Monday, 22 June 2020

Ankle Arthroscopy – Procedure and Recovery

Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure that is used to treat different kinds of joint issues. It is a popular treatment method for patients with joint problems as it uses a minimally invasive method to treat the condition.

Ankle Arthroscopy – Procedure and Recovery


What Kind of Ankle Problems Can Be Treated with Arthroscopy?

Some common causes of ankle issues are accidents and injuries. Ankle arthroscopy may be advised in the following cases:

  •     When a fracture does not cause a clean break and even after the larger bones set, there is debris around the area which causes pain and inflammation.
  •      When there is ligament damage after a bad sprain.
  •      When there is tissue and tendon damage around the ankle due to wear and tear.

What Does an Arthroscopic Procedure Entail?

The procedure is usually done in an operating theater. The ankle is numbed locally with an anesthetic. A small incision is made in the ankle and a fiber optic camera is inserted into the incision. With the help of the camera, small surgical tools will be used to perform this procedure. The incisions will be closed up and bandaged after the procedure is over. Arthroscopy helps in a speedier recovery while minimizing scarring. Complications too are fewer than open surgery.

Also Read: Treating an ankle sprain


Recovery from Ankle Arthroscopy

The recovery time after an ankle arthroscopy will depend on how fast the ankle heals and how bad the injury was. The podiatrist may recommend the use of crutches for a while to lessen the weight on the ankle. Sometimes, in the case of a severe injury, the patient may be placed in an immobilizer for as long as five to six weeks. If the arthroscopic remodeling involved extensive surgery, the podiatrist may have the leg encased in a cast to prevent movement and promote healing. Medication may be prescribed after surgery to help manage pain and inflammation.

The podiatrist will then give a rehabilitation plan to be followed for complete recovery.

Sunday, 21 June 2020

PRP and Its Use in Healing

What Is PRP?

PRP is the acronym for platelet-rich plasma which is a concentration of a person’s blood platelets. It helps in promoting tissue healing and regeneration. It also promotes new capillary growth and accelerates epithelialization in chronic wounds.


PRP and Its Use in Healing


When Is PRP Therapy Recommended?

Our joints undergo constant abuse. It could be because of extreme sports and training; it could be through wear and tear or it could be because of aging. But every one of us has been to a doctor due to some kind of pain related to our ligaments, tendons and cartilage. It may have been a torn ACL, rotator cuff tear, Achilles tendon rupture, tendonitis or some other soft-tissue related injury. Some problems are not very severe and with a little help from a podiatrist, simple treatment plans and pain and inflammation medication, get better.

But at times, the injury can also be quite severe and could take a long time to heal and can even become chronic. That’s when PRP therapy may be suggested as it helps in tissue regeneration. When treated with PRP injections, the injury heals faster and the recovery is quicker.

How Does PRP Therapy Work?

This procedure uses the platelet rich plasma of the patient’s own body to heal tissue. Platelets contain thrombocytes that help in creating blood clots and have healing and regenerative properties. 

The injections are prepared by taking a few tubes of blood from the patient and running it through a centrifuge. This concentrates the platelets which are then prepared as injections. Using ultrasound imaging, it is injected into the tendon or ligament that is damaged.

Benefits of Using PRP Injections

  •         Recovery is faster
  •         The requirement of anti-inflammatory and pain medication is reduced
  •         Side effects are limited
Podiatrists around the world are using this new therapy to reverse problems caused by soft tissue damage with great results.

Thursday, 21 May 2020

5 Lock down Tips – How to Find the Right Shoes for Your Growing Child Online

Growing up in a New Reality

In a world where life has changed and everything seems Topsy-turvy, there is one thing that hasn’t change. Children keep growing. Even a lock down can’t stop that and sooner or later, you will need to find some new shoes to fit those growing feet. With shoe shops closed and also to prevent unnecessary outdoor activity, it may be a better idea to get your child’s new shoes online. It is important to choose the best shoes for your children as some shoes can cause skin infections or foot odor due to low quality.

Find the Right Shoes for Your Growing Child Online

Signs That Your Child Needs New Shoes

Whether it is covered shoes or sandals, some of the tell-tale signs that your child needs new shoes include the following:
  • The big toe starts to stick out in front
  • Heels stick out at the back
  • Covered shoes may get a slight bulge
  • Redness when shoes are taken off
  • Limping or pain maybe experienced while walking
  • Take a piece of paper and make the child stand on it.
  • Trace the child’s foot on the paper. The feet should be pressed down firmly upon the paper.
  • Use a marker to draw a straight line touching each side of the outline and measure the length from top to bottom and the width from left to right.
  • Use the length and width measurements to find your child’s shoe size on an online store’s sizing chart.


Also Read: Children’s Feet Need Special Care Too

Measuring Children for Shoes

Make Sure That the Shoe Fits
When buying something online, the time window to return it may be small so it is important to check if your child’s shoes are fitting well. Some ways to do that are listed below.
  •      Shoes should have a gap at the top when pressed.
  •      When fastened, shoes should not be too loose.
  •      Check for support and stability by balancing on one foot at a time.
If you don’t want to take the risk of ill-fitting shoes, the best solution is to get the same shoe type the child has, but just the next size up.

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Effects of Aging on the Feet

As people get older, they develop a myriad of health issues. Quite a few of these issues are related to the feet. Our legs have been carrying our body weight for decades and the constant wear and tear is bound to affect the feet. Aside from this, aging can cause deterioration of muscles and can also cause the skin to lose its elasticity, causing additional problems.

Effects of Aging on the Feet

Problems Associated with Aging Feet

  •          Pain in the joints
  •          Dermatitis
  •          Ulcers
  •          Infections
  •          Sores
  •          Deformity of toes
  •          Problems with mobility
  •          Varicose veins
  •          Thrombosis
  •          Balance issues
  •          Issues due to underlying illnesses like rheumatism and diabetes

Ways to Reduce Podiatric Problems in the Elderly Stay Active

Being active increases blood circulation thereby avoiding certain circulatory problems that the elderly are prone to. Exercising also helps in keeping the muscles toned.


Also Read: Top 5 Tips to Care for Your Feet as You Age


Maintain Optimal Body Weight

A heavy body tends to put more pressure on the joints and this will cause more wear and tear on the legs. It is good to ensure a nutritious but low-calorie diet and an active lifestyle to keep those pounds off.

Foot Hygiene Is Important

The elderly have to ensure that they keep their feet clean and toe nails trimmed to prevent any kind of infection. A regular pedicure, even at home, is a good idea. Moisturizing aging feet every night can help keep the skin supple, decrease cracked heels and reduce brittleness in the nails.

Wear the Right Shoes

Comfort is more important than style as you get older. Avoid shoes with heels as it could cause a fall. Make sure that the shoes are not too constricting and have a good grip.

Regular Check-Ups

In the elderly, a small foot infection can snowball and cause a lot of pain and misery. A regular foot check-up with a podiatrist can keep your feet healthy and prevent foot problems.

Thursday, 16 April 2020

Diabetes and Your Feet

Why Does Diabetes Affect Your Feet?

Diabetes is a vascular disease which means that the vascular or circulatory system of the body is affected. The circulatory system is responsible for sending oxygen to the various parts of the body, including the feet. When that is affected, it lowers the blood flow to the feet and hence the amount of oxygen that gets to the feet also decreases. 

Foot Treatment

Common Foot Problems for Diabetics

  • Diabetic neuropathy – Nerve damage to the legs and feet
  • Gangrene – Tissue death due to lack of blood flow
  • Charcot’s foot – Changes to the shape of the feet

Danger of Ignoring Diabetes Related Foot Problems

It is rightly said that diabetics have to take good care of their feet. Due to the decrease in blood flow to the feet, the feet could get numb. This means that even if there is an injury to the feet, the person may not be aware of it.

Diabetics are also prone to sores and foot ulcers that occur due to a decrease in blood flow to the extremities. It takes a long time for an infection to subside for a diabetic. Very often, infections like foot sores can fester and become septic and even the area around it can get infected. The infection can also spread very rapidly as the body of a diabetic doesn’t heal quickly.

How to Prevent Diabetes Related Foot Problems

Diabetics have to be very careful with their feet because of the aforementioned reasons. They should ensure that they follow proper foot hygiene. They should make sure that their feet are looked after and any problems that arise are tended to immediately. They should see a podiatrist regularly if they are prone to foot problems and ensure that there is nothing to worry about. Problems like ingrown toe nails, cuts, sores or red spots, corns, calluses and plantar warts should all be treated immediately and the problem nipped in the bud.

Monday, 13 April 2020

Common Foot Problems in Children


What Causes Foot Problems in Children?

There are many reasons why children manifest foot problems. It could be due to a problem faced by the fetus when it was in the uterus. It could occur due to a congenital anomaly. Or, it could be hereditary. Children could be born with an anomaly or it could manifest as soon as they start toddling. 

Foot Problems

Some Common Foot Problems in Children

Club Foot – A baby born with this condition will have feet that appear to have been rotated internally at the ankle. The feet could look misshapen. If this is detected at birth, it can be corrected immediately. Sometimes, the problem may not become apparent till the baby starts walking. In that case, special braces and physical therapy would be needed.

Bow Legs – This is the term used when the legs curve outward while walking. When children start toddling, their legs are usually bowed for a while and then they will straighten out. If it doesn’t straighten out when they are older and if it causes pain, treatment may be necessary.

Knock Knees – This is a knee misalignment where the child’s knees scrape against one another as he/she walks. The feet and ankles stay apart. Over time, if it isn’t corrected, it could lead to pain and posture problems.

In-toeing – This is also called pigeon toes. Toddlers could start walking unsteadily, in the beginning, with their toes turned inwards. This usually evens out as the legs lengthen and get stronger. If it doesn’t, it would need to be corrected.

Out-toeing – When the opposite of pigeon toes occurs, the toes are turned outwards when the child starts walking. It should self-correct by the time the child is around six. If it doesn’t, the child will balance the body differently causing posture problems. 

FlatFeet – Flat feet occurs when the arches of the feet don’t develop properly. Usually toddlers don’t have arches and their feet look flat footed when they start walking. But over time, the arch develops and the flat feet disappears. If it doesn’t, treatment should be sought.

When to See A Podiatrist

Most childhood foot problems will self-correct as the child grows. If it doesn’t, it is better to get it checked by a podiatrist. If detected in time, orthotics and physical therapy can be used to rectify the problem and surgery can be avoided.

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Drop Foot – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Drop foot is a medical condition wherein the person has difficulty lifting the front of his/her foot. A person suffering from this condition will drag the front of the foot while walking. It could be a neurological, muscular or anatomical problem.

Drop Foot – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Symptoms of Drop Foot

•   Front part of the foot drags on the floor
•   Steppage gait 
•   Slapping sound when the foot hits the ground
•   Numbness in foot and toes

Causes

Some reasons for this condition include:

•   Nerve Injury- If one of the nerves that controls the muscles used when walking is compressed, it can cause drop foot.

•   Muscle Disorder – Muscle dystrophy can cause progressive muscle weakness which can cause this condition.

•   Nerve Disorders – Drop foot can be caused by diseases like polio or Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.

•   Brain/Spinal Cord Disorders – Disorders like ALS, multiple sclerosis or stroke can cause weakening of leg muscles and thereby cause drop foot.

Diagnosis

To diagnose drop foot, the podiatrist will first do a physical examination by pressing on various parts of the leg and feet for reaction and numbness. You may also be asked to walk up and down to check for muscle weakness and gait. Further, imaging tests may be done which could include x-rays, ultrasound, CT scan and MRI. Nerve tests like electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies help determine the location of the damage along the affected nerve.

Treatment

The treatment will depend on the severity and the cause of the condition.

 Treatment for drop foot might include:

•  Orthotics Like Braces or Splints – This will help support your foot and hold it down in an optimal position.

•  Physical Therapy - Exercises will be given to strengthen leg muscles and increase range of motion of the knee as well as to correct gait. It will also make your foot more flexible.

•  Nerve Stimulation – The nerve that has been affected will be stimulated to try and reduce the severity of the drop foot. 

•  Surgery- If there is severe pain or if the drop foot is affecting a person’s quality of life, surgery may be an option. 

In most cases, working with a podiatrist and undergoing a combination of treatments that may include orthotics and physical therapy can help in treating drop foot. 

Thursday, 12 March 2020

Orthotic Shoes Can Help with Feet Pain

What Is Orthotics?

Our foot is made up of 28 bones, 30 joints and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments.All of these work together to support our weight and make movement possible. A disruption in any of these could cause foot pain. Podiatrists help treat foot conditions with the help of orthotics. They are prescription medical devices that are used by podiatrists to treat and correct biomechanical foot issues.

Orthotic Shoes Can Help with Feet Pain

Common Reasons for Foot Pain

• Pain in the heel can be caused by:-

Heel spurs – These are abnormal growths of bone that occur on the heel. Your podiatrist may suggest foot inserts, gel heels or heel pain relief cushions.

• Pain in the ball of the foot can be caused by:-

Metatarsalgia – This causes inflammation and can occur when there is high impact on the ball of the foot while running or jumping. Individualized orthotics that provide cushioning and support may help.

• Pain in the arch of the foot can be caused by:-

Plantar fasciitis - Inflammation of the band of tissue that connects the heel bone to your toes could cause pain and stiffness. Custom orthotics, supports and insoles are often prescribed by podiatrists to treat this condition.

• Pain in the big toe can be caused by:-

Gout – This is a form of arthritis that affects the big toe. It can cause pain, inflammation and tenderness at the base of the toe. Soft, supportive gel orthotics can help cushion the area and relieve pain.

Why Consult a Podiatrist for Foot Pain?

The podiatrist is the best person to go to for a foot problem because they will carry out biometric assessment to check your standing posture, your muscular and skeletal alignments and they will assess how your gait may be impacting other parts of your body, such as your hips.

Based on their findings they will decide what kind of treatment will work for you and they will conduct a complete rehabilitation program to ensure that your condition is treated and reversed.

Monday, 24 February 2020

5 Tips to Get Your Feet Summer - Ready

After spending the winter in boots, your feet need to be rejuvenated to get them summer-ready. If you are planning a beach vacation sometime soon and you think your feet need some pampering before they can strap on those beach sandals, you need not worry. With these five tips, your feet will be ready for the forthcoming sunnier weather.  

Feet, Beautiful Woman, Carbis Bay, St Ives, Cornwall

Check Your Feet:

After their long winter hibernation, your feet need to be given a thorough check to spot foot problems like corns and calluses, discolored nails, etc. Since you won’t want your feet to be covered up all summer, you should seek a podiatrist’s advice as soon as you notice any foot problem. Remember not to neglect them or leave them unattended. Else, they may become more serious and cause a lot of trouble in the future. 

Check Nail Health and Trim Your Nails:

Since closed shoes are an ideal breeding ground for fungus, check your toenails for fungal nail infections. If you feel there are signs of a fungal infection, visit your foot doctor immediately. Don’t opt for over-the-counter treatments as they may not be the proper remedy for your condition. In case your nails seem healthy, cut them straight across with a clean toenail clipper. Avoid having rounded toenails because they may cause painful ingrown toenails.

Get a Relaxing Foot Soak:

Nothing pampers your feet like a relaxing foot soak, especially after a long, tiring day at work. Soaking your feet would also help reduce swelling, if any, and prevent infection in case you have blisters or cuts around your toenails or on other areas of your feet. Other than softening your skin, a relaxing foot soak would also make exfoliating your feet easier.

Exfoliate:

By the time your feet bid winter adieu, they could have become dry or they could suffer from cracked heels. You would need to exfoliate your feet regularly to ensure they remain beautiful and supple. From rubbing your feet with a sugar or salt scrub or using a pumice stone to give your feet a good scrub to taking the help of an exfoliating cream, there are different ways to get the job done. You may even see a podiatrist for a more professional approach. Regular exfoliation will help your feet get rid of the dead layer of skin, thus letting healthy skin shine through, which can be flaunted by wearing open shoes.

Moisturize:

After you have soaked and exfoliated your feet, don’t forget to moisturize them well as you have got them primed and ready to absorb moisture.Since the skin on your feet is up to ten times thicker than the rest of your body’s skin, they need a much more intensive and regular moisturizing routine. Ideally, you should moisturize them after every shower, but if you’re pressed for time, you can moisturize them before going to bed at night. Remember to moisturize along the bottom and top of your feet, but not between the toes as the latter would then turn into the perfect place for bacteria to thrive.

Now that you know these tips, show your feet some love and help them become summer-ready.

Thursday, 23 January 2020

Key Things You Should Know About Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are warts that develop on the soles of a person’s feet. They are not only quite annoying initially but may even cause pain when they grow big. However, most of the plantar warts are quite harmless and go away on their own.

Plantar Warts


The Cause

Plantar warts are caused by HPV or Human Papilloma Virus which is also the most common infection transmitted through sex. However, it’s important to note that plantar warts are different from genital warts. The HPV has over 100 strains and the type primarily responsible for plantar warts is HPV-1. When HPV infects skin cells, they grow quicker compared to cells in the surrounding areas thus triggering a wart. HPV is a contagious virus, which means it can spread easily among people, especially in wet, warm environments.

Key Symptoms

Plantar warts may appear similar to corns but are distinguished by their structure and location. They tend to form on weight-bearing parts of the sole or heel while corns are mostly found on the smaller toes’ top surface. Here are the common symptoms of plantar warts:
  • Thick, hard skin over a particular area on the skin. It sometimes feels like a callus.
  • A small, grainy, rough growth on the bottom of the feet, generally at the heel or at the base of the forefoot and toes.
  • Black pinpoints that are commonly known as wart seeds but are clotted, small blood vessels in reality.
  • Pain in the area where the plantar wart is formed when walking or standing.
Larger plantar warts may split sometimes, exposing sensitive tissue and causing bleeding and pain.

Who Are at Risk?

While anyone can develop these warts, they are most commonly found in people who regularly go barefoot in communal areas. For instance, athletes like gymnasts or dancers have been observed to bear higher rates of warts. Additionally, those who perform and practice barefoot on surfaces that are also used by others barefoot are at a higher risk of developing plantar warts. Sharing pieces of equipment may also augment the risk of HPV infection and hence, plantar warts.

Prevention

You can lower your risk of getting plantar warts by practicing the following measures:
  • Keeping your feet dry and clean
  • Wearing sandals or shoes in swimming pool areas, locker rooms, communal showers, etc.
  • Refraining from using the same pumice stone, emery board, nail clipper, etc. on warts as well as on healthy nails and skin
  • Avoiding contact with other people’s warts
  • Wearing dry, clean socks when you wear shoes
Conclusion

Though the HPV strains that trigger plantar warts aren’t heavily contagious, it’s important to know that each person’s immune system responds to it differently. Hence, you should see a podiatrist if the wart recurs or multiplies despite your efforts at treating it, if it interferes with your regular activities or if the lesion becomes painful or changes in color or appearance. Seeking quick medical help is also important if you are diabetic, have poor sensation in the feet, have a weakened immune system or a circulatory health issue that affects the feet.