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Posts for: June, 2018

By Oakton Foot & Ankle Center
June 27, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Bunions  

Although you've probably heard of bunions before, you might not be aware of what they are. You might not even realize you have them! At bunionsOakton Foot & Ankle Center in Fairfax, VA, Dr. Steven Vetter and Dr. Jugal Dharia have many patients who come to them with bony bumps on the inside of their feet and aren't sure how they got there or how to deal with them. To learn more about bunions, read on.

What are bunions?

A bunion appears to be a new lump that's developed on the instep of the foot just behind the big toe, but it's actually the joint in that area that has been pushed out of place over time. Affecting women more often than men, bunions can form due to arthritis or long-term wear of narrow and crowded shoes; bunions also appear to be a genetic issue. They can leave one or both of your feet looking deformed and can be uncomfortable, often rubbing against the inside of shoes or causing significant joint aches.

What can be done to treat my bunions?

Sometimes the best remedy for bunions is to re-evaluate the type of shoes you’re wearing. Having a professional shoe fitting will help to determine if you’re wearing the right size and width for your feet. Giving your toes room to move can make a big difference in the way your feet look and feel. Wearing cushions or pads inside your shoe will also help redistribute the pressure on your toe. Special splints can be worn on your foot to gradually guide your big toe back into the proper position. Your Fairfax podiatrist will show you how to put a bunion splint on correctly and how long to wear it each day.

When is surgery needed?

Your Fairfax podiatrist may recommend bunion surgery, known as a bunionectomy, if several months of the treatments listed above fail to bring any significant pain relief. Although there are several types of bunion surgery, the basic goal is to reposition the muscles and bones back to normal. The joint may need to be fused to avoid relapse. It's important to remember that bunionectomy should not be used for cosmetic correction due to the cost and recovery time involved with this and other foot surgeries.

If you have a bunion that's been bothering you, it's time to call Oakton Foot and Ankle Center in Fairfax, VA, today!

By Oakton Foot & Ankle Center
June 14, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: heel pain  

Are you dealing with heel pain? If so, you aren’t alone. Foot pain, particularly heel pain, is one of the most common complaints and most people will deal with pain at some point during their lifetime. Whether you are on your feet all day for work or you are a runner, there are many risk factors that can play into your likelihood to deal with heel pain. If heel pain is happening to you, you may be wondering what’s causing it and how you can get rid of the pain quickly.

Causes of Heel Pain

As you might imagine, there are many reasons why you might be experiencing heel pain. The root cause will also determine the best course of action for getting your symptoms under control while providing the optimal healing environment for a speedy recovery.

The most common cause of heel pain is an acute inflammatory condition known as plantar fasciitis, in which the thick band of tissue that runs along the soles of the feet from the toes to the heel (known as the plantar fascia) becomes inflamed. Of course, there are other reasons people experience heel pain. Other causes include:

  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Achilles tendon rupture
  • Stress fracture
  • Arthritis
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Heel spur
  • Bursitis
  • Osteomyelitis (an infection of the bone)
  • Page’s disease of bone
  • Peripheral neuropathy

Heel Pain Treatment Options

For more mild-to-moderate cases of heel pain, your podiatrist may recommend simple conservative treatment options that you can incorporate into your daily routine from the comfort of home. This is usually the first course of action, unless the condition is more serious. Only once we’ve exhausted at-home care and pain is still present do we decide on more aggressive tactics for handling your symptoms.

Common at-home heel pain treatment options include:

  • OTC pain relievers (e.g. ibuprofen)
  • Icing the heel several times a day
  • Bracing or splinting the foot
  • Wearing custom orthotics (shoe inserts)
  • Wearing protective and supportive shoes
  • Resting and avoiding certain activities or high-impact exercises

If you’ve tried these treatment options for weeks and still don’t notice any change in your symptoms—or if symptoms get worse—then it’s time to visit your foot doctor again to determine the next step. If pain and swelling are severe we may recommend steroid injections, extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) or ultrasound therapy. In rare cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the imbalance, deformity, or problem that’s causing your chronic or severe heel pain.

Don’t let heel pain affect your day-to-day life when there are simple and easy solutions to manage your symptoms and promote faster healing. Turn to a podiatrist who will be able to handle your heel pain and get your foot health back on track.

By Oakton Foot & Ankle Center
June 01, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Child Podiatry   Foot Care   Footwear  

While it might not be something you think about often (or at all), the health of your child’s feet is important. Your child is growing by leaps and bounds and certain habits and other factors can affect how your child’s feet develop or if they experience injuries or other problems down the road. Unfortunately, a lot of children end up wearing shoes that are far too small for their feet, which can lead to pain, structural imbalances and certain foot deformities.

We know that going shoe shopping is certainly not a walk in the park for most parents; however, it’s an important component to making sure your child maintains healthy feet. There are many things to think about when it comes to picking the right shoes, and your podiatrist can also provide suggestions and tips to make the world of shoe shopping easier for you and your little one.

Some factors that you should consider when shopping for the right shoes include:

  • Your child’s age
  • The shoe’s material
  • Your child’s shoe size
  • The shoe’s structure

A good rule of thumb is to shop for shoes every 2 months when your child is between the ages of 1 and 2 years old. Once they reach three and four, you’ll want to purchase new shoes approximately every four months. At the point that your child is five or six years old, every six months is a good time to swap out old shoes for new ones.

As you might already know, the bones of a baby or infant’s feet are soft and haven’t fully developed. To protect your child’s feet it’s important that they wear socks and soft shoes. Make sure that as your child’s feet grow that the toes have room to wiggle and move around within the shoes. Bunched-up toes are a major no-no!

Since your little one is growing by leaps and bounds it is important that you are constantly checking their shoe size for changes. Remember that feet swell throughout the day, so shoe shopping should be done at the end of the day when feet are at their largest. If you aren’t sure what size shoe your little one wears, you can ask one of the store’s footwear specialists for help.

Of course, you can’t forget the importance of choosing the right socks, as well. Socks can prevent your little one from blisters, calluses and other foot problems. They can also wick away sweat and prevent fungal infections. When it comes to choosing the right socks for your little one consider the type of fabric, your child’s activity level, the size of your child’s feet and sensitivities they might have to certain fabrics.

When in doubt, you should talk to a foot doctor who can provide you with advice, answer any questions you might have about your child’s developing feet and also provide comprehensive care, when needed.

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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