My Blog
By Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute
February 20, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Painful Arthritis  

With age, it’s not uncommon to experience pain and stiffness in your feet and ankles.  Carefully monitoring your pain is important, however, as this noticeable discomfort could be an early indication of a more serious condition known as arthritis. Arthritis is a group of conditions that typically involves pain and inflammation in the joints.  There are many types of arthritis, with osteoarthritis being the most common form.  Left untreated, pain caused by arthritis will get worse, eventually leading to a joint weakness that can interfere with the most basic daily activities.  

Arthritis can have a serious impact on the structure and function of your feet and ankles. See a podiatrist if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Swelling
  • Chronic pain or tenderness
  • Limited mobility or motion
  • Stiffness early in the day
  • Changes in skin, including growths and rashes                                              

Whenever you notice a change in your lower extremities, contact our podiatrists at our practice for a thorough evaluation. When detected early, proper treatment can slow the development of arthritis and get you back to your active lifestyle.

Treating Arthritis of the Foot and Ankle

Our practice can help you determine the best treatment option depending on the type and severity of your arthritis.  

Treatment options include:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications or steroid injections for the joint
  • Shoe inserts, pads, braces or arch supports
  • Physical therapy and exercise
  • Custom-designed shoes
  • Weight management

When arthritis doesn’t respond to conservative treatment, surgical intervention may be considered as the last resort.

A thorough evaluation of your health and type of arthritis will allow our podiatrists to recommend the best treatment plan for you. Arthritis is a disabling disease, but with early detection, you can help manage the pain associated with arthritis of the foot and ankle and maintain a healthy, fulfilling life.  Allow our podiatrists to assess your foot and ankle pain and get you back on your feet.

By Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute
February 13, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Bunions  

The shape of your foot has changed over the years, and you notice a bump at the bottom of your right big toe. Sometimes, it hurts--a lot--Bunionsparticularly when you stand on your feet all day. What is this bump? Your Butte and Bozeman, MT podiatrist, Dr. Dallin Greene or Dr. Nathan Judd, can tell you. At Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute, they see plenty of foot and ankle conditions, and they recognize a bunion when they see one. Yes, your foot bump likely is a bunion.

Too young for bunions?

Aren't bunions something really old people complain about? Well, aging does influence foot structure, and as years progress, people are more prone to any number of podiatric conditions, including bunions.

However, other factors contribute to these bony prominences at the juncture between the big toes and the metatarsophalangeal bones of the foot. Gender is one of them. Women develop bunions more often than men do, and the American Podiatric Medical Association attributes this to shoes. Footwear that is too tight in the toes or too high in the heels puts excessive pressure on the toes, turning that big toe inward toward the second or even third toe, forming a bunion.

Also, obesity plays a role, as do occupations which require a lot of standing or walking. Finally, your genes determine your foot structure, and certain foot structures develop bunions more easily.

Your Butte and Bozeman podiatrist treats bunions

Most bunions respond well to conservative treatments, but treat them you must because bunions can progress, leading to increased pain, deformities (such as hammertoes, corns, and calluses) and even disability.

Therefore, your Butte and Bozeman podiatrist advises several strategies--either singly or in combination--depending on your symptoms, lifestyle and results of your examination and X-rays at Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute. Dr. Greene or Dr. Judd will formulate a care plan just right for you.

Treatments include:

  • A change in shoes to ones with wider toe boxes, good support, and lower heels
  • Rest (just get off your feet)
  • Elevation (put your feet up)
  • Customized orthotics, or shoe inserts, to alleviate pressure on the forefoot and to correct any gait issues
  • Shoe padding to reduce friction
  • Stretching exercises

In more serious cases, cortisone injections help. Bunionectomy surgery to re-align the big toe joint may be warranted.

Learn more

Don't live with foot discomfort. Walk comfortably and feel good again with bunion treatment from your podiatrist at Big Sky Foot And Ankle Institute. Contact one of our two convenient offices today. In Bozeman, call (406) 206-6366. In Butte, call (406) 782-2278.

By Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute
February 13, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Ankle Sprains   Ankle Pain  

An ankle sprain is one of the most common injuries to the ankle, resulting from a fall or a sudden twist that forces the ligaments out of their normal position. It’s no wonder so many athletes suffer from ankle sprains every year.

The severity of an ankle sprain depends on whether the ligament is stretched, partially torn or completely torn. Look for the following symptoms if you think you have sprained your ankle:

  • Immediate pain at the site of the tear
  • Immediate swelling
  • Hearing or feeling something tear, pop or snap during the twist
  • Bruising
  • Pain and difficulty moving the ankle
  • Inability to walk or bear weight on the ankle

Treating Your Ankle Sprain

Early treatment of a sprained ankle can improve the recovery time and minimize symptoms. The following steps will reduce swelling and help alleviate pain until you can get into our office.

  • Rest: Stay off your ankle as much as possible. This will ease the pain, as well as reduce the swelling.
  • Ice: It’s critical to ice your injured ankle throughout the day for the first 24 hours or until the swelling goes down.
  • Compression: Elastic wraps, such as an ACE bandage, will help reduce swelling.
  • Elevation: Rest your ankle above the level of your heart to keep swelling to a minimum.  

Preventing Injuries to the Ankle

With extra care, you can help avoid ankle injuries.

  • Wear appropriate shoes for each activity
  • Throw out old, worn out shoes
  • Be cautious of wet, slippery floors at work or at home
  • Wear ankle braces or have your ankle taped during sports activities for increased stability

If you’ve injured your ankle and are experiencing pain or difficulty walking, come into our office for an examination and proper diagnosis. If an ankle sprain is not treated promptly with the necessary attention and care, chronic problems of pain and instability may result. Our podiatrists can recommend a treatment plan based on the severity of the sprain to ensure proper healing and a fast recovery.

By Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute
January 17, 2018
Category: Foot Care

The Achilles tendon is the largest and strongest tendon in the body, located in the back of the lower leg and connecting the heel bone to the calf muscle. This tendon is crucial as it facilitates walking and running by helping to raise the heel off of the ground. While the tendon can withstand immense force, it’s also surprisingly vulnerable. Injuries to the Achilles tendon require prompt treatment.  

When the Achilles tendon becomes inflamed from excessive use, tendinitis can weaken it over time and cause small tears. Athletes are at a high risk for Achilles tendon injuries, which often occur at the start of a new exercise or training program, or due to not having enough rest or recovery time.

You don’t have to be an accomplished athlete to suffer an Achilles tendon injury. People with flat feet, arthritis and other foot problems are also more susceptible to develop Achilles tendinitis due to increased demands placed on the tendon when walking.

Symptoms

Common symptoms of Achilles tendinitis include:

  • Mild pain after running or exercising that intensifies gradually
  • Localized pain along the tendon, especially after running
  • Tenderness near the heel bone, with pain being worse first thing in the morning
  • Stiffness and limited range of motion in the lower leg and ankle
  • Swelling around the tendon
  • When the disorder progresses to degeneration, the tendon may become enlarged and develop nodules in the area where the tissue is damaged

Prevention

To prevent injuries to the Achilles tendon, strengthening and stretching the calf muscles through daily exercise is recommended.  Alternating intense exercise with low-impact workouts and wearing proper shoes for your foot type and activity can also help reduce your risk for injury.

Any time you experience pain, tenderness or swelling along the Achilles tendon, visit us for professional diagnosis and treatment. Treatment for an injured Achilles tendon should begin right away with rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Without prompt care, Achilles tendinitis will get progressively worse, thus increasing the risk for further deterioration and rupture. As a last resort, surgery may be recommended to repair the tendon.  

Our office can provide the best diagnosis and treatment, for optimal recovery. If you suspect Achilles tendinitis is holding you back, call us today to schedule an appointment, and get on the road to walking with ease again.

By Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute
January 05, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Aching Feet  

We’ve all been there before - after a long day of work, shopping or a playing sports, your feet ache and you feel as if you couldn’t walk another step from the pain. They might be heavy and swollen, even tight in your shoes, especially as you age. So why do your feet hurt after a long day upright, and when is it time to worry it might be something more than simple strain?

Achy Feet Factors:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Dehydration

Causes of Achy Feet

When you are constantly on your feet, a significant amount of stress is put on your legs and feet. Strenuous walking or standing for long periods has an obvious effect on your feet. Other factors include ill-fitting, poorly padded shoes, tight socks or stockings and tight garters. Reduced blood circulation to the ankles and feet also causes tired aching feet.

Your age and level of dehydration contribute to how achy your feet are after a long day. Poor circulation can also cause foot swelling and, therefor, foot pain.

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Tired, Aching Feet

There are ways to relieve pain associated sore feet and legs.

  1. Elevate your feet for 15-20 minutes.

  2. Soak your feet in warm water with epsom salts, or a warm, wet towel and wrap it around your feet and legs.

  3. Massage your feet or have someone massage your feet for you.

  4. Exercise your feet, as it helps to keep them healthy - it tones muscles, helps to strengthen the arches and stimulates blood circulation.

  5. Wear orthotic insoles in your shoes. Ask your podiatrist if an orthotic device is a good fit for your lifestyle

When foot pain persists, it's important to visit our office for a thorough examination. The cause of your foot pain may be more serious than simple stress and overwork. Your podiatrist can identify serious problems and work with you to determine a treatment plan that will put an end to your tired, achy feet once and for all.





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