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By Foot & Ankle Center of Ocala
October 09, 2017
Category: Foot Health
Tags: Toenail Fungus  

Also known as onychomycosis, toenail fungus can be painful, irritating and embarrassing. When you experience trauma to your nail, the nail bed is lifted, allowing fungus to invade. Without treatment, this fungus can grow and spread, particularly in dark, warm, moist environments, such as socks and shoes.

Common signs and symptoms of toenail fungus include:

  • Discoloring or yellowing of the nail

  • Thickening or crumbling of the nail

  • Swelling around the nail

  • Disfigured nails

  • Streaks or spots down the side of the nail

  • Foul-smelling debris under the nail

  • Pain and discomfort

  • Complete nail loss

Prevention is Key

Fungal infections can affect the fingernails as well as the toenails, but toenail fungus is more difficult to treat because toenails grow more slowly. Because removal of the fungus is challenging, prevention plays an important role in treatment.

  • Keep nails neatly trimmed.

  • Practice good foot hygiene, including daily washing with soap and water, drying feet and toes, carefully, and changing shoes regularly.

  • Always wear shoes in public areas, such as showers, locker rooms and pools.

  • Wear comfortable shoes that aren't too tight.

  • Avoid wearing nail polish for long periods, as it prevents the nail from breathing and can seal in fungus.

Treatment of Toenail Fungus

If you do develop toenail fungus, especially if the infection has become painful, visit our office. People with a chronic illness like diabetes should always see a podiatrist if they notice any changes in their nails, as it may be an indication of a more serious issue.

To eliminate the fungus, a podiatrist may remove as much of the infected nail as possible by trimming, filing or dissolving it. Oral or topical antifungal medications may also be prescribed to treat the infection. Laser treatment options are also sometimes available.

It’s only for severe, chronic infections that surgical removal of the nail might be recommended. Our office can help diagnose the cause of your toenail troubles, and make the best recommendation for treatment.

By Foot & Ankle Center of Ocala
September 18, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Wound Care  

Your foot doctor Dr. Robert Linn, Jr. at the Foot & Ankle Center in Ocala, FL wants you to be informed about wound care, especially if wound careyou’re a patient who needs diabetic foot therapy. Proper wound care is particularly important for the lower extremities, including the feet, toes and ankles. Learn more about taking care of wounds to ensure that your feet stay healthy.

What Is Wound Care?
A wound is normally an easy problem to resolve with a little hydrogen peroxide, antibiotic ointment, and band-aids. But sometimes wounds take longer to heal when they’re on the feet. This is because when a patient has circulation problems, the blood cells aren’t getting to the wound in a timely fashion for healing. This may be a problem for patients with uncontrolled diabetes or vascular conditions. Common wounds include:

- Puncture wounds.
- Foreign items stuck in wounds (like an ingrown nail or shard of glass).
- Insect bites that don’t heal.

Why Is It Important?
For certain patients, even a tiny wound can become a very concerning problem if it isn’t treated properly and promptly by your Ocala, FL foot doctor. The wound can get infected and develop into an ulcer. Ulcers may lead to loss of skin, muscle, or even bone tissue, and may require surgery in advanced cases.

Wound Care Tips
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when caring for a wound:

- Keep the wound dry and clean at all times. Bandage it securely.
- Wear clean, dry socks and avoid walking around barefoot.
- Carefully remove any object from inside the wound. If you’re not sure the object is out, have a doctor examine it immediately.
- Examine the depth and size of the wound—the deeper it is the higher the risk of it getting infected. 
- See a foot doctor immediately if the wound worsens instead of beginning to heal.

Get Help with Wound Care
The team at Foot & Ankle Center of Ocala, FL specializes in helping patients with wound care and diabetic foot care. Call 352-861-1055 today to schedule a visit with Dr. Robert Linn, Jr.

By Foot & Ankle Center of Ocala
September 18, 2017
Category: Foot Condition

Maybe you've heard of carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition in the wrist that occurs when swelling or a change in position of the tissue within the carpal tunnel squeezes and irritates the median nerve. Similar to carpal tunnel syndrome is tarsal tunnel syndrome, an ankle condition that occurs from the compression of a nerve in a confined space.

 

What is Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

The tarsal tunnel is a narrow space located on the inside of the ankle next to the ankle bones. Protected by the tarsal tunnel are many arteries, veins, tendons and nerves, one of which is the posterior tibial nerve - the main focus of tarsal tunnel syndrome.

 

Tarsal tunnel syndrome is caused from a compression on the posterior tibial nerve. Causes include:

 

  • Injury to the ankle, which may produce swelling near the nerve.
  • Abnormal blood vessels or cysts that occupy space within the tunnel.
  • Scar tissue that press against the nerve.
  • Foot deformities, such as flat feet, which increase strain on the nerve.
  • Systematic diseases, such as diabetes or arthritis.

When patients visit us at our office with tarsal tunnel syndrome, they often experience one or more symptoms, usually felt on the bottom of the foot or the inside of the ankle. In some cases, the pain may extend to the heel, arch, toes and calf. Symptoms include:

 

  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Burning or tingling sensation

We Can Help

If you experience pain, burning and tingling in your feet or toes, make an appointment with our office. Left untreated, tarsal tunnel syndrome could result in permanent nerve damage. Treatment for tarsal tunnel syndrome varies depending on the severity of your condition. Anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections, immobilization, rest and modifications in footwear are a few methods used to treat the damaged nerve and reduce the pain. When non-surgical treatments are unsuccessful, surgery may be recommended.

By Foot & Ankle Center of Ocala
September 08, 2017
Tags: Shin Splints  

Although a shin splint is commonly used to describe various pains between the ankle and the knee, it actually refers to a specific inflammatory condition of the tibia -- a condition called medial tibial stress syndrome.

A type of "overuse injury" to the legs, the most common causes of shin splints include excessive running, poor conditioning and over-pronation (flattening of the arch). The result is pain in the front or inside of the lower leg that usually gets worse with a sudden increase in distance or intensity of training. Shin splints are a common problem for many runners and athletes. Muscle weakness, non-supportive shoes and overtraining are also contributing factors.

 

To prevent shin splints, warm up and stretch muscles before starting any workout activity and choose supportive footwear. Begin workouts gradually and avoid over-training. All of these methods will go a long way in helping to prevent many lower leg problems. Conservative treatment for most shin splint pain includes rest, ice, compression and elevation. Strengthening exercises, anti-inflammatory agents and custom foot orthotics may also be recommended to reduce symptoms.

 

Shin pain isn't always indicative of a shin splint. Lower leg pain may actually signal a more serious problem, including a stress fracture, partial muscle tear and tendonitis, all of which require special treatment. Always seek the professional care of a podiatrist if:

 

  • You have severe pain in your shin following an injury.
  • Your shin is hot and inflamed.
  • Swelling in your shin increases.
  • Shin pain persists during rest.

Proper diagnosis of the cause of pain is necessary in order to administer the most appropriate treatment. If you suffer from shin pain, visit your podiatrist for an evaluation and proper treatment.

By Foot & Ankle Center of Ocala
August 14, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Healthy Feet  

Looking fabulous in your favorite pair of heels does have a price. In fact, shoes that fit poorly or have high heels frequently cause foot problems, including calluses, corns, bunions, and blisters, just to name a few.

 

All footwear eventually show signs of wear and tear. Inspect the condition of your own shoes. Do they appear stretched out or worn? Then you probably need a new pair. Creasing of the midsole is also a good indication that your shoes have lost their cushion and support.

 

Maximize Fit, Minimize Discomfort

The following tips can help you avoid purchasing a pair of shoes that may contribute to a long list of foot problems:

  • Try on shoes late in the day, when the feet tend to be a bit larger due to natural swelling
  • Women should opt for low, stable heels
  • Try on both shoes to be sure that they fit comfortably on both feet
  • Choose breathable shoe materials, such as leather, to prevent excessive sweating and blisters
  • Have your feet measured to ensure the best fit
  • Avoid pointy-toed shoes which cause bunions and hammertoes
  • Walk around the store with both shoes on to make sure the fit is comfortable
  • For athletes, choose shoes that are specific to the sport you play
  • Choose the right shoe for your foot type (e.g. if you have flat feet, select shoes with good arch support)

Still not ready to part with your favorite pair of sneakers or trendy heels? Not sure if the shoes you currently wear are right for your feet? A professional podiatrist can evaluate the condition of your feet, and work with you to find the best pair of shoes for you!





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