Items filtered by date: August 2018

Thursday, 30 August 2018 16:39

Common Cause of Heel Pain in Children

At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we know that tracking down the source of foot pain in children can be challenging. A condition that often affects children between the ages of 8 and 14 is Sever’s Disease, also known as calcaneal apophysitis. Until your child passes through puberty, his or her legs and feet continue to grow and develop. Sometimes the heel bone can grow faster than the tendons and muscles of the leg. This can result in a feeling of tightness and pressure in the heel. The back of the growth plate has a vulnerable spot where new bone growth forms. Continuous stress on the heel caused by running, jumping and wearing cleats can inflame the growth plate. High-risk sports include soccer, football, track, basketball and gymnastics.

Signs and Symptoms

Pain in the bottom of the heel, a loss of flexibility, or a feeling of tiredness in the foot are the primary symptoms of Sever’s Disease. There also may be some swelling in the affected area. Young children, however, may not be able to articulate their symptoms. Look for these signs that heel or other foot pain may be occurring:

  • Limping
  • Walking on tip toes
  • Claiming to be tired and not wanting to play
  • Avoiding sports and other physical activities that your child usually enjoys

Getting Relief

Our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas will develop a treatment plan to help relieve pain and inflammation. This will most likely include resting the heel and avoiding sports and activities that aggravate it as well as any of the following:

  • Icing the heel
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Heel cushion inserts or orthotics
  • Exercises to stretch and strengthen lower leg muscles and tendons

Sever’s Disease does not have any long-term effects as long as your child takes a break from activities that are putting a strain on the heel and allows the inflammation to go away. It’s important, however, not to ignore signs of foot pain in young athlete’s or encourage them to “play through the pain,” as damaging injuries can then occur.

If you have questions about your child’s foot health, contact our Long Beach office today by calling: (562) 420-9800.

Thursday, 23 August 2018 16:37

Questions about Bunion Surgery

Bunions are a condition that we at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center treat often. A bunion is a deformity of the toe joint that most often affects the big toe. It causes the joint to move out of place and drift toward the second toe. Bunions can have a number of different causes, including:

  • Neuromuscular problems
  • Flat feet
  • Recurring stress to the foot
  • Congenital defects
  • Previous injury
  • Arthritis
  • Ill-fitting footwear

Bunions are a progressive disorder, which means they will continue to get worse over time. Our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley or Dr. Constance Omelas will start by doing a complete physical examination of your feet. While conservative measures are always preferable, if your bunion has progressed to the point where it is impeding your ability to wear shoes and walk without pain, surgery may be the best treatment option. Below are some questions to ask before scheduling bunion surgery:

What type of bunion surgery do you recommend? There are several different kinds of bunionectomies. The foot and ankle surgeon will choose the type that best addresses the structural changes that have occurred to your toe because of the deformity. Ask the podiatrist to thoroughly explain the surgical procedure and ask questions if there is anything you don’t understand.

Where will the surgery take place? Bunion surgery is usually performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia. It will be necessary to have someone drive you home so be sure to arrange for that before the date of the surgery.

What will the recovery be like? You will have to avoid bearing weight on the affected foot for some period of time after the surgery. Ask the foot doctor how long you will need to be out of work. In addition, you’ll want to know how much discomfort to expect post operatively. Even after you are able to bear weight and return to work, you may need to do physical therapy or use a custom orthotic. Find out what results the podiatrist expects from the surgery and what the post-surgical treatment plan will consist of.

Knowing what to expect for your bunion surgery will reduce worry and help you better prepare for the modifications to your schedule. If you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to contact our Long Beach office by calling: (562) 420-9800.

Thursday, 16 August 2018 16:36

5 Pre-season Tips for Young Athletes

Fall sports practices are in the works and for children and teens that have spent the summer on the couch with a phone or video controller glued to their hands, it can be a shock to their feet to begin a strenuous sports routine. Below are 5 ways we at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center recommend to ease the transition and protect young feet:

  1. Start working out. Have your child contact their coach for some suggested pre-season warm-ups. Stress fractures, Achilles tendonitis and other overuse injuries are common when patients overdo physical activity after being a couch potato for a couple of months.
  2. Find active ways to enjoy family fun. There’s still time for family bike rides, hikes, rollerblading and other physical activities. Not only will this help everyone get in better shape, it’s a great way to enjoy some time together before the hectic fall schedules kick in.
  3. Read up on a favorite athlete. Who is your child’s sports idol? Encourage them to look up interviews and information about how he or she trains during the offseason. It may give your child the incentive and inspiration necessary to get started.
  4. Buy new shoes. If your child is starting a sport it’s a good idea to get athletic shoes designed to support their feet for the activity they will be doing. Go to a professional fitness shoe store to get fitted and learn about the best options for your child’s foot. If your child is returning to a sport, check to see that their shoes fit and that there is no evidence of excessive wear. Worn soles, stretched out heel counters and creased uppers are all signs that it’s time to replace the shoes. Wearing shoes that are stretched out or falling apart invites injuries.
  5. Get a podiatric checkup. This is particularly important if your child has had an ankle sprain, fracture or other sports injury in the past. Our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas will examine your child’s foot to ensure that the injury is completely healed. To make an appointment at our Long Beach office, call: (562) 420-9800.
Friday, 10 August 2018 16:35

Your Feet Are Amazing!

We tend to take our feet for granted. Every day we get up out of bed, put on shoes and go on about our day—standing, walking, running, maybe even hiking, dancing and playing a sport. At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we thought it might be fun to take a look at some facts about your feet:

  • Each of your feet contains 26 bones (that is nearly a quarter of all the bones in your body!), 33 joints and over 107 ligaments and 19 muscles and tendons.
  • Your feet have more nerves per square centimeter than any other part of your body—over 8,000 in total.
  • The average person walks about 115,000 miles over the course of their life—that’s equal to circling the earth four times.
  • Women typically walk 3 miles more a day than men.
  • Your feet have approximately 250,000 sweat glands which produce up to ½ pint of perspiration each day.
  • Most people have one foot that is larger than the other.
  • About 75% of Americans will experience foot problems at some point in their lives and women have foot pain four times more often than men.
  • 9 out of 10 people are wearing shoes that are too small for their feet.
  • Over 50% of American women have bunions—a toe deformity where the big toe drifts over to the second toe, forcing the joint out of place and creating a bump on the outside of the big toe.
  • Foot size on average has increased two sizes since the 1970’s. The reason behind this is thought to be that feet are getting larger in order to support extra pounds as the average weight of people also continues to climb.
  • It takes 5-6 months to grow a completely new toenail. Toenails grow faster in warm weather, during teenage years and pregnancy.

Now that you know just how incredible your feet are, our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas, want to encourage you to be proactive in the care of them. If you experience any pain or discomfort, don’t delay. Contact our Long Beach office promptly for evaluation and treatment by calling: (562) 420-9800.

Thursday, 02 August 2018 16:34

Celebrate “I Love My Feet Day”

On August 17th we at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center want our patients to recognize a special occasion: “I Love My Feet” Day. Your feet are the transportation for your body. Although often taken for granted, there’s not much you can do without them. So, take this opportunity to treat your feet to something special. Below are a few suggestions:

Foot massage

Get a professional foot massage or give yourself one (there are lots of how-to’s online). Foot massage can relieve soreness after a long day spent on your feet. It also can help with certain chronic foot disorders like arthritis, flat feet and plantar fasciitis as well as improve circulation and reduce stress. Plus, it just feels soooo good!

Upgrade your shoes

Do an inventory of your shoe wardrobe. Throw out any shoes that are worn out or hurt when you wear them (hint: ones with heels over two inches and narrow, pointy toe boxes are likely offenders). If you spend a large amount of time in flip-flops, invest in a pair that has arch support to prevent heel and arch pain.

Start doing self-exams

One of the best ways you can care for your feet is by doing regular self-exams on them. Look over your entire foot, top and bottom. Check for changes in color, bruising, rashes, bumps, cuts that don’t seem to be healing and changes in moles or freckles. Inspect toenails to make sure they are not growing inward or showing signs of a fungal infection (crumbling at the edges, discoloration). Stretch your feet, wiggle your toes and rotate your ankles—any pain, stiffness or limitations in range of motion? If you notice anything abnormal or questionable, make an appointment at our Long Beach office so that one of our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas can examine your feet and determine if anything is wrong.

Put them up

Give your feet a break! Elevate them at the end of the day to a height higher than your heart if possible. This will help with swelling and circulation and also give them some much-deserved rest.

If you have questions about other ways to improve the health and well-being of your feet, contact us by calling: (562) 420-9800.

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