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July 2022

Tuesday, 26 July 2022 00:00

Surgery for Toe Arthritis

Arthritis is an ailment that affects joints and results in pain, swelling, and stiffness. It can occur throughout different parts of your body as well as in your toes. Arthritis in the toes can make walking and balancing hard. The toe can hurt when it is lifted or when walking, but also sometimes when it is at rest. With big toe arthritis, there can be an inability to bend the toe upwards. In fact, it might bend down and be unable to lay flat. Not only is there often swelling and inflammation of the big toe joint, but sometimes a bump might form from the joints rubbing together. There are various forms of arthritis that can affect the toes. Osteoarthritis causes the cartilage between joints to break down and rub against each other. Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory arthritis and can affect several small joints in the foot at the same time, including the toes. Gout, psoriatic arthritis, and infectious arthritis that can impact the toes as well. Doing regular exercises, wearing comfortable, well-fitting shoes, and maintaining a proper body weight can help to prevent toe arthritis. Rigid orthotics, steroid injections, and anti-inflammatory medications might help with pain, but sometimes surgery is necessary for relief. If you have arthritis that is affecting your toes, and less invasive options are not providing relief, see a podiatrist who can talk to you about surgical options that may help.

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to treat a foot ailment. To learn more, contact The podiatrists of Grand Haven Foot & Ankle. Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

When Is Surgery Necessary?

Foot and ankle surgery is generally reserved for cases in which less invasive, conservative procedures have failed to alleviate the problem. Some of the cases in which surgery may be necessary include:

  • Removing foot deformities like bunions and bone spurs
  • Severe arthritis that has caused bone issues
  • Cosmetic reconstruction

What Types of Surgery Are There?

The type of surgery you receive will depend on the nature of the problem you have. Some of the possible surgeries include:

  • Bunionectomy for painful bunions
  • Surgical fusion for realignment of bones
  • Neuropathy decompression surgery to treat nerve damage

Benefits of Surgery

Although surgery is usually a last resort, it can provide more complete pain relief compared to non-surgical methods and may allow you to finally resume full activity.

Surgical techniques have also become increasingly sophisticated. Techniques like endoscopic surgery allow for smaller incisions and faster recovery times.

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

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Tuesday, 26 July 2022 00:00

Foot and Ankle Surgery

When conservative, noninvasive methods prove ineffective, surgery may be selected as the next course of action for the treatment of your foot or ankle condition.  A wide number of foot and ankle surgical procedures exist, and it is up to your podiatrist to determine which intervention will be most appropriate and helpful for your case.  Some surgical procedures include bunion surgery, fusion, hammertoe surgery, heel spur surgery, metatarsal surgery, nail surgery, neuroma surgery, reconstructive surgery, skin surgery, and tendon surgery.  Typically, surgery is turned to as a definitive way to alleviate excessive pain or discomfort and to return your foot to full mobility.

Regardless of the location on the body, all surgical procedures require preoperative testing and examination to ensure the surgery’s success and preferred outcome.  A review of your medical history and medical conditions will take place, as will an evaluation of any current diseases, illnesses, allergies, and medications.  Tests such as blood studies, urinalyses, EKG, X-rays, and blood flow studies may be ordered.  Because the procedure involves the foot and/or ankle, the structures of your feet while walking may also be observed by your podiatrist.

Care post-surgery will depend on the type of surgical procedure performed.  Typically, all postoperative care involves rest, ice, compression, and elevation.  To improve and ensure a safe recovery, your foot and ankle surgeon may also employ the use of bandages, splints, surgical shoes, casts, crutches, or canes.  He will also determine if and when you can bear weight.  A timely and thorough recovery is a priority for both you and your podiatrist, and carefully following postoperative instructions can help achieve this.  

Friday, 22 July 2022 00:00

Do Your Child's Feet Hurt?

Have your child's feet been examined lately? Healthy feet are happy feet. If your child is complaining of foot pain, it may be a sign of underlying problems.

If you are among the elderly, you are at an increased risk of falling. Improving your balance and becoming more aware of your body and how it is moving through exercise can help you prevent falls. If your podiatrist approves, you can try simple balance exercises at home such as the single leg stance with variations. These exercises all have a resting position where you stand with your legs slightly apart while supporting yourself behind a chair or table. First, lift one leg up to the side about 6 inches and hold for 10 seconds. Do 5-10 reps on each leg. Now, go back to the resting position, but this time bend your right knee and lift your leg about 6 inches off of the floor and hold for 10 seconds before switching to the other leg. Once again, return to the resting position keeping your knee straight. Lift one leg behind you and hold for 10 seconds, and repeat on the other leg. These single-leg stance exercises can be done up to three times daily and once you feel ready with your podiatrist's approval, you can try them with your eyes closed to improve your balance even more. Consult with your podiatrist for more balance exercises and to receive a fall risk assessment. 

Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with The podiatrists from Grand Haven Foot & Ankle. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.

Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.

How to Prevent Falls

Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:

  • Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
  • Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
  • Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
  • Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
  • Utilizing a walker or cane
  • Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
  • Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness

Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.  

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

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Tuesday, 19 July 2022 00:00

Falls Prevention

Elderly Americans are very susceptible to falls as they get older. Everyone experiences decreases in flexibility, balance, strength, and the senses as they age. This correlates to some eye-opening statistics. 1 in 4 Americans aged 65 and older fall each year. An elderly American is being treated for a fall in an emergency room every 11 seconds, and every 19 minutes, an older person dies from falling. In light of these striking statistics, one can see the importance of taking steps to prevent falls.

Finding an exercise program for the elderly is an excellent way to reduce the likelihood of falls. Look for an exercise program that improves strength and balance. Elderly people who live a more sedentary lifestyle, with little physical activity, are at an increased risk of falling. Wearing well-fitted footwear that provides good foot support and cushion will help prevent falls from poorly fitted shoes. Talking to a podiatrist about your susceptibility to falls and about inspecting your prescriptions will help to avoid any medication that could make falls more likely. Due to a decline in the senses among the elderly, having your eyes and hearing checked is recommended.

Around half of all falls occur in the household. Removing tripping hazards in the home and making it more accommodating to older persons can significantly reduce falls. Some notable household changes include increasing lighting around the house, installing grab bars in the shower and bathroom, and making sure the floor is clear of clutter. Other smart options include installing a shower chair, using rubber-bottomed rugs, and placing railings on both sides of stairwells.  

Finally, discuss with a doctor and your family about your fear of falling. This will help to increase awareness among the population on the need for fall prevention. A lack of awareness on the matter, and a downplaying of importance are what increase the risks of falling. Following these tips can help to reduce the risk for yourself and your loved ones.

 

Monday, 18 July 2022 00:00

How to Treat Heel Spurs

Heel spurs are calcium deposits that cause bone protrusions on the heel bone. Heel spurs are usually associated with plantar fasciitis, which occurs when the plantar fasciitis in the foot becomes inflamed. Typically, heel spurs don’t cause any symptoms. However, they can produce chronic or intermittent heel pain. Those who have had the condition often describe the irritation as a stabbing pain.

There are risk factors that may make you more likely to develop heel spurs. People who have abnormal walking gaits, run and jog on hard surfaces, are obese, or wear poorly fitting shoes are more likely to develop heel spurs.

Fortunately, there are precautions you can take to avoid developing heel spurs. One of the best ways to do this is by wearing well-fitting shoes with shock-absorbent soles. Another preventative technique is to choose running shoes if you plan on running, and walking shoes if you plan on walking. Shoes are made for different activities and it is important to research a shoe before you purchase a pair.

The pain associated with heel spurs often decreases the more you walk. However, a recurrence of pain after an extended period of rest or walking is likely to occur with this condition. Those with severe heel spur pain may opt to go the surgical route for treatment.  However, more than 90% of those with the condition get better without surgical treatment. If you have a heel spur and want to know if surgery is right for you, you should go to your podiatrist and he or she will be able to conduct a pre-surgical test or exam to determine if you are an optimal candidate for surgery.

Monday, 18 July 2022 00:00

Preventing Heel Spurs

Anyone who cares about keeping their feet in a healthy condition ought to be aware of ways they can prevent heel spurs. This troublesome condition essentially causes a bony outgrowth on the bottom of the foot made up of calcium. Not all cases of heel spurs cause the patient pain. However, some heel spurs can be associated with severe pain from plantar fasciitis. If you are someone who wants to be diligent about preventing the onset of heel spurs, there are a number of steps that you can take. First, you can follow a sensible diet and successfully manage your weight. This is because the heavier you are, the more weight you are placing on your heel when walking, which can increase the likelihood of heel spurs. Additionally, you can be mindful of the surfaces on which you are walking and running. For example, if you are someone who walks or runs frequently, you can choose to do these activities on surfaces that are not hard, as this tends to ultimately wear down the heel. Lastly, you can avoid footwear that puts added strain on your heel, making you more susceptible to developing heel spurs. Such footwear includes flip flops and high heels. If you want to know about more ways in which you can avoid developing heel spurs, please see a podiatrist who can be able to help.

Heel spurs can be incredibly painful and sometimes may make you unable to participate in physical activities. To get medical care for your heel spurs, contact The podiatrists from Grand Haven Foot & Ankle. Our doctors will do everything possible to treat your condition.

Heels Spurs

Heel spurs are formed by calcium deposits on the back of the foot where the heel is. This can also be caused by small fragments of bone breaking off one section of the foot, attaching onto the back of the foot. Heel spurs can also be bone growth on the back of the foot and may grow in the direction of the arch of the foot.

Older individuals usually suffer from heel spurs and pain sometimes intensifies with age. One of the main condition's spurs are related to is plantar fasciitis.

Pain

The pain associated with spurs is often because of weight placed on the feet. When someone is walking, their entire weight is concentrated on the feet. Bone spurs then have the tendency to affect other bones and tissues around the foot. As the pain continues, the feet will become tender and sensitive over time.

Treatments

There are many ways to treat heel spurs. If one is suffering from heel spurs in conjunction with pain, there are several methods for healing. Medication, surgery, and herbal care are some options.

If you have any questions feel free to contact our office located in Grand Haven, MI . We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

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Tuesday, 05 July 2022 00:00

Everything You Need to Know About Gout

Gout, typically found in diabetic patients, is an unusually painful form of arthritis caused by elevated levels of uric acid in the bloodstream. The condition typically strikes the big joint on the big toe. It has also been known to strike the knees, elbows, fingers, ankles and wrists—generally anywhere that has a functioning, moving joint.

The high level of uric acid in a person’s bloodstream creates the condition known as hyperuricema—the main cause of gout. Genetic predisposition occurs in nine out of ten sufferers. The children of parents who suffer gout will have a two in ten chance of developing the condition as well. 

This form of arthritis, being particularly painful, is the leftover uric acid crystallizing in the blood stream. The crystallized uric acid then travels to the space between joints where they rub, causing friction when the patient moves. Symptoms include: pain, redness, swelling, and inflammation. Additional side effects may include fatigue and fever, although reports of these effects are very rare. Some patients have reported that pain may intensify when the temperature drops, such as when you sleep.

Most cases of gout are easily diagnosed by a podiatrist’s assessment of the various symptoms. Defined tests can also be performed. A blood test to detect elevated levels of uric acid is often used as well as an x-ray to diagnose visible and chronic gout.

Treatment for gout simply means eliminating symptoms. Non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs (Colchicine and other corticosteroid drugs, etc.) will quell the redness, the swelling, and the inflammation. However, managing your diet, lifestyle changes, and using preventative drugs are all helpful toward fully combating the most severe cases.

 Those that lead an inactive lifestyle are at a higher risk for gout. Any amount of exercise decreases the probability of repeat encounters with the condition. Reducing your consumption of red meat, sea food, and fructose-sweetened drinks also reduces the likelihood of chronic gout as well.

Ingesting Vitamin C, coffee, and particular dairy products can help with maintaining a healthy lifestyle. There are new drugs out on the market that inhibit the body’s production of uric acid-producing enzymes. However, reducing or eliminating your overall levels of uric acid is the best remedy to ensuring you lead a gout-free life.

Tuesday, 05 July 2022 00:00

Foods That May Cause Gout

People who have pain in the joint of the big toe may have a condition known as gout. It is defined as an inflammation of the joints in the big toe and is considered to be a form of arthritis. It can produce debilitating pain and discomfort, and many patients find it difficult to walk. It can develop if there is a family history of gout or from eating foods that have high levels of purines. These types of foods include red meat, shellfish, and drinks that are made with large amounts of sugar. A gout attack can last a few days or several weeks and may improve gradually. The majority of people may have difficulty completing daily activities when gout is present and medical treatment may be needed. Effective prevention techniques can include reducing the amount of alcohol, red meat, and fatty foods in daily food intake. Additionally, it can help to drink plenty of fresh water frequently and begin a gentle exercise regime. If you are afflicted by gout, it is strongly advised that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can prescribe the appropriate medication for this condition.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact The podiatrists from Grand Haven Foot & Ankle. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.

People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.

Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.

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

Read more about Everything You Need to Know About Gout
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