Foot Doctor Blog

Going Barefoot? Beware!

Tips for a safer barefoot summer. Article from foothealthfacts.org
 

Millions of people will go barefoot this summer, and thousands will suffer injuries, such as cuts and puncture wounds. Some will develop nasty infections that may require surgery.

The best way to protect feet and toes from injury is to wear shoes. But if your summer just wouldn't be the same without the sand between your toes or walking in your backyard barefoot, doctors with the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) say you can make it a safer season by following these tips:

Tip: See a foot and ankle surgeon within 24 hours for a puncture wound.

Why: These injuries can embed unsterile foreign objects deep inside the foot. A puncture wound must be cleaned properly and monitored throughout the healing process. This will help to avoid complications, such as tissue and bone infections or damage to tendons and muscles in the foot. Foot and ankle surgeons are trained to properly care for these injuries.

Tip: Make sure you've been vaccinated against tetanus. Experts recommend that teens and adults get a booster shot every 10 years.

Why: Cuts and puncture wounds from sharp objects can lead to infections and illnesses, such as tetanus.

Tip: Apply sunscreen to the tops and bottoms of your feet.

Why: Feet get sunburn too. According to FootHealthFacts.org, rare but deadly skin cancers can develop on the feet.

Tip: Inspect your feet and your children's feet on a routine basis for skin problems, such as warts, calluses, ingrown toenails and suspicious moles, spots or freckles.

Why: The earlier a skin condition is detected, the easier it is for your foot and ankle surgeon to treat it.

Tip: Wear flip-flops or sandals around swimming pools, locker rooms and beaches.

Why: To avoid cuts and abrasions from rough anti-slip surfaces and sharp objects hidden beneath sandy beaches and to prevent contact with bacteria and viruses that can cause athlete's foot, plantar warts and other problems.

Tip: Use common sense.

Why: Every year, people lose toes while mowing the lawn barefoot. Others suffer serious burns from accidentally stepping on stray campfire coals or fireworks. Murky rivers, lakes and ponds can conceal sharp objects underwater. People living with diabetes should never go barefoot, even indoors, because their nervous system may not "feel" an injury and their circulatory system will struggle to heal breaks in the skin.

If you encounter any foot injuries related to being barefoot, don't hesitate to call our office and schedule an appointment to see Dr. Stanford.

Footwear has come a long way since Roman armies conquered an empire wearing only sandals on their feet. But what’s old is new again, as sales of men’s sandals increase. Along with the growing popularity of men’s sandals come more aches and pains for male feet.

Doctors with the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) say the wrong sandal could cause problems including heel pain, Achilles tendonitis, pain in the big toe and even breaks and stress fractures in some of the foot’s 26 bones.

ACFAS recommends that men shopping for a man sandal—or “mandal” as some people call it—look for a sturdy, cushioned, supportive sole and padded straps. Men living with diabetes should consult their foot and ankle surgeon before wearing sandals. Despite what many men may tell themselves, foot pain is not normal.

If you are interested in biomechanically sound sandals, during your appointment, ask Dr. Stanford for a couple reccomendations. There are a number of options out there, even some that can fit our custom orthotics in the footbed.

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.





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