Posts for category: Foot Disorders
PAD, or Peripheral Arterial Disease, reduces blood circulation in the feet and legs. It can lead to a host of other serious physical problems if not treated and managed properly.
What is PAD?
PAD happens when the insides of the arteries experience a buildup of fatty deposits. Also known as plaque, these deposits reduce the blood flow to the legs and feet. Like the plaque that forms on your teeth, it is extremely detrimental to the tissues where it develops. The arteries harden and become narrow, a condition known as atherosclerosis. The disease presents as upper and lower leg pain during activity, foot or toe pain during rest, and ulcerated sores on your feet that heal very slowly. Some people do not experience pain, however.
As many as one in five Americans aged 70 and over are afflicted with this disease, and with it comes a markedly increased risk for death from a heart attack or stroke. Complications from PAD can also lead to amputations.
What causes PAD?
While diabetes and high blood pressure can exacerbate PAD, a person's habits can largely compound the problem. Smoking, a sedentary lifestyle, and poor diet are all contributing factors to PAD and the complications that come with it.
How is PAD treated?
Your podiatrist will perform a simple test that compares the blood pressure in your arm with that in your ankle. An abnormality warrants other tests to determine how extensive your PAD is. It can then be managed with medicines designed to prevent blood clots and lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Lifestyle changes are a must smoking cessation, an exercise regimen and a healthful diet are essential. Advanced cases may require surgery.
PAD is a serious disease, but maintaining a relationship with your podiatrist and committing to a healthier way of life can help control its effects.
Podiatrists diagnose and treat a wide variety of footrelated concerns that affect everything from the heels to the toes. One relatively rare yet concerning issue that a foot doctor can fix is clubfoot—it’s a condition that usually affects children. If you have concerns about the shape and function of your child’s feet, learn more about clubfoot, its causes and how it can be successfully treated by a podiatrist.
What Is Club Foot?
Club foot is a condition that causes the feet to look deformed. It is an issue that usually develops at birth and continues to develop through childhood. The foot looks twisted to the point where the child cannot walk properly or even place his foot down on the ground normally. In extreme cases, where the foot is almost upside down, the child can’t walk at all. If it goes untreated, it can cause problems in the calves and legs, so this is a problem that must be corrected as soon as it is noticed.
What Causes Club Foot?
Doctors don’t know exactly what causes clubfoot, but there is a theory that it may develop in the womb. The way that the baby is positioned in the mother’s womb could cause unnatural pressure on the stilldeveloping child’s skeletal system. Children who are diagnosed with musculoskeletal disorders are also more prone to this foot problem. Some doctors also believe that club foot runs in the family, or it can be caused by smoking or doing drugs during pregnancy.
Cures for Club Foot
Podiatrists can successfully correct most cases of club foot in children—the earlier that it’s addressed by a doctor, the better. The standard procedure to fix this condition is called the Ponseti treatment method. The podiatrist stretches the child’s feet to the proper position and then puts it in a secure cast. Regular appointments are necessary to readjust the position of the feet and monitor progress until they are properly aligned. Other solutions include taping the feet, and, in advanced cases, surgery may be needed.
Your child can be cured of club foot and have healthy, normally aligned feet. It’s important to see a podiatrist for a consultation as soon as the issue is noticed for the best results.
Find out how AFO devices could offer your foot and ankle some much needed support.
Are you suffering from a severe fracture or sprain in your foot or ankle? Has a stroke or orthopedic disorder affected your ankle strength? If so, there is an easy way to improve your balance and offer some muchneeded stability and support to weak muscles in both the foot and ankle.
AFO, also known as an ankle foot orthosis, is a podiatric device often made from plastic that is worn to provide additional support to both the ankle and foot. AFOs account for about 26 percent of all orthotics in America. This plastic frame runs from the knee down to the foot and helps maintain better alignment and movement.
This orthotic is customdesigned to provide optimal ankle support and to promote proper motion and gait. AFOs can be worn under shoes, but may require the wearer to purchase larger shoes to accommodate the bulk of the orthotic.
Who Wears AFOs
A number of people can benefit from wearing these plastic devices, including those who are dealing with either orthopedic or neurological problems that affect their joints, movement and posture. Those who have suffered a stroke or have been diagnosed with cerebral palsy or multiple sclerosis could find significant improvements to their posture, alignment and motion by wearing an AFO. AFOs can also help with muscular imbalance.
Orthopedic conditions that can benefit from AFOs include fractures, drop foot, sprains and arthritis. If you suffer from foot pain or weakened muscles due to an injury, then you may also want to consider how AFO could help you.
Both children and adults can benefit from wearing AFOs. In fact, about 80 percent of children diagnosed with cerebral palsy currently use an orthotic to improve their coordination and movement.
To find out whether an AFO is right for you or your child, talk to your podiatrist today. We would be happy to customdesign an AFO to accommodate your podiatric needs.