Varicose veins are very easy to spot, which is why patients usually want them to disappear. They're a cosmetic issue but also a potentially painful podiatric issue that can be treated by a foot doctor. Learn what causes varicose veins and how you may be able to reduce their appearance with a podiatrist's help.
About Varicose Veins
When the veins appear to pop out of the skin on your legs, thighs and feet, they are called varicose veins. They often look blue or dark in appearance and can cause pain in the legs. This is because the veins are swelling from too much blood. It’s a problem that’s related to poor circulation and vascular health. Because the legs and feet are furthest from the heart, it’s more difficult for blood to flow back up through the body. It’s a condition that occurs most often in older women.
What Causes Them?
The Chicago Vein Institute says that about half of people over the age of 50 have varicose veins. They can develop for a number of reasons:
- Obesity (the extra weight affects your circulation and puts stress on your legs when walking)
- Pregnancy (again, due to the added weight)
- Standing for long periods of times at a job
- Heredity (patients who have two parents with varicose veins are more likely to get them)
Reducing the Appearance of Varicose Veins
Consider making your podiatrist your first line of defense when trying to treat varicose veins. Here are a few possible ways your foot doctor can help reduce the appearance of dark, swollen veins:
- Taking an ultrasound of the legs to check the flow of blood (ensure there are no blockages)
- Physical therapy and exercises to get the blood circulating properly
- Prescribing orthotic device to relieve pressure on your feet when standing or walking
- Compression stocks to reduce swelling and stimulate circulation
- Leg massage therapy
- Surgery in certain cases (sclerotherapy, laser and endoscopic vein surgeries are options)
Get Help from a Podiatrist
Relief from unsightly varicose veins can be found at your podiatrist’s office. Contact a foot doctor in your area to discuss treatments that will help you feel more confident in the appearance and function of the veins in your legs and feet.
Any fracture to the foot or ankle should be taken seriously, but a Lisfranc fracture is particularly concerning for podiatrists. Because the fracture happens at the center of the foot where there are many connections, without prompt treatment this problem can significantly reduce your ability to walk or participate in athletic activities. The worse the fracture gets, the harder it is to treat. Learn more about Lisfranc fractures to see if this might be the foot problem you're experiencing.
What Is a Lisfranc Fracture?
When the bones at the center of the foot become fractured, broken or shift out of place it is called a Lisfranc injury. The ligaments that hold the bones together and cartilage at joints can also tear. This can happen when a heavy object falls on the foot, the patient has a bad fall or the foot twists unnaturally. Athletes, like soccer and football players, may be at risk for Lisfranc fractures.
Why It’s a Concern
A Lisfranc fracture is a major concern for podiatrists because if it is allowed to go untreated for an extended period of time it can lead to a disability of the foot. It often causes the bottom of the foot to swell, bruise and become darkly discolored (a telltale sign of a Lisfranc fracture). It can also be a very painful condition that is difficult to ignore.
Lisfranc Fracture Treatments
Your foot doctor will take X-rays to confirm that you have a Lisfranc injury. If so, conservative treatments may be implemented first, including wearing a removable cast or an orthotic device that will train your bones and joints into a position for healing. In a severe case where there’s a clear fracture or severe subluxation of the bones, you may have to have foot surgery. Two common surgical solutions are fusion (healing the bones together) and internal fixation (involves the use of screws and other devices to repair the foot).
Talk to a Podiatrist
The earlier you seek treatment for a Lisfranc fracture, the better for your long-term foot health. Your podiatrist will discuss your options and come up with an ideal plan for fixing the problem. Call a foot doctor today to schedule an exam and get an official diagnosis.
Everything You Need to Know About Sesamoid Injuries
Think you have a sesamoid injury? Sesamoids are bones embedded in tendons. Sesamoid injuries are often associated with activities requiring increased pressure on the foot, such as tennis, basketball, running, and football. Podiatrists diagnose and treat various foot problems, including sesamoid injuries. Here's everything you've ever wanted to know about sesamoid injuries.
Types of Sesamoid Injuries
Sesamoid injuries can involve the bones, tendons, and surrounding tissue in the joint. Sesamoiditis is an injury involving inflammation of the sesamoid bones and tendons. A sesamoid fracture is an acute or chronic fracture in the sesamoid bone. Turf toe is an injury to the soft tissue surrounding the big toe joint.
Sesamoid Injury Causes
Sesamoid injuries can be caused by landing too hard on the foot after a fall or jump. Cracks in the sesamoid bones can be caused by wear and tear on the foot over time. People with high arches are at risk for developing sesamoid injuries. Frequently wearing high heels can also be a contributing factor.
Sesamoid Injury Symptoms
The most common symptom of a sesamoid injury is pain when you move your big toe, stand, run, jump, or walk. With a fracture, the pain will be immediate, whereas with sesamoiditis, pain may develop gradually. A sesamoid injury may be painful for weeks to months. Bruising and swelling may or may not be present.
Sesamoid Injury Diagnosis
If you think you have a sesamoid injury, see a podiatrist for proper diagnosis and treatment. Your podiatrist will ask about your symptoms, activities, and medical history and examine your foot. To diagnose your foot problem, your podiatrist may order X-rays and laboratory tests.
Sesamoid Injury Treatment
Inflammation and pain are treated with oral medications or steroid injections. A pad may be placed in your shoe to cushion the sesamoid area. Your foot may be placed in a cast and crutches may be used to take pressure off of your foot. The rehabilitation period following immobilization may include physical therapy, such as therapeutic exercises and ultrasound therapy. Your podiatrist may recommend surgery if your symptoms persist after nonsurgical treatment.
A sesamoid injury can affect your day-to-day activities and make life frustrating and miserable. Life always offers us another chance to get back on track. It's called today. Get relief today by scheduling an appointment with a podiatrist near you. A podiatrist can provide all the relief you need, with relatively little expense or hassle.
Understanding Claw and Mallet Toes
Think you may have mallet or claw toes? Mallet and claw toes form over years and are common in adults. Mallet and claw toes are among the most common toe problems. If you think you have mallet or claw toes, see a podiatrist right away. If you don't treat the problem right away, you are more likely to need surgery. Here's what you need to know about claw and mallet toes.
What Are Mallet and Claw Toes?
Mallet and claw toes are toes that are bent into an abnormal position. They may hurt or look odd, or both. These toe deformities usually occur in the small toes, not the big toes. Claw toe often affects the four small toes at the same time. The toes bend up at the joint where the foot and toes meet. This causes the toes to curl downward. Mallet toes often affect the second toes, but it may occur in the other toes too. Mallet toes bend down at the joint closest to the tip of the toes.
What Causes These Conditions?
Tight footwear is the most common cause of mallet and claw toes. Wearing tight footwear can cause the muscles of the toes to get out of balance. Less often, these conditions are linked with other conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, stroke, or an injury to the ankle or foot. Women are affected more often than men because they are more likely to wear narrow shoes or high heels.
How Are They Diagnosed?
Your podiatrist will take a detailed medical history and ask about your daily activities and footwear. A physical examination comes next, in which the level of deformity and scope of pain will be assessed. Diagnosis of these claw and mallet toes is usually obvious from the physical exam. To further evaluate the joints and bones of your feet and confirm a diagnosis, your podiatrist may order x-rays or other imaging tests.
How Are They Treated?
Buying shoes with more room in the toes, filing down calluses and corns, and padding the toes most often relieve the pain. If you have pain, your doctor may put a splint or pad on the toe. A custom orthotic device may be placed in your shoe to help control the muscle/tendon imbalance and alleviate your pain. This keeps the toe from rubbing on the top of the shoe. Corticosteroid injections are sometimes used to ease pain and inflammation. If these steps don’t work, you may need surgery to straighten the toes.
Podiatric medicine a branch of science that is devoted to the study, diagnosis, and treatment of conditions of the ankle, foot, and lower extremity. Podiatrists diagnose and treat various foot problems, including claw and mallet toes. They offer a variety of treatments for claw and mallet toes. If you think you may have claw or mallet toes, a podiatrist in your area can help you achieve real relief.
With age, it’s not uncommon to experience pain and stiffness in your feet and ankles. Carefully monitoring your pain is important, however, as this noticeable discomfort could be an early indication of a more serious condition known as arthritis. Arthritis is a group of conditions that typically involves pain and inflammation in the joints. There are many types of arthritis, with osteoarthritis being the most common form. Left untreated, pain caused by arthritis will get worse, eventually leading to a joint weakness that can interfere with the most basic daily activities.
Arthritis can have a serious impact on the structure and function of your feet and ankles. See a podiatrist if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Chronic pain or tenderness
- Limited mobility or motion
- Stiffness early in the day
- Changes in skin, including growths and rashes
Whenever you notice a change in your lower extremities, contact our podiatrists at our practice for a thorough evaluation. When detected early, proper treatment can slow the development of arthritis and get you back to your active lifestyle.
Treating Arthritis of the Foot and Ankle
Our practice can help you determine the best treatment option depending on the type and severity of your arthritis.
Treatment options include:
- Anti-inflammatory medications or steroid injections for the joint
- Shoe inserts, pads, braces or arch supports
- Physical therapy and exercise
- Custom-designed shoes
- Weight management
When arthritis doesn’t respond to conservative treatment, surgical intervention may be considered as the last resort.
A thorough evaluation of your health and type of arthritis will allow our podiatrists to recommend the best treatment plan for you. Arthritis is a disabling disease, but with early detection, you can help manage the pain associated with arthritis of the foot and ankle and maintain a healthy, fulfilling life. Allow our podiatrists to assess your foot and ankle pain and get you back on your feet.
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