If you need a more accessible version of this website, click this button on the right.Switch to Accessible Site
Our practice offers Spanish speaking staff on hand

August 2021

Wednesday, 25 August 2021 00:00

Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Feet

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic progressive disease that attacks several joints throughout the body. It is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the joints. As a result, the tissue inside the joints, called synovium, starts to thicken and causes pain around the joints. The synovium is responsible for creating a fluid that lubricates the joints to help them move. Approximately 1.5 million people in the United States have Rheumatoid Arthritis. Women are almost three times as likely to have RA compared to men, and it’s disease usually begins between the ages of 30 and 60. People who have a genetic history of RA are more likely to develop the disease.

Symptoms of RA may include the following sensations in the joints: pain, tenderness, swelling, redness, warmth, stiffness, and loss of range. Swollen joints are a very common symptom for those with the disease. At times, it may be minimal, but it may also be very apparent. Another typical symptom is joint stiffness. Doctors will often use the direction of morning stiffness to measure the severity of a patient’s joint inflammation. Other RA symptoms include limping, anemia, fever, and fatigue.

To diagnose RA, your podiatrist will typically request x-rays to see how much damage there is in the joints. Blood tests may also be performed to show if there are any signs of anemia, or antibodies such as the rheumatoid factor. If you have previously been diagnosed with RA, you should know the disease may spread to your feet and ankles.

There are many non-surgical options that can be used to treat this ailment. Some of these options include physical therapy, foot massages, orthotics, bracing, supportive shoes, and steroid injections. Physical therapy is useful because it will help stretch and strengthen the joints in both the foot and ankle to improve joint function. Massages can help improve blood circulation which will be good for the feet. Choosing proper footwear will allow you to walk with comfortability if you are a sufferer from RA. Lastly, bracing will help stabilize the foot joints, limit deformities and decrease pain.

In severe cases, surgery may be a treatment option that should be considered. For those who cannot walk without experiencing pain and those whose deformities can not be managed with braces, surgery should be considered. Your podiatrist will recommend surgery if he or she believes it will improve your foot biomechanics.

If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you may be experiencing joint pain and stiffness in your feet. Gentle exercises can help reduce foot pain for people dealing with this condition. One simple exercise that you can try is rolling a stress ball with your foot so that the ball is underneath the front part of your heel. This helps stretch the plantar fascia, a ligament that runs along the bottom of your foot and supports your arches. You can do this exercise while sitting or standing. To learn more about how to take care of your feet with a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis, and to learn more about helpful exercises you can practice, please consult with a podiatrist. 

Because RA affects more than just your joints, including the joints in your feet and ankles, it is important to seek early diagnosis from your podiatrist if you feel like the pain in your feet might be caused by RA. For more information, contact Pete O’Donald, DPM of Texas. Our doctor will assist you with all of your podiatric concerns.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the membranes surrounding the joints. Inflammation of the lining and eventually the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone occur, causing severe pain and immobility.

Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Feet

Although RA usually attacks multiple bones and joints throughout the entire body, almost 90 percent of cases result in pain in the foot or ankle area.

Symptoms

  • Swelling and pain in the feet
  • Stiffness in the feet
  • Pain on the ball or sole of feet
  • Joint shift and deformation

Diagnosis

Quick diagnosis of RA in the feet is important so that the podiatrist can treat the area effectively. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, occupation, and lifestyle to determine the origin of the condition. Rheumatoid Factor tests help to determine if someone is affected by the disease.

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 Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Feet
Tuesday, 17 August 2021 00:00

Choosing the Right Running Shoe

Choosing the right running shoes for you is an important part of running. A good pair of running shoes will make the running experience more enjoyable for you and prevent potential injury.

Poorly-fitted shoes can increase the risk of injury in runners substantially. Common injuries from running with poor quality shoes include shin splints, sprained ankles, Achilles tendinitis, stress fractures, plantar fasciitis and more. This is due to the fact that bad shoes do not provide proper foot support, can increase pronation (how much the foot rolls when hitting the ground), have little to no cushioning, do not allow the feet to breath, and do not provide enough flex and rigidity in the right parts.

When looking for running shoes, first, determine where you will be running. If you are a trail runner, then pick trail shoes. If you run on concrete and asphalt, then regular running shoes are the best choice. When trying on shoes, its best to go at the end of the day as feet grow during the day and shrink after a night of sleep. Shoes should be more rigid towards the back of the foot while being more flexible up where the toes are. The toe box should provide enough room for the toes to move freely. The overall fit should be snug, not too tight but not too loose. A good pair of running shoes should also provide enough arch support for your foot type. If you experience overpronation or under-pronation while running, try to find a pair of shoes that will help correct this with different sole patterns.  Finally, try to find a pair of shoes that allow the feet to breathe like nylon mesh or synthetic leather.

Don’t forget about the socks either. Socks that hold too much moisture can lead to athlete’s foot. Socks should be breathable so that your feet can air out and breathe. Synthetic socks wick away moisture like sweat. If you tend to run a lot, having a second pair of shoes that you can wear while you let the first pair air out is smart. Just don’t forget to replace your shoes after about every 300 to 500 miles.

Before you start running, it is advised to see a podiatrist to see if running is right for you. They can also offer good advice on how to run and what to look for in a pair of running shoes. If you have flat feet or poorly supported ones, they can also offer custom-made orthotics that will help give your feet the support they need.

Tuesday, 17 August 2021 00:00

What Is a Heel to Toe Drop?

While searching for the right running shoe, you may have come across the term “heel to toe drop,” but what does this mean? The heel to toe drop is the difference in height between the heel and forefoot area of the running shoes. This is measured in millimeters. Shoes are divided into four categories based on the size of the heel to toe drop. There is zero drop (0mm), low drop (1-4mm), mid drop (5-8mm), and high drop (8+mm). The most common heel drop in standard running shoes measures about 10mm. The heel to toe drop can affect your gait, foot strike pattern, and running form, so it may be beneficial to select shoes that compliment or compensate for your gait and any foot or ankle issues that you may have. A podiatrist can examine your feet for any issues and perform a gait analysis to help determine what kind of running shoes would be best for you. 

You should always make sure your running shoes fit properly in order to avoid injury. For more information, contact Pete O’Donald, DPM from Texas. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Choosing the Right Running Shoe for Your Foot Type

Improper shoe sizing can cause a myriad of problems for your feet. Shoes that don’t fit you properly can lead to muscular imbalances in your body, which can result in foot, knee, and hip injuries.

Tips for Finding the Right Running Shoe

  • Make sure you have a thumb’s width of wiggle room between the end of your longest toe and the front of the shoe.
  • There should be little to no slipping at the heel
  • Don’t assume your size in one shoe brand will be your size in another
  • Do not lace up your shoes too tightly
  • Walk around in the store with your new shoes before you buy them

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

Read more about Choosing the Right Running Shoe

If you are suffering from tenderness, pain, or stiffness in the joints of your feet or ankles, call us to schedule an appointment.

Tuesday, 10 August 2021 00:00

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the tendons, muscles, or ligaments that are responsible for holding the toes in their normal position. This condition may be caused by poor footwear, foot structure, trauma, and disease. The most common solution for hammertoe is to relieve the pain by changing your footwear and wearing orthotics. In severe cases, surgery may be required.

The shoes that are most likely to cause hammertoe are high heeled shoes or shoes that are too tight in the toe box. Tight shoes will force your toes to crowd together in a curled position. This position will likely continue when you take your shoes off. Another cause is trauma. When you stub your toe, you are increasing the chance that you will develop hammertoe.

There are risk factors that may make you more likely to develop this condition. Women are more likely to have the condition compared to men, and it is also more likely to appear in those who are older in age.

Many different foot problems can be avoided by wearing shoes that have adjustability, adequate toe room, and low heels. Furthermore, if you want to buy new shoes, you should look to purchase them at the end of the day and make sure you know your correct size. The importance of buying shoes at the end of the day is that your feet swell as the day progresses. You should also ensure that you are wearing your correct size because your shoe size may change as you grow older.

To diagnose someone with hammertoe, your podiatrist will need to conduct a thorough examination of your foot. Your doctor may even order an x-ray to evaluate the bones and joints of your feet and toes.

If you have hammertoe, your podiatrist may recommend that you wear shoes that fit you better along with inserts to place inside them. Additionally, he or she may suggest special exercises for you to perform to stretch your toes. One helpful exercise it to pick up marbles with your feet or crumple a towel with your toes.

Prior to meeting with your podiatrist, it will be helpful to make a list of all the symptoms you are experiencing. You should also make a note of medications you are taking and important personal information about your medical history.

Tuesday, 10 August 2021 00:00

Unsightly Hammertoe

The foot condition that is known as hammer toe may also be referred to as contracted toe. It is considered to be a deformity, and can appear unsightly. It can cause the toes to resemble a hammer. This can be a result of the middle joints of the second and third toe that gradually bend upward, forcing the rest of the toe to bend down. It often happens from genetic factors, or from wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in. Additionally, there may be a muscle imbalance that can cause hammer toes to develop. Some of the symptoms that are associated with this ailment can include pain while stretching the affected toes, and corns may develop on top of the toes as the toes rub against the shoes that are worn. Mild relief may be found when larger shoes are worn, and it may help to wear a protective pad over the corns. In severe cases, surgery may be an option that can permanently straighten the toes. If you have a hammer toe, it is suggested that you speak with a podiatrist who can determine what the best course of treatment is for you.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Pete O’Donald, DPM of Texas. 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 office located in Nederland, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Hammertoe
Tuesday, 03 August 2021 00:00

What to Know About a Broken Toe

Trauma to the foot, especially the toes, can occur in many ways. Banging them, stubbing them, or dropping something on them are a few different ways this trauma can occur. Given the fact that toes are positioned in front of the feet, they typically sustain the brunt of such trauma. When trauma occurs to a toe, the result can be a painful break or fracture. Another type of trauma that can break a toe is repeated activity that places stress on the toe for prolonged periods of time.

Broken toes can be categorized as either minor or severe fractures. Symptoms of minor toe fractures include throbbing pain, swelling, bruising on the skin and toenail, and the inability to move the toe with ease. Severe toe fractures require medical attention and are indicated when the broken toe appears crooked or disfigured, when there is tingling or numbness in the toe, or when there is an open, bleeding wound present on the toe.

Generally, a minor toe break will heal without long-term complications. However, it is important to discontinue activities that put pressure on the toe. It is best to stay off of the injured toe and immediately get a splint or cast to prevent any more additional movement of the toe bones. You can also immobilize your toe by placing a small cotton ball between the injured toe and the toe beside it. Then, tape the two toes together with medical tape. Swelling can be alleviated by placing an ice pack on the broken toe directly as well as elevating your feet above your head.

Severe toe fractures may be treated with a splint, cast, and in some cases, minor surgery, especially when the big toe has been broken. Due to its position and the pressure the big toe endures with daily activity, future complications can occur if it is not properly treated. Pain associated with minor toe fractures can be managed with over-the-counter pain medications. Prescription pain killers may be necessary for severe toe fractures.

The healing time for a broken toe is approximately four to six weeks. In severe cases where the toe becomes infected or requires surgery, healing time can take up to eight weeks or more. While complications associated with a broken toe are immediately apparent, it is important to note that there are rare cases when additional complications, such as osteoarthritis, can develop over time. You should immediately speak with your podiatrist if you think you have broken your toe due to trauma. They will be able to diagnose the injury and recommend the appropriate treatment options. 

A broken toe is not only painful, it can also be very inconvenient because the toes help with walking and balance. Common signs of a broken toe include the inability to walk, throbbing, bruising, swelling, redness, tenderness, or the toe appears crooked. While the toe bones are small, and a broken toe may seem minor, any toe fracture should be looked at by a podiatrist. If a broken toe is left untreated, complications such as long term pain, arthritis, permanent bone deformity, or an infection may occur. Upon visiting a podiatrist, they will be able to help provide a proper treatment method for the injury. Common treatment methods for a broken toe include icing, resting, buddy taping, or surgery, and in some cases, antibiotics may be necessary if an infection has occurred.  

A broken toe can be very painful and lead to complications if not properly fixed. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Pete O’Donald, DPM from Texas. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What to Know About a Broken Toe

Although most people try to avoid foot trauma such as banging, stubbing, or dropping heavy objects on their feet, the unfortunate fact is that it is a common occurrence. Given the fact that toes are positioned in front of the feet, they typically sustain the brunt of such trauma. When trauma occurs to a toe, the result can be a painful break (fracture).

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • Throbbing pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising on the skin and toenail
  • The inability to move the toe
  • Toe appears crooked or disfigured
  • Tingling or numbness in the toe

Generally, it is best to stay off of the injured toe with the affected foot elevated.

Severe toe fractures may be treated with a splint, cast, and in some cases, minor surgery. Due to its position and the pressure it endures with daily activity, future complications can occur if the big toe is not properly treated.

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 What to Know About a Broken Toe
Connect with us