Posts for category: Podiatrist
Anyone who has experienced shin splints can tell you just how painful this seemingly innocuous condition can be. If you are a runner, chances are pretty good that you’ve experienced this issue before. Shin splints are fairly common for athletes and runners and can be so painful that it can affect your daily routine and keep you from your favorite activities.
Why do shin splints happen?
If you are new to running then you may be prone to developing shin splints in the very beginning. This could happen for several reasons:
- You might be taking on a bit more than you can chew when it comes to the intensity or duration of your new exercise routine
- You could have tight calf muscles
- Your shin muscles might actually be weak
- You may have a biomechanical imbalance in your feet (e.g. pronating when you run)
How do you prevent shin splints?
The goal is to protect runners and other athletes from developing shin splints altogether; fortunately, there are a variety of tips that any podiatrist can provide you with to make sure your exercise routine doesn’t leave you icing those aching shins.
Here are some ways to prevent shins splints.
Slow and Steady
While we would all love to suddenly be able to go out there and increase our mileage or intensity of our workouts you can’t expect to go from zero to 60 in a short span of time. Your muscles need time to strengthen. If you drastically increase the intensity or length of your workout then you may leave yourself prone to developing shin splints.
Avoid Hard Surfaces
While pounding the pavement may be your daily routine, if you can avoid this hard surface that will certainly reduce your chances of shin splints. Running already puts stress on the bones, joints, muscles, and ligaments in your legs, so imagine how much more stress occurs when running on asphalt or other hard surfaces? Whenever possible, choose grassy softer terrains and trails.
Choose the Right Shoes
If you’ve had your shoes for more than 300-400 miles then it’s time to kiss them goodbye and get new ones. Running shoes don’t last forever and as the cushioning and support wear out, you are more likely to develop shin splints. Turn to a specialty running store to help you choose the right shoes for your active feet.
Give it a Rest
Your body needs time to recover, no matter how much of an experienced runner you might be. If you are just starting out, it’s important to give your body ample time to recoup. This means trying to limit your running so you aren’t doing so twice in a row. If you are an avid runner you’ll still want to take one or two days off a week to let your body recover.
If shin splints are plaguing you or if you are dealing with foot and ankle problems it’s important that you have a podiatrist by your side to provide you with the treatment you need whenever you need it.
The condition called “trench foot” was first officially diagnosed in 1812 by a doctor who treated French soldiers who spent a lot of time in cold, wet trenches. Though it is relatively rare in patients, trench foot is a very concerning foot problem that you should be aware of. If you have any potential symptoms, schedule an urgent appointment with your podiatrist to have it properly diagnosed and treated.
What Is Trench Foot?
Trench foot is a foot condition that develops because the feet have been exposed to very cold water or dampness for a very long time. Proper circulation to the feet stops as blood vessels constrict due to the cold. The feet are vulnerable to bacteria and the elements, causing a number of undesirable symptoms. Common symptoms of trench foot include:
- Discolored feet (turning red, blue or black)
- Tingling, itching or burning
- Numbness in the feet
- Red blisters
In severe cases, parts of the feet, like toes, can begin to fall off. If the foot already has some type of infection or wound, the progression of trench foot can be more aggressive. In untreated cases, gangrene can develop and amputation may be necessary.
Who Is at Risk for Trench Foot?
Trench foot was first noticed in soldiers who were forced to spend days, weeks or months in wet trenches. Wearing poorly designed shoes or boots allows the feet to become damp and cold. Any patient who lives in an outdoor environment that is very cold and gets long periods of rain could be at risk for trench foot—especially if proper boots aren’t worn at all times.
Getting Help with Trench Foot Symptoms
It’s important to have any symptom of trench foot looked at by a podiatrist as soon as possible. There are a few common ways that doctors treat trench foot:
- Warming the feet with heated pads or warm water.
- Physical therapy to bring circulation back to the feet.
- Cleaning and disinfecting the feet with antifungal agents.
- Removing bad tissue so that good tissue has a chance to regenerate on the feet.
Schedule an urgent appointment with your podiatrist if your feet have been exposed to cold, damp or dirty conditions for an extended period of time and you’re experiencing symptoms of trench foot. The sooner it is treated, the better the chance of returning the feet to a normal and healthy condition.
With diabetes, even a small foot injury can mean major problems unless treated immediately.
If you have diabetes, simple issues like trimming your toenails, getting a blister from ill-fitting shoes, or nicking your ankle while shaving can cause a chain reaction of health problems. An estimated 25% of diabetics will deal with foot wounds and their complications; they are typically slow to heal and subject to infection, which can lead to expensive, long-term treatments to get it under control. Family Foot and Ankle Centers serving McLean, Ashburn, Fairfax and Reston is here to educate their diabetic patients about recognizing foot wound symptoms and how to prevent them from happening.
How do foot wounds develop?
Certain diseases and conditions make foot wounds very difficult to treat. For example, the minor injuries listed above don't usually cause any problems for people who have normal blood circulation. Diabetics, however, often have neuropathy (nerve damage) or restricted blood flow. Complications from food wounds often happen as a result of these conditions. When poor circulation is combined with increased blood glucose levels, feeling is reduced (or totally absent) in the extremities and healing is much slower. The wound, therefore, is at a much higher risk for ulceration and infection. In extreme cases, amputation may be the only way to stop the infection from spreading further.
What are the symptoms of diabetic foot wounds?
Pain is a not a typical sign for those with reduced feeling in the feet and ankles; the pain receptors are weakened and not a good indicator for diabetic foot wounds. Many patients first contact their McLean, Ashburn, Fairfax and Reston podiatrist after noticing stains on their socks from wound drainage. The area around the wound may be swollen and red. A foul odor may be present if the wound has been left to progress. Any time a diabetic person injures their foot, even if it seems insignificant, should immediately contact their podiatrist.
How do I prevent foot wounds?
Diabetic patients who are at risk for foot wound complications should take precautions to avoid any injuries to their feet and ankles. They should not walk around barefoot, both indoors and out. Wearing properly fitted and comfortable shoes is also important to prevent blisters. Your podiatrists also encourage their diabetic patients to practice excellent hygiene and inspect the feet and ankles daily for any cuts, bruises, redness or any other abnormalities.
If you do notice a foot wound developing, it's important to contact the podiatry team at Family Foot and Ankle Centers right away. Early treatment of foot wounds is the key to proper healing. Call your podiatrist at Family Foot and Ankle Centers in McLean at (703) 556-8637, Ashburn at (703) 723-9267, Fairfax at (703) 273-9818 and Reston at (703)723-2719. Or visit our website at familyfootandankle.com. Get some relief today and get back on your feet!
Being able to walk is vital to most peoples’ daily lives. Many depend on this skill to be able to work, care for their children or just live a normal life. When pain in the foot or ankle becomes so severe that walking is hindered, quality of life can be heavily affected. In severe cases, surgery using bone grafting may be required to fix the problem and get you back to a happy, pain-free life.
What is bone grafting?
Bone grafts, used during surgical procedures, harvest bone from one part of the body and implant it into another part of the body. Sometimes, a donor bone may be used. Since no actual living material is being grafted, the body cannot reject a bone graft as it could a skin graft.
What situations require bone grafting?
Bone grafts are usually used in regards to foot and ankle surgery due to these common situations:
- Bone Loss: Fractures that do not heal correctly could result in bone loss. Bone grafts for bone loss are used to promote healing in the area that it is grafted to.
- Bone Cyst: A bone cyst may require a bone graft to fill it while it heals. This supports the bone and promotes healing.
- Arthrodesis: If an arthrodesis, or fusion of two or more bones, is being performed, a bone graft could be used to bridge the gap between a joint, preventing it from being moved. This procedure makes the joint unusable, and it will no longer function as it did before.
How does bone grafting play into foot and ankle problems?
Many bones in the feet or ankles are small and fragile. Bone grafts have proven to provide a large advantage to promote healing and provide extra support after foot or ankle surgery. While bone grafts are commonplace in foot and ankle surgery, the best way to understand the process and the surgery around it is to meet and consult with your Reston, VA podiatrist.
If you have foot or ankle problems, Family Foot and Ankle Center in Reston, Fairfax Ashburn and Mclean can help. Call (703) 723-2719 to schedule an appointment today!
Toenail fungus is an embarrassing problem that can cause foot pain and lead to the loss of a nail over time if it’s not properly treated. Learn more about this foot issue and how you can get the most technologically advanced help available from the Reston laser toenail fungus treatment office of Dr. Richard S. Mendelsohn, D.P.M., F.A.C.F.A.S.
What Is Toenail Fungus?
Toenail fungus is a growth that begins beneath the tip of your nail. Its official name is “onychomycosis” or “tinea unguium.” The fungus, if not eliminated before it has a chance to get stronger, will eventually find its way deeper and deeper into the nail bed until it has completely taken over. In a worst case scenario, the nail gets thick, dark or yellow and becomes painful when you wear closed-toed shoes. Sometimes the fungus will begin to spread to all of the toes and Reston laser toenail fungus treatment is the best way to stop it in its tracks.
How Can Fungus on the Toes Be Prevented?
Nail fungus thrives in warm, wet environments like public swimming pools in the summertime and hot tubs. To prevent the growth of fungus on your toenails, follow these simple tips:
- avoid keeping your feet in moisture for long periods of time, such as a wet pair of socks
- wash your feet thoroughly with clean water after leaving a pool or beach
- avoid walking outside barefoot (especially when there’s moisture on the ground)
- wear flip flops when you shower in a public gym or dorm bathroom
- inspect your toenails carefully for cuts, separations and hangnails where fungus can easily find a way into the nail bed (this needs to be thoroughly cleaned and treated)
If you already have symptoms of a toenail fungus, you can take steps to reverse it by applying an anti-fungal product, but in severe cases you need professional help from a podiatrist.
Toenail Fungus Treatment
If your toenail fungus problem has gone beyond prevention steps, schedule an appointment with Reston laser toenail fungus treatment Dr. Richard S. Mendelsohn today. He will evaluate your problem and consult you about the latest and most effective treatment for this common problem. His office can be reached at (703) 273-9818 or by visiting http://www.familyfootandankle.com to make an appointment request online.