Located on the Westbank in the Jefferson Medical Center, Marrero, LA

All Posts in Category: Dr. Hudson

Common Foot Pains

Simple steps that help people with diabetes keep their feet healthy

A diabetes diagnosis can be daunting, but a simple attitude adjustment can make a world of difference in how well you fare while living with the disease. When people with diabetes take proactive steps to monitor key health indicators, experts agree that it’s possible to prevent some of the most severe risks of diabetes, including lower limb amputation.

People ages 20 and older who are living with diabetes account for about 60 percent of non-traumatic lower-limb amputations, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 2014 National Diabetes Statistics Report.

“The CDC says the occurrence of diabetes-related foot and lower-leg amputation has decreased by 65 percent since 1996,” says Catherine Hudson, DPM, a podiatrist at Foot and Ankle Center and member of the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). “Working together, podiatrists and their patients with diabetes can reduce the number of amputations even more.”

People with diabetes may be less aware of cuts or wounds on their feet due to the nerve damage related to their disease, Dr. Hudson points out. “Regular and vigilant foot care can help catch problems before they develop into a health crisis.”

APMA offers advice to help people with diabetes protect their foot health:

  • Inspect your feet daily, checking the entire foot and all 10 toes for cuts, bruises, sores, or changes to the toenails, such as thickening or discoloration. Treat wounds immediately and see your podiatrist if a problem persists or infection is apparent.
  • Exercise by walking, which can help you maintain a healthy weight and improve circulation. Be sure to wear athletic shoes appropriate for the type of exercise you’re doing.
  • When you buy new shoes, have them properly measured and fitted. Foot size and shape can change over time, and ill-fitting shoes are a leading cause of foot pain and lesions. Certain types of shoes, socks, and custom orthotics are available for people with diabetes, and they may be covered under Medicare. You can find a list of podiatrist-approved footwear and products for people with diabetes on the APMA website, www.apma.org.
  • Keep your feet covered and never go barefoot, even at home. The risk of cuts and infection is too great.
  • See a podiatrist to remove calluses, corns, or warts—don’t tackle them yourself, and don’t ask an unlicensed nonprofessional to do it. Over-the-counter products can burn your skin and injure your foot. Podiatrists are specially trained to address all aspects of foot health for people with diabetes.
  • Get checkups twice a year. An exam by your podiatrist is the best way to ensure your feet stay healthy.

“For people with diabetes, taking charge of your own foot health can help you avoid foot-related complications like amputation,” Dr. Hudson says. “Working with today’s podiatrist will help you safeguard your foot health.”

Catherine Hudson, DPM is a podiatrist at Foot and Ankle Center in Marrero, LA.  Call 504-349-6633 or visit https://www.footandanklenola.com/contact to make an appointment. Visit www.apma.org to learn more about foot health and care.

Read More
Common Foot Pains

Help for the most commonly ignored type of pain

If our teeth ache, most of us will head quickly to the dentist for treatment. But if your feet hurt, do you just chalk up the pain as a discomfort of modern life? Sadly, most of us do. Most Americans say they have foot pain at least some of the time, and more of us have pain in our feet than in any other part of our bodies we consider vital to health, such as skin, teeth, or even the heart, according to a 2012 survey by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). Yet feet rank lowest on the list of body parts and functions that Americans consider important to their health, the APMA study shows.

Additionally, many Americans don’t seek foot care from a podiatrist—a doctor specially trained to care for feet. “Foot health directly affects the quality of our lives,” says Catherine Hudson, DPM, a podiatrist at the Foot and Ankle Center and APMA member. “When our feet are healthy, feeling good, and working well, they can enable us to go about our normal routines. But injured, ill, or just plain sore feet can undermine the foundation of our good health.”

Feet are often indicators of our overall health; signs of arthritis, diabetes, and nerve and circulatory problems can all be detected in the feet. People suffering from foot pain are also more likely to suffer from a variety of other health issues, including back, knee, and joint pain, and weight and heart problems.

So how do you know if your foot pain is just annoying, or serious enough to merit a visit to a podiatrist? “Persistent pain or sudden, severe pain should definitely raise warning bells,” says Catherine. “Beyond that, keep in mind that there are many sources of foot pain, and many foot ailments that can be treated best by a podiatrist.” These conditions can include:

  • arthritis;
  • athlete’s foot;
  • bunions—an enlargement of the joint at the base of the big toe;
  • foot and ankle injuries;
  • heel pain, especially if it is chronic;
  • nail problems, including nail fungus;
  • peripheral arterial disease—a blockage or narrowing of the arteries in the legs;
  • pinched nerves;
  • skin cancer;
  • warts; and
  • wounds or nerve damage due to diabetes

Today’s podiatrist is a true expert, trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle, and related structures of the leg. The country’s 15,000 practicing podiatrists work in a variety of disciplines, from sports medicine and pediatrics, to dermatology and diabetes. Podiatrists can:
perform surgery;
provide complete medical histories and physical exams;
prescribe medicine;
set breaks and treat sports-related injuries;
prescribe and fit appliances, insoles, and custom-made shoes;
order and provide physical therapy;
order and interpret X-rays and other imaging scans; and
work as a member of your health-care team
Catherine Hudson, DPM, is a podiatrist at Foot & Ankle Center in Marrero, LA.  Call 504-349-6633 or visit https://footandanklenola.com to make an appointment. Visit www.apma.org to learn more about foot health and care.

Read More

Power Shoes: Choosing The Right Footwear For Climbing The Corporate Ladder

Climbing the corporate ladder requires marketable skills, initiative, creativity, and … the right shoes? While the importance of proper footwear may seem obvious for professions that require standing or walking all day, such as waitressing, nursing, or cooking, poor shoe choices can also trip you up in an office setting.

“At best, sore feet can be a troublesome distraction when you need to concentrate in a meeting or be at your best during a job interview,” says Catherine Hudson, DPM, a podiatrist at Foot and Ankle Center and member of the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). “At worst, severe foot injuries from poor footwear can require corrective surgery that puts you out of commission—and out of the office—for extended periods of time.”

While you may assume that some professions are more prone to injury than others, or that women wearing high heels are more at risk, everyone working nine to five should take steps to ensure he or she heads to work every morning wearing shoes that will help—not hinder—job performance.

When you’re choosing a dress shoe for work, keep these tips in mind:

Shoes for women

  • Avoid wearing heels higher than two inches. If you choose to wear very high heels for a meeting or other work occasion, limit the time you’re in them and change into a lower, more comfortable pair as soon as possible.
  • Vary heel height from day to day. Look for “walking” pumps—also called “comfort” or “performance” pumps—with mid- to low heels. APMA offers a list of shoes that have earned its Seal of Acceptance for promoting good foot health, available at www.apma.org/seal.
  • Look for plenty of toe room. Ideally, pumps with wider, rounded, or square toe boxes give your toes more room. “Avoid shoes with pointy toes that squeeze digits into unnatural positions,” says Dr. Hudson. “Cramped toes can cause a host of foot woes, from bunions to ingrown toenails.”
  • Choose wider heels that offer more stability. Stiletto heels and similar pointy heels are less stable and may cause spinal misalignment and ankle injuries.
  • Beware ballet flats. You may think no-heel shoes are better for your feet, but often that’s not the case. Ballet flats offer little cushioning or support, and can also cause foot problems such as plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the tendon that connects the heel bone to the toes.
  • Regardless of heel height or shoe style, look for shoes that offer adequate arch and ankle support, and plenty of cushioning.

Shoes for men

  • Look for good quality oxford styles—like wing-tip or cap-toe designs—which tend to be best. You can also opt for slip-ons, dressy loafers, and low dress boots.
  • Avoid wearing the same pair of shoes every day. You should have at least three or four pairs of good quality professional shoes.
  • When shoes become too worn to be supportive anymore, replace them. You may be tempted to hold on to that old pair of shoes you love, but apart from looking unprofessional, worn-out shoes also provide less support for your feet.

Tips for men and women:

  • Always shop at the end of the day when feet are at their largest.
  • Choose quality materials that allow the foot to breathe.
  • Look for shoes that offer good support.

“Never buy a pair of shoes that are uncomfortable, assuming you’ll break them in,” adds Dr. Hudson. “Shoes should be comfortable right away. If they’re not, then they’re not the right shoes for your feet!”

Catherine Hudson, DPM, is a podiatrist at Foot and Ankle Center in Marerro, Louisiana. Call 504-349-6633 or visit https://www.footandanklenola.com/schedule-an-appointment/ to make an appointment. Visit www.apma.org to learn more about foot health and care.

Read More