Foot Doctor Blog

Posts for: June, 2017

When to Visit a Foot & Ankle Surgeon

(article from foothealthfacts.org)

Most people have a foot or ankle problem at one time or another. So how do you know when to see a foot and ankle surgeon? 

Sometimes it’s obvious that you need to seek help, but at other times it’s less clear. In reality, many symptoms—even those you can tolerate—may require professional attention to keep the underlying condition from worsening.

Here are some reasons to see a foot and ankle surgeon:

  • An injury (a sprain, broken bone, etc.)
  • A medical condition (diabetes, poor circulation, etc.) that can affect the feet
  • Impaired ability to function in certain activities
  • Heel pain in the morning
  • Any painful condition of the foot, ankle or lower leg
  • Discomfort after standing for awhile
  • Changes in the appearance of your foot or ankle
  • An abnormal growth
     

Foot and ankle surgeons treat all symptoms and conditions affecting the foot and ankle, such as:

  • bunions, 
  • heel pain (plantar fasciitis), 
  • flatfoot, 
  • foot or ankle arthritis, 
  • sports injuries, 
  • tendon disorders, 
  • fractures (broken bones), 
  • diabetes complications, 
  • ingrown toenails, 
  • neuromas,
  • dermatological conditions, 
  • tingly feet, 
  • hammertoes 
  • and much more. 

Check out our Surgery page to see a video on the new look of foot and ankle surgeons or to access our before and after photos.


Common Questions 

Is it normal to have pain in the foot or ankle?

No, pain or discomfort isn’t normal. It signals a problem that needs to be evaluated, diagnosed, and treated by a specialist who fully understands this part of the body.

If I go to a foot and ankle surgeon, does that mean my problem will be treated surgically?

No. In fact, foot and ankle surgeons are trained to make all reasonable efforts to treat foot and ankle problems non- surgically if at all possible. Surgery is recommended only if other options are not feasible or do not adequately relieve your problem.

Why would I need to see a foot and ankle surgeon? 

The foot has 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, and 19 muscles and tendons—that’s a complicated network of tissues! And feet get quite a workout: They hold us up, plus absorb the shock of each step we take. The way your foot is structured, the way it works, and the way it affects other body areas (such as your back) add to its complexity. A foot and ankle surgeon has the in depth knowledge to diagnose and treat conditions of this complex part  of the body and works with your overall healthcare team to ensure you are receiving the best care possible for your foot and ankle conditions


article from foothealthfacts.org

Lack of preparation and insufficient gear may increase risk for pain and injury.   

In the United States, more than 38 million people annually go hiking, and the popular recreational activity has recently seen increased interest in its more competitive and extreme forms. The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) reminds all hikers, whether avid or recreational, that injuries are common and careful planning is essential to reducing the likelihood of injury and complications when they occur. 

"We've all seen hikers accomplishing great feats, such as completing the Pacific Crest or Appalachian Trails, and these stories inspire us to undertake more challenging or longer hikes," says Gregory Catalano, DPM, FACFAS, a Massachusetts-based foot and ankle surgeon and Fellow Member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. "As the number of people hiking increases and they take on more challenging terrain, we are seeing an increase in injuries of all levels of hikers, from Achilles tendon and heel pain to more traumatic injuries, including sprains and fractures of the foot and ankle as well as stress fractures of the leg, foot and ankle."

Hiking-related injuries range from minor concerns, such as blisters and bruises, to more serious conditions, including stress fractures and ankle sprains. These complex hiking injuries may initially be assessed as less serious or even overlooked as an overuse injury that will repair itself. Some hikers first attempt to treat pain by modifying their walk (gait) or pace or by switching shoes. While these kinds of modifications seem straightforward, they can actually contribute to complications and further injury. 

"It is critical that hikers know the signs and continually monitor for complex injuries, as not seeking treatment may result in additional damage that can lead to longer, more involved treatments and recovery periods," continues Dr. Catalano.

Careful preparation can help reduce the likelihood of injury and make it easier for professionals to treat when problems occur. ACFAS advises hikers that a few key steps can make an important difference:

  • Protect toes from blisters and toenails from bruises by wearing proper-fitting footwear.
  • Select material for socks that wick away moisture and protect from the cold.
  • Condition boots before setting out on a hike.
  • Know the hiking route and options for accessing medical assistance.

Carry supplies, such as bandages and wraps, to help immediately protect and stabilize injured feet and ankles.