Items filtered by date: November 2021

Tuesday, 30 November 2021 00:00

How Severe Is My Achilles Tendon Injury?

The Achilles tendon is a strong band of fibrous tissue that runs along the back of your lower legs, connecting the calf muscles to the heel bone. When this tendon is injured, typically as a result of overuse, wearing the wrong shoes, or having another foot problem, it can become inflamed. A mild Achilles tendon injury is characterized by pain during or shortly after physical activity. A moderate injury may cause swelling in the tendon, and a hard lump called a nodule may form. A severe injury is characterized by pain while bearing weight. In some cases, the tendon can rupture, which is said to feel like a hard whack on the heel. If you have symptoms of an Achilles tendon injury, it is strongly suggested that you seek the care of a podiatrist. 

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Derek T. Pantiel of Summit Podiatry. 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 one of our offices located in Wilmington, Whiteville, and Burgaw, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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Tuesday, 23 November 2021 00:00

The Many Causes Behind Flat Feet

Flat feet refer to feet that have no visible arch in the middle of the sole of the foot while bearing weight. In other words, while standing, the foot lies flat on the ground. Flat feet can be genetically inherited. They can also be acquired during your lifespan for various reasons. These may include damaged, inflamed, overstretched or torn tendons in the foot, damage to the foot or ankle bones, arthritis, stiffening and weakening of the foot muscles due to nerve damage, obesity, and pregnancy. Acquired flat feet are also associated with aging, as wear and tear on the ligaments that support the arch can cause it to collapse. If you have flat feet that are causing you pain, it is suggested that you seek the care of a podiatrist. 

Flatfoot is a condition many people suffer from. If you have flat feet, contact Dr. Derek T. Pantiel from Summit Podiatry. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Are Flat Feet?

Flatfoot is a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arches never formed during growth.

Conditions & Problems:

Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.

Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.

Knees – If you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.  

Symptoms

  • Pain around the heel or arch area
  • Trouble standing on the tip toe
  • Swelling around the inside of the ankle
  • Flat look to one or both feet
  • Having your shoes feel uneven when worn

Treatment

If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Wilmington, Whiteville, and Burgaw, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What is Flexible Flat Foot?
Tuesday, 16 November 2021 00:00

Don’t Pop a Blister

Blisters are small, fluid-filled pockets that form on the skin in response to trauma. Blisters on the feet are typically caused by friction from wearing ill-fitting shoes or exercising, but are also commonly caused by warts, athlete’s foot, and allergic reactions. If you have a blister, it is best to avoid popping it. The fluid inside the blister protects the raw skin underneath it, helping it heal from damage. When a blister is popped, it can be very painful and is more likely to become infected. If your blister has popped on its own, don’t peel off the top layer of skin. Leave it there and cover the blister with a clean bandage to protect it. If your blister is very painful, showing signs of infection, or leaking pus, please seek the care of a podiatrist. 

Blisters may appear as a single bubble or in a cluster. They can cause a lot of pain and may be filled with pus, blood, or watery serum. If your feet are hurting, contact Dr. Derek T. Pantiel of Summit Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Foot Blisters

Foot blisters are often the result of friction. This happens due to the constant rubbing from shoes, which can lead to pain.

What Are Foot Blisters?

A foot blister is a small fluid-filled pocket that forms on the upper-most layer of the skin. Blisters are filled with clear fluid and can lead to blood drainage or pus if the area becomes infected.

Symptoms

(Blister symptoms may vary depending on what is causing them)

  • Bubble of skin filled with fluid
  • Redness
  • Moderate to severe pain
  • Itching

Prevention & Treatment

In order to prevent blisters, you should be sure to wear comfortable shoes with socks that cushion your feet and absorb sweat. Breaking a blister open may increase your chances of developing an infection. However, if your blister breaks, you should wash the area with soap and water immediately and then apply a bandage to the affected area. If your blisters cause severe pain it is important that you call your podiatrist right away.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Wilmington, Whiteville, and Burgaw, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Tuesday, 09 November 2021 00:00

Reminder: When Was the Last Time...?

Custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, should be periodically replaced. Orthotics must fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles!

Tuesday, 09 November 2021 00:00

Understanding and Diagnosing Vascular Disease

Vascular diseases affect the circulatory system and can involve blood disorders or abnormalities in the arteries, veins, or lymph vessels. Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is a type of vascular disease which causes a narrowing or blockage in the arteries that prevents their capacity to carry oxygen-rich blood away from the heart to the legs and feet. PAD can cause leg pain when walking (claudication), numbness, tingling, coldness, or an inability for wounds to heal in the legs or feet. Left untreated, PAD may also be a precursor to life-threatening issues such as a heart attack or stroke. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms in your legs or feet, schedule an appointment with a podiatrist who can help diagnose and treat PAD. They will perform a physical examination and may even suggest that tests be performed to help assess the presence and severity of vascular disease, such as a Computed Tomography Angiography (CTA) and Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA). CTA uses a type of X-ray scan, while MRA uses radio wave technology. Both tests produce 3D imaging and typically involve inserting a contrasting material (dye) in the blood vessels which makes them easier to visualize.

Vascular testing plays an important part in diagnosing disease like peripheral artery disease. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, or diabetes, consult with Dr. Derek T. Pantiel from Summit Podiatry. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Vascular Testing?

Vascular testing checks for how well blood circulation is in the veins and arteries. This is most often done to determine and treat a patient for peripheral artery disease (PAD), stroke, and aneurysms. Podiatrists utilize vascular testing when a patient has symptoms of PAD or if they believe they might. If a patient has diabetes, a podiatrist may determine a vascular test to be prudent to check for poor blood circulation.

How Is it Conducted?

Most forms of vascular testing are non-invasive. Podiatrists will first conduct a visual inspection for any wounds, discoloration, and any abnormal signs prior to a vascular test.

 The most common tests include:

  • Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) examination
  • Doppler examination
  • Pedal pulses

These tests are safe, painless, and easy to do. Once finished, the podiatrist can then provide a diagnosis and the best course for treatment.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Wilmington, Whiteville, and Burgaw, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

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Tuesday, 02 November 2021 00:00

What Should I Do if My Child Is Limping?

Seeing your child have difficulty walking can be alarming. If you’ve noticed your child limping, you should first ask them if they have recently injured their leg or foot or stood on something sharp. Inspect their feet for any blisters, cuts, or wounds. If your child reports an injury and can’t put weight on the affected leg, or if you see a wound, you should seek medical care. If there is no readily apparent cause for the limping, it may be due to an underlying medical condition. There are many health problems that could lead to limping, such as juvenile arthritis. To learn more about what to do if your child is limping, please consult with a podiatrist.  

Making sure that your children maintain good foot health is very important as they grow. If you have any questions, contact Dr. Derek T. Pantiel of Summit Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

Having healthy feet during childhood can help prevent medical problems later in life, namely in the back and legs. As children grow, their feet require different types of care. Here are some things to consider...

Although babies do not walk yet, it is still very important to take care of their feet.

Avoid putting tight shoes or socks on his or her feet.

Allow the baby to stretch and kick his or her feet to feel comfortable.

As a toddler, kids are now on the move and begin to develop differently. At this age, toddlers are getting a feel for walking, so don’t be alarmed if your toddler is unsteady or ‘walks funny’. 

As your child gets older, it is important to teach them how to take care of their feet.

Show them proper hygiene to prevent infections such as fungus.

Be watchful for any pain or injury.

Have all injuries checked by a doctor as soon as possible.

Comfortable, protective shoes should always be worn, especially at play.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Wilmington, Whiteville, and Burgaw, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about How to Care for Your Child's Feet

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