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Monday, 15 April 2019 00:00

A Common Form of Arthritis

The painful condition that is known as rheumatoid arthritis is considered to be one of the most common forms of arthritis. Many patients experience the first symptoms of this ailment in the feet, and these may include swelling, soreness, or pain. The noticeable signs of rheumatoid arthritis may be seen and felt in the smaller joints of the toes, or in the ankle joint. Daily activities may become difficult to accomplish as a result of the joint pain and swelling that often accompanies this condition. When this is diagnosed, mild relief may be felt when proper insoles are worn, and this may help to slow the development arthritis in the affected joints. If you notice symptoms that are indicative of rheumatoid arthritis, it is advised that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can offer proper treatment techniques.

Because RA affects more than just your joints, including the joints in your feet and ankles, it is important to seek early diagnosis from your podiatrist if you feel like the pain in your feet might be caused by RA. For more information, contact Dr. Stephan J. LaPointe of Georgia Foot & Ankle Specialists . Our doctor will assist you with all of your podiatric concerns.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the membranes surrounding the joints. Inflammation of the lining and eventually the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone occur, causing severe pain and immobility.

Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Feet

Although RA usually attacks multiple bones and joints throughout the entire body, almost 90 percent of cases result in pain in the foot or ankle area.

Symptoms

  • Swelling and pain in the feet
  • Stiffness in the feet
  • Pain on the ball or sole of feet
  • Joint shift and deformation

Diagnosis

Quick diagnosis of RA in the feet is important so that the podiatrist can treat the area effectively. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, occupation, and lifestyle to determine the origin of the condition. Rheumatoid Factor tests help to determine if someone is affected by the disease.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Rome and Cedartown, GA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Feet
Monday, 08 April 2019 00:00

Where Are Plantar Warts Located?

A plantar wart differs from other warts because it is found on the heel of the foot. It is known to grow inward as a result of pressure that is put on the heel while walking and can cause severe pain and discomfort. This type of wart is considered to be contagious, and it is suggested to speak to your child about refraining from sharing shoes and towels. It appears as a small, hardened area of skin, and may have black dots in the center. If the wart begins to spread or causes chronic pain, it is suggested that you speak to a podiatrist who can recommend effective methods of treatments. These may include applying prescribed medication, or possibly injecting the site with specific medicine. It is strongly recommended that your child keep all follow-up appointments, which may aid in attaining a complete recovery.

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Stephan J. LaPointe from Georgia Foot & Ankle Specialists . Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

About Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus, getting into open wounds on the feet. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.

While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain or those suffering from diabetes or a compromised immune system require immediate medical care. Plantar warts are easily diagnosed, usually through scraping off a bit of rough skin or by getting a biopsy.

Symptoms

  • Lesions on the bottom of your feet, usually rough and grainy
  • Hard or thick callused spots
  • Wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots
  • Pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing

Treatment

  • Freezing
  • Electric tool removal
  • Laser Treatment
  • Topical Creams (prescription only)
  • Over-the-counter medications

To help prevent developing plantar warts, avoid walking barefoot over abrasive surfaces that can cause cuts or wounds for HPV to get into. Avoiding direct contact with other warts, as well as not picking or rubbing existing warts, can help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. However, if you think you have developed plantar warts, speak to your podiatrist. He or she can diagnose the warts on your feet and recommend the appropriate treatment options.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Rome and Cedartown, GA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What Are Plantar Warts?
Monday, 01 April 2019 00:00

The Location of the Sesamoid Bones

The sesamoid bones are located at the bottom of the big toe. The purpose of the sesamoid bones is to protect the tendons in that area of the foot, in addition to increasing mobility of the tendons. If these bones should become irritated and inflamed, a condition that is known as sesamoiditis may develop. Common causes of this ailment may include overuse of the tendons which may occur while participating  in sporting activities, or from a sudden injury. There are typical symptoms that may be associated with sesamoiditis, and these may include pain that is felt in the toes while walking, and discomfort may be present when the big toe is pulled up. Wearing proper footwear may help to relieve pressure on the sesamoid bones, in addition to adding custom made orthotics to your shoes. If you feel you have this condition, it is advised that you schedule a consultation with a podiatrist so the correct treatment can begin.

Sesamoiditis is an unpleasant foot condition characterized by pain in the balls of the feet. If think you’re struggling with sesamoiditis, contact Dr. Stephan J. LaPointe of Georgia Foot & Ankle Specialists . Our doctor will treat your condition thoroughly and effectively.

Sesamoiditis

Sesamoiditis is a condition of the foot that affects the ball of the foot. It is more common in younger people than it is in older people. It can also occur with people who have begun a new exercise program, since their bodies are adjusting to the new physical regimen. Pain may also be caused by the inflammation of tendons surrounding the bones. It is important to seek treatment in its early stages because if you ignore the pain, this condition can lead to more serious problems such as severe irritation and bone fractures.

Causes of Sesamoiditis

  • Sudden increase in activity
  • Increase in physically strenuous movement without a proper warm up or build up
  • Foot structure: those who have smaller, bonier feet or those with a high arch may be more susceptible

Treatment for sesamoiditis is non-invasive and simple. Doctors may recommend a strict rest period where the patient forgoes most physical activity. This will help give the patient time to heal their feet through limited activity. For serious cases, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine a treatment option that will help your specific needs.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Rome and Cedartown, GA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Sesamoiditis
Monday, 25 March 2019 00:00

Is a Bunion a Permanent Deformity?

If you notice a bony protrusion that may look like a permanent deformity on the side of your big toe, you may have what is known as a bunion. It may develop as a result of wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in, or possibly from a genetic trait. Some of the symptoms that are associated with this condition may be tenderness and swelling, in addition to burning or tingling sensations. If having this ailment interferes with wearing shoes and completing daily activities, many patients may choose to undergo surgery for permanent removal of the bunion. For less severe bunions, orthotics may be prescribed which may provide mild relief. If properly fitting shoes and socks are worn, painful and uncomfortable bunions may possibly be prevented. If you are affected by bunions, it is advised to speak to a podiatrist who can properly diagnosis and offer correct treatment techniques.

If you are suffering from bunion pain, contact Dr. Stephan J. LaPointe of Georgia Foot & Ankle Specialists . Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.

Causes

  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development

Symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Rome and Cedartown, GA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Bunions
Monday, 18 March 2019 00:00

Have I Broken My Foot?

If you have fallen or twisted your ankle, you may have broken your foot. There are numerous bones, ligaments and tendons that are located in each foot, and one or more may easily fracture if falling occurs. There are several symptoms that may be associated with a broken foot. These may include pain and discomfort, swelling, bruising, or difficulty in walking. In severe fractures, the bones may become dislocated, and may protrude through the skin. It is important to obtain a proper diagnosis, which may be accomplished by having an X-ray performed. This is followed by beginning the correct treatment, which may consist of wearing a supportive boot or cast. This may help to immobilize the foot so the healing process can begin. If you feel you have broken your foot, it is recommended to consult with a podiatrist who can properly diagnosis and offer correct treatment options.

A broken foot requires immediate medical attention and treatment. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Stephan J. LaPointe from Georgia Foot & Ankle Specialists . Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Broken Foot Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

A broken foot is caused by one of the bones in the foot typically breaking when bended, crushed, or stretched beyond its natural capabilities. Usually the location of the fracture indicates how the break occurred, whether it was through an object, fall, or any other type of injury. 

Common Symptoms of Broken Feet:

  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Blue in color
  • Numbness
  • Cold
  • Misshapen
  • Cuts
  • Deformities

Those that suspect they have a broken foot shoot seek urgent medical attention where a medical professional could diagnose the severity.

Treatment for broken bones varies depending on the cause, severity and location. Some will require the use of splints, casts or crutches while others could even involve surgery to repair the broken bones. Personal care includes the use of ice and keeping the foot stabilized and elevated.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Rome and Cedartown, GA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment for a Broken Foot
Thursday, 14 March 2019 00:00

Reminder - When was the last time...

Custom orthotics (shoe inserts) should be replaced periodically. They need to fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles.

There are several reasons why having foot surgery performed may benefit the overall health of the feet. These may include restoring mobility in the foot or ankle, relieving pain that may be present, or possibly correcting a foot deformity. Removing an ingrown toenail may be an option if the nail is severely infected. If you have a bunion that is causing extreme pain and discomfort, bunion surgery may be an option to think about if other treatments have not been successful. Patients who have sustained an injury to the joints of the ankle may consider having ankle replacement surgery performed. This may be used as a last resort to regain mobility and strength in the ankle and surrounding areas. If you have foot conditions, which may benefit by having surgery performed, it is advised to consult with a podiatrist who can properly assist you.

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to treat a foot ailment. To learn more, contact Dr. Stephan J. LaPointe of Georgia Foot & Ankle Specialists . Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

When Is Surgery Necessary?

Foot and ankle surgery is generally reserved for cases in which less invasive, conservative procedures have failed to alleviate the problem. Some of the cases in which surgery may be necessary include:

  • Removing foot deformities like bunions and bone spurs
  • Severe arthritis that has caused bone issues
  • Cosmetic reconstruction

What Types of Surgery Are There?

The type of surgery you receive will depend on the nature of the problem you have. Some of the possible surgeries include:

  • Bunionectomy for painful bunions
  • Surgical fusion for realignment of bones
  • Neuropathy decompression surgery to treat nerve damage

Benefits of Surgery

Although surgery is usually a last resort, it can provide more complete pain relief compared to non-surgical methods and may allow you to finally resume full activity.

Surgical techniques have also become increasingly sophisticated. Techniques like endoscopic surgery allow for smaller incisions and faster recovery times.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Rome and Cedartown, GA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Foot and Ankle Surgery
Monday, 04 March 2019 00:00

Dealing with Blisters

Blisters are an inconvenience almost everyone has faced at least once. Blisters are the result of friction between your skin and your footwear. They are most commonly found on the back of the ankle and can cause discomfort during daily activities. It is best to keep the blister covered with a small bandage, because keeping it exposed will cause pain, but also might lead to the blister popping. Keeping the blister from popping is key in the healing process. The skin that is exposed after a blister is popped is raw and prone to infection. Infection can cause more complications and pain, so it is best to try to keep it covered and avoid popping it. If it does accidentally pop, then bandaging it becomes even more essential, because this will help protect the small wound from harmful bacteria. If you have a blister that you are concerned about, then it is recommended you speak with a podiatrist to learn how to properly take care of it.

Blisters are prone to making everyday activities extremely uncomfortable. If your feet are hurting, contact Dr. Stephan J. LaPointe of Georgia Foot & Ankle Specialists . Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Foot Blisters

Foot blisters develop as a result of constantly wearing tight or ill-fitting footwear. This happens due to the constant rubbing from the shoe, which can often lead to pain.

What Are Foot Blisters?

A foot blister is a small fluid-filled pocket that forms on the upper-most layer of the skin. Blisters are filled with clear fluid and can lead to blood drainage or pus if the area becomes infected.

How Do Blisters Form?

Blisters on the feet are often the result of constant friction of skin and material, usually by shoe rubbing. Walking in sandals, boots, or shoes that don’t fit properly for long periods of time can result in a blister. Having consistent foot moisture and humidity can easily lead to blister formation.

Prevention & Treatment

It is important to properly care for the affected area in order to prevent infection and ease the pain. Do not lance the blister and use a Band-Aid to provide pain relief. Also, be sure to keep your feet dry and wear proper fitting shoes. If you see blood or pus in a blister, seek assistance from a podiatrist.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Rome and Cedartown, GA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Blisters
Monday, 25 February 2019 00:00

Reasons for Cracked Heels to Develop

Many people experience cracked heels, and if it begins in childhood, genetic reasons may be the cause. If it starts as an adult, the reasons may be environmental or hormonal. Additionally, medical conditions, which may include eczema and psoriasis, may play a significant role in developing cracked heels. It typically appears as a thickening of the skin on the heel, and deep cracks, or fissures may form if left untreated. Patients who wear open-back sandals or who stand for extended periods of time during the day may find they have cracked heels. Mild relief may be found when washing and drying the feet thoroughly, followed by utilizing a good moisturizer. If you have cracked heels that are painful, it is suggested to speak to a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Stephan J. LaPointe from Georgia Foot & Ankle Specialists . Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.

How Do You Get Them?

Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.

Promote Healing

Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief or who suffer from chronic dry feet.

Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.

Moisturizers – Applying both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.

Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin. 

Change in Diet

Eating healthy with a well-balanced diet will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to the kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements can also revitalize skin tissue.

Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Rome and Cedartown, GA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Solutions for Cracked Heels
Monday, 18 February 2019 00:00

Causes of Poor Circulation

The medical condition that is referred to as poor circulation can be an indication of  health issues that may exist in the body. It may be caused by poor dietary habits or sitting for extended periods of time. Additional causes may consist of diabetes, peripheral artery disease (PAD), or blood clots in the legs. Many patients experience symptoms that are indicative of poor circulation, and these may include a lack of energy, feet that are cold the majority of the time, or a tingling or numbing sensation in the hands and feet. Other symptoms may consist of having a poor memory, a weakened immune system, or a loss of appetite. Research has indicated that maintaining a healthy diet and engaging in an exercise regime may be helpful in treating poor circulation. It’s important to drink plenty of fresh water daily, in addition to avoiding alcohol. If poor circulation is affecting your feet, it is suggested to speak to a podiatrist who can properly diagnose and treat this condition.

While poor circulation itself isn’t a condition; it is a symptom of another underlying health condition you may have. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact Dr. Stephan J. LaPointe of Georgia Foot & Ankle Specialists . Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) can potentially lead to poor circulation in the lower extremities. PAD is a condition that causes the blood vessels and arteries to narrow. In a linked condition called atherosclerosis, the arteries stiffen up due to a buildup of plaque in the arteries and blood vessels. These two conditions can cause a decrease in the amount of blood that flows to your extremities, therefore resulting in pain.

Symptoms

Some of the most common symptoms of poor circulation are:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Throbbing or stinging pain in limbs
  • Pain
  • Muscle Cramps

Treatment for poor circulation often depends on the underlying condition that causes it. Methods for treatment may include insulin for diabetes, special exercise programs, surgery for varicose veins, or compression socks for swollen legs.

As always, see a podiatrist as he or she will assist in finding a regimen that suits you. A podiatrist can also prescribe you any needed medication. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Rome and Cedartown, GA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Causes Symptoms and Treatment for Poor Circulation in the Feet
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