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Tuesday, 25 January 2022 00:00

A DFU, or diabetic foot ulcer, is an unfortunately frequent complication of diabetes. Caused by a combination of high blood glucose levels, poor circulation, nerve damage, and immune insufficiency, DFUs are dangerous wounds that can form on the feet. These wounds typically heal slowly and poorly, and so they often require medical care. It is suggested that you call your podiatrist if you have a DFU and notice any new pain, drainage, discoloration, swelling, foul odor, or dead tissue at the site of the ulcer. You also may wish to seek medical treatment if the DFU increases in size or depth, or if it doesn’t heal. Some treatments that may help at the doctor’s office include debridement to remove dead tissue, medicated bandages, off-loading using orthotics, and surgery. If you have diabetes, it is suggested that you be under the regular care of a podiatrist. 

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with one of our podiatrists from North Bay Ankle & Foot Center. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Petaluma and Sonoma, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Tuesday, 18 January 2022 00:00

After years of wearing high heels with pointy toe boxes, or other ill-fitting shoes, many women develop hammertoes in the second and third toe. A raised bump forms on the joint of the toe, which then rubs against the top of your shoe and can become painful. One of the first things you can do to alleviate some of the discomfort is to find shoes that do not aggravate the condition. Look for shoes with a lower heel, wider toe box and softer material on top. It is also a good idea to make an appointment with a podiatrist who can examine your foot and assess the need for orthotics to help align your foot as you walk. This can improve mobility and alleviate pressure around the toes. In some cases, surgery can help to correct the condition. Your podiatrist will be able to determine the best course of treatment for you.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists from North Bay Ankle & Foot Center. Our doctors will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

If you have any questions please contact our offices located in Petaluma and Sonoma, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Tuesday, 11 January 2022 00:00

If it becomes more and more difficult to flex your big toe, you may have a condition known as hallux limitus. This condition affects the joint between the big toe and the foot, making the area inflexible and causing pain when you walk. As the condition progresses, it can lead to arthritis and bone spurs. Symptoms include a bony lump on the top of the big toe, numbness or tingling if the bone spurs press on a nerve, and a callus building up under the joint. These conditions may also affect your gait, as you try to compensate for the pain, and further affect the knee, hip or low back. Hallux limitus can be caused by injury, arthritis, overuse and genetics. Home treatment options include wearing low-heeled shoes that fit properly and have a thick or rigid sole; wearing gel pads or other orthotics in your shoes; and taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatories. But if your big toe pain continues, or worsens, it is a good idea to seek the professional opinion and diagnosis of a podiatrist as soon as possible.

Foot Pain

Foot pain can be extremely painful and debilitating. If you have a foot pain, consult with one of our podiatrists from North Bay Ankle & Foot Center. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Causes

Foot pain is a very broad condition that could be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:

  • Bunions
  • Hammertoes
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Bone Spurs
  • Corns
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Ingrown Toenails
  • Arthritis (such as Gout, Rheumatoid, and Osteoarthritis)
  • Flat Feet
  • Injury (from stress fractures, broken toe, foot, ankle, Achilles tendon ruptures, and sprains)
  • And more

Diagnosis

To figure out the cause of foot pain, podiatrists utilize several different methods. This can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.

Treatment

Treatment depends upon the cause of the foot pain. Whether it is resting, staying off the foot, or having surgery; podiatrists have a number of treatment options available for foot pain.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Petaluma and Sonoma, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Tuesday, 04 January 2022 00:00

Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia—a long fibrous tissue spanning the sole of the foot—becomes damaged or torn due to overuse, obesity, or structural issues with the foot. Pain and stiffness from plantar fasciitis is typically worse in the morning upon waking, and gets better as the body warms up. You can help prevent plantar fasciitis from occurring by warming up before exercising, wearing shoes that fit well with structure in the heel and support in the arch, and gradually build up duration and intensity when modifying your workout routine. If you have pain in your heel, make an appointment with a podiatrist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact one of our podiatrists  from North Bay Ankle & Foot Center. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Non-supportive shoes
  • Overpronation
  • Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

  • Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices
  • Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis
  • Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Petaluma and Sonoma, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis
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