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February 2022

Tuesday, 22 February 2022 00:00

Arthritis and Your Feet

The three most common forms of arthritis that attack the joints of the feet are rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and gout. Osteoarthritis gradually wears down cartilage in the joints and typically affects weight bearing joints, such as the ankle. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder where the immune system attacks healthy tissue, including the synovium (lining in the joints). With gout, uric acid that cannot be properly expelled from the body can crystallize and build up on joints: most typically the big toe joint. These types of arthritis can cause symptoms including pain, warmth, stiffness, swelling, deformity in the joints, and more. If your feet or ankles are in pain due to any type of arthritis, make an appointment with your local podiatrist who can diagnose your condition and determine the best way to treat it.

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment, 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.

Arthritic Foot Care  

Arthritis is a joint disorder that involves the inflammation of different joints in your body, such as those in your feet. Arthritis is often caused by a degenerative joint disease and causes mild to severe pain in all affected areas. In addition to this, swelling and stiffness in the affected joints can also be a common symptom of arthritis.

In many cases, wearing ill-fitting shoes can worsen the effects and pain of arthritis. Wearing shoes that have a lower heel and extra room can help your feet feel more comfortable. In cases of rheumatoid arthritis, the arch in your foot may become problematic. Buying shoes with proper arch support that contour to your feet can help immensely.

Alleviating Arthritic Pain

  • Exercises that stretch the foot can prevent further pain and injury and increase mobility
  • Most of the pain can be alleviated with anti-inflammatory drugs, heat, and topical medications
  • Massages can help temporarily alleviate pain.

It is best to see your doctor for the treatment that is right for your needs and symptoms. Conditions vary, and a podiatrist can help you determine the right method of care for your feet.

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 Arthritic Foot Care
Tuesday, 15 February 2022 00:00

How Do Stress Fractures Form?

Stress fractures are thin, tiny cracks in a bone. They occur when a bone is unable to bear the load or stress placed on it. Your bones, like any other part of your body, are living tissues that are constantly rebuilding and repairing themselves in response to the loads placed on them. These processes are what allow bones to heal following an injury, and to grow stronger or weaker depending on the demands of your daily life. When the load placed on a bone is greater than the bone’s ability to adapt to that load, the bone can crack. This is often preceded by swelling in the affected area. The foot bones that are most likely to sustain a stress fracture are the metatarsal bones, the heel bone, and navicular bone. If you suspect that you may have a stress fracture in your foot, please seek the care of a podiatrist as soon as possible. 

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, 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.

How Are They Caused?

Stress fractures are the result of repetitive force being placed on the bone. Since the lower leg and feet often carry most of the body’s weight, stress fractures are likely to occur in these areas. If you rush into a new exercise, you are more likely to develop a stress fracture since you are starting too much, too soon.  Pain resulting from stress fractures may go unnoticed at first, however it may start to worsen over time.

Risk Factors

  • Gender – They are more commonly found in women compared to men.
  • Foot Problems – People with unusual arches in their feet are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Certain Sports – Dancers, gymnasts, tennis players, runners, and basketball players are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Lack of Nutrients – A lack of vitamin D and calcium may weaken the bones and make you more prone to stress fractures
  • Weak Bones – Osteoporosis can weaken the bones therefore resulting in stress fractures

Stress fractures do not always heal properly, so it is important that you seek help from a podiatrist if you suspect you may have one. Ignoring your stress fracture may cause it to worsen, and you may develop chronic pain as well as additional fractures.

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.

Read more about Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
Tuesday, 08 February 2022 00:00

Living With Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a common foot deformity in which one or more of the smaller toes bend downward at the middle joint. Over time, the affected joints become stiff and difficult or even impossible to move. The tops of the affected toes can develop corns, blisters, and calluses from rubbing up against your shoes, causing pain and making it difficult to find proper footwear. Hammertoe is progressive, meaning it gets worse over time when it is left untreated. When caught in its earlier stages, hammertoe can be treated with conservative methods. These include wearing comfortable, properly fitted shoes, wearing orthotic inserts, and padding the affected toes to prevent skin irritation. For more information about hammertoe, please consult with a podiatrist. 

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Deepa Bhatt-Montoya, DPM from Chicago Podiatric Surgeons. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

If you have any questions please 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 Hammertoe

Suffering from this type of pain? You may have the foot condition known as Morton's neuroma. Morton's neuroma may develop as a result of ill-fitting footwear and existing foot deformities. We can help.

Some of the symptoms of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) can include pain, weakness, numbness, loss of hair on your legs, bluish-colored skin on the feet or calves, poor toenail growth, pain or cramps in your legs when walking, and wounds on your feet and legs that are slow to heal. To properly diagnose this vascular condition, your podiatrist may need to know your Ankle Brachial Index (ABI). Simply put, the ABI compares the blood pressure in the arm with the blood pressure in the ankle. Blood pressure during the heart’s contracting/pumping (systolic) phase is slightly higher in the ankle than it is in the arm for healthy people. Determining the ABI is a very simple and non-invasive procedure, using just a blood pressure cuff and a Doppler instrument. The patient lies down and rests for ten minutes. Then, blood pressure is taken at the upper arm, followed by the ankle. The ankle’s blood pressure is then divided by the arm’s blood pressure. An ABI ratio between 1.0 to 1.4 is considered normal. An ABI ratio of 0.9 or less usually indicates PAD—with moderate cases typically ranging between 0.4 to 0.7, and more severe cases falling below 0.4. If you are experiencing any symptoms of PAD, contact a podiatrist right away for a full examination and to see if your ABI should be analyzed.

Vascular testing plays an important part in diagnosing disease like peripheral artery disease. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, or diabetes, consult with Deepa Bhatt-Montoya, DPM from Chicago Podiatric Surgeons. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Vascular Testing?

Vascular testing checks for how well blood circulation is in the veins and arteries. This is most often done to determine and treat a patient for peripheral artery disease (PAD), stroke, and aneurysms. Podiatrists utilize vascular testing when a patient has symptoms of PAD or if they believe they might. If a patient has diabetes, a podiatrist may determine a vascular test to be prudent to check for poor blood circulation.

How Is it Conducted?

Most forms of vascular testing are non-invasive. Podiatrists will first conduct a visual inspection for any wounds, discoloration, and any abnormal signs prior to a vascular test.

 The most common tests include:

  • Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) examination
  • Doppler examination
  • Pedal pulses

These tests are safe, painless, and easy to do. Once finished, the podiatrist can then provide a diagnosis and the best course for treatment.

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.

 

Read more about Vascular Testing in Podiatry
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