My Blog
By Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute
October 19, 2018
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Warts  

What Causes Warts?

Got foot warts? Nearly everyone will have a wart at some point in their lives. Warts are typically small, hard skin growths caused by an infection with humanpallilloma virus. Foot warts are treatable. Foot warts are among the most common dermatologic conditions podiatrists treat. Read on to learn about the causes of warts.

An HPV Infection

Common warts are caused by by an HPV infection. Over 100 types of HPV exist. Certain types of HPV infection cause cervical cancer. Some types of HPV infection cause foot warts, while others cause warts that appear on the face, neck, or hands. Of the 100 types of HPV, about 60 cause common warts on areas such as the hands or feet.

Skin-To-Skin Contact

Wart viruses are contagious. You can get foot warts from skin-to-skin contact with people who have warts. However, not all HPV strains are highly contagious. You can get the wart virus by touching an object that another person's wart touched, such as clothing, towels, shoes, or exercise equipment.


Breaks in Your Skin

HPV infects the top layer of skin and usually enters the body in an area of damaged or cut skin. Cuts from shaving can provide an avenue for infection. Getting a scrape can also bring on common warts. Foot warts are very common in swimmers whose feet are scratched by rough pool surfaces.

A Weak Immune System

In most cases, your immune system defeats an HPV infection before it creates a wart. Someone with a weakened immune system is more vulnerable and therefore more likely to develop warts. Immune systems can be weakened by HIV or by immunosuppressant drugs used after organ transplants.


If you want to get rid of foot warts, see your podiatrist as soon as possible. Many types of effective wart treatments are available. They include salicylic acid, cantharidin, cryotherapy, laser treatment, and surgery. Your podiatrist can help you get rid of foot warts once and for all!

By Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute
October 08, 2018
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Ingrown Toenail  

In many cases, an ingrown toenail can be easily clipped away before it becomes a problem. But you can’t always treat an ingrown toenail on your own—you may need an experienced podiatrist to remove it to ensure the ongoing safety and good health of your feet. Find out how a foot doctor at Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute in Butte and Bozeman, MT can help.

What Is an Ingrown Toenail?
An ingrown toenail is one that points into the surface of the skin instead of growing above the skin’s surface. This most commonly happens at the edges of the nail bed. It can be an easy issue to correct—simply soak the foot to help release the nail and then clip it off. But in some cases, the nail cuts into the skin and is more difficult to remove. Whenever there’s a wound, there’s a risk of infection, which may have to be treated by a medical professional if it doesn’t heal properly.

When You Can’t Treat an Ingrown Toenail Yourself
It’s important to use sterile tools and careful techniques to remove some ingrown toenails, which is why it’s best to leave it to your Butte and Bozeman, MT podiatrist. This is especially true for diabetic patients who may have problems with wounds in their lower extremities. A foot doctor can carefully remove the nail and treat the infection.

Professional Treatments for an Ingrown Toenail
One of the most common causes of ingrown toenails is cutting the nails too short. Regular visits to a podiatrist for trimmings will reduce this risk. If a toenail is already piercing the skin, your foot doctor can do minor surgery to remove it from the root, treat it for infection with antibiotics, and wrap it for healing.

Taking Care of Your Feet
Sometimes you have to get help from a doctor for even a relatively minor foot issue like an ingrown toenail. Talk to a podiatrist at Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute in Butte or Bozeman, MT if you are dealing with an ingrown toenail. Call (406) 782-2278 for an appointment with Dr. Dallin Greene or Dr. Nathan Judd.

By Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute
October 04, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Foot Care   Heel Spurs  

Have you been experiencing any heel pain or bothersome tenderness without any obvious cause? Although heel spurs themselves sometimes do not cause acute discomfort, they are frequently associated with the painful inflammation known as plantar fasciitis, a condition commonly described as feeling like a knife is wrenching through your foot. Read below for more information on the typical causes, symptoms, and treatments of heel spurs.

What is a Heel Spur?

A heel spur is often the result of overstraining foot muscles and ligaments, overstretching the plantar fascia (the thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes), and repeatedly tearing the heel bone membrane. From these actions arises a calcium deposit on the underside of the heel bone. Risk factor for developing the condition include:

  • Possessing any walking gait abnormalities
  • Regularly running or jogging on hard surfaces
  • Wearing poorly fitted or overly worn shoes
  • Wearing shoes that lack arch support
  • Being excessively overweight or obese

What are The Symptoms?

Heel spurs do not carry many symptoms by themselves. However, they are often related to other afflictions, most typically plantar fasciitis. The most common sign of this combo of conditions is a feeling of chronic pain along the bottom or back of the heel, especially during periods of walking, running, or jogging. If you are experiencing this recurring inflammation, it is a good idea to visit your local podiatrist's office and inquire about undergoing an x-ray or ultrasound examination of the foot.

What are the Treatment Options?

The solutions to heel spurs are generally centered around decreasing inflammation and avoiding re-injury. They include:

  • Applying ice on the inflammation
  • Performing stretch exercises
  • Wearing orthotic devices or shoe inserts to relieve pressure off of the spur
  • Taking anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen to relieve pain
  • In extreme cases, surgery can be performed on chronically inflamed spurs

If you are dealing with symptoms of heel spurs or pain in your feet, turn to a podiatrist so that we can get you back on your feet. Don't ignore your pain.

By Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute
September 14, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Foot Pain   Custom Orthotics  

Custom orthotics are removable shoe inserts that provide greater arch support and stability to the feet and ankles. There are different types of orthotics available depending on the issue and level of support that is needed. Basic orthotics are sold over the counter, but a custom pair designed specifically for your foot will provide optimal support and comfort.

When are Custom Orthotics Necessary?

Podiatrists typically recommend custom orthotics for people with flat feet, or very high arches. One of the most common signs that you may benefit from a pair of orthotics is heel pain (although you may also experience pain and swelling in other parts of the foot). You may also experience pain and swelling after normal and relatively low impact activities like standing or walking.

A good way to figure out if you are having pronation issues is to examine the soles of your shoes and sneakers. If the soles and insoles tend to become visibly more worn on one side, it may be a sign that your alignment is off and you are over or under pronating. A podiatrist may ask you to walk in your bare feet to observe your stride and gait (known as a gait analysis). If you experience persistent pain, swelling, or stiffness, especially after exercise or after long periods of rest, schedule an appointment with a podiatrist.

Types of Custom Orthotics

There are a few different types of custom orthotics designs available depending on your needs.

Functional (also known as rigid) orthotics are made of harder materials and are usually prescribed for pronation problems or joint issues like arthritis.

Accommodative orthotics are designed to provide more cushioning and support and are typically prescribed for problems like plantar fasciitis and bunions.

In addition to improving your gait and foot and ankle alignment, custom orthotics can help to prevent related strains and injuries and relieve back, joint, and knee pain if it is caused by issues with your arches and pronation.

By Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute
September 04, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Arthritis  

Arthritis is a joint condition that affects roughly 54 million American adults according to the Arthritis Foundation. It can show up in joints all around the body, including the feet and toes. When the joints of the feet are affected by inflammation, it affects a patient’s ability to move their toes, bend their feet up or down, and turn on a dime when participating in athletic activities. Learn the steps that you can take to care for arthritic feet and improve your overall foot health.

Arthritis in the Feet
Arthritic joint pain, which is usually caused by an inflammatory reaction, is most commonly felt in the big toe, ankle, and the middle part of the foot. There are many different types of arthritis conditions that could affect the feet, including psoriatic, reactive, and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common form—it is caused by the bones rubbing together, making the joints feel stiff and painful. Patients who are overweight are more likely to struggle with arthritic feet, as are seniors. Some people have had arthritis since childhood (juvenile arthritis or JA), making them more likely to develop foot deformities like bunions and struggle with swollen joints.

Arthritis Treatments
Though arthritis isn’t a curable condition, the symptoms can be eased with treatment so that you can continue to walk, jog, exercise, and work without debilitating pain. These are some of the ways your podiatrist may treat arthritis in the feet:

  • An X-ray or other imaging test to examine the condition of the joints.
  • Physical therapy exercises to make the joints more flexible.
  • Orthotic device or shoe for better foot support.
  • Joint injections (corticosteroids).
  • NSAID drugs (anti-inflammatories).
  • Surgery to remove inflamed tissue around the joints (Arthroscopic debridement) or fuse the bones (arthrodesis).

Caring for Your Feet
Seeing a foot doctor is an important part of caring for arthritic feet. But there are also some actions you can take at home to keep your feet and joints in good condition:

  • Get rid of shoes that put too much pressure on your joints, like high heels or sneakers that don’t support the ankles.
  • Soak your feet in warm water with Epsom salt and massage your feet when relaxing.
  • Commit to doing the toe and foot exercises suggested by your podiatrist.

Treating Arthritic Feet
Arthritic feet shouldn't prevent you from carrying on with normal life and physical activities. Get help from a podiatrist as soon as you start to experience symptoms and take extra steps to care for your feet.





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