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Stephan J. LaPointe, DPM, PhD, FACFAS
Tuesday, 27 September 2022 00:00

The pain from the foot condition known as gout is often worse during the night. Patients are often awakened by swollen joints in the big toe that can become red and inflamed. This extremely painful ailment, a type of arthritis, can cause an inability to walk, and crawling up the steps is not uncommon in severe cases. Gout can happen as a result of genetic reasons, or from eating foods that have high levels of purines. Foods in this category include shellfish, red meat, and drinks that are made with large amounts of sugar. These types of foods produce excess uric acid, which forms into crystals that can lodge in the joints of the big toe. There are methods that can be implemented that may help to diminish some of the pain of gout. Among them are drinking plenty of water, frequently elevating the affected foot, and eliminating the foods that can cause this condition. Gout can be recurring, so it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can help you to manage this ailment and provide you with proper relief tactics.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Stephan J. LaPointe from Georgia Foot & Ankle Specialists . Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

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.

Read more about Gout
Tuesday, 20 September 2022 00:00

There are some people who refer to bunions as a bone disorder. This foot condition is the result of a foot structure abnormality, and can be caused by genetic factors. Additionally, patients who choose to wear shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in may notice a bunion is developing. It is defined as a bony protrusion on the side of the big toe, and in severe cases, may be large enough to shift the other toes toward each other. There may be existing medical conditions that may lead to getting a bunion. These can include having a low arch, rheumatoid arthritis, or possibly from having endured a foot injury. Common symptoms that affect many people with bunions can consist of redness, numbness, and there may be a burning sensation in the affected joint.  Mild relief may come from wearing shoes that are larger which can accommodate the protrusion, and it may help to place a protective covering over the bunion. If you have a bunion, it is advised that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can offer you effective treatment options.

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.

Read more about What Are Bunions?
Wednesday, 14 September 2022 00:00

Foot or ankle surgery can be recommended by a podiatrist to relieve pain, correct a foot deformity, or restore function to a foot or ankle. It is often a last resort, after more conservative treatments are prescribed. Such surgery is usually elective and takes place in a podiatrist’s office, in a hospital, or a surgery center. Whether or not surgery is suggested depends on one’s age, medical history, and insurance coverage. Once surgery is done, the patient must follow instructions for the foot or ankle to heal properly and without complications. Foot surgeries can include toenail removal, and arthroscopic foot or ankle surgery. This is a type of endoscopy that allows a doctor to investigate an area of the body without cutting it open. Additional types of surgeries can consist of plantar fascia release, and ankle fusion or replacement. If you have foot or ankle problems and pain interferes with your daily life, see a podiatrist for proper diagnosis and treatment. Surgery may be appropriate if other treatments are ineffective.

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

Read more about Foot and Ankle Surgery
Tuesday, 13 September 2022 00:00

Your feet are covered most of the day. If you're diabetic, periodic screening is important for good health. Numbness is often a sign of diabetic foot and can mask a sore or wound.

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