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Posts for category: Foot Conditions

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
August 16, 2018
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: poor circulation  

Are you experiencing numbness, tingling, or discolorations in your feet?

Even though poor circulation isn’t a condition, if you are experiencing poor circulation in your feet this is often a symptom of a much larger issue. This is why it’s important to understand the warning signs of poor circulation and when to see a podiatrist, as many of these conditions can be serious or cause further complications to your health.

Causes of Poor Circulation

There are many reasons why someone may have poor circulation. The most common conditions include:

1. Peripheral artery disease (PAD)

This causes poor circulation in the legs due to a narrowing in the arteries and blood vessels. Over time this condition can cause damage to nerves or tissue. While this condition can occur in younger people, particularly smokers, it’s more common for people over 50 years old to develop PAD.

2. Blood Clots

A blood clot causes a block or restriction in blood flow and can develop anywhere in the body. The most common places for a blood clot include the arms or the legs, which can lead to symptoms of poor circulation. In some cases, a blood clot can cause serious complications such as a stroke.

3. Diabetes

While this condition does affect blood sugar levels, it is also known to affect circulation within the body. Those with circulation issues may experience cramping in the legs that may get worse when you are active. Those with diabetic neuropathy may experience nerve damage in the legs and feet, as well as numbness or tingling.

4. Raynaud’s Disease

A less common condition, Raynaud’s disease causes chronic cold fingers and feet due to the narrowing of the arteries in the hands and toes. Since these arteries are narrow it’s more difficult for blood to flow to these areas, leading to poor circulation. Of course, you may experience these symptoms in other parts of the body besides your toes or fingers, such as your nose, ears, or lips.

Warning Signs of Poor Circulation

You may be experiencing poor circulation in your feet if you are experiencing these symptoms:

  • Numbness
  • Pain that may radiate into the limbs
  • Tingling (a “pins and needles” sensation)
  • Muscle cramping

If you are experiencing symptoms of poor circulation that don’t go away it’s best to play it safe rather than sorry and turn to a podiatric specialist who can provide a proper diagnosis and determine the best approach for improving circulation. Don’t ignore this issue.

By Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC
July 06, 2018
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: hammertoes  

When most people think about foot deformities they most often think about bunions; however, hammertoes are just as common. This unassuming deformity comes about gradually, so you may not even notice it until it’s too late. “What is a hammertoe?” You might be wondering. A hammertoe affects the middle joint of a toe (often the smaller toes), causing the toe to bend downward. In severe cases, a hammertoe will look almost claw-like.

There are two kinds of hammertoes: flexible and rigid. As you might imagine, a flexible hammertoe is one in which you can still straighten the toe out. If you aren’t able to straighten the affected toe then this is a rigid hammertoe. A flexible hammertoe isn’t as serious as a rigid one; however, it’s important that you take care of your hammertoe to make sure that it doesn’t get worse.

While there is no way to cure a hammertoe there are simple measures you can take to prevent it from progressing. First and foremost, you need to take a look at the shoes you are wearing and make sure that they aren’t too tight. When you slip your feet into your shoes, does it cause your toes to bunch up against one another? If so then this could make your hammertoe worse.

Instead, opt for shoes with an ample toe box, which will allow your toes to wiggle and move around freely. If you have a structural imbalance within the foot this can leave you prone to foot problems such as hammertoes and bunions. To correct this imbalance, talk to your foot doctor about getting custom orthotics (shoe inserts), which can be placed into your shoes to help provide cushioning, support, and shock absorption for your feet.

If pain or stiffness does rear its ugly head you can choose to take an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen, which can tackle both pain and inflammation in one fell swoop, or you can place a towel-wrapped ice pack (never put ice directly on the skin, as it can cause severe burns) over the area for several minutes.

Just as you can buy pads to cover a bunion or callus, you can also buy a non-medicated protective pad to cover over a hammertoe. Since the deformed toe joint juts out this can leave the toe prone to calluses, which can cause pain when wearing shoes. To prevent a callus from forming, you can apply a protective pad over the deformed toe joint before putting on shoes.

Of course, if you are dealing with significant or frequent pain, or if the hammertoe is rigid, then you will want to turn to a podiatric specialist. In severe cases, surgery may be recommended to correct the disfigured joint.

By Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC
July 02, 2018
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: muscle strain  

After a walk, run or any other type of sport or activity, you might feel a little bit sore. Exercise works the muscles and releases acids that can cause this reaction. Sometimes, though, even after a day or two of recovery, your feet are still aching. This could be a sign of a more serious foot and ankle injury known as a muscle strain.

A muscle strain is damage to a muscle or the tendons that attach to the muscle. This damage is often from a strain, pull, or movement that is quick and forceful. A muscle strain can result in a tear, can damage blood vessels, cause bruising, pain and even sometimes nerve damage.

Symptoms

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Redness
  • Pain
  • Weakness
  • Inability to bear weight or use the muscle

If you notice that you are feeling discomfort in your foot or ankle at any time that is not normal for you, you should call a podiatrist to make an appointment. A podiatrist will examine the foot and ankle area, order an x-ray and determine the extent of the damage. They may ask if you had recently heard a popping sound as that can be an indication of a severe tear that could need emergency treatment.

After the podiatrist determines if you have a muscle strain, they may then begin to prescribe different treatment options. For minor strains resting, icing, elevation and compression may be prescribed. This method is commonly referred to as the “R.I.C.E” method and is widely used for minor injuries. It allows a patient to rest their injured limb which improves healing and speed of recovery.

For a moderate strain, a splint, cast or immobilization may be recommended. A splint is a medical grade device that restricts movement of an affected area but allows a person to take the splint on or off for simple tasks like showering. A cast is made out of plaster and should not get wet. It is for long-term immobilization of an injured area. Sometimes crutches are recommended in tandem with a splint or a cast to help keep weight off of a damaged extremity.

With rest and proper treatment, a muscle strain can be healed. If a strain is very severe, it may need surgery. If you have injured yourself and think that you may need surgery, it is always recommended that you speak to a podiatrist first. Call Dr. Alan J. Discont and Dr. Krahn of Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC located in Chandler, Arizona. You can reach us at 480-732-0033 or make an appointment online today. Muscle strains can be treated quickly and effectively.

By Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC
June 06, 2018
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Arthritis   Bunions   Metatarsalgia  

Metatarsalgia is a painful condition that causes a group of varied symptoms. These symptoms are typically swelling, pain and inflammation in the foot. Cases generally range from mild to severe and can be treated by a podiatrist. If you are diagnosed with this condition, you may be unsure as to why you are suffering from it. The fact is, this condition has many different underlying influences.

Are you overweight?

Weight can be a tough subject to bring up. The truth remains that if you weigh more than you should, all of your excess weight is being transferred to your feet. This adds more pressure and stress to the feet while they are in movement. As we age, the fat pad on our foot starts to get thinner and wear out. This fat pad protects our feet from pain. When it gets thin, and extra weight is put on the body, there is less protection and a higher risk for metatarsalgia. If you lose weight it may help cure the condition or lessen its severity.

Improper footwear

If you are wearing a pair of shoes that do not fit you correctly, you are providing your body with an open avenue for foot pain. Shoes that have a small and narrow foot box or cause a lot of pressure to the forefoot can lead to metatarsalgia. Shoes that fit poorly also make you alter your gait. An altered gait can cause more pressure on the forefoot which can lead to pain.

You are plagued with a bunion or arthritis

Bunions and arthritis weaken the big toe and the ball of the foot. The pain from these conditions can cause a patient to alter their gait. This altered gait creates more pressure on the ball of the foot and the forefoot, which can lead to the swelling, inflammation and pain that this condition is so well known for.

If you are suffering from any type of foot pain, it is important to see a podiatrist immediately. What you might think is a small problem can turn into a bigger one. 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. Let’s stop the underlying cause before it gets out of hand.