Want to keep your kids in the loop on foot health and safety this summer? Though it’s almost time to go back to school, it’s never too early (or too late!) to get started. Did you know that physically active kids are especially vulnerable to injuring their feet or ankles between the ages of 12-15 years? During this time, most children and young adults are still finishing up the development of some bones in their feet. There is even a bone in their heels that forms a protective plate which isn’t done fully forming until around 15 years of age. At Family Foot & Ankle Center, it’s never too early to get smart about being active.
Think about what kind of sports or other activities your kids are into. Do they run track? Play lacrosse? Maybe they’re on the cheerleading squad or in the band at school. While sports like track and lacrosse involve more frequent high-impact than sports or activities like cheerleading and band, a vulnerable foot is a vulnerable foot!
Here’s a quick and easy way to assess your child’s foot and ankle health: check in with them after a long day of activity. Ask your child if anything on their body hurts today. You could introduce the question by saying “Wow, you must be sore today after all that running around!” If they ever hint that their feet or ankles are experiencing any aching pain or discomfort, it’s time to talk about their shoes.
When was the last time you bought your child a new pair of shoes? If it’s been over 6 months, you may want to take a closer look at the pair they wear most often. Because of how fast kids grow and how active some kids will be throughout the year, their shoes may wear out quickly and need to be replaced more frequently. In the long run, this investment in new shoes and custom orthotics is worth it - you could easily be preventing your child from developing foot and ankle related problems later in life like bunions, plantar fasciitis, flat arches, poor circulation, and weak ankles.
Now that you’ve checked in with your child about their foot and ankle health, it’s time to take the next step! Get them started on the right foot by establishing care early on in life with a trusted podiatrist. Call us today at (408) 732-0033 and schedule your next appointment with Dr. Alan J. Discont at our location in Chandler, Arizona!
You’re walking along your favorite walking trail one day and take an unintentionally careless step up onto a stone stairway. You slip and feel your ankle both twist and impact with the ground. It hurts a lot, and you think you might have broken your foot but then you remember that severe ankle sprains are known to feel worse than actually breaking your foot. How do you know, at that moment, if your foot is broken or if it’s sprained?
The first step when you know you’ve hurt your ankle is to R.E.S.T. until you’re able to seek medical attention. This stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Stay off the affected foot, ice it for 20 minutes at a time, use a compression sleeve if it’s not too painful, and elevate the affected foot to reduce swelling.
When you get to see a medical professional about your hurt ankle, describe in great detail how it happened. What happened right before you fell? What kind of material did you fall onto? What type of shoes were you wearing? All of this information can be helpful to the doctor in determining if your ankle is broken or if it is sprained.
Depending on when and how you have fallen, the development of bruising and swelling can tell you a lot about your injury. Did the bruise come on really quickly? This can possibly signal a break, but it could also simply mean that you hit your foot harder than you thought. Look at your foot - is it misshapen at all? It can be hard to tell if the swelling has come on fast, but provides clues for us.
Though it can prove difficult to tell at the moment if your foot is broken or sprained, one of the most tell-tale symptoms of a break is numbness. If you feel numbness in part of or in your entire foot, chances are higher that you’ve experienced a fracture. In either case, don’t wait to seek medical attention! During your healing process, it’s important to follow up with your podiatrist for long-term care and pain management. Dr. Alan J. Discont, Dr. Gregory M. Krahn, and Dr. Boyd Andrews at Family Foot & Ankle Care can help you prevent or reduce the impact of a break or sprain on the long-term health of your feet and ankles! Call us today at (408) 732-0033 to schedule your next appointment at our office in Chandler, Arizona.
When you experience a small cut or a scrape, you probably don’t think much of it. You might go wash it off with some soap and water, but after that, you probably ignore it until it heals. However, when it comes to the feet, this is not the best course of action. This is because our feet often come in contact with a lot of dirt, germs and debris. Although they are usually covered in socks and shoes, they are still at a high risk for infection. When an infection gets out of hand, it can easily spread to the rest of the foot and can cause serious complications. To help prevent this problem, read on about proper bandaging techniques and when you should consult with a podiatrist.
Bandaging has Benefits
After cleaning up and disinfecting your new wound, it is important to cover it with an adhesive bandage immediately. This acts as a protective shield from any dirt, debris, and bacteria that will try to sneak their way into the open cut. Not only will a bandage help prevent germs, but it might make it easier for you to move around. If you put on a bandage with added gauze, it can cushion the sensitive area and help you move around more comfortably.
Now that you have your foot properly cleaned and bandaged, it is very important that you carefully monitor the cut and its healing, especially if you have diabetes. Your feet are very far away from your heart which means they naturally receive less blood flow. Less blood flow means it takes longer for the feet to heal properly. This goes doubly so for the feet of those with diabetes. Diabetic feet heal slower and typically also have a loss of sensation. This prevents a person with diabetes from knowing whether or not they have pain from an infection. If you check your feet regularly, it is more likely that infection will be prevented.
Sometimes infection will arise whether or not you clean the wound properly. If you have a wound and are nervous about treating it, it is important that you make an appointment with your podiatrist. They are highly trained in foot wound care and can help you get on the best path quickly. Call Dr. Alan J. Discont and Dr. Krahn of Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC located in Chandler, Arizona. The number is 480-732-0033 or make an appointment online today.
A foot blister is a small pocket of fluid that forms on the foot. Blisters can be painful while they heal. Foot blisters are caused by several things, including friction, burns, contact with irritants, and autoimmune diseases. Treatment can alleviate your pain, prevent infection, and help heal your blister. Here's what to do when you keep getting blisters on your feet.
1. See a podiatrist- When foot blisters interfere with your normal activities, you should see a podiatrist. Podiatrists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of foot and ankle problems, including blisters. Depending on the cause of the foot blister, your podiatrist will form a treatment plan for you.
2. Cover your blisters- If a blister does occur, do not pop it. A blister should be covered to reduce irritation and cut back on the risk of infection. Wash your blisters with soap and water and cover them with dressings, like bandages or gauze pads. Your dressings should be changed every day.
3. Use antibiotic ointment- Antibiotic ointment helps prevent infections in blisters. You can purchase antibiotic ointment at a local pharmacy. Apply antibiotic ointment to the foot blisters as directed, especially before you put on your socks or shoes.
4. Keep your feet dry- Keep your feet dry at all times. After you shower, dry your feet thoroughly. Wear socks every day to keep moisture away from the skin of your feet. For sweaty feet, use products that help control moisture.
5. Use custom orthotics- Orthotic devices are molded pieces of rubber, leather, or other material that are inserted into shoes. You can get custom-made orthotic devices from your podiatrist. Orthotic devices can be helpful in preventing and treating foot blisters. Orthotic devices can reduce friction on foot blisters and alleviate your pain.
6. Wear the right shoes- Rubbing and pressure from shoes that are too tight often cause blisters on the feet. Avoid wearing shoes that cause foot blisters. Wear good-fitting footwear that fit comfortably and leave your feet with some wiggle room, especially on long walks or runs. Wearing the right footwear can prevent future blisters.
7. Use foot powders- Friction can make foot blisters worse and increase your pain. In order to reduce friction on blisters, buy a powder designed for your feet at a pharmacy. Pour it into your socks before putting on your shoes to reduce pain. If a powder causes your foot blisters to become irritated, stop using it.
Don't let foot blisters knock you off your feet. Find a podiatrist in your area and schedule an appointment. A podiatrist can help you get rid of those foot blisters once and for all. The journey to healthy feet starts with you!
In many cases, a bunion can be a mild inconvenience, but some bunions begin to grow out of control and cause a lot of pain and suffering in the foot. When a bunion causes so much pain and suffering in the foot that a person can not function regularly, then it is time to consider foot surgery.
What Is a Bunion?
A bunion develops when excess bone growth occurs outside of the joint of your big toe. In many cases, this causes your big toe to turn inward toward your other toes and creates a bump on the side of the big toe. Other symptoms a bunion can produce are inflammation, swelling, pain and problems moving around. Bunions develop in many cases due to improperly fitting shoes that place pressure on the toe and move it out of place, or because of poor genetics.
In many cases, bunions can be treated without surgery by changing footwear and using orthotics. If the bunion is too severe surgery may be the best option.
Types of Surgeries
Osteotomy is a procedure where the foot surgeon makes small cuts into the bones. The surgeon does this to make space so that he or she can realign the foot properly. He or she may use pins to hold the bones in the corrected position while you heal. These pins can be removed later on at the recommendation of the foot surgeon.
Exostectomy is a procedure where the foot surgeon extracts the extra bone that makes up the bunion on the joint of the toe. Exostectomy is often used in conjunction with an osteotomy to correct the alignment of the toe.
Traditional surgeries call for large incisions that open up the entire foot for the foot doctor to view. With new modern technologies, there are many minimally invasive options available that only require small incisions to be made in the foot. In most cases, a foot surgeon or podiatrist will recommend a surgery that is minimally invasive as it also has a shorter recuperation window and patients tend to heal better with these types of surgeries.
If you have a bunion that is out of control, call Dr. Alan J. Discont and Dr. Krahn of Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC located in Chandler, Arizona. The number is 480-732-0033 or make an appointment online today.
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