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Items filtered by date: February 2022

Tuesday, 22 February 2022 00:00

Ways to Care For the Feet as They Age

Over time, the feet begin to develop more problems due to everyday wear and tear. There is more stress placed on the joints in the feet, and the skin gets thinner and loses its elasticity. Because of the variety of debilitating foot issues that can occur with aging, it is important that elderly patients take care of their feet. Common issues that indicate aging feet include aches and pains, bunions, circulatory issues, and a curling up of the toes. Exercise, proper toenail trimming, moisturizing the feet, and wearing shoes that are supportive and that fit correctly are a few ways to minimize the effects of aging on the feet. Doing yearly checks with a podiatrist is another effective way to help care for the feet. A podiatrist can help detect a variety of issues that include diabetes and poor circulation, and they can help treat everyday foot problems like bunions and ingrown toenails.

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.

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Published in Blog
Tuesday, 15 February 2022 00:00

Heel Pain Caused by Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis, the most common type of heel pain, is typically caused by overuse of the plantar fascia—the fibrous tissue on the sole of the foot that connects the heel bone with the toes. This condition occurs when the plantar fascia gets overly stretched or damaged, including small tears where this connective tissue joins with the heel bone. Plantar fasciitis causes stabbing pain on the bottom of the heel. It is often worse in the morning when you first wake up, since the plantar fascia has tightened overnight. As you begin stretching the plantar fascia with regular movement, the pain usually lessens, only to increase again as the day progresses. Plantar fasciitis can happen to anyone who overloads the plantar fascia through excessive exercise, obesity or pregnancy and wearing improper footwear, as well as those with diabetes or structural abnormalities in the feet. Podiatrists have many effective treatments for plantar fasciitis. If you are experiencing heel pain, it's a good idea to make an appointment with a podiatrist near you.

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.

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Published in Blog
Monday, 14 February 2022 00:00

Reminder: When Was the Last Time...?

Custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, should be periodically replaced. Orthotics must fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles!

Published in Blog
Tuesday, 08 February 2022 00:00

LEAP May Help Save Your Limbs

When the feet suffer loss of protective sensation due to nerve damage from diseases such as diabetes, peripheral neuropathy or Hansen’s disease, injuries can go undetected. These can worsen and develop into wounds that do not heal. Chronic wounds that do not heal (ulcers) can become infected and pose serious health risks, including amputation in severe cases. Individuals with a loss of protective sensation can reduce these risks by practicing the five steps in lower extremity amputation preventions (LEAP). Step 1: At-risk patients should have their feet screened four times a year. Step 2: Patients should be educated on self-management techniques to become an active participant in preventing foot problems. Step 3: At-risk patients should examine their feet daily to detect any foot injuries or toenail problems. Step 4: Shoes should be fitted properly to the foot with ample room to prevent most foot problems from occurring. Step 5: Reporting any injuries or wounds to a podiatrist immediately is strongly suggested.  

Limb salvage can be an effective way in preventing the need for limb amputation. If you have diabetes, cancer, or any other condition that could lead to foot amputation if left unchecked, 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.

What Is Limb Salvage?

Limb salvage is the attempt of saving a limb, such as the foot from amputation. Podiatrists also try to make sure that there is enough function in the foot after the salvage that it is still usable. Diabetes is the number one cause of non-traumatic amputations in the United States. Those with diabetes experience poor blood circulation, which prevents proper healing of an ulcer. If the ulcer is left uncheck, it could become infected, which could result in the need for amputation.

However, there are other causes as well, such as cancer and traumatic injury. Links between higher mortality rates and amputation have been found. This translates into higher healthcare costs, and a reduced quality of life and mobility for amputees. Podiatrists have attempted to increase the prevalence of limb salvage in an attempt to solve these issues.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Limb salvage teams have grown in recent years that utilize a number of different treatments to save the infected limb. This includes podiatrists that specialize in wound care, rehabilitation, orthotics, and surgery. Through a combination of these methods, limb salvage has been found to be an effective treatment for infected limbs, and as an alternative to amputation. Podiatrists will first evaluate the potential for limb salvage and determine if the limb can be saved or must be amputated. 

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.

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Published in Blog
Tuesday, 01 February 2022 00:00

Sports Related Injuries of the Foot and Ankle

There are several types of foot and ankle injuries that can occur when playing sports. The most common sports injury is an ankle sprain. It is important for ankle sprains to be diagnosed and treated professionally, as an improperly healed sprain can lead to additional sprains, chronic ankle instability, and arthritis. Another type of injury athletes face involves the Achilles tendon, which can become inflamed, injured, torn, or even ruptured from repetitive activity or trauma. An inflammation of the plantar fascia on the sole of the foot (plantar fasciitis) can be caused by overuse or wearing shoes that are worn out or inappropriate for the sport being played. Running and court sports can lead to a compression of the nerve between the third and fourth toes. This causes the tissue surrounding the nerve to thicken and, left untreated, may lead to nerve damage. Stress fractures are another type of sports injury where a tiny crack develops over time in a bone due to repetitive activity, poor footwear, changes in activity, or other factors. If you have suffered any type of foot or ankle injury while playing sports, it is suggested that you contact a podiatrist as soon as possible.

Sports related foot and ankle injuries require proper treatment before players can go back to their regular routines. For more information, 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.

Sports Related Foot and Ankle Injuries

Foot and ankle injuries are a common occurrence when it comes to athletes of any sport. While many athletes dismiss the initial aches and pains, the truth is that ignoring potential foot and ankle injuries can lead to serious problems. As athletes continue to place pressure and strain the area further, a mild injury can turn into something as serious as a rupture and may lead to a permanent disability. There are many factors that contribute to sports related foot and ankle injuries, which include failure to warm up properly, not providing support or wearing bad footwear. Common injuries and conditions athletes face, including:

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Plantar Fasciosis
  • Achilles Tendinitis
  • Achilles Tendon Rupture
  • Ankle Sprains

Sports related injuries are commonly treated using the RICE method. This includes rest, applying ice to the injured area, compression and elevating the ankle. More serious sprains and injuries may require surgery, which could include arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery. Rehabilitation and therapy may also be required in order to get any recovering athlete to become fully functional again. Any unusual aches and pains an athlete sustains must be evaluated by a licensed, reputable medical professional.

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.

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Published in Blog