Tuesday, 05 September 2023 00:00

What to Know About a Broken Toe

Trauma to the foot, especially the toes, can occur in many ways. Banging them, stubbing them, or dropping something on them are a few different ways this trauma can occur. Given the fact that toes are positioned in front of the feet, they typically sustain the brunt of such trauma. When trauma occurs to a toe, the result can be a painful break or fracture. Another type of trauma that can break a toe is repeated activity that places stress on the toe for prolonged periods of time.

Broken toes can be categorized as either minor or severe fractures. Symptoms of minor toe fractures include throbbing pain, swelling, bruising on the skin and toenail, and the inability to move the toe with ease. Severe toe fractures require medical attention and are indicated when the broken toe appears crooked or disfigured, when there is tingling or numbness in the toe, or when there is an open, bleeding wound present on the toe.

Generally, a minor toe break will heal without long-term complications. However, it is important to discontinue activities that put pressure on the toe. It is best to stay off of the injured toe and immediately get a splint or cast to prevent any more additional movement of the toe bones. You can also immobilize your toe by placing a small cotton ball between the injured toe and the toe beside it. Then, tape the two toes together with medical tape. Swelling can be alleviated by placing an ice pack on the broken toe directly as well as elevating your feet above your head.

Severe toe fractures may be treated with a splint, cast, and in some cases, minor surgery, especially when the big toe has been broken. Due to its position and the pressure the big toe endures with daily activity, future complications can occur if it is not properly treated. Pain associated with minor toe fractures can be managed with over-the-counter pain medications. Prescription pain killers may be necessary for severe toe fractures.

The healing time for a broken toe is approximately four to six weeks. In severe cases where the toe becomes infected or requires surgery, healing time can take up to eight weeks or more. While complications associated with a broken toe are immediately apparent, it is important to note that there are rare cases when additional complications, such as osteoarthritis, can develop over time. You should immediately speak with your podiatrist if you think you have broken your toe due to trauma. They will be able to diagnose the injury and recommend the appropriate treatment options. 

Sunday, 03 September 2023 00:00

Let the Expert Treat Your Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails can be painful and can make wearing shoes or walking uncomfortable. Seek professional help if you believe you've developed an ingrown toenail and be treated safely. 

Rheumatoid arthritis, abbreviated RA, is a chronic autoimmune condition that can severely impact the joints, including those in the feet. When conservative treatments fail to provide adequate relief, foot surgery becomes a viable option for managing RA and related foot deformities. Surgical procedures aim to correct joint alignment, reduce inflammation, and improve overall foot function. Common surgical interventions for RA in the feet include a synovectomy, which is the removal of the inflamed joint lining, tendon repair or transfer, joint fusion, and joint replacement. It's important to note that foot surgery for RA is considered a last resort when other treatments have proven ineffective. It is beneficial for patients to work closely with their podiatrist to determine the most suitable surgical approach based on individual needs and medical history. While foot surgery may involve a recovery period, it can significantly enhance mobility, reduce pain, and ultimately improve the quality of life for those living with RA. It is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist if this condition affects you.

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to treat a foot ailment. To learn more, contact the podiatrists of Issaquah Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

When Is Surgery Necessary?

Foot and ankle surgery is generally reserved for cases in which less invasive, conservative procedures have failed to alleviate the problem. Some of the cases in which surgery may be necessary include:

  • Removing foot deformities like bunions and bone spurs
  • Severe arthritis that has caused bone issues
  • Cosmetic reconstruction

What Types of Surgery Are There?

The type of surgery you receive will depend on the nature of the problem you have. Some of the possible surgeries include:

  • Bunionectomy for painful bunions
  • Surgical fusion for realignment of bones
  • Neuropathy decompression surgery to treat nerve damage

Benefits of Surgery

Although surgery is usually a last resort, it can provide more complete pain relief compared to non-surgical methods and may allow you to finally resume full activity.

Surgical techniques have also become increasingly sophisticated. Techniques like endoscopic surgery allow for smaller incisions and faster recovery times.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Issaquah, WA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Foot Surgery
Tuesday, 29 August 2023 00:00

Foot Surgery

In most cases, foot surgery is often chosen as the last available option for conditions that have otherwise been unsuccessfully treated. Surgery may be necessary for several reasons, including the removal of foot deformities (e.g. bone spurs or bunions), arthritis problems, reconstruction due to injury, and congenital malformations (e.g. club foot or flat feet). Regardless of one’s age, foot surgery may be the only successful option for treatment for certain conditions.

The type of surgery one undergoes depends on the type of foot condition the patient has. For the removal of a bunion growth, a bunionectomy is necessary. If the bones in the feet need to be realigned or fused together, a surgical fusion of the foot is needed. For pain or nerve issues, a patient may require surgery in which the tissues surrounding the painful nerve are removed. Initially, less invasive treatments are generally attempted; surgery is often the last measure taken if other treatments are unsuccessful.

While in many cases surgery is often deemed as the final resort, choosing surgery comes with certain benefits. The associated pain experienced in relation to the particular condition is often relieved with surgery, allowing patients to quickly resume daily activities. The greatest benefit, however, is that surgery generally eliminates the problem immediately.

Podiatry history has shown that foot treatments continue to evolve over time. In the field of foot surgery, endoscopic surgery is just one of the many advanced forms of surgery. As technology vastly improves so too will the various techniques in foot surgery, which already require smaller and smaller incisions with the use of better and more efficient tools. Thanks to such innovations, surgery is no longer as invasive as it was in the past, allowing for faster and easier recoveries. 

Tuesday, 22 August 2023 00:00

Why Flip Flops May Harm Your Feet

Flip-flops are a popular choice of footwear during the warm summer months, offering ease and convenience. However, beneath their casual appeal lies a hidden danger for your feet. One of the main issues with flip-flops is their lack of support and cushioning. Flip-flops provide minimal arch support, which can lead to foot conditions such as plantar fasciitis and flat feet. Additionally, the thin soles offer little protection from sharp objects or uneven surfaces, increasing the risk of foot injuries. The loose fitting design can cause the toes to grip onto the shoe, leading to toe pain and deformities that can include hammertoes. The constant flip-flop motion can strain the tendons and muscles in the feet and legs. To safeguard your foot health, it is best to limit flip-flop usage and choose more supportive footwear while walking long distances or engaging in physical activities. If you would like more information about how wearing flip-flops can affect your feet, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can provide you with the knowledge you are seeking.

Flip-flops can cause a lot of problems for your feet. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact the podiatrists from Issaquah Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

Flip-Flops and Feet

Flip-flops have managed to become a summer essential for a lot of people. While the shoes may be stylish and easy to slip on and off, they can be dangerous to those who wear them too often. These shoes might protect you from fungal infections such as athlete’s foot, but they can also give you foot pain and sprained ankles if you trip while wearing them.

When Are They Okay to Wear?

Flip-flops should only be worn for very short periods of time. They can help protect your feet in places that are crawling with fungi, such as gym locker rooms. Athlete’s foot and plantar warts are two common fungi that flip-flops may help protect your feet against.

Why Are They Bad for My Feet?

These shoes do not offer any arch support, so they are not ideal for everyday use. They also do not provide shock absorption or heel cushioning which can be problematic for your feet. Additionally, you may suffer from glass cuts, puncture wounds, and stubbed toes since they offer little protection for your feet.

More Reasons Why They Are Bad for Your Feet

  • They Slow You Down
  • May Cause Blisters and Calluses
  • Expose Your Feet to Bacteria

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

Read more about Flip Flops and Your Feet
Tuesday, 22 August 2023 00:00

Flip Flops and Your Feet

When the weather heats up, you may want to start wearing flip-flops. However, it has been proven that these are not the ideal shoes in terms of preserving the health of your feet.

Flip flops are known to expose your feet to different types of bacteria and fungal infections. When you wear your flip flops in public, you are exposing them to staphylococcus which is a skin-irritating bacterium. Athlete’s foot is also highly contagious and can be spread when you walk around nearly-barefoot.

Another harmful effect of wearing flip-flops is that they develop blisters on the feet. This is because the thin strap rubs against the skin with each step taken. Unfortunately, when blisters pop, they cause you to be more vulnerable to pathogens you pick up by having your feet exposed.

These shoes may also cause “shooting pains”. If you have flat feet, you need arch support to keep your knees, hips, and back in alignment. If you wear flat shoes, your joints are forced to compensate which can cause injuries throughout the body.

If you constantly wear flip-flops, you should avoid doing so as they can lead to many problems for your feet. If you are experiencing any of these foot issues, you should seek help from a podiatrist right away.

Tuesday, 15 August 2023 00:00

Types and Locations of Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains are common injuries that can occur during various physical activities. Ankle sprains are categorized into three degrees based on the severity of the ligament damage. A first-degree ankle sprain is mild, with stretched ligaments and minimal fiber damage. A second-degree sprain is more moderate, involving partially torn ligaments. The most severe type is a third-degree sprain, where ligaments are completely torn. Two main types of sprains are inversion and eversion. Inversion sprains occur when the foot twists inward, stretching the outer ligaments and causing pain on the outside of the ankle. Eversion sprains occur when the foot twists outward, stretching the inner ligaments and causing pain on the inside of the ankle. Ankle sprains can also also be classified based on their location. Lateral sprains occur on the outside of the ankle and makeup about 80 percent of all sprains. High, or syndesmotic, ankle sprains are rarer, seen in around 15 percent of ankle sprains. Medial sprains account for about 5 percent of all ankle sprains. Treatment for ankle sprains varies depending on the severity and location. It is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and personalized treatment plan.

Although ankle sprains are common, they aren’t always minor injuries. If you need your ankle injury looked at, contact the podiatrists from Issaquah Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains are the result of a tear in the ligaments within the ankle. These injuries may happen when you make a rapid shifting movement while your foot is planted. A less common way to sprain your ankle is when your ankle rolls inward while your foot turns outward.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Pain at the sight of the tear
  • Bruising/Swelling
  • Ankle area is tender to touch
  • In severe cases, may hear/feel something tear
  • Skin discoloration

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

In many cases, the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevate) is used to treat ankle sprains. However, you should see a podiatrist to see which treatment option would work best with your injury. In severe cases, surgery may be required.

It is important to ask your doctor about rehab options after you receive treatment for your injury. Stretching, strength training, and balance exercises may help the ankle heal while also preventing further injury.

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

Read more about Ankle Sprains
Tuesday, 15 August 2023 00:00

Ankle Sprains

Although ankle sprains may not be as serious as a broken ankle, they should be given immediate attention and care. An ankle sprain can lead to a significant amount of pain, as well as limited mobility. They are often characterized by the swelling and discoloration of the skin. This occurs when the ligaments are stretched beyond their limits.

The simple act of walking can sometimes cause a sprain, which makes ankle sprains a very common injury that can happen to anyone. They occur when the ankle twists in an awkward way or rolls over itself, causing a pop or snap in the tendons around the ankle. Some people are more at risk than others. These include athletes who continually push their bodies to the limits and also people who have previously suffered accidents to the feet, ankles, or lower legs.

Most of the time, an ankle sprain is not severe enough for hospital attention. There are many at-home treatment options available, including propping the leg up above your head to reduce blood flow and inflammation, applying ice packs to the affected area as needed, taking over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medication, using an ACE bandage to wrap and support the injured ankle, and most importantly, remaining off your feet until the ankle has fully healed.

Despite this, an ankle sprain can turn into a severe injury that might require hospitalization. If the ankle ligaments or muscles are damaged from a tear or rip, that is one sign that the sprain is severe enough for hospital attention and possibly for surgery. Even after the surgery, the recovery process can be long. You may need to have rehabilitation sessions administered by your podiatrist to get your ankle back to full health.

The severity of your sprain might become apparent if you are unable to stand or walk, consistent pain occurs over a prolonged period of time, swelling is much more severe than initially present, or if you start to experience tingling or numbness. These signs may indicate that your ankle sprain might actually be a broken ankle, an injury that requires immediate medical attention.

Although they are not completely avoidable, ankle sprains can be curbed with some preventative treatment measures. These include wearing appropriate-fitting shoes that not only provide a comfortable fit, but also ankle support. It is also recommended to stretch before doing any kind of physical activity, as this will help lower your body’s chance for an injury.

Tuesday, 08 August 2023 00:00

Reasons for a Tight Achilles Tendon

If you are an active person who frequently uses your legs, your Achilles tendon may feel tight. Wearing shoes with elevated heels, where the heel is higher than the ball of the foot, can shorten the muscles in the back of the leg. This feeling can be replicated by pointing your toes down. While active, this happens naturally, but when it is from shoes, it is an artificial shortening position that can cause tightness. Toe springs in shoes elevate the toes, hold them there without natural engagement, and shorten the muscles from the top of the foot. When the muscle running along the outside of the shinbone is tight, the surrounding muscles tighten up and the Achilles tendon is less likely to stretch and contract fully. Walking barefoot can restore foot function, allow toes to spread out, and build stronger feet, but this has its disadvantages as well. Wearing minimalist or barefoot shoes are alternative options that can be considered. An effective way to prevent the sensation of tightness in the Achilles tendon area is to stretch the legs and feet each day. Rolling a massage ball from the top to the bottom just outside the shin bone is a myofascial release that can relieve tightness. Deep squatting, with or without a wall as support, can also help. If you have a tight Achilles tendon that persists, it is suggested that you visit a podiatrist who can help you with additional treatment options.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact the podiatrists of Issaquah Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What Are the Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Issaquah, WA . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about The Causes, Types, and Treatments of Achilles Tendon Injuries

Tendons are fibrous tissues that connect muscles with bone. The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body. It connects the calf muscles at the back of the leg with the heel, and facilitates movements such as jumping, running, and walking. 

Because the Achilles tendon is engaged so frequently and bears a great deal of pressure and stress throughout the day, it can become injured. Achilles tendon injuries cause the tissue to become irritated, inflamed, and swollen. Pain can come on gradually or be immediate, and will vary from mild to severe depending upon the injury. Where the pain occurs will vary as well, from just above the heel up through the back of the leg. There may also be stiffness in the tendon.

Achilles tendon injuries can often be caused by repetitive stress. They may also occur while running, playing tennis, gymnastics, football, basketball, dancing, soccer, baseball or other sports that require speeding up, slowing down, or pivoting quickly. Wearing high heels, falling from an elevation, stepping in a hole, having flat feet, bone spurs, tight leg muscles or tendons, wearing improper athletic shoes, exercising on uneven surfaces, or starting a new type of exercise can also cause Achilles tendon injuries.

The two most common Achilles tendon injuries are tendonitis and rupturesTendonitis causes painful inflammation and can occur in different parts of the tendon. Non-insertional Achilles tendonitis occurs when the fibers in middle of the tendon begin to break down, thicken, and swell. This condition typically affects younger, more active adults. Insertional Achilles tendonitis occurs where the tendon inserts into the heel bone. It is common for bone spurs to form with this type of injury. This condition can affect people of any age and level of activity.

Achilles tendon ruptures are a tear in the tendon. These breaks may be partial or complete. There may be an audible popping noise at the moment of injury and the pain will be sudden and severe.

An Achilles tendon injury can be diagnosed by your podiatrist after they examine you, check your range of motion, and possibly perform a calf squeeze test or review an X-ray or MRI. Depending on the type and severity of your injury, your podiatrist may treat your condition with rest/ice/compression/elevation (RICE), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, heel lifts, and stretching and strengthening exercises. If you have torn your Achilles tendon, treatment may include physical therapy, ultrasound, shockwave therapy, or possibly even surgery.


 

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