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Posts for category: Foot Conditions

By Oakton Foot
October 21, 2021
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Bone Spurs  
Bone SpursBone spurs may develop on your foot over time and cause severe pain. Recovering from this health issue requires a careful approach and a myriad of different treatments. Understanding each of these options will help to make your recovery smoother and minimize your suffering as an individual. Here's what you need to know about this topic, including both non-surgical and surgical care options for your spurs.

Non-Surgical Care for Bone Spurs 

Most podiatrists attempt non-surgical care before turning to any operating on a bone spur. These simple steps help to minimize pain and relieve suffering. Typically, they'll start by suggesting over-the-counter pain medication or prescribing high-dose medicines of this type. Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium can all help to cut back on this kind of bone spur pain. 

However, they may also suggest icing the area, prescribe regular massage visits, or even provide specialized shoes or footwear that support the bone spur and minimize your pain. The extra padding helps to keep the spur from rubbing up against the shoe and worsening. Sometimes, they may also prescribe a weight-loss routine, including a specialized diet and controlled exercise routines to help decrease foot pressure. 

Most of the time, these treatments help to minimize pain and keeps you on your feet. Typically, they rarely cause any serious complications and can be worked around in your day-to-day life. But, unfortunately, there are instances in which a bone spur could be more than a minor nuisance. In these situations, surgery is necessary to ensure that you recover fully from this problem.

Surgical Options 

Does your bone spur press on your nerves and limit your range of motion? If so, you're not alone. Many people experience this kind of struggle and need surgery to recovery. Surgeons start by checking the extent of your bone spur and seeing how it impacts your foot and leg and your mobility.

Then, they'll carefully come up with a surgical plan that removes the spur and keeps your body safe. This procedure requires carefully opening up the skin around the spur and surgically cutting it away from the foot. A short recovery period will follow, one that helps to ensure your foot fully recovers before you put excess weight on it.

Find Help Today 

If you think you have a bone spur and want to get help, reach out to a local podiatrist today to learn more. They'll work with you to find a treatment plan that makes sense. Catching it early enough should minimize your need for surgery. With this type of help, you can regain a pain-free life and transition back to the everyday experiences that your bone spur has robbed from you. 
By Oakton Foot
August 27, 2021
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Cavus foot  
High Arches in ChildrenWhen babies are born they are born with flat feet. Typically the arches of the feet don’t develop until children are 3-4 years old; however, sometimes the arches of the feet develop higher than they should, which can cause the feet to flex. This is known as cavus foot and this problem typically occurs within the first 10 years of a child’s life. Since this condition can impact mobility you must see a podiatrist if this is something you think your child might be dealing with.

The Problem with Cavus Foot

Cavus foot needs to be addressed right away by a podiatrist, as this condition can lead to a variety of issues for your child. Cavus foot is more likely to lead to imbalances within the feet, which in turn can also impact the function of the ankle, legs, hips, and even lower back. Children and teens with cavus foot may be more likely to deal with aches, pains, and strains within the feet, ankles, legs, and hips. This condition can also lead to metatarsalgia, Achilles tendonitis, and chronic ankle sprains.

Causes of Cavus Foot

In many cases, a muscle or nerve disorder that impacts how the muscles function causes cavus foot. This leads to imbalances that cause the distinctive high arches of this condition. Of course, other conditions such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, muscular dystrophy, and spina bifida can also increase the chances of developing cavus foot.

Treating Cavus Foot

You must be watching your little ones as they start to walk to see if you notice any differences in how they move. Catching these issues early offers your child the best chance at improved mobility and less risk for developing foot problems later on. Your podiatrist may work together with a neurologist to pinpoint whether a nerve disorder could be the underlying cause.

Once your foot specialist determines the root cause of your child’s cavus foot then they can map out a customized treatment plan. Milder cases may benefit from more conservative treatment options such as custom orthotics and arch supports; however, surgery is often necessary to correct this problem.

Any issues with mobility, particularly in children, should be addressed and assessed as quickly as possible. Turn to a podiatrist that also specializes in providing pediatric podiatry to children and teens, as they will be able to provide the most thorough treatment plan for your little one.
Ingrown NailWhile minor aches and pains in your feet probably won’t have you rushing to the podiatrist’s office for care, certain seemingly innocuous foot problems might require a professional’s touch. Take ingrown toenails, for example. While you may be able to soothe and ease the pain on your own, it’s also important to recognize when an ingrown toenail may require treatment from a podiatrist.

What is an ingrown toenail?

An ingrown toenail occurs when the edge of the nail grows into the skin, causing redness, swelling, and pain. While this can happen to any toenail, it more commonly affects the big toe. While a minor ingrown toenail for an otherwise healthy individual may not be a cause for concern, some situations warrant turning to a podiatrist for care.

When should I see a podiatrist?

If you notice any of these signs of an infected ingrown toenail it’s time to visit a foot doctor:
  • Increased pain, swelling, or redness
  • Skin that’s hard to the touch
  • Odor
  • Pus or drainage coming from the nail
If the ingrown toenail hasn’t gotten better in a couple of days this also warrants seeing a podiatrist. People with compromised immune systems, diabetes, or nerve damage in their feet should come in right away for care (and should not try to simply treat the problem themselves). Ignoring these issues when they occur could lead to more dangerous infections or complications.

Can you prevent ingrown toenails?

There are things you can do to reduce your risk of developing an ingrown toenail. Some of these steps include:
  • Not picking, pulling, or tearing your toenails (especially torn edges)
  • Making sure that you are trimming your nails straight across (never curved) and that you keep them level with the tips of your toes
  • Wearing shoes that have a large toe box and don’t bunch up your toes (shoes with a pointed toe will put too much pressure on the toenails)
  • Wearing the appropriate footwear for certain activities, such as construction work or sports, to prevent injuries
If you are experiencing symptoms of an infected ingrown toenail, or if you have never dealt with an ingrown toenail before, turn to your podiatrist for a proper evaluation and treatment plan. No problem is too small for a foot and ankle specialist to tackle.
By Oakton Foot
June 16, 2021
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Hammertoes  

Hammertoes are easily identified by their irregular shape, and while not uncommon or dangerous, the condition can be uncomfortable, especially after long days of wearing uncomfortable work shoes.

The condition, sometimes hereditary, occurs when the toe joint is bent and deformed, leading to pressure and friction. The resulting pain can leave you wary to walk or even stand, but your podiatrists, Dr. Steven Vetter and Dr. Jugal Dharia of Oakton Foot and Ankle Center in Fairfax, VA, can help you find relief.

What causes hammertoes?

Hammertoes may be genetic, due to a muscle or tendon imbalance, or caused by lifestyle habits such as frequently wearing shoes that have pointed-toe boxes, high heels, or a narrow cut.

What makes hammertoes so painful?

The toe itself doesn't cause discomfort, but rather the pain results when the toe rubs or pushes against your shoe, which can lead to corns, calluses, sores, redness, or swelling.

How can I treat my hammertoes?

Depending on the severity of your hammertoes, your podiatrist may advise simple changes like switching to low-heeled, supportive shoes with a roomy toe-box, using a cushioned shoe insert, or putting padding on any calluses and corns that have developed to prevent pain.

Your podiatrist may recommend corticosteroid injections or taking anti-inflammatory medications, to relieve pain and inflammation. If your hammertoes are severe, you may need surgical treatment. The operation, done at our Fairfax, VA, office, involves cutting the tendons and ligaments so your podiatrist can straighten your toe. A portion of the bone may also need to be shaved away. You will need to wear a special shoe for a few weeks as your toe heals, but within several weeks you will be pain-free for good.

If hammertoes are keeping you in pain, make an appointment with your podiatrists, Dr. Vetter and Dr. Dharia of Oakton Foot and Ankle Center in Fairfax, VA, by calling (703) 352-8888.

By Oakton Foot
June 03, 2021
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Thyroid Disease  
Thyroid Disease and FeetThe thyroid gland releases and regulates hormones and is responsible for everything from heart rate to peripheral nervous system functions. So, you may be surprised to discover that this same disorder that may make you feel tired and brain foggy can also cause changes in your feet. In fact, your feet may be trying to alert you that something might be wrong with your thyroid.
 
You have dry, cracked feet

While we know that there are a lot of reasons why someone might have dry, cracked feet including being on your feet all day, long-distance running or winter weather, your thyroid might also be playing a role. Many people with hypothyroidism, an underactive thyroid, complain of dry, cracked skin on the soles of their feet, particularly the heels. You may also notice that you get deep, painful fissures or that your skin seems almost leathery in thickness and appearance. This could be a sign to have your thyroid checked.
 
Your feet (and hands) always seem cold

Since your thyroid is responsible for your metabolism it’s not too surprising that an underactive thyroid slows the metabolism, which in turn causes the body’s temperature to drop. This is why you notice that your feet and hands always seem to be cold to the touch. You may notice that this problem is made worse during cold weather. Some people with hypothyroidism deal with a condition known as Raynaud’s phenomenon, in which the feet and hands are so cold that they go numb and turn blue or white.
 
Your feet are swollen

Again, there are a lot of things that can lead to swollen feet; however, if you notice swelling in your feet and ankles rather regularly then you may want to have your thyroid checked. Since people with hypothyroidism are also prone to developing tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can lead to permanent nerve damage if left untreated, you must have a podiatrist you can turn to for regular care if you have been diagnosed with a thyroid disorder.
 
If you notice any changes in your feet and you’d like to take a closer look, your podiatrist will be the best specialist to turn to. Should they suspect that a thyroid disease might be at play you can also speak with a primary care doctor for blood work.


Contact us 

Oakton Foot & Ankle Center, PLLC

Fairfax, VA Podiatrist
Oakton Foot and Ankle Center
10721 Main St., Suite #3500
Fairfax, VA 22030
(703) 352-8888
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