Your podiatrist is a foot and ankle specialist who can treat a wide variety of foot, ankle, and toe conditions. Your ankles, feet, and toes perform important functions helping you move, balance, and stand. When you are having a problem with your feet, ankles, or toes, it can dramatically affect your mobility and your life.
These are some common toe injuries and their treatments:
- Hammertoes–treated with custom orthotics, footwear, or surgery
- Ingrown toenails–treated with thinning or cutting the ingrown part of the toenail or laser therapy
- Fungal toenail–treated with anti-fungal medications or laser therapy
Common foot injuries and conditions and their treatments include:
- Plantar fasciitis–treated with orthotics, corticosteroids, and other anti-inflammatory medication
- Heel pain–treated with inserts, orthotics, wedges, anti-inflammatories, and ESWT
- Bunions–treated with orthotics, corticosteroids, and surgery
Common ankle injuries and their treatments include:
- Lateral ankle instability–treated with orthotics, braces and other assistive devices, and surgery
- Sprained or strained ankles–treated with braces and other assistive devices, anti-inflammatory medications, ice therapy, and rest
Your podiatrist also can treat foot, ankle, and toe injuries resulting from a medical condition. Some of the medical conditions which affect the ankles, feet, and toes include:
Diabetes, which can affect your circulatory, immune, and nervous systems, causing delayed healing, peripheral neuropathy, sensory loss, and blood loss in your extremities.
Rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, which can cause joint pain and stiffness, leading to loss of flexibility and mobility.
Treatment with a podiatrist begins with a comprehensive examination of your ankles, feet, and toes. Your visit may include imaging studies of the affected area, and laboratory testing to determine if there is an underlying condition which needs to be treated.
After your podiatrist has diagnosed your foot, ankle, or toe condition, your podiatrist will develop an individualized treatment plan designed to:
- Relieve pain
- Restore flexibility
- Restore mobility
To find out more about common foot and ankle injuries and how your podiatrist can treat them, talk with an expert. Call your podiatrist today.
Diabetes is one of the most serious health conditions because it has such harmful effects on your entire body. Diabetes is especially damaging to your extremities, including your feet. If you are diabetic, you need to take special care of your feet and your podiatrist can help.
Diabetes attacks the main systems in your body, including your circulatory, immune, and nervous systems. Diabetes affects your feet in these ways:
Damage to your nervous system can lead to loss of sensation in your feet. That means if you experience an injury, you may not feel it. Diabetes also leads to painful diabetic neuropathy, causing sharp, stabbing pain in your feet
Damage to your immune system can lead to delayed healing or failure to heal. That means if you have a small cut or blister, it can turn into a painful diabetic ulcer.
Damage to your circulatory system can lead to lack of sufficient blood flow to your feet and toes. Lack of blood flow can lead to death of tissue and ultimately, amputations.
Taking proper care of your feet when you are diabetic can help prevent the harmful effects of diabetes. To take proper care of your feet at home, you should:
- Do foot and toe exercises to boost circulation
- Examine your feet and toes daily for any injuries, cuts, or blisters
- Wash, dry, and moisturize your feet and toes daily to keep your skin from drying out
- Apply antiseptic and bandage any open sores or cuts to prevent infection
- Always wear comfortable shoes and avoid going barefoot to prevent injuries to your feet
Make sure to visit your podiatrist regularly. Your podiatrist can examine your feet and check your circulation and nerve function. Seeing your podiatrist can help keep minor foot injuries from becoming major foot problems.
To find out more about the importance of proper foot care for diabetic patients, talk with an expert. Call your podiatrist today.
When you experience foot pain, you might be tempted to ignore it. That’s a bad idea. Foot pain can grow worse over time, leading to loss of mobility and a less active life. A much better idea is to visit your podiatrist, who is an expert at diagnosis, management, and treatment of foot pain. Your podiatrist can help you get back on your feet again.
So, what causes foot pain? It turns out there are several factors which can lead to foot pain, including:
Trauma to your feet or ankles – leading to bruising, swelling, torn ligaments and tendons, and broken bones.
Stress and strain on your feet from overuse – leading to arch, heel, and joint pain.
Age-related changes like arthritis – leading to joint pain, swelling, and loss of flexibility.
Medical conditions like diabetes – leading to peripheral neuropathy, numbness, and lack of blood flow.
Plantar fasciitis – leading to moderate to severe heel pain and pain on the side of your foot.
Flat feet – which can lead to arch pain and overall foot pain.
Your podiatrist can prescribe a wide variety of medical treatments and services to help you get relief from foot pain. These are just a few of the services your podiatrist can provide:
- Custom made orthotics to treat flat feet, peripheral neuropathy, and other foot conditions
- Prescription strength anti-inflammatory medication to treat swelling and pain
- Corticosteroid injections to relieve pain and swelling in joints and other areas of your feet
- Extracorporeal Shock Wave Treatment (ESWT) to treat plantar fasciitis and heel pain
- Gait evaluation to relieve foot pain caused by gait problems
- Physical therapy to help restore flexibility and mobility
- Surgical treatment to repair fractured or broken bones, or torn ligaments and tendons
You don’t have to suffer from foot pain when help is just a phone call away. To find out more about the causes of foot pain and how your podiatrist can help you find relief, talk with an expert. Call your podiatrist today.
If you have a hard, bony lump on the side of your big toe, it’s probably a bunion. Bunions are caused by a genetic bone deformity which makes your big toe joint protrude outward. Bunions are one of the most common problems seen by a podiatrist.
Bunions are much more common in women, because women often wear narrow shoes with a pointed toe. This type of shoe forces the toes to crush together, which can accelerate the growth of a bunion. High-heeled shoes make the problem worse by forcing the toes forward.
Bunions can make it difficult and painful to wear shoes, and to stand and walk around. If you have a small bunion, there are a few easy remedies you can try which may offer some relief. You can:
- Place inserts inside your shoes to cushion the bunion
- Tape the bunion area to provide support for the bunion
- Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory and pain medication as needed
If your bunion is larger and painful, you should visit your podiatrist. Your podiatrist may request x-rays to determine the level of bone involvement. If there is not substantial bone involvement, your podiatrist may recommend non-invasive treatments like these:
- Removing corns and calluses to reduce friction
- Custom orthotics or splints to properly realign your toe and foot
- Physical therapy to help you regain flexibility and mobility
For bunions with substantial bone involvement, your podiatrist may recommend surgery to remove the bunion, known as a bunionectomy. The purpose of surgery is to realign your toe and foot.
A large, painful bunion can interfere with your ability to stay active and enjoy your life. You don’t have to put up with bunion pain. Your podiatrist can get rid of your bunion and help you and your feet feel better. To find out more about bunions, bunion surgery, and other podiatry services, call your podiatrist today.
An ingrown toenail is a toenail which has grown into the surrounding skin of your toe. If you’ve ever had an ingrown toenail, you already know how painful it can be.
You are at higher risk of developing ingrown toenails if:
- Your toenails curve under naturally
- You’ve had an injury to your toe or toenail
- You wear shoes that are too narrow for your toes
When you have an ingrown toenail, you will experience:
- Swelling and pressure around your toenail
- Bruising and redness around your toenail
- Throbbing pain around your toenail
Your toenail and the nail bed may also appear dark and you may see pus or blood coming out from underneath your toenail.
You can do a lot to help prevent an ingrown toenail. Remember to:
- Avoid cutting your toenails too short
- Trim your toenails straight across, with no rounded corners
- Always wear protective shoes which are appropriate to the activity you are doing
- Avoid going barefoot to prevent toe and toenail injuries
When you develop an ingrown toenail, you can try a few simple home remedies like these to get relief:
- Soak your toe in warm water several times each day
- Place a small piece of dental floss under your toenail to guide the toenail upward
- Apply antibiotic cream around your toenail
- Wrap your toe in bandaging to protect it
- Wear open toe shoes or sandals to help your toe heal
For stubborn, painful ingrown toenails that don’t respond to home therapies, your podiatrist can help you feel better, with several professional treatments for ingrown toenails. Your podiatrist may recommend:
- Trimming off a section of your toenail that has grown into the skin
- Lifting and separating the toenail from the surrounding skin
- Removing the entire toenail so a new, healthy toenail can grow in its place
An ingrown toenail can make it painful to put on shoes, and it can also affect your ability to stay active. You don’t have to suffer with an ingrown toenail because your podiatrist can help. To find out more about the causes and treatment of ingrown toenails, call your podiatrist today.
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