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December 2021

Tuesday, 28 December 2021 00:00

What You Need to Know About Broken Toes

Broken toes often result from trauma. They may occur from dropping something directly on the toes, stubbing a toe, or bending them the wrong way. Toes can also break due to a stress fracture after a sudden increase in activity. The common indications of a broken toe include a snapping or popping sound at the time of the injury, swelling, bruising, and pain that becomes worse when the toe is moved. Patients who notice these symptoms may have a broken toe and would be wise to see a podiatrist who can assess the injury. A podiatrist will need to take an x-ray, and if a broken toe is confirmed, they can determine the best course for treatment. Depending on the nature of the break, the toe can be “buddy-taped” to the uninjured toe next to it, placed in a cast, or in severe cases surgery may be required.

A broken toe can be very painful and lead to complications if not properly fixed. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Deepa Bhatt-Montoya, DPM from Chicago Podiatric Surgeons. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What to Know About a Broken Toe

Although most people try to avoid foot trauma such as banging, stubbing, or dropping heavy objects on their feet, the unfortunate fact is that it is a common occurrence. Given the fact that toes are positioned in front of the feet, they typically sustain the brunt of such trauma. When trauma occurs to a toe, the result can be a painful break (fracture).

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • Throbbing pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising on the skin and toenail
  • The inability to move the toe
  • Toe appears crooked or disfigured
  • Tingling or numbness in the toe

Generally, it is best to stay off of the injured toe with the affected foot elevated.

Severe toe fractures may be treated with a splint, cast, and in some cases, minor surgery. Due to its position and the pressure it endures with daily activity, future complications can occur if the big toe is not properly treated.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Chicago and Tinley Park, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Tuesday, 21 December 2021 00:00

Understanding Your Gait

Your gait is the manner in which you walk. When a patient has a unique walking style or an abnormal gait, a podiatrist will often conduct a gait analysis to study their walking habits. Gait analysis can tell a lot about a person's body movements. This can help to determine what is causing imbalances in areas such as the hamstrings, glutes, quads, or calves. The analysis can take place on a treadmill or by simply walking down a hallway. In even more complex analyses, sensors and video recordings may be used to diagnose any areas of concern as the patient walks. Anyone struggling with pain as they walk should consult with a podiatrist to receive a proper gait analysis, and to customize a treatment plan that is specific to their walking pattern.

If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Deepa Bhatt-Montoya, DPM from Chicago Podiatric Surgeons. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Biomechanics in Podiatry

Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.

A History of Biomechanics

  • Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
  • In 1974, biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area.

Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.

Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Chicago and Tinley Park, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about The Importance of Biomechanics in Podiatry

Since running is a total body workout, you probably know that stretching muscles in your core, quads, hip flexors, hamstrings, calves, and glutes will help prevent injury. What you may not realize is that there are four layers of muscles in the feet that should also be stretched and strengthened to perfect running form, stabilize the feet and help the big toe to push off properly. Try strengthening the feet and big toes by standing in your bare feet while raising your big toe up and keeping all other toes on the ground. Then, lower the big toe and rest it on the ground while you raise up the other toes. To stretch your calf and heel, sit on a chair with both feet on the ground. Roll a tennis ball under the arch of one foot slowly before switching to the other foot. To get a good stretch on the top of the foot and throughout the ankle, sit with your feet off the ground. Use your foot and big toe to trace the letters of the alphabet while keeping your foot elevated. Switch to the other foot and repeat. For more in-depth foot and ankle stretches, as well as expert advice on proper running footwear and orthotics, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist.

All runners should take extra precaution when trying to avoid injury. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Deepa Bhatt-Montoya, DPM of Chicago Podiatric Surgeons. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

There are a lot of mistakes a runner can make prior to a workout that can induce injury. A lot of athletes tend to overstretch before running, instead of saving those workouts for a post-run routine. Deep lunges and hand-to-toe hamstring pulls should be performed after a workout instead of during a warmup. Another common mistake is jumping into an intense routine before your body is physically prepared for it. You should try to ease your way into long-distance running instead of forcing yourself to rush into it.

More Tips for Preventing Injury

  • Incorporate Strength Training into Workouts - This will help improve the body’s overall athleticism
  • Improve and Maintain Your Flexibility – Stretching everyday will help improve overall performance
  • “Warm Up” Before Running and “Cool Down” Afterward – A warm up of 5-10 minutes helps get rid of lactic acid in the muscles and prevents delayed muscle soreness
  • Cross-Training is Crucial
  • Wear Proper Running Shoes
  • Have a Formal Gait Analysis – Poor biomechanics can easily cause injury

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Chicago and Tinley Park, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Thursday, 09 December 2021 00:00

Wounds That Don't Heal Need to Be Checked

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.

Tuesday, 07 December 2021 00:00

Risk Factors for Achilles Tendon Ruptures

The Achilles tendon is the large tendon at the back of the ankle that connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. One common injury that occurs with the Achilles tendon is a rupture. This can either be a partial or a complete tear of the tendon, and it usually occurs during sporting activities like basketball and tennis, where pushing off and sprinting is frequent. While Achilles tendon ruptures can happen to anyone, they tend to affect males and people between the ages of 30 and 40. Other patients who are at a high risk for ruptures include those with poor flexibility, an inactive lifestyle, or who are on steroid medications.  Achilles tendon ruptures are often indicated by abrupt pain in the affected area, the feeling of getting kicked in the back of the leg, weakness and bruising in the area, and a potential “popping” sound. Patients who may have ruptured their Achilles tendon, or would like information on preventing future ruptures, should consult with a podiatrist.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Deepa Bhatt-Montoya, DPM of Chicago Podiatric Surgeons. 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 one of our offices located in Chicago and Tinley Park, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What are Achilles Tendon Injuries
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