The Function of the Achilles Tendon

Posted on December 30, 2019

The portion of tissue that connects the calf muscles to the heel is referred to as the Achilles tendon. This tendon makes it possible to walk, in addition to participating in running and jumping activities. If this should become inflamed as a result of an injury or damage that has happened gradually, it may develop into tendonitis. Symptoms of this condition can consist of pain and discomfort surrounding the heel. It can occur if the wrong shoes are worn during exercising, if a new sport is started, or if walking and running take place on an uneven surface. When this tendon is injured, it may be difficult to walk, and the pain may be intense upon arising in the morning. Relief may be found when the affected leg is elevated, and this may help to diminish a portion of the swelling. If you have endured an Achilles tendon injury, it is strongly suggested that you seek the advice of a podiatrist who can help you to manage this condition.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta of Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What Are the Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Bentonville, AR. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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Diabetes and Foot Ulcers

Posted on December 23, 2019

Wound care is generally a familiar concern for diabetic patients. When the insulin levels are elevated for an extended period of time, there may be a loss of feeling as a result of neuropathy. A small cut or scrape on the foot may have the potential of developing into a dangerous wound, and prompt treatment is necessary in possibly preventing a painful foot ulcer. Proper treatment may begin with cleaning the affected area thoroughly, followed by applying an antibiotic cream. It is important the wound is covered, and this may help to prevent bacteria from multiplying at the site of the foot ulcer. If you are affected by diabetes, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can help this condition.

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 Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta from Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor 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 office located in Bentonville, AR. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Levels of School for Podiatrists

Posted on December 16, 2019

People who have the desire to learn about the treatment and prevention of foot disorders may work in the field of podiatry. They learn about how the foot is constructed, and the importance of maintaining proper foot care. The levels of education consist of earning a bachelor's degree, followed by enrolling in a college of podiatric medicine. This is a four year program, and incorporates two years of laboratory work. Upon completion, the student will become a doctor of podiatric medicine, which is referred to as a DPM. Residency training provides the skills needed to perform a variety of foot surgeries, in addition to learning about different medical techniques. If you are interested in pursuing a career in podiatry, it is advised that you confer with a podiatrist who can guide you in determining if this is a correct choice for you.

If you are dealing with pain in your feet and ankles, you may want to seek help from a podiatrist. Feel free to contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta from Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Podiatrist?

A podiatrist is a doctor of podiatric medicine who diagnoses and treats conditions of the foot, ankle, and related structures of the leg. Your podiatrist may specialize in a certain field such as sports medicine, wound care, pediatrics, and diabetic care. Podiatrists have the ability to become board certified through training, clinical experience, and then taking an exam.

What Do Podiatrists Do?

On a daily basis, a podiatrist may perform the following activities:

  • Diagnose foot ailments such as ulcers, tumors, fractures, etc.
  • Use innovative methods to treat conditions
  • Use corrective orthotics, casts, and strappings to correct deformities
  • Correct walking patterns and balance
  • Provide individual consultations to patients

It is very important that you take care of your feet. It’s easy to take having healthy feet for granted, however foot problems tend to be among the most common health conditions. Podiatrists can help diagnose and treat a variety of feet related conditions, so it is crucial that you visit one if you need assistance.

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

 

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Wounds that Don’t Heal Need to be Checked

Posted on December 13, 2019

Your feet are covered a good part of the day. If you are diabetic, periodic screening is important for good health. Numbness is often another sign of diabetic foot and can mask a sore or wound.

Heel Pain May Be Indicative of Plantar Fasciitis

Posted on December 9, 2019

A common reason why many patients experience severe heel pain may be linked to plantar fasciitis. It occurs when the tissue that is located on the sole of the foot becomes inflamed. This portion of tissue is referred to as the plantar fascia, and it connects the heel to the toes. It helps to maintain support in the arch, and is instrumental in walking and running. There are several reasons why this uncomfortable ailment may develop. These can consist of genetic factors, wearing shoes that do not fit correctly, or standing on hard or uneven surfaces for long periods of time. Additionally, it may develop as a result of extra weight that is carried, or from an increase in activity levels. A common symptom many patients notice can include severe pain and discomfort in the heel and surrounding area, which is often felt after the first steps are taken in the morning. If you have a strong pain or a dull ache in your heel, it is advised that you speak to a podiatrist as quickly as possible who can guide your toward the correct treatment.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta  from Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor 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 office located in Bentonville, AR. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Bacteria and Sweaty Feet

Posted on December 2, 2019

When the feet sweat continuously, it may be a condition that is known as plantar hyperhidrosis. Sweaty feet can be uncomfortable and may lead to bacterial and fungal infections. It is beneficial to wear socks and shoes that are made from a breathable material, which may help to control any odor that can come from the feet. Research has indicated that walking barefoot as often as possible may help to manage  this condition, in addition to refraining from wearing the same pair of shoes for two days in a row. Some patients find it helpful to use an antiperspirant on their feet, as well as wear insoles that can absorb the sweat. If you are suffering from this condition, it is strongly suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can help you to control plantar hyperhidrosis.

If you are suffering from hyperhidrosis contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta of Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor can provide the care you need to attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

Hyperhidrosis of the Feet

Hyperhidrosis is a rare disorder that can cause people to have excessive sweating of their feet. This can usually occur all on its own without rigorous activity involved. People who suffer from hyperhidrosis may also experience sweaty palms.

Although it is said that sweating is a healthy process meant to cool down the body temperature and to maintain a proper internal temperature, hyperhidrosis may prove to be a huge hindrance on a person’s everyday life.

Plantar hyperhidrosis is considered to be the main form of hyperhidrosis. Secondary hyperhidrosis can refer to sweating that occurs in areas other than the feet or hands and armpits. Often this may be a sign of it being related to another medical condition such as menopause, hyperthyroidism and even Parkinson’s disease.

In order to alleviate this condition, it is important to see your doctor so that they may prescribe the necessary medications so that you can begin to live a normal life again. If this is left untreated, it is said that it will persist throughout an individual’s life.

A last resort approach would be surgery, but it is best to speak with your doctor to find out what may be the best treatment for you.

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

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