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Stephan J. LaPointe, DPM, PhD, FACFAS

August 2022

Tuesday, 30 August 2022 00:00

Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Rupture

The Achilles tendon plays an integral role in the functioning of the feet. The tendon essentially connects the calf muscle to the heel bone, facilitating movement of all kinds. Since this tendon is so important, suffering an Achilles tendon injury is nothing to take lightly. An Achilles tendon rupture occurs in an individual when the tendon is stretched or torn. Typically, the tendon can stretch or tear when a person is running and they accelerate their pace too quickly. The symptoms that an individual might feel after suffering from an Achilles tendon rupture can vary. Generally speaking, however, an individual with this tendon rupture is likely to feel pain that comes in sharp, sudden bursts. This pain is typically felt in the ankle or calf. Additionally, if you are suffering from an Achilles tendon rupture, you might sense a feeling of swelling where the Achilles tendon is located, between the heel bone and the calf. Lastly, another common symptom of an Achilles tendon rupture is experiencing discomfort and difficulty when moving the feet. Specifically, walking and moving the toes can be particularly difficult. If you suspect that you have ruptured your Achilles tendon, contact your podiatrist immediately.

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, 30 August 2022 00:00

What are Achilles Tendon Injuries

The Achilles tendon is the strongest tendon in the human body. Its purpose is to connect the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. This tendon is responsible for facilitating all types of movement, like walking and running. This tendon provides an enormous amount of mobility for the body. Any injuries inflicted to this tissue should be immediately brought up with a physician to prevent further damage. 

The most common injuries that can trouble the Achilles tendon are tendon ruptures and Achilles tendinitis. Achilles tendinitis is the milder of the two injuries. It can be recognized by the following symptoms: inflammation, dull-to-severe pain, increased blood flow to the tendon, thickening of the tendon, and slower movement time. Tendinitis can be treated via several methods and is often diagnosed by an MRI. 

An Achilles tendon rupture is trickier to heal, and is by far the most painful injury. It is caused by the tendon ripping or completely snapping. The results are immediate and absolutely devastating, and will render the patient immobile. If a rupture or tear occurs, operative and non-operative methods are available. Once the treatment begins, depending on the severity of the injury, recovery time for these types of issues can take up to a year. 

Simple preventative measures can be taken as a means to avoid both injuries. Prior to any movement, taking a few minutes to stretch out the tendon is a great way to stimulate the tissue. Calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses are all suggested ways to help strengthen the lower legs and promote Achilles tendon health. 

Many problems arise among athletes and people who overexert themselves while exercising. Problems can also happen among those who do not warm up properly before beginning an activity. Proper, comfortable shoes that fit correctly can also decrease tendon injuries. Some professionals also suggest that when exercising, you should make sure that the floor you are on is cushioned or has a mat. This will relieve pressure on the heels. A healthy diet will also increase tendon health. 

It is very important to seek out a podiatrist if you believe you have an injury in the Achilles region. Further damage could result in severe complications that would make being mobile difficult, if not impossible.

Published in Featured
Tuesday, 23 August 2022 00:00

Stretching the Toes

The benefits of stretching one’s feet are plentiful as are the toes. Someone serious about protecting the overall health of their feet can perform several different toe stretches to not only increase the strength of their toes but to improve mobility and agility. These benefits can be particularly helpful for individuals who are prone to falling. The first toe stretch that you might consider performing as part of a regular foot stretching routine is known as the big toe pull. You can perform this stretch by getting in a seated position and wrapping a belt or towel around the big toe. Extend the lower leg off the ground and pull the belt towards you as you repeatedly push the big toe against the belt. The big toe should be working against your pulling motion of the belt. This should be performed on one foot at a time. You might also choose to perform the doming stretch. This involves sitting on the ground while your feet are flat on the floor in front of you. You then will try to grab the floor with your toes, being sure that you are not simply curling the toes inward. You can then hold this position for five seconds or so. Stretching the toes is undoubtedly important, just as it is to remember to listen to your body throughout the exercises and to stretch gently. If you want to learn more about the benefits of stretching your feet, contact a podiatrist.

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with 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.

Stretching the Feet

Being the backbone of the body, the feet carry your entire weight and can easily become overexerted, causing cramps and pain. As with any body part, stretching your feet can serve many benefits. From increasing flexibility to even providing some pain relief, be sure to give your feet a stretch from time to time. This is especially important for athletes or anyone performing aerobic exercises, but anyone experiencing foot pain or is on their feet constantly should also engage in this practice.

Great ways to stretch your feet:

  • Crossing one leg over the others and carefully pull your toes back. Do 10-20 repetitions and repeat the process for each foot
  • Face a wall with your arms out and hands flat against the wall. Step back with one foot and keep it flat on the floor while moving the other leg forward. Lean towards the wall until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and perform 10 repetitions for each foot
  • Be sure not to overextend or push your limbs too hard or you could risk pulling or straining your muscle

Individuals who tend to their feet by regular stretching every day should be able to minimize foot pain and prevent new problems from arising.

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
Tuesday, 23 August 2022 00:00

Stretching Your Feet

Debilitating foot pain is a problem for many people. But just as stretching the torso can help alleviate back pain, stretching the feet can also help mend existing foot problems and prevent future ones.

The feet, as the body’s foundation, carry the body’s entire weight and can get easily strained from overexertion. Persistent sharp pain and cramping in the feet are often common concerns. Foot pain and foot problems can be due to any number of causes, and in many cases pain may be eased without medication or doctor visits. It is always a good idea, however, to first rule out any serious medical issues with a physician.

Stretching can help relax the feet and alleviate pain, but is especially important before heavy aerobic exercise. Stretching before such activities can help you avoid experiencing painful cramps or strained foot muscles. Stretches should be performed slowly and deliberately without forceful pulling. The stretch should be held for several seconds before relaxing.

A great way to stretch out and loosen up the foot muscles while sitting is to cross one leg over the other and pull the toes carefully back without overextending. Start by resting the left ankle on the right knee. With the left hand, gently flex the left foot by pulling back on the toes. Do not pull too hard; just hard enough to feel the stretch in the arch of the foot. Then point the toes of the left foot as far as you can. Rotate the motion of pointing with pulling back on the toes. This should relax and stretch the muscles on the bottom and the top of the foot. Doing this stretch ten to twenty times should bring relief. Repeat the whole process for the other foot by resting the right ankle on the left knee.

A stretch that focuses on the often injured Achilles tendon involves standing and facing a wall with your arms out and hands flat against the wall. Step back with one foot, keeping it flat against the floor. Move the other leg forward and lean toward the wall. You should feel a stretch through the back of your leg and your Achilles tendon, but do not push yourself too much. Stop when you feel a stretching sensation, and hold for 30 seconds. Ten repetitions may be done for each foot.

Stretching the feet is important for athletes or those performing aerobic exercise, but it can also help anyone with foot pain caused by poor footwear, plantar fasciitis, or long hours standing and walking. Individuals who tend to their feet by regularly stretching every day should be able to minimize foot pain and prevent new problems from arising.

Published in Featured
Tuesday, 16 August 2022 00:00

Babies Born With Foot Problems

A congenital foot problem is one affecting the feet, toes, or ankles of newborns. Such problems include clubfoot, vertical talus, tarsal coalition, polydactyly, macrodactyly, and cleft foot. These afflictions can have various causes, but some are genetically based on someone in the family having a gene causing the condition. Others can simply be an anomaly. A few of these conditions are described here. Clubfoot is when the tendons of the foot shorten, the bones are of an unusual shape, and the Achilles tendon is tight, causing the foot to point inward and downward. The soles of the feet might also face each other. This condition typically affects both feet. If not treated, a child will walk on the sides of their feet and ankles. Polydactyly is when the child has more than five toes on one or both feet. Usually, a nubbin or small lump of tissue without a bone or joint will be present. Macrodactyly is when the toes are abnormally large due to the overgrowth of the underlying bone or soft tissue. Having this condition makes it harder for a child to use the affected foot in all activities. Cleft foot is rare and occurs when the foot is missing toes, a V-shaped cleft, or other anatomical differences. The main issues are whether a cleft foot can fit into a shoe, as well as the shape and appearance of the foot. If you have a child born with a congenital foot problem, consult with a podiatrist to see if any treatments or surgery is recommended to help your child continue life most comfortably.

Congenital foot problems require 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.

Congenital foot problems are deformities affecting the feet, toes, and/or ankles that children are born with. Some of these conditions have a genetic cause while others just happen. Some specific foot ailments that children may be born with include clubfeet, polydactyly/macrodactyly, and cleft foot. There are several other foot anomalies that can occur congenitally. What all of these conditions have in common is that a child may experience difficulty walking or performing everyday activities, as well as trouble finding footwear that fits their foot deformity. Some of these conditions are more serious than others. Consulting with a podiatrist as early as possible will help in properly diagnosing a child’s foot condition while getting the necessary treatment underway.

What are Causes of Congenital Foot Problem?

A congenital foot problem is one that happens to a child at birth. These conditions can be caused by a genetic predisposition, developmental or positional abnormalities during gestation, or with no known cause.

What are Symptoms of Congenital Foot Problems?

Symptoms vary by the congenital condition. Symptoms may consist of the following:

  • Clubfoot, where tendons are shortened, bones are shaped differently, and the Achilles tendon is tight, causing the foot to point in and down. It is also possible for the soles of the feet to face each other.
  • Polydactyly, which usually consists of a nubbin or small lump of tissue without a bone, a toe that is partially formed but has no joints, or an extra toe.
  • Vertical talus, where the talus bone forms in the wrong position causing other bones in the foot to line up improperly, the front of the foot to point up, and the bottom of the foot to stiffen, with no arch, and to curve out.
  • Tarsal coalition, when there is an abnormal connection of two or more bones in the foot leading to severe, rigid flatfoot.
  • Cleft foot, where there are missing toes, a V-shaped cleft, and other anatomical differences.
  • Macrodactyly, when the toes are abnormally large due to overgrowth of the underlying bone or soft tissue.

Treatment and Prevention

While there is nothing one can do to prevent congenital foot problems, raising awareness and receiving neonatal screenings are important. Early detection by taking your child to a podiatrist leads to the best outcome possible.

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, 16 August 2022 00:00

Congenital Foot Problems

A congenital foot problem is a problem affecting the feet, toes, and/or ankle that a child is born with. Several issues with a child’s feet can occur congenitally. Such problems include clubfoot, vertical talus, tarsal coalition, polydactyly, macrodactyly, and cleft foot. Some of these problems have a genetic basis, with someone in their family history having a gene causing the condition, and some are simply an anomaly.

The following are specifics about a few of these conditions:

-    Clubfoot, also called congenital talipes equinovarus or talipes equinovarus, is When the tendons of the foot shorten, the bones are of an unusual shape, and the Achilles tendon is tight, causing an inward and downward pointing of the foot. The soles of the feet might also face each other. In most cases of clubfoot, both feet are affected. If not treated, the affected child will walk on the sides of their feet or ankles.

-    Polydactyly is a condition where the child has more than five fingers or toes on either or both feet. Presentation usually consists of a nubbin or small lump of tissue without a bone, a toe that is partially formed but has no joints, or an extra toe.

-    Vertical talus is where the talus bone forms in the wrong position, other bones in the foot do not line up properly, the front of the foot points up, and the bottom of the foot is stiff, has no arch, and usually curves out. This can occur in one or both feet and if left untreated, can lead to serious disability or discomfort as the child grows.

-    Tarsal coalition is when there is an abnormal connection of two or more bones in the foot leading to severe, rigid flatfoot. The tarsal bones, located toward the back of the foot and in the heel, are the ones affected. This condition is often present at birth, but signs of the disorder usually come on in early adolescence.

-    Cleft foot is a rare condition where the foot has missing toes, a V-shaped cleft, and other anatomical differences. Surgery can often help improve the foot’s function since the heel remains normal and is what is most needed for walking. The main issues with this affliction are whether the affected foot can fit into a shoe and the shape and appearance of the foot.

-    Macrodactyly is when the toes are abnormally large due to overgrowth of the underlying bone or soft tissue. Having this condition makes it harder for the child to use the affected foot for certain activities.


 

Published in Featured
Sunday, 14 August 2022 00:00

It's Time for Beautiful Feet

You don't need an excuse to have beautiful nails. Step outside without worrying about the appearance of your feet.

Published in Blog
Tuesday, 09 August 2022 00:00

Sever's Disease

Sever’s disease, also known as calcaneal apophysitis is a common bone disorder that occurs during childhood. The disease is defined as an inflammation of the growth plate in the heel. When a child has a growth spurt, his heel bone grows faster than the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in his leg. This disease is a result of overuse. The people who are most likely to be affected by this disease are children who are in a growth spurt, especially boys who are from the ages of 5 to 13 years old. 60% of children with Sever’s disease have both heels involved.

Symptoms of this disease are heel pain that intensifies during running and jumping activities. The pain is typically localized to the posterior part of the heel. Symptoms may be severe, and they can easily interfere with daily activities. Children who play soccer, baseball, and basketball are more likely to develop Sever’s disease.

Your doctor will diagnose your child based on his or her symptoms, x-rays are generally not helpful in diagnosing this disease. Your doctor may examine both heels and ask your child questions about his or her activity level in sports. Your doctor may then use the squeeze test on your child’s heel to see if there is any pain. Nevertheless, some doctors might still use x-rays to rule out any other issues such as fractures, infections, and tumors.

Sever’s disease can be prevented by maintaining good flexibility while your child is growing. Another prevention method is to wear good-quality shoes that have firm support and a shock-absorbent sole. Sever’s disease can be treated by ceasing any activity that causes heel pain. You should apply ice to the injured heel for 20 minutes 3 times a day. Additionally, orthotics should be used for children who have high arches, flat feet, or bowed legs.

If you suspect your child has Sever’s disease, you should make an appointment with your podiatrist to have his or her foot examined. Your doctor may recommend nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen to relieve pain. In more severe cases, your child may need a cast to rest his or her heel. Fortunately, Sever’s disease does not cause long-term foot problems. After treatment, your child should start to feel better within two weeks to two months.

Published in Featured
Tuesday, 09 August 2022 00:00

Who Is Prone to Getting Sever’s Disease?

There is a growth plate in the heels of all feet, and it may become inflamed during a growth spurt in teenagers who frequently participate in running and jumping activities. The point of inflammation is where the Achilles tendon attaches to the back of the heel bone. This is known as Sever’s disease and it can cause uncomfortable heel pain. In some cases, an X-ray is necessary to show any irregularities of the heel bone. The pain may be more severe in the morning after arising and the heel may be tender and swollen. It is beneficial to temporarily stop the activity that caused the pain and orthotics may be prescribed to help the heel feel better. Some patients need to wear a cast as this can help to accelerate the healing process. If your child has heel pain and you suspect it may be Sever’s disease, please schedule an appointment with a podiatrist who can effectively treat this condition. 

Sever's disease often occurs in children and teens. If your child is experiencing foot or ankle pain, see Dr. Stephan J. LaPointe from Georgia Foot & Ankle Specialists . Our doctor can treat your child’s foot and ankle needs.

Sever’s Disease

Sever’s disease is also known as calcaneal apophysitis, which is a medical condition that causes heel pain I none or both feet. The disease is known to affect children between the ages of 8 and 14.

Sever’s disease occurs when part of the child’s heel known as the growth plate (calcaneal epiphysis) is attached to the Achilles tendon. This area can suffer injury when the muscles and tendons of the growing foot do not keep pace with bone growth. Therefore, the constant pain which one experiences at the back of the heel will make the child unable to put any weight on the heel. The child is then forced to walk on their toes.

Symptoms

Acute pain – Pain associated with Sever’s disease is usually felt in the heel when the child engages in physical activity such as walking, jumping and or running.

Highly active – Children who are very active are among the most susceptible in experiencing Sever’s disease, because of the stress and tension placed on their feet.

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 injuries.

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Published in Blog
Tuesday, 02 August 2022 00:00

Foot Pain

Our feet are arguably the most important parts of our bodies because they are responsible for getting us from place to place.  However, we often don’t think about our feet until they begin to hurt. If you have pain in your feet, you need to first determine where on the foot you are experiencing it to get to the root of the problem. The most common areas to feel pain on the foot are the heel and the ankle.

Heel pain is most commonly attributed to a condition called plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia, which is the band of tough tissue connecting the heel bone to the toes becomes inflamed. Plantar fasciitis pain is usually worse in the morning, and it tends to go away throughout the day. If you have plantar fasciitis, you should rest your foot and do heel and foot muscles stretches. Wearing shoes with proper arch support and a cushioned sole has also been proven to be beneficial.

Some common symptoms of foot pain are redness, swelling, and stiffness. Foot pain can be dull or sharp depending on its underlying cause. Toe pain can also occur, and it is usually caused by gout, bunions, hammertoes, ingrown toenails, sprains, fractures, and corns.

If you have severe pain in your feet, you should immediately seek assistance from your podiatrist for treatment. Depending on the cause of your pain, your podiatrist may give you a variety of treatment options.

Published in Featured
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