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.
- Page 1
How does diabetes affect the feet?
Diabetes, especially when it isn’t managed well, can affect the health of your feet in numerous ways. The most important are nerve health and blood flow.
Uncontrolled blog sugar levels are toxic for nerves in the feet, and can slowly take away your ability to sense heat, cold, touch, or pain. Without these sensations, you may not realize it when you stub a toe, suffer a cut or blister, or even break a bone or sustain a serious burn.
Slow blood flow complicates matters. Without a steady stream of nutrients and oxygen, injuries are slower to heal and more likely to get infected, especially if you don’t even realize they’re there for hours or possibly days.
If you have diabetes, it’s important to check your feet regularly for signs of injury. If you do develop a wound that won’t heal, see the experts at Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists of Arizona immediately. Our doctors are wound care experts on staff at the Chandler Wound Healing Center and can provide comprehensive care using state-of-the-art techniques and technology. Set an appointment by calling (480) 963-9000 today.
What are my treatment options for bunions?
When it comes to bunions, there are two broad treatment options: conservative or surgical.
Conservative treatments are geared toward symptom management and preventing the bunion from growing worse. Although they won’t get rid of your bunion, they could very well relieve your pain and allow you to return to active, pain-free living. Conservative treatment options include footwear modifications, custom orthotics, pads to relieve pressure and prevent corns, night splints, and more.
Surgical intervention is typically only recommended in cases with significant pain, and when conservative treatment proves ineffective. Depending on the severity of the bunion and your personal goals, we’ll select an appropriate surgical procedure.
Early detection and treatment increases the likelihood that conservative care will be effective, so don’t wait! Make your appointment with the team at Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona by dialing (480) 963-9000 (Chandler office) or (480) 981-1800 (Gilbert office) today.
Are custom orthotics really worth it compared to store insoles?
Are custom orthotics really worth it? In most cases, the answer to this question is an emphatic yes!
While store-bought insoles can provide some pain relief by adding a bit of cushioning and support, they’re not designed to treat specific medical conditions and, because they’re mass produced, they won’t fit your feet as well as a custom orthotic.
Custom orthotics, by contrast, are specially made just for you from a mold or 3D scan of your feet, under the supervision of a trained podiatrist. Because of this, they can offer much better support and/or cushioning than a mass-produced piece, and can be used to treat specific conditions such as ulcers, overpronation, neuromas, bunions, heel pain, arthritis, and much more. Although they’re more expensive than store insoles, they can do a much better job, and they’ll also last a lot longer, too.
When you’re suffering from foot pain that just won’t go away, custom orthotics might be the answer you’re looking for. They can even help correct alignment problems causing pain throughout the legs and back. Call our experts at Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona in Gilbert at (480) 981-1800 or in Chandler at (480) 963-9000 and get help today.
How can I improve my balance?
Like any other physical skill, balance can be improved through practice. We can also provide some technological help, too. Strategies include:
- Balance exercises. Standing on one foot, walking heel to toe, and other balance exercises help you improve your stability. Adjust the difficulty to your current needs by grabbing a chair for support, which makes it easier. To increase the difficulty, close your eyes or use a wobble board. You may also enjoy trying yoga or tai chi!
- Strength-building exercises for your lower body. Exercises that focus on the lower body, such as squats, provide greater strength and stability for your legs, which in turn improves balance.
- Sleep well. Older adults who are tired are more likely to lose their balance and fall than those who are well rested, all other things being equal.
- Consider bracing. Our office provides fittings for balance braces. You wear them like a boot under your clothes, and the extra stability they provide can help you greatly lower your fall risk.
If you’re feeling wobbly, don’t wait until you fall to get assistance. Be proactive and make an appointment with Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona today. You can reach our office toll free at 877-866-2417, or request an appointment via our online contact form.
How can I minimize my fall risk?
Reducing your fall risk (or the risk of a loved one) can be as easy as taking a few simple steps to improve one’s environment. Look around the home carefully and eliminate potential tripping or slipping hazards you may find. This can include power cords, throw rugs, plants, boxes piling up in hallways, and shoes in front of the door. Railings, bars, and no-slip mats installed in the bathroom and stairwells can prove to be a big help in maintaining stability in riskier areas. Improving lighting in high-traffic areas and installing night lights can also reduce the risk of falling over unseen obstacles and improve the general confidence of someone traversing when it’s dark.
Another great way to reduce fall risk? Talk to us about getting fit for a balance brace. These sleek devices fit under your shoes and clothes and help keep you on your feet.
For more help with reducing fall risks, please call us at Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona. You can reach our metro Phoenix area offices at (480) 963-9000 for Chandler or (480) 981-1800 for Gilbert.
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.
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.
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.