 diabetes, which affects the ability to heal properly. Neuropathy may develop, which is the inability to feel pain due to nerve damage occurring, and any cuts in the skin may take longer to heal. If you are suffering from any of these ailments please consider a consultation with a podiatrist for any foot conditions that need to be addressed.

Obesity has become very problematic at this point in time and can have extremely negative effects on the feet. If you’re an obese individual and are concerned 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.

Obesity and your Feet

Since your feet are what support your entire weight when standing, any additional weight can result in pain and swelling. Being overweight is one of the main contributors to foot complications.

Problems & Complications

Extra Weight – Even putting on just a few extra pounds could create serious complications for your feet. As your weight increases, your balance and body will shift, creating new stresses on your feet. This uneven weight distribution can cause pain, even while doing the simplest tasks, such as walking.

Diabetes – People who are overweight are at serious risk of developing type-2 diabetes, which has a drastic impact on the health of your feet. As you get older, your diabetes might worsen, which could lead to loss of feeling in your feet, sores, and bruises. You could also become more prone to various infections.

Plantar fasciitis – Pressure and stress that is placed on muscles, joints, and tendons can trigger plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of tissue that forms along the bottom of the foot. 

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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What is Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

The tarsal tunnel is a canal that exists between the ligaments that spans across the foot and a portion of the ankle bone. The nerves and tendons that are inside this tunnel allow mobility and enable the foot to easily point and flex. If a specific nerve called the tibial nerve inside this canal should become compressed, typically resulting from an injury, this condition is referred to as tarsal tunnel syndrome. Having flat feet is a possible reason for this condition, causing the tibial nerve to become strained. Certain health issues, such as arthritis and diabetes, may also cause the nerve to endure swelling and increased pressure. The nerve must be allowed to heal properly, and this may be accomplished by wearing a brace or supportive shoes. The discomfort that is experienced may be indicative of other foot-related conditions, so it’s advised to consult a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, 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.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can also be called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon condition of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is the peripheral nerve in the leg responsible for sensation and movement of the foot and calf muscles. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the tibial nerve is damaged, causing problems with movement and feeling in the foot of the affected leg.

Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
– Involves pressure or an injury, direct pressure on the tibial nerve for an extended period of time, sometimes caused by other body structures close by or near the knee.
– Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
– At times, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.

The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
– Different sensations, an afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of the affected leg.
– The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling your toes or flexing your foot can become difficult.
– If condition worsens, infections and ulcers may develop on the foot that is experiencing the syndrome.

A physical exam of the leg can help identify the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Medical tests, such as a nerve biopsy, are also used to diagnose the condition. Patients may receive physical therapy and prescriptive medication. In extreme cases, some may require surgery.

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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A Common Injury Among Tennis Players

A common ailment that many tennis players are affected by are ankle sprains. The ligaments on the outside of the foot are weaker than those on the inside and may have difficulty in protecting the ankle if it should turn inward. You may have trouble differentiating between a sprain and a break, and it often becomes necessary to have an X-ray performed. Common symptoms may include severe pain and swelling, in addition to discoloration of the skin. Resting the foot is an important first step in healing from this injury, in addition to ceasing all activities including walking. The swelling will subside when the the foot is elevated and will generally feel better. After the recovery period begins, performing certain exercises will help the ankle to become stronger, and the tennis games can resume.  One way to possibly prevent this injury is to wear proper footwear while playing tennis.  Specifically, tennis shoes are designed in a way to prevent injuries.  It would be advised to purchase a pair before partaking in the sport.  If you think you may have sprained your ankle during a game of tennis or have any questions or concerns, scheduling an appointment with a podiatrist is advised.

Ankle sprains are common, but need immediate attention. If you need your feet checked, 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.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains take place when the ligaments in your ankle are torn or stretched beyond their limits. There are multiple ways that the ankle can become injured, including twisting or rolling over onto your ankle, putting undue stress on it, or causing trauma to the ankle itself.

What are the Symptoms?

  • Mild to moderate bruising
  • Limited mobility
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration of the skin (depending on severity)

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

Treatment of a sprain depends on the severity.  Many times, people are told to rest and remain off their feet completely, while others are given an air cast. If the sprain is very severe, surgery may be required.

If you have suffered an ankle sprain previously, you may want to consider additional support such as a brace and regular exercises to strengthen the ankle.

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

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A Common Injury Among Tennis Players

A common ailment that many tennis players are affected by are ankle sprains. The ligaments on the outside of the foot are weaker than those on the inside and may have difficulty in protecting the ankle if it should turn inward. You may have trouble differentiating between a sprain and a break, and it often becomes necessary to have an X-ray performed. Common symptoms may include severe pain and swelling, in addition to discoloration of the skin. Resting the foot is an important first step in healing from this injury, in addition to ceasing all activities including walking. The swelling will subside when the the foot is elevated and will generally feel better. After the recovery period begins, performing certain exercises will help the ankle to become stronger, and the tennis games can resume.  One way to possibly prevent this injury is to wear proper footwear while playing tennis.  Specifically, tennis shoes are designed in a way to prevent injuries.  It would be advised to purchase a pair before partaking in the sport.  If you think you may have sprained your ankle during a game of tennis or have any questions or concerns, scheduling an appointment with a podiatrist is advised.     

Ankle sprains are common, but need immediate attention. If you need your feet checked, 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.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains take place when the ligaments in your ankle are torn or stretched beyond their limits. There are multiple ways that the ankle can become injured, including twisting or rolling over onto your ankle, putting undue stress on it, or causing trauma to the ankle itself.

What are the Symptoms?

  • Mild to moderate bruising
  • Limited mobility
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration of the skin (depending on severity)

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

Treatment of a sprain depends on the severity.  Many times, people are told to rest and remain off their feet completely, while others are given an air cast. If the sprain is very severe, surgery may be required.

If you have suffered an ankle sprain previously, you may want to consider additional support such as a brace and regular exercises to strengthen the ankle.

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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Causes and Symptoms of Gout

If the joint in the big toe becomes red, inflamed, and painful, you may be suffering from a condition referred to as gout. It typically affects men over the age of 40 and can lead to serious health issues, such as kidney disease, if left untreated. There are numerous factors for people to suffer from gout, which may include a predisposed inherited gene, extreme amounts of alcohol being ingested on a regular basis, or taking certain medications. Gout is not easily overlooked, because the symptoms develop rapidly and may be severe. The joint will be tender and swollen, and the skin may feel hot and inflamed. Treatment options will include taking medicine to reduce the inflammation. Additionally, it may be beneficial to consider certain lifestyle changes to prevent further attacks from occurring. Please consider a consultation with a podiatrist for a proper evaluation and the treatment options for you.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from the Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.

People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.

Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.

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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The Right Shoes For Sports

Shoes for Sports

Avoid Pain & Raise Your Game

Sport-specific shoes can really affect the way you play. Make sure to have your feet professionally measured by today’s podiatrist to find a correctly sized shoe. If you participate in a certain sport at least two to three times a week, you should wear a sport-specific shoe.

Avoid some serious pain and raise your game by checking out the best shoes for several sports below:

Basketball

Common foot injuries: sprains, tendinitis, stress fractures

The perfect basketball shoe should:
• Have a thick, stiff sole that gives support while running and landing jumps.
• Have high ankle construction that supports the ankle during quick changes in direction.

Soccer

Common foot injuries: ankle sprains, turf toe, ingrown toenails

The perfect soccer cleat should:
• Not have more than a half inch of space between the big toe and the end of the shoe.
• Feature the stud type for the ground that will be played on most often: soft, hard, or firm.

Football & Lacrosse

Common foot injuries: turf toe, Achilles tendinitis

The perfect football cleat should:
• Have a good amount of high ankle support. This is especially important for linemen and other players who make frequent sideways movements during play.
• Allow for proper traction on a grassy field, in both wet and dry conditions. This will largely help to prevent injury.

Running

Common foot injuries: plantar fasciitis, shin splints, Morton’s neuroma

The perfect running shoe should:
• Provide maximum shock absorption, to help runners avoid ailments.
• Match your foot’s arch type (high, medium, low).

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Man with Diabetes checking his feet

Diabetic Foot Care Tips

12 STEPS TO HEALTHIER, HAPPIER FEET

Foot problems associated with diabetes are a signifcant portion of the health risk and cost. Here are 12 steps to healthier, happier feet!

Take care of your diabetes

Make healthy lifestyle choices to keep your blood glucose (sugar), blood pressure and cholesterol close to normal. Doing so may help prevent or delay diabetes-related foot problems.

Check your feet every day

You may have serious foot problems without feeling pain. Check your feet for cuts, sores, swelling and infected toenails every day.

Wash your feet every day

Wash your feet in warm water. Do not soak your feet because your skin will get dry. When you’re done, dry well, especially between your toes. Use talcum powder or cornstarch to keep the skin between your toes dry.

Keep your skin soft & smooth

Rub a thin coat of skin lotion or cream on the tops and bottoms of your feet. Do not moisturize between your toes, as this could trap moisture and lead to further skin problems.

Smooth corns & calluses gently

If you have corns or calluses, check with your doctor or podiatrist about the best way to care for them. If they tell you to, use a pumice stone to smooth corns and calluses after bathing. Rub gently in only one direction to avoid tearing the skin.

Trim your toenails each week

Trim your toenails with clippers after you wash and dry your feet. Trim toenails straight across and smooth them with an emery board or nail file. Don’t cut the corners of the toenails. You may ask your podiatrist to trim your toenails.

Wear shoes & socks at all times

Do not walk barefoot, even indoors, because it’s easy to step on something and hurt your feet. Always wear socks, stockings or nylons with your shoes to help avoid blisters and sores. Choose clean, lightly padded socks that fit well.

Protect your feet from hot & cold

Wear shoes at the beach or on hot pavement, and put sunscreen on the top of your feet to prevent sunburn. Wear socks at night if your feet are cold. Be sure to wear warm shoes or boots in cold weather

Keep the blood flowing to your feet

• Put your feet up when you’re sitting
• Wiggle your toes for five minutes two or three times per day
• Don’t cross your legs for long periods of time
• Don’t smoke. Smoking reduces blood flow to your feet
• Work with your health care team to control your diabetes

Be more active

Ask your doctor to help you plan a daily activity program that’s right for you. Walking, dancing, swimming and bicycling are good forms of exercise that are easy on the feet. Always include a warm-up and cool-down period, and wear athletic shoes that fit well and provide good support.

Be sure to ask your doctor

• Check the sense of feeling and pulses in your feet annually
• Tell you if you’re likely to have foot problems
• Show you how to care for your feet
• Refer you to a good podiatrist
• Decide if special shoes would help your feet stay healthy

Get started now

Begin taking good care of your feet today. Set a time every day to check your feet. Note the date of your next visit to the doctor. Most importantly, stick to your foot care program.

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Kids Foot Problems

Children’s Feet Need Attention

Children are always on their feet.

Those tootsies can take a beating and little problems often arise. It’s important to attend to any issues and that often means a trip to the podiatrist.

When to go

There are many reasons why children visit a podiatrist. The most common would be an ingrown toenail, warts or a foreign body. All of these can be easily resolved with a simple office visit. We also see more complicated conditions such as ankle trauma or pediatric flat foot. A flat foot is when people either have no arch or a very low one.

Footwear

The best footwear for children, and really everyone, is a good supportive shoe that does not bend easily such as sneakers. Most importantly, parents should monitor the size of their children’s foot as to ensure their footwear is not fitting too snugly.

Read the rest at Florida Today

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elderly couple walking

Balance-Boosting Footwear Tips for Older People

Balance in all aspects of life is a good thing. We work hard but make time for fun, love our children while setting boundaries, and eat healthy to enjoy a sundae on Friday night. But mental equilibrium isn’t the only kind of balance that’s important in life. Good physical balance can help older people avoid the debilitating and potentially life-threatening complications of a fall.

Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries among older people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 2010, 2.3 million fall injuries sent older folks to emergency rooms; 662,000 required hospitalizations; and falls cost $30 billion in direct medical costs, the CDC says.

“Preventing falls among older Americans is a top health priority, and improved balance can help reduce the risk of a fall,” says Dr. Matthew Garoufalis, a podiatrist and past-president of APMA. “Proper footwear can help improve balance, especially in older people who may struggle with mobility and balance issues.”

When selecting a shoe to improve balance, keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Put shoes to the 1-2-3 test.
    Step 1: Press on both sides of the heel area to ensure the heel is stiff and won’t collapse.
    Step 2: Bend the shoe to check for toe flexibility. The shoe shouldn’t bend too much in the toe box area, but it shouldn’t be too stiff and inflexible either.
    Step 3: Try twisting the shoe; it shouldn’t twist in the middle.
  • Have your feet professionally measured every time you shoe shop. Natural aging and health changes can cause the size of your feet to change. Measure both feet—late in the day—and shop for the larger foot.
  • Bring the type of socks you plan to wear with the shoes and walk around the store in the shoes before you purchase them.
  • If you don’t feel comfortable or steady in the store, don’t buy them. Shoes should feel comfortable and supportive right away; if they don’t feel good right away, breaking them in won’t improve things.
  • If you have specific health challenges or foot issues, talk to a podiatrist about the best footwear for your needs. If your podiatrist has prescribed orthotics—biomechanical inserts that go into your shoes—take them with you when you shop and try them out in the shoes you’re considering.
  • Quality shoes can be an investment. Before you buy, check to see if the brand and style you’re considering have earned the APMA Seal of Acceptance. APMA grants the seals to products found to promote good foot health.
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What are Bunions?

What Are Bunions? What To Look For And When To Call A Podiatrist

A bunion is caused from a bone in your foot that slowly migrates out to the side creating the bump you see by your big toe. There is a nerve that runs along the side of your foot over the bone so as the bone becomes more prominent, the nerve is being compressed between the bone and your shoe. That’s why tighter fitting shoes are more painful to wear.

You inherit bunions from your family, but certain shoes- both flats and heels can cause the bunion to grow at a faster rate.

Treatment options are wearing wider shoes- round or square toe shoes rather than pointy ones. Wearing shoes with arch supports to slow the progression, avoiding flats and heels. Anti-inflammatory medications can help reduce some of the swelling and pain caused from the bunion, but shouldn’t be taken frequently. You can also try splints and pads to relieve the pressure along the joint, but they will not correct the bunion deformity, that can only be done with surgery.

More from APMA.Org:

Symptoms

The symptoms of a bunion include the following:

  • Development of a swelling, callus or firm bump on the outside edge of the foot, at the base of the big toe
  • Redness, swelling, or pain at or near the MTP joint
  • Development of hammertoes or calluses under the ball of the foot
  • Corns or other irritations caused by the overlap of the first and second toes
  • Restricted or painful motion of the big toe

Home Treatment

What can you do for relief?

  • Apply a commercial, non-medicated bunion pad around the bony prominence
  • Apply a spacer between the big toe and second digit
  • Wear shoes with a wide and deep toe box
  • If your bunion becomes inflamed and painful, apply ice packs several times a day to reduce swelling
  • Avoid high-heeled shoes over two inches tall

When to Visit a Podiatrist
If pain persists, podiatric medical attention should be sought. Bunions tend to get larger and more painful if left untreated, making non-surgical treatment less of an option.

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