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December 2020

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition in which blood flow to the lower limbs is reduced or completely blocked by a buildup of plaque in the arteries. PAD rarely has noticeable symptoms in the initial stages. Many people with this condition will not experience any symptoms until the plaque buildup in an artery has caused a large blockage. When symptoms do arise, they typically begin with claudication, a specific type of leg pain that occurs when walking and typically can get better with rest. Claudication occurs because the muscles in the legs don’t have an adequate blood supply to sustain them during activity. If you are experiencing this symptom, it is suggested that you see a podiatrist, who can help diagnose and treat PAD.

Peripheral artery disease can pose a serious risk to your health. It can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, 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.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is when arteries are constricted due to plaque (fatty deposits) build-up. This results in less blood flow to the legs and other extremities. The main cause of PAD is atherosclerosis, in which plaque builds up in the arteries.

Symptoms

Symptoms of PAD include:

  • Claudication (leg pain from walking)
  • Numbness in legs
  • Decrease in growth of leg hair and toenails
  • Paleness of the skin
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Sores and wounds on legs and feet that won’t heal
  • Coldness in one leg

It is important to note that a majority of individuals never show any symptoms of PAD.

Diagnosis

While PAD occurs in the legs and arteries, Podiatrists can diagnose PAD. Podiatrists utilize a test called an ankle-brachial index (ABI). An ABI test compares blood pressure in your arm to you ankle to see if any abnormality occurs. Ultrasound and imaging devices may also be used.

Treatment

Fortunately, lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, managing cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and quitting smoking, can all treat PAD. Medications that prevent clots from occurring can be prescribed. Finally, in some cases, surgery may be recommended.

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, 21 December 2020 00:00

What Caused My Ingrown Toenail?

Pain is often present with ingrown toenails. They occur as the outer edge of the toenail grows into the skin, and they generally require prompt treatment. The symptoms that are typically associated with ingrown toenails include pain and discomfort, swelling, and a discharge from the skin surrounding the nail may be present in severe cases. Ingrown toenails can develop as a result of genetic factors, from wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in, or from improperly trimming the toenails. Patients who have this ailment may find mild relief when the affected foot is soaked in warm water, followed by using a piece of cotton to gently pull the skin away from the nail. If you have developed an ingrown toenail, it is strongly recommended that you speak with a podiatrist who can help you determine the best course of treatment.

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.

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Published in Blog
Monday, 14 December 2020 00:00

Wounds That Don't Heal Need to Be Checked

Your feet are covered most of the day. If you're diabetic, periodic screening is important for good health. Numbness is often a sign of diabetic foot and can mask a sore or wound.

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Plantar fasciitis is a condition in which the ligament at the bottom of the foot, the plantar fascia, becomes inflamed due to repetitive stress or injury. It can cause heel pain, which is typically at its worst when first arising in the morning. The goal of plantar fasciitis treatment is to reduce pain and inflammation. Decreasing stress on the plantar fascia may help with this and can be achieved by resting the foot, avoiding activities that aggravate the plantar fascia, such as running or jogging, and wearing shoes or orthotics that provide more support to the arch area. Icing the foot for 15-20 minutes using an ice pack wrapped in a towel can decrease inflammation. Massaging the foot across the width of the plantar fascia can reduce pain from standing. Stretching and strengthening exercises for the foot can help prevent plantar fascia injuries in the future. If you are experiencing plantar fasciitis pain that does not get better with home treatment, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist. 

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, 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.

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 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, 07 December 2020 00:00

Causes of Cracked Heels

Dry, cracked heels can be both unsightly and uncomfortable. Sometimes they can even be painful, especially if the cracks are deep. Many different things can cause cracked heels. Wearing shoes that do not adequately support the feet, such as shoes with an open back, can put excess pressure on the heels, causing them to crack. Standing for long periods of time can also put too much pressure on your feet, and this may be made worse if you wear uncomfortable shoes and socks. Dry weather may sap moisture from your feet. Cracked heels can also appear with age, as natural skin elasticity and moisture decrease. Fortunately, cracked heels can be treated and even prevented. For more information about cracked heels, please consult with a podiatrist.

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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