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

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Foot And Ankle News

Can Gout Be Prevented?

The symptoms that are associated with gout can include debilitating pain and inflamed joints in the big toe. Many patients have swelling and redness, and it can be difficult to walk. Gout is considered to be a form of arthritis, and can be caused by genetic factors. Additionally, eating foods that have high levels of purines may lead to getting gout. Purines break down into uric acid which can form crystals in the joints of the big toe. These types of foods may include red meat, shellfish, or drinking large amounts of alcohol. A proper diagnosis typically consists of extracting a sample of fluid from the inflamed joint, and having it analyzed. Effective prevention methods can consist of drinking plenty of water daily, eating fresh fruits and vegetables, and limiting the amount of red meat, shellfish, and alcohol from the eating routine. Please contact a podiatrist as quickly as possible who can help you manage the pain from gout and offer you additional prevention methods.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. 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 form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain – Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort – Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion – May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics – If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications – Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age – Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet – Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol – Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity – Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms–including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment 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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Ways to Improve Balance and Prevent Falls in Seniors

One of the main reasons seniors fall is because of a loss of balance. This can be caused by dizziness, muscle weakness, or side effects of certain medications. One fall prevention technique is embarking on an exercise program specifically designed to increase balance and stability. Before taking on any new exercise regime, it is a good idea to check with a medical professional. Among the ways to improve balance are gait training, which is designed to improve the way you walk, and resistance training in a pool to help strengthen the leg and foot muscles. Walking backward and heel-to-toe walking are other methods of improving balance. Standing on one foot for a few seconds, then switching feet is another technique. Caution should be taken when performing these exercises to be near a wall that you can touch if needed. Also, it is wise to have a friend or caregiver present. Further, it may be necessary to invest in an assistive device, such as a cane or walker, to help you complete your daily activities. For more information on preventing falls, please consult a podiatrist.

Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with one of our podiatrists from the Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.

Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.

How to Prevent Falls

Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:

  • Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
  • Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
  • Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
  • Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
  • Utilizing a walker or cane
  • Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
  • Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness

Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.  

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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Orthotics for Football Players

Many individuals who are not well-versed in podiatry might not be familiar with what orthotics are. Essentially, orthotics are inserts that can be worn in shoes. Orthotics are either custom-made for an individual’s unique foot shape or are over-the-counter. The purposes of using orthotics can vary, but they primarily consist of correcting deformities and providing support to the feet. Athletes are a group of individuals that might be particularly benefited from the use of orthotics. Football players especially might stand to benefit from wearing orthotic devices. This is because football players can benefit from extra support for lateral movements, such as sprinting or running. Orthotic devices can provide football players with precisely this kind of support for lateral movements. If you are someone who engages in football and is looking for ways to protect your feet, contact a podiatrist today.

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, 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.

What Are Orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.

Over-the-Counter Inserts

Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct overarched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.

Prescription Orthotics

If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you or if you have a more severe foot concern, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high-quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and severe forms of heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.

If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist about the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain-free.

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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Ligaments Are Affected by Ankle Sprains

Many people sprain their ankles, and it can range from mild to severe. A common reason why people sprain their ankles is by suddenly stepping off of a step, or from falling and twisting it beyond its normal range of motion. Athletes may frequently experience this type of injury, which  can happen as a result of running on uneven surfaces, or from landing awkwardly after jumping. Despite how painful an ankle sprain can be, the bone is not injured. The pain comes from ligaments that have become stretched too far, and may become partially or completely torn. There are two types of ankle sprains that can typically occur, and these are known as the inversion or eversion sprain. The former is considered to be the most common type of ankle sprain, and pain is felt on the outside of the ankle. Conversely, an eversion sprain happens when the ankle twists outward, causing pain on the inside of the ankle. If you have endured a sprained ankle, please consult with a podiatrist who can determine which type of sprain you have, and offer you relief and treatment options.

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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Broken Toes and Treatment Methods

Broken toes are a common injury. They may happen because of a heavy object falling on one or more of the toes, as well as stubbing a toe into a piece of furniture. There is often immediate bruising and swelling, and it can be difficult to move. A bone that protrudes from the skin can look deformed and will need immediate medical attention. If the fracture is severe, as in the preceding description, surgery may be necessary to align the bone back into its proper place. For mild breaks, the buddy taping system is often effective. This is done by taping the affected toe to the toe next to it, which provides the necessary stability as the healing process occurs. If the big toe is broken, some patients need to have it put in a cast for extra support. Using crutches may be recommended and this is helpful in keeping all weight off the affected toe while being able to walk. Severely broken toes may have blood that is trapped under the toenail possibly causing extreme pain. This can require the blood to be drained through a small hole that is made in the nail or it may be necessary to remove the nail. It is suggested that patients who have broken a toe see a podiatrist who can effectively treat this condition, ultimately leading to proper healing.

A broken toe can be very painful and lead to complications if not properly fixed. 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 to Know About a Broken Toe

Although most people try to avoid foot trauma such as banging, stubbing, or dropping heavy objects on their feet, the unfortunate fact is that it is a common occurrence. Given the fact that toes are positioned in front of the feet, they typically sustain the brunt of such trauma. When trauma occurs to a toe, the result can be a painful break (fracture).

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • Throbbing pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising on the skin and toenail
  • The inability to move the toe
  • Toe appears crooked or disfigured
  • Tingling or numbness in the toe

Generally, it is best to stay off of the injured toe with the affected foot elevated.

Severe toe fractures may be treated with a splint, cast, and in some cases, minor surgery. Due to its position and the pressure it endures with daily activity, future complications can occur if the big toe is not properly treated.

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 Dangerous Is It to Wear High Heels?

Wearing high heels can cause various foot issues in women. Corns, Morton’s neuroma, and bunions are common conditions that can happen from frequently wearing high heels, and this can be a result of not having enough room for the toes to move freely in. Some women may develop toenail fungus from the constant pressure the nails endure as they are forced to lie against the front of the shoe. Additionally, the Achilles tendon may become shorter from the angle of the shoe, which can lead to developing plantar fasciitis or heel spurs. People who wear high heels may have an increased risk of falling and incurring an ankle injury from losing their balance. An alternative for wearing these types of stylish shoes may be to choose shoes that are wider in the toe area, and have a lower heel. If you have concerns about the possible foot conditions that can develop from wearing high heels, please contact a podiatrist who can answer any questions you may have.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or 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.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which Parts of My Body Will Be Affected by High Heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What Kinds of Foot Problems Can Develop from Wearing High Heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How Can I Still Wear High Heels and Maintain Foot Health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

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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Foot Conditions May Change Shoe Size

Many people can get confused while trying to determine their correct shoe size. The size of the shoe may vary from styles and manufacturers, and it is beneficial to try on several pairs so you can choose the right size. Two important features to look for are the width and flex point. This is defined as the shoe flexing at the widest part, which can help to ensure a comfortable fit. Additionally, the type of materials the shoes are made of can significantly contribute to how it fits your foot. Existing foot conditions such as plantar fasciitis and bunions need to be taken into consideration when looking for the right size shoe. Larger shoes or shoes that have additional cushioning in the heel area may need to be considered to accommodate these specific issues. Also, it is important to purchase shoes at the end of the day when the feet are at their largest. Please consult with a podiatrist if you have questions about how to determine what your right shoe size is.

Getting the right shoe size is an important part of proper foot health. Seek the assistance of one of our podiatrists from the Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctors will provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Getting the Right Shoe Size

There are many people who wear shoes that are the incorrect size, negatively affecting their feet and posture. Selecting the right shoes is not a difficult process, so long as you keep several things in mind when it comes to choosing the right pair.

  • When visiting the shoe store, use the tools available to measure your foot.
  • Be sure there is ‘wiggle room’. There should be about an inch between your toes and the tip of your shoes.
  • Do not always assume you are the same size, as manufacturers run differently.
  • Purchase shoes later in the day, as your feet swell as the day progresses.
  • If a shoe is not comfortable, it is not suitable. Most shoes can’t be ‘broken in’, and comfort should be the ultimate goal when it comes to choosing the right pair of shoes

As our feet hold our body weight and keep us moving, it is important to treat them right. Picking the right pair of shoes can provide your feet comfort and mobility without pain.

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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Foot Melanomas

Skin cancer can present itself as tumors that grow in the skin. Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer and develops in the melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin or pigment that gives skin its color. Melanoma can spread to other parts of the body, so it is imperative that treatment is sought quickly. Such skin cancer can occur on the feet or toenails. Those with fair skin, who are sensitive to sunlight, have a history of severe sunburn before age 18, have pre-existing moles on their feet, have many moles on their bodies, and have a family history of skin cancer are more apt to develop foot melanomas. These melanomas are often overlooked because feet tend to be neglected and people do not examine them on a regular basis. If you have a suspicious mole on your foot that appears to have changed over time, especially if you are in a high-risk group, it is suggested you see a podiatrist as soon as possible to have it checked out.

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to treat a foot ailment. To learn more, contact one of our podiatrists of the Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

When Is Surgery Necessary?

Foot and ankle surgery is generally reserved for cases in which less invasive, conservative procedures have failed to alleviate the problem. Some of the cases in which surgery may be necessary include:

  • Removing foot deformities like bunions and bone spurs
  • Severe arthritis that has caused bone issues
  • Cosmetic reconstruction

What Types of Surgery Are There?

The type of surgery you receive will depend on the nature of the problem you have. Some of the possible surgeries include:

  • Bunionectomy for painful bunions
  • Surgical fusion for realignment of bones
  • Neuropathy decompression surgery to treat nerve damage

Benefits of Surgery

Although surgery is usually a last resort, it can provide more complete pain relief compared to non-surgical methods and may allow you to finally resume full activity.

Surgical techniques have also become increasingly sophisticated. Techniques like endoscopic surgery allow for smaller incisions and faster recovery times.

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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