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Stephan J. LaPointe, DPM, PhD, FACFAS

June 2022

Patients who have arthritis in their big toe may find relief by having toe surgery performed. A big toe fusion can help relieve stiffness, swelling, and inflammation that often accompanies arthritis. Some of the benefits that are associated with this type of surgery include a general feeling of well-being, permanent reduction in big toe pain, and stability due to the use of screws, wires, pins, and metals. Additionally, wearing shoes will gradually become a comfortable experience. Some patients refrain from having this type of surgery performed. This may be because of the inability to push off with the big toe while taking a step and the nerves can be affected which may cause numbness. A condition that is referred to as a malunion occurs when the toe heals in the wrong position. Despite the cons of having this type of joint replacement surgery performed, many patients are satisfied with the result. If you have arthritis in your big toe, please confer with a podiatrist who can determine if this surgery is right for you.

In certain cases, in which the patient suffers from extreme pain or damage in a joint, joint replacement surgery may be deemed useful. If you have constant pain in a foot joint, 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.

What Is Joint Replacement Surgery?

Over time, joints wear down; this can be exacerbated by diseases and conditions. Joint replacement surgery, also known as arthroplasty, is when a damaged joint is surgically removed and replaced with a prosthesis. Prostheses, which can be made of ceramic, plastic, or metal, act as joints in lieu of an actual joint. One of the most prevalent causes for joint replacement is arthritis.

Arthritis in the Foot

Arthritis can occur in any joint in the body, including in the feet. Common types of arthritis in the foot are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. The big toe is usually where arthritis occurs in the foot; this is known as hallux rigidus.

Joint Replacement Surgery in the Foot

The most common form of joint replacement in the foot is a first metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint placement. MTP joint replacement surgery is designed to treat hallux rigidus. Surgery is not intensive, and recovery occurs within one to two months after the procedure has been done. Overall, joint replacement surgery is a safe and effective way to treat pain in the joint of the foot.

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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The tarsal tunnel encases the tibial nerve, which is found in the ankle. It is surrounded by soft bone and tissue and can become damaged from consistent pressure. This condition is known as tarsal tunnel syndrome. It can be caused by existing medical conditions like flat feet, arthritis, diabetes, or from an ankle sprain. Patients can experience specific symptoms that include a burning sensation, shooting pain, or tingling. Diagnosis is made by performing Tinel’s test. This is accomplished by exerting pressure on the tibial nerve and observing if it produces pain. Relief may be found when the affected foot is elevated, and this may help to rest the foot and reduce swelling. In severe cases, surgery called the tarsal tunnel release may be a necessary option. This can be an effective method in relieving the nerve. If you have endured an ankle injury, and are experiencing pain, please consult with a podiatrist who can diagnose and treat tarsal tunnel syndrome.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, 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.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can also be called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon condition of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is the peripheral nerve in the leg responsible for sensation and movement of the foot and calf muscles. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the tibial nerve is damaged, causing problems with movement and feeling in the foot of the affected leg.

Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Involves pressure or an injury, direct pressure on the tibial nerve for an extended period of time, sometimes caused by other body structures close by or near the knee.
  • Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
  • At times, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.

The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Different sensations, an afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of the affected leg.
  • The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling your toes or flexing your foot can become difficult.
  • If condition worsens, infections and ulcers may develop on the foot that is experiencing the syndrome.

A physical exam of the leg can help identify the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Medical tests, such as a nerve biopsy, are also used to diagnose the condition. Patients may receive physical therapy and prescriptive medication. In extreme cases, some may require 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 and ankle needs.

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Wednesday, 15 June 2022 00:00

Plantar Warts Can Be Treated!

Plantar warts are small growths that develop on parts of the feet that bear weight. They're typically found on the bottom of the foot. Don't live with plantar warts, and call us today!

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Many elderly people endure foot pain, which may impact mobility and completing daily activities. Research has shown there may be increased soft tissue stiffness in the foot, in addition to having a limited range of motion as one ages. With advanced age, the foot can lose overall strength and may become protonated as a result of reduced joint mobility. The risk of falling may increase, foot pain may develop, and it may be difficult to complete weight bearing activities. Approximately one in five people lose the ability to leave their house because of devastating foot pain. The skin may change thickness, and can add friction to the feet while walking. Recent reviews have confirmed the overall loss of elastin, which can result in thicker and dryer skin on the skin. In summation, the skin condition and foot structure may change in elderly feet, and may cause foot conditions that did not exist in their youth. If you would like more information about how the feet change as the aging process occurs, please consult with a podiatrist.

If you have any concerns about your feet, 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.

Biomechanics in Podiatry

Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.

A History of Biomechanics

  • Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
  • In 1974, biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area.

Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.

Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot.

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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Tuesday, 07 June 2022 00:00

Running Shoes Can Depend on Your Arch

There are many facets to buying the correct running shoe, and the most important one is how comfortable the fit is. One of the first things to understand is the term pronation, and what it means. It is defined as how the foot rolls from heel to toe as running occurs. Overpronation happens when the inside of the foot rolls too much to the inside, and this can happen if there is little or no arch. When the foot rolls excessively to the outside, this is referred to as underpronation, and can occur with a particularly high arch. It is beneficial to determine what type of arch you have before purchasing a pair of running shoes. This can be done by wetting your feet, and placing them on a paper bag. You will easily see which type of arch you have by performing this test. There are several types of running shoes, including motion control shoes, stability shoes, and neutral cushioning shoes. It is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can determine what the best type of running shoe is for you.

If you are a runner, wearing the right running shoe is essential. For more information, 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.

Choosing the Right Running Shoe for Your Foot Type

To increase performance and avoid the risk of injury, it is important to choose the right running shoe based on your foot type. The general design of running shoes revolves around pronation, which is how the ankle rolls from outside to inside when the foot strikes the ground.

  • Neutral runners are able to choose from a wide variety of shoes, including minimalist shoes or even going barefoot.
  • Runners who overpronate, or experience an over-abundance of ankle rolling, should choose shoes that provide extra motion control and stability.
  • Runners who underpronate, or supinate, have feet that have high arches and lack flexibility, preventing shock absorption. They require shoes with more flexibility and cushion.

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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