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Posts for: July, 2016

Flat feet may be the source of your foot and ankle pain. The reason that our feet have arches is to help evenly distribute the weight of our bodies. Having flat feet brings an excess amount of pressure on the heel and arch of the foot. Fortunately, there are ways that you can temporarily alter your foot in order to reverse the negative effects of having flat feet. Flexibility and strengthening exercises can help those who struggle with flat feet, and so can bracing. These methods can help eliminate foot, hip, knee, and lower back pain.

Having flat feet can create a myriad of foot and ankle problems. For assistance, contact Dr. Alan Discont, D.P.M. of Family Foot and Ankle Care. Dr. Discont will provide quality care for your feet.  

What are Flat Feet?

Flat feet is a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arch never formed during growth.

Conditions & Problems:

Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.

Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.

Knees – if you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.  

Symptoms:

Pain around the heel or arch area

Trouble standing on the tip toe.

Swelling around the inside of the ankle.

Flat look to one or both feet.

Having your shoes feel uneven when worn

Treatment:

If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Chandler, AZ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Flat Feet


By Family Foot and Ankle Care, PC
July 18, 2016
Category: Foot Care

Fashion-Forward ShoesSome people are unfortunately more concerned with the way that their shoes look than what’s happening to their feet due to wearing those shoes on a daily basis. Some “fashion­forward” shoes, as nice as they may look on the outside, can actually be fungus traps, leaving the feet susceptible to the effects of foot and toenail funguses. Talk to a podiatrist about foot fungus and how your shoes can be creating the ideal environment for fungi to live on your feet.

What Is Foot Fungus?

A fungus is an organism that feeds and thrives on other organic matter. When it’s not controlled, it can lead to infections in parts of the body, like the feet. There are two types of fungal infections that commonly attack the feet:

  • Athlete’s Foot
  • Toenail Fungus

In both cases, overgrowth of fungus causes redness, itching, burning sensation and peeling of the skin. Toenail fungus also causes the nail to thicken, become yellow and flake. A strong, unattractive odor is also commonly associated with foot fungus infections.

Those Fashion­Forward Shoes...

The problem with many fashion­forward shoes is that they’re not designed to help your feet—they’re designed only to look a certain way for style. Some shoes don’t allow any room for your feet to breathe. Foot fungus thrives in warm, moist environments, so shoes that are enclosed or made of very restrictive materials (like plastic or pleather) often foster fungal infections. Fashionable women’s shoes often have pointy toes and very high heels (as high as six inches), causing the toes to push up against the front unnaturally. That pressure, combined with sweat, can also cause toenail fungus to develop.

Making Better Shoe Choices

If you are concerned about or have had past problems with foot fungus, it could be due to the choices you’re making in shoes. Here are a few tips for buying better shoes:

  • Whenever possible, wear shoes that have an open toe to allow the toenails to remain dry and cool
  • Pick shoes made of breathable fabric (like leather) and soles (ask your doctor about orthotic inserts that best manage moisture)
  • Do not share your shoes with other people who may have fungus problems
  • Ask your podiatrist about SteriShoe, an ultraviolet light that can kill fungus and bacteria that can form inside of your shoes

Your foot health should always trump your desire to wear fashionable shoes. Consult your podiatrist about better footwear choices that will both look good on your feet and prevent problems with fungal infections.


Socrates Brito of the Arizona Diamondbacks has been placed on the disabled list for 15 days after a battle with a broken toe. While Brito was able to play a full game before Reno, he was eventually placed as optional because his injuries were questionable. The outfielder was replaced by Brandon Drury despite hitting .211 in 13 games.

A broken toe is extremely painful and needs immediate attention. If you have any concerns about your feet contact Dr. Alan Discont, D.P.M. of Family Foot and Ankle Care. Dr. Discont will provide quality care for your feet.  

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 one of our offices located in Chandler, AZ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about broken toes.


By Family Foot and Ankle Care, PC
July 11, 2016
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Claw Toes  

Claw ToesClaw toes are can cause discomfort and embarrassment. Here you will learn how to recognize their characteristics and what can be done to correct them.

Claw toes, sometimes referred to as claw foot, live up to their name. The condition causes the toes to curl into an unnatural, claw­like position. They can be uncomfortable, particularly while wearing shoes, and can be embarrassing when it comes time to wear open­toed footwear in warmer months. Fortunately, they are treatable, sometimes just with simple home care.

Claw toes overview

Claw toes can develop from nerve damage, muscle weakness or inflammation. Sometimes they are a congenital deformity, meaning that they are part of a person's makeup from birth. They seem to be fairly common in people with high arches. Claw toes cause the first joint of your toes to flex upwards and the second and sometimes third joint to point downwards, resulting in the appearance of a talon, or claw. Calluses can form from the joints pressing against the inside of your shoes. It is a progressive condition; without treatment, claw toes will become more pronounced and uncomfortable.

Home treatment

If rigidity has not set in the joints, you can try simple exercises, such as using your toes to pick up objects from the floor, to straighten them out. Massaging them into a normal position is also useful. You should always wear comfortable shoes with a proper fit and plenty of room in the toes. A shoe repair shop can stretch the toe area to make more space. Pads worn inside the shoes can help to shift your weight and relieve pressure.

Medical intervention

Your doctor may order physical therapy sessions for stretching and strengthening your toe joints. Physical therapists can also design shoe inserts to correct the problem. If your condition has progressed to the point that you cannot manually straighten your toes, surgery can be performed to reposition the joints.

Podiatrists are trained to recognize and diagnose claw toes and many other foot problems. Call for an appointment today to discuss any concerns you may have.


World-famous chef Gordon Ramsey ruptured his Achilles tendon right before an upcoming charity football match. He posted a picture from his hospital bed on social media, and notified fans that the surgery was successful in the caption. He also stated that he would not be able to participate in the charity football game because he is still in recovery. On Facebook, Ramsey wished everyone else participating in the charity event ‘good luck’. 

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Alan Discont, D.P.M. of Family Foot and Ankle Care. Dr. Discont will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can cause severe difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What are the symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

- Inflammation
- Dull to Severe Pain
- Increased blood flow to the tendon
- Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

- Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
- Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

- Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise

- Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office in Chandler, AZ.. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Achilles tendon injuries.