Items filtered by date: July 2017

Tuesday, 25 July 2017 14:15

Dealing with Calf Pain

One of the trickier areas to diagnose that we see at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center is pain in the calf. This symptom can point to a variety of disorders, some more serious than others. The only way to definitively find out what’s causing the pain is to make an appointment at our Long Beach office. Our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas will do a complete lower extremity examination and also get your medical history to help track down the source of calf pain. Some possibilities include:

Exercise or Injury—the most obvious and least threatening cause of calf pain is muscle pain due to exercise. If you have recently started a new fitness routine or sport, some soreness may be normal. Pain that lasts more than a few days, however, or that is severe requires medical attention. Injuries to calf muscles or to the Achilles tendon are possible in cases where patients do too much too soon or suddenly ramp up their exercise program.

Dehydration—did you know that most of us are walking around in a state of chronic dehydration? Unless you drink half your body weight in water each day, you may be among the dehydrated. With extra sweating in the summer months the risk increases. One of the signs of dehydration is cramping in the calf. Sometimes cramps will occur at night and wake you up.

Other Foot Disorders—sometimes a pain in the calf is not about the calf at all. It can be a symptom of a foot or ankle problem such as flat feet or Equinus.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)—this is a blood clot that forms deep in the calf. It is more common if you have had surgery recently or been on an airplane. This is a potentially dangerous condition and if you believe there is any possibility of DVT you should contact the foot doctor immediately.

Peripheral Vascular Disease—poor circulation to the legs and feet, which are characteristic of this disease (and other conditions, such as diabetes, that affect the circulatory system), can result in calf pain, especially when you sit with your legs up or when walking.

If you have been experiencing consistent calf pain, contact us by calling: 562-420-9800.

Thursday, 20 July 2017 14:13

Don’t Let Blisters Stop Summer Fun

Blisters are a minor foot problem that can cause a major pain and definitely put a temporary crimp in your summer activities. Blisters occur more frequently in the hot months because they are caused by the friction of your socks or shoes rubbing against your skin. Sweat increases friction and hence, more blisters. At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we would like to offer some tips for preventing and treating blisters:

  • Keep feet dry. As soon as you notice your feet are damp, change your socks. If you tend to sweat profusely, use a foot powder. In addition to blisters, damp feet can be the perfect breeding ground for fungal and bacterial infections.
  • Buy shoes that fit properly. The idea that shoes need a breaking in period is a myth. Shop for new shoes at the end of the day—that’s when feet are most swollen. Also, it’s best to not bring a brand new pair of shoes on vacation where you’ll be doing a lot of walking.
  • Pack moleskin for your summer vacation. If you begin to feel a sore spot on your heel or toes, cover with a piece of mole skin and change your shoes as soon as you are able to.
  • If a blister does form, do not pop it. Cover with a bandage to prevent further irritation. Your body will naturally reabsorb the fluid.
  • Should a blister open on its own, wash it with soap and water only. Then apply a small amount of antibacterial ointment and cover with a bandage. Do not cut or tear the open skin. The risk of infection is greatly increased with the skin being open and exposed.

For the most part, blisters are not a medical threat unless they become infected. In that case, you will notice pus or other drainage and potentially a foul odor coming from this blister. If this occurs or the blister appears to be filled with blood, contact our Venice office at: (562) 420-9800. One of our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley or Dr. Constance Ornelas will need to examine your blister and determine if an infection or other problem has developed.

Thursday, 13 July 2017 14:11

Prepping for Foot Surgery

It’s a fact, 75% of all people will experience a serious foot problem at some point during their life. In many cases, whether due to injury, disease, a foot or toe deformity or other condition, surgery may become necessary to ensure a fully mobile and active lifestyle for the patient. At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we try to take the mystery out of surgery by providing our patients with as much information up front as possible. Here are some of the key areas you need to know about before you have surgery:

The Procedure—our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas will take the time to explain your surgery from start to finish. We know that you’ll want to find out if the surgery will be done in the office or a surgical center and whether it’s outpatient or if you’ll require an overnight stay. Most often patients will need someone to drive them home after the procedure. Other concerns include the type of anesthesia that will be used and how long the procedure will take to complete.

The Recovery—questions you’ll want to ask include: how much pain will I be in and what measures will be available to minimize the discomfort? How long before I can bear weight, walk, drive, resume normal activities? Will I need to schedule physical therapy or other appointments following the surgery?

Preparing Your Home—depending on the type of surgery and the recovery you may need some assistance at home initially. You may also need to make some modifications: if your bedroom is on the second floor consider temporarily relocating to the lower level. If you will have a knee scooter, crutches or other assistive devices you will need a clear pathway to the bathroom, kitchen and other areas that are essential to get to. Determine what items (laptop, medications, water, TV remote, etc.) you’ll want within reach and set up an accessible bedside table to hold these items.

Setting up Your Calendar—find out how long you’ll be off your feet and schedule work and family life accordingly. If there are appointments that need to be kept or tasks that have to be completed while you recuperate put the right people in place to handle them so you do not have to worry about them. If possible, schedule physical therapy appointments before your surgery and be sure all recurring tasks—grocery shopping, paying bills, etc. are handled before your surgery.

Having the information about what will happen before, during and after your surgery and the opportunity to put plans in place to make the whole situation go smoothly will go a long way to reducing anxiety. If you have any concerns whatsoever, please contact our Long Beach office by calling: 562-420-9800.

Chances are with the end of the school year your child came home with readings lists and other summer work. At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we’d like to add one more list: a checklist for taking care of your child’s feet over the summer months. Summer brings a whole new set of activities and options for children, many of which can lead to foot trouble if the proper precautions are not taken. Here are our top tips for keeping children’s feet healthy this season:

Slather on the Sunscreen—many people forget to apply sunscreen to their feet. The skin on your feet is just as susceptible to the harmful effects of UVB and UVA rays as that on the rest of your body. On beach and pool days you should put sunscreen on the tops and bottoms of your children’s feet and reapply after swimming. If your children are wearing sandals or other open shoes and will be out in the sun shopping or sightseeing you should also put sunscreen on their feet then.

Pack the Flip Flops—summertime is high season for athlete’s foot, fungal toenails and warts, all of which are spread by direct contact with the virus, fungi or bacteria that cause them. If you are spending time at a community pool or local beach make sure your child keeps their feet covered around the pool and in changing areas and bathrooms—these are prime hangouts for fungal infections. Encourage your children not to share shoes, socks, towels or any items that touch someone else’s feet.

Inspect Shoes—be sure that your child is wearing shoes that match the activity they are participating in. While flip flops are good for the pool, they can lead to injury if used for playing whiffle ball or other casual summer sports. Also keep an eye on fit—children’s feet grow fast and time spent squeezed into shoes that are too tight can increase the risk of ingrown toenails and fungal infections.

Keep it Clean—wash your children’s feet at the end of every day with a mild soap and warm water. Be sure to dry completely as well, especially between the toes. Trim toenails straight across with no curved edges. If your child’s feet sweat excessively, consider a foot powder to help keep them dry.

If when caring for your child’s feet you notice anything unusual or concerning, or if your child complains of foot pain, don’t hesitate to contact our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas at our Long Beach office by calling 562-420-9800. It’s always better to get a foot concern checked than to wait and have it develop into a serious issue. Enjoy the summer and keep your children’s feet safe!

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