Advanced Foot and Ankle Center Blog
By ADVANCED FOOT AND ANKLE CENTER
February 15, 2019
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Corns  

Many people think corns and calluses are the same thing, but there are differences. A corn is smaller than a callus, and has a hard center which is surrounded by inflamed tissue. Unlike calluses, corns can be painful and make it difficult to wear shoes. The good news is, your podiatrist can help get rid of corns and get you back on your feet.

Corns typically develop to protect your feet and toes from friction and pressure. They can be found in both weight bearing and non-weight bearing areas including between your toes, and on the tops and sides of your toes.

According to the Mayo Clinic, common signs and symptoms of a corn include:

  • A thick, rough area of skin
  • A hardened, raised bump
  • Tenderness or pain under the skin

Since corns are caused by friction and pressure, you can do a lot to prevent corn development. Remember to:

  • Wear shoes with plenty of room for your toes
  • Use padding or bandages in your shoes
  • Soak your feet in warm water to soften corns
  • After soaking, rub the corn with a pumice stone to remove hardened skin
  • Moisturize your feet every day to keep your skin soft

If you have diabetes and you develop a corn or other foot problem, you need the help of an expert, your podiatrist. Self-treating foot issues when you are diabetic can lead to injuries that don’t heal and could get worse, resulting in a serious infection.

Fortunately, your podiatrist can recommend several treatment options to get rid of corns, including:

  • Trimming away excess skin to reduce friction
  • Corn-removing medication containing salicylic acid
  • Custom-fit inserts or orthotics
  • Surgery if the corn is caused from friction due to poor bone alignment

You don’t have to deal with painful corns by yourself. Get some relief from the pain by visiting your podiatrist. Your feet are important, so seek out the best care possible to protect your feet.

By ADVANCED FOOT AND ANKLE CENTER
February 07, 2019
Category: Foot Conditions

Heel pain is one of the most common complaints a podiatrist hears about from patients. If you are dealing with heel pain above the heel bone then you could be dealing with Achilles Tendonitis, a result of overuse. The Achilles tendon is the longest tendon in the body and it serves to connect the muscles of the calf with the lower leg and heel bone.

While Achilles Tendonitis tends to occur most often in runners, this condition can still occur in athletes that play certain sports such as soccer or tennis. Unfortunately, this tendon does weaken as we get older, which makes at an increased risk for developing this overuse injury as we age.

 

What are the symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis?

The most obvious symptom of Achilles Tendonitis is pain above the heel bone. When the pain first appears it’s usually pretty mild and you may only notice it after running; however, over time you may notice that the pain gets worse after certain exercises. Along with pain you may also experience stiffness or tenderness in the heel, especially in the morning or after long periods of sitting.

 

When should I see a podiatrist?

If this is the first time that you’ve ever experienced heel pain then it’s a good idea to turn to a foot doctor who can determine whether Achilles Tendonitis is causing your symptoms or whether it’s something else. If you’re experiencing chronic heel pain around the Achilles tendon it’s also a good time to see a doctor. If the pain is severe or you are unable to put weight on your foot it’s possible that you might be dealing with a ruptured tendon, which requires immediate attention.

 

How do you treat Achilles Tendonitis?

In most cases, Achilles Tendonitis can be treated with simple self-care options. Unless symptoms are severe you may be able to treat your heel pain by:

  • Taking over-the-counter pain medications
  • Avoiding high-impact activities or activities that exacerbate symptoms
  • Elevating the foot to reduce swelling
  • Performing stretching exercises or undergoing physical therapy
  • Icing the heel
  • Wearing custom orthotics
  • Replacing worn-out shoes, especially running shoes

Surgery is only necessary if your symptoms aren’t responding to any other nonsurgical treatment options after several months or if the tendon is torn.

 

If you think your heel pain could be the result of Achilles Tendonitis then it’s time to turn to a podiatrist as soon as possible. A podiatrist can provide you with a variety of treatment options, from simple lifestyle modifications to custom orthotics.

A lot of patients ask us everyday if their foot issue/pain is related to their weight.  Usually the answer is that it’s not helping.  Obviously, our feet take on the weight of our body with every step we take.  After thousands and thousands of steps this really adds up.  Some common foot/ankle ailments that can be made worse by being overweight include tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, fallen arches, ball of the foot pain, heel spurs and swelling.

One study evaluated children and showed that their feet took on 3.5 times more force during ambulation when comparing children who are obese vs normal weight as defined by their BMI.  According to the Arthritis Foundation, “Every pound of excess weight exerts about 4 pounds of extra pressure on the knees. So a person who is 10 pounds overweight has 40 pounds of extra pressure on his knees; if a person is 100 pounds overweight, that is 400 pounds of extra pressure on his knees”.  That weight overtime can prematurely wear out the joint and cause degenerative arthritis. 

Being obese can also increase your chance of having Diabetes.  Having uncontrolled diabetes can be detrimental to the foot by causing lack of sensation and diminished healing.  This can allow wounds to worsen and become infected.  

Obesity also plays a role by increasing your chances of rheumatoid arthritis, gout, psoriatic arthritis, lupus and fibromyalgia.  All of these disorders can affect your feet and ankles in addition to the damage they can cause the rest of your body.   

So all this means it’s time to exercise and start working out right?  Not so fast.  If you have haven't exercised in a while then you need to slowly increase your workouts over time.  Pushing yourself too hard and too fast can cause stress fractures, tendinitis, etc.  

If you have questions about this or any other foot/ankle condition.  Please call us at 972-542-2155.

We get a lot of patients that come in for a variety of foot/ankle conditions that are due to increased inflammation. This inflammation might be occurring in a joint, along a tendon, a ligament, a bursa, a nerve or other anatomical structures.  Many of our patients have had steroid shots in the past, most commonly the knees.  Some people are very familiar with steroid shots and others have no idea, so the purpose of this blog is to give everyone a little background. 

A steroid (also known as cortisone) injection is a synthetic medication that closely relates to our bodies production of cortisol which is secreted during stress.  Cortisol has a very short duration while cortisone lasts longer.  Cortisone is not the same type of steroid used for performance enhancement in athletes.   There are also multiple types of cortisone used for different areas of the body. 

Cortisone is a strong anti-inflammatory and instead of taking large doses by mouth and a small amount reaches your foot, we put a small amount of medication right at the site of concern.  There are also fewer side effects with a local injection vs oral medication.

Although cortisone injections are very safe, anytime something enters your body there is a chance of a side effect or complication.  The most common side effect we see is a steroid flare.  This is your body’s response to the steroid that can cause an increase in pain at the injection site for hours or several days.  There is really no way to predict if this will happen to you.  Less common side effects include skin thinning or discoloration.  It is also important to know that cortisone can increase your blood glucose so diabetics must understand to keep a close eye on their sugars.  Another side effect with the injection is that it can weaken nearby structures, because of this, we cannot put cortisone injections at certain areas of the body.  There is also is a certain number of injections you can receive in a set time. 

As you can see, the answer is not a clear yes or no.  There are multiple factors that go into a steroid shot including what is the reason for your pain, where is the pain located, what medical problems you have, etc. 

At Advanced Foot and Ankle, our provides have experience with this and make this decision many times each day.  If you have a question about this or any other foot/ankle condition.  Please call us at 972-542-2155. 

Thank you and have a wonderful day,

Dr. Witt

We have lots of patients that come in to our office because they have recently noticed discoloration to one or more toenails.  Unfortunately, there are many potential causes for this including fungus, trauma, local irritation, vitamin disorders, dermatology issues such as psoriasis or even skin cancer.  

 

Evaluation starts with a thorough history and physical. After this, our providers may want additional information to determine the best treatment plan.  This could range from ordering further testing such as an Xray or bloodwork. We may also take a sample of the nail which is just a clipping  and send it for analysis. We may recommend a biopsy of the skin beneath or just next to the nail. Once a diagnosis is made, treatment will be tailored to your specific condition, lifestyle and medical history.  

 

As you can see, discoloration to your nail could be caused by a wide variety of conditions so it is important to be evaluated to ensure a correct diagnosis. At Advanced Foot and Ankle Center, we have experience dealing with this issue and are here to help you.  If you have questions about this or any other foot/ankle condition, please call our office at 972-542-2155.

Thank you and have a wonderful day,

Dr. Witt

 




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