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Posts for: January, 2022

By Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute
January 27, 2022
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Flat Feet   Fallen Arches  
Fallen ArchesFallen arches, better known as flat feet, are more common than you might realize. While many people have flat feet and don’t even know it, others are dealing with regular aches and pains in their feet due to fallen arches. If you think this could be you, a podiatrist can quickly diagnose this problem and provide you with effective strategies to keep fallen arches from also causing you pain.

What are some complications of fallen arches?

Some people have fallen arches but never experience any issues; however, sometimes fallen arches can lead to,
  • Foot, heel, and arch pain, particularly when standing or walking
  • Muscle pain
  • Leg cramps
  • Shooting leg pains that start at the soles of the feet
  • Swelling of the feet or tenderness in the soles
Flat feet can also increase your risk for,
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Shin splints
  • Bone spurs
  • Arthritis
  • Bunions
  • Lower back pain, hip pain, or knee pain
If you are experiencing pain with movement, trouble walking, or balancing issues, it’s important that you turn to a podiatrist to find out whether flat feet could be to blame.

What causes fallen arches?

Arches develop around the age of 2 or 3 years old; however, sometimes arches never develop. Genetics can increase your risk for flat feet. Sometimes injuries or other foot problems can cause flat feet to develop as an adult. Certain conditions can also increase your risk for flat feet including,
  • Diabetes
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Achilles tendonitis
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
How are fallen arches treated?

If fallen arches do not cause any problems then you don’t really need to do anything about them; however, it is important to recognize whether certain issues you’re dealing with could be the result of fallen arches. If so, your podiatrist may recommend a wide range of nonsurgical treatment options including,
  • Nonsteroid anti-inflammatory medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Orthotics and arch support
  • Stretching exercises
  • Bracing
  • Custom shoes
If your flat feet are causing you to deal with easily achy, sore, and fatigued feet, know that a podiatrist can help you get your foot problems back on track with the proper care. Call your podiatrist today!

By Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute
January 20, 2022
Category: Foot Injuries
Tags: Foot Fracture  
Foot Fracture vs. Broken BoneThe simple answer is that there is no difference between a fracture and a break. From shattered bones to hairline cracks, any damage done to the bones of the feet is considered a fracture. No matter what you want to call it, it’s still important that you visit your podiatrist right away for treatment.

What are the types of fractures?

There are different kinds of foot fractures based on the type of bone that’s impacted. Fractures can impact the toes, heel, sesamoid bone, and metatarsal bone, as well as the ankles. Stress fractures are hairline fractures that occur as a result of repeated stress placed on the foot. This is common in athletes.

What are the warning signs of a fractured foot?

There are certain symptoms to be on the lookout for if you suspect that you might have a fractured foot. Some signs of a foot fracture include:
  • Pain that gets worse with movement
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Limited mobility or restricted range of motion
  • Trouble bearing weight on the injured foot
  • Weakness
  • Deformity or misshapen foot
Foot pain, particularly after an accident or injury, is a telltale sign of a fractured foot that should be addressed by a podiatrist.

How is a fractured foot treated?
 
How your podiatrist treats your foot fracture will depend on the location, severity, and type. This is why it’s important to visit your foot doctor as soon as possible after injury. Some minor fractures can be treated with home care including:
  • Ample rest
  • Elevation
  • Compression
  • Pain relievers to alleviate pain and swelling
  • Icing
More moderate or severe fractures may require more aggressive treatment options to speed up the recovery process. Additional treatment options include,
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation
  • Specialized exercises
  • Splinting
  • Protective shoe or boot
  • Casting, crutches, or immobilization (for more severe fractures)
Don’t ignore the warning signs of a fractured foot. If you are having trouble moving around or you are suddenly experiencing foot pain, particularly after an injury, the first call you should make is to your podiatrist. Call a foot and ankle specialist today to get the care you need.

By Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute
January 03, 2022
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Arthritis  
Arthritis and Your FeetIs the pain and stiffness you’re experiencing in your feet and ankles caused by arthritis? If arthritis is left untreated, it’s possible that your symptoms could become so severe that they could affect your quality of life. Therefore, your podiatrist may recommend seeking medical attention right away to reduce the amount of damage to the joints.

What are the signs and symptoms of arthritic feet?

Wondering if you could be dealing with arthritis in your feet? Some warning signs include,
  • Joint pain and stiffness
  • Joint swelling
  • Joint warmth and tenderness to the touch
  • Pain with movement
  • Increased pain and swelling after rest
How do podiatrists treat arthritis of the feet?

There are several different treatment options that we have available to handle your arthritis symptoms:

Medication: Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen can help reduce inflammation and pain. While those with more minor bouts of arthritis can often find relief from these medications, some patients may need a prescription-strength pain reliever to manage more severe symptoms.
Steroid injections: A dose of corticosteroids administered directly into the joint can help greatly reduce pain and inflammation. While this can be an effective treatment option, the effects are only temporary.
Physical Therapy: There are some exercises you can perform to help increase flexibility and movement while also strengthening your foot and ankle muscles to prevent further problems. Talk to your foot doctor about the different exercises you can perform each day to help improve your foot health and reduce arthritis symptoms.
Lifestyle changes: You should minimize certain activities that could cause symptoms to worsen. This includes switching from more high-impact exercises such as running to lower-impact exercises such as swimming, which will take some of the stress and pressure off the feet and ankles. If necessary we may also advise you to lose weight, as well.
Customized orthotics: Wearing orthotics made specifically for your feet can help take pressure off certain areas of the feet and help reduce pain while moving. Talk to your podiatrist about custom-made orthotics and whether they could improve your condition.

If these conservative treatments don’t do much to help your condition, then we may need to discuss the possibility of surgery. There are different kinds of surgery that we can perform and a lot will depend on the severity and cause of your arthritis. Those with advanced forms of arthritis may have to consider a total ankle replacement.