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Posts for category: Foot Condition

By Wilmette Foot and Ankle Clinic
December 29, 2020
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Foot Injury   Ankle Injury  

Ankle and foot injuries could impact one or several structures in the ankles and feet. Your ankle and foot complex contains numerous joints, bones, tendons, muscles, nerves, and ligaments. A problem, even a seemingly minor one, with any of these parts could lead to pain, discomfort, and other ill effects.

For this, a proper diagnosis with your North Shore, IL, podiatrist, Dr. Gary Rogers here at Wilmette Foot and Ankle Clinic in Wilmette, IL, is crucial to obtain proper treatment.

Common Types of Ankle and Foot Injuries

  • Dislocations and fractures of the toe, foot, or ankle
  • Soft tissue injuries such as ankle sprains, foot and toe bruises, ligament tears, foot infections, and wounds, as well as Achilles tendon injuries
  • Repetitive strain injuries such as bunions, toe, foot, or ankle tendinitis, hammer toe, metatarsalgia, plantar fasciitis, and heel spurs
  • Deformities and defects like cavus foot and clubfoot and deformities due to injury like Charcot's foot
  • Nerve-related conditions such as peripheral neuropathy, tarsal tunnel syndrome, and Morton’s neuroma

It’s vital to consult your podiatrist for persistent ankle or foot injury symptoms, including pain, numbness, or swelling. Seeking proper treatment early on can help prevent the progression of these symptoms and resolve the initial cause of the injury. Some injuries, such as fractures and infections (especially if you’re diabetic), will require immediate treatment.

Common Treatments for Foot and Ankle Injuries

During your consultation in our Wilmette, IL, office, your podiatrist in North Shore, IL, will recommend a treatment plan that’s specific to your injury. In general, the main treatment goals include improving your symptoms and fixing any physical issues. These usually require physical therapy.

For minor injuries OTC anti-inflammatory medications and the RICE (resting, icing, compressing, and icing) treatment protocol usually works. Some conditions due to injuries like heel spurs and bunions will require an overhaul of your footwear choices. You may likewise have to use orthotics to help improve your comfort and ankle and foot alignment.

Additionally, for severe injuries, you might have to wear a cast, walking boot, or splint, and use crutches. More potent prescription medicines, corticosteroids injections, and/or surgical intervention might also be necessary to effectively treat certain ankle and foot injuries.

Need Help With An Ankle or Foot Injury? Get In Touch With Us

Arrange an appointment with your North Shore, IL, podiatrist, Dr. Gary Rogers of Wilmette Foot and Ankle Clinic in Wilmette, IL, by calling (847) 256-4434.

By Wilmette Foot and Ankle Clinic
December 16, 2020
Category: Foot Condition
How Rheumatoid Arthritis Affects the FeetRheumatoid arthritis is one of the most common types of arthritis, and it is characterized by joint pain, inflammation, and damage. RA, like other kinds of arthritis, is progressive, which means that symptoms will gradually get worse over time if left untreated. So, how do you know if you might be developing RA in your feet? While a podiatrist can certainly provide you with a definitive diagnosis, here are some telltale signs of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • You experience pain, inflammation, and stiffness in the joints of the foot, particularly the toes
  • You experience aching feet, particularly after activity or long periods of standing
  • Some parts of your foot may feel oddly warm to the touch or may emanate heat while the rest of the foot feels normal
  • The joints of the toes and ankles may swell
Symptoms are often mild at first and you may not even think that you have arthritis. Those between the ages of 30 to 60 are more likely to develop RA. You may notice intense flare-ups that are characterized by bouts of remission (in which you don’t experience symptoms). Do not take these symptom-free moments to mean that you are fine. It’s important to see a podiatrist right away if you are experiencing any of the symptoms above.

What does RA do to the feet and ankles?

Along with painful joints and stiffness, you may also notice other changes to your feet over time. Some of these changes include,
  • Bunions
  • Corns
  • Hammertoes and claw toes
  • Bursitis
  • Circulation issues (e.g. atherosclerosis; Raynaud’s phenomena)
How is rheumatoid arthritis treated?

Since RA is not curable, your podiatrist will focus on crafting a treatment plan that will help to alleviate your symptoms and slow the progression of the disease to prevent severe and irreparable joint damage. Prescription medications known as disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are biologics that can reduce inflammation and prevent the progression of the disease.

Of course, there are also lifestyle changes you can make along with taking prescription medication that can also ease symptoms,
  • Warm soaks
  • Custom insoles or orthotics
  • Pain relievers
  • Compression
  • Stretching exercises for the feet
  • Bracing
  • Steroid injections (for targeting severe inflammation)
Surgery is only necessary if there is severe joint or cartilage damage, or if inflamed tissue needs to be removed from around the joint.

Most people with RA will eventually develop foot and ankle problems, which is why it’s important to have a podiatrist on your team that can help you manage your RA effectively.
By Wilmette Foot and Ankle Clinic
October 28, 2020
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Sesamoiditis  
SesamoiditisA sesamoid is a bone that connects to a tendon or muscle instead of another bone. The most common sesamoids are the patella (kneecap) and two bones found under the forefoot. The sesamoids in the foot help to provide the foot with weight-bearing support. Unfortunately, just like another bone, sesamoids can fracture or become inflamed. An inflamed sesamoid is known as sesamoiditis and it’s most often found in athletes.
 
What are the symptoms of sesamoiditis?
 
So, how do you differentiate pain from sesamoiditis from other causes of pain? You could be dealing with an inflamed sesamoid in the foot if you are experiencing:
  • Pain at the ball of the foot near the big toe
  • Pain when bending or straightening the big toe
  • Swelling
  • Pain that comes up gradually
Pain that comes on suddenly may be a sign of a fractured sesamoid rather than sesamoiditis, which is a form of tendinitis. You may experience pain when putting weight on the foot.

How is sesamoiditis treated?

The good news is that this inflammatory condition can be treated with rest and home care designed to ease the inflamed tendon or muscle. At-home care for sesamoiditis looks like:
  • Avoiding any activities that put pressure on the foot
  • Taking a pain reliever such as ibuprofen to reduce pain and swelling
  • Wearing supportive shoes with ample cushioning
  • Applying ice to the foot for 10-15 minutes every few hours
  • Avoiding shoes with pointed toes or high heels
It can take up to six weeks for sesamoiditis pain and inflammation to go away. If you are dealing with severe pain or swelling, or if you have trouble walking, then you must see a podiatrist right away. In more severe cases your doctor may recommend bracing the foot or using steroid injections to target unresponsive and more serious inflammation.

If you are experiencing severe or persistent foot pain, you must seek podiatry care from a qualified foot and ankle specialist. Foot pain should not go ignored. Call your podiatrist today. 
By Wilmette Foot and Ankle Clinic
July 28, 2020
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Footwear   Hammertoe  
HammertoesWhile tight, cramped shoes and those towering high heels may not immediately show you the damage that’s being done to your feet, over time you will certainly notice changes in the structure and function of your feet. Along with bunions, a common foot deformity, hammertoes are another deformity that causes the toes to bend downward at the middle joint. If the problem isn’t corrected, this simple and rather uncomfortable deformity can become severe. Here’s how to determine whether you may have hammertoes and what you can do about it now to prevent it from getting worse.

Wear Appropriate Footwear
You need to make sure that any shoes you wear properly fit your feet. While this might sound silly, many people are guilty of wearing shoes that are too narrow and put too much pressure on the toes. Look for shoes with a wide toe box that allows your feet enough room to wiggle freely. If your toes are bunched up in any of the shoes you have (particularly high heels or shoes with pointed toes) then you will want to avoid these types of shoes whenever possible.

Consider Shoe Inserts
While it’s important to find shoes that cushion and support your foot structure, sometimes people with hammertoes, bunions, and other foot problems that can cause pain can benefit from prescription shoe inserts (also known as orthotics). Orthotics can be crafted to fit the shape of your feet and also to address the issues you’re having (aka alleviating pressure on the toes when standing or walking).

Apply Protective Padding
A hammertoe causes the toe to bend down like a claw. This means that the toe’s joint is sticking out. As you may already know, this causes shoes to rub against the joint, causing a callus to develop. One way to prevent this from happening is to apply a non-medicated pad over the toe joint before putting on shoes.

Practice Pain Management
If your hammertoe starts to ache or hurt, you may want to apply ice to the area throughout the day to help alleviate pain and swelling. If the pain is intense or persistent then you may want to consider taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen, which can help with both pain and swelling; however, if your symptoms are severe, you must see a podiatrist about your hammertoe.

Do I need surgery for a hammertoe?
If the hammertoe is flexible (meaning that you can straighten the toe out) then you won’t need surgery; however, if the hammertoe becomes rigid and causes pain and problems with mobility then surgery is recommended.

If you are dealing with hammertoes or other foot problems, you must have a podiatrist that you can turn to for regular and immediate care.
By Wilmette Foot and Ankle Clinic
April 24, 2020
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Bunion  

A bunion can be a painful and debilitating foot condition, one that cannot be treated without a foot and ankle specialist. However, if you take proper care of your feet, you can reduce your risk of bunion development. Dr. Gary Rogers is a board-certified foot and ankle specialist based at Wilmette Foot and Ankle Clinic in Skokie, IL. Here are his tips for preventing bunion development.

What is a Bunion?

A bunion is a hard lump that forms on the base of your big toe. It causes pain and stiffness in the toe. Because it pushes the big toe into the next toe, callouses and corns may develop between the two toes. The bone deformity can make wearing shoes very uncomfortable, and over time you may find walking or standing very difficult.

The most likely cause of a bunion is squeezing the feet into narrow, pointed-toe shoes. Over time, this compresses the big toe against the other toes causing the lower joint to protrude from the foot’s natural alignment. Your Skokie foot and ankle specialist will be able to tell how severe your bunion is by taking an X-ray.

How to Prevent Bunion Development

Follow these tips to avoid bunions:

  • Always wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes.
  • Avoid shoes with a narrow toe box.
  • Wear high heels in moderation.
  • Take off your shoes frequently and rest your feet.
  • Exercise your feet by stretching them and picking up small objects with your toes.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.

Bunion Treatment

Bunions can be treated by padding the swelling, wearing orthopedic shoes, and if the condition is severe, with foot surgery.

Don’t suffer in silence with bunions or other foot problems. If you’re looking for a foot and ankle specialist in Skokie, call Dr. Robert on 847-256-4434 to make an appointment.