Items filtered by date: April 2022

Tuesday, 26 April 2022 00:00

Understanding an Achilles Tendon Rupture

An Achilles tendon rupture is an injury that happens when there is sudden and overwhelming pressure put on the Achilles tendon – the band of fibrous tissue that links the muscles of the calf to the heel. There will usually be a popping noise and intense pain with this injury and the area may burn and become swollen and stiff. You will have trouble standing and pushing off from that leg. Rest, cold compresses, physical therapy, and attention to a proper diet can all help, but this condition is slow to heal. A podiatrist can perform what is known as the Thompson Test to determine if you have ruptured your Achilles tendon. This test consists of a simple manipulation of the back of the calf, specifically, your soleus complex muscle group. If the area does not tense up and bend (a natural reflex of the manipulation), you may have ruptured this major tendon or there has been a detachment of the tendon from the muscle or bone. A consultation with a podiatrist is suggested if you suspect you have injured or ruptured your Achilles tendon for a proper treatment plan.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of Summit Podiatry. Our doctors 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 one of our offices located in Wilmington, Whiteville, and Wallace, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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Heel pain can be caused by a variety of conditions, with the most common one being plantar fasciitis: an inflammation of the plantar fasciitis tissue on the bottom of the foot. Identifying where the pain is specifically located in the heel can sometimes help your podiatrist diagnose your condition. For instance, plantar fasciitis usually causes pain in the bottom/middle of the heel which is at its worst when you first wake up in the morning. Other conditions, such as heel stress fractures, nerve issues, or heel pad atrophy can also cause pain on the bottom of the heel. Pain in the back of the heel may be caused by problems with your Achilles tendon, which connects the heel bone to the calf muscles. These conditions include Achilles tendinopathy/tendinitis, which is usually an overuse injury to the tendon, Haglund’s deformity, which produces a bump at the back of the heel due to shoes exerting pressure on the tendon, and Sever’s disease, which is due to stress on the heel’s growth plate in growing children. Pain in the middle of the heel can sometimes be caused by an entrapped nerve in the ankle (tarsal tunnel syndrome). Sinus tarsi syndrome, typically due to flat feet or following an ankle sprain, can cause pain in the middle/side portion of the heel. Any type of heel pain should be examined by a podiatrist to receive proper diagnosis and treatment.


 

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of Summit Podiatry. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Causes of Heel Pain

Heel pain is often associated with plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissues that extends along the bottom of the foot. A rip or tear in this ligament can cause inflammation of the tissue.

Achilles tendonitis is another cause of heel pain. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon will cause pain from fractures and muscle tearing. Lack of flexibility is also another symptom.

Heel spurs are another cause of pain. When the tissues of the plantar fascia undergo a great deal of stress, it can lead to ligament separation from the heel bone, causing heel spurs.

Why Might Heel Pain Occur?

  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes                  
  • Wearing non-supportive shoes
  • Weight change           
  • Excessive running

Treatments

Heel pain should be treated as soon as possible for immediate results. Keeping your feet in a stress-free environment will help. If you suffer from Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis, applying ice will reduce the swelling. Stretching before an exercise like running will help the muscles. Using all these tips will help make heel pain a condition of the past.

If you have any questions please contact one of our offices located in Wilmington, Whiteville, and Wallace, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Heel Pain
Tuesday, 12 April 2022 00:00

Successful Foot Surgery

Many patients choose to have foot surgery performed when other treatment options have failed. A common surgery is called bunionectomy, and this is successful in removing bunions. A bunion is defined as a bony protrusion on the side of the big toe and can cause pain and discomfort. Severe cases of arthritis in the feet may require surgery. This is accomplished by fusing the bones together which may eliminate existing pain. Heel surgery is done to find relief from foot conditions that can include heel spurs and plantar fasciitis. Patients who have Morton’s neuroma may benefit from having surgery performed that may involve cutting a piece of the nerve that was causing the condition. If you have foot pain, please consult with a podiatrist who can determine if surgery is right for you.

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to treat a foot ailment. To learn more, contact one of our podiatrists of Summit Podiatry. Our doctors 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 one of our offices located in Wilmington, Whiteville, and Wallace, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Foot Surgery

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.

Research has indicated that falling is the leading cause of many injuries in the United States. The feet are often affected when a fall has occurred, which may result in broken toes or a broken foot. The fear of falling can cause seniors to limit completing daily activities. This behavior may cause the patient to become weakened, and falling may happen more often. Falls may be prevented by becoming stronger, and this is often done through participating in an exercise program. There are measures that can be implemented in the household that may help to prevent falling as well. These can include installing grab bars in the toilet and shower area, and improving lighting in the living areas. Many people find it helpful to use a bathmat, in addition to removing worn rugs from the steps. If you would like more information about how falling can affect the feet, and how to prevent it, please consult with a podiatrist.

Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with one of our podiatrists from Summit Podiatry. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.

Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.

How to Prevent Falls

Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:

  • Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
  • Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
  • Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
  • Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
  • Utilizing a walker or cane
  • Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
  • Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness

Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Wilmington, Whiteville, and Wallace, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Falls Prevention

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