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Monday, 04 March 2019 00:00

Can Gout Be Prevented?

The medical term referred to as gout will typically affect the big toe and surrounding areas. Typical symptoms may generally include severe pain and discomfort in the area of the big toe, heat that may radiate from the foot, in addition to swelling and redness. It occurs as a result of elevated uric acid levels in the blood, which causes crystals to form in the joints. There may be several reasons for this to happen, including diabetes, high blood pressure, or congestive heart failure. Additionally, eating foods that have elevated fructose levels may lead to the onset of gout, in addition to drinking excess alcohol, or eating red meat or seafood. Successful prevention and treatment of gout may begin with eating healthy foods and implementing a gentle exercise program. If obesity exists, it may be helpful to lose excess weight which may aid in protecting the joints. If you are having gout attacks, it is advised to speak to a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville Office | 16419 Northcross Dr Suite A, Huntersville, NC 28078; Mooresvillle Office | 206 Joe Knox Avenue Suite D, Mooresville, NC 28117; and Mountain Island | 10310 Couloak Drive, Charlotte, NC 28216. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Gout
Monday, 25 February 2019 00:00

What Is Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

There is a small canal between a bone in the ankle and the ligaments that stretch across the foot that is known as the tarsal tunnel. If this should become compressed and irritated, a condition that is known as tarsal tunnel syndrome may develop. A symptom of this condition may include a tingling sensation in the feet and toes, because this is the nerve that provides sensitivity to those areas of the foot. Additionally, many patients may experience a burning sensation in the sole of the foot. Some of the reasons that this condition can occur may include consistent motion which may come from participating in certain sporting activities. There may be existing medical conditions that may contribute to developing tarsal tunnel syndrome, and these may include flat feet, diabetes, or obesity. If you have any of these symptoms, it is suggested that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can properly treat tarsal tunnel syndrome.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact one of our podiatrists of Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can also be called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon condition of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is the peripheral nerve in the leg responsible for sensation and movement of the foot and calf muscles. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the tibial nerve is damaged, causing problems with movement and feeling in the foot of the affected leg.

Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Involves pressure or an injury, direct pressure on the tibial nerve for an extended period of time, sometimes caused by other body structures close by or near the knee.
  • Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
  • At times, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.

The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Different sensations, an afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of the affected leg.
  • The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling your toes or flexing your foot can become difficult.
  • If condition worsens, infections and ulcers may develop on the foot that is experiencing the syndrome.

A physical exam of the leg can help identify the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Medical tests, such as a nerve biopsy, are also used to diagnose the condition. Patients may receive physical therapy and prescriptive medication. In extreme cases, some may require surgery.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville Office | 16419 Northcross Dr Suite A, Huntersville, NC 28078; Mooresvillle Office | 206 Joe Knox Avenue Suite D, Mooresville, NC 28117; and Mountain Island | 10310 Couloak Drive, Charlotte, NC 28216. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Treating Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Monday, 18 February 2019 00:00

Causes of Ankle Pain

Research has indicated there are several different forms of ankle pain. Many people will experience some type of ankle pain throughout their lives, and this may come from a variety of reasons. These may include medical conditions such as arthritis, or from an injury. Ankle sprains are considered to be one of the most common forms of ankle pain, and this typically occurs when the ligaments in the ankle and surrounding areas are overstretched. This may happen as a result of tripping or falling, which may cause the ankle to roll inward toward the ground. Other reasons patients may have ankle pain may include infections in the joints of the ankle, nerve damage, or blood vessels that may be blocked. When ankle pain is first noticed, it’s important to rest the foot by taking the weight off of it. If it appears swollen, elevation may bring a mild form of relief. Please consult with a podiatrist who can properly guide you toward feeling better.

Ankle pain can be caused by a number of problems and may be potentially serious. If you have ankle pain, consult with one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Ankle pain is any condition that causes pain in the ankle. Due to the fact that the ankle consists of tendons, muscles, bones, and ligaments, ankle pain can come from a number of different conditions.

Causes

The most common causes of ankle pain include:

  • Types of arthritis (rheumatoid, osteoarthritis, and gout)
  • Ankle sprains
  • Broken ankles
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Achilles tendon rupture
  • Stress fractures
  • Bursitis
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Plantar fasciitis

Symptoms

Symptoms of ankle injury vary based upon the condition. Pain may include general pain and discomfort, swelling, aching, redness, bruising, burning or stabbing sensations, and/or loss of sensation.

Diagnosis

Due to the wide variety of potential causes of ankle pain, podiatrists will utilize a number of different methods to properly diagnose ankle pain. This can include asking for personal and family medical histories and of any recent injuries. Further diagnosis may include sensation tests, a physical examination, and potentially x-rays or other imaging tests.

Treatment

Just as the range of causes varies widely, so do treatments. Some more common treatments are rest, ice packs, keeping pressure off the foot, orthotics and braces, medication for inflammation and pain, and surgery.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville Office | 16419 Northcross Dr Suite A, Huntersville, NC 28078; Mooresvillle Office | 206 Joe Knox Avenue Suite D, Mooresville, NC 28117; and Mountain Island | 10310 Couloak Drive, Charlotte, NC 28216. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

Read more about Ankle Pain
Monday, 11 February 2019 00:00

Symptoms of Toenail Fungus

The medical term known as onychomycosis is also referred to as toenail fungus. This condition may cause the toenails to become discolored and brittle, and may gradually separate from the nail bed. The reasons why this condition can develop may include having a medical condition that diminishes blood flow to the feet, or wearing shoes and socks that are too tight. Preventive measures may include wearing comfortable shoes and socks, and making sure pedicure tools are disinfected before being used. Additionally, it may be beneficial to wear appropriate shoes while in public showers and pool areas, and this may limit this contagious fungus from spreading. Many patients find it beneficial to seek the services of a podiatrist who can properly trim the affected nail.

If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact one of our podiatrists of Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Symptoms

  • Warped or oddly shaped nails
  • Yellowish nails
  • Loose/separated nail
  • Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
  • Brittle, broken, thickened nail

Treatment

If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.

Prevention

In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.

In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville Office | 16419 Northcross Dr Suite A, Huntersville, NC 28078; Mooresvillle Office | 206 Joe Knox Avenue Suite D, Mooresville, NC 28117; and Mountain Island | 10310 Couloak Drive, Charlotte, NC 28216. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

Read more about Treating Toenail Fungus
Monday, 04 February 2019 00:00

How to Care for Feet with Arthritis

Arthritis is inflammation in or around joints and it mainly affects the older population. The inflammation associated with arthritis causes swelling, pain, and stiffness. For some, arthritis can be debilitating, but there are ways to cope with arthritis and reduce the symptoms. Supportive shoes can go a long way for those with arthritis, because arch support can stabilize joints that may be displaced. Stretching helps boost your flexibility and mobility. Stretching the Achilles tendon is a good exercise to help with movement within the joints. Stretching is helpful but should not be overdone if it is causing pain. Foot massages can also help loosen tension in the foot and result in pain relief. Kneading the sole of your foot around the balls of your feet and your toes is an effective method for relief. If you have arthritis and would like to learn about other ways to help care for your feet, it is recommended that you speak with podiatrist for more information.

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Arthritic Foot Care  

Arthritis is a joint disorder that involves the inflammation of different joints in your body, such as those in your feet. Arthritis is often caused by a degenerative joint disease and causes mild to severe pain in all affected areas. In addition to this, swelling and stiffness in the affected joints can also be a common symptom of arthritis.

In many cases, wearing ill-fitting shoes can worsen the effects and pain of arthritis. Wearing shoes that have a lower heel and extra room can help your feet feel more comfortable. In cases of rheumatoid arthritis, the arch in your foot may become problematic. Buying shoes with proper arch support that contour to your feet can help immensely.

Alleviating Arthritic Pain

  • Exercises that stretch the foot can prevent further pain and injury and increase mobility
  • Most of the pain can be alleviated with anti-inflammatory drugs, heat, and topical medications
  • Massages can help temporarily alleviate pain.

It is best to see your doctor for the treatment that is right for your needs and symptoms. Conditions vary, and a podiatrist can help you determine the right method of care for your feet.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville Office | 16419 Northcross Dr Suite A, Huntersville, NC 28078; Mooresvillle Office | 206 Joe Knox Avenue Suite D, Mooresville, NC 28117; and Mountain Island | 10310 Couloak Drive, Charlotte, NC 28216. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Arthritic Foot Care
Monday, 28 January 2019 00:00

Foot Conditions and Pregnancy

When pregnancy occurs, the overall body prepares to accommodate the developing fetus. One of the most common conditions affecting the feet is referred to as flat feet. This may be a result of the additional weight that is placed on the body, and the arch in the foot may temporarily disappear. There may be pain associated with this condition, and research has shown it may be beneficial to wear shoes that may ease any discomfort. Additionally, many women who are pregnant may notice swelling in the feet, which can typically occur in the second or third trimester. This may be a result of increased blood pressure, and comfort may be gained from frequently sitting down, and elevating the feet. It may be helpful to drink plenty of fresh water daily, and this may aid in staying hydrated. If you are pregnant and are experiencing any type of foot pain, it is suggested that you speak to a podiatrist who can properly guide you on helpful preventative measures.

Pregnant women with swollen feet can be treated with a variety of different methods that are readily available. For more information about other cures for swollen feet during pregnancy, consult with one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What Foot Problems Can Arise During Pregnancy?

One problem that can occur is overpronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens and tends to roll inward.  This can cause pain and discomfort in your heels while you’re walking or even just standing up, trying to support your baby.  

Another problem is edema, or swelling in the extremities. This often affects the feet during pregnancy but tends to occur in the later stages. 

How Can I Keep My Feet Healthy During Pregnancy?

  • Wearing orthotics can provide extra support for the feet and help distribute weight evenly
  • Minimize the amount of time spent walking barefoot
  • Wear shoes with good arch support
  • Wear shoes that allow for good circulation to the feet
  • Elevate feet if you experience swelling
  • Massage your feet
  • Get regular, light exercise, such as walking, to promote blood circulation to the feet

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville Office | 16419 Northcross Dr Suite A, Huntersville, NC 28078; Mooresvillle Office | 206 Joe Knox Avenue Suite D, Mooresville, NC 28117; and Mountain Island | 10310 Couloak Drive, Charlotte, NC 28216. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Pregnancy and Foot Health

Plantar warts are small growths that mainly appear at the bottom of your foot and are a common viral skin infection. Unfortunately, they spread easily and being cautious in certain public spaces is key to protecting your feet. One public space to be especially vigilant in is the gym. It is important to always wear shoes at the gym, specifically near pools, in locker rooms and showers. Simply keeping a pair of shower shoes or flip flops in your gym bag helps to keep your feet safe from the multitude of bacteria that they would otherwise be exposed to. Additionally, any cuts or small wounds should always be covered. If you have a cut, it is also a good idea to stay away from saunas and hot tubs until it is healed. Covering your feet in order to prevent contact with an infected area is the best way to avoid these uncomfortable warts. If you think you may have contracted plantar warts, it is recommended that you speak to a podiatrist to receive proper treatment.

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

About Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus, getting into open wounds on the feet. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.

While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain or those suffering from diabetes or a compromised immune system require immediate medical care. Plantar warts are easily diagnosed, usually through scraping off a bit of rough skin or by getting a biopsy.

Symptoms

  • Lesions on the bottom of your feet, usually rough and grainy
  • Hard or thick callused spots
  • Wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots
  • Pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing

Treatment

  • Freezing
  • Electric tool removal
  • Laser Treatment
  • Topical Creams (prescription only)
  • Over-the-counter medications

To help prevent developing plantar warts, avoid walking barefoot over abrasive surfaces that can cause cuts or wounds for HPV to get into. Avoiding direct contact with other warts, as well as not picking or rubbing existing warts, can help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. However, if you think you have developed plantar warts, speak to your podiatrist. He or she can diagnose the warts on your feet and recommend the appropriate treatment options.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville Office | 16419 Northcross Dr Suite A, Huntersville, NC 28078; Mooresvillle Office | 206 Joe Knox Avenue Suite D, Mooresville, NC 28117; and Mountain Island | 10310 Couloak Drive, Charlotte, NC 28216. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Plantar Warts
Monday, 14 January 2019 00:00

Possible Treatment of Morton’s Neuroma

The painful and uncomfortable foot condition that is known as Morton’s neuroma will typically affect the area between the third and fourth toes on the sole of the foot. The pain may originate from a swollen nerve in the ball of the foot and may be exaggerated by wearing specific types of shoes that may include high heels. There may be available treatment options that can include steroid injections, ingesting painkillers, or by simply changing the footwear. If the symptoms appear to be severe, surgery may be considered if other treatments have been unsuccessful. This type of surgery generally includes removing the pressure and affected nerve, which can be accomplished by a few different methods. It is strongly advised to consult with a podiatrist, so a proper diagnosis and correct treatment can be determined.

Morton’s neuroma is a very uncomfortable condition to live with. If you think you have Morton’s neuroma, contact one of our podiatrists of Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs and answer any of your related questions.  

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton's neuroma is a painful foot condition that commonly affects the areas between the second and third or third and fourth toe, although other areas of the foot are also susceptible. Morton’s neuroma is caused by an inflamed nerve in the foot that is being squeezed and aggravated by surrounding bones.

What Increases the Chances of Having Morton’s Neuroma?

  • Ill-fitting high heels or shoes that add pressure to the toe or foot
  • Jogging, running or any sport that involves constant impact to the foot
  • Flat feet, bunions, and any other foot deformities

Morton’s neuroma is a very treatable condition. Orthotics and shoe inserts can often be used to alleviate the pain on the forefront of the feet. In more severe cases, corticosteroids can also be prescribed. In order to figure out the best treatment for your neuroma, it’s recommended to seek the care of a podiatrist who can diagnose your condition and provide different treatment options.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville Office | 16419 Northcross Dr Suite A, Huntersville, NC 28078; Mooresvillle Office | 206 Joe Knox Avenue Suite D, Mooresville, NC 28117; and Mountain Island | 10310 Couloak Drive, Charlotte, NC 28216. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about What is Morton's Neuroma?

There are many elderly people who may experience foot conditions as they age. Recent research has shown there may be ways to prevent certain foot issues from occurring. The most common preventative measure may be to wear shoes that fit correctly, which may maintain maximum comfortability. It’s beneficial to measure the feet frequently, because they may widen with age. Additionally, many elderly people recognize the importance of avoiding poor circulation in the feet. This may be accomplished by stretching the feet frequently and walking regularly. Athletes foot may be a common foot ailment among seniors, and this may be avoided by wearing appropriate shoes in public showers and surrounding areas. If you are responsible for properly caring for an elder’s feet, please consult with a podiatrist for additional information.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

The Elderly and Their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet and can hide many life-threatening medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville Office | 16419 Northcross Dr Suite A, Huntersville, NC 28078; Mooresvillle Office | 206 Joe Knox Avenue Suite D, Mooresville, NC 28117; and Mountain Island | 10310 Couloak Drive, Charlotte, NC 28216. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Elderly Foot Care
Monday, 07 January 2019 00:00

Where Are the Sesamoid Bones Located?

The location of the sesamoid bones is found under the base of the big toe. They sit within tendons and ligaments under the joint of the big toe, and if this area should become inflamed, a condition that is referred to as sesamoiditis may develop. There may be several reasons for this uncomfortable ailment to occur, including enduring an acute injury, or the pain may develop gradually from stress fractures. Additionally, there may be medical conditions, which may contribute to the onset of this condition, which may include autoimmune disorders or infections that may be present. Patients who experience sesamoiditis may notice pain while putting weight on the affected toe, or severe discomfort may be felt while pulling the toe upwards. A proper diagnosis may consist of having an X-ray or MRI performed. If you feel you have any of these symptoms, consult with a podiatrist so proper treatment can begin.

Sesamoiditis is an unpleasant foot condition characterized by pain in the balls of the feet. If think you’re struggling with sesamoiditis, contact one of our podiatrists of Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors will treat your condition thoroughly and effectively.

Sesamoiditis

Sesamoiditis is a condition of the foot that affects the ball of the foot. It is more common in younger people than it is in older people. It can also occur with people who have begun a new exercise program, since their bodies are adjusting to the new physical regimen. Pain may also be caused by the inflammation of tendons surrounding the bones. It is important to seek treatment in its early stages because if you ignore the pain, this condition can lead to more serious problems such as severe irritation and bone fractures.

Causes of Sesamoiditis

  • Sudden increase in activity
  • Increase in physically strenuous movement without a proper warm up or build up
  • Foot structure: those who have smaller, bonier feet or those with a high arch may be more susceptible

Treatment for sesamoiditis is non-invasive and simple. Doctors may recommend a strict rest period where the patient forgoes most physical activity. This will help give the patient time to heal their feet through limited activity. For serious cases, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine a treatment option that will help your specific needs.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville Office | 16419 Northcross Dr Suite A, Huntersville, NC 28078; Mooresvillle Office | 206 Joe Knox Avenue Suite D, Mooresville, NC 28117; and Mountain Island | 10310 Couloak Drive, Charlotte, NC 28216. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Sesamoiditis
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