What is Podiatry?

What is Podiatry?

 

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Podiatry is defined as the branch of medicine concerned with the lower limb, particularly the foot and ankle.

Podiatrists are able to diagnose, treat and prevent foot problems using physical, mechanical, chemical and surgical therapies.

In order to become a registered podiatrist a three or four year full time undergraduate course is completed to obtain a degree in podiatry.

The medical training undertaken includes the study of anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, general medicine and microbiology.  Podiatrists also undergo specialised training in the examination, diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the feet.

What to expect at your first appointment

At your first consultation with a podiatrist a full medical history will be taken.  The podiatrist will also need to be aware of any medication you may be taking.  The appointment usually lasts 20-30 minutes.  Any treatment and further plans will be discussed in full during your first appointment.

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Diabetic Foot Care, Why do you need Diabetic Shoes?

 

A common side effect of diabetes is “peripheral neuropathy,” which causes loss of sensation in the extremities. Ill-fitting shoes that rub or pinch the feet excessively can lead to ulceration and foot injury, simply because the diabetic does not feel the injury until it is too late.

The Foot and Ankle Clinics of America supports the research which states properly fitted diabetic shoes are very important in preventing such injuries. By partnering with Dr. Comfort, Foot and Ankle Clinics of America can provide footwear and specialty insoles for diabetics to help alleviate and/or prevent foot pain and injury.

Diabetic shoes are often wider and deeper than regular shoes, to make room for special diabetic insoles. To ensure proper fit, minimize rubbing and uneven weight distribution, pedorthic insoles for diabetics are generally custom made for the patient’s feet, thus preventing injury. It is also important for a diabetic to have shoes with good air circulation; therefore many diabetic footwear features fabric or sandal-style uppers.

If you have any questions about diabetic shoes and their benefits, please contact one of our offices today to speak with one of our podiatrists about your specific needs.

That Pain in Your Back Could be Linked to Your Feet

Back pain and feet by Foot Health Facts

If your lower back has been hurting, and you don’t remember doing anything to injure it, the source of your pain could be your feet! Foot pain is something that many people try to ignore. After all, doesn’t everyone’s feet hurt now and then? But if foot pain is something that has been with you for quite awhile, it could be causing problems in your ankles, knees, hips and even your back.

That old song, “The leg bone’s connected to the thigh bone…The thigh bone’s connected to the hip bone…,” tells the whole story. Our bodies are like a chain, with one link–or bone–connecting at the joint to another link. Think about what would happen if the first link in the chain was out of position. The point at which it meets the next link would eventually overstress that link and adversely affect the entire chain.

That’s what happens when we have foot pain. If the normal way of walking is painful, we instinctively change our walking pattern. Say you have arthritis, and your big toe joint hurts, so you change our gait to avoid bending the joint when you walk. Changing your gait changes the mechanics of your ankle joint, eventually causing ankle pain. This change in your walking pattern can also affect the whole chain of your lower body… from the ankle, to the knee, to the hip, and then to the lower back.

When foot pain or a foot deformity causes you to change the way you walk, it changes the way the bones of all those other joints move with each other. Cartilage in the joints can wear down, ligaments and tendons can be stressed beyond their normal range, and arthritis can set in.

If your feet or ankles aren’t working right, don’t ignore them! Contact a foot and ankle surgeon for an evaluation. Your back (and knees and hips) will thank you!

Peroneal Tendon Injuries by Foot Health Facts

What Are the Peroneal Tendons?

PeronealA tendon is a band of tissue that connects a muscle to a bone. The two peroneal tendons in the foot run side-by-side behind the outer ankle bone. One peroneal tendon attaches to the outer part of the midfoot, while the other tendon runs under the foot and attaches near the inside of the arch. The main function of the peroneal tendons is to stabilize the foot and ankle and protect them from sprains.

Causes and Symptoms of Peroneal Tendon Injuries
Peroneal tendon injuries may be acute (occurring suddenly) or chronic (developing over a period of time). They most commonly occur in individuals who participate in sports that involve repetitive ankle motion. In addition, people with higher arches are at risk for developing peroneal tendon injuries. Basic types of peroneal tendon injuries are tendonitis, tears, and subluxation.

Tendonitis is an inflammation of one or both tendons. The inflammation is caused by activities involving repetitive use of the tendon, overuse of the tendon, or trauma (such as an ankle sprain). Symptoms of tendonitis include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Warmth to the touch

Acute tears are caused by repetitive activity or trauma. Immediate symptoms of acute tears include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Weakness or instability of the foot and ankle

As time goes on, these tears may lead to a change in the shape of the foot, in which the arch may become higher.

Degenerative tears (tendonosis) are usually due to overuse and occur over long periods of time – often years. In degenerative tears, the tendon is like taffy that has been overstretched until it becomes thin and eventually frays. Having high arches also puts you at risk for developing a degenerative tear. The symptoms of degenerative tears may include:

  • Sporadic pain (occurring from time to time) on the outside of the ankle
  • Weakness or instability in the ankle
  • An increase in the height of the arch

Subluxation – one or both tendons have slipped out of their normal position. In some cases, subluxation is due to a condition in which a person is born with a variation in the shape of the bone or muscle. In other cases, subluxation occurs following trauma, such as an ankle sprain. Damage or injury to the tissues that stabilize the tendons (retinaculum) can lead to chronic tendon subluxation. The symptoms of subluxation may include:

  • A snapping feeling of the tendon around the ankle bone
  • Sporadic pain behind the outside ankle bone
  • Ankle instability or weakness

Early treatment of a subluxation is critical, since a tendon that continues to sublux (move out of position) is more likely to tear or rupture. Therefore, if you feel the characteristic snapping, see a foot and ankle surgeon immediately.

Diagnosis
Because peroneal tendon injuries are sometimes misdiagnosed and may worsen without proper treatment, prompt evaluation by a foot and ankle surgeon is advised. To diagnose a peroneal tendon injury, the surgeon will examine the foot and look for pain, instability, swelling, warmth, and weakness on the outer side of the ankle. In addition, an x-ray or other advanced imaging studies may be needed to fully evaluate the injury. The foot and ankle surgeon will also look for signs of an ankle sprain and other related injuries that sometimes accompany a peroneal tendon injury. Proper diagnosis is important because prolonged discomfort after a simple sprain may be a sign of additional problems.

Non-Surgical Treatment
Treatment depends on the type of peroneal tendon injury. Options include:

  • Immobilization. A cast or splint may be used to keep the foot and ankle from moving and allow the injury to heal.
  • Medications. Oral or injected anti-inflammatory drugs may help relieve the pain and inflammation.
  • Physical therapy. Ice, heat, or ultrasound therapy may be used to reduce swelling and pain. As symptoms improve, exercises can be added to strengthen the muscles and improve range of motion and balance.
  • Bracing. The surgeon may provide a brace to use for a short while or during activities requiring repetitive ankle motion. Bracing may also be an option when a patient is not a candidate for surgery.

When is Surgery Needed?
In some cases, surgery may be needed to repair the tendon or tendons and perhaps the supporting structures of the foot. The foot and ankle surgeon will determine the most appropriate procedure for the patient’s condition and lifestyle. After surgery, physical therapy is an important part of rehabilitation.

For all Appointments and Inquiries, please call: (773) 752 2111

Email: info@footexperts.com
Website: www.footexperts.com

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