Posts for: December, 2018
Most people don't pay much attention to the cuts and scratches they accumulate. After all, it's impossible to go through life without a few injuries. Although most minor injuries heal without a problem, it's never a good idea to ignore foot wounds. If the wounds become infected, your health and your ability to walk can be affected. Your Ocala, FL, podiatrist Dr. Robert Linn, Jr. offers wound care treatments that help you protect your feet.
What types of wounds can cause problems?
Any wound can become infected, but these types of foot wounds are more likely to lead to infections:
- Puncture Wounds: Did you step on a nail, needle or piece of glass? Puncture wounds don't bleed very much, but they can be very dangerous. When the pointed object pierces your skin, it drives dirt, foreign objects and bacteria deep into your foot. No matter how carefully you clean your wound, it's impossible to remove embedded germs and debris. Although your foot may look and feel fine immediately after your injury, an infection can develop just a few days later.
- Open Sores: Open sores or ulcers that don't heal may also increase your risk of an infection. They're more common in people who have diabetes or vascular conditions but can affect anyone.
- Any Wound if You Have Diabetes: High glucose levels in your blood slow healing, increasing your risk of infections that threaten your foot. Broken blisters, ingrown toenails and minor cuts can quickly become infected. Unfortunately, if the disease has affected the nerves in your feet, you may not feel any pain until the infection is severe.
When should I visit my Ocala foot doctor?
Schedule a visit with your podiatrist if you experience a puncture wound, even if the wound looks fine. He will clean the wound, remove debris and foreign objects, and offer a tetanus shot or antibiotics if needed. Prompt treatment of puncture wounds will help prevent infections from occurring.
It's also important to see the foot doctor if you have a wound that doesn't begin to heal after a day or two, or you notice signs of infection, which include inflamed or warm skin, red streaks on your skin, drainage, odor, pain and swelling.
Call your podiatrist right away if you experience any type of foot injury and have diabetes. Don't try to treat ingrown toenails at home or remove corns and calluses on your own.
Protect your feet with wound care treatment! Call your Ocala, FL, podiatrist Dr. Robert Linn, Jr. at (352) 861-1055 to schedule an appointment.
An ankle sprain occurs when the foot rolls or twists to the point where a ligament inside stretches beyond its normal capacity. Ankle sprains are extremely common, with an estimated 25,000 sprains happening in the United States every day. Athletes and people who work outdoors or on uneven surfaces are at a higher risk for spraining their ankle. Regular wear of high-heeled shoes is also a risk factor.
Sprained ankles are diagnosed by degree; that is, the severity of the sprain and the symptoms it produces. Grade 1 sprains are the mildest, with minimal swelling and tenderness due to a slight ligament tear. Usually, Grade 1 sprains still allow for weight to be put on the ankle. Grade 2 sprains have a more significant injury to the ligament and, while walking may still be possible, it is painful. Grade 3 sprains are diagnosed when the affected ligament has sustained a complete tear and the ankle cannot bear weight. Grade 3 sprains typically display obvious bruising and swelling around the ankle.
The grade of an ankle sprain will determine the treatment. The tried-and-true RICE method - rest, ice, compression, and elevation - is usually sufficient for Grade 1 sprains. Refraining from walking, keeping the ankle elevated for the first two days, stabilizing the ankle with a compression dressing, and applying ice to reduce swelling helps the sprain resolve within 2 to 4 weeks. Grade 2 sprains also respond well to RICE treatment, although healing typically takes longer and a firmer immobilization device, like a splint, is typically recommended. Grade 3 sprains often require similar treatment used for ankle fractures; a cast or brace may be needed and surgery may be considered for some patients.
To ensure proper healing, it is important to follow the recommendations of your podiatrist. Attempting to return to normal activity too soon could result in a repeat injury or permanent ankle instability.
What is Sesamoiditis?
Sesamoids are small bones that are only connected to tendons or surrounded in muscle. This only appears in a few places in the body, one of which is the foot. Two very tiny sesamoids are found in the underside of the foot near the big toe. One is on the outer side of the foot and the other bone is close to the middle of the foot. This structure provides a smooth surface for the tendons to slide over, which helps the tendons move muscles. They help with weight bearing and also help to elevate the bones of the big toe. So now that you know what sesamoids are, you might be wondering what sesamoiditis is and what its symptoms are.
Just like any other bone, sesamoids can unfortunately fracture. The tendons surrounding the sesamoids may also become irritated or inflamed and this is what sesamoiditis is. Sesamoiditis is also a form of tendonitis and is a common condition among ballerinas, runners, and baseball catchers due to the pressure that is constantly placed on their feet.
Symptoms of Sesamoiditis
Symptoms of Sesamoiditis may include:
- Pain under the big toe or ball of the foot
- Swelling and/or bruising
- Difficulty in bending and straightening the big toe
- Resting and stopping any activity that could be causing pain and inflammation
- Anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen and aspirin only after consulting your physician
- Icing the sole of the foot
- Wearing soft-soled and low-heeled shoes
- Cushioning inserts in the shoes
If symptoms persist after treatments, you may need to wear a removable brace for 4-6 weeks to help the bones heal. Call your podiatrist today to ask any questions about sesamoiditis and get on your way to pain-free feet once again!