What Is a Podiatrist, and What Do They Treat? 

Posted on August 10, 2021

Podiatrists are physicians that specialize in the foot and ankle. Podiatrists contain the DPM suffix after their name which means they achieved a Doctorate of Podiatric Medicine in medical school. They typically continue their post graduate training with a residency in a clinic or hospital. After passing certain exams, a podiatrist can become board certified by The American Board of Podiatric Medicine. While they treat general foot conditions such as ingrown toenails, heel pain, corns, calluses,  bunions, fungal nail infections and more, some podiatrists also specialize in areas such as wound care, diabetes, sports medicine, arthritis, neuromas, gait analysis and correction, custom orthotics, and bunion removal. Certain podiatrists will even specialize in podiatric surgery and, after passing additional exams, may become certified by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery. If you experience any swelling, severe pain, numbness or tingling, or have an open sore on your feet, it is suggested that you call a podiatrist to seek proper treatment.

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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Is There Relief for Bunions?

Posted on August 3, 2021

The bottom and side of the big toe is generally the location where a bunion develops. It is considered to be a deformity and can appear for a variety of reasons. These can include genetic factors, and wearing shoes that do not have enough room for the toes to move freely in. Additionally, existing medical conditions such as gout or rheumatoid arthritis may cause a bunion to develop. If the bunion is mild relief may be found when orthotics are worn, or when the bunion is covered with a protective pad. Severe bunions may require surgery to correct them permanently. If you notice signs of a small bump on the side of the big toe, please confer with a podiatrist as quickly as possible. Early treatment can slow down or stop a bunion’s progression. 

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.

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How Can Athlete’s Foot Feel Better?

Posted on July 27, 2021

An infection of the skin on the feet is often referred to as athlete's foot. It is caused by a fungus that is contagious and lives and thrives in warm and moist environments. These types of places can include shower room floors, public swimming pools, and locker rooms. It is beneficial to wear shower shoes while frequenting these areas, and to refrain from sharing towels, socks, and shoes. Some of the symptoms that are associated with athlete's foot can consist of red skin on the bottom of the feet and in between the toes. Additionally, the skin may crack or itch, and blisters can form as well. Relief may be found when the feet are washed and dried frequently, and when wearing socks that are made of cotton that can help to absorb existing moisture. If you have become afflicted with this condition, please speak with a podiatrist who can guide you toward the correct treatment techniques.

Athlete’s foot is an inconvenient condition that can be easily reduced with the proper treatment. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta from Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics.  Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Athlete’s Foot: The Sole Story

Athlete's foot, also known as tinea pedis, can be an extremely contagious foot infection. It is commonly contracted in public changing areas and bathrooms, dormitory style living quarters, around locker rooms and public swimming pools, or anywhere your feet often come into contact with other people.

Solutions to Combat Athlete’s Foot

  • Hydrate your feet by using lotion
  • Exfoliate
  • Buff off nails
  • Use of anti-fungal products
  • Examine your feet and visit your doctor if any suspicious blisters or cuts develop

Athlete’s foot can cause many irritating symptoms such as dry and flaking skin, itching, and redness. Some more severe symptoms can include bleeding and cracked skin, intense itching and burning, and even pain when walking. In the worst cases, Athlete’s foot can cause blistering as well. Speak to your podiatrist for a better understanding of the different causes of Athlete’s foot, as well as help in determining which treatment options are best 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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How Can I Prevent Foot Ulcers?

Posted on July 20, 2021

Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) are a common complication of diabetes. These foot wounds are difficult to detect in their early stages and heal slowly and poorly, creating a high risk of infection. Fortunately, it is possible to prevent DFUs. The first step in doing so is to protect your feet. Wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes and avoid walking barefoot, even in the home. Small injuries to the foot can go unnoticed and worsen over time due to the lower limb nerve damage and poor circulation that many diabetics face. Protecting your feet helps to avoid those small injuries. Another important step in preventing DFUs is to inspect the feet daily for any abnormalities, such as cuts, scrapes, sores, discoloration, pain, or strange sensations like tingling and numbness. If you notice anything unusual during a daily inspection, contact a podiatrist as soon as possible. A podiatrist can diagnose and treat foot ulcers before they become too severe.

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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It’s Time for Beautiful Feet

Posted on July 15, 2021

You don’t need an excuse to have beautiful nails. Step outside without worrying about the appearance of your feet.

Understanding Morton’s Neuroma

Posted on July 13, 2021

A neuroma is a condition where the tissue that surrounds a nerve becomes thickened and inflamed. A neuroma can materialize around any nerve of the body, but when it occurs between the 3rd and 4th toes (or less commonly the 2nd and 3rd toes), it is known as Morton’s Neuroma. This benign growth of nerve cells can cause tingling, pain, and numbness in the ball of the foot—often making it feel as if there is a pebble stuck in your shoe. It is suggested that you see a podiatrist if you suspect you have Mortaon’s neuroma, as the condition may worsen and possibly lead to permanent nerve damage.

Morton’s neuroma is a very uncomfortable condition to live with. If you think you have Morton’s neuroma, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta of Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot care needs and answer any of your related questions.  

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton's neuroma is a painful foot condition that commonly affects the areas between the second and third or third and fourth toe, although other areas of the foot are also susceptible. Morton’s neuroma is caused by an inflamed nerve in the foot that is being squeezed and aggravated by surrounding bones.

What Increases the Chances of Having Morton’s Neuroma?

  • Ill-fitting high heels or shoes that add pressure to the toe or foot
  • Jogging, running or any sport that involves constant impact to the foot
  • Flat feet, bunions, and any other foot deformities

Morton’s neuroma is a very treatable condition. Orthotics and shoe inserts can often be used to alleviate the pain on the forefront of the feet. In more severe cases, corticosteroids can also be prescribed. In order to figure out the best treatment for your neuroma, it’s recommended to seek the care of a podiatrist who can diagnose your condition and provide different treatment options.

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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Sources of Heel Pain and When to See a Doctor

Posted on July 6, 2021

Heel pain is a common problem that can have a variety of causes. Pain can result from bone damage like a bone bruise or stress fracture, or it can come from structural issues like plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis. Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain, and this occurs when the tissue that connects the heel to the toes becomes inflamed. Achilles tendonitis is another common source of pain in the heel which occurs when the Achilles tendon that connects the heel bone to the calf becomes inflamed. Other sources of heel pain that are less common include issues that affect the fatty pad at the bottom of the heel. This pad can become bruised or wear away due to aging or trauma. Patients who are unsure why they are experiencing heel pain should consult with a podiatrist. Other signs visiting a podiatrist may be necessary include the inability to walk comfortably, pain that lasts for more than a few days, swelling, pain while resting, or signs of an infection, such as redness, warmth, or a fever.

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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Foot and Ankle Injuries in Baseball

Posted on June 29, 2021

Baseball can take a toll on the feet and ankles, and there are a variety of injuries that can occur.  Ankle sprains are one of the most common injuries that occur while running, sliding or stepping on bases. Overuse or overtraining can result in heel injuries such as plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendinopathy. Baseball cleats can lead to a number of issues as well. Cleats that don’t fit properly can lead to conditions such as hammertoes, bunions, neuromas and aggravate the sesamoid bones. Ingrown toenails are another common issue amongst baseball players. Toenails that are cut too short or at an angle can cause the nail to dig into the skin and become infected. Baseball players who are dealing with pain in their feet or ankles should consult with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Ankle and foot injuries are common among athletes and in many sports. They can be caused by several problems and may be potentially serious. If you are feeling pain or think you were injured in a sporting event or when exercising, 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.

Common Injuries

The most common injuries that occur in sporting activities include:

  • Achilles Tendonitis
  • Achilles Tendon Rupture
  • Ankle Sprains
  • Broken Foot
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Stress Fractures
  • Turf Toe

Symptoms

Symptoms vary depending upon the injury and in some cases, there may be no symptoms at all. However, in most cases, some form of symptom is experienced. Pain, aching, burning, bruising, tenderness, tightness or stiffness, sensation loss, difficulty moving, and swelling are the most common symptoms.

Treatment

Just as symptoms vary depending upon the injury, so do treatment options. A common treatment method is known as the RICE method. This method involves rest, applying ice, compression and elevating the afflicted foot or ankle. If the injury appears to be more serious, surgery might be required, such as arthroscopic or reconstructive surgery. Lastly, rehabilitation or therapy might be needed to gain full functionality in the afflicted area. Any discomfort experienced by an athlete 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 care needs.

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What to Look for in Your Child’s Shoes

Posted on June 22, 2021

In the first 5 years of a child’s life, their feet grow very fast. Because it is also important that the bones in the feet grow straight, proper footwear is very important. As a baby, the bones in the toes are very soft, and shoes or socks that are too tight can prevent those bones from growing properly. In fact, children generally don’t need shoes until they begin walking on their own. Shoes that fasten with velcro are also important because they can help hold the heel in place and keep the foot from slipping. If you have other questions or concerns about what shoes your child should be wearing, a podiatrist will be able to help make further recommendations.

Making sure that your children maintain good foot health is very important as they grow. If you have any questions, 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.

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 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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Diabetic Foot Problems

Posted on June 15, 2021

Diabetes is a systemic condition, meaning that it can affect the entire body. One of the often overlooked parts of the body that diabetes can affect are the feet. People with diabetes are more likely to suffer from various foot conditions. Diabetes can cause nerve damage in the lower limbs and poor circulation. This combination of problems can lead to the development of poorly-healing foot wounds that are at risk of becoming infected. Other problems more common in diabetic feet include athlete’s foot and fungal nail infections, plantar warts, corns, calluses, cracked heels, blisters, ingrown toenails, hammertoes, and bunions. Inspecting your feet daily for any changes or abnormalities can help detect potential problems early, and seeking prompt treatment can improve your prognosis. If you have diabetes consult with a podiatrist, who can help you manage and maintain the health of your feet.

Diabetic foot care is important in preventing foot ailments such as ulcers. If you are suffering from diabetes or have any other concerns about your feet, 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.

Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes affects millions of people every year. The condition can damage blood vessels in many parts of the body, especially the feet. Because of this, taking care of your feet is essential if you have diabetes, and having a podiatrist help monitor your foot health is highly recommended.

The Importance of Caring for Your Feet

  • Routinely inspect your feet for bruises or sores.
  • Wear socks that fit your feet comfortably.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that provide adequate support.

Patients with diabetes should have their doctor monitor their blood levels, as blood sugar levels play such a huge role in diabetic care. Monitoring these levels on a regular basis is highly advised.

It is always best to inform your healthcare professional of any concerns you may have regarding your feet, especially for diabetic patients. Early treatment and routine foot examinations are keys to maintaining proper health, especially because severe complications can arise if proper treatment is not applied.

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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