Posts for category: Foot Care
Finding the right foot and ankle specialist doesn’t have to be complicated. Dr. Gary Rogers is an experienced foot and ankle specialist in Wilmette, IL, also serving North Shore, Skokie, and Evanston, IL. At Northshore University Healthsystem, your doctor diagnoses and treats problems affecting your feet and ankles.
How a Foot & Ankle Specialist Can Help You
The skilled foot and ankle specialist at our office in Wilmette, IL, also serving North Shore, Skokie, and Evanston, IL, can help with many types of foot and ankle problems. If you have sustained an acute injury such as an ankle sprain, or are dealing with a chronic condition, such as plantar fasciitis, Dr. Rogers can help. Some of the many conditions your podiatrist diagnoses and treats include:
- Achilles tendonitis
- Plantar fasciitis
- Ankle sprains
- Broken ankle
- Shin splints
- Sports injuries
- Flat feet
The doctor also diagnoses and treats several other types of problems affecting the feet, including bunions, hammertoes, corns, calluses, ingrown toenails, fungus problems, and foot warts. Dr. Rogers provides diabetic foot care, as well.
Signs You Should See a Foot & Ankle Specialist
It is a good idea to see a foot and ankle specialist annually to ensure your feet and ankles are healthy. The doctor can look for signs of a new condition, as well as any changes since your last visit. Identifying potential issues early on allows for prompt treatment before they become more serious.
There may be times when you need to see a podiatrist even if you’ve already had an annual foot exam and are not yet due for another one. See a foot and ankle specialist if you sustain an injury or develop new symptoms. The doctor can ensure injuries heal properly and don’t result in ongoing problems, such as chronic foot pain or ankle instability. See a podiatrist if you observe or experience any of the following symptoms:
- You suspect a possible fracture or break
- Foot or ankle issues that have persisted for two or more weeks
- Pain, swelling, redness, or tenderness in the feet or ankles
- Severe cracking, peeling, or scaling on the heels or feet
- Changes in the skin or nails of the feet
- Chronic foot, heel, or ankle pain
- Pus or discharge from the foot
- Blisters on the feet
Finding the right podiatrist and getting regular checkups is an important step toward healthier feet and ankles. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Rogers, your foot and ankle specialist in Wilmette, IL, also serving North Shore, Skokie, and Evanston, IL, by calling Northshore University Healthsystem at (847) 256-4434.
Are neuromas dangerous?
It’s important not to confuse a neuroma with Morton’s neuroma. A neuroma is a benign growth that develops on the nerves; however, Morton’s neuroma is not a growth; it’s simply inflammation and swelling of the tissue around the nerves that lie between the toes (often between the third and fourth toes).
What causes Morton’s neuroma?
Any kind of intense pressure or compression placed on these toes can lead to inflammation of the tissue around the nerves. Some people are more at risk for developing Morton’s neuroma. Risk factors include:
- Playing certain sports such as running or tennis, which puts pressure on the balls of the feet
- Wearing high heels with a heel that’s more than 2 inches tall
- Wearing narrow shoes or shoes with pointed toes
- Certain foot conditions such as bunions or hammertoes
- Flat feet or high arches (or other congenital foot problems)
Since this condition involves inflamed tissue, you won’t notice a growth or bump in the area; however, you may simply experience pain that is gradual and minor at first and is alleviated by not wearing shoes. Symptoms often get worse with time and result in:
- Swelling between the toes
- A sharp burning pain between the toes that gets worse with activity
- Tingling or numbness in the foot
- Feeling like there is a pebble or stone in your shoe (often at the balls of the feet)
- Pain that’s intensified by standing on your tiptoes or wearing high heels or pointed-toe shoes
Most people can alleviate their symptoms through simple lifestyle modifications including:
- Massaging your feet
- Shoe pads
- Custom shoe inserts (that a podiatrist can craft just for you)
- Supportive footwear that offers shock-absorption
- Non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs
- Steroid injections
- Local anesthetic injections
Heel pain can make your days difficult, much more so if you do a lot of your work on your feet or if you practice sports on a regular basis. For mild cases, you can do a lot to mitigate the symptoms at home, but for pain that persists, you can always turn to your podiatrist for help. They can identify the source of your heel pain and offer a variety of treatments, from the most conservative to surgery, in those rare cases where it may be necessary. Not everyone's discomfort is the same so if you would like to learn more about the possible causes of heel pain and how it's treated you can contact your Wilmette, IL, podiatrist from Wilmette Foot and Ankle Clinic, Dr. Gary Rogers.
Ways to Help
At-home care is a good first response to heel pain, such as with mild symptoms. At-home care can include using ice and compression, and especially rest.
If symptoms persist even after at-home care treatments, if the discomfort is severe, or if you are concerned, then please come into the office.
Your podiatrist will perform a physical examination to determine the reason for the pain, which can range from a sprain, or a fracture, or even chronic conditions such as plantar fasciitis.
You may be prescribed physical therapy as a means of strengthening your foot to assist with pain management and to prevent further injury. They may also assign you medication to deal with inflammation.
Custom-made orthotics are a very common method for managing a number of foot conditions. Their use may even help avoid surgery. Surgery is yet another strategy for dealing with heel pain, but its employment is rare and only necessary when the structural problems with your foot cannot be corrected via other conservative methods.
Heel Pain Treatment in Wilmette, IL
You should not have to endure heel pain, and overuse of painkillers can cause unintended consequences. So treat it at the source, dial (847) 256-4434 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Rogers of Wilmette Foot and Ankle Clinic for treatment for your heel pain in the North Shore, serving the areas of Wilmette, Skokie, and Evanston, IL.
As we age, our feet will change shape and size, which can also predispose them to certain problems. This also means that your foot needs will change, particularly concerning footwear. Here’s how your feet will change:
- Loss of fat pads
- Dry, cracked skin
- The development or worsening of certain deformities such as hammertoes or bunions
- Widening or lengthening of the feet
- Loss of bone density (which can increase your risk for fracture)
- Changes in gait due to certain conditions such as neuropathy or arthritis
- Diabetic-related foot problems
- Issues with balance
You must look for shoes that provide proper cushioning and supportive insoles so that your feet can tackle the day-to-day activities. If you have foot problems or issues with gait, then you’ll want to turn to a podiatrist for an evaluation. Together, you can decide the proper footwear and whether prescription orthotics can also provide your feet with additional support and cushioning that footwear alone can’t.
You should turn to a specialty shoe store where they can analyze your gait, properly measure your feet, and determine whether the shoes you’re getting may require additional modifications including orthotics. For example, some shoes and brands adjust to foot swelling throughout the day, while others provide enough space to place orthotics.
- Any shoes with pointed toes
- Shoes with heels over 2 inches
- Shoes that aren’t non-slip
- Sandals or flip-flops
- Shoes that don’t have a firm sole (including your slippers)
- Old, worn shoes (that simply need to be tossed)
- Shoes with rocker soles (particularly if you have gait problems)
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.