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Posts for: February, 2018

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.