Facts About Foot and Ankle Fractures

A fracture, which is a break or crack in a bone, can vary greatly in type and level of severity. Symptoms of fractures include redness, swelling, pain, and difficulty/inability to bear weight. If you believe you have sustained a foot or ankle fracture, please seek medical help immediately. Among the types of fractures are displaced bone, stress fracture, pathological fracture, or compound or open fracture. A displaced bone fracture occurs when the broken ends of a bone move away from each other. Conversely, with a stress fracture the bone cracks but stays intact. A pathological fracture may be the result of a disease or condition that weakens the bone. Among the causes are cancer and osteoporosis. A fracture can occur simply as a result of ordinary daily activities, absent any extreme force or trauma. A compound fracture creates an open wound when the bone is pushed through the skin as the result of trauma. These are extremely serious fractures and it is suggested you get immediate attention as soon as possible. A podiatrist can examine, diagnose and treat it properly. 

Foot and ankle trauma is common among athletes and the elderly. If you have concerns that you may have experienced trauma to the foot and ankle, consult with one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Foot and ankle trauma cover a range of injuries all over the foot; common injuries include:

  • Broken bones
  • Muscle strains
  • Injuries to the tendons and ligaments
  • Stress fractures

Symptoms

Symptoms of foot and ankle injuries vary depending on the injury, but more common ones include:

  • Bruising
  • Inflammation/ Swelling
  • Pain

Diagnosis

To properly diagnose the exact type of injury, podiatrists will conduct a number of different tests. Some of these include sensation and visual tests, X-rays, and MRIs. Medical and family histories will also be taken into account.

Treatment

Once the injury has been diagnosed, the podiatrist can than offer the best treatment options for you. In less severe cases, rest and keeping pressure off the foot may be all that’s necessary. Orthotics, such as a specially made shoes, or immobilization devices, like splints or casts, may be deemed necessary. Finally, if the injury is severe enough, surgery may be necessary.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Mount Pleasant and Charleston, SC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Policeman’s Heel, Jogger’s Heel, and Plantar Fasciitis Are Similar

The foot condition that is known as plantar fasciitis has been known to be similar to policeman’s heel or jogger’s heel. The pain that is associated with this condition is felt in the heel, and can become unbearable while walking or standing. The pain may intensify in the morning after arising. The plantar fascia is found on the bottom of the foot, and connects the heel to the toes. It is a shock absorber, and supports the arch in the foot. Plantar fasciitis occurs when this portion of tissue becomes irritated, and this can happen from wearing shoes that do not fit correctly. Additionally, it may happen from standing on hard surfaces for the majority of the day. The risk of developing plantar fasciitis may increase in patients who are overweight, or in people who frequently run. Some people have a tight Achilles tendon, which is the tendon that connects the heel to the calf muscles, and this can lead to plantar fasciitis. There are specific stretches that can be practiced which may help to diminish the pain. If you are afflicted with plantar fasciitis, it is suggested that you speak with a podiatrist as quickly as possible so correct treatment can begin. 

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 Carolina Foot & Ankle Specialists. 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 our offices located in Mount Pleasant and Charleston, SC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

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Plantar Warts Can Be Treated!

Plantar warts are small growths that develop on parts of the feet that bear weight. They're typically found on the bottom of the foot. Don't live with plantar warts, and call us today!

Mild and Severe Hammertoe

Toes are composed of several small bones that are held together by tendons and ligaments. The condition known as hammertoe is considered to be a deformity and can develop from wearing shoes that do not fit correctly. The second toe can gradually bend downward and may overlap the third toe. A proper diagnosis consists of an X-ray which is helpful in observing the deformity. Many patients will purchase larger shoes that can accommodate the unusual position of the toes. In mild cases where the toes remain flexible, the tendons may be rebalanced. Sometimes hammertoe is severe and surgery is often required for permanent straightening. The approximate healing time for surgery is four to six weeks and it is advised to elevate the foot as often as possible to help diminish existing swelling. If you have developed hammertoe, it is suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can guide you toward correct treatment options.

Hammertoe

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

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

If you have any questions please contact our offices located in Mount Pleasant and Charleston, SC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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How Rheumatoid Arthritis Affects the Feet, Toes, and Ankles

 

Rheumatoid arthritis, which is referred to as RA, is an extremely painful and often debilitating disease that causes inflammation in joints. It can occur in the feet and ankles, often affecting the small interphalangeal joints in the toes first. RA may also develop in the metatarsophalangeal joint in the big toe, as well as the subtalar joint that connects the ankle with the foot. RA can damage other structures in the feet and ankles, and may lead to the formation of nodules in ligaments and tendons. Additionally, corns and calluses may form on the skin. Damage from RA may change the shape of affected joints and cause the toes to become twisted and deformed, as in hammertoes and bunions. RA flares can affect people differently. Symptoms from an RA flare can last for days, weeks, or even months and it may be difficult to walk. Professional care from a podiatrist can help ease symptoms, improve mobility, and help to lessen future damage to affected joints.

Because RA affects more than just your joints, including the joints in your feet and ankles, it is important to seek early diagnosis from your podiatrist if you feel like the pain in your feet might be caused by RA. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of Carolina Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assist you with all of your podiatric concerns.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the membranes surrounding the joints. Inflammation of the lining and eventually the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone occur, causing severe pain and immobility.

Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Feet

Although RA usually attacks multiple bones and joints throughout the entire body, almost 90 percent of cases result in pain in the foot or ankle area.

Symptoms

  • Swelling and pain in the feet
  • Stiffness in the feet
  • Pain on the ball or sole of feet
  • Joint shift and deformation

Diagnosis

Quick diagnosis of RA in the feet is important so that the podiatrist can treat the area effectively. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, occupation, and lifestyle to determine the origin of the condition. Rheumatoid Factor tests help to determine if someone is affected by the disease.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Mount Pleasant and Charleston, SC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Treatment for Pain in the Ball of the Foot

Anyone who experiences pain in the ball of the foot, knows how it can affect the quality of life. This condition, known as metatarsalgia, is often the result of too much running, calluses under the midfoot, or a bunion or other malformation that throws off the gait. These can result in increased pressure on the metatarsals (the long bones of the foot that connect the toe and ankle bones). They become bruised and sore. One way to help ease the pain is bathe your foot in epsom salts and warm water for ten to twelve minutes. Another is to ice the area, being sure to cover the foot before applying an ice pack. Other self-help methods are to treat yourself to a foot massage and embark on a regime of simple foot exercises. One very important way to reduce metatarsal pain is to stop doing things that contribute to it or make it worse. Give up the high-heeled and pointy-toed shoes, because they not only force more pressure onto the ball of the foot, but also can cause a number of other foot maladies, such as bunions, hammertoes, corns or calluses, to develop. If the pain in the ball of your foot continues, or worsens, it is suggested that you see a podiatrist who can diagnose the specific problem and inform you of further treatment options. 

Foot Pain

Foot pain can be extremely painful and debilitating. If you have a foot pain, consult with one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Causes

Foot pain is a very broad condition that could be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:

  • Bunions
  • Hammertoes
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Bone Spurs
  • Corns
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Ingrown Toenails
  • Arthritis (such as Gout, Rheumatoid, and Osteoarthritis)
  • Flat Feet
  • Injury (from stress fractures, broken toe, foot, ankle, Achilles tendon ruptures, and sprains)
  • And more

Diagnosis

To figure out the cause of foot pain, podiatrists utilize several different methods. This can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.

Treatment

Treatment depends upon the cause of the foot pain. Whether it is resting, staying off the foot, or having surgery; podiatrists have a number of treatment options available for foot pain.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Mount Pleasant and Charleston, SC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Metatarsus in Your Child

Some children are born with a condition known as metatarsus adductus, which is a turning inward of the feet. The inside of the foot appears caved in and the outside more rounded. While it may be alarming to look at, this condition generally diminishes in a few years. Although no cause has been determined for metatarsus adductus, some experts believe it to be a result of the fetus being tightly packed inside the uterus before birth. The metatarsus is a collection of bones in the midfoot, known as the five metatarsals. These bones connect the toes to the heel. A podiatrist can properly examine your baby’s feet and determine which form of metatarsus is present. In flexible metatarsus, the foot can be straightened manually, and some stretching exercises may help. The condition may continue until the child is between 1 and 2 years old. In non-flexible metatarsus, the foot stays in a curved position. In this case, fittings for braces and special shoes may be required. In rare cases, surgery to reposition the foot may be suggested. A podiatrist can monitor your child’s case and prescribe appropriate treatment. 

Making sure that your children maintain good foot health is very important as they grow. If you have any questions, contact one of our podiatrists of Carolina Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

Having healthy feet during childhood can help prevent medical problems later in life, namely in the back and legs. As children grow, their feet require different types of care. Here are some things to consider...

Although babies do not walk yet, it is still very important to take care of their feet.

Avoid putting tight shoes or socks on his or her feet.

Allow the baby to stretch and kick his or her feet to feel comfortable.

As a toddler, kids are now on the move and begin to develop differently. At this age, toddlers are getting a feel for walking, so don’t be alarmed if your toddler is unsteady or ‘walks funny’. 

As your child gets older, it is important to teach them how to take care of their feet.

Show them proper hygiene to prevent infections such as fungus.

Be watchful for any pain or injury.

Have all injuries checked by a doctor as soon as possible.

Comfortable, protective shoes should always be worn, especially at play.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Mount Pleasant and Charleston, SC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Facts About Arthritis

Arthritis has long been considered an ailment of the elderly, but a variety of other people are actually experiencing some form of arthritis, even children. Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints that produces pain, swelling, and muscle stiffness that often affect the toes, feet, and ankles. Among the causes are the deterioration of cartilage that then endangers the bones, an attack of the autoimmune system, smoking, previous injury, over-exercising or repetitive stress, serious infections, and heredity. There are many types of arthritis, including rheumatoid, psoriatic, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, gout, ankylosing spondylitis, lupus and juvenile. The most easily recognizable symptoms of arthritis include pain and swelling in the joints, redness, difficulty in walking or moving the joints, stiffness in the morning, and tenderness to the touch. Many treatments are available that allow you to live with this condition. If you think you or your child may have arthritis, it is a good idea to contact a podiatrist for a complete examination and diagnosis, as well as possible treatment plans.  

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Arthritic Foot Care  

Arthritis is a joint disorder that involves the inflammation of different joints in your body, such as those in your feet. Arthritis is often caused by a degenerative joint disease and causes mild to severe pain in all affected areas. In addition to this, swelling and stiffness in the affected joints can also be a common symptom of arthritis.

In many cases, wearing ill-fitting shoes can worsen the effects and pain of arthritis. Wearing shoes that have a lower heel and extra room can help your feet feel more comfortable. In cases of rheumatoid arthritis, the arch in your foot may become problematic. Buying shoes with proper arch support that contour to your feet can help immensely.

Alleviating Arthritic Pain

  • Exercises that stretch the foot can prevent further pain and injury and increase mobility
  • Most of the pain can be alleviated with anti-inflammatory drugs, heat, and topical medications
  • Massages can help temporarily alleviate pain.

It is best to see your doctor for the treatment that is right for your needs and symptoms. Conditions vary, and a podiatrist can help you determine the right method of care for your feet.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Mount Pleasant and Charleston, SC . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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Understanding an Achilles Tendon Rupture

An Achilles tendon rupture is an injury that happens when there is sudden and overwhelming pressure put on the Achilles tendon – the band of fibrous tissue that links the muscles of the calf to the heel. There will usually be a popping noise and intense pain with this injury and the area may burn and become swollen and stiff. You will have trouble standing and pushing off from that leg. Rest, cold compresses, physical therapy, and attention to a proper diet can all help, but this condition is slow to heal. A podiatrist can perform what is known as the Thompson Test to determine if you have ruptured your Achilles tendon. This test consists of a simple manipulation of the back of the calf, specifically, your soleus complex muscle group. If the area does not tense up and bend (a natural reflex of the manipulation), you may have ruptured this major tendon or there has been a detachment of the tendon from the muscle or bone. A consultation with a podiatrist is suggested if you suspect you have injured or ruptured your Achilles tendon for a proper treatment plan.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of Carolina 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 our offices located in Mount Pleasant and Charleston, SC . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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Simple Methods That Can Help to Prevent Falling

Falling can be a common occurrence for people who are age sixty-five years and older. It can emotionally and physically change lives, and it is important to practice fall prevention techniques. These can include having routine visual and physical examinations, monitoring blood pressure, and reviewing existing medications. Additionally, it may be necessary to alter living conditions by replacing worn rugs, improving lighting, and installing grab bars in the shower and toilet areas. It is beneficial to wear shoes that fit correctly, as this may help to reduce the number of falls. Slippery surfaces that can include hardwood floors can be minimized when rugs are used. Falling can affect the feet and can negatively impact everyday activities. If you would like more information about how to prevent falling, please schedule an appointment with a podiatrist.

Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.

Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.

How to Prevent Falls

Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:

  • Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
  • Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
  • Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
  • Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
  • Utilizing a walker or cane
  • Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
  • Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness

Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Mount Pleasant and Charleston, SC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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