Items filtered by date: June 2022

Experts say that 90 percent of people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) will experience problems with their feet and ankles. Inflammation from this disease causes pain, swelling, redness and a limited range of movement in the joints. In addition, the cartilage, ligaments, and tendons are broken down by the immune system. This, in turn, may cause difficulty in standing and walking for long periods of time. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect the ankle by making it more difficult to go up and down steps. In the hindfoot area, RA impedes the ability to walk on uneven surfaces, such as gravel. Pain generally starts on the outside of the foot, and eventually moves to the arch and the inside of the foot. It may even lead to flat feet as bones shift and become damaged. In the midfoot, the ligaments that support the feet become weaker and cause a collapse of the arch. Deformities in the toes, such as bunions and hammertoe, caused by rheumatoid arthritis may make it difficult not only to walk, but to wear shoes. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, it is a good idea to develop an ongoing relationship with a podiatrist to monitor these and other changes to your feet and ankles.


 

Because RA affects more than just your joints, including the joints in your feet and ankles, it is important to seek early diagnosis from your podiatrist if you feel like the pain in your feet might be caused by RA. For more information, contact Patrick Bruton, DPM of Big Country foot and Ankle. Our doctor will assist you with all of your podiatric concerns.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the membranes surrounding the joints. Inflammation of the lining and eventually the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone occur, causing severe pain and immobility.

Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Feet

Although RA usually attacks multiple bones and joints throughout the entire body, almost 90 percent of cases result in pain in the foot or ankle area.

Symptoms

  • Swelling and pain in the feet
  • Stiffness in the feet
  • Pain on the ball or sole of feet
  • Joint shift and deformation

Diagnosis

Quick diagnosis of RA in the feet is important so that the podiatrist can treat the area effectively. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, occupation, and lifestyle to determine the origin of the condition. Rheumatoid Factor tests help to determine if someone is affected by the disease.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Abilene, Brownwood, and Colorado City, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Tuesday, 21 June 2022 00:00

Symptoms of an Infected Foot Wound

It is beneficial to treat wounds on the feet as quickly as possible to avoid future health complications. Any cut or scrape on the bottom of the foot needs to be cleaned with an antiseptic, after the hands are thoroughly washed. This is followed by covering the cut with a dressing, and protecting it from getting wet. The cut will heal naturally, and eventually a scab will form. The foot may be wrapped by using tape to keep the bandage in place on the sole of the foot. Symptoms of an infected wound include redness surrounding the affected area, and it may begin to ooze a green or yellow fluid. Additionally, the wound may become painful, the entire foot may turn red, and swelling may increase. An infection on the foot may affect the entire body, and many people become lethargic. If you have a wound on your foot, it is strongly advised that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.

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 Patrick Bruton, DPM from Big Country foot and 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 Abilene, Brownwood, and Colorado City, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Tuesday, 14 June 2022 00:00

Common Foot Problems

We use our feet for most of what we do in life and given that each foot is made up of 26 bones, developing various foot problems over our lifetimes is not surprising. One’s feet can get injured, inflamed, or malfunction in a multitude of ways. Wearing improper footwear, having a chronic disease like diabetes, and aging are the major contributors to foot problems. The most common symptom of foot problems is pain—in the ankles, toes, heels, or soles of the feet. Some conditions causing foot pain are discussed here. Athlete’s foot is a contagious fungal infection resulting in itchy, stinging, and burning feet and toes. A bunion is a bump on the side of the big toe causing the toe to bend inward towards the other toes. Corns are round circles of thickened skin on toes or soles of feet that develop to prevent blisters. Plantar Fasciitis is when the plantar fascia ligament running along the bottom of the foot becomes strained or sustains micro tears.  Heel spurs are bony protrusions that grow from calcium deposits between the heel and arch of the foot and appear on the front of the heel. Hammertoes are when toes curve down rather than out. An ingrown toenail is when a toenail grows into the surrounding skin. A plantar wart is a wart on the bottom of the foot that arises from the human papillomavirus. Flat foot is when the arch of the foot collapses. Diabetic neuropathy is when there is damage to the nerves of the feet due to unregulated high blood sugar and one experiences a tingling feeling or loss of feeling in the foot. If you suffer from pain in any part of your foot, consult with a podiatrist for proper diagnosis and a customized treatment plan.

If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Patrick Bruton, DPM from Big Country foot and Ankle. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Biomechanics in Podiatry

Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.

A History of Biomechanics

  • Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
  • In 1974, biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area.

Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.

Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Abilene, Brownwood, and Colorado City, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Thursday, 09 June 2022 00:00

Are You Suffering From Nerve Damage?

Neuropathy is a condition that can lead to numbness or loss of sensation in the feet, but it can also cause pain. This condition is more likely to develop for those who are diabetic, obese, or with high blood pressure.

Doctors who treat ailments of the foot are referred to as podiatrists. They are skilled in diagnosing various foot conditions in addition to providing quality treatment. Podiatric medicine is considered to be a specialty, involving the feet and ankles. There are several areas of this type of medicine to be proficient in, including public health, orthopedics, or surgery. These doctors are able to correct foot deformities, and can advise patients on how to care for their foot conditions. The education process starts with earning a bachelor's degree, followed by completing a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) program. This takes approximately four years to complete. The next step is to enroll in a podiatric medicine and surgery residency program. It is mandatory for podiatrists to obtain a license to practice podiatry in their specific state, in addition to passing a state exam. Many podiatrists choose to work in an office or hospital, or can become part of a group practice. If you are interested in pursuing podiatry as a career, it is suggested that you speak with a podiatrist about any questions or concerns you may have.

If you are experiencing pain in the feet or ankles, don’t join the stubborn majority refusing treatment. Feel free to contact Patrick Bruton, DPM from Big Country foot and Ankle. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Podiatrist?

Someone would seek the care of a podiatrist if they have suffered a foot injury or have common foot ailments such as heal spurs, bunions, arch problems, deformities, ingrown toenails, corns, foot and ankle problems, etc.

Podiatric Treatment

A podiatrist will treat the problematic areas of the feet, ankle or lower leg by prescribing the following:

  • Physical therapy
  • Drugs
  • Orthotic inserts or soles
  • Surgery on lower extremity fractures

A common podiatric procedure a podiatrist will use is a scanner or force plate which will allow the podiatrist to know the designs of orthotics. Patients are then told to follow a series of tasks to complete the treatment. The computer will scan the foot a see which areas show weight distribution and pressure points. The podiatrist will read the analysis and then determine which treatment plans are available.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Abilene, Brownwood, and Colorado City, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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