The Foot And Ankle Center Blog

Our feet are pretty incredible, to say the least. Made of a complex system of bones, ligaments, muscles, and tendons, this foundation helps us stand, walk, and run, all while supporting the rest of our body’s weight. Oddly enough, when we experience pain in our feet, toes, and ankles, we often delay seeking proper treatment. Unfortunately, doing so can cause further damage to our body’s foundation. Making an appointment with your podiatrist – even for a minor issue – is incredibly beneficial to your feet’s health. Here’s why:

They Really Know Their Stuff

Your general practitioner is certainly knowledgeable about your overall health. However, a podiatrist is a foot specialist and an expert in the field. They possess a more in-depth understanding on the mechanics of the foot and have undergone a comprehensive certification process to become a podiatrist. You can trust them to help alleviate and eliminate the pain you’ve been feeling in your feet and ankles.

They Treat a Wide Variety of Foot Conditions

Podiatrists are skilled in curing numerous foot and ankle ailments. Make an appointment with your podiatrist if you experience minor or major issues including:

  • Heel pain
  • Bunions
  • Cracked or bleeding heels
  • Nail infection
  • Gout
  • Arthritis
  • Flat feet
  • Ingrown toenails

Remember: even if you’re experiencing a seemingly minor foot complaint, schedule an appointment. Putting off a minor issue can quickly turn into a bigger problem that will require more time and attention to correct.

 

Podiatrists Know What You Need to Heal

When you come in with a podiatric complaint, you can trust these doctors to determine the proper course of action to help you heal. After a preliminary diagnosis, your podiatrist can order tests such as MRIs or CT scans to pinpoint the problem. They can also administer medication for pain, perform surgery if necessary, or direct you to a physical therapist to help you strengthen your feet and ankles.

They Help Athletes Get Back on Their Feet

Sports injuries can be nothing short of frustrating and debilitating. Make sure to see your podiatrist. They are well-versed in this area and can treat your symptoms so you can get back in the game as soon as possible. They can also give you great insight on the best shoes to wear for your particular sport and how you can avoid injury in the future.

They Can Recommend Healthy Lifestyle Changes

Sometimes, a few little changes can make a really big difference. The same rings true for the health of your feet and ankles. Podiatrists can help those with brittle, thickened, or discolored nails improve nail health with nutritional advice, along with prescribing topical treatment. Athletes and those wanting to improve their health can receive advice on breathable footwear and proper hygienic practices. Elderly patients can also learn how to maintain healthy feet and ankles as swelling and arthritis become more prevalent.

They Can Help Prevent Future Injury

Prevention is key when it comes to your health. Regular visits to the podiatrist – even when you have no injuries or problems – can keep your feet and ankles healthy and strong. Your podiatrist can examine your feet and identify problems before they begin. Those with diabetes will especially benefit from frequent appointments as their podiatrist can help catch diabetic-related issues early.

No matter what condition your feet are in, it’s wise to visit your podiatrist at least once a year. They can help correct any issues that arise and also educate you on podiatric matters. Not sure where to start? Call the knowledgeable doctors at The Foot & Ankle Center at (314) 487-9300 to schedule your appointment today!

Ready to go on an adventure? This spring, it’s time to get out and get active. Camping is just one of many activities a family can participate in to venture outside. According to the National Park Service, “spring brings flowers, new life, and the anticipation of summer.” Along with packing sleeping bags and bug spray, proper footcare needs to be considered. Here’s a list of 4 everyday foot injuries while camping to keep in mind and prevent from occurring.

Blisters

After taking a long walk, blisters may start to form somewhere on your feet. A few main suspects to their formation include friction, pressure, or sweat. These three elements can easily be found in thick socks and hiking boots during a campout. To avoid an infection, blisters should be left alone or wrapped with a bandage. Preventative steps like changing out of wet socks can really make a difference when it comes to avoiding blisters and foot pain.

Sprained Ankles

To sprain your ankle means to hyperextend or tear the ligaments holding the ankle together. These will most likely occur when someone rolls or twists an ankle. While camping, this is a common injury. Wearing the proper shoes is typically the first important step with any foot injury. When it comes to ankles, shoes need to have reinforcement properties in the heel, arch, and toe. Also, watch where you are going – there are plenty of places in the woods that feet can get stuck in.

Plantar Fasciitis

The arch is responsible for a lot of movement in the foot. That’s why plantar fasciitis can also be found in the woods. While walking or hiking, people experiencing a burning sensation in the middle of their feet need to stop and rest. It’s possible that the plantar fascia has been torn to some extent. Pushing through the pain could lead to more damage that will be tougher to fix later. Wearing custom orthotics is one way to support the foot and prevent or ease pain.

Ingrown Toenails

When the toenail grows into the skin instead of on top of it, that is known as an ingrown toenail. Causes from camping or hiking include walking down slopes while putting pressure of the toenails inside of shoes. This pressure can result in broken or bruised toenails that may grow back improperly. Left untreated, the ingrown nail can cause a break in the skin, which may allow bacteria to enter and cause a localized infection. Keeping toenails short by using clippers is essential to avoiding this painful condition.

Are you prepared for your next camping trip when it comes to your feet? After reading this list, we hope so! But if anything should happen to your feet or ankles while in the great outdoors, come talk to one of our knowledgeable doctors at The Foot & Ankle Center. They have years of experience working with people just like you. Call us today at (314) 487-9300 to schedule an appointment.

At The Foot and Ankle Center, technology is at the forefront of our priorities when we do business with our customers. Our doctors want to ensure that patient comfort consistently ranks with the level of treatment you deserve. With that in mind, did you know that we offer regenerative medicine? Regenerative medicine relates to the actions of utilizing cells, tissues, or organs to heal the body. Here are three types of regenerative medicine in podiatry which The Foot and Ankle Center offers.

Shockwave Therapy

Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology (EPAT), also known as shockwave therapy, is a non-invasive procedure used to decrease pain. This is handled through pressure waves that energize metabolism, increase circulation, and speed up healing. At The Foot and Ankle Center, we simply apply gel to the affected area and gently provide the stimulation.

With treatment times averaging 5-10 minutes, over 80 percent of EPAT patients become pain free and/or have significantly less pain after three sessions. A few conditions that benefit from this technology include:

  • Foot and Heel Pain
  • Achilles Pain
  • Tendon Pain

Laser Therapy

Multiwave Locked System (MLS) Laser Therapy, is a painless and non-invasive treatment that uses photons of laser energy to penetrate tissue and accelerate cellular healing. The Class IV MLS Laser at The Foot and Ankle Center uses light that has an anti-inflammatory, anti-edema effect on tissues. Our doctors use particular wavelengths of light through this therapy. Cells of tendons, ligaments, and muscles repair themselves faster as a result.

Treatment times average 8 minutes and 90 percent of patients experience improved results after the third treatment. Here are a few conditions that benefit from this technology:

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Arthritis & Bursitis
  • Achilles Tendonitis
  • Sports Injuries, Sprains & Strains 

Amniotic Membrane and Stem Cell Allografts

Amniotic membrane and stem cell allografts are another option available through regenerative medicine. With that, we work with a human cell allograft known as AmnioFix. This bioactive tissue matrix allograft preserves and contains multiple extracellular matrix proteins, growth factors, cytokines, and other specialty proteins. Conditions that benefit from this include:

  • Scar Tissue
  • Inflammation
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Tendon Injures (i.e. Achilles Tendonitis)

Technological advancements happen every day for the betterment of our patients. Now that you have a better understanding of our treatments, is regenerative medicine right for you? Make an appointment with the friendly doctors at Foot & Ankle Center by calling (314) 487-9300.

As the days begin to lengthen and the temperature starts getting warmer, you may be starting to retire your winter boots in favor of your favorite open-toed shoes and sandals. With this change in your wardrobe, your toes are probably looking forward to seeing a bit of daylight. Now’s the perfect time to pay some extra attention to your feet and getting them in tip-top shape for spring and summer with an at-home pedicure!

Not sure where to begin? Read our 5 tips below to help give your feet the pampering they deserve from the comfort of your own home:

Give ‘em a Good Soak

After a long day at work, in the yard, or out adventuring, a nice warm soak sounds like heaven to your feet. It’s also smart to do before giving yourself a pedicure. Pour in some Epsom salts and your favorite aromatherapy crystals into a shallow basin, fill it with warm water, and feel the stress melt away as you soak your feet for about 10 minutes.

Exfoliate for Smooth Soles

Your feet have probably accumulated some rough patches over the harsh winter. Get silky-smooth soles by dipping a pumice stone in warm water and gently scrubbing away the dead skin cells. You can also use an exfoliating foot scrub with granules to help remove dead skin. Once you’re done, rub a refreshing foot cream over your feet. Never use a pumice stone on any injured or sore areas – you’ll want to see us for those issues!

File Your Nails Carefully

Although you may think of it as a mundane task that can be done quickly, clipping and shaping your nails properly can help you avoid ingrown toenails and infections. Cut straight across rather than rounding the corners, and try not to trim your nails too short. Just follow the shape of your toe and your feet will be looking pretty in no time. Don’t forget to use clean, sterile tools before you clip!

Don’t Go Overboard with Nail Polish

If you enjoy having painted nails, you probably want the color to be rich, bold, and beautiful. Here’s a trick that seems a little counterintuitive at first: a little bit of polish will go a long, long way! Putting on too much product will make the color more susceptible to chipping and smudging, which never looks good. Instead, use the following method – use three strokes for each nail, one down the middle and two on either side. Let that coat dry and apply one more layer in the same way. Your polish will look prettier for much longer this way!

Moisturize Your Toenails

We know it sounds a little weird, but keeping your toenails moisturized can actually be quite healthy for your nails’ health. As long as you don’t have toenail fungus, moisturizing daily can help keep your nails healthy and strong. Reach for lotion or vitamin E oil to get the job done. Just remember to keep the skin in between your toes dry to help you prevent certain infections like athlete’s foot.

At-home pedicures can help you have healthy, good-looking feet without breaking the bank. They can also help you become more aware of your feet and any issues that may pop up in time. Should you ever experience any pain, discomfort, or any other concerns, don’t hesitate to call your friends at Foot & Ankle Center at (314) 487-9300.

Most mornings are the same for everyone. People tend to wake up, get dressed, and put on their socks and shoes. When it’s warmer outside, some decide to ditch the socks even though they were designed for protection. Protection from problems like athlete’s foot – a chronic infection caused by various types of fungus. Curious how your feet can be at risk? Read more for 6 tips to prevent athlete’s foot.

Avoid Going Barefoot in Public

When at a public pool or after showering in the gym locker room, it’s easier to walk around barefoot. This is especially true if you forgot your sandals and don’t want to deal with wet socks. Although, the more time you spend barefoot, the more time fungus has to collect on your feet. According to Harvard Medical School, “Athlete's foot breeds in locker rooms, swimming pool changing areas, or any place that combines dampness and a lot of foot traffic.” Instead, wear sandals in these areas to avoid infection.

Let Your Feet Breathe at Home

While you’ll certainly want to avoid going barefoot in public, take some time at home to let your feet breathe. After a long day of being inside socks and shoes, feet will perspire and create moisture. If your socks and shoes are wet, let them dry before putting them back on. Put your feet up, relax, and let them air out for your benefit and comfort.

Wash and Dry Your Feet Daily

Whether you’re using a community shower or a personal one, it’s incredibly important to wash and dry your feet daily. Use the same amount of care that you do with the rest of your body and use with soap. Rinse and repeat if necessary. Then use a towel to dry off while in the shower and when you step out. Keep that towel for yourself – because foot fungus can spread easily. Your roommate or partner could get it from you by using the same towel. 

Change Socks and Shoes Consistently

It’s always important to make sure your feet are dry before putting them into your socks. Fungus grows when an environment provides it with moisture, warmth, and darkness. With you providing the wet feet, socks and shoes can be the perfect home for fungus. Now if you deal with sweaty feet, don’t worry too much just yet. Consistently change your socks and shoes to prevent the fungus from growing.

Practice Basic Foot Hygiene

It almost goes without saying, but make sure to practice basic foot hygiene and maintain your nails and skin. Longer toenails can leave more room for fungus to grow. Filing the skin on your feet is also important as removing dead skin cells and also prevents anything from growing.

Break Out the Spray

Antiperspirants are typically used on feet in spray form to prevent sweating. Using them between washing your feet and putting on footwear is the most effective method. Spray-on deodorant can also be an effective way to keep your feet dry and fresh. With these in mind, you will effectively decrease your chances of heavy perspiration and odor that may lead to athlete’s foot. There are many other life-changing products to help, too.

WebMD says that athlete’s foot is highly common among funguses and up to 25% of people will experience the infection in their lives. If you’re dealing with it, make an appointment with the friendly doctors at Foot & Ankle Center by calling (314) 487-9300.





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