Items filtered by date: December 2023

The Achilles tendon, a strong band of tissue connecting the calf muscles to the heel bone, is instrumental in facilitating movement, making any injury to this vital structure a significant concern. Achilles tendon injuries encompass a spectrum of conditions, each demanding unique considerations. Tendonitis, an inflammatory response, results from overuse or strain on the tendon, leading to pain and swelling. Tendinosis, a chronic degeneration of the tendon, may occur without apparent inflammation, often presenting as long-term pain. Achilles tendon ruptures, though less common, involve a partial or complete tear, typically characterized by a sudden, severe pain. Understanding these types of Achilles tendon injuries is vital for an accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment plans. An Achilles tendon injury is treated by a podiatrist. If you have injured this part of your foot, it is suggested that you contact a podiatrist who can effectively treat this condition.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of Family Foot Health Center. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What Are the Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Rogers, AR or Berryville, AR. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about The Causes, Types, and Treatments of Achilles Tendon Injuries

Tuesday, 19 December 2023 00:00

Peripheral Artery Disease and Foot Care

Peripheral artery disease, or PAD, is a vascular condition characterized by the narrowing or blockage of arteries, predominantly in the legs, resulting in reduced blood flow to the feet. This condition, often associated with hardening of the arteries, can significantly impact foot health and lead to various symptoms. Symptoms of peripheral artery disease may include leg pain, cramping, numbness, and skin discoloration. Generally, these symptoms develop when approximately 70 percent of the artery is blocked. Aging, smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels, obesity, physical inactivity, and family history are contributing factors. Men are generally more susceptible to PAD than women. Peripheral artery disease also can result from fibromuscular dysplasia, inflammation, or external pressure from nearby masses. The severity and nature of symptoms depend on the affected artery, degree of blockage, and whether it is a gradual narrowing or sudden blockage. Someone with peripheral artery disease may experience coldness in the lower leg or foot, numbness or weakness, absent or a weak pulse in the legs or feet, and shiny skin on the legs. One of the main dangers is in the formation of sores on the toes, feet, or legs that will not heal. These may develop into ulcers, which can engender severe foot or toe problems. If you have peripheral artery disease symptoms that are affecting your lower limbs and feet, it is suggested that you include a podiatrist as a member of your medical team. 

Peripheral artery disease can pose a serious risk to your health. It can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, consult with one of our podiatrists from Family Foot Health Center. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is when arteries are constricted due to plaque (fatty deposits) build-up. This results in less blood flow to the legs and other extremities. The main cause of PAD is atherosclerosis, in which plaque builds up in the arteries.

Symptoms

Symptoms of PAD include:

  • Claudication (leg pain from walking)
  • Numbness in legs
  • Decrease in growth of leg hair and toenails
  • Paleness of the skin
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Sores and wounds on legs and feet that won’t heal
  • Coldness in one leg

It is important to note that a majority of individuals never show any symptoms of PAD.

Diagnosis

While PAD occurs in the legs and arteries, Podiatrists can diagnose PAD. Podiatrists utilize a test called an ankle-brachial index (ABI). An ABI test compares blood pressure in your arm to you ankle to see if any abnormality occurs. Ultrasound and imaging devices may also be used.

Treatment

Fortunately, lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, managing cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and quitting smoking, can all treat PAD. Medications that prevent clots from occurring can be prescribed. Finally, in some cases, surgery may be recommended.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Rogers, AR or Berryville, AR. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Peripheral Artery Disease

Tuesday, 12 December 2023 00:00

Kidney Disease and Foot Ulcers

Kidney disease is a serious condition that can give rise to foot problems, primarily due to nerve and blood vessel damage. Two significant complications related to kidney disease and foot health are circulation issues and altered sensation. These changes can develop gradually, often without noticeable symptoms. One common foot problem associated with kidney complications is a foot ulcer, where the skin breaks down, exposing underlying tissue. Unfortunately, the skin's poor healing ability in some kidney disease patients makes them more susceptible to ulcers or infections, even from minor injuries. These foot ulcers can become infected, and if left untreated, may lead to severe complications, including an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. If you have kidney disease, it is suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist to set up regular screenings and assessments to detect any potential issues early and create a personalized treatment plan.

When dealing with systemic disease of the feet, it is extremely important to check the affected areas routinely so that any additional problems are caught quickly.  If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles contact one of our podiatrists from Family Foot Health Center. Our doctors will assist you with all of your podiatric needs.

Systemic Diseases of the Feet

Systemic diseases affect the whole body, and symptoms usually are displayed in the feet. This condition can make a patient’s ability to walk unbearable.  Systemic diseases include gout, diabetes mellitus, neurological disorders, and arthritis.

Gout – is caused by an excess of uric acid in the body. Common symptoms include pain, inflammation, and redness at the metatarsal/phalangeal joint of the base big toe. Gout can be treated by NSAIDs to relieve pain and inflammation, and other drugs that lower the acid levels in the body.

Diabetes mellitus – is an increase in the level of blood sugar that the body cannot counteract with its own insulin. Failure to produce enough insulin is a factor in Diabetes.

Diabetes of the Feet

Diabetic Neuropathy – may lead to damaged nerves and affect the feet through numbness and loss of sensation.

Peripheral Vascular Disease – can restrict the blood flow to the feet, and often times lead to amputation of the feet. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Rogers and Berryville, AR . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Systemic Diseases of the Foot
Thursday, 07 December 2023 00:00

Are Bunions Affecting Your Everyday Life?

Have you noticed a bony protrusion on the side of your big toe? If so, you may have developed the foot condition known as a bunion. Don't let bunions interfere with your daily activities.

Tuesday, 05 December 2023 00:00

Causes of Sharp Pain in the Big Toe

Experiencing sharp pain in the big toe can be a perplexing and discomforting ordeal with diverse underlying causes. One common culprit is gout, a form of arthritis characterized by the buildup of urate crystals in the joints, leading to sudden and intense pain. Ingrown toenails, where the toenail grows into the surrounding skin, can cause sharp pain and inflammation. Another potential reason is a condition known as turf toe, often seen in athletes, where excessive bending of the big toe leads to sprains of the ligaments. Neuromas, benign growths of nerve tissue, can also result in sharp pain, particularly when wearing tight footwear. Arthritis affecting the big toe joint, often seen in conditions like osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, may contribute to persistent sharp pain. If you are experiencing pain in your big toe, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can determine what the cause is, and offer correct treatment options.

Toe pain can disrupt your daily activities. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of Family Foot Health Center. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Causes Toe Pain?

Most severe toe pain is caused due to a sports injury, trauma from dropping something heavy on the toe, or bumping into something rigid. Other problems can develop over time for various reasons.

Toe pain can be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:

  • Trauma
  • Sports injury
  • Wearing shoes that are too tight
  • Arthritis
  • Gout
  • Corns and calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Blisters
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Sprains
  • Fractures (broken bones)
  • Dislocations

When to See a Podiatrist

  • Severe pain
  • Persistent pain that lasts more than a week
  • Signs of infection
  • Continued swelling
  • Pain that prevents walking

Diagnosis

In many cases the cause of toe pain is obvious, but in others, a podiatrist may want to use more advanced methods to determine the problem. These can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.

Treatment

Treatments for toe pain and injuries vary and may include shoe inserts, padding, taping, medicines, injections, and in some cases, surgery. If you believe that you have broken a toe, please see a podiatrist as soon as possible.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Rogers and Berryville, AR . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Toe Pain