04 Jun PUTTING YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD BY CHRISTOPHER WITT, DPM

When your feet hurt, it seems like everything is off. Eric Silvers, DPM, Dustin Lloyd, DPM and Christopher Witt, DPM of Advanced Foot and Ankle Center of Prosper talk about the most common reasons patients come see them.

HEEL PAIN
Heel pain is one of the most common ailments that prompts people to make an appointment with a podiatrist. People will usually complain of pain along the bottom of the heel that is present during the first few steps in the morning and also after rest. These symptoms are classic for a condition known as Plantar Fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a broad band of tissue that extends from the heel bone to the soft tissues just behind the toes along the bottom of the foot. When the plantar fascia becomes inflamed it will cause pain. The inflammation can be due to a faulty foot structure, wearing non-supportive footwear, weight gain and over activity.

“We see this condition more often these days because people in North Texas are living healthier and more active lifestyles,” says Dr. Eric Silvers.
To arrive at this diagnosis, Dr. Silver’s team will obtain your medical history and examine your feet and often times obtain x-rays to help rule out other possible causes of your pain. Treatment begins with non-surgical methods to help decrease the inflammation of the plantar fascia and support the arch of the foot.

“We have found that conservative treat- ment, including quality custom-molded foot orthotics provides relief to more than 95% of our patients,” says Dr. Dustin Lloyd.

In addition, night splints, oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as Ibuprofen, cortisone injections, physical therapy and cold laser treatments play a part in conservative treatment for plantar fasciitis. Only a small percentage of patients require surgery after several months of failed treatments. The specialists at Advanced Foot and Ankle Center structure a treatment plan tailored to each individual patient based on symptoms, past treatment and lifestyle.

INGROWN TOENAILS
Ingrown toenails develop after a nail begins to curve or cut into the skin which can cause pain and irritation. If the nail breaks the skin, bacteria can then enter and cause an infection, which will result in swelling, redness, warmth, drainage and/or foul smell. More common causes of ingrown toenails include genetics, trauma, tight shoes/socks, cutting your nails too short and fungal infections.

Treatment at home can consist of soaking the toe and massaging the area to reduce pain. You should refrain from attempting to cut the nail out yourself, as this can cause the infection to worsen.

“To prevent major complications that can arise, it is important to see a specialist if the toe begins to become infected or if you have a medical condition such as diabetes, nerve damage to your feet or poor circulation,” says Dr. Witt.

If the toe is infected and the nail is severely ingrown then you may need a minor surgical procedure performed in the office. This consists of removing the painful nail border so it is no longer growing into the skin. If ingrown toenails are a chronic or recurring problem, the nail root can be removed so the side of the nail doesn’t grow back again.

IN-OFFICE SEDATION:
The center’s in-office surgical suite provides a relaxing environment with all the equipment necessary to treat a variety of foot and ankle conditions including ingrown toenails, removal of warts, removal of pre-cancerous moles and other skin conditions, minor-hammertoe procedures and removal of foreign bodies such as glass, splinters, etc. With emphasis on sterility and comfort, the surgical suite is an excellent option for same-day relief of many issues without the costly and time-consuming need to go to a surgery center. In-office sedation is a popular option for patient with a great fear of needles and or surgical procedures.

For more information on these topics or other foot and ankle conditions, please call your Prosper area foot and ankle specialists at 972-542-2155 for an appointment.