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Posts for category: Foot Condition

By Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia, PC
April 19, 2019
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Ingrown Nails  

Swelling, reddened flesh, shooting pain, and pus are just some of the incredibly uncomfortable symptoms of having an ingrown toenail. Although this condition can sometimes be successfully treated through home remedies, ingrown toenails often progress to the point of infection, a point that then requires professional treatment. Read on to learn what causes this problem, when it’s right to seek medical help, and how our podiatrists can help get your foot back to a healthy state!

The Causes and Symptoms

Before we cover how to treat ingrown toenails, let’s first review the core causes and symptoms that hallmark this condition…

Ingrown toenails initially develop due to a few different factors, including:

  • Cutting the toenail too short
  • Rounding the toenail during grooming
  • Wearing improperly fitting shoes
  • Experiencing toe trauma

If the flesh on the side of the toe has become red, swollen, and tender, you likely have an ingrown toenail. If you have caught this problem while it’s still in its early stages, you can try implementing some of the home remedies listed in the next section. However, if your toe is exhibiting some of the following signs of infection, you should seek professional podiatric help:

  • Pervasive shooting or throbbing toe pain
  • Regular bleeding
  • The presence of a pus-filled blister
  • The skin has started growing over the nail

Home Remedies

As mentioned above, if an ingrown toenail is caught before infection sets in, there are a few different methods that you can practice at home in order to clear up the issue. Some of these include:

  • Around 3 to 4 times a day, submerge your foot into warm water for 15 to 20 minutes. Regularly doing this should reduce swelling and provide pain relief.
  • Following each soaking, use cotton to separate the ingrown toenail from the flesh that it is starting to grow under. This should allow the nail to grow above the skin again.
  • Avoid snug or constraining shoes.

If these actions fail to clear up the problem in 2 to 3 days, you should pursue professional treatment.

Professional Treatments

In the case of a severe or recurring infection, there are a few different procedures that your podiatrist can perform to make your toe healthy again. Depending on the specifics of your ingrown toenail, one of the following treatments may be recommended:

  • Partial Nail Removal: In the case of a severe ingrown toenail, your doctor can numb your toe before physically removing the ingrown portion of the nail.
  • Nail and Tissue Removal: If the same toe is repeatedly experiencing the same ingrown toenail problem, this procedure can be performed to prevent future recurrences. It entails your podiatrist removing a portion of the underlying nail bed, thus preventing the nail from become ingrown again.

Concerned About Your Toe? Give Us a Call!

If your ingrown toenail needs medical attention, call our podiatric office today!

By Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia, PC
March 13, 2019
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Bunions   Orthotics   Bunionectomy  

5 Treatment Options for Bunions

Treatment For BunionsA bunion is a “bump” on the outer edge of the big toe that forms when the bone or tissue at the base of the big toe joint shifts out of place. Bunions tend to run in families. Footwear choices play a role too. Wearing high heels or tight shoes can cause bunions. Your symptoms can get worse if the bunions are left untreated, so it's best to see a podiatrist. Lake Ridge and Stafford Foot & Ankle Centers, which has offices in Lake Ridge, VA, and Stafford, VA, offers treatments for bunions. Read on to learn about several treatment options for bunions.

1. Padding- Padding is often the first step in a treatment plan. Padding using materials such as fleecy foam, fleecy web, gel, or felt hallux valgus covers can help protect the skin and joints from footwear friction and rubbing caused by your shoes. Padding the bunions will ease your pain and allow you to continue a normal, active life. Padding also prevents bunions from getting worse.

2. Medication- Your healthcare provider may recommend a prescription medication or over-the-counter pain medicine for the pain. Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen sodium can help you control the pain of bunions. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin and ibuprofen, can reduce pain and swelling. Be safe with medication. Follow your healthcare provider's directions when taking medication.

3. Custom Orthotics- Custom foot orthotics can be a valuable treatment for bunions. Orthotics can help take the pressure off your toes and alleviate your pain. Custom orthotics will keep your feet, legs and body well-aligned and pain-free, making it possible for you to perform activities and sports better. You can get custom-made orthotics from your podiatrist.

4. Steroid Shots- Steroid shots, or cortisone shots, can also be added to your treatment program. Steroid shots can relieve your pain temporarily. The injections usually comprise a local anesthetic and corticosteroid medication. Steroids work by reducing inflammation and reducing the activity of the immune system. You can get steroid injections at your healthcare provider's office.

5. Bunionectomy- If your symptoms are severe, your healthcare provider may recommend surgery to remove your bunions. The procedure is called bunionectomy. The aim of surgery is to correct the deformity and eliminate pain. Bunion surgery is performed in a surgery center under local or general anesthesia. With all surgical procedures, there are risks and complications, therefore surgery is not usually advised unless nonsurgical treatment methods don't relieve your pain.


Say hello to healthy and happy feet. Call Lake Ridge and Stafford Foot & Ankle Centers at (703) 491-9500 today to schedule an appointment in Lake Ridge, VA. Call us at (540) 720-0700 to schedule an appointment in Stafford, VA. We can help you get rid of those bunions once and for all. You will experience exemplary service and state-of-the-art care at Lake Ridge and Stafford Foot & Ankle Centers!

By Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia, PC
March 06, 2019
Category: Foot Condition
Is heel pain keeping you down? Pain that occurs following an injury or early in an illness may play a protective role, warning us about the damage we have suffered. SoYour Heel Pain Could Be Plantar Fasciitis what causes heel pain?
 
Plantar fasciitis is a foot condition in which a band of tissue in the sole of the foot becomes inflamed, leading to severe heel pain. The pain can be so bad that it hurts to walk, much less exercise or perform daily activities. If one step causes shooting pain in your heel—especially when you first get out of bed in the morning or stand up after sitting for a long period of time—plantar fasciitis may be to blame. Contact your podiatrist immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment of your pain. 
 

Understanding Heel Pain with Help from Your Podiatrist

Plantar fasciitis, or heel pain, occurs when the plantar fascia is strained over time beyond its normal extension. This causes the soft tissue fibers of the fascia to tear or stretch at points along its length, leading to inflammation, pain and possibly the growth of a bone spur where it attaches to the heel bone.
 
Inflammation may become irritated by shoes that lack appropriate support, mainly in the arch area and by the constant irritation associated with an athletic lifestyle. Resting may provide temporary relief, but when you resume walking you may experience a sudden elongation of the fascia band, which stretches and pulls on the heel. As you walk the pain may lessen or even disappear, but that may just be a false sense of relief, as the pain will often return after prolonged rest or extensive walking.  
 
You can take steps now to avoid heel pain, including:
  • Wear shoes that fit well
  • Wear proper shoes for each activity
  • Do not wear shoes with excessive wear on heels or soles
  • Prepare properly before exercising by stretching and warming up
  • Pace yourself when you participate in athletic activities
  • Don’t underestimate your body’s need for rest and good nutrition
  • Lose excess weight
If pain and other symptoms of inflammation persist, you should limit your normal daily activities and contact your podiatrist immediately.  
By Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia, PC
December 07, 2018
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Sesamoid   Sesamoiditis  

What is Sesamoiditis?

Sesamoids are small bones that are only connected to tendons or surrounded in muscle. This only appears in a few places in the body, one of which is the foot. Two very tiny sesamoids are found in the underside of the foot near the big toe. One is on the outer side of the foot and the other bone is close to the middle of the foot. This structure provides a smooth surface for the tendons to slide over, which helps the tendons move muscles. They help with weight bearing and also help to elevate the bones of the big toe. So now that you know what sesamoids are, you might be wondering what sesamoiditis is and what its symptoms are.

Sesamoiditis

Just like any other bone, sesamoids can unfortunately fracture. The tendons surrounding the sesamoids may also become irritated or inflamed and this is what sesamoiditis is. Sesamoiditis is also a form of tendonitis and is a common condition among ballerinas, runners, and baseball catchers due to the pressure that is constantly placed on their feet.

Symptoms of Sesamoiditis

Symptoms of Sesamoiditis may include:

  • Pain under the big toe or ball of the foot
  • Swelling and/or bruising
  • Difficulty in bending and straightening the big toe

Treating Sesamoiditis

Treatments include:

  • Resting and stopping any activity that could be causing pain and inflammation
  • Anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen and aspirin only after consulting your physician
  • Icing the sole of the foot
  • Wearing soft-soled and low-heeled shoes
  • Cushioning inserts in the shoes

If symptoms persist after treatments, you may need to wear a removable brace for 4-6 weeks to help the bones heal. Call your podiatrist today to ask any questions about sesamoiditis and get on your way to pain-free feet once again!

By Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia, PC
October 29, 2018
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: ankle pain  

It’s important that you never ignore ankle pain

Is your ankle hurting and you're unsure why? Well, you’ve come to the right place! After all, there are many issues that could be causing your ankle pain and it’s important that you get to the bottom of the problem so that you can allow it to heal properly. Read below to learn more about ankle pain and find out when it’s time to visit our Stafford, VA, podiatrists for care.

Sprained Ankle

If you sprained your ankle, you have overstretched or even torn the ligaments that are attached to the anklebones. Along with pain you may also notice bruising or swelling around the ankle. In some cases, you might not be able to put weight on the foot without it causing you pain.

  • How to Treat It: Sprains are minor and, as a result, usually don’t require more than simple at-home care. The best way to treat a sprained ankle is with the RICE method, which stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. These treatment options will help reduce pain and inflammation which is crucial if you want the foot to heal quickly. Minor sprains often go away in a few days.

Ankle Fracture

There are three bones within the ankle. If one or more break, you will immediately notice pain, swelling, and bruising around the ankle. You may even hear an audible pop or snap the moment the fracture occurs. The ankle may be tender or it may be difficult to walk on the foot.

  • How to Treat It: Your foot doctor may give you prescription pain relievers to help manage pain. You may also have to wear a splint or cast to protect the ankle until it heals. Rest is key to making sure your ankle makes a full and swift recovery. Just like with a sprain, it’s important to follow the RICE method. Only in rare cases is surgery necessary.

Arthritis

If you are dealing with persistent pain in both ankles along with stiffness or swelling in the feet, you may be dealing with rheumatoid arthritis, an immune disorder that affects the joints. If you suspect that you might have arthritis, it’s important to visit our Stafford, VA, foot doctor right away for an evaluation.

  • How to Treat It: Even though there is no cure for arthritis, our foot and ankle specialists can provide several treatment options that can reduce the severity of your symptoms. Medications along with prescription orthotics, special exercises, physical therapy, and certain lifestyle modifications can help you manage arthritis for life.

Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia is proud to serve the Lake Ridge and Stafford, VA, areas. If you are dealing with ankle pain, it’s important that you find out what’s going on. Call our office today to schedule an appointment with us. We are here to help.