Posts for category: Foot Condition
Your feet play a crucial role in your health when you have diabetes. Although you may have been able to ignore small scratches or burst blisters in the past, overlooking these seemingly minor foot issues can lead to serious infections if you've been diagnosed with diabetes. The podiatrists at Family Foot and Ankle Center in Fairfax, Ashburn, McLean, and Reston, VA, treat diabetes-related foot conditions and can help you minimize your risk of complications.
The importance of foot care
Daily self-exams can help you spot sores and injuries and prevent problems. For example, if you notice a red spot on the side of your foot, you can avoid a blister by choosing roomier shoes that don't rub against your feet.
It's particularly important to conduct self-exams if you have nerve damage due to diabetic neuropathy. When you can't feel your feet, you won't experience pain or discomfort and may not even realize that there's a problem until your foot is infected.
Diabetes slows healing time and makes it difficult to treat infections. If the infection doesn't respond well to antibiotics, you may even lose your foot or part of your leg. Practicing self-care and visiting your foot doctor in Fairfax, Ashburn, McLean, or Reston, VA, at the first sign of trouble can help you protect your feet and your health.
When should I call the podiatrist?
Make an appointment with your foot doctor if you notice any of these signs or symptoms:
- Open sores
- Red, swollen sores or cuts
- Pus on your skin
- Corns, calluses, and ingrown toenails (attempting to treat these conditions at home can lead to infections.)
- Red streaks on your skin
- Pain or numbness in your feet
- Change in temperature (Your feet feel abnormally hot or cold.)
- Blue, black or white skin
Prompt treatment of infections is crucial if you have diabetes, for swift attention can help you avoid hospital stays and any potentially deadly complications of the disease.
Concerned? Give us a call!
Have you noticed any of these signs and symptoms? Schedule an appointment with the podiatrists at Family Foot and Ankle Center by calling (703) 273-9818 for the Fairfax, VA, office, (703) 723-9267 for the Ashburn office, (703) 556-8637 for the McLean office or (703) 723-2719 for the Reston office.
Understanding Heel Pain with Help from Your Podiatrist
- Wear shoes that fit well
- Wear proper shoes for each activity
- Do not wear shoes with excessive wear on heels or soles
- Prepare properly before exercising by stretching and warming up
- Pace yourself when you participate in athletic activities
- Don’t underestimate your body’s need for rest and good nutrition
- Lose excess weight
What is Sesamoiditis?
Sesamoids are small bones that are only connected to tendons or surrounded in muscle. This only appears in a few places in the body, one of which is the foot. Two very tiny sesamoids are found in the underside of the foot near the big toe. One is on the outer side of the foot and the other bone is close to the middle of the foot. This structure provides a smooth surface for the tendons to slide over, which helps the tendons move muscles. They help with weight bearing and also help to elevate the bones of the big toe. So now that you know what sesamoids are, you might be wondering what sesamoiditis is and what its symptoms are.
Just like any other bone, sesamoids can unfortunately fracture. The tendons surrounding the sesamoids may also become irritated or inflamed and this is what sesamoiditis is. Sesamoiditis is also a form of tendonitis and is a common condition among ballerinas, runners, and baseball catchers due to the pressure that is constantly placed on their feet.
Symptoms of Sesamoiditis
Symptoms of Sesamoiditis may include:
- Pain under the big toe or ball of the foot
- Swelling and/or bruising
- Difficulty in bending and straightening the big toe
- Resting and stopping any activity that could be causing pain and inflammation
- Anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen and aspirin only after consulting your physician
- Icing the sole of the foot
- Wearing soft-soled and low-heeled shoes
- Cushioning inserts in the shoes
If symptoms persist after treatments, you may need to wear a removable brace for 4-6 weeks to help the bones heal. Call your podiatrist today to ask any questions about sesamoiditis and get on your way to pain-free feet once again!
Are you experiencing numbness, tingling, or discolorations in your feet?
Even though poor circulation isn’t a condition, if you are experiencing poor circulation in your feet this is often a symptom of a much larger issue. This is why it’s important to understand the warning signs of poor circulation and when to see a podiatrist, as many of these conditions can be serious or cause further complications to your health.
Causes of Poor Circulation
There are many reasons why someone may have poor circulation. The most common conditions include:
1. Peripheral artery disease (PAD)
This causes poor circulation in the legs due to a narrowing in the arteries and blood vessels. Over time this condition can cause damage to nerves or tissue. While this condition can occur in younger people, particularly smokers, it’s more common for people over 50 years old to develop PAD.
2. Blood Clots
A blood clot causes a block or restriction in blood flow and can develop anywhere in the body. The most common places for a blood clot include the arms or the legs, which can lead to symptoms of poor circulation. In some cases, a blood clot can cause serious complications such as a stroke.
While this condition does affect blood sugar levels, it is also known to affect circulation within the body. Those with circulation issues may experience cramping in the legs that may get worse when you are active. Those with diabetic neuropathy may experience nerve damage in the legs and feet, as well as numbness or tingling.
4. Raynaud’s Disease
A less common condition, Raynaud’s disease causes chronic cold fingers and feet due to the narrowing of the arteries in the hands and toes. Since these arteries are narrow it’s more difficult for blood to flow to these areas, leading to poor circulation. Of course, you may experience these symptoms in other parts of the body besides your toes or fingers, such as your nose, ears, or lips.
Warning Signs of Poor Circulation
You may be experiencing poor circulation in your feet if you are experiencing these symptoms:
- Pain that may radiate into the limbs
- Tingling (a “pins and needles” sensation)
- Muscle cramping
If you are experiencing symptoms of poor circulation that don’t go away it’s best to play it safe rather than sorry and turn to a podiatric specialist who can provide a proper diagnosis and determine the best approach for improving circulation. Don’t ignore this issue.
Osteochondritis isn’t a condition that most people have heard of and probably won’t unless their podiatrist diagnoses them with it. Osteochondritis is characterized by lesions that develop as a result of injury or death to the bone that lies under the cartilage of a joint. It’s common for the ankle joint to be affected by osteochondritis.
This condition is most often seen in children and teens, especially if they are athletes or participate in high-impact activities. Osteochondritis symptoms may appear immediately after the joint injury or may surface months afterward.
Common symptoms of osteochondritis in the ankle joint include:
- Pain and stiffness
- Tenderness and swelling around the ankle
- A popping or clicking sound in the joint
- Ankle instability (feeling
- as if the ankle might give out)
- Loss of joint flexibility and range-of-motion
If you or your little one is dealing with ankle joint pain or any of these other symptoms, particularly after an injury, it is important that you see a podiatrist who will be able to diagnose and treat the condition as soon as possible.
When you come in for care, a podiatrist will perform a physical exam and ask you questions about the symptoms you are experiencing. During your physical exam your doctor may ask you to move the ankle around in order to check your range of motion.
In some cases, imaging tests such as X-rays or MRIs are needed to check the extent of the damage and to provide more comprehensive images of the tissue, joints, bone, and cartilage of the ankle. Remember, these symptoms can also be indicative of other problems, and these imaging tests can rule out other issues and provide a definite diagnosis.
The main goal of osteochondritis treatment is to reduce pain and other symptoms while also improving how the ankle joint functions. Since those with osteochondritis are also at an increased risk for developing osteoarthritis later on, we will also recommend specific ways to reduce this risk.
In most cases, resting and avoiding activities that could exacerbate your condition is imperative to healing. If the damage is serious enough, a foot doctor may recommend wearing a cast or brace for a few weeks to provide additional support and protection for the affected ankle joint.
Physical therapy may also be prescribed to improve the health of the joint while also strengthening the muscles, ligaments, cartilage and other soft tissues surrounding the joint. These stretching and strengthening exercises will improve range of motion and flexibility in the joint and gradually restore function.
If you suspect that you or your child’s symptoms are due to osteochondritis, it is important that you schedule an evaluation with a foot care expert as soon as possible.