Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Ugly Truth About Uggs!

Buyers beware - the trendy Ugg brand sheepskin boots and their generic counterparts may be hurting your feet!  While they may look soft and cuddly, studies have shown that the slipping and sliding going on inside the boots combined with the limited arch support they provide is putting unnecessary strain on muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones.

The makers of Ugg boots maintain that their boots provide more support than the knockoff variety, but many experts see no real difference between the two. 

If you want to continue to wear the popular boot, Dr. Allen Guehl, a Dayton-area podiatrist at Community Foot Specialists recommends that you do so sparingly and when you aren’t going to be doing a lot of activity.  They aren’t the type of boots you want to be wearing if you are walking or standing all day.  You may also want to add supportive insoles to help cushion your feet and provide more support. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Feeling the Pinch this Autumn? Bunions May Be to Blame


With the curtain closed on summer and sandal season, fall is the season during which Community Foot Specialists sees an upswing in patients whose feet are feeling the pinch in their closed-toe footwear. This seasonal phenomenon seems to focus on women, although there are men who have this issue. The common culprit? Painful bunions that were given room to breathe during sandal season, but now face close quarters of a fall boot or shoe.

Bunions are abnormalities that form on the joint at the base of the big toe in the form of a bony bump. They occur when the big toe pushes against the other toes, which force the big toe joint in the opposite direction. As time passes, the abnormal positioning of the toe enlarges the joint. This further crowds the toes of the foot and causes pain and discomfort.

Bunions can occur for a variety of reasons. One of the most common causes is tight shoes, although they can also come about as a result of an inherited structural or mechanical defect, a stress to the foot, or a medical condition.

To help avoid bunions, don’t wear pointed shoes. Choose footwear with a wide foot box to give all of your toes plenty of room. If bunions become so painful that they impede daily activities, the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons recommends discussing surgical options with your podiatrist. However, please note that Community Foot Specialists firmly believes in exhausting the most conservative foot care treatment options first before considering surgery.

Community Foot Specialists can be reached at 937-426-9500. Or you may visit our website to request an appointment, view common conditions we treat, or get any other info you might need.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Toenail Fungus in Dayton/Springfield, Ohio

Thick, discolored toenails are a common complaint amongst our Dayton/Springfield, Ohio patients. Many of our patients avoid wearing sandals or swimming because they are embarrassed by their unsightly toenails. This is a problem Community Foot Specialists is happy to help you fix!

A fungal toenail (or onychomycosis) is one of the most common conditions our Dayton/Springfield podiatrist sees. People who have weak immune systems (often times diabetics, HIV patients, etc.) are more at risk for a fungal infection of the toenail.

What does an infected toenail look like? A toenail infected with fungus appears to be thickened and a yellowish color. The toenail often times will appear to crumble or become flaky.

What happens if left untreated? If you do not treat your fungal toenail, your entire toenail may become discolored and eventually begin to lift from the nail bed, often times causing your toenail to come completely off.

There are medications available that provide a complete cure, however, the process can be a little slow depending on how infected your toenail is. The more you put it off, the worse it may get so instead of worrying; call your local podiatrist at (937) 426-9500 so we assist you!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Question of the Month: I'm a diabetic, do I need diabetic shoes?


Question of the Month!
By: Dr. Thomas

Q: "I'm a diabetic, do I need diabetic shoes?"

A: That depends. Diabetics who are well controlled with their blood sugar, do not have toe deformities such as bunions or hammertoes, intact circulation to their feet as well as intact sensation or feeling in their feet, are at low risk and do not need diabetic shoes. Diabetic shoes are considered to be a necessity for those diabetics who have an at risk foot or a foot that could be in danger of developing a wound in an otherwise normal everyday shoe. These shoes are designed with extra depth to accommodate the foam inserts which are used to reduce chances of a foot ulcer on the bottom of the foot. Some patients may be interested in these shoes for the simple fact they believe they can get free shoes and the insurance will sometimes "pay for them". This is not the purpose of diabetic shoes. To determine if the diabetic patient is eligible for shoes, the podiatric doctor will perform a comprehensive diabetic foot exam first to check to see if the feet are at high risk for developing problems such as ulcerations. If the need is determined, then your doctor will do all steps necessary to see that the patient gets those shoes and that they are fit correctly.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Common Foot Conditions and Treatments


IngrownToenail- When a toenail is ingrown, the nail is curved downward and grows into the skin, usually at the nail borders (the side of the nail). This “digging in” of the nail irritates the skin, often creating pain, redness, swelling, and warmth in the toe. If an ingrown nail causes a break in the skin, bacteria may enter and cause an infection in the area, which is often marked by drainage and a foul odor. However, even if your toe isn’t painful, red, swollen, or warm, a nail that curves downward into the skin can progress to an infection.
Treatment- If an infection is present, an oral antibiotic may be prescribed. A simple procedure, often performed in the office, is commonly needed to ease the pain and remove the offending nail. Surgery may involve numbing the toe and removing a corner of the nail, a larger portion of the nail, or the entire nail. A chemical or the entire root is taken out to make sure the ingrown is permanently removed.

HeelPain- is most often caused by plantar fasciitis. Heel pain may also be due to other causes such as a stress fracture, tendonitis, arthritis, nerve irritation, or rarely a cyst. Because there are several potential causes, it is important to have heel pain properly diagnosed. A podiatric foot and ankle surgeon is best trained to distinguish between all the possibilities and determine the underlying source of your heel pain.
Treatment- Stretching exercises. Exercises that stretch out the calf muscles help ease pain and assist with recovery. Avoid going barefoot. When you walk without shoes, you put undue strain and stress on your plantar fascia. Ice. Putting an ice pack on your heel for 10 minutes several times a day helps reduce inflammation. Limit activities. Cut down on extended physical activities to give your heel a rest. Shoe modifications. Wearing supportive shoes that have good arch support and a slightly raised heel reduces stress on the plantar fascia. Your shoes should provide a comfortable environment for the foot. Lose weight. Extra pounds put extra stress on your plantar fascia. Padding and strapping. Placing pads in the shoe softens the impact of walking. Strapping helps support the foot and reduce strain on the fascia. Orthotic devices. Custom orthotic devices that fit into your shoe help correct the underlying structural abnormalities causing the plantar fasciitis. Injection therapy. In some cases, corticosteroid injections are used to help reduce the inflammation and relieve pain. Removable walking cast. A removable walking cast may be used to keep your foot immobile for a few weeks to allow it to rest and heal. Night splint. Wearing a night splint allows you to maintain an extended stretch of the plantar fascia while sleeping. This may help reduce the morning pain.

Plantar Warts- A wart is a small growth on the skin that develops when the skin is infected by a virus. Warts can develop anywhere on the foot, but typically they appear on the bottom (plantar side) of the foot. A solitary wart is a single wart. It often increases in size and may eventually multiply, forming additional satellite” warts. Mosaic warts are a cluster of several small warts growing closely together in one area. Mosaic warts are more difficult to treat than solitary warts.
Treatment-  The foot and ankle surgeon may use topical or oral treatments, laser therapy, cryotherapy (freezing), or surgery to remove the wart. Regardless of the treatment approaches undertaken, it is important that the patient follow the surgeons instructions, including all home care and medication that has been prescribed, as well as follow-up visits with the surgeon. Warts may return, requiring further treatment.

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these foot problems, contact your Dayton/Springfield podiatrist at Community Foot Specialists. 937-426-9500

Monday, September 10, 2012

Children's Heel Pain: Not Just Growing Pains!

If your child complains of heel pain, you should definitely take their complaints seriously. Children particularly those who are athletic/ physically active- may have what is called Sever’s disease. This condition occurs in children during their growth stages when the growth plate in the heel is injured. In early puberty, bones grow faster than muscles and tendons. Muscles and tendons become tight as a result and the heel is less flexible. When the child stands or bears any weight on his or her heel, injuring the heel and causing Sever’s disease. 

Signs that your child may be suffering from Sever’s disease include pain in one or both heels that usually occur with activity (usually around the time your child would begin a new sport or season), A tendency to tiptoe, walking with a limp, increased intensity of pain when running or jumping. Another sign is if your child’s heel hurts when you squeeze both sides toward the very back of the heel. The good news about Sever’s disease is that it is highly treatable with non-invasive methods. The first thing to do is to stop or limit any activity that causes the child pain. Treat the injured heel with ice for 20 minutes at a time, 3 times a day. Stretching exercises can also help lessen the pain of Sever’s disease: particularly those that stretch the hamstring and calf muscles and tendons on the back of the leg. These stretches should be performed 2 or 3 times a day and held for about 20 seconds in both legs, even if only one heel is experiencing pain.

If your child is having heel pain, contact Community Foot Specialists serving the Greater Dayton area in 6 convenient locations- 937-426-9500