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Foot Problems in Seniors

There are several common foot issues that many seniors face. Fortunately, most of these problems are preventable or manageable. Athlete’s foot, a fungal infection of the skin on the feet, can be prevented by maintaining good foot hygiene, washing the feet and drying them thoroughly, and wearing shoes in public areas like swimming pools or locker rooms. Corns and calluses, which are usually caused by friction, can be prevented by wearing well-fitted, comfortable shoes. Wearing the right shoes can also help prevent hammertoes and ingrown toenails. Certain systemic conditions, such as diabetes, may affect the feet. Complications from diabetes include poorly healing wounds on the feet, nerve damage, and infections. If you have diabetes, checking your feet daily for any abnormalities will allow you to detect any problems early and to seek prompt treatment. A podiatrist can help you maintain your foot health at any age.

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.

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Gout Pain Can Be Managed

Gout is a painful, inflammatory form of arthritis. Those affected will typically feel an intense stiffness in the joints of their feet, particularly in the big toe. Schedule a visit to learn about how gout can be managed and treated.

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Edema Is a Common Foot Condition During Pregnancy

Swelling, or edema is a common side effect of pregnancy. It can affect the feet and is typically very uncomfortable. This condition occurs as a result of the growing fetus that can put lots of pressure on the pelvis while pregnancy hormones can contribute to swollen feet. Larger shoes may need to be purchased to accommodate feet that swell and get bigger, in addition to sitting with the feet elevated as often as possible. Mild relief may also be found when water intake is increased and it can help to eat foods that are natural diuretics. Some women wear compression stockings as this can be beneficial in providing additional support to the feet as well.  If you would like to learn other reasons why edema may develop during pregnancy and how it affects the feet, please consult with a podiatrist who can answer any questions you may have.

Pregnant women with swollen feet can be treated with a variety of different methods that are readily available. For more information about other cures for swollen feet during pregnancy, consult with one of our podiatrists from the Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What Foot Problems Can Arise During Pregnancy?

One problem that can occur is overpronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens and tends to roll inward.  This can cause pain and discomfort in your heels while you’re walking or even just standing up, trying to support your baby.  

Another problem is edema, or swelling in the extremities. This often affects the feet during pregnancy but tends to occur in the later stages. 

How Can I Keep My Feet Healthy During Pregnancy?

  • Wearing orthotics can provide extra support for the feet and help distribute weight evenly
  • Minimize the amount of time spent walking barefoot
  • Wear shoes with good arch support
  • Wear shoes that allow for good circulation to the feet
  • Elevate feet if you experience swelling
  • Massage your feet
  • Get regular, light exercise, such as walking, to promote blood circulation to the feet

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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How Are Foot Warts Removed?

Plantar warts are rough, fleshy bumps or lesions that pop up on the soles of the feet due to an infection known as human papillomavirus (HPV). These warts may cause discomfort or pain and since they are contagious, they can spread and multiply. Individuals at home should never try to remove warts by cutting them off. Podiatrists have a variety of methods to choose from when it comes to wart removal. They may remove warts by using chemicals like salicylic acid to kill the wart cells and exfoliate the skin. Cryotherapy involves freezing the wart, also killing the affected cells. Curettage is cutting or scraping the wart away while electrosurgery burns the warts off. Laser treatment should only be considered for warts that do not respond to the previous treatments mentioned. If you have plantar warts, please seek the care of a podiatrist who can help determine the right treatment option for you.

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists from the Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

About Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus, getting into open wounds on the feet. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.

While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain or those suffering from diabetes or a compromised immune system require immediate medical care. Plantar warts are easily diagnosed, usually through scraping off a bit of rough skin or by getting a biopsy.

Symptoms

  • Lesions on the bottom of your feet, usually rough and grainy
  • Hard or thick callused spots
  • Wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots
  • Pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing

Treatment

  • Freezing
  • Electric tool removal
  • Laser Treatment
  • Topical Creams (prescription only)
  • Over-the-counter medications

To help prevent developing plantar warts, avoid walking barefoot over abrasive surfaces that can cause cuts or wounds for HPV to get into. Avoiding direct contact with other warts, as well as not picking or rubbing existing warts, can help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. However, if you think you have developed plantar warts, speak to your podiatrist. He or she can diagnose the warts on your feet and recommend the appropriate treatment options.

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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Treatment for Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a type of foot deformity in which the toes bend upward at the middle joint, giving them a hammer-like appearance. This condition is usually caused by a muscle or tendon imbalance, but can be aggravated by wearing shoes that are too tight or narrow in the front or have excessively high heels. In the initial stages, the hammertoe may still be flexible and the toes can be straightened. In later stages, the toes can become rigid and you will not be able to straighten them. Flexible hammertoe can be treated by wearing shoes that are comfortable and have a wide toe box, wearing orthotic inserts, and stretching and exercising the toes. Rigid hammertoe may require surgery to correct it. If you have hammertoe, please consult with a podiatrist to see which treatment options may be right for you.

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

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work 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.

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What Causes Sever’s Disease?

Sever’s disease is a common heel injury among children caused by swelling in the growth plate of the heel bone. During early adolescence, bones often grow faster than muscles or tendons. While the heel bone grows slowly, the muscles and tendons attached to it can become tight and make the heel area less flexible. These tight heel tendons can put too much pressure on the back of the heel during weight-bearing exercises like running or jumping, thus injuring the heel and causing Sever’s disease. Symptoms of this condition include heel pain that may increase with physical activity, redness and swelling in the heel area, and difficulty walking or putting weight on the heels. If your child complains of foot or heel pain it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist right away, and this will help to prevent any further complications. 

Sever's disease often occurs in children and teens. If your child is experiencing foot or ankle pain, see one of our podiatrists from the Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctors can treat your child’s foot and ankle needs.

Sever’s Disease

Sever’s disease is also known as calcaneal apophysitis, which is a medical condition that causes heel pain I none or both feet. The disease is known to affect children between the ages of 8 and 14.

Sever’s disease occurs when part of the child’s heel known as the growth plate (calcaneal epiphysis) is attached to the Achilles tendon. This area can suffer injury when the muscles and tendons of the growing foot do not keep pace with bone growth. Therefore, the constant pain which one experiences at the back of the heel will make the child unable to put any weight on the heel. The child is then forced to walk on their toes.

Symptoms

Acute pain – Pain associated with Sever’s disease is usually felt in the heel when the child engages in physical activity such as walking, jumping and or running.

Highly active – Children who are very active are among the most susceptible in experiencing Sever’s disease, because of the stress and tension placed on their feet.

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 injuries.

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How Shoes Affect Your Plantar Fascia

The connective tissue on the bottom of your feet between your heel and toes is called the plantar fascia. That tissue can become aggravated from overuse, wearing high heels or shoes that change the shape of your foot when you walk, being obese, aging, having certain medical conditions, or being born with flat feet or high arches. This aggravation is called plantar fasciitis, and is the most common form of heel pain. Proper footwear may help avoid plantar fasciitis or reduce pain if it has already developed. Your shoes should allow the natural movement of your foot, and have cushioning that supports pressure points—especially the heel, while being flexible and offering proper arch support. A podiatrist can recommend shoes and even orthotics that can help your individual foot structure, while offering various treatments to relieve the pain and discomfort of plantar fasciitis.

It is important to find shoes that fit you properly in order to avoid a variety of different foot problems. For more information about treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from the Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Proper Shoe Fitting

Shoes have many different functions. They cushion our body weight, protect our feet, and allow us to safely play sports. You should always make sure that the shoes you wear fit you properly in order to avoid injuries and deformities such as: bunions, corns, calluses, hammertoes, plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, and more. It is important to note that although a certain pair of shoes might be a great fit for someone else, that doesn’t mean they will be a great fit for you. This is why you should always try on shoes before buying them to make sure they are worth the investment. Typically, shoes need to be replaced ever six months to one year of regular use.

Tips for Proper Shoe Fitting

  • Select a shoe that is shaped like your foot
  • Don’t buy shoes that fit too tight, expecting them to stretch to fit
  • Make sure there is enough space (3/8” to ½”) for your longest toe at the end of each shoe when you are standing up
  • Walk in the shoes to make sure they fit and feel right
  • Don’t select shoes by the size marked inside the shoe, but by how the shoe fits your foot

The shoes you buy should always feel as good as they look. Shoes that fit properly will last longer, feel better, and improve your way of life each day.

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 Do When Foot Wounds Won’t Heal

Foot wounds, or ulcers, occur when the outer layers of the skin are damaged, thus exposing the deeper tissues of the feet. Ulcers can form due to wearing shoes that don’t fit correctly or from an injury that breaks the skin. Ulcers are most common in patients who have diabetes, neuropathy or vascular disease, and these open wounds can become infected if left untreated. While the wounds may not be painful, common signs include redness, inflammation, an odor, or thickened tissue. Patients who are at a higher risk for foot wounds, or have wounds that don’t heal, should consult with a podiatrist. Usually, a podiatrist will remove the unhealthy skin to assist with healing. Then, depending on the situation, special shoe padding, antibiotics, or surgery may be recommended for treating the wound.

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with one of our podiatrists from the Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

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 Shoes Should I Wear If I Work on My Feet?

When working in a standing position all day, it is extremely important to wear the right shoes. Look for shoes that do not change the shape of your foot. These shoes should have a wide toe box that lets you move your toes and should fit your foot properly. Shoes with laces that can be adjusted for a firmer or looser fit are suggested. You should also look for shoes that have arch support to cushion your feet and reduce strain. When it comes to heels, choose shoes that have a firm grip on the heel to prevent instability and soreness. The shoes should not be completely flat, as this can strain the Achilles tendon. However, thin heels or heels higher than approximately two inches are not suggested. Instead, look for shoes that have a low heel with a broad base. For more information about appropriate footwear, please consult with a podiatrist.

While working on the feet, it is important to take the proper care of them. For more information about working on your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from the Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Working on Your Feet

Standing on your feet for long periods of time can cause stress and pain in your feet. Your whole body may experience change in terms of posture, back pain, bunions, callouses and or plantar warts. There are ways to avoid these conditions with proper foot care, smart choices and correct posture.

Positive Changes

Negative heeled shoe – Choosing this shoe type places the heel slightly lower than the ball of the foot. These are great for overall foot health. Find shoes that fit you correctly.

Go barefoot – Our feet were not designed to be enclosed for all hours of the day. Try to periodically expose your feet to air.

Eliminate Pain

Foot Exercises – Performing simple exercises, incorporating yoga and doing stretches are beneficial. This will allow increased blood flow to the area and muscles of the foot.

Achilles tendon – Stretching the foot out flat on the floor will relax the calf muscles and tendon. These exercises can be performed almost anywhere. Make sure you add these exercises to your daily regimen. 

With a little bit of this information and knowing more about foot health, you will notice changes. Foot stretches and proper footwear will help with pain and prevent further issues.

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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