I Sprained My Ankle. Now What?

It happened. You were walking along your favorite hiking trail when you suddenly twisted your ankle on the uneven pathway. Sprained ankles can happen so quickly and for a variety of reasons. The question is, what should you do about it now? If you want to get back on your feet and return to your normal everyday life, you’ll have to slow down for a little bit first and take care of your sprained ankle properly. Here’s what you need to know about recovering from a sprained ankle:

What Happens When an Ankle is Sprained?

A sprained ankle is the result of your ankle rolling out of place suddenly. This common type of injury can cause the ligaments surrounding your ankle to overstretch or even tear, resulting in pain and swelling.

How Long Will My Ankle Hurt?

It really depends on how severe the injury is, and recovery can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.

Mild Sprain

A mild sprain, which includes swelling, soreness, and trouble maintaining your balance, will typically take about 2 weeks for the ligament to heal.

Moderate Sprain

If you have a moderate sprain and are experiencing considerable pain, swelling and bruising, and difficulty walking, your ligament may be partially torn. This means it should take about 6-8 weeks for you to heal completely.

Severe Sprain

Should you experience a severe sprain, your ligament may have fully torn, and you may have severe pain, significant swelling or bruising, and the inability to walk without a crutch or immobility boot. This type of injury will unfortunately take about 3 months to heal, at least.

Is There Any Way I Can Speed Up the Healing Process?

Just like with recovery time, your treatment will largely depend on the severity of the sprain. Overall, following these steps will help expedite your healing:

RICE – This tried-and-true method of rest, ice, compression, and elevation can help you feel better faster. Rest as much as you can, wrap your injured ankle snugly in a compression bandage, and elevate it above your heart as much as possible. As for ice, we recommend using an ice pack for 15 to 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours, especially within the first 3 days of the injury.

Professional Assessment – Your podiatrist or physical therapist can take a look at your injury and help you figure out the proper steps to take to help you heal.

Range of Motion Exercises – It’s important to maintain your mobility as much as possible while you recuperate. You may be given exercises and stretches to help maintain and increase your range of motion in order to combat stiffness and strengthen your ankle and foot.

When Should I See a Doctor?

If you have a mild injury, you can most likely recover at home without any assistance. However, if you experience the following, you should make an appointment with your doctor or podiatrist:

  • Severe swelling
  • Extreme or persistent pain
  • Odd shape to the ankle
  • Limited range of motion
  • Inability to walk without assistance

How Can I Take Care of My Ankles in the Long Term?

Sprained ankles aren’t forever, and there are many steps you can take to help you protect and strengthen them to avoid future injury. Stretching your ankles, feet, and legs frequently, especially before and after exercising, is critical for podiatric health. Wear well-fitting shoes and avoid wearing footwear that makes your ankles unstable (high heels, flip-flops, ballet flats, etc.). Finally, continuing ankle-strengthening exercises will also help you prevent injury.

Suffering from a sprained ankle? Experiencing a painful podiatric issue? Call the friendly, knowledgeable doctors at The Foot & Ankle Center at (314) 487-9300! We will give you the right diagnosis and help you get back on your feet in no time.

Everything You Need to Know About Stem Cell Therapy

If you’ve poked around in the health community at all, you’ve probably heard the terms “stem cell therapy” or even “regenerative medicine” being thrown around more often lately. In fact, this innovative therapy is becoming more prominent in the world of sports as athletes like Missouri-native MLB star Max Scherzer use stem cells to recover and get back in the game. In recent years, the use of regenerative stem cell therapy has expanded and can even be found in the treatment of several common foot and ankle issues.

But what exactly is stem cell therapy, and who would benefit from this procedure? Find out in our blog below:

What are Stem Cells?

Stem cells are pretty unique. They differ from other cells in your body because they have the ability to change into specialized cells and divide to produce even more stem cells. They come in two forms: embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells. Embryonic stem cells can turn into more than one type of cell. Meanwhile, adult stem cells, which can be found in certain types of tissue, have a narrowed capacity to transform into other cells.

What is the Role of Stem Cell Therapy in Podiatry?

Let’s say you have an injured ankle. Stem cell therapy can be used to heal your ankle’s soft tissues. Your podiatrist will introduce the stem cells into the affected ankle, and these cells will then begin repairing the damaged tissue! Additionally, these newly-injected cells will tap nearby cells to help out with fixing your ailment. This will help reduce inflammation quickly while accelerating the healing process!

Is It Safe?

Absolutely! Stem cells occur naturally within the human body, so treatment is incredibly safe.

What are the Benefits of Stem Cell Therapy?

Aside from it being a natural and safe procedure, stem cell therapy boasts several other benefits to the patient. The clinically proven process is effective as it targets the cause of the injury (rather than treating the symptoms). Injections are painless with no incisions required, and patients experience a full healing quickly.

Who Should Receive Stem Cell Therapy?

Fortunately, this treatment effectively treats an array of podiatric conditions, including:

  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic ankle sprains
  • Soft tissue damage
  • Other conditions that have historically been challenging to treat

Want to learn more about regenerative stem cell therapy? Call the knowledgeable doctors at The Foot & Ankle Center at (314) 487-9300. We’re constantly learning more about the latest podiatric technology so we can provide you with the high quality treatment you deserve.

Are Bunion-Correcting Sandals Worth Your Time and Money?

We see several patients suffering from bunions, and they often ask us what we think about various pain-management treatments. With spring close by, our patients have had open-toed shoes on their minds, so we weren’t terribly surprised when they began asking us about “bunion-correcting” sandals. There’s always some sort of new product out there that claims it can correct your podiatric problem quickly and painlessly, so we understand when our patients become curious about them. But are bunion-correcting sandals really all they’re made out to be?

What Causes Bunions?

Before we even think about discussing bunion-correcting sandals, we must first understand the ailment they “treat” – the bunion itself. Also known as hallux valgus, bunions form when the bone or tissue at the big toe’s joint moves out of place. They can be brought on by many factors, including genetics, foot injuries, arthritis, and joint diseases. Abnormal, repetitive motions can also force the joint to bend toward the other toes, resulting in a painful lump on the side of your big toe.

What are Bunion-Correcting Sandals?

Now onto the sandals! These shoes feature a special strap that wraps around the front of the foot and is anchored around the big toe. This strap supposedly helps relieve bunion pain while correcting and realigning the joint, keeping you comfortable and trendy all day. Sometimes, bunion-correcting sandals will also claim to help correct your posture and prevent hip and muscle imbalances as well.

Do Bunion-Correcting Sandals Really Work?

The short answer is no, they don’t. They may appear to work while you wear them; however, much like corrective lenses, whenever you take them off, any benefit you may experience from them will vanish. So while bunion-correcting shoes may relieve pain and pressure on your toe joint, they sadly won’t fix the issue at hand.

How Should I Manage My Bunion Pain?

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can find relief from your bunions! The best thing you can do is wearing high-quality shoes with a wide-fit toe box. This will help prevent squeezing or irritating your bunions by giving them the space they need. We recommend avoiding high-heeled shoes and pointed shoes when you’re able – if you must wear them, make sure to save them for special occasions. Using shoe inserts, warm socks, and ice packs can help bring relief as well!

Rely on the Experts at The Foot & Ankle Center If you’ve been suffering from bunion pain, please contact the friendly, knowledgeable podiatrists at The Foot & Ankle Center. We will be able to give you a proper diagnosis and the right course of action to help get you back on your feet. Call us at (314) 487-9300 to schedule your appointment with us!

Podiatry for Children: Ailments and Injuries

When it comes to ailments and injuries related to a child’s feet or ankles, finding an experienced podiatrist vs. a pediatrician will minimize the number of doctor appointments and lead to a faster overall recovery. Like adults, children are susceptible to developmental issues, sports accidents, or even a lack of proper hygiene. Here are a few examples of what The Foot & Ankle Center treats for children.

Development-Related Ailments

There are multiple ailments that people are either born with or experience while growing up. The sooner these are recognized, the better. This is especially true when it comes to the lower body, as taking one’s first steps is a major milestone. Examples include:

  • Flat Feet – With little to no arch, one’s feet may lay flat on the ground, unable to provide proper support for the rest of the body. This is one of the first developmental issues a parent may notice. However, a baby’s arch does need time to form.
  • Hammertoes – Toes that cannot bend or flex properly. They tend to form when the toe’s muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints experience a significant amount of pressure. Flat feet are a leading cause, with genetics also taking a main role.
  • Bone Spurs – Extra bones that the body will produce as growths. While typically formed in order to repair damage from aging and osteoarthritis, it is possible to be found in children following their birth.

Sports-Related Injuries

As children become more active in sports, they also become more prone to injury. This is why wearing the proper gear is essential. Each sport comes with a different risk, but most injuries can be avoided. Examples include:

  • Plantar Fasciitis – A common form of inflammation found in the heel. For a child, this type of injury can occur after prolonged activities involving running or dancing.
  • Tendinitis – Another form inflammation found in the tendons of children who are just beginning a sport. If they are not used to moving around at a fast pace, their tendons may become aggravated and cause pain. 
  • Stress Fractures – Hairline breaks in the bone often caused by a repeated action that involves a high amount of impact or stress. This includes activities like jumping or stomping.

Hygiene-Related Ailments

Improper hygiene can result in several ailments in the feet. According to the CDC, many diseases and conditions can be prevented or controlled through appropriate personal hygiene and by frequently washing parts of the body and hair with soap and clean, running water. Examples include:

  • Athlete’s Foot – A fungus found on the skin, caused by damp environments. Children most likely encounter this when they do not change out of sweaty socks or forget to dry their feet after a trip to a public pool.
  • Ingrown Toenails – Toenails that have grown into one’s skin. When nails are not properly cut, the result is pain and infection.
  • Toenail Fungus – An infection that thrives on the toenail or underneath the skin. Having a yellow appearance, this fungus causes the nails to thicken and easily break off. Athlete’s foot, if left untreated, can be a leading cause.

Kid-Friendly Doctors

Our knowledgeable doctors at The Foot & Ankle Center work with patients of all ages on a daily basis. They will assess your child’s needs and recommend treatment that is specialized to them. A few of our doctors are parents, too! Feel free to meet each of them online before scheduling an appointment. Then, request an appointment by emailing judym@facstl.com, or filling out our appointment form online.

Here’s What You Need to Know About CBD Oil and Your Feet

If you’ve kept up with the trends and celebrity news, you might have heard about what some of the stars walking down the red carpet are trying these days. Before donning their sky-high heels, some celebrities slather their toes and feet in CBD oil to help prevent pain so they can wear their heels for hours on end. Others use the balm to help ease general heel pain. Even though our favorite movie stars are using CBD oil to relieve feet pain, is it really beneficial, or it just another trend? We’ve got the scoop right here:

What is CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the many chemical compounds that can be found in the cannabis herb. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is not psychoactive and is used as a therapeutic, anti-inflammatory cure to what may ail you. You can usually find it in the form of a topical salve or oral drops.

How CBD Oil May Help Relieve Your Foot Pain

CBD oil is an organic, all-natural product that is well tolerated. According to Organic Facts, the reason why CBD is effective is due to the body’s endogenous cannabinoid system. “This regulatory structure of the body has millions of cannabinoid receptors in the brain and nervous system, which react not only to plant-derived cannabinoids…but also to natural cannabinoids produced within our body. When hemp oil is used and processed by the body, it is effectively boosting the function of the endocannabinoid system, helping our body regulate itself in many different ways.”

Here’s how CBD oil may relieve the pain you’ve been experiencing:

Tackles General Aches and Pain

Foot pain is nothing to laugh at. We often take our feet for granted and don’t notice them until they begin hurting – then our daily lives are interrupted and excruciating. CBD oil can help relieve general foot pain you may experience, much like taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). It has also been shown to help reduce pain related to multiple sclerosis and arthritis. Of course, if your pain persists after a few days, you should see your podiatrist for a proper diagnosis.

Relieves Blisters

Blisters happen to everyone at some time, whether you’re a professional athlete or an office worker who wore a new pair of shoes without breaking them in first. CBD oil is chock-full of antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which may help treat blisters. Simply apply some CBD skin cream on the affected area a few times a day – you should notice that your blisters heal more quickly.

Reduces Inflammation

CBD oil excels in reducing and preventing inflammation, especially if you enjoy wearing high heels. Rub it on before you don your shoes for the day, and you should experience less pain. You can also apply more on the affected areas when you’re home.

Eases Arthritis

If you’ve experienced arthritis, you know just how painful it can be. Symptoms of podiatric arthritis often include stiffness, pain, tenderness, swelling, and in some cases, reduced mobility. Arthritis doesn’t have to slow you down – CBD oil can treat the inflammation and pain that the condition brings.

The Takeaway Foot and heel pain can be debilitating and frustrating. CBD oil could be an effective way of treating your symptoms. However, if you’re experiencing persistent pain in your feet or ankles, we highly recommend seeing your friends at The Foot & Ankle Center. We can help properly diagnose the problem and provide you with a fitting solution to help you get back on your feet. Schedule an appointment with us today!