Do you suffer from Foot or Ankle pain?
Here at Tennessee Foot and Ankle Clinic, we understand how annoying and limiting foot problems can be for people. We take pride in our superb ability to quickly and accurately diagnose the problem our patients come to us with and just as quickly find a proper solution to that problem. What may seem like the most perplexing issue sometimes has the simplest of fixes.
Eight hours a day, five days a week we give everything we have to help our patients in Knoxville and surrounding areas find the treatment they need to live life without the constant burden of foot problems. One of our highest priorities is scheduling patients to be seen by our medical professionals the same day as the scheduled appointment. Our five most commonly seen issues that patients come to us with are as follows: Bunions, Hammertoes, Ingrown Toenails, Plantar Fasciitis (Heel Pain), and Ankle Sprains. More information about each can be found by clicking on the respective links.
Do you suffer from Ingrown Toenails?
One of the most common issues that patients come to us with is a minor, yet very painful condition called Onychocrytosis, more commonly known as an “ingrown toenail”.
Ingrown toenails are most commonly caused by poorly fitting shoes that are too narrow or too tight, however, this is not always the direct cause. People with certain risk factors are more susceptible to developing an ingrown toenail. These factors include, but are not limited to:
- Adolescents and children who are physically active
- People who have experienced multiple injuries to their feet in the past
- People who have poor foot hygiene
- Deformities in the foot and toenail
- People with naturally long toes, or people with naturally short toenails
- Excessive foot perspiration (sweating)
- People with Arthritis
Any of these factors can lead to the toenail becoming “ingrown,” piercing into the toe and causing the body to react to it just like it would to any type of foreign body. This penetration back into the body causes such immune responses as swelling, redness around the affected area, and sometimes either clear or yellow liquid drainage.
One of the best ways to prevent a toenail from becoming ingrown is knowing how to trim it properly, as depicted below in a diagram created by the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society.
One should trim their toenails straight across and avoid trimming curves in the edges. These curves in the edges generally lead to the toenail growing back into the toe, so properly trimming them will drastically help in avoiding an ingrown toenail.
If you are Diabetic and suffer from an ingrown toenail or if you suffer from a recurring ingrown toenail, you should seek surgery to better correct the problem and increase your chances of avoiding it in the future. You should also seek help from a medical professional if an ingrown toenail has become infected and significantly swollen. If an ingrown toenail is recognized early before this infection sets in, home treatment is a possible option. To treat this problem at home, try the following steps:
- Soak the infected foot in water and Epsom salt 3-4 times per day, if possible
- After soaking, be sure to keep the foot dry
- Wear comfortable, proper-fitting shoes, or consider wearing open-toed shoes to relieve pressure on the toenail
- Ibuprofen or other NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) can be taken for minor pain relief
- If improvement is seen within a few days, continue the steps above
- If improvement is not seen, or if the condition worsens, call us at (865) 986-2700 and we will be more than happy to see you as soon as possible at any of our five locations.
Do you know about Sever’s Disease?
One of the most common causes of heel pain in young teenagers is a minor but painful bone disorder called Sever’s Disease (calcaneal apophysitis) which occurs when the growth plate in the heel becomes inflamed. A growth plate is an area located at the end of a developing bone where over time cartilage cells change into bone cells. During this, the growth plates expand and unite, which is how bones grow. Sever’s Disease usually occurs during the growth spurt of teens, the two-year span when growth is most rapid during puberty (between the ages of 8-13 for girls and 10-15 for boys.)
Causes of Sever’s Disease can be accredited to the overuse of the bone and tendons in the heel during any activity that may require a lot of heel movement. This is very commonly seen in children and early teens that chose to start a new sport or who are active in sports like basketball or football that entail jumping and rapid directional change.
If you or a loved one suffers from Sever’s Disease, take comfort in knowing that the disease itself is self-recovering. Pain in the heel will go away with less use of the heel or when the bone has grown through. For athletes wanting a quicker recovery try following these simple steps:
- Try using NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) for intense pain along with daily icing of the problem heel.
- Use the R.I.C.E method, which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation of the affected area.
- Cut down physical activity, but no so much as to cause muscle Disuse Atrophy.
- Stretch daily, and create a specific regimen to go by. Flexibility helps to eliminate and prevent most general heel pain.
- Stretching and strengthening through the methods listed above should help to alleviate the pain after three to four weeks.
Ankle Sprain got you down?
All About Ankle Sprains
Twisting an ankle is a common thing that most people have done at some point in their lives. However, if your ankle becomes swollen and painful over the next few days, you have most likely sprained it. An ankle sprain occurs when the ankle rolls outward and the foot rolls inward. This causes the lateral ligaments in the foot to stretch very rapidly and tear. It is possible for the ankle to roll inwards and the foot to roll outwards, tearing the medial ligaments, however this type of sprain occurs less often.
Children & Their Shoes
When parents allow children to repetitively wear shoes that do not properly fit, they could be condemning them to a lifetime of foot problems, both short-term and long-term. Short term problems include blisters, pressure sores, and ingrown toenails, while feet deformities such as hammer toes, knee problems, and posture problems are some negative long term-effects.
According to new research conducted by Clark’s Footwear, over four million children are wearing the wrong-size shoe. Why is this you might ask? There are three very common reasons why children often do not wear shoes that fit properly.
1.) The first, and probably the most common, reason is that children grow very rapidly in their first 18 years of life, their feet included. Often, parents will buy shoes that are too big so that their child can “grow into them.”
2.) The second reason is due to financial constraints and inability to purchase properly-fitted shoes; therefore, people opt for cheaper shoes or resist purchasing new shoes.
3.) The third reason is due to fashion trends. It’s no secret that people “jump on the bandwagon” when it comes to a new trend in fashion. Because of this, buying shoes that do not properly fit or support the feet well is a very common thing.
When buying shoes for a child, parents should have their child’s feet measured every time. It is not advised to base a purchase solely on the shoe size marked inside the shoe because shoes manufactured in different areas can often be very different in size. Also, both feet should be measured individually, as both feet can be different lengths and widths.