Professional Athletes’ Broken Ankles Capture Headlines in Early 2015

Treatment for Ankle InjuriesIn early 2015, a number of professional athletes were temporarily put out of commission thanks to broken ankles. Among them were University of Kentucky’s Janee Thompson and Los Angeles Kings’ Tanner Pearson.

Thompson reportedly broke her tibia and Pearson, as it later turned out, actually broke his fibula. Both are two of the three bones that make up the top ankle joint. The other is the talus. It should also be mentioned that there is another joint in the foot that connects the ankle bone to the heel bone. It’s called the subtalar joint but apparently neither athlete broke that one this time around.

When the tibia, fibula or talus breaks, it can be quite traumatic for athletes and everyday Joes alike. In most cases, swelling and severe pain are immediately present and the injured person can no longer stand up without assistance. As time goes on, bruising is also likely to appear on and around the broken bones. After the injury, it is extremely important that the accident victim’s broken ankle is examined and repaired. Otherwise, the deformities could become permanent, thereby rendering the person disabled.

Furthermore, if the person who sustains the broken ankle hasn’t finished growing yet (e.g. child), he or she will need to be closely monitored for bone or joint weakness and deformities long after the initial injury has been treated. The extended monitoring period is crucial to ensure that the broken ankle doesn’t interfere with the leg and foot bones’ normal growth as time goes on. In most instances, the extended period will last at least two years, maybe more depending on the individual’s normal growth rate and unique circumstances.

The severity of the injury will dictate which treatment methods are used. Options often include, but are not limited to emergency surgery, casting and post-surgery rehabilitation. Depending on the situation, full recovery from broken ankles may take two months or more. As such, the two athletes that we mentioned earlier are likely to be off of their respective courts for at least part or all of a full season. To speak with a Palm Beach County podiatrist about broken ankles and best practices to ensure the bones heal properly, please click here.

Plantar Fasciitis: The Foot Pain With A Strange Name

Understanding Plantar Fasciitis and Finding Remedies for the PainEven if you can spell it, you probably can’t pronounce it.

Whether you have the name down or not, plantar fasciitis is a real pain in the foot.

It is estimated that over 2 million people are treated yearly for plantar fasciitis. One of the most common causes of heel pain, it is caused by inflammation, strains and small tears in the long band of tissue running across the bottom of the foot. Called the plantar fascia, this tissue connects the heel bone to the toes and supports the arch of the foot.

Symptoms of plantar fasciitis include pain near the heel of the foot, often feeling like a stabbing pain. Typically it is noticed when first beginning activity after a period of rest. The pain usually comes about gradually over time as the injury worsens, and is most often limited to one foot. Although heel spurs are often blamed as the culprit, they aren’t necessarily the cause of the pain.

Those most often plagued by plantar fasciitis include people who are overweight, have high arches, have tight calf muscles, have faulty foot mechanics, or those who do repetitive activities. It is most common in women and those between 40 and 60 years of age. Those that have engaged in a new activity that they aren’t used to such as running can also find themselves with a case of fasciitis.

Physical tests such as balance, coordination, and reflexes are often performed during your visit to a West Palm Beach podiatrist to check for plantar fasciitis. Imaging tests such as MRI’s and X-rays are usually ordered for definitive diagnosis, and to rule out other issues such as nerve impairment.

With podiatric treatment, 90 percent fully recover in about ten months. Normal treatment consists of rest, ice, corticosteroids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Other options may include massage, physical therapy, orthotics or splints. Surgery to detach the fascia is usually contraindicated unless all other treatment fails and pain is severe.

If you are plagued by plantar fasciitis and want to seek treatment, call our office today to schedule an appointment.

What’s Causing Your Ankle Pain? Is It a Sprain, a Fracture– or Something Else?

Broken Ankle & Foot Injuries May Warrant Testing for Compartment SyndromeAt its mildest, ankle pain is uncomfortable. In its most severe cases, ankle pain can be debilitating, rendering the sufferer unable to walk. Most often, ankle pain is described as a dull, persistent ache that occurs when the ankles bear weight or when they are in motion. Ankle pain can occur in anyone, regardless of age or gender. However, it’s most common in athletes and men under the age of 24. In women, ankle pain is more prevalent over the age of 30.

What causes ankle pain?

Often, ankle pain occurs after a fall or sports injury. However, there are numerous other causes of ankle pain. A sprain is one of the most common causes. An ankle sprain results from injury to the ligaments that connect the ankle bones. If one of the bones in the ankle is fractured, ankle pain is often severe.

Sprains and fractures due to injury aren’t the only causes of ankle pain. Less common causes include gout, osteoarthritis, and even infection. In runners, a frequent cause of ankle pain is Achilles tendonitis. This occurs when the calf muscles at the back of the leg are overworked.

Diagnosing ankle pain

To determine the cause of your ankle pain, your podiatrist will begin by asking you questions: how long have you been in pain? What were you doing when the pain began? Then, your podiatrist will examine your ankle. Often, an X-ray is ordered to determine if there is a sprain or fracture. Sometimes, fluid is taken from the ankle joint to check for infection.

Treating ankle pain

The treatment plan for ankle pain depends on the underlying cause. Many cases of ankle pain are treated with rest and immobilization. You might be required to use crutches for several weeks. Your podiatrist might also suggest elevating your ankle when you’re at rest. Additionally, your podiatrist might also direct you to apply ice to your ankle a few times each day in an effort to reduce swelling. Compression bandages can also be used to reduce swelling. Anti-inflammatory medications might also be recommended to help with pain and swelling.

If you’re suffering from ankle pain that is not resolving, please contact us today to learn more.

Celebrities with Foot Problems: Stop and Drop Those Awful Habits Now!

Celeb-Feet-patrisyuWhat do Sarah Jessica Parker, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, Kim Kardashian, Christina Hendricks, Meg Ryan and Kate Moss have in common? They’re all celebrities with foot problems and they have a lot of company. Over the years, a large number of female celebs have either been called out or spoken out about the damage footwear has done to their well manicured feet.

Some of the lovely ladies have caused their feet to develop everything from bunions, calluses, hammertoes and plantar fasciitis to ankle sprains and fractures all in the name of high fashion headlines. There have even been incidents of footwear allegedly causing sacroiliac joint pain, back problems and knee osteoarthritis.

So what can non-celebrities learn from their glamorous idols? For one, wearing shoes that are too tight and don’t provide enough support are bound to create problems in the long-term.

As Sarah Jessica Parker pointed out in a Spring 2013 Weekly US article, her years of poor shoe choices have left her feet in pretty bad shape. Does anyone really want to suffer the same fate? We don’t think so. With that said, it is vital to make fashion choices with a healthy dose of common sense and an eye towards the future. In addition, getting into the habit of taking care of one’s feet at an early age is also advised.

Like many parts of our bodies, the feet continue to grow well into puberty and often beyond. So the shoes we wear during those critical growth periods can heavily influence what our feet eventually look like. In addition, our feet can change size and shape once we’ve reached adulthood. The changes that happen to our feet in adulthood are generally caused by age, hormone and weight fluctuations.

They tend to make our feet get wider, longer and flatter. However, they can be caused by our footwear choices too, much like what happens when we wear the wrong shoes during our growth spurts. To learn more about celebrities with foot problems and how you can avoid their fate, please contact us.


Image courtesy of Patrisyu/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Proper Foot Care: More Than Words

Arthritic Foot Care: Is it Time to Ask the Doc about Joint Injections?Usually only Lake Park podiatrists notice how many everyday expressions involve the feet. If you pay attention to common phrases, it’s obvious how important our feet are and why you need good foot care. Consider these scenes from real life:

Feet come up often in the workplace. You may choose to follow in your friend’s footsteps and apply for work in his office. First, you get your foot in the door for an interview. At that interview, be sure to put your best foot forward. When you start the new job, find your feet as quickly as possible. Once you do, the boss will leave you to get your feet wet. Finally, you know what you are doing and have got yourself a foothold.

You may realize the boss does not like your supervisor and that he has feet of clay and will not be around long. If there is contention, rather than taking sides keep a foot in both camps. If you realize your supervisor doesn’t like you, you will have to think on your feet. Be careful to keep busy and not let grass grow under your feet. Don’t do something stupid and shoot yourself in the foot.

If you call in sick give a good reason so your co-workers don’t respond to news of your illness with “My foot!” Return to the office as soon as you are back on your feet even if you look like you have one foot in the grave. When you want a raise, it is a good idea to wait on the boss hand and foot. With a little hard work, the boss may decide you have your feet planted firmly on the ground. Still, he may drag his feet about that raise he promised you.

After a long day at work you may leave dead on your feet, but you can go home and take a load off your feet. Of course, on weekends you feel footloose and fancy-free. On the way home, be sure not to drive with a lead foot or you will have to try to land on your feet while talking to the officer to avoid a ticket. Be careful what you say – don’t put your foot in your mouth.

Outside of work, your feet are just as busy. You may find you have been swept off your feet. Be careful not to get off on the wrong foot. You may go dancing – that is, if neither of you have two left feet. In public places, you may find yourself playing footsie. Even once you get through dating and are ready to marry, beware lest your partner get cold feet. If that happens, you can either throw yourself at their feet and hope for the best, or put down your foot, cancel the wedding, and see how they like it when the shoe is on the other foot.

After carrying all this load – day in and out, it is no wonder feet sometimes need a little special care. Contact our Lake Park podiatry office to learn more about caring for your feet.


Image courtesy of Praisaeng/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Foot Corns & Calluses Can Cramp Your Lifestyle

Callus & Corn Treatment in Palm Beach CountyThere is a rumor that calluses actually got the name from the famous ancient Roman scientist and medical writer Aulus Cornelius Celsus. Whether this is true or not, it is a fact that during your lifetime you will have walked enough to travel around the Earth at least three times. It is also true that when walking each time your heel lifts off the ground it forces the toes to carry one half of your body weight. Which means your feet are probably bound for a corn or callus or two.

Corns and calluses share the same pathology. They are both hardened areas of skin, or hyperkeratosis, caused by pressure. While a callus is thick, flat and diffuse, a corn will be more local, conical and possibly surrounded by inflammation. Typically a corn will be located on a toe and a callus on the ball of the foot.

Both corns and calluses are considered a defense mechanism of the body. That particular area of skin hardens because it is constantly being irritated. It may be from an abnormal gait, ill fitting shoes or repetitive type occupations.

Many people find corns and calluses to be no big deal. However, for some they are a cosmetic concern, and if it is painful or if blood develops under the callus it is time for a visit to a West Palm Beach foot doctor. It means the deeper layers of tissue and nerves are being irritated and this could cause further issues.

Typically treatment consists of using salicylic acid to soften the area and then hygienic trimming. A West Palm Beach podiatrist will talk with you to determine what the underlying issue is that formed the corn or callus and take steps to prevent it in the future. If this step isn’t done, and the pressure isn’t taken off the area the corn or callus is always going to return.

If you find yourself troubled by a corn or callus, call our West Palm Beach foot clinic today.

When to see a Podiatrist about Flat Feet

5 Great Things to Do for Your Overworked, Flat Feet TodayFlat feet, fallen arches, or “pes planus” is normally a symptomless and fortunately painless condition. It is characterized by the arch of the foot collapsing completely, which causes the entire sole of the foot to come into perfect contact with the ground. An estimated 20-30 percent of the entire population has some form of flat feet, ranging in severity from asymptomatic to somewhat problematic. Most people who endure this problem are able to experience life pain and symptom free from the nearly unnoticeable abnormality. However, a small sector of those affected do experience pain or discomfort, which is when a treatment program needs to be put in action.

Fairly common in infants and small children, but also prevalent in adults, flat feet becomes a problem if pain or discomfort is present in the foot or even around the knee and lower leg area. Pain around the knee and lower leg areas can arise because flat feet can alter proper foot and leg alignment, which will put unusual strain on the knee. Adults can develop the condition as the result of injury or even from normal wear and tear due to the natural aging process.

Treatment of flat feet by a fully educated, trained, and licensed Jupiter podiatrist should be sought if the previously mentioned pain in the foot or knee areas start to surface and becomes a painful problem. Depending on the cause and exact type of the condition, a variety of forms of treatment may be prescribed. Verification of the exact cause and type of flat feet that each individual has, should only be handled by a professional podiatrist. Often times, the actual treatment method will include some form of arch support or light gymnastic style exercise. In rare cases, something more involved may be necessary, but only your skilled podiatrist would be able to accurately make that determination.

If you suffer from flat feet, plantar fasciitis, or any other form of problematic foot condition, we encourage you to contact our Jupiter foot clinic today and potentially rid yourself of that problem in virtually no time at all!

Toenail Fungus and How To Treat It

Curing Toenail Disorders in West Palm Beach, FLAs part of our feet, our toenails can really take a beating. Our feet are also the area we tend to neglect. Many of us tend to wear improper footwear and usually injure our toes often. It is very important to take care of our feet and toes. Fungus is easily developed through improper care and exposure to public elements. If you develop a toenail fungus it is important to treat it right away.

Toenail fungus is easily picked up in public places where water tends to collect such as public pools, gyms and locker rooms. These moist environments are the perfect breeding ground for fungus. Easily avoid picking up toenail fungus by wearing the proper footwear when you are in these areas.

Another reason a person may get toenail fungus is due to some kind of injury to the toenail. Damaged nails are prone to bacteria and infection. Fungus can get underneath damaged nails and into the exposed area. You may notice a purple coloration forming, this is due to bruising and the rooting of potential fungus. This area under your toenail can provide the perfect warm and moist environment for growth of fungus, especially when you wear socks and shoes. If your toenails have been injured, the effected area may also swell and become very painful.

Another possible cause for toenail fungus is the use of tight shoes and ingrown toenails. Wearing the wrong shoes can cause your toenails to grow inward thus causing poor circulation and swelling. By cutting off the circulation to your toes the toenail can start to die leaving it vulnerable to toenail fungus. Ingrown nails also cause swelling as well as pain around the toenails. If left untreated, or if you don’t properly treat them, it can lead to infection.

When it comes to toenail fungus treatment it is very important to always wear the proper shoes that are the right size and provide proper comfort. When seeking treatment it is important to contact your Boynton Beach podiatrist first. Antibiotics are a possible treatment for toenail fungus but usually left for more severe case as the use of antibiotics is taxing on the liver and kidneys. Most commonly a topical treatment is preferred such as tea oil. In some cases the partial removal or complete removal of the affected toenail is done to prevent further fungal infection. The best course of action is to keep your toes clean and dry. Keep toenails trimmed and avoid pulling and ripping the area around the nails.

Menopausal Women at Risk for Gout Should Seek a Podiatrist’s Care

The Treatment, Causes, and Facts about GoutHave you ever been awoken by the sensation of incredible pain coursing through your ankles and toes? Did those same areas appear swollen and red? Perhaps they felt hot and sensitive to touch as well. If so, you may have developed a type of incurable arthritis in your feet and ankles.

Known as gout, it is a progressive disease that typically afflicts certain segments of the population. Among those that may find themselves in such situations are post-menopausal women. Researchers believe that the condition tends to occur in females, in a small part, due to the hormonal changes associated with menopause. The condition also tends to be associated with comorbidities like diabetes, obesity, hyperlipidemia, alcoholism and kidney disease.

The disease is generally accepted by those in the podiatry community to have four stages. The first is known as asymptomatic hyperuricemia. The subsequent stages are acute, intercritical and chronic tophaceous. Preventive measures may be taken to help reduce a woman’s chance of developing gout. If it does form, aggressive treatment is generally given during the second and fourth stages when the body’s uric acid levels are at their greatest. It may also be given during the third stage when the disease is less active.

Because the condition is caused by excessive levels of uric acid, two types of tests are commonly used to confirm a gout diagnosis. The first type involves a blood draw. The second type consists of removing and analyzing a person’s synovial fluid. However, some members of the medical community may also request a urinalysis, X-rays and a synovial biopsy be completed as well.

Once a gout diagnosis has been made, there are quite a few treatment options that may be prescribed by your Lake Park podiatrist. Some of the standard methods used early in the disease’s progression are the adoption of medication routines, lifestyle and dietary changes. In the mid to final stages, a podiatrist may recommend surgery.

The formation of something known as “tophi” tends to be the main impetus for such recommendations to be issued. Tophi are actually pockets of uric acid crystals that can be drained to alleviate some of the person’s discomfort and minimize his or her risk of irreversible joint damage. We should also mention that the pockets’ drainage may also help to improve a person’s range of motion and ambulation. To learn more about gout in women and how it may be treated, please contact our Lake Park podiatry office today.

Toenail Disorders: 3 Good Reasons to Schedule a Podiatry Visit

Curing Toenail Disorders in West Palm Beach, FLAs any professional Boynton Beach podiatrist can attest, there are many different types of toenail disorders that can befall a person over the course of his or her lifetime. Fungal infections, which we’ve touched upon previously, are one of them. Here’s a look at three more that warrant a visit to the podiatrist:

Periungual Warts

Periungual Warts are the first toenail disorder that we wanted to address. Typically forming around the toenail or underneath it, they tend to be very contagious and arise due to the presence of the human papillomavirus. Once a periungual wart diagnosis is made, the podiatrist may recommend one of several treatment options. Those options include laser treatments, salicylic treatments, topical creams and cryotherapy. It should also be mentioned that because the warts have a tendency to spread quickly and reoccur, it is not uncommon for treatment regimes to be repeated.

Koilonychia

Koilonychia is another toenail disorder that may occur in a person’s lifetime. It is easily recognizable because as the disorder advances, the person’s toenails curl into a spoon-like shape. The toenails may also split in the middle, thin out and become dry. This disorder is common among people who suffer from Celiac Disease, chronic anemia and other nutritional related problems. Furthermore, it can be hereditary or brought about by additional health problems too (i.e. heart disease and cancer). Clearly, the reason why a person develops koilonychia must be considered when a podiatrist chooses a treatment method. Options that have been used in the past include the adoption of a special diet, nutritional supplement regimen, anti-fungal creams and moisturizing emollients.

Onycholysis

Finally, we wanted to mention onycholysis. It is a painless nail disorder with many origins, some of which can be quite unsettling. When a person has the disorder, all or part of his or her toenails may fall off. The toenail may also develop a white, gray, brown, yellow or green color. Some of the many things that may cause the disorder to occur are hypothyroidism, fungal or bacterial infections, Raynaud’s disease, severe sunburns and psoriasis.

When a person presents with a case of onycholysis, the podiatrist must address the symptoms as well as the underlying cause. Otherwise, the condition is likely to continue or reappear. In most instances, the partially unattached toenail will need to be removed. Afterward, the podiatrist may apply anti-fungal creams, drying agents or other topical treatments to clear up any infection.

To learn more about these toenail disorders and others, please reach out to our Boynton Beach podiatry clinic. We can professionally assess your situation, make a diagnosis and offer appropriate treatment solutions.

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