Serving  Ashburn/Leesburg, Fairfax/Burke, Reston/Herndon and McLean /Great Falls VA.

By Family Foot and Ankle Center
June 05, 2015
Category: Foot Care

Lateral Ankle PainCould your persistent ankle pain be a result of lateral ankle instability?

Are you experiencing pain around your ankle that makes it difficult to walk or make your ankle feel unstable? Are you currently suffering from a stiff and tender ankle? If so, your symptoms could be indicative of chronic lateral ankle instability. Your podiatrist at Family Foot and Ankle Center, servicing the Reston area, shares more about this condition, its symptoms and how to treat your pain symptoms.

What is lateral ankle instability?

Sometimes referred to as chronic ankle instability, this condition often makes your ankle feel as if it might give out. This typically occurs most often while walking and performing any physical activity, but it can also occur while standing.

What are some symptoms of this ankle problem?

Besides feeling that your ankle might give out, you may also notice that your ankle turns out, especially while active or walking on uneven surfaces. You may also experience pain, swelling and tenderness in the ankle.

What causes lateral ankle instability?

Lateral ankle instability is usually brought about by an ankle sprain that hasn’t properly healed. During an ankle sprain, the connective tissue is stretched or even torn. If treatment or rehabilitation isn’t sought out, the tissue may never heal properly, causing either recurrent ankle sprains or chronic ankle instability.

How will my podiatrist treat my lateral ankle instability?

Your Reston area podiatrist will focus on more conservative treatment options at first. One common treatment is physical therapy, in which we walk you through a series of exercises to help improve balance and strengthen the muscles in your feet and ankle to help retrain them.

We may also recommend wearing an ankle brace to offer more support and to prevent the ankle from turning outwards as you move. A brace can also help to prevent future sprains.

Lastly, for those experiencing pain and swelling, over-the-counter anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen can help reduce both of these symptoms.

Luckily, many patients experience relief from their symptoms and improvement in their ankle with just these few options; however, there are still some that will require surgery. Your Reston area podiatrist will exhaust all other non-surgical treatments before deciding that it’s time to have surgery. If surgery is recommended we will sit down with you and discuss what you should expect before, during and after your procedure.

Are you experiencing any of these symptoms of lateral ankle instability? If so, then it’s time to see your Reston podiatrist at the Family Foot and Ankle Center, located in Ashburn/Leesburg, Fairfax/Burke, Reston/Herndon and McLean/Great Falls, VA. Don’t let foot ankle pain put a stop to your daily activities!

By Family Foot and Ankle Center
June 03, 2015
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Healthy Feet   Toenail Fungus   Toenail   Fungus  

Preventing Toenail Fungus for Healthy, Attractive Summer Feet

Toenail fungus affects nearly 20 percent of the population and is one of the most common foot conditions that is treated by your podiatrist. Characterized by thick, disfigured, yellow nails, this recurring disorder can cause the nail to grow fragile, brittle and loose, and in some cases, crumble away. In the most severe cases, fungus-infected nails may even cause pain or difficulty walking. 
Fungi thrive in warm, moist environments and can spread from person to person. Like athlete’s foot, you can contract a fungal nail infection from simply walking barefoot in public showers or pools, or by sharing nail clippers or shoes. Fungal infections can also infect fingernails, but toenails are more difficult to treat as toenails typically grow slower. By following simple preventive measures from your podiatrist, you can take the next step to healthy, attractive feet. 

How to Prevent Pesky Toenail Fungus 

Toenail fungus is common, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be easily prevented. By following these simple guidelines from your podiatrist, you can take the next step toward healthy feet:   
  • Wear shower shoes at public pools and locker rooms
  • Never share nail clippers or files
  • Wear dry shoes that allow air to circulate around your feet
  • Avoid injury to your nail, such as cutting it too short
  • Inspect your feet and toes regularly
  • Trim your toenails straight across to avoid ingrown toenail infections
  • Wear open-toed shoes if weather permits
  • Avoid wearing nail polish and disinfect pedicure tools
  • Wear clean, dry cotton socks that provide breathing room and whisk away moisture 
And if you are unable to avoid the development of toenail fungus, a trip to your podiatrist will do the trick. Your podiatrist will work with you to determine the best treatment plan for eliminating your toenail fungus, while also offering helpful advice for ways to prevent the development of this pesky infection.
By Family Foot and Ankle Center
May 14, 2015
Category: Foot Care

Relieve Pain, Correct Deformities and Restore Function with Foot Surgery

Foot surgery is the final remedy for the different kinds of pain in the foot and ankle that are caused by bunions, hammertoes, and arthritis, just to name a few.  These problems of the foot can causeFoot Surgery severe pain in some patients, and relief can often be found through alternative treatments.  In extreme cases, these alternative treatments won’t be effective, resulting in the need for foot surgery.  Your podiatrist will work with you to determine the best treatment option for your ailments. 

Bunion Surgery

Bunion surgeries fall into two major categories:
  • Head procedures that treat the big toe joint
  • Base procedures concentrate on the bone near or behind the big toe joint. 
Most bunion surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis at a surgical center or hospital.  It is important to set aside an entire day for your surgery, even though you may be in the facility for only half a day.  Bunion surgery is usually performed with a local anesthetic and it can be combined with a sedation medication to put you into a “twilight” sleep so that you are fully relaxed for the procedure.  
After surgery, patients are often given a long-acting anesthetic and pain medication, which is why someone else must drive you home.  The type of procedure you have will determine the degree to which you can put weight on the foot immediately after the surgery.  Some patients may have to use crutches, while others may be sent home wearing a surgical shoe.  
During the first week after surgery, you will need to keep your foot elevated as much as possible.  Ice packs should also be applied for the first three to four days to reduce swelling.  Limited walking is often required over the first two weeks to promote healing.  Your podiatrist may also instruct you on some basic exercises that need to be performed daily.  

Ankle Surgery

Ankle surgery may be required to correct a serious deformity of the ankle and its bone structure.  Injury, birth defects, or changes throughout the course of life are the usual culprits.  Disease, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and neuromuscular conditions, may cause severe foot and ankle deformities that, over time, cause pain and difficulty walking.  Surgeries of the ankle emphasize the realignment of the structure either around or after removal of the deformity.  
Various kinds of internal and external fixation devices are often required to maintain the appropriate alignment during, and beyond the healing process.   Varying in complexity, and severity, many ankle surgeries are conducted on a same-day, outpatient basis.  Patients need to arrange for another person to take them home after surgery and to stay with them for the first 24 hours following the surgery.  Post-operative instructions provided by your podiatrist will give you the information needed to care for your recovering ankle following surgery.  
When foot problems occur, your feet deserve your full attention and the care of your podiatrist.  Foot surgery can often be avoided with conservative treatments, but if your foot pain is excessive foot surgery may be the best solution.  Contact your podiatrist today for further consultation and treatment of your foot ailments.  
By Family Foot and Ankle Center
April 30, 2015
Category: Foot Care

How to Avoid Pesky Ingrown Toenails

An ingrown toenail is a common and painful condition of the toes that occurs when one or both sides of the nail break through and grow into the skin of the toe rather than over it. As a result, the irritatedIngrown Toenails skin becomes painful, red and swollen. Fortunately, when detected early, an ingrown can generally be treated effectively from home. But when left untreated, an ingrown toenail is prone to infection as bacteria can enter the penetrated skin. Professional treatment from your podiatrist will be necessary to treat the infection. 

Self-Care for Ingrown Toenails

Regardless of the cause, understanding how to care for an ingrown toenail can go a long way to prevent painful infections. In its earliest stage, an ingrown toenail can generally be cared for and successfully treated from home. For non-infected nails: 
  • Soak your foot in warm water several times a day to relieve swelling and soreness
  • Wash and dry your foot to keep the affected area clean 
  • Wear comfortable footwear with a wide toe box, or sandals when weather permitting
  • Avoid cutting the nail as this can make the condition worse
  • Over-the-counter medications may temporarily ease the pain, but don’t heal the underlying problem
Conservative treatments won’t always be successful.  When excessive swelling, pain or discharge is present, the toenail is most likely infected and should be treated by your podiatrist.  If you have diabetes or nerve damage, avoid home treatment and see your podiatrist for safe and professional care. 

Preventing Ingrown Toenails is Easy

With a few simple precautions, you can easily prevent ingrown toenails. 
  • Wear proper fitting shoes and socks that allow for adequate toe room 
  • Trim your toenails straight across and avoid cutting them too short
  • Keep your feet clean and dry as this prevents bacteria-formation
Ingrown toenails are a very common condition of the toes. The key to avoiding ingrown toenails is to prevent them from occurring in the first place.  For infected nails, visit us in Ashburn, Fairfax, Reston or McLean, VA for treatment, such as an oral antibiotic or a minor surgical procedure to stop the pain and remove the infection.  
By Family Foot and Ankle Center
April 16, 2015
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Children's Feet   Kids Feet  
During the school year, your children maintain their normal school routine with frequent activities and are constantly on the go.  In order to maintain their busy schedules it is vital that their feet are protected against the aches and pains of non-stop daily activities.  From infants and toddlers to high school kids, the need for continual foot relief is constant.  Pain in your child’s foot or ankle is never normal, as there is no such thing as “growing pains.”  Visit one of our locations in Ashburn, Fairfax, Reston and McLean, VA if you have any pain that lasts more than a few days, or that is severe enough to limit the child’s walking, as soon as possible.  

Infants and Toddlers

Whether your infant or toddler is in school or daycare, their feet need extra protection early on to promote healthy feet later on in their lives.  The size and shape of your baby’s feet change dramatically during their first year.  Too much pressure or strain can affect the shape of their feet as a baby’s feet are flexible.  When choosing shoes for your baby make sure their shoes and socks do not squeeze the toes as this can cause damage to their precious toes. 
As your infant continues to grow, it is important not to force your toddler to walk before he or she is ready to.  Once your toddler does begin to walk, watch your toddler’s gait – the way in which they walk.  Many toddlers may have a pigeon-toe gait, which is normal, while some initially learn to walk landing on their toes instead of their heels.  Most children will outgrow both of these problems, but other conditions detected early can be treated more easily.  

Proper Shoes for Your Children

Before you head to the store to buy your kids shoes, follow some simple guidelines provided by your podiatrist to prevent or minimize foot problems from poorly fitting or worn out shoes.  Your child’s feet can grow up to two sizes in six months, so you need to account for growth when purchasing new shoes.  This doesn’t mean that you need to buy shoes that are too big as oversized shoes cause the foot to slide forward, putting excessive pressure on the toes.  A good fitting shoe is about a finger’s width from the end of the shoe to the tip of the big toe.  If your child’s shoes are too tight, it can cause blisters, corns and calluses, or worse, ingrown nails that become can become infected.  
Shoes will lose their shock absorption over time, so it is important to inspect new and old shoes for proper cushioning and arch support.  If your child’s shoes exhibit wear and tear around the edges of the sole, replace them with new shoes that have adequate support.  When buying new shoes, check to see that the toe box flexes easily and the shoe does not bend in the middle of the sole.  Worn-out shoes elevate the risk for heel pain, Achilles tendonitis and even ankle sprains and stress factors – be sure to replace then as soon as possible.  
Remember to check your child’s shoe size often, as they will continually change shoe sizes as they grow.  With your podiatrist’s care, the risk of bone problems can be reduced.  Contact one of our locations in Ashburn, Fairfax, Reston and McLean, VA today if your child is experiencing any pain in their feet due to injury or abnormal growth.

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