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Monday, 25 June 2018 00:00

Possible Causes of Hammertoe

An uncomfortable and painful foot condition known as hammertoe may occur from wearing shoes that fit poorly. These ill-fitting shoes may cause the muscles in the toes to become shorter, possibly resulting in permanently bent toes. Additionally, genetics may play a significant role in contributing to the onset of this deformity. This ailment affects the toes, and will cause the smaller toes to bend upwards. Corns and calluses may develop as a result of the consistent friction the toes encounter from shoes that do not fit correctly. It may be beneficial to perform specific exercises in the early stages that may aid in straightening the toe, in addition to wearing shoes that have adequate room for the toes to move about. If you are afflicted with hammertoe it’s important to consult with a podiatrist for additional information and proper treatment options that are right for you.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Robert Graser from Graser Podiatry and Bunion Surgery Institute. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

If you have any questions please contact our office located in Boerne, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 25 June 2018 00:00

Can Wearing High Heels Damage My Feet?

Many women choose to wear high heels so the feet and legs can have a luxurious look. Research has shown there may be reasons why high heels should be avoided. Toenails can become damaged, and wearing certain high heels is said to be the number one cause of ingrown toenails. Many women tend to fall much more frequently when this type of shoe is worn, and this may cause possible bone fractures. If there is not an adequate amount of room to move about within the shoe, it can cause an already existing case of bunions to become even worse. It’s suggested to limit wearing high heels to a few days per week, and to also choose a lower heel. Doing these things may provide ample relief. Additionally, having your feet massaged regularly will not only feel good, but may aid in the overall health of the foot.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Robert Graser from Graser Podiatry and Bunion Surgery Institute. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which Parts of My Body Will Be Affected by High Heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What Kinds of Foot Problems Can Develop from Wearing High Heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How Can I Still Wear High Heels and Maintain Foot Health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Boerne, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 18 June 2018 00:00

Common Foot Ailments in Pregnant Women

It’s common for pregnant women to complain about foot pain or swollen feet. Developing flat feet is equally as common, and this is typically a result of the excess weight that is gained from the developing fetus. Research has shown that this may affect a women’s center of gravity, which may alter overall posture. Despite the fact that most of these uncomfortable ailments may diminish after pregnancy, there are ways to minimize the discomfort they cause. These may include elevating the feet above the heart, which may aid in improving circulation in the early stages of pregnancy. It is beneficial to eat a well-balanced and healthy diet, which involves lower salt content. This can possibly eliminate excess fluid from accumulating. It’s also suggested to sleep on your side rather than on your back. Practicing gentle exercises may aid the decrease of fluid retention. Please consult with a podiatrist for additional information on how pregnancy affects your feet.

Pregnant women with swollen feet can be treated with a variety of different methods that are readily available. For more information about other cures for swollen feet during pregnancy, consult with Dr. Robert Graser from Graser Podiatry and Bunion Surgery Institute. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What Foot Problems Can Arise During Pregnancy?

One problem that can occur is overpronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens and tends to roll inward.  This can cause pain and discomfort in your heels while you’re walking or even just standing up, trying to support your baby.  

Another problem is edema, or swelling in the extremities. This often affects the feet during pregnancy but tends to occur in the later stages. 

How Can I Keep My Feet Healthy During Pregnancy?

  • Wearing orthotics can provide extra support for the feet and help distribute weight evenly
  • Minimize the amount of time spent walking barefoot
  • Wear shoes with good arch support
  • Wear shoes that allow for good circulation to the feet
  • Elevate feet if you experience swelling
  • Massage your feet
  • Get regular, light exercise, such as walking, to promote blood circulation to the feet

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Boerne, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 11 June 2018 00:00

What is the Achilles Tendon?

The longest tendon in the body is referred to as the Achilles tendon. Its location lies in the back of the foot and its purpose is to connect the heel bone to the calf. Research has shown that it may become damaged or torn as a result of a sudden injury, and it’s advised to seek treatment as soon as possible. Typical symptoms of an Achilles tendon rupture may include difficulty in standing on tiptoes in addition to bruising and swelling at the point of an injury. In order to obtain a proper diagnosis, a podiatrist may use a method referred to as the Thompson’s test. This involves squeezing the calf muscles while lying face down so movement in the ankle can be observed. For severe tears, surgery may be a necessary option as a permanent solution which may prevent the tendon from re-rupturing. For less severe tears, it may be advantageous to wear a brace or a cast so healing can commence. Please consult with a podiatrist for additional information about Achilles tendon injuries.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Robert Graser of Graser Podiatry and Bunion Surgery Institute. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What Are the symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Boerne, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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There is a treatment available for possible Achilles tendon injuries and may be referred to as platelet-rich plasma therapy, or P.R.P. injections. It is described as using the patients blood which is mixed with plasma cells and growth factors and then injected into the affected tissue. Recent research has suggested that the health of the tissue may be improved by rapid healing inspired by growth factors. If you are afflicted with this type of injury, it may be beneficial to undergo standard treatment options before considering P.R.P. injections. This type of treatment may cause the injections to be severely painful in addition to being costly. It’s advised to consult with a podiatrist to discuss what treatment options are right for you.

If you are suffering from a foot condition, contact Dr. Robert Graser of Graser Podiatry and Bunion Surgery Institute. Our doctor will assist you with all of your podiatric concerns.

What Is PRP?

Platelet Rich Plasma, or PRP, is blood taken from a patient and spun in a centrifuge, concentrating the amount of platelets. The plasma is then re-injected into the site of injury or damage, assisting the body in repairing damage to muscles, tendons, ligaments, and tissue. PRP helps the body speed up its healing process.

Uses of PRP

Injuries affecting the foot sometimes don’t heal properly because of poor blood circulation. The healing time slows down, and recovery time is affected by poor blood supply. PRP injections will speed up recovery and resolve this issue.

Treatment

PRP is the first regenerative treatment for damaged muscles, tendons, and ligaments. No surgery needed. It is only applied with an insertion of a needle.

Ultrasound – An ultrasound is needed for proper placement of the platelets.

Injection – When the first injection is received, the patient will return to the doctor in about 2 to 3 weeks and monitor the recovery process.

Recovery time – Some people respond to treatments differently. Therefore, depending on your condition, the doctor will make any remaining decisions on how many more injections are needed, or if any additional ones are even required.

Benefits

One may be able to avoid major surgery, and recovery time will be cut down. PRP injections also avoid creating scar tissue and damage to the area. Risks are also very low using PRP as a treatment. There is no risk of rejection, contracting a disease from using another person’s blood, or infection.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Boerne, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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