Items filtered by date: September 2021

Wednesday, 29 September 2021 00:00

How Do Doctors Treat Diabetic Foot Ulcers?

Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) are a common complication of that can occur because of diabetes. People with diabetes often have poor circulation and neuropathy which make foot wounds slow to heal and difficult to detect. If your doctor spots a DFU on your foot, there are several potential treatment options, depending on the severity of the wound. Your doctor may debride the wound by removing dead tissue. A bandage will usually be placed over the wound to keep the area moist and protect it from infection. Taking pressure off of the wound, by resting the foot and using cushions, braces, or orthotics, will help it heal. In very severe cases, surgery may be necessary. If you have a DFU, please seek the care of a podiatrist. 

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 The Foot Institute. 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 3 locations located in El Paso, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Overuse and repetitive motion is the cause of Sever’s disease. It is a condition that affects the heel of the foot in young children and teenagers, and typically occurs in active people of this age group. It happens as a result of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments pulling on the growth plate in the heel when overuse occurs. Common symptoms that are associated with this condition can consist of heel pain, and it is often worse upon arising in the morning. Effective treatments often begin with temporarily stopping the activity that caused the condition, followed by elevating the affected foot. If you notice your child is limping, please schedule a consultation with a podiatrist who can properly treat Sever’s disease.

Sever's disease often occurs in children and teens. If your child is experiencing foot or ankle pain, see one of our podiatrists from The Foot Institute. Our doctors can treat your child’s foot and ankle needs.

Sever’s Disease

Sever’s disease is also known as calcaneal apophysitis, which is a medical condition that causes heel pain I none or both feet. The disease is known to affect children between the ages of 8 and 14.

Sever’s disease occurs when part of the child’s heel known as the growth plate (calcaneal epiphysis) is attached to the Achilles tendon. This area can suffer injury when the muscles and tendons of the growing foot do not keep pace with bone growth. Therefore, the constant pain which one experiences at the back of the heel will make the child unable to put any weight on the heel. The child is then forced to walk on their toes.

Symptoms

Acute pain – Pain associated with Sever’s disease is usually felt in the heel when the child engages in physical activity such as walking, jumping and or running.

Highly active – Children who are very active are among the most susceptible in experiencing Sever’s disease, because of the stress and tension placed on their feet.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our 3 locations located in El Paso, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle injuries.

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Tuesday, 14 September 2021 00:00

Are Bunions Noticeable?

It is generally easy to notice a bunion when it has developed on your foot. A bunion is a bump that forms on the side of the big toe that can make wearing shoes difficult for the majority of the day. A common reason why bunions can form is from wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in.  Additionally, they may form from genetic reasons. If the bunion grows, it can change the shape of the foot, and larger shoes may need to be purchased. Ballet dancers are often at risk of developing bunions because of the constant stress the feet endure while practicing specific poses. Pregnancy can lead to the formation of bunions, which may come from hormonal changes that can affect the feet. Mild relief may be found when a protective pad is worn over the bunion, and this can be helpful in protecting it against friction that can come from wearing shoes. If you notice a bump has formed on your foot, it is strongly suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can perform a proper diagnosis and offer you correct treatment methods.

If you are suffering from bunion pain, contact one of our podiatrists of The Foot Institute. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.

Causes

  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development

Symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our 3 locations located in El Paso, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Tuesday, 07 September 2021 00:00

PAD Symptoms and Risk Factors

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition characterized by poor circulation in the lower limbs. It occurs when the arteries that transport blood in the lower limbs become narrow and hardened due to a buildup of plaque. In its earlier stages, PAD is often asymptomatic. As it progresses, symptoms can begin to appear and may include leg cramping, numbness, weakness, coldness, discoloration, hair loss, changes in the texture and color of toenails, and the formation of poorly healing wounds on the feet and ankles. Since symptoms might not arise until the disease has progressed significantly, screening for PAD is very important. People who are at risk for PAD, such as adults over the age of 50, those who live a sedentary lifestyle, and those who have a history of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or cardiovascular problems, should speak with a podiatrist about getting tested for PAD. 

Peripheral artery disease can pose a serious risk to your health. It can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, consult with one of our podiatrists from The Foot Institute. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is when arteries are constricted due to plaque (fatty deposits) build-up. This results in less blood flow to the legs and other extremities. The main cause of PAD is atherosclerosis, in which plaque builds up in the arteries.

Symptoms

Symptoms of PAD include:

  • Claudication (leg pain from walking)
  • Numbness in legs
  • Decrease in growth of leg hair and toenails
  • Paleness of the skin
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Sores and wounds on legs and feet that won’t heal
  • Coldness in one leg

It is important to note that a majority of individuals never show any symptoms of PAD.

Diagnosis

While PAD occurs in the legs and arteries, Podiatrists can diagnose PAD. Podiatrists utilize a test called an ankle-brachial index (ABI). An ABI test compares blood pressure in your arm to you ankle to see if any abnormality occurs. Ultrasound and imaging devices may also be used.

Treatment

Fortunately, lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, managing cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and quitting smoking, can all treat PAD. Medications that prevent clots from occurring can be prescribed. Finally, in some cases, surgery may be recommended.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our 3 locations located in El Paso, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Peripheral Artery Disease

Diabetic patients often have decreased sensitivity in their feet, which makes a visual inspection of the feet even more important. If you're diabetic, having periodic screenings is extremely important for maintaining the overall health of your feet.

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