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By Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia, PC
April 29, 2019
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Bunions   Bunion Surgery  

A bunion is one of the most common foot deformities, often affecting the joint at the base of the big toe. Anyone can develop this painful condition but it most often occurs in women. A bunion affects the structure of the foot, causing the joint to become enlarged, which causes the big toe to lean inward towards the other toes. In some cases, the big toe even overlaps the toes. This deformed joint may often become red or swollen, especially when wearing certain shoes or after certain physical activities.

A bunion is a gradual deformity, which means that as soon as you begin to notice changes in the joint or you start to experience symptoms you should consult a podiatrist. While the only way to correct the deformity is through surgery this is usually the last treatment option. After all, a foot doctor can often create a treatment plan that will reduce pain and prevent the deformity from progressing without needing to turn to surgery.

The first course of treatment is usually more conservative. You may be able to manage your bunion pain and swelling by:

  • Taking over-the-counter NSAIDs
  • Icing the bunion for up to 15 minutes at a time, 2-3 times a day
  • Placing orthotics into your shoes to alleviate pressure on the joint (talk to your podiatrist about creating custom orthotics)
  • Splinting or taping the foot to improve the structural alignment
  • Wearing appropriate and supportive footwear that doesn’t put pressure on the toes or bunion
  • Applying a bunion pad over the area to prevent a callus from forming while wearing shoes
  • Avoiding certain activities and sports that could exacerbate your condition

For many people, these lifestyle changes and simple at-home treatment options are all that’s needed to reduce bunion pain and discomfort, and to prevent the problem from getting worse. Of course, if you find that at-home care isn’t providing you with relief, or if bunion pain is persistent or severe, then you should turn to a podiatrist for an evaluation. Not sure if you have a bunion or not? Call your foot doctor.

When should someone consider bunion surgery?

As we mentioned earlier, bunion surgery is considered a last resort when all other treatment options have been exhausted and they haven’t helped get your bunion symptoms under control. You may also want to consider getting bunion surgery if:

  • Your bunion is large and makes it difficult to wear shoes
  • Your bunion pain is severe and chronic
  • You have trouble walking or moving around because of your bunion
  • Your bunion is affecting your quality of life

It can take up to 6 months to fully recover from traditional bunion surgery so it’s important to discuss all of your treatment options with your podiatrist to find the most effective method for getting your bunion symptoms under control.

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
April 05, 2019
Category: Foot Care
The human foot and ankle contain 33 joints, 26 bones and over 100 tendons, ligaments and muscles. While all of these parts of the foot should work together, there are certain conditions, injuries and diseases that can affect the health and functioning of your foot or ankle. There are many instances in which you should turn to a podiatrist for individualized care that you can trust time and time again.
 
From routine visits to managing long-term conditions to surgery, a podiatrist is equipped to treat just about everything. Here are some foot issues that could benefit from coming in for specialized care:
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Heel pain
  • Ankle sprains and fractures
  • Foot fractures
  • Sports-related injuries
  • Bunions and hammertoes
  • Corns and calluses
  • Diabetic foot care
  • Fungal infections
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Heel spurs
Our number one goal is to provide you with the relief that you need. Whether you are suffering from heel pain or you think your feet could benefit from prescription orthotics, a podiatrist can help determine the best course of action for treating your issues. When you come into our office we will always have a listening ear, so that we understand your questions and concerns. 
 
We also like to provide our patients with the very latest and greatest technologies and techniques. We understand the importance of options and being able to provide laser treatments and other non-surgical therapies to treat conditions is important to our patients. Whether you are an athlete or 9-5er, we treat clients with a host of different needs, lifestyles and issues. Everyone from children to senior citizens can benefit from the unique and customized foot care a podiatrist offers.
 
We are here to help diagnose, treat or manage your foot condition. If you are dealing with foot or ankle problems contact your podiatrist for help.
By Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia, PC
March 21, 2019
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Foot Injuries  

An unexpected fall or twist can result in an injury of the foot or ankle, such as a sprain or strain. Immediate first aid can help prevent complications, reduce pain and improve recovery.

Rest, ice, compression and elevation--commonly referred to as R.I.C.E.--is the first and best treatment for minor injuries. The following tips can aid in the early treatment of common foot and ankle injuries to help reduce swelling and control the inflammatory process during the initial phase of injury.

Rest: Whether you have a strain or a sprain, rest from any physical activity is essential to protecting your injured ligaments, tendons or muscles from further damage while your body starts the repair process.  Avoid putting weight on the injured foot or ankle as much as possible. In some cases, complete immobilization may be required.

Ice: Gently ice your foot or ankle with ice wrapped in a towel in a 20-minute-on, 40-minute-off cycle for the first few days post-injury. Ice is excellent at reducing inflammation and pain. 

Compression: Applying some type of compressive wrap or bandage to an injured area can greatly reduce the amount of initial swelling.

Elevation: Prop your foot up while lying down or sitting so that it is higher than or equal to the level of the heart.

After a few days of R.I.C.E., many acute injuries will begin to heal. If pain or swelling does not subside after a few days, or if you are unsure of the severity of your injury, make an appointment with your podiatrist. A skilled podiatrist can properly diagnose your injury and recommend the best course of treatment.

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!





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