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Tuesday, 26 October 2021 00:00

All About Bunionectomies

A bunionectomy is a surgical procedure that is used to remove a bunion and bring the big toe (and any other affected structures in the foot) back into proper alignment. During the surgery, anesthesia is used to numb your foot. The surgeon then makes one or more incisions near the bunion to remove extra bone or tissue, realign the bones, or straighten the toe. In some cases, the toe joint may be operated on to rebuild or repair it. Bunionectomies are typically outpatient procedures, which means that you will get to go home the same day as your surgery. You may be given a toe spacer, post-surgical shoe, or mobility device to help hold your foot in the right position and keep weight off of it while you heal. It can take several months to fully recover. To learn more about bunion surgery and to find out if it’s the right treatment for you, please speak with a podiatrist. 

If you are suffering from bunion pain, contact Dr. Ryan W. Wood of Desert Foot & Ankle Surgeons. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.

Causes

  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development

Symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Palm Springs and El Paseo, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Bunions
Sunday, 17 October 2021 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.

If you have heel pain and inflammation that is severe in the morning and gets better as your body warms up, you may have a condition known as plantar fasciitis. This occurs when the fibrous plantar ligament on the bottom of the foot is overly stressed or otherwise damaged. This damage may be due to injuries, obesity, regularly wearing improper footwear or high heels, intensifying physical activities too rapidly, or foot structure anomalies. If the cause of plantar fasciitis is not discovered and treated properly, the condition may worsen and become chronic. Since plantar fasciitis affects millions of people each year, it's the most common cause of heel pain. Podiatrists have extensive experience in diagnosing the condition and treating it using a wide variety of methods and therapies. There is no need to continue living with heel pain; make an appointment with a podiatrist to begin your recovery.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Dr. Ryan W. Wood  from Desert Foot & Ankle Surgeons. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Non-supportive shoes
  • Overpronation
  • Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

  • Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices
  • Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis
  • Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Palm Springs and El Paseo, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis
Tuesday, 12 October 2021 00:00

What Are Toe Stretchers?

Toe stretchers are a type of orthotic that may relieve toe pain. Conventional toe stretchers are usually made of gel, plastic, or silicone and slide between your toes, spreading them apart and positioning them away from the balls of the feet. They are worn while sitting or lying down and stretch the toe muscles and ligaments, increasing their flexibility, relieving pain, and preventing injuries. Toe stretcher socks are simply socks that separate the toes. They do not provide as much of a stretch as conventional toe stretchers, but still separate the toes and are warm and comfortable. Toe stretchers are used to treat a variety of conditions, including plantar fasciitis, hammertoes, bunions, corns, calluses, and Morton’s neuroma, among others. To see if toe stretchers are right for you, please consult with a podiatrist. 

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, contact Dr. Ryan W. Wood from Desert Foot & Ankle Surgeons. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Are Orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.

Over-the-Counter Inserts

Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct overarched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.

Prescription Orthotics

If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you or if you have a more severe foot concern, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high-quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and severe forms of heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.

If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist about the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain-free.

If you have any questions please contact our offices located in Palm Springs and El Paseo, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Ankle Foot Orthotics for Athletes

Complications from diabetes can have profound effects on foot and ankle health. Heightened glucose levels can lead to nerve damage (neuropathy) and blockages in the blood vessels (peripheral vascular disease). Both of these obstacles can increase a diabetic’s risk for developing, detecting, and healing foot ulcers. Non-healing diabetic ulcers can become infected and lead to far more serious complications such as gangrene or even amputation in the most severe cases. These high-risk scenarios make it imperative for diabetics to check their feet daily for any cuts or abrasions and be under the care of a podiatrist who can help them manage any stumbling blocks that may arise.

Diabetic foot care is important in preventing foot ailments such as ulcers. If you are suffering from diabetes or have any other concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Ryan W. Wood from Desert Foot & Ankle Surgeons. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes affects millions of people every year. The condition can damage blood vessels in many parts of the body, especially the feet. Because of this, taking care of your feet is essential if you have diabetes, and having a podiatrist help monitor your foot health is highly recommended.

The Importance of Caring for Your Feet

  • Routinely inspect your feet for bruises or sores.
  • Wear socks that fit your feet comfortably.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that provide adequate support.

Patients with diabetes should have their doctor monitor their blood levels, as blood sugar levels play such a huge role in diabetic care. Monitoring these levels on a regular basis is highly advised.

It is always best to inform your healthcare professional of any concerns you may have regarding your feet, especially for diabetic patients. Early treatment and routine foot examinations are keys to maintaining proper health, especially because severe complications can arise if proper treatment is not applied.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Palm Springs and El Paseo, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Diabetic Foot Care

Foot pain does not necessarily have to be something older adults simply learn to live with. Many conditions can be treated successfully or managed to provide relief, and help the aging adult remain as active and independent as possible. Common foot disorders in older adults include corns and calluses, fungal nail infections and ingrown toenails, bunions, hammertoes and clawtoes, and complications due to systemic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and diabetes. A simple approach to overall foot health includes routine foot hygiene, help with trimming toenails (which can be very challenging for older adults), evaluating and modifying footwear to ensure proper fit, comfort, and support, and the use of orthotics to correct and manage various foot disorders. Additionally, regular podiatric care can improve and maintain the level of overall foot health in senior citizens.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Ryan W. Wood from Desert Foot & Ankle Surgeons. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

The Elderly and Their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet and can hide many life-threatening medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Palm Springs and El Paseo, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Elderly and their Feet
Tuesday, 21 September 2021 00:00

Causes of Nerve Pain in the Feet

Many nerves run to, from, and through the feet. When you experience symptoms of nerve problems, like burning foot pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness, it could be a sign of nerve damage. There are various nerve problems that can affect the feet. Injuries to the feet, such as tarsal tunnel syndrome or Morton’s neuroma, medical conditions like diabetes or Charcot Marie Tooth disease, and certain medications can cause nerve pain. Problems that originate in the spine, such as a herniated disk, spinal stenosis, and peripheral neuropathy, can all lead to foot pain as well. If you have nerve pain in your feet, it is important to let your podiatrist know. Early diagnosis can mitigate symptoms and slow progression or prevent the problem from worsening. 

Neuropathy

Neuropathy can be a potentially serious condition, especially if it is left undiagnosed. If you have any concerns that you may be experiencing nerve loss in your feet, consult with Dr. Ryan W. Wood from Desert Foot & Ankle Surgeons. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment for neuropathy.

What Is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy is a condition that leads to damage to the nerves in the body. Peripheral neuropathy, or neuropathy that affects your peripheral nervous system, usually occurs in the feet. Neuropathy can be triggered by a number of different causes. Such causes include diabetes, infections, cancers, disorders, and toxic substances.

Symptoms of Neuropathy Include:

  • Numbness
  • Sensation loss
  • Prickling and tingling sensations
  • Throbbing, freezing, burning pains
  • Muscle weakness

Those with diabetes are at serious risk due to being unable to feel an ulcer on their feet. Diabetics usually also suffer from poor blood circulation. This can lead to the wound not healing, infections occurring, and the limb may have to be amputated.

Treatment

To treat neuropathy in the foot, podiatrists will first diagnose the cause of the neuropathy. Figuring out the underlying cause of the neuropathy will allow the podiatrist to prescribe the best treatment, whether it be caused by diabetes, toxic substance exposure, infection, etc. If the nerve has not died, then it’s possible that sensation may be able to return to the foot.

Pain medication may be issued for pain. Electrical nerve stimulation can be used to stimulate nerves. If the neuropathy is caused from pressure on the nerves, then surgery may be necessary.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Palm Springs and El Paseo, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Neuropathy
Friday, 17 September 2021 00:00

Are You Suffering From Ingrown Toenails?

If left untreated, an ingrown toenail can lead to more serious concerns, such as an infection. Knowing proper nail care can help in the prevention of an ingrown toenail. Give us a call, and get treated!

Tuesday, 14 September 2021 00:00

Hammer, Mallet, and Claw Toes

There are three common toe deformities that podiatrists often see and treat in patients. Hammertoes are characterized by the downward bending of the toe at the proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joint, located in the middle of the toe. Mallet toes are characterized by the downward bending of the toe at the distal interphalangeal (DIP) joint, located near the tip of the toe. Claw toes are characterized by an upwards bend of the toe at the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint, located at the base of the toe. All three of these deformities can cause pain and stiffness. Corns and calluses are more likely to develop on affected toes as they rub up against the shoes while you walk. If you have a painful toe deformity it is suggested that you seek the care of a podiatrist. 

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Ryan W. Wood of Desert Foot & Ankle Surgeons. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Palm Springs and El Paseo, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Hammertoe
Tuesday, 07 September 2021 00:00

Have You Broken Your Ankle? 

broken ankle is a fracture in one or more of the three ankle bones: the talus, fibula, and tibia. This injury may produce symptoms such as pain of varying degrees, tenderness, bruising, and swelling. In the most severe cases, your ankle may have become misshapen, or a bone may be protruding. Applying weight to the affected ankle may be limited or impossible. If you believe you may have broken an ankle, seeking the care of a podiatrist is very important to receive prompt and proper care. This will help prevent your injury from worsening or becoming infected, while making sure your ankle heals properly. After a thorough examination and diagnostic testing, the podiatrist will present you with the best course of treatment for your particular situation. They may help relieve pain and swelling with icing, elevation and prescription painkillers, and use stabilization methods (splints, casts, or boots) to allow it to heal. You will be instructed about when weight may be applied to the affected foot again. If your fracture is severe, your podiatrist may advise that surgery is needed to repair damaged bones, realign the ankle, and avoid long term complications.

Broken ankles need immediate treatment. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Ryan W. Wood from Desert Foot & Ankle Surgeons. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet. 

Broken Ankles
A broken ankle is experienced when a person fractures their tibia or fibula in the lower leg and ankle area. Both of these bones are attached at the bottom of the leg and combine to form what we know to be our ankle.

When a physician is referring to a break of the ankle, he or she is usually referring to a break in the area where the tibia and fibula are joined to create our ankle joint. Ankles are more prone to fractures because the ankle is an area that suffers a lot of pressure and stress. There are some obvious signs when a person experiences a fractured ankle, and the following symptoms may be present.

Symptoms of a Fractured Ankle

  • Excessive pain when the area is touched or when any pressure is placed on the ankle
  •  Swelling around the area
  •  Bruising of the area
  • Area appears to be deformed

If you suspect an ankle fracture, it is recommended to seek treatment as soon as possible. The sooner you have your podiatrist diagnose the fracture, the quicker you’ll be on the way towards recovery.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Palm Springs and El Paseo, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about All About Broken Ankle
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