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 most of the day. If you're diabetic, periodic screening is important for good health. Numbness is often a 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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How Is An Ankle Sprain Diagnosed?

Posted on November 25, 2019

There are ligaments that connect the bones of the feet to the ankle. If an injury occurs and tears or stretches one or more of these ligaments, it may result in an ankle sprain. It typically happens if the ankle is twisted or rolled in an abnormal manner, and the ligaments are pushed past their normal range of motion. Some of the symptoms that are typically associated with a sprained ankle can consist of extreme swelling, severe pain and discomfort, and it is generally difficult to walk. Additionally, the ankle may appear to be bruised, and it may become stiff. A proper diagnosis will often involve having an X-ray taken, which is necessary to rule out a broken ankle. Mild relief can be found when the affected ankle is elevated, and an elastic bandage is wrapped around the ankle which may be helpful in providing support. If you have fallen and twisted your ankle, please speak to a podiatrist who can guide you toward beginning the correct treatment.

Ankle sprains are common but need immediate attention. 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.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains take place when the ligaments in your ankle are torn or stretched beyond their limits. There are multiple ways that the ankle can become injured, including twisting or rolling over onto your ankle, putting undue stress on it, or causing trauma to the ankle itself.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Mild to moderate bruising
  • Limited mobility
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration of the skin (depending on severity)

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

Treatment of a sprain depends on the severity.  Many times, people are told to rest and remain off their feet completely, while others are given an air cast. If the sprain is very severe, surgery may be required.

If you have suffered an ankle sprain previously, you may want to consider additional support such as a brace and regular exercises to strengthen the ankle.

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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Who is Prone to Developing Morton’s Neuroma?

Posted on November 18, 2019

If you are experiencing pain on the ball of the foot, it may be indicative of a condition that is referred to as Morton’s neuroma. It is typically caused by irritation that happens to a nerve connected to a toe. It can become thickened, and will most often occur between the second and third toes. It may be common among patients who have flat feet, high arches, or conditions that can include bunions and hammertoes. People who enjoy sporting activities that involve running may also be susceptible to developing this condition. Additionally, skiers or ballerinas may be prone to getting Morton’s neuroma as a result of wearing shoes that put pressure on the ball of the foot. Symptoms that are often associated with this ailment can include a numbing and tingling sensation, and pain or difficulty walking. If you suffer from this condition, please consult with a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.

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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It’s Time for Beautiful Feet

Posted on November 13, 2019

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

How Is A Broken Toe Treated?

Posted on November 11, 2019

A broken toe is generally caused by a heavy object falling on it, or if you stub your toe against a heavy piece of furniture. One of the symptoms that may be experienced is immediate pain and discomfort, followed by possible bruising and swelling. Additionally, it may be difficult to move or bend the affected toe, and in severe fractures, the toe may be bent at an abnormal angle. After a proper diagnosis is performed, which typically consists of having an X-ray taken, correct treatment can begin. This can include taping the broken toe to an adjacent toe, which is referred to as buddy taping. This procedure can be helpful in providing adequate support as the healing process occurs. In severe fractures, it may be helpful to wear a boot that can ensure limited mobility as the toe heals. If you have broken your toe, it is strongly advised that you consult with a podiatrist who can begin the correct treatment technique that is right for you.

Broken toes may cause a lot of pain and should be treated as soon as possible. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta from Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is a Broken Toe?

A broken toe occurs when one or more of the toe bones of the foot are broken after an injury. Injuries such as stubbing your toe or dropping a heavy object on it may cause a toe fracture.

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • Swelling
  • Pain (with/without wearing shoes)
  • Stiffness
  • Nail Injury

Although the injured toe should be monitored daily, it is especially important to have a podiatrist look at your toe if you have severe symptoms. Some of these symptoms include worsening or new pain that is not relieved with medication, sores, redness, or open wounds near the toe.

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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Why Choose Foot Surgery?

Posted on November 4, 2019

Many patients choose to have foot surgery performed as an option to relieve severe pain and discomfort. Relief may be found when toenail removal is chosen to correct chronically infected ingrown toenails. Bunion surgery may be a choice to consider if the bunion is painful and unsightly. Research has indicated it is helpful to wear orthotics following a bunionectomy, as this may help to achieve long lasting relief. If pain is felt from a deformed ankle, the surgery that may help diminish the discomfort is referred to as an ankle fusion. Additionally, this type of surgery may help patients who have ankle arthritis, and neuromuscular disorders. If you have foot pain, and are considering surgery, it is strongly advised that you schedule a consultation with a podiatrist who can properly guide you toward making the choice that is correct for you.

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to treat a foot ailment. To learn more, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta of Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

When Is Surgery Necessary?

Foot and ankle surgery is generally reserved for cases in which less invasive, conservative procedures have failed to alleviate the problem. Some of the cases in which surgery may be necessary include:

  • Removing foot deformities like bunions and bone spurs
  • Severe arthritis that has caused bone issues
  • Cosmetic reconstruction

What Types of Surgery Are There?

The type of surgery you receive will depend on the nature of the problem you have. Some of the possible surgeries include:

  • Bunionectomy for painful bunions
  • Surgical fusion for realignment of bones
  • Neuropathy decompression surgery to treat nerve damage

Benefits of Surgery

Although surgery is usually a last resort, it can provide more complete pain relief compared to non-surgical methods and may allow you to finally resume full activity.

Surgical techniques have also become increasingly sophisticated. Techniques like endoscopic surgery allow for smaller incisions and faster recovery times.

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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