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Stress Fractures Occur in the Feet or Ankles

Stress fractures in bones are tiny cracks which occur over time. They are caused by frequent, repetitive force being applied to the bone. Athletes that participate in high impact sports – such as track and field, soccer, tennis, basketball, gymnastics, and cheerleading – can be at greater risk of developing a stress fracture in their feet and ankles. This is especially true if the intensity of the activity increases suddenly. Stress fractures can cause dull pain in a specific area that worsens with activity and gets better with rest. If you believe you may have a stress fracture in your feet or ankles, it is suggested that you stop the activity and make an appointment with a podiatrist. Along with a physical examination, the podiatrist may need to look at various imaging tests, including X-ray, ultrasound, bone scan, CT scan, or MRI, which is highly effective in detecting fracture lines. These will help in making a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, contact one of our podiatrists from Advanced Foot & Ankle Medical Center . 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 our office located in Thousand Oaks, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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The Many Possible Causes of Ankle Pain

Ankle discomfort can manifest as pain, stiffness, swelling, bruising, redness, tingling, or an inability to put weight on the ankle. There are several possible causes of ankle pain with the most common being sprains and strains of the ankle’s ligaments, and fractures of one or more bones in the ankle. Achilles tendon ruptures are another possible cause of ankle pain. They can occur when the Achilles tendon tears away from the heel bone which can cause swelling, bruising, and pain in the ankle. Rheumatoid arthritis, where the body’s immune system attacks the lining on the inside of the joint capsule, can occur in the ankle joint and be quite painful. Another form of arthritis—gout—causes a painful buildup of hardened uric acid crystals to deposit on joints, which can occur not only in the big toe, but the ankle joint as well. A bacterial infection (sometimes referred to as septic arthritis) may also set in the ankle joint, causing cartilage and bone damage, and pain. It is highly suggested that you seek the care of a podiatrist to determine the source and receive treatment for any ankle pain or discomfort you may be experiencing.

Ankle pain can be caused by a number of problems and may be potentially serious. If you have ankle pain, consult with one of our podiatrists from Advanced Foot & Ankle Medical Center . Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Ankle pain is any condition that causes pain in the ankle. Due to the fact that the ankle consists of tendons, muscles, bones, and ligaments, ankle pain can come from a number of different conditions.

Causes

The most common causes of ankle pain include:

  • Types of arthritis (rheumatoid, osteoarthritis, and gout)
  • Ankle sprains
  • Broken ankles
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Achilles tendon rupture
  • Stress fractures
  • Bursitis
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Plantar fasciitis

Symptoms

Symptoms of ankle injury vary based upon the condition. Pain may include general pain and discomfort, swelling, aching, redness, bruising, burning or stabbing sensations, and/or loss of sensation.

Diagnosis

Due to the wide variety of potential causes of ankle pain, podiatrists will utilize a number of different methods to properly diagnose ankle pain. This can include asking for personal and family medical histories and of any recent injuries. Further diagnosis may include sensation tests, a physical examination, and potentially x-rays or other imaging tests.

Treatment

Just as the range of causes varies widely, so do treatments. Some more common treatments are rest, ice packs, keeping pressure off the foot, orthotics and braces, medication for inflammation and pain, and surgery.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Thousand Oaks, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

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Gout May Be Causing Pain in Your Big Toe

If you suffer from sudden pain, swelling, tenderness, heat, and stiffness in the joint of your big toe, you may have gout. This condition is an inflammatory form of arthritis where excess uric acid forms hardened crystals in the joints. The big toe is usually where gout occurs. People most at risk of developing gout are those with diabetes, hypertension, obesity, kidney dysfunction, or a genetic predisposition to it. Some believe that eating foods that are rich in purines can also contribute to gout’s formation in a person’s body. Uric acid is a byproduct of the body’s process of breaking down purines. People who suspect they have gout should consult with a podiatrist who can not only diagnose the condition, but help manage pain with anti-inflammatory medicine, make dietary recommendations, and even remove uric crystals in severe cases.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Advanced Foot & Ankle Medical Center . Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.

People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.

Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Thousand Oaks, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Plantar Fasciitis: A Common Form of Heel Pain

Plantar fasciitis is the most common type of heel pain that podiatrists treat. This condition occurs in the plantar fascia, which is a long band of tissue on the sole of the foot that spans from the heel through the arch to the front of the foot. Because of its location and key role in walking, running, and jumping, the plantar fascia can become overly stretched, stressed, and even torn, causing it to become inflamed and painful. This is known as plantar (sole of the foot) fasciitis (inflammation of the fascia). Some factors that contribute to plantar fasciitis include obesity, working on your feet or standing for extended periods of time on a regular basis, having tight calf muscles, flat feet, or high arches. Contact a podiatrist for relief from the pain of plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact one of our podiatrists  from Advanced Foot & Ankle Medical Center . Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Non-supportive shoes
  • Overpronation
  • Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

  • Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices
  • Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis
  • Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Thousand Oaks, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Do Your Child's Feet Hurt?

Have your child's feet been examined lately? Healthy feet are happy feet. If your child is complaining of foot pain, it may be a sign of underlying problems.

Are All Bunions Treated the Same Way?

A bump, or bunion, on the inside of the big toe is caused by an outward protrusion of the bones at the base of the big toe. When these bones angle outwardly, rather than being in a linear alignment, they force the big toe to lean towards the second toe instead of pointing straight ahead. The severity of the deformity and its symptoms will dictate its treatment method. A podiatrist may try to change the patient’s footwear and use padding or corrective devices inside the shoe to help guide a mild bunion deformity back into normal alignment. Pain may be alleviated with over-the-counter medicine. More severe misalignment and intense pain may require a surgical intervention (bunionectomy). A bunionectomy removes swollen tissue, straightens the big toe, and re-aligns the bones in the big toe joint. If you have a painful and unsightly bunion, contact a podiatrist for an evaluation and consultation regarding your treatment options

If you are suffering from bunion pain, contact one of our podiatrists of Advanced Foot & Ankle Medical Center . 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 our office located in Thousand Oaks, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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What to Do if Your Child Has Sever’s Disease

If your active child is suddenly complaining of foot pain, walking on their tippy toes, or limping, they may have Sever’s disease. Though the name can sound frightening, Sever’s disease is actually an injury. It occurs when the growth plate in your child’s heel bone is damaged due to repetitive strain from running, jumping, and other athletic activities. At home, you can help your child find relief by resting and icing the affected foot (it often affects both feet at once) and encouraging them to wear comfortable, supportive shoes. Seeing a podiatrist, who can prescribe orthotics, suggest exercises to help relieve symptoms, and rule out any other potential causes for your child’s pain, can also be very beneficial. 

Sever's disease often occurs in children and teens. If your child is experiencing foot or ankle pain, see one of our podiatrists from Advanced Foot & Ankle Medical Center . 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 our office located in Thousand Oaks, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle injuries.

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Keeping Your Heels Soft to Prevent Them From Cracking

When you apply weight to your foot, the skin on your heels expands. If this skin is dry and lacking elasticity, cracks in the skin may eventually form. Dry, cold weather, obesity, open-back shoes, standing on hard floors for an extended period of time, and conditions that cause dry skin can all contribute to heels becoming stiff and cracked. To avoid getting cracked heels, keep them moisturized. The best way to seal in moisture is to apply ointment or cream—containing hyaluronic or lactic acid, mineral oil, lanolin or petrolatum—right after a shower or bath. If your heels are already thickened and cracked, you can try to thin them down by gently rubbing them with a pumice stone or applying a keratolytic agent, unless you have diabetes, nerve damage, or poor circulation. If cracked heels are allowed to deepen, they may become painful and bleed, and possibly even become infected. If your cracked heels have progressed to this point, or you need help getting them smooth and supple again, make an appointment with your local podiatrist.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists from Advanced Foot & Ankle Medical Center . Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.

How Do You Get Them?

Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.

Promote Healing

Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief or who suffer from chronic dry feet.

Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.

Moisturizers – Applying both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.

Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin. 

Change in Diet

Eating healthy with a well-balanced diet will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to the kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements can also revitalize skin tissue.

Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Thousand Oaks, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Advanced Treatments for Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) affect approximately 15% of Americans who have diabetes. These wounds can be difficult to treat, as they often go undetected until they have progressed and have a poor blood supply, which makes the healing process very slow. Furthermore, people with diabetes are at greater risk of having an impaired immune system, making the wounds more likely to become infected. Fortunately, there have been many recent breakthroughs in wound treatment. Negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) uses wound dressing and airtight film with a suction device to cover the wound, drain fluid, and promote healthy new tissue growth. Skin grafting has also advanced and can be used to treat DFUs in some patients. To learn more about advanced diabetic wound care, consult with a podiatrist today. 

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 Advanced Foot & Ankle Medical Center . 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 our office located in Thousand Oaks, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Wounds That Don't Heal Need to Be Checked

Your feet are covered most of the day. If you're diabetic, periodic screening is important for good health. Numbness is often a sign of diabetic foot and can mask a sore or wound.

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