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January 2018

Monday, 29 January 2018 00:00

How Do I Know If I Have a Bunion?

If you have a bump on the side of your big toe, there is a chance that you may have a bunion. It's common for the structure of the foot to change as a result of the big toe being pushed toward the other toes. This worsens misalignment in the toes, resulting in the bony protrusion developing. This progressive condition is commonly caused by a predisposed, inherited trait affecting the structure of the foot. Poor-fitting shoes do not cause bunions, although they may advance the progression of the disorder. Common symptoms may include experiencing numbness or a burning sensation, in addition to observing swelling and redness in the area. Some patients may notice calluses developing on the big toe, and movement may become restricted. A treatment option can include choosing the right shoes with enough room so the toes can be comfortable and move freely. Activities that irritate the bunion, such as standing for long periods of time, should be avoided. If you are experiencing pain from a bunion, a consultation with a podiatrist is advised.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact Dr. Mark Gagnon of Advanced Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why Do Bunions Form?

Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions

How Are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How Are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Crestwood, Orland Park, and Summit, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscles to the heel. When this tendon is injured, immediate attention is necessary to encourage proper healing. This injury typically occurs while participating in a sport involving running or jumping and may initially be felt due to a sharp pain in the back of the heel. Symptoms of this condition may include the inability to point and flex the foot, limping, and experiencing significant swelling and pain. Treatment may consist of applying ice packs to the affected area, and it’s advised to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Occasionally, the leg is put into a cast for proper healing. For severe tears to the Achilles tendon, surgery and a rehabilitation program may be necessary for a complete recovery.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Mark Gagnon of Advanced 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 Crestwood, Orland Park, and Summit, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 15 January 2018 00:00

Possible Causes of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

If numbness, tingling and pain are experienced in the feet, you may have a condition called tarsal tunnel syndrome. This occurs when the tibial nerve is squeezed in the tarsal tunnel thereby causing varying sensations in the foot. Causes may include flat feet, arthritis, or a possible ankle sprain. Early symptoms consisting of tingling or numbness in the foot may be present and then vanish, but will become more relentless as the nerve pressure increases. A diagnosis may become necessary and is often arrived at by a physical exam or x-ray. To encourage healing, it’s important to rest the foot as often as possible and to schedule a consultation with a podiatrist for viable treatment options.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact Dr. Mark Gagnon of Advanced Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can also be called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon condition of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is the peripheral nerve in the leg responsible for sensation and movement of the foot and calf muscles. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the tibial nerve is damaged, causing problems with movement and feeling in the foot of the affected leg.

Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Involves pressure or an injury, direct pressure on the tibial nerve for an extended period of time, sometimes caused by other body structures close by or near the knee.
  • Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
  • At times, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.

The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Different sensations, an afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of the affected leg.
  • The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling your toes or flexing your foot can become difficult.
  • If condition worsens, infections and ulcers may develop on the foot that is experiencing the syndrome.

A physical exam of the leg can help identify the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Medical tests, such as a nerve biopsy, are also used to diagnose the condition. Patients may receive physical therapy and prescriptive medication. In extreme cases, some may require surgery.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Crestwood, Orland Park, and Summit, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 08 January 2018 00:00

Techniques For the Aged to Prevent Falling

Falls among people aged 65 or older can be extremely serious and are considered a leading cause of injuries in that age group. A fall can be hard in lots of ways, and people may become depressed after experiencing one. This can result in lacking the desire to stay active. There are several things to be aware of in the aging person, including their vision becoming weaker, causing objects to become harder to see; this may possibly lead to a fall. Some medications may cause dizziness and dehydration, which may also be responsible for a fall occurring. It may be beneficial to ask older people when their last eye exam was and to ensure that their eyeglass prescription is current. Discussing medications currently being taken may be advised to identify any potential drug interactions; drug interactions can possibly cause an imbalance and contribute to a potential fall. Typically, checking the lighting in the home, in addition to having secure rails on the stairway and installing bars in the tub area, may all be effective ways in preventing falls in the home.

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. Mark Gagnon from Advanced Podiatry. 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 one of our offices located in Crestwood, Orland Park, and Summit, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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This is an exciting time for the Buffalo Bills as they enter the playoffs for the first time since 1999, ending the longest playoff drought in North American professional sports. Running back LeSean McCoy will undergo round the clock treatment to prepare for Sunday’s game against Jacksonville after injuring his right ankle. His frustration was obvious to the trainers attending to him as he pounded his fists on the field. While getting 10 yards on 11 carries, totaling 1138 rushing yards for the season, he will hopefully be an important player to watch heading into this wild-card weekend.

Sports related foot and ankle injuries require proper treatment before players can go back to their regular routines. For more information, contact Dr. Mark Gagnon of Advanced Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Sports Related Foot and Ankle Injuries

Foot and ankle injuries are a common occurrence when it comes to athletes of any sport. While many athletes dismiss the initial aches and pains, the truth is that ignoring potential foot and ankle injuries can lead to serious problems. As athletes continue to place pressure and strain the area further, a mild injury can turn into something as serious as a rupture and may lead to a permanent disability. There are many factors that contribute to sports related foot and ankle injuries, which include failure to warm up properly, not providing support or wearing bad footwear. Common injuries and conditions athletes face, including:

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Plantar Fasciosis
  • Achilles Tendinitis
  • Achilles Tendon Rupture
  • Ankle Sprains

Sports related injuries are commonly treated using the RICE method. This includes rest, applying ice to the injured area, compression and elevating the ankle. More serious sprains and injuries may require surgery, which could include arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery. Rehabilitation and therapy may also be required in order to get any recovering athlete to become fully functional again. Any unusual aches and pains an athlete sustains must be evaluated by a licensed, reputable medical professional.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Crestwood, Orland Park, and Summit, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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