As Podiatrists we are like the family practitioner of the lower extremity. We treat all types of lower leg and foot injuries and conditions with varied methods. We use all traditional and holistic treatments that compliment each other to get the patient back on track as quickly as possible. This may include utilizing x-rays, and other diagnostic modalities along with aggressive but conservative treatments. When necessary surgical intervention can be instituted.
Podiatric and Lower Extremity Orthopedic conditions treated
Biomechanical Conditions: we can evaluate, examine and mechanically measure the foot,. This will allow us to correct for proper alignment, as the dysfunctional foot can cause many lower extremity conditions in the foot, knee, hip and lower back that we treat on a daily basis.
Overuse Conditions: our active patients, athletes, or patients that are on their feet for work, can sustain overuse conditions. If an injury is left untreated, the condition typically will worsen and turn into a chronic issue, which is more difficult to treat quickly. Patients may compensate with their gait and cause other lower extremity complaints as well.
Traumatic and Acute Conditions: Occasionally patients will suffer an injury that will cause a fracture or twist of a foot or ankle. Swift and proper evaluation with a thorough exam and possible X-rays is imperative to proper healing and speedy recovery.
Heel Pain or Plantar Fascitis
The thick fibrous band under the foot in the arch is called the “Plantar Fascia.” It tethers the heel to the ball of the foot. Although not typically a serious injury, it will cause pain upon arising from bed or a chair, and can limit athletic and everyday activity. It is probably the most common condition Podiatrist’s treat, so it is very common. Usually increasing ambulation or athletic activity, increasing body weight, or wearing unsupportive shoes are the major culprits to aggravating this diagnosis. Swift and conservative but aggressive treatment is imperative as lingering untreated heel pain may lead to a chronically thickened and scarred fasica band which can even result in a small tear. When the activity continues without treatment it can take a long time to completely heal.
“Metatarsalgia” is an injury to the soft tissues surrounding the small metatarsal joints. The 2nd metatarsal joint is the most commonly injured. The joint can be mildly sore, and the corresponding toe can ache, or if worsens it can become swollen, and very painful. Sometimes the 2nd toe can become unstable and “pop up”. Often there is a bunion deformity present which can destabilize the 2nd joint as it has undue pressures pressing over onto the 2nd toe. For women, this will make high heel walking difficult, and barefoot walking can be uncomfortable too. This problem should be treated quickly with aggressive conservative treatments. Stabilizing the 2nd toe joint while treating swiftly is absoulutely imperative, as ongoing injury may lead to surgical corrections, as the tissue can tear from all the pressure and abnormal stresses.
A “Neuroma” may occur when there is an injury to the nerve that travels between the smaller metatarsals. The nerve commonly becomes pinched due to tight or narrow shoes, it is common in a pronated foot that rolls inward, and the patients commonly has a loss of fat padding in the metatarsal area. This injury is more commonly seen in female patients, proving that women’s tight shoes are a big factor in the development of this condition. Men can experience this injury, so paying attention to shoe sizing is very important. Shoe size can go up with increasing body weight, child birth, continual prolonged standing or years of athletic activities. It is important to make sure to have the feet measured each year for the proper width and length. Athletic shoes should always be larger than dress shoes.
The proper medical term is called “Hallux AbductoValgus” which is an angulation of the large toe toward the second toe. A pronated foot that rolls inward is the common cause, which is typically inherited. This angulation will increase over time, and symptoms may become painful due to tight or poor shoe fit. Many people have bunions without any pain, so conservative treatment to halt the progression, is the way to treat. This includes proper shoes, padding and orthotics to correct the abnormal foot pronation. Although many people have good relief of symptoms, with conservative care, true repositioning and straightening is only accomplished through surgery.
This progressive toe deformity occurs when any or all of the small toes start to flex and curl under. The toe joint becomes prominent and possibly rubs on the inside of the shoe which can result in a corn. This condition occurs from an imbalance of tendons within the foot which creates this cocking up of the toes. Because they are related to faulty foot mechanics, they will progress and get worse, but tight shoes or stockings can contribute to the development. Treatment should include toe padding, and shoe changes, but if they are rigid, the only true treatment is surgery to straighten the joint.
Corns, & Calluses & Blisters
Friction against skin from shoe gear, will cause rubbing resulting in blisters (quick, high frequency friction) or corns/calluses (slow, low grade friction). Prominent bony spots will be the areas that typically get the blisters or corns and calluses. Tight/improperly fitting shoes can cause the friction and increased perspiration which keeps the foot wet can increase the friction causing these rub spots. Typically blister products found at the pharmacy, will protect the “hot” spot and help with reducing the pain. Certain “anti-sweat” socks and/or skin lubrication will help to prevent the friction problem as well. If shoe size is not evaluated properly, the skin can get irritated causing these conditions.
Common Podiatric and Orthopedic Conditions that we treat:
- Heel & Arch pain
- Metatarsal pain
- Nerve injury
- Hammer toe deformity
- Achilles tendonitis
- Tendonitis and tendonosis
- Muscle strains
- Stress fractures
- Traumatic fractures
- Ankle sprains
- Midfoot ligament sprains
- Dermatology issues
- Calluses, corns and blisters
- Fungal nail conditions
- Athlete's foot skin conditions
- Arterial Vascular evaluations
- Vein disease
- Diabetic wounds and ulcers