Friday, 24 May 2024 15:32

elderly foot careAs we age, our bodies undergo various changes, and the feet are often affected. Elderly individuals usually experience common foot ailments that can significantly impact their mobility and quality of life. Among these ailments are bunions, which are painful bony bumps that form at the base of the big toe, often causing discomfort and difficulty in wearing shoes. Another prevalent issue is plantar fasciitis, characterized by inflammation of the tissue that runs across the bottom of the foot, leading to heel pain, especially with the first steps in the morning. Additionally, corns and calluses frequently develop due to friction and pressure, causing thickened and hardened areas of skin that can be painful to walk on. It is vital for elderly individuals to seek proper care and treatment for these foot ailments to alleviate discomfort and maintain their mobility and independence for as long as possible. If you are elderly and have developed foot pain or specific foot conditions, it is suggested that you confer with a podiatrist who can offer you relief options, in addition to guiding you on exceptional foot care practices.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Michael T. Hames from Florence Foot CenterOur doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

The Elderly and Their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet and can hide many life-threatening medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Florence, Alabama. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your podiatric needs.

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Thursday, 16 May 2024 19:43

neuropathy footPeripheral neuropathy, a complication of diabetes, occurs when high levels of fats or sugar in the blood damage nerves throughout the body, particularly in the extremities like the feet and hands. Symptoms include numbness, tingling, pain, and loss of sensation in these areas. Peripheral neuropathy often progresses gradually and can be unnoticed until its more advanced stages. Diagnosis involves a thorough physical examination by a podiatrist to assess reflexes, sensation loss, and skin changes. Additional tests like electromyograms, EMG, or nerve conduction velocity tests, abbreviated NCV, may be required for confirmation. While there is no cure for peripheral neuropathy, managing blood sugar levels is the best way to slow its progression. Treatment focuses on alleviating symptoms and preventing complications, such as ulcers. It is important to seek care from a podiatrist, a doctor who specializes in foot and ankle health, for comprehensive management of peripheral neuropathy. To help maintain mobility and prevent complications like ulcers and amputations, it is suggested that you include a podiatrist in your medical team.

Neuropathy

Neuropathy can be a potentially serious condition, especially if it is left undiagnosed. If you have any concerns that you may be experiencing nerve loss in your feet, consult with Dr. Michael T. Hames from Florence Foot CenterOur doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment for neuropathy.

What Is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy is a condition that leads to damage to the nerves in the body. Peripheral neuropathy, or neuropathy that affects your peripheral nervous system, usually occurs in the feet. Neuropathy can be triggered by a number of different causes. Such causes include diabetes, infections, cancers, disorders, and toxic substances.

Symptoms of Neuropathy Include:

  • Numbness
  • Sensation loss
  • Prickling and tingling sensations
  • Throbbing, freezing, burning pains
  • Muscle weakness

Those with diabetes are at serious risk due to being unable to feel an ulcer on their feet. Diabetics usually also suffer from poor blood circulation. This can lead to the wound not healing, infections occurring, and the limb may have to be amputated.

Treatment

To treat neuropathy in the foot, podiatrists will first diagnose the cause of the neuropathy. Figuring out the underlying cause of the neuropathy will allow the podiatrist to prescribe the best treatment, whether it be caused by diabetes, toxic substance exposure, infection, etc. If the nerve has not died, then it’s possible that sensation may be able to return to the foot.

Pain medication may be issued for pain. Electrical nerve stimulation can be used to stimulate nerves. If the neuropathy is caused from pressure on the nerves, then surgery may be necessary.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Florence, Alabama. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your podiatric needs.

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Tuesday, 07 May 2024 19:40

foot surgeryHeel spur surgery stands as a significant decision for those grappling with persistent heel pain. Understanding the procedure's intricacies unveils vital insights. The surgery involves excising the bony protrusion from the heel bone, often performed under local or general anesthesia. It typically necessitates a recovery period, during which mobility may be limited, demanding patience and adherence to post-operative instructions. Complications such as infection or nerve damage, though rare, underscore the importance of meticulous post-operative care. The decision to undergo surgery hinges on various factors, including the severity of symptoms and the efficacy of non-surgical interventions. Consulting with a podiatrist is essential for informed decision-making, as they can provide tailored guidance based on individual circumstances. While heel spur surgery offers relief for many, it is important to approach it with a thorough understanding of the process, potential outcomes, and commitment to recovery. If you have a heel spur that is causing pain, it is strongly suggested that you confer with a podiatrist who can determine if heel spur surgery is right for you.

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to treat a foot ailment. To learn more, contact Dr. Michael T. Hames from Florence Foot CenterOur 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 offices located in Florence, Alabama. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your podiatric needs.

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Thursday, 02 May 2024 19:24

heel painBursitis in the heel occurs when the bursae in the foot become inflamed. Bursae are small fluid-filled sacs near the joints that cushion the bones and tendons. This inflammation often results from overuse or excessive pressure on the heel, commonly seen in athletes or individuals who engage in frequent running or jumping. Heel bursitis can cause pain in the back of or deep inside the heel, which may worsen with activity and improve with rest. The pain may also be more pronounced in the morning or after long periods of inactivity. Bursitis can also lead to swelling, warmth, and redness in the affected area. Treatment typically involves resting the foot, taking anti-inflammatory medications, and wearing heel pads or orthotic devices to relieve pressure on the heel. Sometimes exercises are also recommended to strengthen the surrounding muscles and tissues. If conservative treatments fail, corticosteroid injections might be considered to reduce inflammation and pain. Taking steps to manage heel bursitis can prevent the condition from recurring and allow you to return to your regular activities without discomfort. If you have painful heels and suspect bursitis, it is suggested you make an appointment with a podiatrist for an evaluation. 

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, contact Dr. Michael T. Hames from Florence Foot CenterOur 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 feel free to contact our offices located in Florence, Alabama. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your podiatric needs.

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