Items filtered by date: November 2016

Tuesday, 22 November 2016 11:55

Preventing Diabetic Foot Problems

Did you know that more than 60% of all non-traumatic lower limb amputations are the result of complications from diabetes? The good news, however, is that you can reduce your risk of amputation by up to 85% and of other diabetes related foot problems as well by partnering with you podiatrist. November is National Diabetes Month and we at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center  want to help you prevent foot health issues commonly associated with diabetes.

Detecting Trouble Early

Neuropathy or nerve damage frequently affects patients with diabetes. Lack of feeling in your feet make it difficult to perceive pain, temperature changes and other signs that typically let your body know there’s a problem.  As a result, sores and ulcers, calluses, infections and skin problems can all develop to a fairly serious level before being detected by the patient. One of the best steps you can take to prevent diabetic foot issues is to check your feet daily (or have someone do for you) for injuries or changes. Here’s what to look for:

  • Changes in skin color
  • Temperature changes
  • Swelling of your ankle or foot
  • Bruises, sores, cuts or red spots
  • Dry skin, cracks in the heel or skin
  • Corns, calluses and blisters
  • Toenail changes—including discoloration, thickening, becoming ingrown

Avoiding Foot Issues

There are a number of ways to prevent diabetic foot problems from developing:

Visit Your Podiatrist–Diabetic patients should have two regularly scheduled exams annually with one of our board certified foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas to check the health of your feet. In addition, if you notice any of the changes listed above, you should make an appointment immediately.

Wear Properly Fitted Shoes–It’s essential that shoes have a roomy toe box and enough room to prevent cramping and also so that no rubbing or friction against the skin occurs.

Don’t go Barefoot–Even at home, the risk of cuts, injuries and infections are too great.

Exercise–A moderate exercise program (approved by your physician) will help improve blood flow to the feet as well as control blood sugar and weight—all key for managing diabetes.

If you have more questions on diabetic foot care, don’t hesitate to contact our Long Beach office at: 562-420-9800.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016 11:54

What’s Behind Tendonitis?

The day after a particularly intense workout or a long run you may notice pain ranging from mild to extreme in the lower part of the back of your leg. Or, you may be noticing a sluggish feeling in your leg accompanied by stiffness and/or a dull ache that lessens as you stretch the leg and get going with your day. All of these are possible symptoms of Achilles tendonitis—an inflammation of the large tendon that runs between the bottom of your calf muscle and your heel that we see often at Superior Foot & Ankle Center.

Tendonitis is primarily caused by overuse or trauma to the tendon. Scenarios that can result in inflammation and injury to the Achilles tendon include:

  • Suddenly increasing the distance or intensity of your run or workout
  • Doing too much too soon in a new exercise routine or starting up after a period of inactivity
  • Overpronation
  • Inappropriate footwear choices
  • Not stretching enough before sports or exercise
  • A trauma to the tendon caused by a sudden or wrenching movement (like taking off for a sprint)
  • Heel bone deformity
  • Age related wear and tear

Treatment and Prevention

Mild cases of Achilles tendonitis can be resolved by resting the leg and avoiding activities that put stress on the tendon. If the pain is persistent however, and doesn’t seem to improve with rest, it’s time for an appointment with one of our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley or Dr. Constance Omelas. The foot doctor can evaluate just how severe the tendonitis is and make recommendations for relief. These may include: icing, specific stretching exercises to do before and after exercise and a heel cup or other orthotic device to help prevent overpronation and increase arch support. Wearing properly fitting shoes that are designed for the sport or activity you do and following a sound program that increases in intensity gradually can help prevent inflammation the Achilles tendon.

To learn more about how to prevent or treat Achilles tendonitis, call our Long Beach office at: (562) 420-9800.

Tuesday, 08 November 2016 11:53

Treating Sprained Ankles

Among the more common injuries we see at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center are ankle sprains. In many instances these injuries come about on the playing field in soccer or football, for example, when your foot is planted and headed one way and then suddenly gets twisted in a different direction. Ankle sprains can also occur less dramatically, like stepping off a curb or missing the bottom step.

How Severe is the Sprain?

If you’ve sprained your ankle you will most likely experience pain, swelling and bruising. Ankle sprains can range from mild to severe. The degree of pain and swelling will correlate to the severity of the sprain. If you have sprained your ankle badly, you may not be able to bear weight or walk on it. Getting your ankle evaluated promptly and beginning rehabilitation as soon as possible is very important. Patients who delay treatment or just limp along at home until their ankle stops hurting are more likely to have repeated sprains and possibly long-term, chronic ankle pain and weakness.

Repairing the Damage

If you have swelling and bruising along with pain after twisting your ankle it should be evaluated by one of our board certified foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Victoria Foley or Dr. Constance Omelas. After examining your ankle, the foot doctor will most likely want you to have a digital x-ray (which can be done conveniently right in our Long Beach office) to rule out a fracture, which can happen at the same time as a sprain. Once the podiatrist has assessed the degree of injury, an appropriate treatment plan can be developed.

The PRINCE Regimen

Until your appointment, you can care for your ankle using the PRINCE regimen:

Protection: Use a brace or other ankle support

Rest: Stay off your foot or avoid bearing weight by using crutches

Ice: Apply ice for 10-20 minutes every hour or two for the first 24 to 72 hours

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications: Ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain relief

Compression: An ACE bandage or elastic compression wrap for the first 24-36 hours will help reduce swelling

Elevation: Keep your ankle above the level of your heart for 2-3 hours a day if possible

To get your ankle checked, contact us at: 562-420-9800 as soon as possible after the injury occurs.

Tuesday, 01 November 2016 11:51

Give Your Feet the Care They Deserve

According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, most Americans will have put 75,000 miles on their feet by the time they reach the age of 50! Although in some ways our lives have become more sedentary than in previous generations we now engage in much more rigorous fitness activities to compensate then in times past which can mean even greater wear and tear on feet and ankles. Take running, for example, which puts pressure on each foot equivalent to 3 to 4 times the weight of your body. Even walking for a person who weighs 150 pounds will exert an estimated 127,000 pounds of pressure per foot per mile. At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we want to share these figures to help you gain more respect for your feet and the importance of caring for them. Your feet are wonderfully made complex structures comprised of 26 bones, 33 joints and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments. You can help keep your feet healthy and prevent many common problems by following a few footcare basics:

  • Develop a regular care regimen. Wash feet daily and dry thoroughly (especially between the toes). Apply a rich moisturizer to keep skin supple and hydrated. If you tend to sweat excessively, use a talc or anti-fungal foot powder as well.
  • Make good shoe choices. Poorly fitting shoes are one of the biggest causes of foot problems. Be sure that toes are not squeezed and that the shoes you wear provide good arch and ankle support. Avoid overly high heels and discard shoes when they are worn out.
  • Exercise wisely. Being fit is important for your feet and the rest of your body too. Regular exercise is recommended but be sure to start gradually and work up to longer and more intense workouts in order to avoid injury.
  • Inspect your feet periodically. Look for changes in size, shape, skin color or temperature as well as any lumps, bumps or unusual changes in your toes. Most foot problems are more successfully treated and with less invasive means if caught in the early stages. Report anything suspicious to your foot doctor.
  • Don’t ignore pain in your feet—it’s never normal! Our board certified podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas will conduct a thorough examination of your feet and diagnose the source of your pain. A custom treatment plan will soon have you on track to getting back to the active lifestyle you normally enjoy. Contact our Long Beach office by calling: 562-420-9800 for an appointment.

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