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Have you noticed a bony protrusion on the side of your big toe? If so, you may have developed the foot condition known as a bunion. Don't let bunions interfere with your daily activities.

Monday, 17 May 2021 00:00

Fungi and the Feet

Foot fungus is frequently used as a catch-all term to describe a fungal infection of the skin or nails. There are two main types of foot fungal infections. Tinea pedis refers to an infection of the skin on the feet and is more commonly known as athlete’s foot. It typically starts between the toes before spreading elsewhere on the foot and causes burning, peeling, and itchy skin. Athlete’s foot can be treated with topical antifungal medications. Onychomycosis is a fungal infection of the toenails. It can make the nails brittle, thickened, and discolored. Toenail fungus is more difficult to treat and often requires a combination or oral and topical antifungal medications. If you notice the symptoms of a fungal infection on your feet or toenails, it is suggested that you see a podiatrist for treatment.

If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Bruce Smit of Frankfort Foot & Ankle Clinic. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Symptoms

  • Warped or oddly shaped nails
  • Yellowish nails
  • Loose/separated nail
  • Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
  • Brittle, broken, thickened nail

Treatment

If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.

Prevention

In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.

In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.  

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

 

Read more about How to Treat Your Toenail Fungus
Monday, 10 May 2021 00:00

How Does an Ankle Sprain Happen?

An ankle sprain is a common form of foot pain. Many people have endured ankle sprains at some point in their lives, and this type of injury can cause severe pain and discomfort. An ankle sprain is the result of ligaments that have been overstretched, and it may be difficult to walk and complete daily activities. It can happen when the ankle rolls outward, and the foot turns inward. People who enjoy running, and participating in jumping activities may be prone to ankle sprains. Some of the symptoms that are associated with this ailment can include immediate swelling, bruising, and the affected area is often tender. After a proper diagnosis is made, which generally involves having an X-ray taken, the correct treatment can begin. Mild relief may be found when the foot is wrapped in an elastic bandage, and this is helpful in providing adequate support as the healing process occurs. If you have sprained your ankle, please consult with a podiatrist who can effectively treat this condition.

Ankle pain can have many different causes and the pain may potentially be serious. If you have ankle pain, consult with Dr. Bruce Smit from Frankfort Foot & Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Ankle pain is any condition that causes pain in the ankle. Due to the fact that the ankle consists of tendons, muscles, bones, and ligaments, ankle pain can come from a number of different conditions.

Causes

The most common causes of ankle pain include:

  • Types of arthritis (rheumatoid, osteoarthritis, and gout)
  • Ankle sprains
  • Broken ankles
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Achilles tendon rupture
  • Stress fractures
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Plantar fasciitis

Symptoms

Symptoms of ankle injury vary based upon the condition. Pain may include general pain and discomfort, swelling, aching, redness, bruising, burning or stabbing sensations, and/or loss of sensation.

Diagnosis

Due to the wide variety of potential causes of ankle pain, podiatrists will utilize a number of different methods to properly diagnose ankle pain. This can include asking for personal and family medical histories and of any recent injuries. Further diagnosis may include sensation tests, a physical examination, and potentially x-rays or other imaging tests.

Treatment

Just as the range of causes varies widely, so do treatments. Some more common treatments are rest, ice packs, keeping pressure off the foot, orthotics and braces, medication for inflammation and pain, and surgery.

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

 

Read more about Ankle Pain
Monday, 03 May 2021 00:00

Should I Stop Wearing Flip-Flops?

If you frequently wear flip-flops and find your feet aching, sore, or injured, you may be wondering if these staple summer shoes are to blame. Often, the answer is yes. Wearing flip-flops regularly can be very bad for your feet. Flip-flops offer no arch support, which can lead to pain in the heels, arches, balls of the feet, and toes. As you walk in flip-flops, you must bend your toes to keep the shoes on your feet. Over time, this can strain the muscles and joints of the feet and lead to discomfort, pain, and toe deformities such as hammertoe. Wearing flat shoes can also strain the Achilles tendon by overstretching the calf muscles. Flip-flops offer no protection to your feet from the elements, which can cause dry, cracked heels and injuries to your feet from things like rocks, sharp objects, and other people stepping on your feet. If you are experiencing foot or ankle pain, it is suggested that you see a podiatrist.

Flip-flops are not always the best choice of footwear. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Bruce Smit from Frankfort Foot & Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

Flip-Flops and Feet

When the weather starts warming up, people enjoy wearing flip-flops.  Flip-flops are comfortable, stylish, and easy to slip on and off; they're perfect for any summer beach goer.  However, these shoes can cause harm to the feet.

How Can Flip-Flops Affect Me Long-Term?

  • Ankle problems
  • Hip problems
  • Lower back problems
  • Pain in the balls of the feet
  • Problems with foot arches
  • Changes in the way you walk

Are There Injuries Associated with Flip-Flops?

Yes.  Since flip-flops are relatively weak and do not provide the same amount of support as sneakers, people who wear flip-flops regularly are more susceptible to injuries. On top of that, the open nature of the shoe makes your feet more prone to other problems, such as cuts and even infections.  Common injuries and ailments include:

  • Sprained ankles
  • Blisters
  • Infections
  • Cuts and Scrapes

I like Wearing Flip-Flops. Are There Safe Alternatives?

When buying flip-flops, try to find ones that have sturdy soles and that are made of high-quality materials that will support for your feet.  These flip-flops will cost more but will also last longer as a result.

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

Read more about Flip Flops and Your Feet

Taking good care of your feet not only reduces foot pain and your risk of foot injuries, but can also help prevent falls. Older people who take care of their feet are less likely to fall than those who don’t. Some of the things that you can do to maintain good foot health and prevent falls include wearing properly fitted shoes with a wider toe box, wearing shoes while indoors, and maintaining a healthy body weight. Having well-lit areas in your hallways and being aware of any tripping hazards can also help in the prevention of falls. Using over-the-counter orthotic inserts to cushion the feet and decrease foot pain may also reduce the risk of falling. To learn more about the link between foot health and falling, 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 Dr. Bruce Smit from Frankfort Foot & Ankle Clinic. 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 Frankfort, and Crete, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Falls Prevention
Monday, 19 April 2021 00:00

Surgery for Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are often relatively harmless and heal on their own. Conservative treatment methods such as wearing roomier shoes and soaking the feet in warm water is usually enough to relieve pain and heal the nail. However, some ingrown toenails can be severe, become infected, or can frequently recur. In these cases, surgery may be suggested. Acute inflammation or infection may be treated by surgically removing a small portion of the ingrown nail. In very severe cases, where the toenail has become very deformed or severely infected, the entire nail may need to be removed. If you are prone to ingrown toenails, or have an ingrown nail that you suspect is infected, please consult with a podiatrist to find the right treatment for you. 

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. Bruce Smit of Frankfort Foot & Ankle Clinic. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition

Prevention

Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.

Treatment

Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.

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

Read more about Ingrown Toenails
Tuesday, 13 April 2021 00:00

Are You Suffering From Ingrown Toenails?

If left untreated, an ingrown toenail can lead to more serious concerns, such as an infection. Knowing proper nail care can help in the prevention of an ingrown toenail. Give us a call, and get treated!

Monday, 12 April 2021 00:00

What Is Athlete’s Foot?

A rash on the foot may be athlete’s foot. It is an uncomfortable foot condition that is caused by a fungus. Common symptoms many patients experience can include severe itchiness on the bottom of the foot and between the toes, a burning sensation, and possible blisters. The type of fungus that causes this ailment lives in warm and moist environments, and is considered to be contagious. Common places the fungi may spread include public swimming pools, shower room floors, and locker rooms. It is advisable to wear appropriate shoes while in these areas, in addition to refraining from sharing towels, shoes, and socks. Mild relief may be attained when an antifungal powder is used, as this may help to alleviate a portion of the itching. If you are afflicted with athlete’s foot, please consult with a podiatrist who can offer you proper treatment solutions.

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is often an uncomfortable condition to experience. Thankfully, podiatrists specialize in treating athlete’s foot and offer the best treatment options. If you have any questions about athlete’s foot, consult with Dr. Bruce Smit from Frankfort Foot & Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality treatment.

What Is Athlete’s Foot?

Tinea pedis, more commonly known as athlete’s foot, is a non-serious and common fungal infection of the foot. Athlete’s foot is contagious and can be contracted by touching someone who has it or infected surfaces. The most common places contaminated by it are public showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools. Once contracted, it grows on feet that are left inside moist, dark, and warm shoes and socks.

Prevention

The most effective ways to prevent athlete’s foot include:

  • Thoroughly washing and drying feet
  • Avoid going barefoot in locker rooms and public showers
  • Using shower shoes in public showers
  • Wearing socks that allow the feet to breathe
  • Changing socks and shoes frequently if you sweat a lot

Symptoms

Athlete’s foot initially occurs as a rash between the toes. However, if left undiagnosed, it can spread to the sides and bottom of the feet, toenails, and if touched by hand, the hands themselves. Symptoms include:

  • Redness
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Scaly and peeling skin

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis is quick and easy. Skin samples will be taken and either viewed under a microscope or sent to a lab for testing. Sometimes, a podiatrist can diagnose it based on simply looking at it. Once confirmed, treatment options include oral and topical antifungal medications.

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

 

Read more about Athlete's Foot

The fifth metatarsal bone—the long bone connected to the little toe on the outside of the foot—is prone to breaks, with the two most common being Avulsion fractures and Jones fractures. Avulsion fractures usually occur from an injury that causes tendons or ligaments to pull a portion of the bone away from itself. A Jones fracture is less common, occurs either over time or suddenly, is harder to treat, and takes longer to heal due to less blood flow to the area. People suffering from either type of fifth metatarsal fracture can experience bruising or discomfort along the outside of the foot including tenderness, swelling, and pain. Some may even have difficulty walking. A podiatrist can properly diagnose the type of break and use several types of therapies and procedures to facilitate healing. 

A broken foot requires immediate medical attention and treatment. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Bruce Smit from Frankfort Foot & Ankle Clinic. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Broken Foot Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

A broken foot is caused by one of the bones in the foot typically breaking when bended, crushed, or stretched beyond its natural capabilities. Usually the location of the fracture indicates how the break occurred, whether it was through an object, fall, or any other type of injury. 

Common Symptoms of Broken Feet:

  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Blue in color
  • Numbness
  • Cold
  • Misshapen
  • Cuts
  • Deformities

Those that suspect they have a broken foot shoot seek urgent medical attention where a medical professional could diagnose the severity.

Treatment for broken bones varies depending on the cause, severity and location. Some will require the use of splints, casts or crutches while others could even involve surgery to repair the broken bones. Personal care includes the use of ice and keeping the foot stabilized and elevated.

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

Read more about Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment for a Broken Foot
Monday, 29 March 2021 00:00

PRP Injections for Plantar Fasciitis

Platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections are a new therapy that uses your own blood platelets to accelerate the healing process following injuries to tendons, ligaments, muscles, and joints. PRP injections can be used to treat various foot conditions, including plantar fasciitis, a common overuse injury to the ligament that runs along the bottom of the foot. This treatment begins with the doctor taking a blood sample from you and then running it through a centrifuge to concentrate the platelets. Next, those platelets are injected into the injured tissue. PRP injections release growth factors into the tissue to stimulate tissue repair and healing, reducing the painful symptoms associated with plantar fasciitis. To learn more about this treatment, please consult with a podiatrist. 

If you are suffering from a foot condition, contact Dr. Bruce Smit of Frankfort Foot & Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will assist you with all of your podiatric concerns.

What Is PRP?

Platelet Rich Plasma, or PRP, is blood taken from a patient and spun in a centrifuge, concentrating the amount of platelets. The plasma is then re-injected into the site of injury or damage, assisting the body in repairing damage to muscles, tendons, ligaments, and tissue. PRP helps the body speed up its healing process.

Uses of PRP

Injuries affecting the foot sometimes don’t heal properly because of poor blood circulation. The healing time slows down, and recovery time is affected by poor blood supply. PRP injections will speed up recovery and resolve this issue.

Treatment

PRP is the first regenerative treatment for damaged muscles, tendons, and ligaments. No surgery needed. It is only applied with an insertion of a needle.

Ultrasound – An ultrasound is needed for proper placement of the platelets.

Injection – When the first injection is received, the patient will return to the doctor in about 2 to 3 weeks and monitor the recovery process.

Recovery time – Some people respond to treatments differently. Therefore, depending on your condition, the doctor will make any remaining decisions on how many more injections are needed, or if any additional ones are even required.

Benefits

One may be able to avoid major surgery, and recovery time will be cut down. PRP injections also avoid creating scar tissue and damage to the area. Risks are also very low using PRP as a treatment. There is no risk of rejection, contracting a disease from using another person’s blood, or infection.

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

Read more about PRP Injections in the Feet
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