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Posts for category: Foot Conditions

By Oakton Foot
January 15, 2021
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Sprain   Fractured Foot   Broken Bone  
Did I Break My FootWhether you took a bad tumble or your child had a rough collision while playing sports, it’s important that you do not just recognize the signs of a broken foot but that you also seek immediate medical attention. Of course, we know that it isn’t always easy to differentiate a break from a sprain. Here are some signs that your foot is broken and need to be seen by a qualified podiatrist,
  • Pain that occurs immediately after an injury or accident
  • Pain that is directly above a bone
  • Pain that is worse with movement
  • Bruising and severe swelling
  • A cracking sound at the moment of injury
  • A visible deformity or bump
  • Can’t put weight on the injured foot
If you or your child is experiencing symptoms of a fractured foot or ankle they must turn to a podiatrist for care. We can diagnose, set, and treat all types of fractures; however, if the bone is dislocated or looks severely broken (a visible bump or deformity appears on the foot) it’s a good idea to head to your local ER.
 
How can I tell the difference between a break and a sprain?

The symptoms of a sprain are far less severe. You can often put weight on the injured foot with a sprain; however, you may notice some slight pain and stiffness. You may also have heard a popping sound at the moment of the injury with a sprain, while a broken bone often produces a cracking sound. The pain associated with a sprain will also be above soft tissue rather than bone. A podiatrist will perform an X-ray to be able to determine if you are dealing with a break or a sprain.
 
How is a broken bone in the foot treated?

Rest is key to allowing an injury, particularly a fracture, to heal properly. Along with rest, your doctor may also recommend either an over-the-counter or prescription-strength pain reliever, depending on the severity of your fracture. Those with more moderate to severe fractures may require a special boot, brace, or splint. Those with more severe fractures may need to wear a cast and use crutches, so they can avoid putting any weight on the foot.
 
If you are on the fence about whether or not to see a podiatrist about your injury, why not simply give us a call? We can discuss your symptoms on the phone to determine whether we can take a wait-and-see approach or whether you need to come in right away for care.
By Oakton Foot
December 24, 2020
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Ingrown Toenail  

Home care may be enough to ease symptoms, but sometimes you simply need to see a podiatrist.

An ingrown toenail typically affects the big toe, causing the toenail to curve down into the skin. This can lead to swelling, redness and pain, and if the skin breaks open this can also leave you prone to infection. Luckily, there are many ways in which you can treat an ingrown toenail at home; however, there are many reasons to visit our Fairfax, VA, podiatrists Dr. Steven Vetter and Dr. Jugal Dharia for treatment. If you have numbness or nerve damage in your feet, issues with circulation or diabetes, you should see our foot doctors right away.

I have an ingrown toenail. Now what?

If you are an otherwise healthy individual you may try home care before turning to our podiatrists here in Fairfax, VA. You may wish to ease your pain and discomfort by soaking the affected foot in warm water or by taking an anti-inflammatory. While the toenail is trying to grow in properly, you’ll want to avoid any shoes that bunch up your toes or put pressure on the toenails. Whenever possible, go barefoot or wear open-toed shoes, to give your feet a breather from being in shoes all the time.

How do I prevent an ingrown toenail?

If this isn’t the first time that you’ve had an ingrown toenail you may be wondering what you can do to prevent one from happening in the future. Here are some tips to follow,

  • Wear protective footwear to protect against toenail injuries
  • Wear shoes that allow your toes enough space to wiggle and move freely
  • Trim nails straight across, never at an angle
  • Keep the nails level with the tips of your toes (trimming nails too short can lead to ingrown toenails)

When should I seek medical attention?

If you suspect that you might have an infected ingrown toenail (e.g. pus, severe pain and worsening redness) then you should call our doctors right away for care. Also, if you find home remedies just aren’t giving you the relief you need, we can help.

If you are dealing with a painful ingrown toenail our Fairfax, VA, podiatrists can provide you with the treatment you need. Call Oakton Foot and Ankle Center today at (703) 352-8888 to schedule an appointment with us.

By Oakton Foot
December 15, 2020
Category: Foot Conditions
How Rheumatoid Arthritis Affects the FeetRheumatoid arthritis is one of the most common types of arthritis, and it is characterized by joint pain, inflammation, and damage. RA, like other kinds of arthritis, is progressive, which means that symptoms will gradually get worse over time if left untreated. So, how do you know if you might be developing RA in your feet? While a podiatrist can certainly provide you with a definitive diagnosis, here are some telltale signs of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • You experience pain, inflammation, and stiffness in the joints of the foot, particularly the toes
  • You experience aching feet, particularly after activity or long periods of standing
  • Some parts of your foot may feel oddly warm to the touch or may emanate heat while the rest of the foot feels normal
  • The joints of the toes and ankles may swell
Symptoms are often mild at first and you may not even think that you have arthritis. Those between the ages of 30 to 60 are more likely to develop RA. You may notice intense flare-ups that are characterized by bouts of remission (in which you don’t experience symptoms). Do not take these symptom-free moments to mean that you are fine. It’s important to see a podiatrist right away if you are experiencing any of the symptoms above.

What does RA do to the feet and ankles?

Along with painful joints and stiffness, you may also notice other changes to your feet over time. Some of these changes include,
  • Bunions
  • Corns
  • Hammertoes and claw toes
  • Bursitis
  • Circulation issues (e.g. atherosclerosis; Raynaud’s phenomena)
How is rheumatoid arthritis treated?

Since RA is not curable, your podiatrist will focus on crafting a treatment plan that will help to alleviate your symptoms and slow the progression of the disease to prevent severe and irreparable joint damage. Prescription medications known as disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are biologics that can reduce inflammation and prevent the progression of the disease.

Of course, there are also lifestyle changes you can make along with taking prescription medication that can also ease symptoms,
  • Warm soaks
  • Custom insoles or orthotics
  • Pain relievers
  • Compression
  • Stretching exercises for the feet
  • Bracing
  • Steroid injections (for targeting severe inflammation)
Surgery is only necessary if there is severe joint or cartilage damage, or if inflamed tissue needs to be removed from around the joint.

Most people with RA will eventually develop foot and ankle problems, which is why it’s important to have a podiatrist on your team that can help you manage your RA effectively.
By Oakton Foot
July 24, 2020
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Footwear   Hammertoe  
HammertoesWhile tight, cramped shoes and those towering high heels may not immediately show you the damage that’s being done to your feet, over time you will certainly notice changes in the structure and function of your feet. Along with bunions, a common foot deformity, hammertoes are another deformity that causes the toes to bend downward at the middle joint. If the problem isn’t corrected, this simple and rather uncomfortable deformity can become severe. Here’s how to determine whether you may have hammertoes and what you can do about it now to prevent it from getting worse.

Wear Appropriate Footwear
You need to make sure that any shoes you wear properly fit your feet. While this might sound silly, many people are guilty of wearing shoes that are too narrow and put too much pressure on the toes. Look for shoes with a wide toe box that allows your feet enough room to wiggle freely. If your toes are bunched up in any of the shoes you have (particularly high heels or shoes with pointed toes) then you will want to avoid these types of shoes whenever possible.

Consider Shoe Inserts
While it’s important to find shoes that cushion and support your foot structure, sometimes people with hammertoes, bunions, and other foot problems that can cause pain can benefit from prescription shoe inserts (also known as orthotics). Orthotics can be crafted to fit the shape of your feet and also to address the issues you’re having (aka alleviating pressure on the toes when standing or walking).

Apply Protective Padding
A hammertoe causes the toe to bend down like a claw. This means that the toe’s joint is sticking out. As you may already know, this causes shoes to rub against the joint, causing a callus to develop. One way to prevent this from happening is to apply a non-medicated pad over the toe joint before putting on shoes.

Practice Pain Management
If your hammertoe starts to ache or hurt, you may want to apply ice to the area throughout the day to help alleviate pain and swelling. If the pain is intense or persistent then you may want to consider taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen, which can help with both pain and swelling; however, if your symptoms are severe, you must see a podiatrist about your hammertoe.

Do I need surgery for a hammertoe?
If the hammertoe is flexible (meaning that you can straighten the toe out) then you won’t need surgery; however, if the hammertoe becomes rigid and causes pain and problems with mobility then surgery is recommended.

If you are dealing with hammertoes or other foot problems, you must have a podiatrist that you can turn to for regular and immediate care.


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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