My Blog
By Arthur Kaplan, D.P.M.
July 01, 2021
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Sprained Ankle   Sprains  

Sprained Ankle

Whether you simply stepped down awkwardly or you were in a sports-related accident, it could have left you with a painful, swollen ankle. Could it be a simple strain, or could you have sprained your ankle? If you even suspect that you might have a sprained ankle, or if you’ve never experienced an ankle injury before, it’s always a good idea to play it safe and to turn to a podiatrist right away for proper diagnosis and treatment.

How to Treat Sprained Ankles

Most minor sprains can be properly managed through simple at-home treatment and care. Conservative treatment is typically the first line of defense against minor ankle and foot problems, including minor sprains. While more moderate to severe sprains will require more aggressive attention and treatment options, the RICE method is ideal for most ankle sprains. Here’s what RICE stands for:

Rest

No matter the severity of your sprain, your podiatrist will be the first to tell you to stay off the ankle and to rest as much as possible to give the ankle time to heal. If the sprain is more moderate or severe, your podiatrist may recommend wearing a protective boot or using crutches to help stabilize the foot and ankle and take pressure off the ankle while standing or walking.

Ice

Especially for the first 72 hours after an ankle injury, it’s a good idea to use ice as much as possible to reduce swelling and pain. Wrap an ice pack in a towel and apply to the ankle for up to 20 minutes at a time. You can continue to do this every few hours throughout the day.

Compression

Your podiatrist can also show you the proper way to wrap and bandage your ankle, which not only promotes proper circulation and blood flow to the area to aid in healing but also can provide additional support and stabilization for the ankle. It’s important to know how to properly wrap your ankle to make sure it’s providing the very best support and your podiatrist can easily show you how.

Elevation

Whenever you at resting (which should be most of the day!), it’s a good idea to prop your injured ankle up above your heart to reduce inflammation and bruising. You should elevate your ankle for at least a couple of hours each day!

If you are in pain, over-the-counter NSAID pain relievers can be great for reducing pain, swelling, and inflammation. For more severe sprains, your podiatrist may prescribe something stronger. Patients with more moderate-to-severe sprains may require physical therapy and rehabilitation to help rebuild and strengthen the ligaments, tendons, and muscles of the ankle.

Knowing you have a proper treatment plan in place can provide you with the peace of mind you need to know that your ankle will heal properly. Don’t ignore any foot or ankle injuries. Turn to your podiatrist right away for sprained ankles, or any other problems you may be facing.
By Arthur Kaplan, D.P.M.
June 03, 2021
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Thyroid Disease  
Thyroid Disease and FeetThe thyroid gland releases and regulates hormones and is responsible for everything from heart rate to peripheral nervous system functions. So, you may be surprised to discover that this same disorder that may make you feel tired and brain foggy can also cause changes in your feet. In fact, your feet may be trying to alert you that something might be wrong with your thyroid.
 
You have dry, cracked feet

While we know that there are a lot of reasons why someone might have dry, cracked feet including being on your feet all day, long-distance running or winter weather, your thyroid might also be playing a role. Many people with hypothyroidism, an underactive thyroid, complain of dry, cracked skin on the soles of their feet, particularly the heels. You may also notice that you get deep, painful fissures or that your skin seems almost leathery in thickness and appearance. This could be a sign to have your thyroid checked.
 
Your feet (and hands) always seem cold

Since your thyroid is responsible for your metabolism it’s not too surprising that an underactive thyroid slows the metabolism, which in turn causes the body’s temperature to drop. This is why you notice that your feet and hands always seem to be cold to the touch. You may notice that this problem is made worse during cold weather. Some people with hypothyroidism deal with a condition known as Raynaud’s phenomenon, in which the feet and hands are so cold that they go numb and turn blue or white.
 
Your feet are swollen

Again, there are a lot of things that can lead to swollen feet; however, if you notice swelling in your feet and ankles rather regularly then you may want to have your thyroid checked. Since people with hypothyroidism are also prone to developing tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can lead to permanent nerve damage if left untreated, you must have a podiatrist you can turn to for regular care if you have been diagnosed with a thyroid disorder.
 
If you notice any changes in your feet and you’d like to take a closer look, your podiatrist will be the best specialist to turn to. Should they suspect that a thyroid disease might be at play you can also speak with a primary care doctor for blood work.
By Arthur Kaplan, D.P.M.
April 26, 2021
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Diabetic Foot  
Diabetic FeetWhen it comes to diabetes nothing is more important than living a healthy lifestyle and taking the proper medications to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Controlling your blood sugar is key to preventing health complications. Along with turning to a regular doctor and endocrinologist, it’s important that you also add a podiatrist to your team of specialists to monitor and maintain good foot health.

Why is foot health important?

People with diabetes are at a much greater risk for developing serious problems such as nerve damage, loss of sensation, ulcers, and decreased circulation. This chronic condition also increases your risk for infections. Even small cuts and minor blisters can lead to a serious infection if left untreated.

This is why it’s important that any changes to your feet, even minor ones, are addressed and treated by a podiatrist rather than trying to treat the problem yourself. By turning to a podiatrist you can prevent further complications from happening.

How do I care for diabetic feet?

There are many things that you can do every day to maintain healthy, happy feet. This is something that your podiatrist can discuss with you when you come in for a comprehensive evaluation. Even if you have your diabetes properly controlled with medication, it’s still important to have a foot doctor that you can turn to for routine care, nail trimming, and more. Some tips for keeping diabetic feet healthy and problem-free include,
  • Washing feet with warm water and soap at least once a day. Make sure that you also clean between toes. Once your feet are thoroughly clean, also dry them off completely before applying moisturizer.
  • Never go barefoot, even indoors, as this could lead to an injury. Make sure to always check your shoes before putting them on to ensure that dirt or small objects may not be inside (as this can lead to injury).
  • Wear shoes that provide the proper fit. There are shoes designed specifically for those with diabetes; however, as long as you wear shoes that provide protection, optimal support, and the ideal fit, this is all you need.
  • You should always have your feet examined by a podiatrist at least once a year to check blood flow and to make sure that there are no issues. If you have trouble trimming your nails properly, you can also turn to a podiatrist who will do it for you.
If you are living with diabetes and you don’t have a podiatrist that you turn to, you must find one that you trust. Foot problems can occur out of nowhere, and when they do, a foot doctor is going to be the specialist you’ll need to turn to right away.
By Arthur Kaplan, D.P.M.
March 31, 2021
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Pigeon Toes  
Pigeon ToesDo your child’s feet turn inward? If so, it’s fairly easy to tell, particularly when they walk. This condition is known as pigeon toes and it is often genetic (so if you have a family history of pigeon toes chances are more likely that your child will develop this foot problem, too).
 
How are pigeon toes diagnosed?

When you bring your child into the podiatrist’s office, the specialist will examine your child’s walk and gait. They will also observe how your child stands to see if their feet turn inwards or to look at how your child’s hips are positioned. Your podiatrist may also recommend imaging tests to look at the alignment of the bones.

While a pediatrician may be the first person to look at and diagnose your child’s pigeon toes, a pediatric podiatrist is going to be able to provide your little one with the specialized treatment and care they need.
 
How are pigeon toes treated in children?

Most parents are relieved to find out that many children grow out of mild to moderate forms of pigeon toes. While this may take a few years, this is nothing to worry about and children won’t require special treatment or care.

However, if this issue is detected in your infant, they may need to wear a cast on the feet to fix the alignment before your child begins walking. A podiatrist can also show you a series of stretches and massages that can help the bones grow into the proper alignment.

If your child’s pigeon toes are still causing them issues by 10 years old, then you may want to talk with your podiatrist about whether surgery may be necessary to correct these bone alignment issues.
While mild pigeon toes may not be a cause for concern, children with more severe cases may have trouble walking or may not be able to participate in sports. Some children may also deal with teasing due to their condition. It’s important to discuss all of these issues with your child’s podiatrist so they can help you find the right treatment option to meet your child’s needs.
 
If your child has pigeon toes, it’s best to speak with a qualified foot doctor to find out the best way to address this issue to prevent mobility issues in your growing little one. A podiatrist can easily treat pigeon toes and other foot and ankle conditions in children, teens, and adults.
By Arthur Kaplan, D.P.M.
March 02, 2021
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Puncture Wound  
Puncture WoundA puncture wound in the foot occurs when you step on an object that leaves a small hole behind. One of the most common puncture wounds comes from stepping on a nail. Puncture wounds are not simply cuts and will require different treatment and care to prevent infection and other complications from occurring. If you’re dealing with a puncture wound, you probably took a trip to your local emergency room for care. Even if you’ve done this, you should still follow up with a podiatrist to make sure the wound is properly cared for and tended to.
 
Dealing with a puncture wound? Here are the steps you should take,
  • Seek immediate medical attention (head to your local ER)
  • You may need a tetanus shot if it’s been more than 10 years since your last shot
  • Schedule an appointment with your podiatrist within 24 hours of the injury
  • Your podiatrist will provide you with a variety of care instructions to keep it clean and disinfected (make sure to follow all of these instructions)
When you come into the podiatrist’s office the first thing they will do is assess the wound and make sure it is properly cleaned. They will also make sure there is no debris remaining. To clean the wound, a numbing gel may be applied to the area first. Sometimes a round of antibiotics is prescribed to prevent an infection from developing. If your podiatrist suspects that you might still have a piece of an object in the wound or that there might be bone damage, imaging tests may need to be performed.
 
You must keep off the foot so that it can fully heal. If you’ve been prescribed antibiotics, make sure to take the medication until it is finished (if you stop taking it before the medication is finished it won’t be as effective). While your foot heals you must examine it daily and look for any signs of infection. These signs include,
  • Fever
  • New or worsening pain
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Drainage
  • Skin that’s warm to the touch
It’s important to turn to a podiatrist right away to treat your puncture wound to prevent complications. A foot and ankle specialist can provide you with instructions on how to properly care for your wound to ensure that it doesn’t get infected. Seek treatment right away.




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