November 2021

Tuesday, 30 November 2021 00:00

What Can I Do When a Wound Doesn’t Heal?

If you have a wound for more than 8 weeks and it still hasn’t healed, it may be considered to be chronic. Such an occurrence could be caused by poor circulation, diabetes, or a weak immune system. Open wounds on the lower leg are known as venous leg ulcers. These kinds of wounds may be medically treated by removing the dead or inflamed tissue, known as debridement. The wound itself can then be cleaned by a high-pressure water jet. A local anesthetic may be used as this treatment is said to be painful. Afterward, the wound should be covered with gauze or a similar dressing to keep it from becoming infected. Compression stockings may be prescribed to increase circulation. For more information on chronic wounds in the feet or ankle area, please consult a podiatrist.

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with John McGhan, DPM from Gold Canyon Foot & Ankle. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Gold Canyon, AZ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Tuesday, 23 November 2021 00:00

Stretches to Help Improve Plantar Fasciitis

When the fibrous tissue on the sole that connects the heel with the front of the foot (plantar fascia) becomes damaged and inflamed, this is known as plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis can also cause tense muscles in other parts of the foot and calf. Sometimes stretches can ease some of this tension and discomfort in these muscles as well as the plantar fascia. Simple calf stretches are a good place to start. To get a good stretch in the affected foot, place it behind you—flat on the ground—with the leg and knee straight. The other leg should be bent in front of you with that foot also lying flat, and your hands placed against a wall in front of you. Hold that position for 10 seconds and then release. You should feel an easy stretch in the calf and heel of the affected foot. Rolling a foam roller or ball back and forth under the affected foot while seated can also provide a good stretch in the foot. For another gentle calf stretch, sit on a chair and either curl a towel on the floor or pick up marbles with your toes. If your plantar fasciitis does not improve or is severe, a podiatrist can offer many solutions to treat it.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact John McGhan, DPM  from Gold Canyon Foot & Ankle. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Non-supportive shoes
  • Overpronation
  • Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

  • Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices
  • Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis
  • Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Gold Canyon, AZ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Tuesday, 16 November 2021 00:00

Why Heel Spurs Form

Heel Spurs are calcium deposits that form on the bottom of the heel near the arch. This area of the foot is referred to as the plantar fascia. Heel spurs can occur when the heel bone and plantar fascia are exposed to repeated stress. This type of stress can be due to over-stretching the plantar fascia, habitual tearing of the heel bone’s thin lining, and straining ligaments and muscles in the feet. The stress in this area usually also causes plantar fasciitis (an inflammation of the plantar fascia). Because heel spurs are not always painful, and usually occur along with plantar fasciitis, they can often go undetected. Symptomatic heel spurs can create a sharp pain, inflammation and tenderness, and feel warm to the touch. People who are obese, older, or who wear improper footwear, are more at risk of developing heel spurs, as well as those who participate in activities such as running and jumping repeatedly, or who suffer from osteoarthritis. A podiatrist will typically use X-rays to identify and diagnose heel spurs. If you believe you may have heel spurs, make an appointment with a podiatrist for an examination and analysis of your condition.

Heel spurs can be incredibly painful and sometimes may make you unable to participate in physical activities. To get medical care for your heel spurs, contact John McGhan, DPM from Gold Canyon Foot & Ankle. Our doctor will do everything possible to treat your condition.

Heels Spurs

Heel spurs are formed by calcium deposits on the back of the foot where the heel is. This can also be caused by small fragments of bone breaking off one section of the foot, attaching onto the back of the foot. Heel spurs can also be bone growth on the back of the foot and may grow in the direction of the arch of the foot.

Older individuals usually suffer from heel spurs and pain sometimes intensifies with age. One of the main condition's spurs are related to is plantar fasciitis.

Pain

The pain associated with spurs is often because of weight placed on the feet. When someone is walking, their entire weight is concentrated on the feet. Bone spurs then have the tendency to affect other bones and tissues around the foot. As the pain continues, the feet will become tender and sensitive over time.

Treatments

There are many ways to treat heel spurs. If one is suffering from heel spurs in conjunction with pain, there are several methods for healing. Medication, surgery, and herbal care are some options.

If you have any questions feel free to contact our office located in Gold Canyon, AZ . We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

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If you are suffering from tenderness, pain, or stiffness in the joints of your feet or ankles, call us to schedule an appointment.

Fractures in the toes and metatarsals (long bones in the midfoot that connect to the toe bones) can be quite painful and should not be taken lightly. Breaks can either be traumatic (acute) that occur instantly due to an injury, or can be stress fractures which develop over time. Traumatic fractures can cause a bone to become misaligned in certain cases. You may hear a snap at the moment of impact and you may even notice that the toe is crooked or misshapen in some way. Pain may be felt at the site of the injury, and bruising and swelling may occur the following day. With a stress fracture, any pain felt while using the affected foot may subside when you rest, and although you may notice swelling there should be no apparent bruising. It is important to see a podiatrist for any broken bone in your toe or metatarsal, even if you have been treated initially at an emergency room. Proper treatment and rehabilitation will help avoid future complications like an improperly healed bone, mobility issues, difficulty wearing shoes, deformities, chronic pain, or arthritis in the joint.

A broken toe can be very painful and lead to complications if not properly fixed. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact John McGhan, DPM from Gold Canyon Foot & Ankle. 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 our office located in Gold Canyon, AZ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Tuesday, 02 November 2021 00:00

Understanding and Diagnosing Vascular Disease

Vascular diseases affect the circulatory system and can involve blood disorders or abnormalities in the arteries, veins, or lymph vessels. Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is a type of vascular disease which causes a narrowing or blockage in the arteries that prevents their capacity to carry oxygen-rich blood away from the heart to the legs and feet. PAD can cause leg pain when walking (claudication), numbness, tingling, coldness, or an inability for wounds to heal in the legs or feet. Left untreated, PAD may also be a precursor to life-threatening issues such as a heart attack or stroke. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms in your legs or feet, schedule an appointment with a podiatrist who can help diagnose and treat PAD. They will perform a physical examination and may even suggest that tests be performed to help assess the presence and severity of vascular disease, such as a Computed Tomography Angiography (CTA) and Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA). CTA uses a type of X-ray scan, while MRA uses radio wave technology. Both tests produce 3D imaging and typically involve inserting a contrasting material (dye) in the blood vessels which makes them easier to visualize.

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 John McGhan, DPM from Gold Canyon Foot & Ankle. 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 our office located in Gold Canyon, AZ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

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