Posts for: August, 2018
Has your little one experienced a tough fall recently? Or maybe, as a proactive parent, you’re hoping to prepare ahead of time for the inevitable. It’s hard enough to heal from traumatic injuries when you’re an adult, but to experience injuries, especially abrasions like cuts and scrapes, as a kid...it’s a whole different story!
How can you make wound care a more rewarding experience for your child? This is easier said than done - but Family Foot & Ankle Care, P.C. is here to help. When your child has a big cut or scrape, the first thing to do is to make sure it’s cleaned and bandaged up. This is a no-brainer, of course! But what about afterward? What if they’re scheduled to go on a field trip the next day, or it rains on their walk to school?
There are some easy interventions here that you can put in place to help prevent infection from setting in. At your local pharmacy, look for a small first aid kit - small enough to fit in your child’s backpack but large enough to not lose it! Pack it with a few of the essentials that you use each time you freshen up your child’s bandage. This can include a handful of new bandages, sanitizing cloths, antimicrobial or antibiotic cream, and anything else you may find handy. If you’re concerned that your child is too young or might forget amidst the excitement of their day to check in on their wound, call their school, camp, or whatever program they’re headed off to enjoy.
Let someone in charge know ahead of time that you would like someone to keep an eye out on your child’s wound, just in case the bandage gets wet or it comes off. Be sure to let them know that they have their own supplies in their backpack! This will make it a lot easier on their caretakers. If your child has a cell phone, you can always check in with them via text message. Before you know it, it’ll be healed up and you might even be due to see Dr. Alan J. Discont again for a foot check-up! Call us today at (408) 732-0033 to schedule an appointment at our convenient location in Chandler, Arizona today.
Are you in the know about neuromas? You may have heard of them before - it happens when a tiny little nerve inside your foot becomes pinched and irritated. They’re very painful and can even be warm to the touch due to irritation. It’s common for people to sometimes think that the pain they’re experiencing is from a fracture before it gets officially diagnosed! There are several reasons that a neuroma can develop within your foot, but most commonly neuromas develop between your second and third toes. Some of the reasons why a neuroma may develop include an actual stress fracture on top of developing a neuroma, wearing shoes that are too tight, blunt force trauma to the ball of your foot, or repeated injuries over time.
When your foot experiences this type of trauma, it can cause the fragile and sensitive nerve between your two toe bones to be pinched and inflamed, causing moderate to severe pain. Some neuromas heal on their own, but some persist for so long that they might even require surgical intervention. Don’t worry, most procedures to correct neuromas are minimally invasive! Sometimes, however, people might even think that their neuroma has gone away because a callus has formed over it as a defense mechanism. This is why it’s important to update your podiatrist, Dr. Alan J. Discont, about any aches or pains you’ve had since your last visit - even if they still don’t bother you today!
Besides surgical intervention, orthotics can really help take the pressure off of the neuroma and relieve some pain. You may find that over the counter anti-inflammatories will help reduce some of the pain and discomfort of a neuroma as well. If you find that they don’t help you relieve some discomfort, the next step to take is seeing Dr. Discont to look into your options for treatment. Call us at (408) 732-0033 to schedule an appointment at our location in Chandler, Arizona today!
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.
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:
- 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.
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.