Seeking treatment for your foot pain can be overwhelming, and you may have many questions for us about your particular ailment and treatment options. Here, we share answers for the questions we are asked most about medical care for ankles, feet, and lower legs.
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Is MLS pain laser therapy painful?
Our laser treatments can be used to help an array of medical issues, including relieving painful symptoms brought on by various conditions, but it is quite normal for patients to wonder if laser therapy is painful. We are always happy to report there is nothing to be concerned about!
Multiwave Locked System (MLS) Therapy Lasers delivered controlled laser energy capable of penetrating tissue and creating synergy in the body’s cells to produce anti-inflammatory and pain relief effects. Now, the “penetrating tissue” part might sound as though it would be painful, but this is not the case. Additionally, MLS laser therapy has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration – the governmental agency responsible for ensuring safety and quality in food, medicine, and medical equipment.
We are proud to offer this state-of-the-art treatment at our greater Phoenix area offices. Whether or not it is right for you will depend on the condition causing your pain, but we can discuss this when you come to see us. Schedule your appointment with Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona by calling (480) 963-9000 to reach our Chandler office or (480) 981-1800 to connect with our Gilbert office.
What causes feet to swell?
The causes of swollen feet are many and varied, but could be divided into a few main categories:
- Activity-related – Sitting too long at your desk or on a plane, or standing long hours at work (checkouts or factory workers), can cause fluid to collect at the lowest point of your body.
- Injury or surgery related – When your body experiences trauma (damaged tendons, broken bones, incisions and tissue manipulation during surgery), it rushes extra fluids to the area to provide nutrients and fight off infection.
- Medical conditions – Some examples are heart and liver disease, poor valves in the veins in your legs, clots or blockages in the blood vessels, or kidneys that don’t excrete fluids properly.
- Hormonal changes – Swollen feet and ankles are common during pregnancy and your menstrual cycles, and hormone treatments like estrogen can also produce this symptom in women.
- Medications – Certain blood pressure meds, antidepressants, and steroids can increase your likelihood of edema.
We have many home care techniques (elevation, icing, massage) to reduce swelling, but visit Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona for correct diagnosis so you can get treatment for the underlying cause as well. You can reach us in Gilbert, AZ at (480) 981-1800 or by calling our Chandler office at (480) 963-9000.
How can I tell if my ankle is broken?
There are several ways to tell if your ankle is broken. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Did it hurt severely at the moment the injury occurred?
- Is it tender when you just touch it?
- Is the area swollen?
- Has bruising discolored the skin?
- Does it look crooked or “out of place?”
- Is it impossible to put weight on it without a lot of pain?
If you answered yes to many of these questions, a fracture is likely. You won’t know for sure until you come in to Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona for an x-ray, but even if it is a sprain and not a broken bone, you’ll still need prompt and effective treatment so the damaged ligaments can heal.
Ankle injuries—whether from a fall, an accident, or while playing sports or running—should never be ignored. Not healing properly increases your risk for arthritis, repeated injuries, or a chronically unstable ankle joint in future years. Give our podiatry practice in Metro Phoenix a call: in Chandler, AZ dial (480) 963-9000, and in Gilbert (480) 981-1800. Accurate diagnosis and effective treatment are our trademark services, and we can help you recover completely.
How can a podiatrist treat an ingrown nail?
There are two typical situations when podiatrists treat ingrown toenails: 1) when you have a condition like diabetes, a compromised immune system, or poor blood flow that slows down healing, and 2) when you have tried self-care measures at home but the problem persists or keeps returning.
Medical care often involves some level of minor surgery, depending on your situation. We may try a temporary removal of the corner of the nail or the edge that is ingrown, or remove a whole section of the nail. For a severe and recurring problem, we may destroy the root (matrix) as well, which means that part of the nail will not grow out again.
This is an outpatient procedure done with local anesthetic. The next day we remove the dressing, and you will clean it, apply an antibiotic cream, and cover it with a small bandage every day for a couple of weeks. It is best to wear open toe or loose-fitting shoes during this time.
Call Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona for expert care of your ingrown nail—or any other foot problem. Reach us in Chandler, AZ at (480) 963-9000 or in Gilbert at (480) 981-1800, or set up your appointment online.
What are the causes of overlapping toes?
The reason one toe lies on top of another can be hard to pin down if the deformity is present at birth. Some believe it can develop from the baby’s position in the womb; others point out the heredity factor, since it often runs in families.
Other causes of overlapping toes may be the foot arch type you inherit, which can cause toes to move out of position and overlap an adjacent one (as when a bunion develops). Diseases like arthritis can also cause bones in a joint to move out of position, and diabetes and neurological conditions can cause nerve damage that results in a muscle imbalance in the toes.
Then there are injuries, such as a fracture, dislocation, or tendon tear that doesn’t heal correctly. Cramming your toes into tight shoes that force the toes out of position can also make them more likely to lift up and over another toe.
If your overlapping toe is causing discomfort and making it difficult to walk, please set up an appointment with Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona online or by calling (480) 963-9000 for our Chandler, AZ office or (480) 981-1800 in Gilbert.
Is surgery necessary to correct underlapping toes?
Although the incidence of under or overlapping toes is not high, if your child is one of the few born with this type of abnormality, you will want to discuss how to help them lie straight. In the past, your options were to see if the problem resolved on its own or correct underlapping toes surgically.
However, a study from 2004 to 2006 showed that a straightening and taping regimen could correct this toe deformity in newborns. The simple procedure is done right in our office with no pain, no anesthetics, and no incisions needed. It is safe for your baby and helps in the majority of cases.
If the toe is not corrected in a newborn, it will likely need surgery later on. This can involve lengthening or cutting tight tendons, or cutting and repositioning a bone. Procedures like this are only used after other conservative treatments for pain or irritation have not resolved your issues.
Our podiatrists are excellent surgeons as well, so whether you want the latest in noninvasive treatment or need surgery for your toe deformity, contact Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona. You can call our office in Chandler, AZ at (480) 963-9000, or our Gilbert location at (480) 981-1800, or request a visit using out contact form.
Can I exercise with arthritis?
There are always conditions in which certain types of exercises should be avoided. For example, we wouldn’t recommend you start training for a 5K race if you suffer from stiff and painful joints. However, exercising with arthritis can actually be helpful in relieving joint pain if it is done correctly.
By correctly we mean starting slowly and limiting it to low-impact activities like walking, swimming, biking, or yoga. Always warm up 5-10 minutes first with a moderate walk and some dynamic stretches, and stretch out again afterward when your muscles are warm and supple.
There are certain types of exercise that are particularly beneficial for this disease, including the kind that gets your heart going to increase your circulation without further damaging your joints. Others are those that increase your balance, strength, and range of movement in your joints.
Another benefit from regular, moderate exercise is that it helps you control your weight, because shedding extra pounds reduces the overall stress on your joints.
If you want help designing an exercise regimen that is right for your condition, set up a visit with Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona by calling our Chandler office at (480) 963-9000 or the one in Gilbert at (480) 981-1800. We’ll be glad to evaluate your feet and get you started on a routine that is safe for them and for you.
What are different types of arthritis?
There are too many types of arthritis to list each one here, but we’ll highlight a few of the most common.
Osteoarthritis – cartilage wears out from aging or overuse. The affected joints become stiff, swollen, and sore.
Rheumatoid – your body’s immune system attacks its own joints by mistake. Common symptoms are joint inflammation (redness, warmth) and pain.
Gout – because your body can’t adequately handle the uric acid in foods, sharp crystals can lodge in the joint linings, causing severe attacks of pain and inflammation. The big toe is the most common site.
Post-traumatic – a previous injury weakens the joint and makes it more susceptible to pain, swelling, stiffness, and inflammation later on. Often occurs after ankle or foot injuries.
Other fairly common complaints are actually classified as arthritis as well, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, degenerative disc disease, fibromyalgia, several forms of lupus, Lyme disease, Raynaud’s phenomenon, and some types of tendinitis.
If you have pain in your feet and ankles, let our experts figure out exactly what your symptoms mean and how they should be treated. Call Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona at (480) 963-9000 in Chandler, AZ or (480) 981-1800 in Gilbert and get the help you need.
How often should you replace running shoes?
There is no hard and fast rule of mileage or months. You’ll know when to replace running shoes if you examine them once a month for wear in the following areas:
- Uppers – Look for any separation along the sole, and the vertical part at the back of the heel must be perpendicular to the floor or the shoe could be throwing off your alignment. Check the inside of the heel counter for wear as well.
- Midsole – The layer between uppers and tread should not have creases, wrinkles, or discoloration indicating breakdown of material. It also should not flex too easily at the toes or twist along the sole.
- Outsole – Check for wear in the tread or weak, soft spots that could indicate breakdown of the soles.
If you see these signs of wear, replace the shoes. It’s not worth damaging your feet to keep using them. Please don’t donate worn out shoes and pass your problems on to others, but check if they can be recycled.
For help choosing the right type of shoes or telling when they are worn, consult Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona by calling our Chandler (480) 963-9000 or Gilbert (480) 981-1800 office today.
What is the benefit of a gait analysis?
We are talking about a medical gait analysis, not the superficial one in a specialty store to determine shoe choice. A full analysis includes observing your stride with a trained eye, statistical measurements, and video of running on a treadmill, among other things. The goal is to get a true picture of your total movement patterns, not just your pronation style.
You employ many habits while standing, walking, running or doing any other activity which are affected by your body’s level of stability (balance), flexibility, and muscle strength. Very few people have a perfect gait—most of us compensate for an abnormality in some way or other.
A full analysis can help us pinpoint those areas of compensation. The podiatrists at Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona can use this information to look for treatments like orthotics, physical therapy or other remedies that can help realign your bones and make your movements more efficient and less painful.
If you suffer from foot pain, this type of analysis may help. Contact our offices in Metro Phoenix by calling the following numbers:
Chandler, AZ (480) 963-9000
Gilbert, AZ (480) 981-1800
We’ll help you decide your next steps for pain relief.