Located in the West Jefferson Medical Center, Marrero, LA

All posts by Foot & Ankle Center

How Does Arthritis Affect the Feet?

One particular kind of arthritis that can affect the feet and ankles is known as rheumatoid arthritis, or RA. Symptoms of RA may include the feeling of stiffness in the ankle joints, which may stem from an inflammation issue of the ankles. Over time, the overall structure and shape of the joints in the ankle may change due to RA. Those with RA may feel pain in the heel, Achilles tendon region, toes, and ball of the foot. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis may also experience difficulty walking or standing for long periods of time, as the overall mobility of their joints become increasingly restricted. Partaking in light exercises, following an anti-inflammatory diet, and using medication for reducing inflammation and pain may help to relieve the symptoms of RA. For information on how arthritis affects the feet, we recommend you consult with a podiatrist for professional care and an advised treatment plan.

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment, 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.

Arthritic Foot Care  

Arthritis is a term that is commonly used to describe joint pain.  The condition itself can occur to anyone of any age, race, or gender, and there are over 100 types of it.  Nevertheless, arthritis is more commonly found in women compared to men, and it is also more prevalent in those who are overweight. The causes of arthritis vary depending on which type of arthritis you have. Osteoarthritis for example, is often caused by injury, while rheumatoid arthritis is caused by a misdirected immune system.

Symptoms

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Decreased Range of Motion

Arthritic symptoms range in severity, and they may come and go. Some symptoms stay the same for several years but could potentially get worse with time. Severe cases of arthritis can prevent its sufferers from performing daily activities and make walking difficult.

Risk Factors

  • Occupation – Occupations requiring repetitive knee movements have been linked to osteoarthritis
  • Obesity – Excess weight can contribute to osteoarthritis development
  • Infection – Microbial agents can infect the joints and trigger arthritis
  • Joint Injuries – Damage to joints may lead to osteoarthritis
  • Age – Risk increases with age
  • Gender –Most types are more common in women
  • Genetics – Arthritis can be hereditary

If you suspect your arthritis is affecting your feet, it is crucial that you see a podiatrist immediately. Your doctor will be able to address your specific case and help you decide which treatment method is best for you.

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.

Read more about How to Care for Your Arthritic Foot

Read More

How to Care for Your Arthritic Foot

Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints and it can occur at any joint in the body, especially in the foot. It generally effects those who are older, however, it can occur at any age. Although there are many different forms of arthritis, there are three main types that occur in the foot. The three types are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout.

The primary cause of osteoarthritis is aging. As you age, cartilage degenerates around the joints which causes friction and pain. Obesity can cause osteoarthritis through mechanical stress. Injuries that damage joints can increase the probability as well. Finally, a family history of osteoarthritis can also increase chances of having it.

Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the immune system attacks the joint linings and weakens them over a long time. While there is no known cause of rheumatoid arthritis, obesity and smoking can increase your chances of getting it. Women are also more likely to get it than men.

Gout is a form of arthritis that occurs when there is too much uric acid in your blood and painful crystals form in your joints. Men are more likely to have gout than women. People who are obese or drink alcohol often are also more likely to develop gout. Furthermore, having diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, gastric bypass surgery or a family history of gout may increase your likelihood of developing the condition.

Symptoms of arthritis include pain, stiffness, swelling in the joints. These symptoms can make it harder and more painful to walk. Physical activity can increase pain and discomfort. Furthermore, joint pain can worsen throughout the day for osteoarthritis. Gout attacks generally last several days with the first few being the worst.

Diagnosis of gout includes either a joint fluid test or a blood test. X-ray imaging can detect osteoarthritis but not gout. On the other hand, there is no blood test for osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is difficult to diagnosis. Doctors utilize family and personal medical history, a physical examination, and antibody blood tests to determine if you have rheumatoid arthritis.

Treatment varies for the different kinds of arthritis. Anti-inflammatory medication or steroids can help reduce pain from inflammation of the joints. Changing shoe types can help with some symptoms. Wider shoes can help with discomfort from gout and osteoarthritis. High heels should be avoided. Shoes with proper arch support and that take pressure off the ball of the foot can help with rheumatoid arthritis. Drinking lots of water can also help rid uric acid from the blood. Losing weight, improving your diet, and limiting alcohol and smoking can also help prevent or lessen the symptoms of arthritis.

If you are having trouble walking or pain in your feet, see a podiatrist to check if you have arthritis.

Read More

Possible Causes of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

The tarsal tunnel is located on the inside of the ankle. There are nerves that are in this portion of the foot that provide movement and feeling. If one of these nerves becomes compressed and inflamed, a condition that is known as tarsal tunnel syndrome may develop. It can happen for several reasons, including a direct injury to the ankle, excessive swelling in the feet, or from existing medical conditions such as arthritis. Some of the symptoms that are typically associated with this ailment can include a lack of feeling in the sole of the foot, and there may be burning or tingling sensations in the foot, ankle, or calf. Patients who stand for long periods of time throughout the day, have flat feet, diabetes, or arthritis, may have an increased risk of developing tarsal tunnel syndrome. If you feel pain on the side of your ankle or on the bottom of your foot, it is strongly suggested that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist.

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.

Read more about Treating Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Read More

Treating Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which the tibial nerve, located in the tarsal tunnel in the foot, is compressed. The tibial nerve can become compressed from injury, such as an ankle sprain, flat feet, and lesions. Arthritis, diabetes, and varicose veins can also cause swelling and thus result in nerve compression.

Symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome include several different sensations in the sole of the foot, inside the ankle, and around the tibial nerve. These sensations include shooting pains, numbness or reduced sensation, pins and needles, burning, and tingling. Symptoms tend to worsen with greater activity to the area. In rare and severe occasions, this can change the muscles in the foot.

If you suspect you have tarsal tunnel syndrome, you should consult with your podiatrist. He or she will examine your medical history to see if you have a history of diabetes, arthritis, or flat feet. They will also check to see if you have suffered an injury to the area recently. An electrical test will be conducted to check if the nerve has been damaged. A simpler Tinel’s Test might also be used. This includes simply tapping the nerve to create a sensation. An MRI scan of the area may also be used.

Treatments vary greatly for tarsal tunnel syndrome. Treatments include both nonsurgical and surgical options depending upon the severity of the condition. Nonsurgical options include anti-inflammatory medication and steroid injections to the area. Orthotics, such as a splint or brace that immobilizes the foot, is another noninvasive option. For those with flat feet, custom shoes can be made to offer better foot support. Surgical options include a tunnel tarsal release, in which an incision is made behind the ankle down to the arch of the foot. This releases the ligament and relieves pressure off the nerve. Some doctors use a more minimally invasive surgery, where smaller incisions are made in the ankle and the ligament is stretched out.

If you are suffering from painful sensations in your foot, see a podiatrist who can determine if you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome. Tarsal tunnel syndrome that is left unchecked can cause permanent nerve damage to the foot.

Read More

The Skin May Change In Elderly Feet

As the aging process occurs, the skin on the feet may become dry. This dryness can be a result from a loss of cushioning, and the nails may also be affected. Poor circulation and sores on the feet can be common among the elderly population, which is why it is extremely beneficial to wear shoes that fit correctly. Circulation may be improved by frequently performing gentle stretching exercises throughout the day. Additionally, foot conditions including cracked heels may be prevented by washing and drying the feet thoroughly, followed by using a good moisturizer. Diabetic patients may benefit by checking their feet everyday for any existing cuts, wounds, or bruises. If you would like additional information about how to care for elderly feet, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can provide the proper treatment methods.

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-threatening 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.

Read more about Elderly Foot Care

Read More

Elderly Foot Care

As you grow older, you will start to notice more problems with your feet due to wear and tear. This may also happen because the skin will start to become thin and lose elasticity. Some signs of aging feet are regular aches and pains, bunion development, and clawed toes.

Fortunately, there are ways you can improve comfort, relieve pain, and maintain mobility in your feet. One of the best ways to deal with aging feet is to exercise. If you keep active, your muscles will become toned which will then strengthen the arches in the foot and stimulate blood circulation.

It is important that you practice proper foot care to protect your aging feet. You should wash your feet in warm water on an everyday basis. Afterward, the feet need to be dried well and it is important to dry between the toes. Your toenails should be trimmed and kept under control; nails that are poorly cut may become ingrown. At the end of each day, performing an inspection of your feet will allow you to detect any ailments in their early stages.

As you grow older, it becomes more important that you wear comfortable shoes. Your shoes should be secure, and they should provide decent arch support. If you are looking to buy a new pair of shoes, it is best to look for a pair that are made from a breathable material. It is also helpful to have shoes that have a bit of extra room at the top of the shoe, especially if you suffer from swollen feet.

The most common foot problems that elderly people will encounter are bunions, calluses, corns, hammertoes, heel pain, and foot problems related to diabetes. Some other issues include arch pain, tarsal tunnel syndrome, Achilles tendonitis, and Morton’s neuroma

An annual foot examination is a great way for you to ensure that you do not have any serious health problems with your feet. You should talk to a podiatrist about the available treatment options for whichever foot issue you are dealing with.

Read More

How Do Ankle Sprains Occur?

A common injury that is known as an ankle sprain can occur as a result of suddenly twisting the ankle. The ligaments in the ankle can become stretched beyond normal limitations, and can happen from participating in sporting activities, or from stepping on uneven pavement. This type of injury often produces severe pain and discomfort, and can inhibit the ability to walk. Additional symptoms can include swelling and bruising surrounding the affected area, and it may be difficult to bend the ankle. After a proper diagnosis is performed, which often consists of having an X-ray taken, the correct treatment can begin. If you have sprained your ankle, it is strongly suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can guide you toward the correct treatment techniques.

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.

Read more about Ankle Sprains

Read More

Ankle Sprains

Although ankle sprains may not be as serious as a broken ankle, they should be given immediate attention and care. An ankle sprain can lead to a significant amount of pain, as well as limited mobility. They are often characterized by the swelling and discoloration of the skin. This occurs when the ligaments are stretched beyond their limits.

The simple act of walking can sometimes cause a sprain, which makes ankle sprains a very common injury that can happen to anyone. They occur when the ankle twists in an awkward way or rolls over itself, causing a pop or snap in the tendons around the ankle. Some people are more at risk than others. These include athletes who continually push their bodies to the limits and also people who have previously suffered accidents to the feet, ankles, or lower legs.

Most of the time, an ankle sprain is not severe enough for hospital attention. There are many at-home treatment options available, including propping the leg up above your head to reduce blood flow and inflammation, applying ice packs to the affected area as needed, taking over the counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medication, using an ACE bandage to wrap and support the injured ankle, and most importantly, remaining off your feet until the ankle has fully healed.

Despite this, an ankle sprain can turn into a severe injury that might require hospitalization. If the ankle ligaments or muscles are damaged from a tear or rip, that is one sign that the sprain is severe enough for hospital attention and possibly for surgery. Even after the surgery, the recovery process can be long. You may need to have rehabilitation sessions administered by your podiatrist to get your ankle back to full health.

The severity of your sprain might become apparent if you are unable to stand or walk, consistent pain is occurring over a prolonged period of time, swelling is much more severe than initially present, or if you start to experience tingling or numbness. These signs may indicate that your ankle sprain might actually be a broken ankle, an injury that requires immediate medical attention.

Although they are not completely avoidable, ankle sprains can be curbed with some preventative treatment measures. These include wearing appropriate fitting shoes that not only provide a comfortable fit, but also ankle support. It is also recommended to stretch before doing any kind of physical activity, as this will help lower your body’s chance for an injury.

Read More

Can Medical Conditions Cause Cracked Heels?

A common cause of cracked heels often begins with dry skin. As this progresses, the skin on the outer edges of the heel may bleed, causing pain and discomfort. This can happen as a result of environment, genetics, and medical conditions that can include diabetes and thyroid concerns. It may become worse as daily activities are accomplished, and this may be a result of the weight the heel endures while standing and walking. Many patients have found relief when the feet are washed and dried thoroughly, followed by applying a good moisturizer. For mild cases of cracked heels, it may be beneficial to soak the feet in warm water to soften the skin. If you have the beginning symptoms of cracked heels, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can offer you proper treatment techniques.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, 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.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.

How Do You Get Them?

Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.

Promote Healing

Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief or who suffer from chronic dry feet.

Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.

Moisturizers – Applying both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.

Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin. 

Change in Diet

Eating healthy with a well-balanced diet will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to the kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements can also revitalize skin tissue.

Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed. 

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.

Read more about Solutions for Cracked Heels

Read More