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Monday, 15 April 2019 00:00

The Complexity of the Human Foot

The human foot is comprised of several bones, ligaments, and muscles. It is important that our feet are flexible and stable so everyday activities can be completed with ease. Children may benefit at an early age from walking barefoot while indoors. This may help develop the grasping action in the toes, which can promote stability and muscle strength. Research has indicated the importance of measuring your child’s feet on a regular basis, and this is helpful in determining the correct shoe size. When choosing shoes for your child, it is important to ensure the foot is held firmly in place. This may be accomplished by choosing shoes that have laces or Velcro, which can hold the foot securely in the shoe. If you would like additional information on how to care for your child's feet, speak with your podiatrist. 

Making sure that your children maintain good foot health is very important as they grow. If you have any questions, contact one of our podiatrists of Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

Having healthy feet during childhood can help prevent medical problems later in life, namely in the back and legs. As children grow, their feet require different types of care. Here are some things to consider...

Although babies do not walk yet, it is still very important to take care of their feet.

Avoid putting tight shoes or socks on his or her feet.

Allow the baby to stretch and kick his or her feet to feel comfortable.

As a toddler, kids are now on the move and begin to develop differently. At this age, toddlers are getting a feel for walking, so don’t be alarmed if your toddler is unsteady or ‘walks funny’. 

As your child gets older, it is important to teach them how to take care of their feet.

Show them proper hygiene to prevent infections such as fungus.

Be watchful for any pain or injury.

Have all injuries checked by a doctor as soon as possible.

Comfortable, protective shoes should always be worn, especially at play.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville Office | 16419 Northcross Dr Suite A, Huntersville, NC 28078; Mooresvillle Office | 206 Joe Knox Avenue Suite D, Mooresville, NC 28117; and Mountain Island | 10310 Couloak Drive, Charlotte, NC 28216. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What to Do to Keep Your Child’s Feet Healthy
Monday, 08 April 2019 00:00

What Is Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a condition that affects the posterior tibial nerve. This nerve runs along the inside of the ankle and foot, and when it becomes compressed and damaged it will become inflamed. This damage can be caused by continuous overuse of the foot and ankle. This might happen while participating in strenuous physical activities. Tarsal tunnel syndrome can also occur after a traumatic injury, and sometimes it develops suddenly without any obvious cause. Luckily, this is considered a rare condition. If it goes untreated, however, it can cause permanent nerve damage. If tarsal tunnel syndrome is caught early, then it is relatively easy to treat. If the condition becomes severe, then more aggressive treatments may need to be performed. Examples of treatment for severe cases include corrective devices, therapies, and sometimes surgery. If you believe you might have tarsal tunnel syndrome, then it is strongly recommended you consult with a podiatrist.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact one of our podiatrists of Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can also be called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon condition of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is the peripheral nerve in the leg responsible for sensation and movement of the foot and calf muscles. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the tibial nerve is damaged, causing problems with movement and feeling in the foot of the affected leg.

Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Involves pressure or an injury, direct pressure on the tibial nerve for an extended period of time, sometimes caused by other body structures close by or near the knee.
  • Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
  • At times, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.

The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Different sensations, an afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of the affected leg.
  • The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling your toes or flexing your foot can become difficult.
  • If condition worsens, infections and ulcers may develop on the foot that is experiencing the syndrome.

A physical exam of the leg can help identify the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Medical tests, such as a nerve biopsy, are also used to diagnose the condition. Patients may receive physical therapy and prescriptive medication. In extreme cases, some may require surgery.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville Office | 16419 Northcross Dr Suite A, Huntersville, NC 28078; Mooresvillle Office | 206 Joe Knox Avenue Suite D, Mooresville, NC 28117; and Mountain Island | 10310 Couloak Drive, Charlotte, NC 28216. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Monday, 13 August 2018 00:00

Warning Signs for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that affects over 40 million Americans. Unfortunately, many people brush off their RA symptoms as less severe injuries. Many people with RA in their feet, notice the feeling of stiffness when they wake up in the morning. If you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, you may even start to notice joint stiffness throughout the day. Another common symptom is joint swelling due to inflammation. Those with arthritis will also notice pain in their joints that can potentially make walking difficult. Often, this pain appears when you are not putting the joints to use. If you suspect you have rheumatoid arthritis in your feet, you should make an appointment with your podiatrist to seek treatment immediately.

Because RA affects more than just your joints, including the joints in your feet and ankles, it is important to seek early diagnosis from your podiatrist if you feel like the pain in your feet might be caused by RA. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors will assist you with all of your podiatric concerns.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the membranes surrounding the joints. Inflammation of the lining and eventually the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone occur, causing severe pain and immobility.

Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Feet

Although RA usually attacks multiple bones and joints throughout the entire body, almost 90 percent of cases result in pain in the foot or ankle area.

Symptoms

  • Swelling and pain in the feet
  • Stiffness in the feet
  • Pain on the ball or sole of feet
  • Joint shift and deformation

Diagnosis

Quick diagnosis of RA in the feet is important so that the podiatrist can treat the area effectively. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, occupation, and lifestyle to determine the origin of the condition. Rheumatoid Factor tests help to determine if someone is affected by the disease.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville Office | 16419 Northcross Dr Suite A, Huntersville, NC 28078; Mooresvillle Office | 206 Joe Knox Avenue Suite D, Mooresville, NC 28117; and Mountain Island | 10310 Couloak Drive, Charlotte, NC 28216. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Feet
Monday, 01 April 2019 00:00

Different Types of Peripheral Nerves

Patients who have a type of neuropathy that is referred to as peripheral neuropathy may often notice a numbing or tingling sensation in their toes. As this condition worsens, there may be a burning pain that is felt, and this may be more noticeable at night. Additional symptoms may include weakened muscles or cramping, and balance and coordination may be affected. Research has shown there are three types of nerve groups, which may be distressed. Impulses that are sent from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles in the body are known as motor nerves. If damage to this group of nerves occurs, the result may be difficulty in walking. The function of the sensory nerves is to help people determine if an object is hot or cold, or rough or smooth. Tingling and numbness may happen if these nerves are affected by neuropathy. Additionally, the heart rate and blood pressure are controlled by autonomic nerves, and a patient who is afflicted with this type of neuropathy may experience dizziness or may have difficulty in swallowing. If you have any of these symptoms, please consult with a podiatrist who can guide you toward beginning the proper treatment.

Neuropathy

Neuropathy can be a potentially serious condition, especially if it is left undiagnosed. If you have any concerns that you may be experiencing nerve loss in your feet, consult with one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment for neuropathy.

What is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy is a condition that leads to damage to the nerves in the body. Peripheral neuropathy, or neuropathy that affects your peripheral nervous system, usually occurs in the feet. Neuropathy can be triggered by a number of different causes. Such causes include diabetes, infections, cancers, disorders, and toxic substances.

Symptoms of Neuropathy Include:

  • Numbness
  • Sensation loss
  • Prickling and tingling sensations
  • Throbbing, freezing, burning pains
  • Muscle weakness

Those with diabetes are at serious risk due to being unable to feel an ulcer on their feet. Diabetics usually also suffer from poor blood circulation. This can lead to the wound not healing, infections occurring, and the limb may have to be amputated.

Treatment

To treat neuropathy in the foot, podiatrists will first diagnose the cause of the neuropathy. Figuring out the underlying cause of the neuropathy will allow the podiatrist to prescribe the best treatment, whether it be caused by diabetes, toxic substance exposure, infection, etc. If the nerve has not died, then it’s possible that sensation may be able to return to the foot.

Pain medication may be issued for pain. Electrical nerve stimulation can be used to stimulate nerves. If the neuropathy is caused from pressure on the nerves, then surgery may be necessary.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville Office | 16419 Northcross Dr Suite A, Huntersville, NC 28078; Mooresvillle Office | 206 Joe Knox Avenue Suite D, Mooresville, NC 28117; and Mountain Island | 10310 Couloak Drive, Charlotte, NC 28216. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Neuropathy
Monday, 25 March 2019 00:00

Causes of Hammertoe

The medical condition that is known as hammertoe will typically affect the second, third, or fourth toe. If you notice a downward bend in the middle joints of those toes, it may often resemble the shape of a hammer. It typically causes pain and discomfort and wearing shoes may be difficult. The causes of hammertoe may include having a genetic trait, or wearing shoes that do not have adequate room in the toe area for the toes to move freely in. Additionally, if an injury has occurred to the toes, this may be a reason for this condition to develop. The toes may be unable to bend, and surgery may be required to permanently straighten the toes. If you are noticing symptoms of hammertoe, it is advised to schedule a consultation with a podiatrist who can guide your toward proper treatment.

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

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville Office | 16419 Northcross Dr Suite A, Huntersville, NC 28078; Mooresvillle Office | 206 Joe Knox Avenue Suite D, Mooresville, NC 28117; and Mountain Island | 10310 Couloak Drive, Charlotte, NC 28216. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about What Are Hammertoes?

Many runners look forward to starting their running practice and may overlook the importance of properly stretching beforehand. Running injuries may be prevented if the time is taken to implement correct stretching techniques, and this may typically take a limited amount of time. It may be beneficial to ease into running, which can be preceded by gently walking for a few minutes. Running injuries that include ankle sprains and stress fractures can be caused by overuse, and may be avoided by resting the body after running for an extended period of time. Many runners know the importance of taking time off between runs, and may strengthen the body through gym workouts. If you would like additional information about how running injuries may affect the feet, it is suggested to speak to a podiatrist who can answer any questions you may have.

All runners should take extra precaution when trying to avoid injury. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists of Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

There are a lot of mistakes a runner can make prior to a workout that can induce injury. A lot of athletes tend to overstretch before running, instead of saving those workouts for a post-run routine. Deep lunges and hand-to-toe hamstring pulls should be performed after a workout instead of during a warmup. Another common mistake is jumping into an intense routine before your body is physically prepared for it. You should try to ease your way into long-distance running instead of forcing yourself to rush into it.

More Tips for Preventing Injury

  • Incorporate Strength Training into Workouts - This will help improve the body’s overall athleticism
  • Improve and Maintain Your Flexibility – Stretching everyday will help improve overall performance
  • “Warm Up” Before Running and “Cool Down” Afterward – A warm up of 5-10 minutes helps get rid of lactic acid in the muscles and prevents delayed muscle soreness
  • Cross-Training is Crucial
  • Wear Proper Running Shoes
  • Have a Formal Gait Analysis – Poor biomechanics can easily cause injury

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville Office | 16419 Northcross Dr Suite A, Huntersville, NC 28078; Mooresvillle Office | 206 Joe Knox Avenue Suite D, Mooresville, NC 28117; and Mountain Island | 10310 Couloak Drive, Charlotte, NC 28216. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Preventing Running Injuries
Monday, 11 March 2019 00:00

Symptoms of Sever’s Disease

The condition that is referred to as Sever’s disease will typically affect young teenagers. Noticeable symptoms may include inflammation and swelling in the heel, and this may be a result of an injury that may have occurred to the growth plate. Patients who are afflicted with this condition may notice they are walking on tip toes or limping, and their feet may feel stiff when they are waking up. It typically affects older children who frequently participate in sporting activities. This may cause the tendons and muscles to tighten, and pressure may be put on the growth plate. Mild relief may be found if the activities are stopped that may have caused this condition. Additionally, some patients find it helpful to wear shoes that have an open back, or to wrap the heel with an elastic bandage. If you think your child may have Sever’s disease, it is advised to consult with a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.

Sever's disease often occurs in children and teens. If your child is experiencing foot or ankle pain, see one of our podiatrists at Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors can treat your child’s foot and ankle needs.

Sever’s Disease

Sever’s disease is also known as calcaneal apophysitis, which is a medical condition that causes heel pain I none or both feet. The disease is known to affect children between the ages of 8 and 14.

Sever’s disease occurs when part of the child’s heel known as the growth plate (calcaneal epiphysis) is attached to the Achilles tendon. This area can suffer injury when the muscles and tendons of the growing foot do not keep pace with bone growth. Therefore, the constant pain which one experiences at the back of the heel will make the child unable to put any weight on the heel. The child is then forced to walk on their toes.

Symptoms

Acute pain – Pain associated with Sever’s disease is usually felt in the heel when the child engages in physical activity such as walking, jumping and or running.

Highly active – Children who are very active are among the most susceptible in experiencing Sever’s disease, because of the stress and tension placed on their feet.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville Office | 16419 Northcross Dr Suite A, Huntersville, NC 28078; Mooresvillle Office | 206 Joe Knox Avenue Suite D, Mooresville, NC 28117; and Mountain Island | 10310 Couloak Drive, Charlotte, NC 28216. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle injuries.

Read more about Sever's Disease
Monday, 04 March 2019 00:00

Can Gout Be Prevented?

The medical term referred to as gout will typically affect the big toe and surrounding areas. Typical symptoms may generally include severe pain and discomfort in the area of the big toe, heat that may radiate from the foot, in addition to swelling and redness. It occurs as a result of elevated uric acid levels in the blood, which causes crystals to form in the joints. There may be several reasons for this to happen, including diabetes, high blood pressure, or congestive heart failure. Additionally, eating foods that have elevated fructose levels may lead to the onset of gout, in addition to drinking excess alcohol, or eating red meat or seafood. Successful prevention and treatment of gout may begin with eating healthy foods and implementing a gentle exercise program. If obesity exists, it may be helpful to lose excess weight which may aid in protecting the joints. If you are having gout attacks, it is advised to speak to a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville Office | 16419 Northcross Dr Suite A, Huntersville, NC 28078; Mooresvillle Office | 206 Joe Knox Avenue Suite D, Mooresville, NC 28117; and Mountain Island | 10310 Couloak Drive, Charlotte, NC 28216. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Gout
Monday, 25 February 2019 00:00

What Is Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

There is a small canal between a bone in the ankle and the ligaments that stretch across the foot that is known as the tarsal tunnel. If this should become compressed and irritated, a condition that is known as tarsal tunnel syndrome may develop. A symptom of this condition may include a tingling sensation in the feet and toes, because this is the nerve that provides sensitivity to those areas of the foot. Additionally, many patients may experience a burning sensation in the sole of the foot. Some of the reasons that this condition can occur may include consistent motion which may come from participating in certain sporting activities. There may be existing medical conditions that may contribute to developing tarsal tunnel syndrome, and these may include flat feet, diabetes, or obesity. If you have any of these symptoms, it is suggested that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can properly treat tarsal tunnel syndrome.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact one of our podiatrists of Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can also be called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon condition of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is the peripheral nerve in the leg responsible for sensation and movement of the foot and calf muscles. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the tibial nerve is damaged, causing problems with movement and feeling in the foot of the affected leg.

Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Involves pressure or an injury, direct pressure on the tibial nerve for an extended period of time, sometimes caused by other body structures close by or near the knee.
  • Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
  • At times, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.

The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Different sensations, an afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of the affected leg.
  • The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling your toes or flexing your foot can become difficult.
  • If condition worsens, infections and ulcers may develop on the foot that is experiencing the syndrome.

A physical exam of the leg can help identify the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Medical tests, such as a nerve biopsy, are also used to diagnose the condition. Patients may receive physical therapy and prescriptive medication. In extreme cases, some may require surgery.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville Office | 16419 Northcross Dr Suite A, Huntersville, NC 28078; Mooresvillle Office | 206 Joe Knox Avenue Suite D, Mooresville, NC 28117; and Mountain Island | 10310 Couloak Drive, Charlotte, NC 28216. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Treating Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Monday, 18 February 2019 00:00

Causes of Ankle Pain

Research has indicated there are several different forms of ankle pain. Many people will experience some type of ankle pain throughout their lives, and this may come from a variety of reasons. These may include medical conditions such as arthritis, or from an injury. Ankle sprains are considered to be one of the most common forms of ankle pain, and this typically occurs when the ligaments in the ankle and surrounding areas are overstretched. This may happen as a result of tripping or falling, which may cause the ankle to roll inward toward the ground. Other reasons patients may have ankle pain may include infections in the joints of the ankle, nerve damage, or blood vessels that may be blocked. When ankle pain is first noticed, it’s important to rest the foot by taking the weight off of it. If it appears swollen, elevation may bring a mild form of relief. Please consult with a podiatrist who can properly guide you toward feeling better.

Ankle pain can be caused by a number of problems and may be potentially serious. If you have ankle pain, consult with one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Ankle pain is any condition that causes pain in the ankle. Due to the fact that the ankle consists of tendons, muscles, bones, and ligaments, ankle pain can come from a number of different conditions.

Causes

The most common causes of ankle pain include:

  • Types of arthritis (rheumatoid, osteoarthritis, and gout)
  • Ankle sprains
  • Broken ankles
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Achilles tendon rupture
  • Stress fractures
  • Bursitis
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Plantar fasciitis

Symptoms

Symptoms of ankle injury vary based upon the condition. Pain may include general pain and discomfort, swelling, aching, redness, bruising, burning or stabbing sensations, and/or loss of sensation.

Diagnosis

Due to the wide variety of potential causes of ankle pain, podiatrists will utilize a number of different methods to properly diagnose ankle pain. This can include asking for personal and family medical histories and of any recent injuries. Further diagnosis may include sensation tests, a physical examination, and potentially x-rays or other imaging tests.

Treatment

Just as the range of causes varies widely, so do treatments. Some more common treatments are rest, ice packs, keeping pressure off the foot, orthotics and braces, medication for inflammation and pain, and surgery.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville Office | 16419 Northcross Dr Suite A, Huntersville, NC 28078; Mooresvillle Office | 206 Joe Knox Avenue Suite D, Mooresville, NC 28117; and Mountain Island | 10310 Couloak Drive, Charlotte, NC 28216. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

Read more about Ankle Pain
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