Items filtered by date: March 2022

Tuesday, 29 March 2022 00:00

Preventing Foot Problems in Children

Parents can help their children prevent foot problems and associated pain as they age by taking care of and teaching their children to take proper care of their feet. Developing healthy foot habits in children starts with parents washing their children’s feet each day and making sure they are dry, buying shoes that fit properly (with enough room in the toe box to allow for growth), using right sized cotton and/or wool socks on children’s feet to keep them warm and allow room for development, cutting toenails straight across and not too short to prevent ingrown toenails, and allowing children to go barefoot in the home so their feet will grow and gain strength without restriction. Taking children to a podiatrist early on can start them off right, provide a baseline for their foot development, and introduce them to a specialist who will be able to diagnose and treat any foot problems that might arise in their lives.

Making sure that your children maintain good foot health is very important as they grow. If you have any questions, contact Gabe Rodriguez, DPM of Sioux Falls Foot Specialist. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

Having healthy feet during childhood can help prevent medical problems later in life, namely in the back and legs. As children grow, their feet require different types of care. Here are some things to consider...

Although babies do not walk yet, it is still very important to take care of their feet.

Avoid putting tight shoes or socks on his or her feet.

Allow the baby to stretch and kick his or her feet to feel comfortable.

As a toddler, kids are now on the move and begin to develop differently. At this age, toddlers are getting a feel for walking, so don’t be alarmed if your toddler is unsteady or ‘walks funny’. 

As your child gets older, it is important to teach them how to take care of their feet.

Show them proper hygiene to prevent infections such as fungus.

Be watchful for any pain or injury.

Have all injuries checked by a doctor as soon as possible.

Comfortable, protective shoes should always be worn, especially at play.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Sioux Falls, SD . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Tuesday, 22 March 2022 00:00

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and DFUs

Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) are poorly healing wounds that can form on the feet of people who have diabetes. These wounds require treatment, as they are at an increased risk of infection, which can have serious consequences. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a type of treatment in which a person is placed in a special room or small chamber to breathe almost pure oxygen. This treatment has shown to be promising in treating a variety of conditions, including poorly healing DFUs. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can help encourage the formation of new blood vessels around the wound and supply the area with more oxygen and nutrients, something these wounds are typically missing due to the effects of diabetes. This can help the body generate new, healthy tissues. To learn more about HBOT and other treatments for diabetic foot ulcers, please consult with a podiatrist. 

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with Gabe Rodriguez, DPM from Sioux Falls Foot Specialist. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Sioux Falls, SD . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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While at first glance, you may assume that there is no difference between over-the-counter (OTC) insoles and custom orthotics, a closer look reveals several key distinctions. OTC insoles are a “one-size-fits-most,” generic approach to supporting your feet. Custom orthotics are customized, prescription medical devices. Your podiatrist starts by reviewing your medical history, examining your feet and diagnosing your condition. Custom orthotics are then created from molds or 3D images of your actual feet. They are designed to specifically treat your medical condition: from arthritis, flat feet and hammertoes to bunions, high arches, deformities, plantar fasciitis and more. Custom orthotics can also help correct certain gait abnormalities and restore function in your feet and ankles. OTC, or prefabricated insoles, are typically made of rubber, flexible plastic or gel which can often lose integrity quickly. Custom orthotics are constructed with superior materials that are durable, light weight, moldable, and cushioning. If you are suffering from foot or ankle pain, or have difficulty walking, see a podiatrist. They will evaluate and diagnose your condition and discuss if custom orthotics can provide the relief you seek.

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, contact Gabe Rodriguez, DPM from Sioux Falls Foot Specialist. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Are Orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.

Over-the-Counter Inserts

Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct overarched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.

Prescription Orthotics

If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you or if you have a more severe foot concern, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high-quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and severe forms of heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.

If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist about the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain-free.

If you have any questions please contact our office located in Sioux Falls, SD . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Saturday, 12 March 2022 00:00

Heel Pain Can Be Treated!

Do you suffer from heel pain when you get up in the morning? If so, you should seek the professional help of your podiatrist and have a proper diagnosis performed. Heel pain can be caused by several different foot-related conditions.

A foot or ankle injury can cause a disruption of the nerves that causes pain, tingling, a burning sensation, and sometimes, numbness. This condition, known as a neuroma, can also be caused by an ensuing surgery or post-operative brace or cast. It may be difficult to detect the exact source of the nerve damage, because X-rays and other digital imaging tests often cannot see smaller nerves. One method that has been successful is a diagnostic injection of local anesthesia that can help to determine the source of the pain. Among home treatment options are gently massaging the area to calm the irritated nerves; applying topical pain patches to the area for a few weeks; and loosening your shoelaces or elastic brace. In some cases, surgery is also an option. Before taking any measures, it’s a good idea to consult with a podiatrist, who can examine the area, determine the extent of the problem, and suggest a treatment plan that works best for you.   

Neuropathy

Neuropathy can be a potentially serious condition, especially if it is left undiagnosed. If you have any concerns that you may be experiencing nerve loss in your feet, consult with Gabe Rodriguez, DPM from Sioux Falls Foot Specialist. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment for neuropathy.

What Is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy is a condition that leads to damage to the nerves in the body. Peripheral neuropathy, or neuropathy that affects your peripheral nervous system, usually occurs in the feet. Neuropathy can be triggered by a number of different causes. Such causes include diabetes, infections, cancers, disorders, and toxic substances.

Symptoms of Neuropathy Include:

  • Numbness
  • Sensation loss
  • Prickling and tingling sensations
  • Throbbing, freezing, burning pains
  • Muscle weakness

Those with diabetes are at serious risk due to being unable to feel an ulcer on their feet. Diabetics usually also suffer from poor blood circulation. This can lead to the wound not healing, infections occurring, and the limb may have to be amputated.

Treatment

To treat neuropathy in the foot, podiatrists will first diagnose the cause of the neuropathy. Figuring out the underlying cause of the neuropathy will allow the podiatrist to prescribe the best treatment, whether it be caused by diabetes, toxic substance exposure, infection, etc. If the nerve has not died, then it’s possible that sensation may be able to return to the foot.

Pain medication may be issued for pain. Electrical nerve stimulation can be used to stimulate nerves. If the neuropathy is caused from pressure on the nerves, then surgery may be necessary.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Sioux Falls, SD . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Onychomycosis, or tinea unguium, is a type of fungal infection that can affect fingernails and, more commonly, toenails. If you have a fungal toenail infection your nail may become thickened, brittle, ragged, crumbly, or discolored. Toenails are made up of layers of fibrous keratin, which the fungus can get in between. The fungus can even grow underneath the nail or in the matrix of the nail (where it grows), causing the nail to separate from the toe. Each of these scenarios can make treating toenail fungus challenging when using oral or topical antifungal medicines. Laser therapy treatment to eradicate toenail fungus has become a popular and effective treatment because it can painlessly and accurately target the fungus within the layers, underneath, or in the matrix of the toenail without affecting healthy structures surrounding it. If you have toenail fungus, contact a podiatrist to see if laser treatment is right for you.

Laser treatment can be an effective way to get rid of toenail fungus. If you have any questions about laser treatment, consult with Gabe Rodriguez, DPM from Sioux Falls Foot Specialist. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality treatment for fungal nails.

What Are Toenail Fungal Infections?

Onychomycosis, or fungal infection of the nail, is a relatively common and non-serious condition. Around 10 percent of U.S. citizens are afflicted with fungal nails. Common forms of fungus that infect the nail include dermatophytes, yeasts, and molds.

Symptoms of Toenail Fungal Infections Include:

  • Nail thickening
  • Brittleness of the nail
  • Discoloration of the nail

Diagnosis for Fungal Nails

Fungal infections are diagnosed by fungal culture and microscopy. This will rule out any other conditions such as nail trauma, psoriasis, lichen planus, and onychogryphosis.

What Is Laser Treatment?

Laser treatment is a non-invasive, safe, quick, and painless procedure that uses the heat from a laser to kill fungus in the nail. Each infected nail is targeted with a laser for several minutes. The treatment is usually utilized several different times over a select period. During this time, a podiatrist will keep an eye on the infection.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Sioux Falls, SD . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Laser Treatment for Fungal Nails

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