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August 2022

Tuesday, 30 August 2022 00:00

Surgeries That May Help Hammertoe

There are several foot conditions that may require surgery for permanent relief. Hammertoe is an ailment that affects the toes causing the joints of the second and third toes to bend upward, which pushes the toes downward. This condition is a deformity and surgery may be needed for the toes to be permanently straightened. Patients who have conditions like rheumatoid arthritis may opt for a different type of surgery. A tendon transfer can be successful when the tendon is attached to the bone and across the affected joint. This can pull the toes into a straighter position and may improve the overall appearance of the foot. A type of surgery known as a fusion may improve hammertoe by removing parts of the joints so the bones can grow together. This is often effective in reducing existing pain. Amputation can be a last resort and may be done when no other type of treatment is effective. If you have hammertoe and are interested in learning about the different types of surgery to treat this condition, please consult with a podiatrist.

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to treat a foot ailment. To learn more, contact Deepa Bhatt-Montoya, DPM of Chicago Podiatric Surgeons. 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 one of our offices located in Chicago, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Foot Surgery
Tuesday, 23 August 2022 00:00

How to Care For Arthritic Feet

Arthritis can cause a lot of pain and discomfort in your feet. Walking and standing might be uncomfortable due to problems with your heels, ball of foot, ankle, or toes. There are various things you can do to attempt to lessen your pain. Feet need circulation, especially if you have arthritis. This requires that you keep blood moving through them – by walking, taking warm foot baths, getting foot massages, and raising your feet when reclining. Examine your feet for bumps, sores, or discolored areas and monitor any changes in how your feet feel. Avoid bad habits, such as wearing ill-fitting shoes, sitting too long without stretching, smoking, and exposing your feet to cold temperatures. Wear warm socks and comfortable padded shoes in colder months. Do not ignore problems with your feet as you could be putting them at risk of more injury. If you have arthritis and notice problems with your feet, make an appointment with a podiatrist who can diagnose and provide treatment options for you.

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 term that is commonly used to describe joint pain.  The condition itself can occur to anyone of any age, race, or gender, and there are over 100 types of it.  Nevertheless, arthritis is more commonly found in women compared to men, and it is also more prevalent in those who are overweight. The causes of arthritis vary depending on which type of arthritis you have. Osteoarthritis for example, is often caused by injury, while rheumatoid arthritis is caused by a misdirected immune system.

Symptoms

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Decreased Range of Motion

Arthritic symptoms range in severity, and they may come and go. Some symptoms stay the same for several years but could potentially get worse with time. Severe cases of arthritis can prevent its sufferers from performing daily activities and make walking difficult.

Risk Factors

  • Occupation – Occupations requiring repetitive knee movements have been linked to osteoarthritis
  • Obesity – Excess weight can contribute to osteoarthritis development
  • Infection – Microbial agents can infect the joints and trigger arthritis
  • Joint Injuries – Damage to joints may lead to osteoarthritis
  • Age – Risk increases with age
  • Gender –Most types are more common in women
  • Genetics – Arthritis can be hereditary

If you suspect your arthritis is affecting your feet, it is crucial that you see a podiatrist immediately. Your doctor will be able to address your specific case and help you decide which treatment method is best for you.

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

Read more about How to Care for Your Arthritic Foot

Peripheral neuropathy is the result of nerve damage to parts of the body other than the brain and spinal column. The peripheral nervous system sends signals to the feet and ankles. If the nerves are damaged, the messages are blocked. This can result in tingling, numbness, muscle cramps, and burning pain. Periods of extreme sensitivity can alternate with periods of numbness. Among the possible causes of peripheral neuropathy are traumatic injury, infections (shingles), genetics, exposure to toxins, increased age, and problems with the metabolism. One of the most common causes of peripheral neuropathy is as a side effect of diabetes. Unfortunately, peripheral neuropathy of the feet can result in additional problems. Sores and cuts may go undetected because of numbness or inability to detect hot or cold temperatures, especially on the soles of the feet. Wounds may go untreated and cause infection, which in turn can lead to ulcers. If you are experiencing symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, especially if you also are a diabetic, it is strongly suggested that you consult a podiatrist for a complete examination and possible treatment options.

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 Deepa Bhatt-Montoya, DPM from Chicago Podiatric Surgeons. Our 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 one of our offices located in Chicago, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Neuropathy

There are simple and effective ways that can help to prevent falling. When specific stretches and exercises are frequently performed the body can become stronger and a sense of balance may be increased. There are special training programs that are available which may help older people to maintain strength and improve balance. Many people enjoy practicing the Chinese martial art known as tai chi. This form of exercise can help to improve coordination by practicing slow, emphasized movements. Additionally, changes can be made in the home which may decrease the risk of falling. These can include changing the lighting to become brighter, removing frayed rugs and clutter, and promptly cleaning any spills that have happened. It is beneficial to wear shoes that fit well and are comfortable as this may help to avoid unnecessary tripping. It is wise to get regular physicals and eye examinations, where existing medications and eyeglasses can be evaluated. If you would like to learn about effective fall prevention methods, please consult with a podiatrist. 

Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with Deepa Bhatt-Montoya, DPM from Chicago Podiatric Surgeons. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.

Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.

How to Prevent Falls

Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:

  • Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
  • Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
  • Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
  • Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
  • Utilizing a walker or cane
  • Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
  • Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness

Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.  

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

Read more about Falls Prevention
Saturday, 06 August 2022 00:00

Reminder: When Was the Last Time...?

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

Tuesday, 02 August 2022 00:00

Gout Flares

Gout is a type of arthritis that presents sudden episodes of severe pain and swelling in the joints, often in the big toe. Range of motion in the big toe may become limited. Those with gout frequently experience flare-ups at night. Gout is the result of uric acid accumulating in the blood from purines in food, which triggers a buildup of crystals in joints. Diets rich in purines can lead to gout flares. There is uric acid medicine for this condition. However, it is best to manage symptoms through following a purine-restricted diet. Foods that are high in purines include shellfish, veal, venison, liver and other organ meats, alcoholic beverages – especially beer, kidney beans, lentils, and spinach. Those with gout should limit protein consumption overall and try to include plant-based sources of protein in their diets. If you experience periodic pain in your big toe and think you might have gout, consult with a podiatrist who can help you better understand and manage this condition.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact Deepa Bhatt-Montoya, DPM from Chicago Podiatric Surgeons. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

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

Read more about Gout
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