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Monday, 21 January 2019 00:00

Stages of Gout

The medical condition that is referred to as gout is a form of arthritis. This ailment is the result of excess uric acid in the blood, and the joint in the big toe is typically affected. It may originate from eating foods that are high in purines, which may include shellfish, red meat, or drinking excess alcohol. Patients who experience gout often notice several symptoms, in addition to severe pain and discomfort. These often include swelling, tenderness when touched, throbbing, and heat emanating from the affected joint. Research has shown there are stages in the onset of gout. The first one occurs before the actual attack. This is when the uric acid levels are elevating, and there are typically no symptoms. The second phase occurs when the attack happens, and severe pain is generally felt at this point. Another stage that is called interval gout indicates the time that elapses between gout attacks. If you feel you are experiencing any stages of gout, it is strongly advised to speak with a podiatrist who can perform a proper diagnosis and begin the correct treatment.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Gary Prant from Arbor Foot Health Center. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.

People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.

Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.

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

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Monday, 14 January 2019 00:00

Preventing and Treating Toenail Fungus

The toenail infection that is known as onychomycosis, or toenail fungus, will most likely not disappear on its own. The possibility of the nail bed becoming infected, which may gradually destroy the toenails, may increase unless this type of fungus is properly treated. Research has shown there may be effective ways that can be implemented, which may prevent toenail fungus. These may include washing and thoroughly drying your feet before wearing shoes, trimming the toenails straight across, which may aid in preventing the nail to grow past the top of the toe, and wearing appropriate shoes in public showers, pools, and surrounding areas. Possible treatments for this unsightly foot condition may include using specific medications in addition to surgically removing a portion of the nail. If you see the beginning stages of toenail fungus, it is advised to consult with a podiatrist who can properly diagnose and treat this condition.

If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Gary Prant of Arbor Foot Health Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Symptoms

  • Warped or oddly shaped nails
  • Yellowish nails
  • Loose/separated nail
  • Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
  • Brittle, broken, thickened nail

Treatment

If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.

Prevention

In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.

In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.  

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

 

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The medical condition that is referred to as hammertoe has been known to originate from wearing shoes that fit incorrectly. This type of shoe may include high heels, as they force the toes to be cramped into a space that may have inadequate room to move about in. The toes may bend downward at the middle joint, and this may resemble a hammer. There may be additional conditions that may develop as a result of hammertoe, which may often include blisters or bunions. Some patients may find moderate relief in wearing insoles in their shoes, in addition to gently stretching the toes, which may be beneficial in reducing pain and discomfort. In severe cases, the most effective treatment may be to undergo surgery, in which the toes can be straightened out. If you feel you are at the beginning stages of developing hammertoe, it is suggested that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist so correct treatment options can be discussed.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Gary Prant of Arbor Foot Health Center. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

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

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Wednesday, 02 January 2019 00:00

Dangers and Prevention of Falling

The act of falling is unnatural and has the potential to cause many types of serious injuries. Falling may be a result of tripping hazards, which may be prevented, including wet floors, or frayed carpets. Additionally, taking certain medications may cause mild confusion, and specific medical conditions may play a significant role, which may increase the chances of falling. These may include heart disease, thyroid dysfunction, or changes in blood pressure, which may affect balance. Research has shown there are several ways to protect yourself against the dangers of falling, including engaging in a daily exercise program, that may aid in keeping the muscles strong, in addition to having your eyesight and hearing routinely checked. Many people find it helpful to use canes or walkers while performing daily activities and find it advantageous to wear shoes that fully support their feet. If you would like additional information regarding ways to prevent falling, please consult with a podiatrist for proper guidance.

Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with Dr. Gary Prant from Arbor Foot Health Center. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.

Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.

How to Prevent Falls

Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:

  • Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
  • Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
  • Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
  • Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
  • Utilizing a walker or cane
  • Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
  • Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness

Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.  

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

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