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If you have ever experienced a broken ankle, you are most likely familiar with the severe pain and discomfort that is often associated with it. It may be difficult to differentiate between a fracture and a sprain due to the fact that most symptoms may be similar. These may include bruising, swelling, and the inability to walk because of the pressure the ankle must endure. For severely broken ankles, the bone may protrude from the skin and prompt treatment is recommended. An X-ray is typically  performed to confirm if the ankle is broken or sprained. It’s suggested to consult with a podiatrist who can examine the broken ankle and discuss proper treatment options.

Broken ankles need immediate treatment. If you are seeking treatment, 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 Ankles
A broken ankle is experienced when a person fractures their tibia or fibula in the lower leg and ankle area. Both of these bones are attached at the bottom of the leg and combine to form what we know to be our ankle.

When a physician is referring to a break of the ankle, he or she is usually referring to a break in the area where the tibia and fibula are joined to create our ankle joint. Ankles are more prone to fractures because the ankle is an area that suffers a lot of pressure and stress. There are some obvious signs when a person experiences a fractured ankle, and the following symptoms may be present.

Symptoms of a Fractured Ankle

  • Excessive pain when the area is touched or when any pressure is placed on the ankle
  •  Swelling around the area
  •  Bruising of the area
  • Area appears to be deformed

If you suspect an ankle fracture, it is recommended to seek treatment as soon as possible. The sooner you have your podiatrist diagnose the fracture, the quicker you’ll be on the way towards recovery.

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.

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Published in Blog
Monday, 24 September 2018 00:00

What Type of Virus Causes Plantar Warts?

If you should develop a plantar wart, you may often be aware of the pain and discomfort that is associated with it. They are typically common warts, and form on the heel of the foot. The pain may be at it’s worse in the morning after rising, and may often feel like pieces of glass that have lodged in your heel. Research has shown that plantar warts originate from the human papillomavirus, and often lives and thrives in warm and moist places that may include locker and shower room floors, pools, and surrounding areas. It can typically enter the body thru small cracks in the sole of the foot and prevention of this virus may be accomplished by wearing appropriate shoes, while in these areas. There are several noticeable symptoms associated with this ailment, including a small and hardened round area appearing on the heel of the foot, possibly with black dots occupying the center. If you have developed a plantar wart, it’s suggested to seek counsel from a podiatrist as quickly as possible to begin the best course of treatment.

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Bruce Smit from Frankfort Foot & Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

About Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus, getting into open wounds on the feet. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.

While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain or those suffering from diabetes or a compromised immune system require immediate medical care. Plantar warts are easily diagnosed, usually through scraping off a bit of rough skin or by getting a biopsy.

Symptoms

  • Lesions on the bottom of your feet, usually rough and grainy
  • Hard or thick callused spots
  • Wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots
  • Pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing

Treatment

  • Freezing
  • Electric tool removal
  • Laser Treatment
  • Topical Creams (prescription only)
  • Over-the-counter medications

To help prevent developing plantar warts, avoid walking barefoot over abrasive surfaces that can cause cuts or wounds for HPV to get into. Avoiding direct contact with other warts, as well as not picking or rubbing existing warts, can help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. However, if you think you have developed plantar warts, speak to your podiatrist. He or she can diagnose the warts on your feet and recommend the appropriate treatment options.

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.

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Published in Blog
Monday, 24 September 2018 00:00

Causes of Cracked Heels

An uncomfortable and often painful foot condition known as cracked heels may occur for a variety of reasons. The most common cause is dry skin, which causes the cracks, also known as fissures, to develop. The skin may become dry for several reasons including standing for extended periods of time, specific skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, or athlete’s foot, and being overweight. An additional cause of cracked heels may come from wearing sandals that have an open back and these types of shoes may lack the support that is needed for healthy feet. If you have noticed that you have cracked skin on your heels, it’s suggested to wash the feet thoroughly followed by utilizing a good moisturizer, which may be more effective when used on damp skin. Please schedule a consultation with a podiatrist for a complete diagnosis in addition to discussing the best treatment options for you.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, 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.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.

How Do You Get Them?

Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.

Promote Healing

Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief or who suffer from chronic dry feet.

Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.

Moisturizers – Applying both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.

Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin. 

Change in Diet

Eating healthy with a well-balanced diet will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to the kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements can also revitalize skin tissue.

Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed. 

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.

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Monday, 24 September 2018 00:00

Causes of Hammertoe

The foot condition known as hammer toe is classified as a deformity of the toe. The top of the toe is bent downwards, and this often occurs as a result of wearing shoes that do not fit properly. These particular types of shoes often do not have adequate room in the area so the toes can move freely about, often causing the toes to cramp. The tendons and muscles of the toes and feet often become shorter, which may produce pain and discomfort. There may be additional foot conditions that may form as a result of hammertoe including corns and bunions. Measures can be implemented to reduce any discomfort that may be experienced. These may include choosing to wear shoes that fit properly, using corn pads to protect the joint that is protruding, and performing gentle exercises, which may aid in strengthening the muscles of the foot. If you have developed hammertoe, please consult with a podiatrist as quickly as possible to discuss treatment options.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Bruce Smit of Frankfort Foot & Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best 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 care needs.

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Published in Blog
Monday, 24 September 2018 00:00

Foot Ailments that May Occur During Pregnancy

Pregnant women often experience foot conditions that may be a result of the changes the feet endure, which may be due to the additional weight. Foot pain is a common symptom, and this may occur the majority of the time, as a result of the feet becoming flat. Additional common symptoms that may affect the feet can include extreme swelling, which may also be referred to as edema, ingrown toenails, and cracked heels. The latter often occurs as a result of the additional weight, which may cause the feet to lose elasticity. The skin may become dry, and cracks may form, which is often uncomfortable and painful. Research has shown there may be preventative measures that can be implemented, which may help the feet to feel better. These may include elevating the feet as frequently during the day as possible, incorporating a gentle exercise program, and drinking plenty of fresh water as often as possible. If you are experiencing specific foot conditions, it’s helpful to consult with a podiatrist who can properly treat any foot condition you may have.

Pregnant women with swollen feet can be treated with a variety of different methods that are readily available. For more information about other cures for swollen feet during pregnancy, consult with Dr. Bruce Smit from Frankfort Foot & Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What Foot Problems Can Arise During Pregnancy?

One problem that can occur is overpronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens and tends to roll inward.  This can cause pain and discomfort in your heels while you’re walking or even just standing up, trying to support your baby.  

Another problem is edema, or swelling in the extremities. This often affects the feet during pregnancy but tends to occur in the later stages. 

How Can I Keep My Feet Healthy During Pregnancy?

  • Wearing orthotics can provide extra support for the feet and help distribute weight evenly
  • Minimize the amount of time spent walking barefoot
  • Wear shoes with good arch support
  • Wear shoes that allow for good circulation to the feet
  • Elevate feet if you experience swelling
  • Massage your feet
  • Get regular, light exercise, such as walking, to promote blood circulation to the feet

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.

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Published in Blog
Monday, 24 September 2018 00:00

Causes of Peripheral Neuropathy

There is a type of nerve disorder that is known as peripheral neuropathy. The purpose of this type of nervous system is to provide a connection between the spinal cord, brain, and the central nervous system to the rest of the body. If these nerves should become damaged, peripheral neuropathy may begin to develop, and this may typically cause symptoms such as tingling in the feet or a loss of feeling. Additional symptoms may include experiencing a sharp pain, low blood pressure, or excessive sweating. There may be common reasons for this ailment to develop, including an inherited trait, an infection or an injury. If you are experiencing a sensation of “pins and needles” in your feet, please consider speaking with a podiatrist to learn what the best course of treatment may be for you.

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 Dr. Bruce Smit from Frankfort Foot & Ankle Clinic. 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 Frankfort, and Crete, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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