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May 2021

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune condition in which the body’s immune system malfunctions and begins to attack otherwise healthy joints. When the immune system attacks the lining of the joints, called the synovium, it thickens and produces excess joint fluid. Excess joint fluid and certain chemicals released by the immune system cause the joints to become inflamed. This leads to symptoms such as pain, swelling, stiffness, redness, and a feeling of warmth around the joints. RA often affects the joints of the feet, which can make walking and going about your daily activities more difficult. If you have RA that affects your feet, please consult with a podiatrist, who can help you manage this condition and maintain your mobility.

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 our office located in Rome, GA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Thursday, 20 May 2021 00:00

Gout Pain Can Be Managed

Gout is a painful, inflammatory form of arthritis. Those affected will typically feel an intense stiffness in the joints of their feet, particularly in the big toe. Schedule a visit to learn about how gout can be managed and treated.

Published in Blog
Monday, 17 May 2021 00:00

How Do Ingrown Toenails Develop?

The definition of an ingrown toenail is when the nail grows into the surrounding skin. It can cause severe discomfort, and it may be painful to wear shoes. It can be caused by genetic factors, wearing shoes that do not fit correctly, and improperly trimming the toenails. Additionally, a toe injury, such as stubbing the toe, may cause an ingrown toenail to develop. Patients have found mild relief when the affected nail is soaked in warm water, followed by gently pulling the skin away from the nail. If you have an ingrown toenail, it is strongly suggested that  you are under the care of a podiatrist who can offer you correct treatment techniques, which can possibly prevent an infection.

Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. For more information about ingrown toenails, 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.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.

Causes

  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • Improper shoe fitting
  • Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • Abnormal gait
  • Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.

Treatment

Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

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

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Published in Blog
Monday, 10 May 2021 00:00

Women and Bunions

Women usually are more likely to develop bunions more frequently than men. They can gradually form as a result of wearing high heels or shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in. A noticeable symptom of a bunion can consist of a large and bony protrusion that is positioned on the side of the big toe. It can be accompanied by pain and discomfort, and it may be difficult to wear shoes. Some patients find relief by frequently performing specific stretches, or wearing a cushion inside the shoe. If you notice a bunion that is beginning to develop, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist who can offer you treatment options, which may include surgery for permanent removal.

If you are suffering from bunions, 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?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why Do Bunions Form?

Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions

How Are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How Are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

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

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Published in Blog
Monday, 03 May 2021 00:00

Do I Have Poor Circulation?

Poor circulation is a term used to refer to reduced or inadequate blood flow to one or more areas of the body. One condition that can cause poor circulation is peripheral artery disease (PAD), in which the arteries that supply blood to the limbs narrow and harden due to a buildup of plaque along the artery walls. Often, people with PAD are unaware that they have this condition because they do not experience any visible symptoms. However, once PAD has progressed, symptoms can become more apparent. Symptoms of poor circulation include numbness, coldness, and skin discoloration in the lower limbs, leg pain and cramping, and slow healing of wounds on the feet. A podiatrist can screen you for PAD and other circulatory problems that affect the lower limbs and can help you maintain the health of your feet.

Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. 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

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is can be caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Plaque buildup or atherosclerosis results from excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. This can restrict the amount of blood which can flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.

Causes

Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development. It can also cause:

  • Muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness   
  • Numbness or cramping in the legs 
  • Skin discoloration
  • Slower nail & hair growth
  • Erectile dysfunction

Those who have diabetes or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, as are those who are over 50. If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions.

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 our office located in Rome, GA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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