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Monday, 12 February 2018 00:00

Staying Active after Foot Surgery

Joseph Jones was a 46 year old active runner, until a pain in his left heel was diagnosed as a bone spur causing him to go through surgery.  During his recovery however, Jones refused to stop living an active lifestyle. Before Jones’ surgery, he had to wear a boot for three weeks.  During these three weeks he performed activities such as stretching, lifting small weights, and doing sit-ups.  After his surgery, Jones continued lifting weights and doing stretching exercises taught to him by his physical therapist.  Aside from the activities Jones thought to do during his injury, other ideas you could partake in are as follows: yoga, exercising while sitting or lying down, using resistance bands, and exercising your legs. It is best to speak with your podiatrist before performing any of these exercises during an injury or before a surgical procedure.

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to treat a foot ailment. To learn more, contact Dr. Michael T. Hames of Hames Foot Clinic. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

When Is Surgery Necessary?

Foot and ankle surgery is generally reserved for cases in which less invasive, conservative procedures have failed to alleviate the problem. Some of the cases in which surgery may be necessary include:

  • Removing foot deformities like bunions and bone spurs
  • Severe arthritis that has caused bone issues
  • Cosmetic reconstruction

What Types of Surgery Are There?

The type of surgery you receive will depend on the nature of the problem you have. Some of the possible surgeries include:

  • Bunionectomy for painful bunions
  • Surgical fusion for realignment of bones
  • Neuropathy decompression surgery to treat nerve damage

Benefits of Surgery

Although surgery is usually a last resort, it can provide more complete pain relief compared to non-surgical methods and may allow you to finally resume full activity.

Surgical techniques have also become increasingly sophisticated. Techniques like endoscopic surgery allow for smaller incisions and faster recovery times.

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

Read more about Foot Surgery
Monday, 05 February 2018 00:00

A Diabetic’s Guide to Proper Foot Care

Foot problems may become more severe if you are a diabetic, and additional care must be taken to avoid complications. There are several techniques that can be practiced for optimum foot care, including checking the feet daily for any cuts or redness, cutting the toenails correctly, and washing and drying thoroughly between the toes. If the skin becomes hardened, you may consider applying a moisturizer on the top and bottom of the feet which will promote softer skin. Choosing to wear shoes that fit well will not only feel comfortable, but will be beneficial in avoiding conditions that may lead to sores and infections. When buying shoes, it’s important to make sure the toes have adequate room to move around, and choosing a shoe with a lower heel may be helpful to avoid falling. It is of vital importance that daily foot inspections be carried out. Any type of wound, especially one that is not healing, must be addressed with immediate attention. A consultation with a podiatrist is advised to learn about the importance of proper diabetic foot care.

Diabetic foot care is important in preventing foot ailments such as ulcers. If you are suffering from diabetes or have any other concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Michael T. Hames from Hames Foot Clinic. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes affects millions of people every year. The condition can damage blood vessels in many parts of the body, especially the feet. Because of this, taking care of your feet is essential if you have diabetes, and having a podiatrist help monitor your foot health is highly recommended.

The Importance of Caring for Your Feet

  • Routinely inspect your feet for bruises or sores.
  • Wear socks that fit your feet comfortably.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that provide adequate support.

Patients with diabetes should have their doctor monitor their blood levels, as blood sugar levels play such a huge role in diabetic care. Monitoring these levels on a regular basis is highly advised.

It is always best to inform your healthcare professional of any concerns you may have regarding your feet, especially for diabetic patients. Early treatment and routine foot examinations are keys to maintaining proper health, especially because severe complications can arise if proper treatment is not applied.

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

Read more about Diabetic Foot Care
Monday, 29 January 2018 00:00

What Causes Hyperhidrosis?

Plantar hyperhidrosis is a disorder in which the feet exhibit excessive sweating. This condition can cause the patient to experience extreme discomfort as well as emotional anxiety and embarrassment. Athlete’s foot, toenail fungus, and foot infections may occur as a result of the feet constantly sweating. Hyperhidrosis is often a predisposed inherited condition and typically intensified by ingesting caffeine or eating specific foods. There are several ways to treat this condition, including washing and thoroughly drying the feet, wearing shoes that are made of thin material, and using a foot powder in the shoes. A consultation with a podiatrist is recommended for suggestions on how to make your feet more comfortable if you are affected by hyperhidrosis.

If you are suffering from hyperhidrosis contact Dr. Michael T. Hames of Hames Foot Clinic. Our doctor can provide the care you need to attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

Hyperhidrosis of the Feet

Hyperhidrosis is a rare disorder that can cause people to have excessive sweating of their feet. This can usually occur all on its own without rigorous activity involved. People who suffer from hyperhidrosis may also experience sweaty palms.

Although it is said that sweating is a healthy process meant to cool down the body temperature and to maintain a proper internal temperature, hyperhidrosis may prove to be a huge hindrance on a person’s everyday life.

Plantar hyperhidrosis is considered to be the main form of hyperhidrosis. Secondary hyperhidrosis can refer to sweating that occurs in areas other than the feet or hands and armpits. Often this may be a sign of it being related to another medical condition such as menopause, hyperthyroidism and even Parkinson’s disease.

In order to alleviate this condition, it is important to see your doctor so that they may prescribe the necessary medications so that you can begin to live a normal life again. If this is left untreated, it is said that it will persist throughout an individual’s life.

A last resort approach would be surgery, but it is best to speak with your doctor to find out what may be the best treatment for you.

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

Read more about Hyperhidrosis of the Feet

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. Michael T. Hames of Hames Foot Clinic. 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 our office located in Florence, Alabama. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What are Achilles Tendon Injuries
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. Michael T. Hames of Hames Foot Clinic. 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 our office located in Florence, Alabama. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Monday, 08 January 2018 00:00

Causes of Hammertoe

Weakened muscles in the toe may cause the tendons to become shorter, enabling the middle joint in the toes to protrude. There may be several causes of this particular condition, referred to as hammertoe, including an inherited predisposition. Symptoms may include experiencing difficulty in walking or not being able to flex and point your toes. Wearing proper footwear is important, especially keeping the heels to 2 inches or less.  If the toes are not able to stretch, surgery may be an option. A consultation with a podiatrist is recommended for a proper diagnosis and the best treatment options.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Michael T. Hames from Hames Foot Clinic. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

If you have any questions please contact our office located in Florence, Alabama. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What Are Hammertoes?
Tuesday, 02 January 2018 00:00

How to Treat Corns

When the skin on the foot rubs against a shoe, there is a chance a corn will develop. Typically, the pressure from this causes the skin to thicken; this may produce extreme pain, affecting the deeper layers of the skin. Hard corns are generally caused by poorly fitted shoes and may develop on the top of the toes. Corns that affect the area in between the toes are referred to as soft corns, and moisture from the toes may be the underlying reason for this condition. Occasionally, corns may develop on the soles of the feet, most likely caused by running or walking. There may be several treatment options available, including having a podiatrist trim the corn down, which will ease the pressure. Wearing shoes that fit properly, in addition to applying a moisturizer regularly will help to manage the corn once it’s trimmed. Chemical treatments may also be effective, which may help  the corn to be less painful. Please consult with a podiatrist, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation, for a recommendation for the best treatment options.

If you have any concerns regarding your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Michael T. Hames of Hames Foot Clinic. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Corns: What are they? And how do you get rid of them?
Corns can be described as areas of the skin that have thickened to the point of becoming painful or irritating. They are often layers and layers of the skin that have become dry and rough, and are normally smaller than calluses.

Ways to Prevent Corns
There are many ways to get rid of painful corns such as wearing:

  • Well-fitting socks
  • Comfortable shoes that are not tight around your foot
  • Shoes that offer support

Treating Corns
Treatment of corns involves removing the dead skin that has built up in the specific area of the foot. Consult with Our doctor to determine the best treatment option for your case of corns.

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

Read more about Corns: What Are They, and How Do You Get Rid of Them
Tuesday, 26 December 2017 00:00

The Benefits of Stretching the Feet

General health is often improved by stretching and exercising your feet on a routine basis.  While walking may be the most beneficial exercise, flexibility and resistance exercises can be just as important in promoting good health and avoiding injury to the feet.  There are many forms of exercise to choose from, many of which can be integrated into your daily routine.  Before beginning, it’s important to allow time for simple stretching; this can help in strengthening the muscles of the feet.  Some exercises may include circling your foot in one direction, then changing to the other direction.  Dropping the heel while standing on a step is another effective stretch for the feet. It's important to remember to contact your podiatrist if you experience pain at any time during these stretches.

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with Dr. Michael T. Hames  from Hames Foot Clinic. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Stretching the Feet

Being the backbone of the body, the feet carry your entire weight and can easily become overexerted, causing cramps and pain. As with any body part, stretching your feet can serve many benefits. From increasing flexibility to even providing some pain relief, be sure to give your feet a stretch from time to time. This is especially important for athletes or anyone performing aerobic exercises, but anyone experiencing foot pain or is on their feet constantly should also engage in this practice.

Great ways to stretch your feet:

  • Crossing one leg over the others and carefully pull your toes back. Do 10-20 repetitions and repeat the process for each foot
  • Face a wall with your arms out and hands flat against the wall. Step back with one foot and keep it flat on the floor while moving the other leg forward. Lean towards the wall until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and perform 10 repetitions for each foot
  • Be sure not to overextend or push your limbs too hard or you could risk pulling or straining your muscle

Individuals who tend to their feet by regular stretching every day should be able to minimize foot pain and prevent new problems from arising.

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

Read more about Stretching Your Feet
Monday, 18 December 2017 00:00

Treatments for Ingrown Toenails

If you realize your toenail is growing into the surrounding skin in addition to becoming red and tender, the chances are good that you are experiencing an ingrown toenail. Usually the big toe is affected and may bleed or have pus coming from the area. Common causes may be from injuries such as a stubbed toe, poorly cut toenails, or from shoes that may not fit correctly. Proper treatment is crucial for ingrown toenails in order to prevent infection. This may include changing socks regularly, cutting the nail straight across to prevent digging into the skin that surrounds it, and keeping the feet clean by washing them every day. Minor surgery for severe cases may include a partial or total nail avulsion. Typically, this means a local anaesthetic is used for numbing the toe, and the edges of the toenail may be cut away or the nail fully removed. If you think you may have ingrown toenails, a consultation with a podiatrist is advised for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. Michael T. Hames of Hames Foot Clinic. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition

Prevention

Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.

Treatment

Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.

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

Read more about Ingrown Toenail Care
Monday, 11 December 2017 00:00

Blisters and Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetics need to take proper care of their feet due to their condition. Diabetes often causes poor blood circulation and neuropathy, which causes sensation loss in the extremities and lower limbs. If a diabetic gets a blister on his or her foot, he or she may not even realize it exists. If left unchecked, a blister can become infected and potentially infect the rest of the foot; in worst cases, this may then require amputation. Prevention is key, so wearing well-fitted shoes, conducting everyday foot exams, maintaining proper foot care, and visiting a podiatrist every several months can all help prevent a foot ulcer. If you have a foot ulcer and are diabetic, it is recommended that you see a podiatrist who can provide proper care and attention to the wound.

Blisters are prone to making everyday activities extremely uncomfortable. If your feet are hurting, contact Dr. Michael T. Hames of Hames Foot Clinic. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Foot Blisters

Foot blisters develop as a result of constantly wearing tight or ill-fitting footwear. This happens due to the constant rubbing from the shoe, which can often 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.

How do Blisters Form?

Blisters on the feet are often the result of constant friction of skin and material, usually by shoe rubbing. Walking in sandals, boots, or shoes that don’t fit properly for long periods of time can result in a blister. Having consistent foot moisture and humidity can easily lead to blister formation.

Prevention & Treatment

It is important to properly care for the affected area in order to prevent infection and ease the pain. Do not lance the blister and use a Band-Aid to provide pain relief. Also, be sure to keep your feet dry and wear proper fitting shoes. If you see blood or pus in a blister, seek assistance from a podiatrist.

 

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

Read more about Blisters on the Feet
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