The Role of a Podiatrist

Posted on May 28, 2019

Doctors that are referred to as podiatrists provide treatment for many foot conditions. These include ingrown toenails, foot and ankle injuries, and neuromas. The education podiatrists go through consists of medical school training, followed by obtaining a doctorate degree in podiatry. Many podiatrists choose to perform surgery that helps to correct bunions, hammertoe, and Achilles tendon injuries. Additionally, they are able to diagnose foot conditions which may improve from wearing custom made orthotics. These may be helpful in improving abnormal walking patterns, and patients who are afflicted with plantar fasciitis may find relief. If you would like to pursue a career in this field of medicine, please consult with a podiatrist who can answer any questions you may have.

If you are experiencing pain in the feet or ankles, don’t join the stubborn majority refusing treatment. 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?

Someone would seek the care of a podiatrist if they have suffered a foot injury or have common foot ailments such as heal spurs, bunions, arch problems, deformities, ingrown toenails, corns, foot and ankle problems, etc.

Podiatric Treatment

A podiatrist will treat the problematic areas of the feet, ankle or lower leg by prescribing the following:

  • Physical therapy
  • Drugs
  • Orthotic inserts or soles
  • Surgery on lower extremity fractures

A common podiatric procedure a podiatrist will use is a scanner or force plate which will allow the podiatrist to know the designs of orthotics. Patients are then told to follow a series of tasks to complete the treatment. The computer will scan the foot a see which areas show weight distribution and pressure points. The podiatrist will read the analysis and then determine which treatment plans are available.

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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Possible Causes of Bunions

Posted on May 20, 2019

A bony protrusion on the side of the big toe is referred to as a bunion. It occurs as a result of a misaligned joint in the big toe and will cause the toe to point out. It typically develops gradually and can be caused by wearing shoes that do not fit properly. These types of shoes include high heels, which may provide inadequate room for the toes to move freely in. Additional reasons why bunions develop include medical conditions such as arthritis, flat feet, or bone deformities. Symptoms of this condition consist of swelling, tenderness, and the affected area may feel stiff. Mild relief may be found while wearing wider shoes, and this may help to reduce friction between the bunion and the shoe. If you have a bunion, please consult with a podiatrist who can properly diagnosis and treat this condition.

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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Are You Suffering From Ingrown Toenails?

Posted on May 17, 2019

If left untreated, an ingrown toenail can lead to more serious concerns, such as an infection. Knowing proper nail care can help in the prevention of an ingrown toenail. Give us a call, and get treated!

Possible Causes of Foot Pain

Posted on May 13, 2019

Many people experience several forms of foot pain. This may be a result of spending the majority of the day walking or standing. A common foot ailment is known as athlete’s foot, and is considered to be a fungal infection of the skin. The symptoms that are associated with this condition consist of itching or blisters between the toes, and the soles of the feet may peel and appear red. Wearing shoes that fit poorly is a cause of ingrown toenails, and this condition can produce considerable pain and discomfort. In severe cases, there can be drainage from the toenail which can indicate an existing infection. A bony protrusion on the side of the big toe is indicative of a bunion. A common cause of this is wearing shoes that are too narrow. Additionally, if there is a family history of bunions, the chances of developing this ailment may increase. If you are having any type of foot pain, it is suggested that you schedule a consultation with a podiatrist who can properly treat any foot condition.

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.

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Practicing Good Foot Hygiene

Posted on May 6, 2019

When the feet feel good, the overall health of the body is positively affected. There are several methods that can be implemented for daily foot care. These include using warm water to wash your feet every day, applying a good moisturizer, and carefully trimming the toenails. Research has indicated feet are larger in the afternoon, and it is beneficial to purchase shoes in the middle of the day to ensure a maximum level of comfort. If you use community pools, showers or locker rooms, it is advised to wear appropriate shoes, which can help prevent foot conditions such as athlete's foot or toenail fungus. If you would like additional information about proper foot care, please consult with a podiatrist who can answer any questions you have.

Everyday foot care is very important to prevent infection and other foot ailments. 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.

Everyday Foot Care

Often, people take care of their bodies, face and hair more so than they do for their feet. But the feet are a very important aspect of our bodies, and one that we should pay more attention to. Without our feet, we would not be able to perform most daily tasks.

It is best to check your feet regularly to make sure there are no new bruises or cuts that you may not have noticed before. For dry feet, moisturizer can easily be a remedy and can be applied as often as necessary to the affected areas. Wearing shoes that fit well can also help you maintain good foot health, as well as making it easier to walk and do daily activities without the stress or pain of ill-fitting shoes, high heels, or even flip flops. Wearing clean socks with closed shoes is important to ensure that sweat and bacteria do not accumulate within the shoe. Clean socks help to prevent Athlete’s foot, fungi problems, bad odors, and can absorb sweat.

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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What Is Toenail Fungus?

Posted on April 29, 2019

Toenail fungus is a fairly common condition that starts with a visible white or yellow spot under the tip of the toenail. If the fungal infection worsens the toenail may become discolored and thicken, then begin to crumble. Symptoms of progressing toenail fungus are thickened nails, whitish to yellow-brown discoloration, brittleness, distorted in shape, darkened color, and foul smell. Some toenail fungus is mild and doesn’t necessarily require treatment, but if it becomes painful or you notice some of the previously mentioned symptoms then it is a good idea to take steps toward getting rid of the fungus. Toenail fungus can affect just one nail, or it can affect multiple nails on the foot. If you think you may have toenail fungus, then it is recommended you speak with a podiatrist in order to receive the proper treatment.

For more information about treatment, 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.

Toenail Fungus Treatment

Toenail fungus is a condition that affects many people and can be especially hard to get rid of. Fortunately, there are several methods to go about treating and avoiding it.

Antifungals & Deterrence

Oral antifungal medicine has been shown to be effective in many cases. It is important to consult with a podiatrist to determine the proper regiment for you, or potentially explore other options.

Applying foot powder on the feet and shoes helps keep the feet free of moisture and sweat.

Sandals or open toed shoes – Wearing these will allow air movement and help keep feet dry. They also expose your feet to light, which fungus cannot tolerate. Socks with moisture wicking material also help as well.

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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Causes of Cracked Heels

Posted on April 23, 2019

Many patients suffer from a condition that is known as cracked heels. It is the name given to dry skin that develops on the heel of the foot, and cracks or fissures will often form that causes pain and discomfort. This condition can gradually develop from standing for extended periods of time for the majority of the day, or from wearing shoes that have an open back. Additionally, research has indicated that obesity plays a significant role in the formation of cracked heels. This is often a result of the added weight the heels must endure. Existing medical conditions such as diabetes and thyroid disorders may contribute to this condition, which causes dry skin that often accompanies these ailments. Mild relief is found when applying a moisturizer to the affected area. In severe cases where bleeding and the possibility of an infection exists, it is suggested to consult with a podiatrist who can properly treat cracked heels.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, 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.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.

How Do You Get Them?

Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.

Promote Healing

Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief or who suffer from chronic dry feet.

Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.

Moisturizers – Applying both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.

Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin. 

Change in Diet

Eating healthy with a well-balanced diet will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to the kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements can also revitalize skin tissue.

Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed. 

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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Reminder: When Was the Last Time…?

Posted on April 17, 2019

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

Foot Pain May Develop from Wearing High Heels

Posted on April 15, 2019

There are many people who enjoy wearing high heels. This type of shoe can enhance the appearance of the legs by making them look longer and thinner. Potential damage to the foot may be diminished if proper stretching exercises are frequently performed, thereby strengthening the foot. Many people may experience heel pain, and this may be a result of shortened calf muscles. There are many foot conditions that can gradually develop from wearing high heels. These may include ingrown toenails, bunions, or Morton’s neuroma, which is a form of nerve damage that occurs between the toes. If you would like additional information about how high heels can affect the feet, consulting with a podiatrist is recommended.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, 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.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which Parts of My Body Will Be Affected by High Heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What Kinds of Foot Problems Can Develop from Wearing High Heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How Can I Still Wear High Heels and Maintain Foot Health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

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 Why High Heels Are Not Ideal for Healthy Feet

Where Are Plantar Warts Located?

Posted on April 8, 2019

A plantar wart differs from other warts because it is found on the heel of the foot. It is known to grow inward as a result of pressure that is put on the heel while walking and can cause severe pain and discomfort. This type of wart is considered to be contagious, and it is suggested to speak to your child about refraining from sharing shoes and towels. It appears as a small, hardened area of skin, and may have black dots in the center. If the wart begins to spread or causes chronic pain, it is suggested that you speak to a podiatrist who can recommend effective methods of treatments. These may include applying prescribed medication, or possibly injecting the site with specific medicine. It is strongly recommended that your child keep all follow-up appointments, which may aid in attaining a complete recovery.

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta from Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

About Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus, getting into open wounds on the feet. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.

While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain or those suffering from diabetes or a compromised immune system require immediate medical care. Plantar warts are easily diagnosed, usually through scraping off a bit of rough skin or by getting a biopsy.

Symptoms

  • Lesions on the bottom of your feet, usually rough and grainy
  • Hard or thick callused spots
  • Wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots
  • Pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing

Treatment

  • Freezing
  • Electric tool removal
  • Laser Treatment
  • Topical Creams (prescription only)
  • Over-the-counter medications

To help prevent developing plantar warts, avoid walking barefoot over abrasive surfaces that can cause cuts or wounds for HPV to get into. Avoiding direct contact with other warts, as well as not picking or rubbing existing warts, can help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. However, if you think you have developed plantar warts, speak to your podiatrist. He or she can diagnose the warts on your feet and recommend the appropriate 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 and ankle needs.

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