Items filtered by date: November 2021

Tuesday, 30 November 2021 00:00

Diabetic Neuropathy and the Feet

Diabetic neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that is caused by high blood sugar levels. Symptoms of diabetic neuropathy most frequently affect the lower limbs and can include pain, numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, and loss of sensation. People with diabetic neuropathy are also at an increased risk of developing diabetic foot ulcers, open wounds on the feet that are difficult to detect (due to a loss of sensation) and that heal slowly and poorly. Other than managing your blood sugar levels, the best way to prevent complications from diabetic neuropathy is to perform daily foot checks. Inspect your feet for any changes, such as cuts, scrapes, sores, wounds, discoloration, pain, or altered sensations. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, seek the care of a podiatrist as soon as possible. 

Neuropathy

Neuropathy can be a potentially serious condition, especially if it is left undiagnosed. If you have any concerns that you may be experiencing nerve loss in your feet, consult with one of our podiatrists from Foot Surgery Specialists of Texas. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment for neuropathy.

What Is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy is a condition that leads to damage to the nerves in the body. Peripheral neuropathy, or neuropathy that affects your peripheral nervous system, usually occurs in the feet. Neuropathy can be triggered by a number of different causes. Such causes include diabetes, infections, cancers, disorders, and toxic substances.

Symptoms of Neuropathy Include:

  • Numbness
  • Sensation loss
  • Prickling and tingling sensations
  • Throbbing, freezing, burning pains
  • Muscle weakness

Those with diabetes are at serious risk due to being unable to feel an ulcer on their feet. Diabetics usually also suffer from poor blood circulation. This can lead to the wound not healing, infections occurring, and the limb may have to be amputated.

Treatment

To treat neuropathy in the foot, podiatrists will first diagnose the cause of the neuropathy. Figuring out the underlying cause of the neuropathy will allow the podiatrist to prescribe the best treatment, whether it be caused by diabetes, toxic substance exposure, infection, etc. If the nerve has not died, then it’s possible that sensation may be able to return to the foot.

Pain medication may be issued for pain. Electrical nerve stimulation can be used to stimulate nerves. If the neuropathy is caused from pressure on the nerves, then surgery may be necessary.

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

Read more about Neuropathy
Wednesday, 24 November 2021 00:00

Posterior Tibial Nerve Neuralgia

Posterior tibial nerve neuralgia, also known as tarsal tunnel syndrome, is a nerve disorder that is caused by compression of the posterior tibial nerve. This nerve runs through the tarsal tunnel, an area along the inside of the ankle that houses nerves, blood vessels, and tendons. When the posterior tibial nerve is compressed, it causes symptoms such as foot, ankle, and toe pain, a pins and needles sensation in the foot, and numbness. Conservative treatments such as resting and icing the foot, wearing orthotics, and taking pain medications can help relieve symptoms. For more information about tarsal tunnel syndrome and to discover the best course of treatment for you, please consult with a podiatrist. 

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot Surgery Specialists of Texas. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can also be called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon condition of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is the peripheral nerve in the leg responsible for sensation and movement of the foot and calf muscles. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the tibial nerve is damaged, causing problems with movement and feeling in the foot of the affected leg.

Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Involves pressure or an injury, direct pressure on the tibial nerve for an extended period of time, sometimes caused by other body structures close by or near the knee.
  • Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
  • At times, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.

The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Different sensations, an afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of the affected leg.
  • The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling your toes or flexing your foot can become difficult.
  • If condition worsens, infections and ulcers may develop on the foot that is experiencing the syndrome.

A physical exam of the leg can help identify the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Medical tests, such as a nerve biopsy, are also used to diagnose the condition. Patients may receive physical therapy and prescriptive medication. In extreme cases, some may require surgery.

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

Read more about Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Tuesday, 16 November 2021 00:00

The Three Grades of Ankle Sprains

When the ligaments that connect the bones to each other become overstretched or torn, a sprain can occur. When it comes to ankle sprains, they can be diagnosed as one of 3 different categories. When the ligament is only mildly stretched, this is known as a Grade 1 sprain. Once the ligament is even slightly torn, it is considered a Grade 2 sprain. A Grade 3 ankle sprain can occur when the ligament is completely torn. Common signs of a sprained ankle may include pain, tenderness, bruising, stiffness, and an inability to bear weight. Because the symptoms of a sprain are often similar to that of a fracture, patients who believe that they have sprained their ankle should consult with a podiatrist in order to make sure they do not have any broken bones. A podiatrist will be able to assess the severity of the injury and provide a proper treatment option. 

Ankle sprains are common but need immediate attention. If you need your feet checked, contact Maria Buitrago, DPM from Foot Surgery Specialists of Texas. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains take place when the ligaments in your ankle are torn or stretched beyond their limits. There are multiple ways that the ankle can become injured, including twisting or rolling over onto your ankle, putting undue stress on it, or causing trauma to the ankle itself.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Mild to moderate bruising
  • Limited mobility
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration of the skin (depending on severity)

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

Treatment of a sprain depends on the severity.  Many times, people are told to rest and remain off their feet completely, while others are given an air cast. If the sprain is very severe, surgery may be required.

If you have suffered an ankle sprain previously, you may want to consider additional support such as a brace and regular exercises to strengthen the ankle.

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

Read more about Ankle Sprains
Tuesday, 16 November 2021 00:00

The Three Grades of Ankle Sprains

When the ligaments that connect the bones to each other become overstretched or torn, a sprain can occur. When it comes to ankle sprains, they can be diagnosed as one of 3 different categories. When the ligament is only mildly stretched, this is known as a Grade 1 sprain. Once the ligament is even slightly torn, it is considered a Grade 2 sprain. A Grade 3 ankle sprain can occur when the ligament is completely torn. Common signs of a sprained ankle may include pain, tenderness, bruising, stiffness, and an inability to bear weight. Because the symptoms of a sprain are often similar to that of a fracture, patients who believe that they have sprained their ankle should consult with a podiatrist in order to make sure they do not have any broken bones. A podiatrist will be able to assess the severity of the injury and provide a proper treatment option. 

Ankle sprains are common but need immediate attention. If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot Surgery Specialists of Texas. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains take place when the ligaments in your ankle are torn or stretched beyond their limits. There are multiple ways that the ankle can become injured, including twisting or rolling over onto your ankle, putting undue stress on it, or causing trauma to the ankle itself.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Mild to moderate bruising
  • Limited mobility
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration of the skin (depending on severity)

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

Treatment of a sprain depends on the severity.  Many times, people are told to rest and remain off their feet completely, while others are given an air cast. If the sprain is very severe, surgery may be required.

If you have suffered an ankle sprain previously, you may want to consider additional support such as a brace and regular exercises to strengthen the ankle.

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

Read more about Ankle Sprains
Friday, 12 November 2021 00:00

Gout Pain Can Be Managed

Gout is a painful, inflammatory form of arthritis. Those affected will typically feel an intense stiffness in the joints of their feet, particularly in the big toe. Schedule a visit to learn about how gout can be managed and treated.

Friday, 12 November 2021 00:00

Gout Pain Can Be Managed

Gout is a painful, inflammatory form of arthritis. Those affected will typically feel an intense stiffness in the joints of their feet, particularly in the big toe. Schedule a visit to learn about how gout can be managed and treated.

Tuesday, 09 November 2021 00:00

Foot-Strengthening Exercises for Runners

Having strong and flexible feet is very important for every runner because the feet bear 2-3 times our body weight at the first point of contact with the ground while running. Strengthening the feet with the following exercises will help with flexibility, stability, and proper foot alignment. First, kneel on the floor, sit back on your heels and have your toes curled underneath you. Rock side to side on your toes to give them a good stretch, and then come up on all fours into a down-dog position and press your heels down. Repeat the cycle five times. Another good exercise is to stand with a ball under the base of the toes on one foot. Apply your weight to the ball, and then slowly curl your toes to grip the ball and then extend your toes straight. Do this ten times. You can then move the ball underneath the ball of the foot and curl the foot and toes around the ball and then extend straight. Repeat this ten times as well, and then switch to the other foot. You can also strengthen the toes and feet by standing with your feet hip length apart. Raise just your big toe on one foot and hold it there for two seconds while the other toes stay on the ground. Then, place the big toe down and raise the other toes, holding them there for two seconds. Be careful not to let the foot roll inward. Repeat this twenty times before switching feet. For additional foot exercises and advanced tips on keeping your feet healthy as a runner, contact a podiatrist.

All runners should take extra precaution when trying to avoid injury. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot Surgery Specialists of Texas. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

There are a lot of mistakes a runner can make prior to a workout that can induce injury. A lot of athletes tend to overstretch before running, instead of saving those workouts for a post-run routine. Deep lunges and hand-to-toe hamstring pulls should be performed after a workout instead of during a warmup. Another common mistake is jumping into an intense routine before your body is physically prepared for it. You should try to ease your way into long-distance running instead of forcing yourself to rush into it.

More Tips for Preventing Injury

  • Incorporate Strength Training into Workouts - This will help improve the body’s overall athleticism
  • Improve and Maintain Your Flexibility – Stretching everyday will help improve overall performance
  • “Warm Up” Before Running and “Cool Down” Afterward – A warm up of 5-10 minutes helps get rid of lactic acid in the muscles and prevents delayed muscle soreness
  • Cross-Training is Crucial
  • Wear Proper Running Shoes
  • Have a Formal Gait Analysis – Poor biomechanics can easily cause injury

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

Read more about Preventing Running Injuries
Tuesday, 09 November 2021 00:00

Foot-Strengthening Exercises for Runners

Having strong and flexible feet is very important for every runner because the feet bear 2-3 times our body weight at the first point of contact with the ground while running. Strengthening the feet with the following exercises will help with flexibility, stability, and proper foot alignment. First, kneel on the floor, sit back on your heels and have your toes curled underneath you. Rock side to side on your toes to give them a good stretch, and then come up on all fours into a down-dog position and press your heels down. Repeat the cycle five times. Another good exercise is to stand with a ball under the base of the toes on one foot. Apply your weight to the ball, and then slowly curl your toes to grip the ball and then extend your toes straight. Do this ten times. You can then move the ball underneath the ball of the foot and curl the foot and toes around the ball and then extend straight. Repeat this ten times as well, and then switch to the other foot. You can also strengthen the toes and feet by standing with your feet hip length apart. Raise just your big toe on one foot and hold it there for two seconds while the other toes stay on the ground. Then, place the big toe down and raise the other toes, holding them there for two seconds. Be careful not to let the foot roll inward. Repeat this twenty times before switching feet. For additional foot exercises and advanced tips on keeping your feet healthy as a runner, contact a podiatrist.

All runners should take extra precaution when trying to avoid injury. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Maria Buitrago, DPM of Foot Surgery Specialists of Texas. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

There are a lot of mistakes a runner can make prior to a workout that can induce injury. A lot of athletes tend to overstretch before running, instead of saving those workouts for a post-run routine. Deep lunges and hand-to-toe hamstring pulls should be performed after a workout instead of during a warmup. Another common mistake is jumping into an intense routine before your body is physically prepared for it. You should try to ease your way into long-distance running instead of forcing yourself to rush into it.

More Tips for Preventing Injury

  • Incorporate Strength Training into Workouts - This will help improve the body’s overall athleticism
  • Improve and Maintain Your Flexibility – Stretching everyday will help improve overall performance
  • “Warm Up” Before Running and “Cool Down” Afterward – A warm up of 5-10 minutes helps get rid of lactic acid in the muscles and prevents delayed muscle soreness
  • Cross-Training is Crucial
  • Wear Proper Running Shoes
  • Have a Formal Gait Analysis – Poor biomechanics can easily cause injury

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

Read more about Preventing Running Injuries
Tuesday, 02 November 2021 00:00

Advanced Treatments for Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) affect approximately 15% of Americans who have diabetes. These wounds can be difficult to treat, as they often go undetected until they have progressed and have a poor blood supply, which makes the healing process very slow. Furthermore, people with diabetes are at greater risk of having an impaired immune system, making the wounds more likely to become infected. Fortunately, there have been many recent breakthroughs in wound treatment. Negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) uses wound dressing and airtight film with a suction device to cover the wound, drain fluid, and promote healthy new tissue growth. Skin grafting has also advanced and can be used to treat DFUs in some patients. To learn more about advanced diabetic wound care, consult with a podiatrist today. 

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with one of our podiatrists from Foot Surgery Specialists of Texas. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

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

Read more about Wound Care
Tuesday, 02 November 2021 00:00

Advanced Treatments for Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) affect approximately 15% of Americans who have diabetes. These wounds can be difficult to treat, as they often go undetected until they have progressed and have a poor blood supply, which makes the healing process very slow. Furthermore, people with diabetes are at greater risk of having an impaired immune system, making the wounds more likely to become infected. Fortunately, there have been many recent breakthroughs in wound treatment. Negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) uses wound dressing and airtight film with a suction device to cover the wound, drain fluid, and promote healthy new tissue growth. Skin grafting has also advanced and can be used to treat DFUs in some patients. To learn more about advanced diabetic wound care, consult with a podiatrist today. 

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with Maria Buitrago, DPM from Foot Surgery Specialists of Texas. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

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

Read more about Wound Care

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