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By Mecklenburg Foot & Ankle and Diabetic Foot Clinic
November 02, 2021
Category: Foot Injuries
Tags: Splinters  
SplintersGetting splinters in the feet is fairly common. Of course, some people wonder if they can simply leave a splinter in their foot and let it work itself out. Others may not know how to safely remove a splinter, which can cause more harm than good. A podiatrist can help you remove splinters from your feet, particularly in children who may be squeamish about having parents remove them.

Why Splinters Need to be Removed

Regardless of whether the splinter is wood, glass, or even a plant thorn, you must remove it from the foot as soon as possible. Why? Because these foreign objects also contain germs, which can lead to an infection if the splinter isn’t promptly and fully removed.

How to Remove a Splinter Yourself

You probably have all the tools you need at home to remove a splinter safely. Of course, it’s important to go over the basics of safe splinter removal. Here are tips for safely removing the splinter:
  • Soak the foot in warm water for a few minutes to soften the skin
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before removing the splinter
  • Once the skin has softened in the water, see if you can squeeze the splinter out by simply applying pressure to both sides (like you would a pimple)
  • If squeezing doesn’t work, you can use tweezers or a sewing needle to remove the foreign object (just make sure to disinfect these tools first with rubbing alcohol)
  • If the splinter cannot be grabbed with tweezers, use the needle to create a small opening around the splinter to make it easier to grab
  • Be gentle and careful when removing the splinter to avoid breaking it
When To See a Podiatrist

While a splinter often isn’t a big deal there will be situations in which turning to a podiatric physician will be the best option. You should turn to one if:
  • You aren’t able to remove the splinter or foreign object yourself
  • The area becomes red, tender, swollen, or contains pus (signs of infection)
  • You feel like there’s a splinter but you can’t see it
  • You have diabetes or nerve damage in your feet (do not try to remove a splinter yourself)
  • The splinter is too deep or too painful
  • Your child is too squeamish or won’t sit still so you can remove the splinter
If there is a foreign body in your foot or your child’s foot, or if there are symptoms of an infection present, it’s important that you turn to your podiatrist right away to have the splinter removed and the area properly treated.
By Mecklenburg Foot & Ankle and Diabetic Foot Clinic
October 25, 2021
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Bone Spurs  
Bone SpursBone spurs may develop on your foot over time and cause severe pain. Recovering from this health issue requires a careful approach and a myriad of different treatments. Understanding each of these options will help to make your recovery smoother and minimize your suffering as an individual. Here's what you need to know about this topic, including both non-surgical and surgical care options for your spurs.

Non-Surgical Care for Bone Spurs 

Most podiatrists attempt non-surgical care before turning to any operating on a bone spur. These simple steps help to minimize pain and relieve suffering. Typically, they'll start by suggesting over-the-counter pain medication or prescribing high-dose medicines of this type. Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium can all help to cut back on this kind of bone spur pain. 

However, they may also suggest icing the area, prescribe regular massage visits, or even provide specialized shoes or footwear that support the bone spur and minimize your pain. The extra padding helps to keep the spur from rubbing up against the shoe and worsening. Sometimes, they may also prescribe a weight-loss routine, including a specialized diet and controlled exercise routines to help decrease foot pressure. 

Most of the time, these treatments help to minimize pain and keeps you on your feet. Typically, they rarely cause any serious complications and can be worked around in your day-to-day life. But, unfortunately, there are instances in which a bone spur could be more than a minor nuisance. In these situations, surgery is necessary to ensure that you recover fully from this problem.

Surgical Options 

Does your bone spur press on your nerves and limit your range of motion? If so, you're not alone. Many people experience this kind of struggle and need surgery to recovery. Surgeons start by checking the extent of your bone spur and seeing how it impacts your foot and leg and your mobility.

Then, they'll carefully come up with a surgical plan that removes the spur and keeps your body safe. This procedure requires carefully opening up the skin around the spur and surgically cutting it away from the foot. A short recovery period will follow, one that helps to ensure your foot fully recovers before you put excess weight on it.

Find Help Today 

If you think you have a bone spur and want to get help, reach out to a local podiatrist today to learn more. They'll work with you to find a treatment plan that makes sense. Catching it early enough should minimize your need for surgery. With this type of help, you can regain a pain-free life and transition back to the everyday experiences that your bone spur has robbed from you. 
By Mecklenburg Foot & Ankle and Diabetic Foot Clinic
October 07, 2021
Category: Foot Injuries
Tags: Broken Toe  
Broken ToeA broken toe is one of the most common minor injuries that you can suffer. However, sometimes, it can prove difficult to tell whether or not you actually have a broken toe. As a result, it is best to know some signs that you do in fact have a broken toe. This is helpful information no matter whether you are planning to visit a podiatrist or if you are thinking about handling your broken toe all on your own. Stubbing your toe is pretty common and most of the time, the pain goes away relatively quickly and you continue with your day. If the pain does persist, you may have a broken toe, so keep these signs of a broken toe in mind. 

Are You Able to Put Weight on Your Foot?

One method that you can use to determine whether or not you have actually broken a toe is checking if you can put weight on your foot. If you can walk on your foot without limping or pain, your toe is likely not broken. Icing the toe and using some non-prescription anti-inflammatory medication will probably be enough. In the event that you continue to experience swelling or severe pain, you should see a doctor about your toe. 

Does Your Toe Have a Deep Wound?

You should take a close look at your injured toe. If your toe has a deep wound or cut, the bone in your toe might get exposed to the air and a doctor should check out your injured toe. Another sign that you have a broken toe is bruising. Additionally, one more sign that you have actually broken your toe is some discoloration on or near your toe. An obvious sign of a broken toe is if it is at a different angle than the toe on your other foot.

What Else Should I Know About Broken Toes?

Taping is a common solution for a broken toe. This works just fine if the break in the toe is simple and the bones are still in alignment. Taping your broken toe will not help it heal properly, though. That is why you should keep the following information in mind: 
  • Consult a doctor about your broken toe so it heals correctly.
  • Taping your toe could worsen the situation if you have a bad break in your toe. 
  • Taping your toe is only a viable solution in some circumstances.
By Mecklenburg Foot & Ankle and Diabetic Foot Clinic
September 27, 2021
Category: Foot Care
High Blood Pressure and Your FeetWhether you are concerned about high blood pressure or you already have been diagnosed with this chronic condition you may be surprised to hear that it can also impact your feet. After all, your blood pressure affects your circulatory system, which in turn impacts the body as a whole. Since uncontrolled or improperly controlled hypertension can damage blood vessels of the feet, you must have a podiatrist you can turn to to make sure your condition is under control.

What problems does high blood pressure pose?

People with hypertension often deal with plaque buildup in the blood vessels. This is known as atherosclerosis. Plaque buildup also causes a decrease in circulation in the legs and feet. This can also increase your risk for peripheral artery disease (PAD). Over time, this decreased circulation can also lead to ulcers and, in more severe cases, amputation. This is why it’s incredibly important that you have a podiatrist that you turn to regularly for checkups and care if you have been diagnosed with hypertension.

What are the signs of poor circulation in the feet?
 

Wondering if you may already be dealing with poor circulation? Here are some of the telltale signs:

  • Your feet and legs cramp up, especially during physical activity
  • Color changes to the feet
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Temperature changes in your feet
  • Hair loss on the legs or feet
  • Sores
If you are dealing with any of these symptoms you must schedule an appointment with your podiatrist. Simple physical exams and non-invasive tests can be conducted to determine how much loss of circulation is occurring in the feet. Your podiatrist will work with your primary doctor to make sure that your current medication is properly controlling your blood pressure.

By getting your blood pressure under control we can also reduce your risk for developing PAD, heart disease, and other complications associated with hypertension. Some medications can be prescribed by your podiatrist to improve peripheral artery disease. Surgery may also be necessary to remove the blockage or widen the blood vessel to improve blood flow to the legs and feet.

If you are worried about your hypertension and how it may be impacting the health of your feet, there is never a better time to turn to a podiatrist for answers, support, and care.
By Mecklenburg Foot & Ankle and Diabetic Foot Clinic
August 31, 2021
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Cavus Foot  
High Arches in ChildrenWhen babies are born they are born with flat feet. Typically the arches of the feet don’t develop until children are 3-4 years old; however, sometimes the arches of the feet develop higher than they should, which can cause the feet to flex. This is known as cavus foot and this problem typically occurs within the first 10 years of a child’s life. Since this condition can impact mobility you must see a podiatrist if this is something you think your child might be dealing with.

The Problem with Cavus Foot

Cavus foot needs to be addressed right away by a podiatrist, as this condition can lead to a variety of issues for your child. Cavus foot is more likely to lead to imbalances within the feet, which in turn can also impact the function of the ankle, legs, hips, and even lower back. Children and teens with cavus foot may be more likely to deal with aches, pains, and strains within the feet, ankles, legs, and hips. This condition can also lead to metatarsalgia, Achilles tendonitis, and chronic ankle sprains.

Causes of Cavus Foot

In many cases, a muscle or nerve disorder that impacts how the muscles function causes cavus foot. This leads to imbalances that cause the distinctive high arches of this condition. Of course, other conditions such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, muscular dystrophy, and spina bifida can also increase the chances of developing cavus foot.

Treating Cavus Foot

You must be watching your little ones as they start to walk to see if you notice any differences in how they move. Catching these issues early offers your child the best chance at improved mobility and less risk for developing foot problems later on. Your podiatrist may work together with a neurologist to pinpoint whether a nerve disorder could be the underlying cause.

Once your foot specialist determines the root cause of your child’s cavus foot then they can map out a customized treatment plan. Milder cases may benefit from more conservative treatment options such as custom orthotics and arch supports; however, surgery is often necessary to correct this problem.

Any issues with mobility, particularly in children, should be addressed and assessed as quickly as possible. Turn to a podiatrist that also specializes in providing pediatric podiatry to children and teens, as they will be able to provide the most thorough treatment plan for your little one.




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