What Do the Numbers on an Ankle-Brachial Index Test Mean?

Posted on November 30, 2021

The Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) test is a non-invasive vascular screening that evaluates a patient’s risk of having peripheral artery disease (PAD), which causes poor circulation in the lower limbs. During this test, the doctor measures your blood pressure in both arms and both ankles and then compares those numbers to come up with a ratio. Each range of ratios is correlated with a level of risk of having PAD. A normal ABI range is from 0.9-1.4. A person with a mild-to-moderate risk of PAD has an ABI between 0.7-0.9. Someone with severe PAD could have an ABI between 0.3-0.5. Critical cases have ABI ratios of 0.3 or less. To learn more about peripheral artery disease or to get tested, schedule an appointment with a podiatrist near you. 

Vascular testing plays an important part in diagnosing disease like peripheral artery disease. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, or diabetes, 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 Vascular Testing?

Vascular testing checks for how well blood circulation is in the veins and arteries. This is most often done to determine and treat a patient for peripheral artery disease (PAD), stroke, and aneurysms. Podiatrists utilize vascular testing when a patient has symptoms of PAD or if they believe they might. If a patient has diabetes, a podiatrist may determine a vascular test to be prudent to check for poor blood circulation.

How Is it Conducted?

Most forms of vascular testing are non-invasive. Podiatrists will first conduct a visual inspection for any wounds, discoloration, and any abnormal signs prior to a vascular test.

 The most common tests include:

  • Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) examination
  • Doppler examination
  • Pedal pulses

These tests are safe, painless, and easy to do. Once finished, the podiatrist can then provide a diagnosis and the best course for treatment.

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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Understanding Achilles Tendon Injuries

Posted on November 23, 2021

On the back of the ankle, there is a thick band of tissue that connects the calf to the heel bone. This is known as the Achilles tendon. If this tendon becomes inflamed near the heel bone, usually due to overuse, it is known as Achilles tendonitis. Patients who have Achilles tendonitis often experience stiffness in the Achilles area, pain in the back of the heel, and swelling. If left untreated, Achilles tendonitis can cause the tendon to degenerate resulting in Achilles tendinosis. If the fibers in the tendon tear (either partially or completely), it is known as an Achilles tendon rupture, which is one of the most severe injuries that can occur to that area. Patients who have pain or stiffness around their Achilles tendon should have it looked at by a podiatrist who can properly diagnose and treat their 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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Signs and Symptoms of Gout

Posted on November 16, 2021

Gout is a type of arthritis that typically attacks the foot, ankle and knee, causing swelling, redness, and pain. It is caused by a buildup of uric acid in the body. Flare-ups can last three to 10 days before they subside, only to recur sometimes months or years later. The most common symptom of acute gout is extreme pain, especially in the big toe. Medical treatment, along with a number of lifestyle and dietary changes, can help reduce the frequency and severity of gout attacks. If you experience sudden pain and swelling in the big toe or ankle, please consult a podiatrist as soon as possible. When caught and treated early, people with gout can live a relatively normal life.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta from Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.

People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.

Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.

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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Reminder: When Was the Last Time…?

Posted on November 12, 2021

Custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, should be periodically replaced. Orthotics must fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles!

Plantar Fasciitis and Other Causes of Heel Pain

Posted on November 9, 2021

Most heel pain is caused by a local condition occurring in the foot. The most common type of heel pain is due to plantar fasciitis—an inflammation of the long band of tissue running along the bottom of the foot, connecting the toes with the heel. Anyone can have plantar fasciitis. However, athletes and people who are obese or have diabetes, flat feet, or who wear worn out shoes, are more susceptible to developing this painful condition. Heel spurs may often occur along with plantar fasciitis because the strain on the heel bone which causes plantar fasciitis can also lead to calcium deposits forming on the bone (heel spurs). When the bursa sac at the back of the heel becomes irritated and inflamed, this is known as bursitis. A condition called “pump bump” also affects the back of the heel when pressure from wearing pumps causes a painful, bony growth to develop. Podiatrists are very experienced in treating these forms of heel pain and more, so if you experience any heel discomfort, make an appointment today.

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, 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.

Causes of Heel Pain

Heel pain is often associated with plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissues that extends along the bottom of the foot. A rip or tear in this ligament can cause inflammation of the tissue.

Achilles tendonitis is another cause of heel pain. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon will cause pain from fractures and muscle tearing. Lack of flexibility is also another symptom.

Heel spurs are another cause of pain. When the tissues of the plantar fascia undergo a great deal of stress, it can lead to ligament separation from the heel bone, causing heel spurs.

Why Might Heel Pain Occur?

  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes                  
  • Wearing non-supportive shoes
  • Weight change           
  • Excessive running

Treatments

Heel pain should be treated as soon as possible for immediate results. Keeping your feet in a stress-free environment will help. If you suffer from Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis, applying ice will reduce the swelling. Stretching before an exercise like running will help the muscles. Using all these tips will help make heel pain a condition of the past.

If you have any questions please 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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Stable vs Unstable Ankle Fractures

Posted on November 2, 2021

The ankle joint consists of three bones: the fibula and tibia in the lower leg and the talus in the foot. These bones are bound by a ring of ligaments that support and stabilize the ankle joint. When excessive force causes one or more of these bones to crack, this is known as an ankle fracture. Ankle fractures are a common type of injury. They can range from hairline cracks to complex breaks involving more than one bone or even ligaments. In a stable fracture, the ankle is still positioned correctly and stable, despite a fracture in the bone. This can typically be treated with a cast or walking boot. An unstable fracture is a more serious injury involving bones and ligaments (which may tear or even pull off a small chip of bone where they attach). This more severe trauma to the ankle structure can compromise its stability and require more intensive treatment. If you have suffered an injury and your ankle is painful, swollen, or unable to sustain weight, make an appointment with a podiatrist as soon as possible to get properly diagnosed and treated.

 

Ankle pain can have many different causes and the pain may potentially be serious. If you have ankle pain, 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.

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
  • 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 our office located in Bentonville, AR . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

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