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December 2021

Tuesday, 28 December 2021 00:00

When the Wound on Your Foot Becomes an Ulcer

Wounds can occur on the feet from an injury, poor circulation, prolonged pressure from improperly fitted shoes, or complications from diseases like diabetes, neuropathy, and vascular disease. Over time, if these wounds do not close and the underlying tissue becomes affected, they are considered ulcers. These types of wounds are potentially dangerous – particularly in people with diabetes. Ulcers can lead to infections in the bone and skin. You can sometimes tell if the wound on your foot has become an ulcer if it is draining, emits a foul odor, or the tissue has become thickened, inflamed, or red. It is important to seek the professional wound care that a podiatrist can provide to help heal the wound and prevent more serious complications from developing. Podiatrists typically begin by cleaning the wound and removing any unhealthy tissue, termed debridement. Antibiotics may be prescribed if an infection is present. They may also suggest certain shoes and orthotics that will keep pressure off the wound and, in severe cases, perform surgery and other methods of wound care.

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with one of our podiatrists from New Tampa Foot & Ankle. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

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

Read more about Wound Care
Tuesday, 21 December 2021 00:00

Info on Hammertoe

A muscle imbalance around the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joints in the toes can cause hammertoe. Hammertoe is a common foot deformity in which one or more of the smaller toes bends upward at the middle joint. This causes the affected toes to have a hammer-like shape, in addition to causing pain, discomfort, stiff toe joints, and reduced toe mobility, as well as difficulty walking comfortably and finding shoes that fit properly. Treatments for hammertoe may include wearing shoes with a wide toe box, wearing a splint or other orthotic device, or getting surgery to correct the deformity if it is severe. If you are afflicted with hammertoes, it is strongly suggested that you seek the care of a podiatrist as soon as possible. 

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of New Tampa Foot & Ankle. Our doctors will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

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

Read more about Hammertoe
Sunday, 19 December 2021 00:00

Heel Pain Can Be Treated!

Do you suffer from heel pain when you get up in the morning? If so, you should seek the professional help of your podiatrist and have a proper diagnosis performed. Heel pain can be caused by several different foot-related conditions.

When someone engages in regular physical activity, such as running, jumping, or other repetitive movements, this can stress the bones in the feet and lower legs. Over time, these repetitive movements and stress can lead to the development of tiny hairline cracks in the bones. These stress fractures can also develop when the type, duration, intensity, or frequency of physical activity occurs. Unlike more severe breaks due to acute trauma, which can cause immediate and intense pain, the pain from stress fractures can be duller and develop more gradually. Ballet dancers and athletes engaging in high impact sports such as basketball, tennis, track and field, soccer, and hockey are at greater risk of developing these microscopic fissures in their foot or lower leg bones. Along with a dull pain which intensifies during physical activity, there may be swelling, tenderness and bruising in the affected area. A podiatrist should be consulted if there is any pain in the feet or lower legs. They will perform an exam, test sensitivity to pressure in the affected area, and may use X-rays or bone scans to properly diagnose the issue. This professional assessment and care will not only help heal the stress fracture, but also prevent it from becoming a more severe break.

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, contact one of our podiatrists from New Tampa Foot & Ankle. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain free and on your feet.

How Are They Caused?

Stress fractures are the result of repetitive force being placed on the bone. Since the lower leg and feet often carry most of the body’s weight, stress fractures are likely to occur in these areas. If you rush into a new exercise, you are more likely to develop a stress fracture since you are starting too much, too soon.  Pain resulting from stress fractures may go unnoticed at first, however it may start to worsen over time.

Risk Factors

  • Gender – They are more commonly found in women compared to men.
  • Foot Problems – People with unusual arches in their feet are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Certain Sports – Dancers, gymnasts, tennis players, runners, and basketball players are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Lack of Nutrients – A lack of vitamin D and calcium may weaken the bones and make you more prone to stress fractures
  • Weak Bones – Osteoporosis can weaken the bones therefore resulting in stress fractures

Stress fractures do not always heal properly, so it is important that you seek help from a podiatrist if you suspect you may have one. Ignoring your stress fracture may cause it to worsen, and you may develop chronic pain as well as additional fractures.

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

Read more about Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

If you have pain on the bottom of your foot in the heel/arch area, you may be experiencing plantar fasciitis. This is a condition where the connective tissue spanning the bottom of your foot (plantar fascia) becomes irritated and inflamed, and sometimes even torn. Plantar fasciitis can occur for a variety of reasons. Being obese, working on your feet all day, or wearing shoes with inadequate heel support can all put undue stress on the plantar fascia tissue. Also, with older age, both the plantar fascia tissue and fat heel pads wear down and may lead to plantar fasciitis. Other contributing factors such as wearing high heels, having flat feet, high arches, or problems with posture or gait may contribute to this painful condition developing. Podiatrists treat plantar fasciitis patients frequently and very successfully, as it is the most common form of heel pain. Treatments may include resting, icing, shoe modifications and custom orthotics, pain relievers, and possibly even night splints to keep the Achilles heel and plantar fasciitis stretched and the arch supported. A podiatrist may treat pain and help heal damaged tissue in more severe cases of plantar fasciitis with corticosteroid injections, sound wave or ultrasound therapy, or in worst case scenarios, surgical intervention.

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that is often caused by a strain injury. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact one of our podiatrists from New Tampa Foot & Ankle. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot. When this ligament becomes inflamed, plantar fasciitis is the result. If you have plantar fasciitis you will have a stabbing pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. As the day progresses and you walk around more, this pain will start to disappear, but it will return after long periods of standing or sitting.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Having high arches in your feet
  • Other foot issues such as flat feet
  • Pregnancy (due to the sudden weight gain)
  • Being on your feet very often

There are some risk factors that may make you more likely to develop plantar fasciitis compared to others. The condition most commonly affects adults between the ages of 40 and 60. It also tends to affect people who are obese because the extra pounds result in extra stress being placed on the plantar fascia.

Prevention

  • Take good care of your feet – Wear shoes that have good arch support and heel cushioning.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • If you are a runner, alternate running with other sports that won’t cause heel pain

There are a variety of treatment options available for plantar fasciitis along with the pain that accompanies it. Additionally, physical therapy is a very important component in the treatment process. It is important that you meet with your podiatrist to determine which treatment option is best for you.

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

 

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis
Sunday, 05 December 2021 00:00

Reminder: When Was the Last Time...?

Custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, should be periodically replaced. Orthotics must fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles!

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