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Stephan J. LaPointe, DPM, PhD, FACFAS

March 2022

Tuesday, 29 March 2022 00:00

What Is Peripheral Neuropathy?

The most common form of peripheral neuropathy affects the feet. When there is a problem affecting the nerves in the feet, one can experience tingling and numbness in the feet, shooting, stabbing, or burning pain there, loss of coordination and balance, and muscle weakness. There is typically an underlying condition for those with this disorder. Those with diabetes and the elderly are most apt to be affected by this condition. Loss of sensation and possible injury to the feet without knowing it is a dangerous combination. It is vital that one who suffers from this type of neuropathy takes proper and daily care of one’s feet. Such care includes keeping feet clean, looking for ingrown toenails, sores or signs of injury, moisturizing feet, and wearing proper fitting shoes. While symptoms can be intermittent, because of the danger involved and the progressive nature of the condition, it is suggested that one consult a podiatrist as early as possible for relief of symptoms and treatment recommendations.

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 Dr. Stephan J. LaPointe from Georgia Foot & Ankle Specialists . 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 Rome, GA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Tuesday, 22 March 2022 00:00

Dealing With Blisters on the Feet

A blister is a sac of fluid that develops in the upper layer of your skin when a body part, typically a toe, rubs against a hard surface like the side or top of a shoe. This is the body’s way of protecting the toe from injury. While most blisters are clear, if one becomes infected it may fill with blood or a yellowish-green pus. Generally, a blister will heal itself in a few days, especially if the activity that caused it is stopped. For instance, if you are walking for long periods in hard leather shoes, and a blister develops, it’s a good idea to change to a more open type of shoe. It's never wise to pop a blister, as that can leave you open to serious infection. If it bursts on its own, avoid removing the dead skin, but gently wrap the area in sterile gauze until it heals. Any time a blister becomes extremely painful or appears to be infected, it is important to consult a podiatrist as soon as possible for appropriate treatment options.

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 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
Wednesday, 16 March 2022 00:00

Are Bunions Affecting Your Everyday Life?

Have you noticed a bony protrusion on the side of your big toe? If so, you may have developed the foot condition known as a bunion. Don't let bunions interfere with your daily activities.

Published in Blog
Tuesday, 15 March 2022 00:00

Easy Ways to Deal With Sports Injuries

A few things can help to prevent a sports-related injury to the feet and ankles. Pre- and post-exercise stretches are a great way to reduce the chance of muscle strain and overuse. Also, if you feel like your body is telling you to rest, it would be wise to listen to your body and take a break. Pushing through fatigue commonly leads to injury, especially in adults who forget how old they are. If your sport requires protective gear, make sure it is in good condition and that you wear it. Stay hydrated (drink water) before, during, and after activity. Among the most common sports injuries to the feet and ankles are inflammation of the Achilles tendon, broken bones, sprains, and strains. At the first sign of severe pain, it’s a good idea to stop the activity immediately, because ignoring it can make the situation worse. Apply the common rest, ice, compression, and elevation treatment routine to the affected area. If your pain continues or worsens, it’s a good idea to see a podiatrist as quickly as possible for an examination, a diagnosis, and a treatment plan that will get you back in the game.

Sports related foot and ankle injuries require proper treatment before players can go back to their regular routines. For more information, 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.

Sports Related Foot and Ankle Injuries

Foot and ankle injuries are a common occurrence when it comes to athletes of any sport. While many athletes dismiss the initial aches and pains, the truth is that ignoring potential foot and ankle injuries can lead to serious problems. As athletes continue to place pressure and strain the area further, a mild injury can turn into something as serious as a rupture and may lead to a permanent disability. There are many factors that contribute to sports related foot and ankle injuries, which include failure to warm up properly, not providing support or wearing bad footwear. Common injuries and conditions athletes face, including:

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Plantar Fasciosis
  • Achilles Tendinitis
  • Achilles Tendon Rupture
  • Ankle Sprains

Sports related injuries are commonly treated using the RICE method. This includes rest, applying ice to the injured area, compression and elevating the ankle. More serious sprains and injuries may require surgery, which could include arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery. Rehabilitation and therapy may also be required in order to get any recovering athlete to become fully functional again. Any unusual aches and pains an athlete sustains must be evaluated by a licensed, reputable medical professional.

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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Published in Blog
Tuesday, 08 March 2022 00:00

Achilles Tendon Disorders

The Achilles tendon is a thick band of fibrous tissue that runs along the back of the lower leg, connecting the heel bone to the calf muscles. When the Achilles tendon is injured, resulting symptoms may include pain, aching, stiffness, soreness or tenderness in the heel or back of the leg, enlargement of the tendon, and damage to the surrounding tissues. There are two main types of Achilles tendon disorders – Achilles tendonitis and Achilles tendonosis. Tendonitis is a typically short-lived inflammation of the tendon. Tendonosis, which can evolve from tendonitis if the former is not treated promptly, can lead to tears in the tendon and degeneration over time. If you have symptoms of an Achilles tendon injury, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, 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 the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What Are the Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Rome, GA . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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Published in Blog
Tuesday, 01 March 2022 00:00

Plantar Fasciitis Prevention

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common foot injuries and the most frequent cause of heel pain. This condition occurs when the plantar fascia, a ligament that runs along the bottom of the foot, becomes inflamed usually due to repetitive stress and overuse. When the plantar fascia is injured, you may feel a sharp, stabbing pain in your heel and have pain in the arch of the foot. The pain is often at its worst when you take your first few steps in the morning or after a long rest. Fortunately, plantar fasciitis is both treatable and preventable. To prevent plantar fasciitis, it is suggested that you wear comfortable, well-fitted, supportive shoes, rest your feet after a workout or after standing for an extended amount of time, and stretch your feet regularly. If you are suffering from heel pain, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist near you. 

 

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, 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.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Non-supportive shoes
  • Overpronation
  • Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

  • Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices
  • Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis
  • Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

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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