Causes and Symptoms of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Posted on December 7, 2020

Tarsal tunnel syndrome occurs when there is a compression or squeezing of the posterior tibial nerve as it travels through the tarsal tunnel. The tarsal tunnel is a narrow space that lies on the inside of the ankle and it contains arteries, veins, tendons and nerves, including the tibial nerve. There can be a variety of causes for this compression such as an abnormal structure in the area, a cyst or bone spur, an injury that causes inflammation like an ankle sprain, and diseases like arthritis and diabetes. Those who have flat feet are also at a higher risk for tarsal tunnel syndrome because the heel tilts and can strain or stress to the nerve. Symptoms individuals experience consist of pain or numbness to the affected area, or a burning or tingling sensation which is often described similar to “pins and needles.” Common treatment options for tarsal tunnel syndrome include orthotics, braces, rest, physical therapy, and in severe cases, surgery. If you are suffering from any symptom of tarsal tunnel syndrome it is important to visit a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, 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.

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

Read more about Treating Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

What Should I Look for in a Running Shoe?

Posted on November 30, 2020

If you have recently started running, you may be wondering what kind of shoes you should buy. Proper running shoes are important, since the shoes you wear while you train can be the difference between a good workout and an injury that leaves you in worse shape than when you began running. When looking for a running shoe, you will need to consider multiple factors, including the fit of the shoe and your gait. To find the right fit, it is suggested that you shop in person, where a salesperson can measure your foot and where you can try on shoes prior to buying them. Knowing what type of gait, or walking and running pattern you have, is also useful, as different shoes are designed for different types of gaits. For more information about how to find the right running shoes for your feet, consult with a podiatrist today.

If you are a runner, wearing the right running shoe is essential. For more information, 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.

Choosing the Right Running Shoe for Your Foot Type

To increase performance and avoid the risk of injury, it is important to choose the right running shoe based on your foot type. The general design of running shoes revolves around pronation, which is how the ankle rolls from outside to inside when the foot strikes the ground.

  • Neutral runners are able to choose from a wide variety of shoes, including minimalist shoes or even going barefoot.
  • Runners who overpronate, or experience an over-abundance of ankle rolling, should choose shoes that provide extra motion control and stability.
  • Runners who underpronate, or supinate, have feet that have high arches and lack flexibility, preventing shock absorption. They require shoes with more flexibility and cushion.

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.

Read more about Choosing the Right Running Shoe for Your Foot Type

Common Foot and Ankle Injuries in Soccer

Posted on November 23, 2020

Just like most physical activities, there is a risk of a variety of foot and ankle injuries that can occur from playing soccer. While many are acute, overuse injuries can happen as well. One of the most common injuries (and re-injuries) that occurs is an ankle sprain. When the ankle rolls, the ligaments can become damaged or torn. Achilles tendonitis is another form of an overuse injury that causes pain and inflammation to the Achilles tendon in the back of the ankle. Metatarsal stress fractures are also a common overuse injury in soccer. A stress fracture is a hairline crack in the bones that causes gradual worsening pain. If you have been injured or notice moderate to severe pain or swelling, especially while walking, visiting a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment method is highly recommended.

Sports related foot and ankle injuries require proper treatment before players can go back to their regular routines. 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.

Sports Related Foot and Ankle Injuries

Foot and ankle injuries are a common occurrence when it comes to athletes of any sport. While many athletes dismiss the initial aches and pains, the truth is that ignoring potential foot and ankle injuries can lead to serious problems. As athletes continue to place pressure and strain the area further, a mild injury can turn into something as serious as a rupture and may lead to a permanent disability. There are many factors that contribute to sports related foot and ankle injuries, which include failure to warm up properly, not providing support or wearing bad footwear. Common injuries and conditions athletes face, including:

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Plantar Fasciosis
  • Achilles Tendinitis
  • Achilles Tendon Rupture
  • Ankle Sprains

Sports related injuries are commonly treated using the RICE method. This includes rest, applying ice to the injured area, compression and elevating the ankle. More serious sprains and injuries may require surgery, which could include arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery. Rehabilitation and therapy may also be required in order to get any recovering athlete to become fully functional again. Any unusual aches and pains an athlete sustains must be evaluated by a licensed, reputable medical professional.

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.

Read more about Sports Related Foot And Ankle Injuries

Bunions May Develop for Several Reasons

Posted on November 16, 2020

There are several reasons why bunions may develop. These can include genetic factors, wearing shoes that do not fit correctly, a foot deformity, or from a medical condition like arthritis. A bunion is defined as a bone that protrudes from the joint in the big toe, and may cause severe pain and discomfort. Additional symptoms of a bunion can consist of swelling and redness surrounding the affected joint, and the toe may be difficult to move. After a proper diagnosis is made, which generally involves having an X-ray taken and a physical examination of the foot is performed, proper treatment can begin. Orthotics may be prescribed and it is beneficial to wear shoes that have low heels and a wide toe box. If your bunion is very painful or causing difficulty walking, it is strongly suggested that you are examined by a podiatrist.

If you are suffering from bunions, 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 a Bunion?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why Do Bunions Form?

Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions

How Are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How Are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • 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.

Read more about Bunions

What Can Cause an Achilles Tendon Injury?

Posted on November 9, 2020

Patients who have experienced an Achilles tendon injury are often aware of the severe pain and discomfort this can cause. It can occur from repetitive irritation, or from a sudden injury. Additionally, wearing shoes that do not fit correctly, or having an abnormal foot structure may contribute to the onset of this type of injury. The symptoms that are often associated with this condition can consist of extreme tenderness in the heel, calf, and ankle, and it can be difficult to walk. It is beneficial to consult with a podiatrist if you have endured an Achilles tendon injury. A podiatrist can guide you toward the right treatments for you.

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.

Read more about Achilles Tendon Injuries

Do I Have an Ingrown Toenail?

Posted on November 2, 2020

The condition that is referred to as ingrown toenails is quite a common ailment. It occurs as a result of the outer edges of the toenail growing into the surrounding skin. The big toe is often affected when this condition develops, and it may happen for several reasons. These can consist of genetic factors, certain medical conditions, and wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in. Patients who are diabetic or who have poor circulation, may be prone to developing ingrown toenails. Some of the symptoms that are associated with ingrown toenails can include tenderness around the affected toe, swelling, and in severe cases, a discharge may be evident. Possible prevention techniques can include trimming the toenails correctly, and wearing shoes and socks that fit properly.  If you are afflicted with an ingrown toenail or seem to have reoccurring ingrown toenails, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can effectively treat this condition.

Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. For more information about ingrown toenails, 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.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.

Causes

  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • Improper shoe fitting
  • Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • Abnormal gait
  • Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.

Treatment

Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

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.

Read more about Ingrown Toenails

Did I Fracture My Foot?

Posted on October 26, 2020

A broken foot can occur as a simple crack or as a complete break in the bone. Signs of a fractured foot can include tenderness, increased pain when standing or walking, numbness, swelling, bruising, trouble with movement, and an abnormal foot shape. If you believe that you have fractured your foot, you will likely need to visit a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis. In order to properly diagnose a foot fracture, an X-ray, CT scan, MRI or a bone scan will be necessary. Once a foot fracture is diagnosed, a cast, splint, or boot may be needed to limit the foot’s movement. A podiatrist will likely prescribe medicine, and in some cases surgery may be necessary as well.

A broken foot requires immediate medical attention and treatment. If you need your feet checked, 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.

Broken Foot Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

A broken foot is caused by one of the bones in the foot typically breaking when bended, crushed, or stretched beyond its natural capabilities. Usually the location of the fracture indicates how the break occurred, whether it was through an object, fall, or any other type of injury. 

Common Symptoms of Broken Feet:

  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Blue in color
  • Numbness
  • Cold
  • Misshapen
  • Cuts
  • Deformities

Those that suspect they have a broken foot shoot seek urgent medical attention where a medical professional could diagnose the severity.

Treatment for broken bones varies depending on the cause, severity and location. Some will require the use of splints, casts or crutches while others could even involve surgery to repair the broken bones. Personal care includes the use of ice and keeping the foot stabilized and elevated.

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.

Read more about Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment for a Broken Foot

What is Metatarsalgia?

Posted on October 19, 2020

Metatarsalgia refers to pain that is in the ball of the foot. This term refers to the metatarsal bones that are in this area, and the pain is often a result of repetitive bursts that occur in this part of the foot and eventually overload the metatarsals. Pain over the top and sole of the foot between the 2nd and 4th toes is the most common sign of metatarsalgia. Often, this pain is worsened by pushing off while walking or running. If you are experiencing pain in the forefoot that may be metatarsalgia, it is important to consult with a podiatrist. A podiatrist will check to make sure there is no other damage in the area and prescribe a treatment method. Treatment usually starts with rest and icing the foot, and may include medicine or orthotics.

Foot Pain

Foot pain can be extremely painful and debilitating. If you have a foot 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.

Causes

Foot pain is a very broad condition that could be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:

  • Bunions
  • Hammertoes
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Bone Spurs
  • Corns
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Ingrown Toenails
  • Arthritis (such as Gout, Rheumatoid, and Osteoarthritis)
  • Flat Feet
  • Injury (from stress fractures, broken toe, foot, ankle, Achilles tendon ruptures, and sprains)
  • And more

Diagnosis

To figure out the cause of foot pain, podiatrists utilize several different methods. This can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.

Treatment

Treatment depends upon the cause of the foot pain. Whether it is resting, staying off the foot, or having surgery; podiatrists have a number of treatment options available for foot pain.

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.

Read more about Foot Pain

Where Is the Tarsal Tunnel Located?

Posted on October 12, 2020

The tibial nerve is located in a small tunnel surrounded by tendons in the inner side of the ankle. Tarsal tunnel syndrome can develop when this specific nerve becomes compressed, and is often accompanied by pain and swelling. It may happen as a result of enduring an ankle injury, such as a sprain or fracture, or from having bone spurs. Mild relief may be found when the affected foot is elevated, and it may help to take anti-inflammatory medication. In severe cases, surgery can be a viable option to permanently reduce or eliminate the pain that is associated with this condition. If you have developed this ailment, it is strongly recommended that you speak with a podiatrist who can help you choose the correct treatment option.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, 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.

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

Read more about Treating Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Defining and Treating Plantar Fasciitis

Posted on October 5, 2020

One common source of heel pain is plantar fasciitis, which occurs when the plantar fascia, the tissue connecting the heel to the bottom of the foot, is inflamed. Common symptoms of plantar fasciitis include sharp heel pain, pain after resting, heel tenderness, pain while flexing, and tingling or burning in the bottom of the foot. Upon experiencing symptoms, it is important to visit a podiatrist. During the exam, a podiatrist will examine any swelling, tenderness and pain points. After the examination, your podiatrist will suggest a variety of treatment options that can include rest, orthotics, stretching, icing, and massages. Medicine may also be prescribed. If you think that you are suffering from plantar fasciitis, it is suggested that you visit a podiatrist.

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.

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis