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May 2022

Tuesday, 31 May 2022 00:00

Dealing With Foot Spasms

A spasm is simply a contraction of the muscles and can be common in the feet. Spasms do not usually last long, but they can be extremely painful, not to mention annoying. Among the many possible causes of spasms are abnormal electrolyte balance, nerve damage, and dehydration. Spasms also may be the result of  serious disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, dystonia, or Huntington disease. If you experience foot spasms more and more frequently or they begin to interfere with your daily life, it is a good idea to visit a podiatrist who is trained to diagnose the causes. You will likely be asked about your health history, and possibly be required to have a blood test to determine calcium, potassium, and magnesium levels. Vitamin D and hormone levels, kidney function, and nerve function may also be tested. Once the results are in, your podiatrist can discuss treatment options with you. 

Foot Pain

Foot pain can be extremely painful and debilitating. If you have a foot pain, consult with Scott Matthews, DPM, MD from Salem Foot Care . Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Causes

Foot pain is a very broad condition that could be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:

  • Bunions
  • Hammertoes
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Bone Spurs
  • Corns
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Ingrown Toenails
  • Arthritis (such as Gout, Rheumatoid, and Osteoarthritis)
  • Flat Feet
  • Injury (from stress fractures, broken toe, foot, ankle, Achilles tendon ruptures, and sprains)
  • And more

Diagnosis

To figure out the cause of foot pain, podiatrists utilize several different methods. This can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.

Treatment

Treatment depends upon the cause of the foot pain. Whether it is resting, staying off the foot, or having surgery; podiatrists have a number of treatment options available for foot pain.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Wikesboro, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Published in Blog
Tuesday, 24 May 2022 00:00

Dealing with Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when the toenail grows into the surrounding skin, usually at the side of the nail. This is an irritating and painful annoyance that can also cause the skin to become red and swollen. What can make an ingrown toenail worse is if the skin breaks and bacteria enters the skin, causing an infection, drainage and an unpleasant odor. This is potentially dangerous for individuals with diabetes, poor circulation, or nerve damage. Ingrown toenails usually develop from improper toenail grooming. Toenails should always be trimmed straight across (never curved), and they should not be cut too short. Keeping nails flush with the tip of the toe is suggested, as anything shorter may encourage the nail to grow into the skin, not over it. Other risk factors for an ingrown toenail include experiencing trauma/injury to the toenail, wearing shoes that are too short or tight, inheriting a predisposition to ingrown toenails, or having a fungal toenail infection. If you have an ingrown toenail, contact a podiatrist who can relieve your symptoms, address any possible infection, and help avoid future ingrown toenails. 

Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Scott Matthews, DPM, MD of Salem Foot Care . Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.

Causes

  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • Improper shoe fitting
  • Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • Abnormal gait
  • Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.

Treatment

Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Wikesboro, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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The heel condition that is referred to as Sever’s disease generally affects children and young teenagers who are involved in sporting activities. The heel can often feel sore when Sever’s disease is present, and it may be difficult to walk. It is defined as a condition that affects the growth plate in the heel, and can be confirmed by having a physical examination performed. Relief is often found when the activity that caused the condition is stopped, and the heel is frequently rested. It is important to practice specific stretches once the heel feels better, and this may help to accelerate the recovery process. Many patients choose to wear a heel cushion in their shoe which may be able to provide additional padding. If your child is affected by Sever’s disease, it is advised that a podiatrist be consulted for proper prevention and healing tips.

Sever's disease often occurs in children and teens. If your child is experiencing foot or ankle pain, see Scott Matthews, DPM, MD from Salem Foot Care . Our doctor can treat your child’s foot and ankle needs.

Sever’s Disease

Sever’s disease is also known as calcaneal apophysitis, which is a medical condition that causes heel pain I none or both feet. The disease is known to affect children between the ages of 8 and 14.

Sever’s disease occurs when part of the child’s heel known as the growth plate (calcaneal epiphysis) is attached to the Achilles tendon. This area can suffer injury when the muscles and tendons of the growing foot do not keep pace with bone growth. Therefore, the constant pain which one experiences at the back of the heel will make the child unable to put any weight on the heel. The child is then forced to walk on their toes.

Symptoms

Acute pain – Pain associated with Sever’s disease is usually felt in the heel when the child engages in physical activity such as walking, jumping and or running.

Highly active – Children who are very active are among the most susceptible in experiencing Sever’s disease, because of the stress and tension placed on their feet.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Wikesboro, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle injuries.

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Published in Blog
Tuesday, 10 May 2022 00:00

How Lupus Can Affect the Feet

A person with lupus might experience swelling in the feet and ankles because the inflammation of lupus attacks the kidneys, which can lead to fluid build-up or edema of the lower extremities. Swelling can make movement uncomfortable, lead to pain, and become more serious if left untreated. Reducing sodium in the diet and controlling high blood pressure can help with swelling.  It is also wise to discuss medicines that can ease pain with a podiatrist. A podiatrist can provide valuable education on how Lupus affects the feet and assist in devising a customized treatment plan to control symptoms.

When dealing with systemic disease of the feet, it is extremely important to check the affected areas routinely so that any additional problems are caught quickly.  If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles contact Scott Matthews, DPM, MD from Salem Foot Care . Our doctor will assist you with all of your podiatric needs.

Systemic Diseases of the Feet

Systemic diseases affect the whole body, and symptoms usually are displayed in the feet. This condition can make a patient’s ability to walk unbearable.  Systemic diseases include gout, diabetes mellitus, neurological disorders, and arthritis.

Gout – is caused by an excess of uric acid in the body. Common symptoms include pain, inflammation, and redness at the metatarsal/phalangeal joint of the base big toe. Gout can be treated by NSAIDs to relieve pain and inflammation, and other drugs that lower the acid levels in the body.

Diabetes mellitus – is an increase in the level of blood sugar that the body cannot counteract with its own insulin. Failure to produce enough insulin is a factor in Diabetes.

Diabetes of the Feet

Diabetic Neuropathy – may lead to damaged nerves and affect the feet through numbness and loss of sensation.

Peripheral Vascular Disease – can restrict the blood flow to the feet, and often times lead to amputation of the feet. 

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

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Published in Blog
Sunday, 08 May 2022 00:00

Gout Pain Can Be Managed

Gout is a painful, inflammatory form of arthritis. Those affected will typically feel an intense stiffness in the joints of their feet, particularly in the big toe. Schedule a visit to learn about how gout can be managed and treated.

Published in Blog
Tuesday, 03 May 2022 00:00

Big Toe Arthritis Relief

Arthritis in the first metatarsal phalangeal (MTP) or big toe joint is common, particularly as one begins to age. We use our feet to get us through life and normal walking, other movements, and wearing high heeled or improperly fitting shoes can stress the main joint of the big toe. Osteoarthritis or Hallux Rigidus is the most common arthritic condition affecting this joint and it can be quite painful and limit movement. The big toe may also become stiff and swollen. The best treatment for this condition is a fusion of the joint. The procedure fuses or welds together the two bones that make up the aching joint. It does not make the toe less stiff or restore motion, but it relieves the pain. An alternative procedure is a joint replacement of the big toe, but it is not ideal because the use of metal and plastic has not been successful in this type of joint replacement. It is not predictable in relieving pain, and repeated force on the joint with each step makes it less long-lasting than bigger joints, like the knee and hip. Options for treatment of a failed replacement are limited and may be replaced with bone grafting and joint fusion. If you suffer from pain in the joints of the big toe, consult with a podiatrist for the best treatment plan for you.

In certain cases, in which the patient suffers from extreme pain or damage in a joint, joint replacement surgery may be deemed useful. If you have constant pain in a foot joint, consult with Scott Matthews, DPM, MD from Salem Foot Care . Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Joint Replacement Surgery?

Over time, joints wear down; this can be exacerbated by diseases and conditions. Joint replacement surgery, also known as arthroplasty, is when a damaged joint is surgically removed and replaced with a prosthesis. Prostheses, which can be made of ceramic, plastic, or metal, act as joints in lieu of an actual joint. One of the most prevalent causes for joint replacement is arthritis.

Arthritis in the Foot

Arthritis can occur in any joint in the body, including in the feet. Common types of arthritis in the foot are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. The big toe is usually where arthritis occurs in the foot; this is known as hallux rigidus.

Joint Replacement Surgery in the Foot

The most common form of joint replacement in the foot is a first metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint placement. MTP joint replacement surgery is designed to treat hallux rigidus. Surgery is not intensive, and recovery occurs within one to two months after the procedure has been done. Overall, joint replacement surgery is a safe and effective way to treat pain in the joint of the foot.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Wikesboro, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Joint Replacement Surgery
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