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May 2021

If you are suffering from tenderness, pain, or stiffness in the joints of your feet or ankles, call us to schedule an appointment.

Monday, 24 May 2021 00:00

Foot Surgery

In most cases, foot surgery is often chosen as the last available option for conditions that have otherwise been unsuccessfully treated. Surgery may be necessary for several reasons, including the removal of foot deformities (e.g. bone spurs or bunions), arthritis problems, reconstruction due to injury, and congenital malformations (e.g. club foot or flat feet). Regardless of one’s age, foot surgery may be the only successful option for treatment for certain conditions.

The type of surgery one undergoes depends on the type of foot condition the patient has. For the removal of a bunion growth, a bunionectomy is necessary. If the bones in the feet need to be realigned or fused together, a surgical fusion of the foot is needed. For pain or nerve issues, a patient may require surgery in which the tissues surrounding the painful nerve are removed. Initially, less invasive treatments are generally attempted; surgery is often the last measure taken if other treatments are unsuccessful.

While in many cases surgery is often deemed as the final resort, choosing surgery comes with certain benefits. The associated pain experienced in relation to the particular condition is often relieved with surgery, allowing patients to quickly resume daily activities. The greatest benefit, however, is that surgery generally eliminates the problem immediately.

Podiatry history has shown that foot treatments continue to evolve over time. In the field of foot surgery, endoscopic surgery is just one of the many advanced forms of surgery. As technology vastly improves so too will the various techniques in foot surgery, which already require smaller and smaller incisions with the use of better and more efficient tools. Thanks to such innovations, surgery is no longer as invasive as it was in the past, allowing for faster and easier recoveries. 

If you are getting ready to undergo surgery to correct a foot or ankle issue, it is important to be prepared and know what to expect. Store up on food and supplies, and set up a comfortable spot in your home with everything you’ll need within arm’s reach as you convalesce: your computer, phone, medicine, TV and remote, pillows, a foot elevation apparatus to reduce swelling, convenient access to ice packs, and more. Ask your podiatrist if you’ll need a knee roller/walker, crutches or wheelchair. Place a shower stool and grab bars in your shower, and have a cast protector handy to keep your cast dry while showering. Ask your podiatrist what you need to do to help aid your recovery, and approximately when you may be able to return to work; it can take weeks, months, or sometimes longer to fully recover from foot or ankle surgery. Also, find out when you might be able to drive again, and make arrangements to get a Temporary Handicap placard prior to surgery. Ask your podiatrist about over-the-counter painkillers or if they will prescribe medication to help reduce swelling and pain after surgery. With proper planning and communication with your podiatrist, you can help make your recovery as smooth and successful as possible.

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to treat a foot ailment. To learn more, contact Don A. Shumway, DPM of Arizona. 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 Snowflake, AZ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Foot Surgery
Monday, 17 May 2021 00:00

Taking Care of Elderly Feet

Many foot diseases and conditions become more serious and common among the elderly. Some of these conditions include diabetic ulcers, ingrown toenails, fungus, arthritis, corns, and calluses. Unfortunately, it may be harder for older adults to take care of their own feet, but there are some precautions they can take in order to avoid any serious conditions.

Dry, cracked heels tend to be a common problem for older people. In order to avoid this, you should always keep your feet clean and well moisturized. Special feet moisturizers should be used as average lotions might not provide enough moisture for dry and cracked heels. Daily foot inspections are crucial for the elderly to detect any irregularities in their earliest stages. During the aging process, blood circulation tends to slow down causing older people to not feel their feet as well as they used to. This often results in foot problems going unnoticed.

Fungal and bacterial conditions thrive on elderly feet because older adults are less likely to keep their feet clean and dry; this makes it easier for bacteria to take hold in their dry, cracked skin. Elderly people should be sure to thoroughly dry their feet, especially in between the toes, after bathing. This will help them avoid developing any fungal infections. Additionally, clean cotton socks should be worn after the feet are dried.

Cutting toenails straight across will help prevent ingrown toenails. When toenails are cut too lose, the nail might break through the skin resulting in an ingrown nail. Clippers should be used to cut the nails in order to make the cut even.

Elderly people who have diabetes are at risk of developing serious foot problems that may lead to amputation. Ulcers that are left untreated can lead to gangrene. Dry and cracked feet, fungus, and untended cuts under the nails may also lead to infections.

Fortunately, Medicare covers many different types of services for foot care. Elderly people with any of these foot conditions should seek the help of a podiatrist and perform daily foot inspections in order to ensure that they have healthy feet.

Monday, 17 May 2021 00:00

Avoid Open-Back Shoes

The feet change as the aging process occurs, which can make elderly individuals more prone to developing foot complications. In the warmer months, many people wear shoes that have an open back, including elderly patients. This can lead to painful foot conditions consisting of cracked heels, plantar fasciitis, and toe injuries. It is beneficial to instead wear shoes that fit correctly, in addition to washing, drying, and moisturizing the feet as part of your daily routine. Shoes that are made from breathable materials may help to avoid foot fungi, including athlete’s foot. Patients who are diabetic must pay extra attention to their feet, and it is important to promptly treat cuts or bruises that appear. If you would like more information about how to care for elderly feet, it is suggested that you confer with a podiatrist.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Don A. Shumway, DPM from Arizona. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

The Elderly and Their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet and can hide many life-threatening medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

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

Read more about Taking Care of Elderly Feet
Monday, 10 May 2021 00:00

Exercise for Your Feet

Whether your feet are over-worked or under-worked, chances are they could benefit from some special attention. Even those who exercise regularly probably do not spend any time strengthening their feet. This can be just as rewarding as strengthening the rest of the body, since the health of your feet affects the health of the rest of the body as well, especially the ankles, legs, and spine.

For those who might not have any idea on how a foot-specific exercise might be conducted, there are several workouts that are fairly easy to perform in the comfort of ones’ home. One of the easiest is the toe rise, also known as the tip-toe. This exercise involves standing on the tip-toes for a count of 15 then resting the feet on the ground. This process should be repeated a minimum of three times a day in order to strengthen the feet.

Toe pick-ups strengthen the feet by working them in a very different way. In this exercise, small items are picked up using the toes in order to strengthen the muscles on the upper part of the feet. Once again three sets should be performed, with the item in question being held for 15 seconds then dropped. Items that may be picked up using the feet include marbles and even stationery, which works wonders for the toes and the surrounding muscles.

Yet another simple workout is the ankle pump. This can be done either upwards or downwards, but for the workout to be most effective both can be incorporated into the routine. As the term suggests, this involves lifting the foot off the floor and flexing the toes either towards the shin or towards the ground. This movement puts the feet and ankles through a large range of motion which works the muscles.

Last but not least, feet should be stretched so that the muscles can relax and recuperate. This can be done by placing both feet off of the floor and bracing oneself against the wall at a 45 degree angle. This ensures that the feet and ankles are adequately stretched once the workout is complete.

In short, giving the feet a good workout every now and then is important in order to avoid problems such as plantar fasciitis. It’s also important to warm-up or cool-down after running or vigorous walking. Foot exercises may be followed by a good foot massage. This encourages circulation in the feet as well as muscle relaxation.

Runners can sometimes experience different types of foot pain after a run. Pain experienced in the heel or arch—especially in the morning—may be plantar fasciitis. Certain stretches and orthotics may provide some relief, however, if pain persists for more than a couple of weeks, a podiatrist may be able to heal the injury using a variety of therapies. Short-term relief from a bunion may be achieved by using bunion pads. A more lasting solution would be to have the bunion removed by a podiatrist who may also create custom orthotics to avoid bunions from returning. On the top of the foot, pain while running, swelling, or a bump on the tendon may be an indication of extensor tendonitis. Shoes that are too tight, or that create pressure on the top of the foot or are laced too tightly may make this situation worse. Proper stretching, icing, and anti-inflammatories may provide relief, along with professional treatments and custom orthotics. Pain relief from tendonitis along the side of the foot may be lessened by icing and resting, however since stress fractures also cause pain in this area, early detection and professional treatment by a podiatrist is suggested for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Exercising your feet regularly with the proper foot wear is a great way to prevent injuries and build strength. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Don A. Shumway, DPM from Arizona. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Exercise for Your Feet

Exercise for your feet can help you gain strength, mobility and flexibility in your feet. They say that strengthening your feet can be just as rewarding as strengthening another part of the body. Your feet are very important, and we often forget about them in our daily tasks. But it is because of our feet that are we able to get going and do what we need to. For those of us fortunate enough to not have any foot problems, it is an important gesture to take care of them to ensure good health in the long run.

Some foot health exercises can include ankle pumps, tip-toeing, toe rises, lifting off the floor doing reps and sets, and flexing the toes. It is best to speak with Our doctor to determine an appropriate regimen for your needs. Everyone’s needs and bodies are different, and the activities required to maintain strength in the feet vary from individual to individual. 

Once you get into a routine of doing regular exercise, you may notice a difference in your feet and how strong they may become.

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

Read more about Exercise for Your Feet

The purpose of the body’s circulation system is to transport blood, oxygen, and nutrients throughout the body. A reduction of blood to a specific part of the body may cause one to experience symptoms of poor circulation. The most common causes of poor circulation in the feet are obesity, diabetes, and heart conditions such as peripheral artery disease (PAD). Common symptoms of poor circulation include tingling, numbness, throbbing, pain and muscle cramps.

Peripheral artery disease is a common cause of poor circulation in the legs. Symptoms of PAD are cramping, pain or tiredness in the leg or hip muscles while walking or climbing stairs. This pain tends to go away with rest and starts back up when you begin to walk.  It is a condition that causes the blood vessels and arteries to become narrow. Although PAD is more common in adults over the age of 50, it may also occur in younger people.  A similar condition called atherosclerosis causes arteries to stiffen up due to a buildup of plaque in the arteries and blood vessels.

Blood clots are also a common cause of poor circulation in the feet. Clots may obstruct blood vessels and if they occur in the legs, they may eventually lead to pain and discoloration. This occurrence is commonly known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and it may travel to the lungs. Varicose veins are another condition that may lead to poor circulation, and it is caused by incompetence of the valves in the veins. Women who are overweight are prone to developing this condition. Lastly, diabetes, which is correlated with poor blood sugar metabolism may lead to chronic poor circulation. Those with diabetes often suffer from cramping in the legs, calves, thighs and buttocks.

If you are looking for ways to avoid poor circulation there are some tips you can follow. One tip is to avoid sitting for too long. If you plan to sit down for a long period of time, you should try standing up occasionally, to improve your circulation. Another great way to avoid poor circulation is to exercise. Exercise is an excellent way to pump the heart and increase blood flow. Those who suffer from poor circulation should also avoid smoking, reduce their salt intake, and try to lose weight.

If you are experiencing symptoms from poor circulation in your feet, you should consult with your podiatrist to determine the best method for treatment for you. He or she may prescribe medication in addition to recommending specific lifestyle changes to improve your circulation.

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 Don A. Shumway, DPM of Arizona. 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 Snowflake, AZ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Causes Symptoms and Treatment for Poor Circulation in the Feet
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