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Port Neches, TX (409) 727-1122

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October 2023

Tuesday, 31 October 2023 00:00

Foot Blisters May Require Treatment

A blister is a fluid-filled sac that forms on the skin due to repetitive friction. This typically arises when skin continually rubs against objects, such as the inside of shoes. The friction causes skin layers to separate, prompting the body to fill the void with fluid as a protective mechanism against further harm. Blisters can be painful, especially when wearing shoes that contribute to the friction. They are common and can be attributed to factors like poorly fitting shoes, foot deformities, sweat, prolonged exercise, or using unsuitable socks. It is advisable to refrain from popping blisters, as this exposes the wound to potential infections. Instead, protect it with a bandage and eliminate the friction source. There are other conditions with symptoms resembling blisters, such as impetigo, eczema, and burns. If you have a foot blister that does not heal in a reasonable time, worsens, or appears infected, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist who can distinguish it from other ailments, treat it, and provide prevention tips.

Blisters are prone to making everyday activities extremely uncomfortable. If your feet are hurting, contact Pete O’Donald, DPM of Texas. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Foot Blisters

Foot blisters develop as a result of constantly wearing tight or ill-fitting footwear. This happens due to the constant rubbing from the shoe, which can often lead to pain.

What Are Foot Blisters?

A foot blister is a small fluid-filled pocket that forms on the upper-most layer of the skin. Blisters are filled with clear fluid and can lead to blood drainage or pus if the area becomes infected.

How Do Blisters Form?

Blisters on the feet are often the result of constant friction of skin and material, usually by shoe rubbing. Walking in sandals, boots, or shoes that don’t fit properly for long periods of time can result in a blister. Having consistent foot moisture and humidity can easily lead to blister formation.

Prevention & Treatment

It is important to properly care for the affected area in order to prevent infection and ease the pain. Do not lance the blister and use a Band-Aid to provide pain relief. Also, be sure to keep your feet dry and wear proper fitting shoes. If you see blood or pus in a blister, seek assistance from a podiatrist.

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

Read more about Blisters
Tuesday, 24 October 2023 00:00

Foot Deformities in Newborns

The most common deformities in newborns are metatarsus adductus and calcaneovalgus, both of which typically resolve without long-term complications. Metatarsus adductus involves a curve in the middle of the baby's foot, causing it to fold inward. The key question is whether the foot is flexible and can be gently straightened. In most cases, flexible metatarsus adductus corrects itself by 6 to 12 months of age. Clubfoot is also recognizable by a stiff foot with a high arch. It can occur in one or both feet and may be detected before birth via prenatal ultrasound. The Ponseti method, involving casting, Achilles tenotomy, and bracing, is highly effective if initiated within the first few weeks after birth. Congenital vertical talus results in an upward and outward bend in the foot, similar to clubfoot. It's typically stiff and uncorrectable, requiring surgery and casting. Calcaneovalgus presents as the opposite of metatarsus adductus, with the foot pushed upward and outward. This condition often resolves naturally within a few months. Surgery is rare, except when there's significant shin bone bowing. If you have concerns about your newborn's foot alignment, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist for expert guidance and appropriate care. 

Congenital foot problems require immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Pete O’Donald, DPM of Texas. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Congenital foot problems are deformities affecting the feet, toes, and/or ankles that children are born with. Some of these conditions have a genetic cause while others just happen. Some specific foot ailments that children may be born with include clubfeet, polydactyly/macrodactyly, and cleft foot. There are several other foot anomalies that can occur congenitally. What all of these conditions have in common is that a child may experience difficulty walking or performing everyday activities, as well as trouble finding footwear that fits their foot deformity. Some of these conditions are more serious than others. Consulting with a podiatrist as early as possible will help in properly diagnosing a child’s foot condition while getting the necessary treatment underway.

What are Causes of Congenital Foot Problem?

A congenital foot problem is one that happens to a child at birth. These conditions can be caused by a genetic predisposition, developmental or positional abnormalities during gestation, or with no known cause.

What are Symptoms of Congenital Foot Problems?

Symptoms vary by the congenital condition. Symptoms may consist of the following:

  • Clubfoot, where tendons are shortened, bones are shaped differently, and the Achilles tendon is tight, causing the foot to point in and down. It is also possible for the soles of the feet to face each other.
  • Polydactyly, which usually consists of a nubbin or small lump of tissue without a bone, a toe that is partially formed but has no joints, or an extra toe.
  • Vertical talus, where the talus bone forms in the wrong position causing other bones in the foot to line up improperly, the front of the foot to point up, and the bottom of the foot to stiffen, with no arch, and to curve out.
  • Tarsal coalition, when there is an abnormal connection of two or more bones in the foot leading to severe, rigid flatfoot.
  • Cleft foot, where there are missing toes, a V-shaped cleft, and other anatomical differences.
  • Macrodactyly, when the toes are abnormally large due to overgrowth of the underlying bone or soft tissue.

Treatment and Prevention

While there is nothing one can do to prevent congenital foot problems, raising awareness and receiving neonatal screenings are important. Early detection by taking your child to a podiatrist leads to the best outcome possible.

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

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Tuesday, 17 October 2023 00:00

Causes of Foot Stress Fractures

Stress fractures are tiny cracks in the bones that can result from excessive pounding or pressure and repeated trauma. One of the most common causes of stress fractures is engaging in high-impact activities. Sports like gymnastics, track and field  and tennis, which involve constant pounding on hard surfaces, can put tremendous stress on the bones of your feet. Another significant cause is making sudden changes in the duration, frequency, or intensity of physical activity. Pushing your body too hard without adequate rest and recovery often leads to stress fractures. Wearing ill-fitting or worn-out running shoes without proper foot support can also contribute to stress fractures. Sometimes, anatomical abnormalities like flat feet or high rigid arches can increase your risk of developing stress fractures. Repetitive stress from exercises, especially in sports, can weaken bones over time, making them more susceptible to stress fractures. If you have had a stress fracture in the past, you may be at higher risk of experiencing another one. Women are more prone to stress fractures from osteoporosis, low bone density, irregular menstruation, and poor nutrition. Symptoms of stress fractures can be tricky to diagnose, as they may not show up on X-rays in the early stages. However, common symptoms can include a dull, generalized pain, swelling, and tenderness in a specific spot. This discomfort may worsen during activities and can persist even at rest if left untreated. If you suspect you may have a foot stress fracture, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for an exam and treatment options. 

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, contact Pete O’Donald, DPM from Texas. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain free and on your feet.

How Are They Caused?

Stress fractures are the result of repetitive force being placed on the bone. Since the lower leg and feet often carry most of the body’s weight, stress fractures are likely to occur in these areas. If you rush into a new exercise, you are more likely to develop a stress fracture since you are starting too much, too soon.  Pain resulting from stress fractures may go unnoticed at first, however it may start to worsen over time.

Risk Factors

  • Gender – They are more commonly found in women compared to men.
  • Foot Problems – People with unusual arches in their feet are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Certain Sports – Dancers, gymnasts, tennis players, runners, and basketball players are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Lack of Nutrients – A lack of vitamin D and calcium may weaken the bones and make you more prone to stress fractures
  • Weak Bones – Osteoporosis can weaken the bones therefore resulting in stress fractures

Stress fractures do not always heal properly, so it is important that you seek help from a podiatrist if you suspect you may have one. Ignoring your stress fracture may cause it to worsen, and you may develop chronic pain as well as additional fractures.

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

Read more about Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
Tuesday, 10 October 2023 00:00

How Your Feet Function

Your feet serve as the foundation for human mobility. They are nothing short of marvels of engineering, designed to support your entire body weight, absorb shock, and facilitate movement. Each foot has 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments, all working in harmony to enable a wide range of actions. The arches of the feet, defined as longitudinal and transverse, act as natural shock absorbers, adapting to various surfaces while maintaining stability. Feet play an essential role in balance, stability, and posture. The soles, packed with sensory receptors, provide constant feedback to the brain, aiding in balance and coordination. Furthermore, the feet can endure significant stress, clocking thousands of miles in a lifetime. In essence, feet are not merely anatomical structures, they are the unsung heroes of our daily lives, ensuring we stand, walk, run, and dance through life with grace and resilience. If you would like to learn additional facts about the function of the feet, it is suggested that you speak to a podiatrist who is an expert in this field. 

If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Pete O’Donald, DPM from Texas. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Biomechanics in Podiatry

Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.

A History of Biomechanics

  • Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
  • In 1974, biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area.

Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.

Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot.

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

Read more about Biomechanics in Podiatry
Tuesday, 03 October 2023 00:00

Custom Orthotics and Foot Health

Orthotics are specialized shoe inserts, or insoles, designed to provide support, cushioning, and alignment to the feet. These custom-made devices are prescribed to individuals for various reasons, aiming to address a range of foot-related issues and improve overall foot health. One of the primary reasons to wear orthotics is to alleviate pain and discomfort associated with conditions such as plantar fasciitis, flat feet, or bunions. These devices can help distribute pressure more evenly across the foot, reducing strain and preventing further damage. Orthotics can also improve alignment, correct gait abnormalities, and support the arches. This can be beneficial for individuals with irregular foot structures or those who engage in high impact activities. Additionally, orthotics can aid in injury prevention by promoting proper biomechanics and reducing stress on the feet, knees, hips, and lower back. Orthotics can be a valuable tool for maintaining foot health, preventing injuries, and enhancing overall comfort and mobility. If you would like more information about the benefits of custom orthotics, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist. 

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, contact Pete O’Donald, DPM from Texas. 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 office located in Nederland, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Foot Orthotics

Suffering from this type of pain? You may have the foot condition known as Morton's neuroma. Morton's neuroma may develop as a result of ill-fitting footwear and existing foot deformities. We can help.

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