My Blog

By Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC
December 07, 2018
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Sesamoiditis   Sesamoid  

What is Sesamoiditis?

Sesamoids are small bones that are only connected to tendons or surrounded in muscle. This only appears in a few places in the body, one of which is the foot. Two very tiny sesamoids are found in the underside of the foot near the big toe. One is on the outer side of the foot and the other bone is close to the middle of the foot. This structure provides a smooth surface for the tendons to slide over, which helps the tendons move muscles. They help with weight bearing and also help to elevate the bones of the big toe. So now that you know what sesamoids are, you might be wondering what sesamoiditis is and what its symptoms are.

Sesamoiditis

Just like any other bone, sesamoids can unfortunately fracture. The tendons surrounding the sesamoids may also become irritated or inflamed and this is what sesamoiditis is. Sesamoiditis is also a form of tendonitis and is a common condition among ballerinas, runners, and baseball catchers due to the pressure that is constantly placed on their feet.

Symptoms of Sesamoiditis

Symptoms of Sesamoiditis may include:

  • Pain under the big toe or ball of the foot
  • Swelling and/or bruising
  • Difficulty in bending and straightening the big toe

Treating Sesamoiditis

Treatments include:

  • Resting and stopping any activity that could be causing pain and inflammation
  • Anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen and aspirin only after consulting your physician
  • Icing the sole of the foot
  • Wearing soft-soled and low-heeled shoes
  • Cushioning inserts in the shoes

If symptoms persist after treatments, you may need to wear a removable brace for 4-6 weeks to help the bones heal. Call your podiatrist today to ask any questions about sesamoiditis and get on your way to pain-free feet once again!

By Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC
November 20, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: ingrown toenail  

Ingrown toenails may begin mildly but can quickly go from bad to worse. This frustrating and painful condition can affect anyone and cause significant issues. Unlike other foot-related conditions, which are often due to genetics or underlying conditions, ingrown toenails are almost always preventable and often come from lifestyle choices like the type of shoes you wear or the way you trim your toenails.

Do I have an ingrown toenail?

Ingrown toenails are easy to spot if you know what to look for. The nail begins to grow inward, curling in on one or both sides of the toenail and digging into the skin. An ingrown nail may begin with mild pain and discomfort and end up advancing quickly, producing symptoms like severe pain, difficulty walking, or even infection — which produces its own set of symptoms such as pus drainage or fever.

How can I prevent an ingrown toenail?

Preventing an ingrown toenail often boils down to the way you trim your nails and care for your feet. Always cut the nail straight across the top and never round off the corners to ensure that the nail grows straight. Wearing too-tight or narrow shoes which place pressure onto the toe can also contribute an ingrown toenail. Additionally, always keep your feet dry and clean and wear fresh socks daily.

Treating Ingrown Toenails

There are home remedies that may help stop the pain caused by ingrown toenails, such as soaking the foot in a warm foot bath and wearing better fitting footwear. Your podiatrist may be able to prescribe antibiotics to help avoid infection. In some cases, surgery by your podiatrist may be necessary. It's important to consult your doctor to see which method is best for you.

If you think you have an ingrown toenail or need help learning to better prevent them, a podiatrist can help you determine the best plan to healthier feet. Consulting with your foot doctor at regular foot examinations can help ensure that your feet stay healthy and pain-free for years to come.

By Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC
November 07, 2018
Category: Foot Pain
Tags: Shoes   Orthotics   healing   daily stretches  

How do you know when the changes you have made to your daily routine are actually helping or hindering your feet from healing? It can be difficult to know when the hard work and effort you put into your feet and ankles are actually paying off. By far, the best way to make sure you really are putting your best foot forward is by consistently checking in with your foot doctor. If you haven’t seen a podiatrist in a long time, our doctors - Dr. Alan J. Discont, Dr. Gregory M. Krahn, and Dr. Boyd Andrews - are excited to see you. Here are some ways you can help your foot pain, as well as ways you might still be hindering it!

Stretching daily - getting your daily stretches in can help you go far when it comes to foot pain. Keeping your bones and joints lubricated and moving is key if you want to preserve your foot and ankle health for years to come.

Taking note of when and where it hurts - for those nagging pains that only come around once in a while, or for a type of discomfort that happens only at a certain time of the day, take note! Be mindful of noting which shoes you’re wearing, what activities you recently performed, as well as the location and severity of the pain or discomfort.

Wearing orthotics regularly - were you recently prescribed orthotics by your foot doctor? We know it can sometimes be a chore to remember to switch your orthotics out every time you change shoes, but trust us - it’s worth it! Many patients report even one day without their orthotics can wreak havoc on their feet.

We hope that this comprehensive list of helping or hindering tips will aid you in continuing to offer your feet and ankle the best care! Family Foot & Ankle Care is here to help. Call us today at (408) 732-0033 to schedule an appointment at our location in Chandler, Arizona! 

By Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC
November 02, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Toenail Fungus  

Treating toenail fungus

Toenail fungus--it's one of the most common podiatric problems children, teens, and adults have. Causing thickened, yellow, brittle nails, onychomycosis (the medical name for toenail fungus) spreads easily and can be stubborn to treat. If you see one or more of your toenails changing shape, color, and texture, see your foot doctor right away. They have the expertise and treatments to give you ten clear toenails once again.

How toenail fungus starts

The micro-organism thrives in dark, moist environments--sweaty socks and sneakers being prime candidates. Additionally, shared towels, nail clippers, shower room floors, and pool decks breed toenail and Athlete's Foot fungus. In fact, if you suffer periodic outbreaks of itchy, uncomfortable Athlete's Foot, you're more prone to onychomycosis, says the American Academy of Dermatology.

Conquering toenail fungus

Your foot doctor sees scores of patients with toenail fungus. Visual inspection is the main diagnostic tool, and for mild cases of onychomycosis, the podiatrist may recommend creams or ointments applied topically. Oral medications are an option as well.

Additionally, modern podiatry offers innovative laser treatments which kill the micro-organism right where it lives. Painless and very effective, laser treatments are applied to all ten toenails to prevent re-infection.

Unfortunately, toenail fungal infections can become quite severe and spread to the nail bed. When infection is severe, the podiatrist may advise complete removal of the toenail to prevent further problems.

Prevention is best

Of course, if you can avoid toenail fungus, your feet and nails will look and feel their best, and you won't be embarrassed to wear open-toed shoes or sandals in the warm weather. However, some people are more prone to this common infection--diabetics, those with poor peripheral circulation and individuals who are immunosuppressed.

Regardless, your podiatrist recommends these preventive measures for healthy, fungus-free nails:

  1. Wash your feet with soap and water daily, and dry them with a clean towel.
  2. Clip your toenails straight across with a clean clippers.
  3. Wear clean socks daily.
  4. Change your gym shoes after a workout. In fact, alternate pairs if possible, letting your footwear dry out between wearings.
  5. Wear flip-flops or shower sandals in the locker room and poolside, too.
Look after those feet and nails
 
They're the only ones you have. For ongoing care of your feet and ankles, see your foot doctor each year for a routine examination. He or she will get to know you and your podiatric health needs well so you stay active and feel great.
By Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC
October 30, 2018
Category: Proper Foot Wear
Tags: Ankle Sprain   corns   Hammertoe   Calluses   blisters   toenails   heel  

We’ve all heard of the imminent dangers of wearing shoes that are too tight, even shoes that have a heel that is too tall, or shoes that have lost their support and firmness… but have you ever heard of why it’s so bad for the health of our feet and ankles to wear shoes that are too loose? Here are just some of the ways that loose shoes can wreak havoc on your feet and ankles:

  • When your foot slides too much inside your shoe, the friction can cause you to develop corns and calluses on your feet. These are unsightly and sometimes painful skin conditions that can be difficult to get rid of.
  • In addition to corns and calluses, you can easily develop blisters, which are very painful and annoying sacs of fluid that develop on a raw and irritated patch of skin.
  • Sliding feet can slide your toes right into the toe box of your shoes, hitting them harder than they would if your shoes were fitted. The trauma of this can sometimes cause your toenails to break the skin and become infected.
  • Hyper-flexing your toes to scrunch up and brace the extra movements inside your shoe due to their loose fit can cause your toes to cramp and develop hammer toe. This is when the tendon of the toe semi-permanently cramps up into a painful hook shape.
  • Without debate, by far the riskiest part of wearing shoes that are too loose is increasing your risk of various foot and ankle injuries. Whether it is jamming your toe or spraining an ankle, loose shoes aren’t worth it.

If you feel like any of these happen to you often, loose-fitting shoes might be part of the problem. You can always reach out to Dr. Alan J. Discont, Dr. Gregory M. Krahn, and Dr. Boyd Andrews for some advice. We hope these tips and tricks have helped you to address the struggle of loose-fitting shoes! Do your questions and curiosity go further? Call us today at (408) 732-0033 to schedule an appointment with us at Family Foot & Ankle Care in Chandler, AZ.

 





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