Frostbite is a serious tissue destroying disorder, but it can be avoided. The doctors and staff at Fenton Foot Care have some advice to share to avoid frostbite during this recent bout of sub-zero temperatures.
Depending on the severity of the exposure, frostbite can affect the skin or underlying tissue, especially in your arms, legs, and feet. In most cases the area becomes numb and feels frozen and the skin will appear waxy, white or grayish. Any exposure should be evaluated and treated by a physician.
Avoiding frostbite is easier than treating it. So if you must go out in bitter cold, be prepared.
- Dress in light, loose, layered clothing for ventilation and insulation. Water-repellent fabric is a good overlay.
- Make sure that your head, hands and feet are properly covered. Mittens are warmer than gloves, and two pair of socks (wool over lightweight cotton) will help keep your feet warm.
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine and nicotine prior to, and while, you are outside. These things leave the skin more prone to frostbite.
- If you get wet, remove wet clothing as quickly as possible and get to a warm location.
- Check yourself every half-hour or so for signs of frostbite. If your toes, fingers, ears or other body parts feel numb, get inside.
If you believe that you are experiencing frostbite, don’t delay. Call us immediately for an appointment: 810-629-3338 [FEET].
Governor Snyder was hospitalized Thursday with a blood clot in his right leg where he has been wearing a protective boot due to his torn Achilles tendon. He was taken to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital after he noticed swelling the injured leg.
Blood clots can happen after injuries when the foot or leg are immobilized. Blood clots occur due to the blood not moving, while they are not very common they do happen and can be very serious. An injury causing damage to the veins in the legs can begin a clot, then when the lower leg is immobilized with a cast or other device, the blood does not move. When blood is stationary it can firm up and become a clot. There is always a chance of a clot forming after an injury or surgery when the leg is immobilized. The scary part of a blood clot is if it breaks loose because it can become stuck in the lung, preventing oxygen from getting to the blood, which in rare cases can be fatal.
Symptoms of a blood clot often include pain and swelling of the calf muscles, but there are not always symptoms. Therefore it is always advisable to occasionally contract the calf muscles after an injury or surgery to keep the blood moving and preventing it from clotting.
Some things that put someone at a higher risk for blood clots are: taking birth control pills, being in a cast or other device that stops the muscles from contracting, smoking, being overweight, or flying in a plane.
At Fenton Foot Care, we are always monitoring for blood clots and taking precautions for our at risk patients. We don’t use a cast unless absolutely necessary, as we prefer to use walking boots. Not only are walking boots more comfortable, they can also be removed so the patient can move their foot up and down, making the muscles pump blood which not only prevents blood clots, but can also make for a more speedy recovery.
Governor Rick Snyder will be in a cast for the next 6 weeks as he recovers from a tear of his Achilles Tendon. The Governor took up jogging as part of his Healthy Michigan Initiative and feels he definitely went too far too fast. “I tend to get fairly focused in things and I over did it” he said, telling the press “now you guys get to pick on me even more”.
“There are a couple common ways to treat Achilles tendon tears and injuries” says Dr. Hirt. “Minimal tears like the one Governor Snyder suffered can be treated non-surgically, typically with a cast. The doctor has his foot plantarflexed (bent downward; toes pointed) and the foot and lower leg are casted into this position. He is going to have to stay off the foot completely, using crutches or other device to get around.” Explained Dr. Hirt, adding ” these restrictions usually last 6-8 weeks, then the patient can slowly get back to normal activity. Sometimes physical therapy is needed to get back to 100%.”
Had the tear been larger or more damaging to the tendon, surgery would likely had been necessary to repair the tendon. Surgery is more invasive but often speeds the recovery time as the tendon can be repaired which shortens the time needed to heal. Surgery involves taking the two torn ends of tendons and suturing them back together. If there are any deficits in the tendon or if it is severely damaged, Dr. Hirt will use a synthetic tendon graft to fill gaps and strengthen tendon. After surgery, a cast and crutches are used for 6-8 weeks. “In my experience, surgery is much more reliable in healing the tendon and getting patients back to their normal activity. If it was my Achilles tendon that was torn I would opt for surgery to make sure it was fixed, so I could limit the time off the foot.”
The biggest worry about not performing surgery and only casting and using crutches is the potential that the tendon will not heal correctly and surgery will be needed later. “I have had patients that opted for cast and crutches and the tear did not heal, and we had to later do surgery which then kept them off their feet for another 6-8 weeks. So if the Governor would have been my patient, I would have recommended we fix his tendon surgically to virtually guarantee he would be back on his feet in 6-8 weeks.”
Happy New Year! In honor of all the new toys the kids got for Christmas, the Ridiculous Shoe for January is made from the toy that is the nemesis of bare feet everywhere. Legos! We sure hope that these Lego shoes are more comfortable than walking on loose Legos!
The Michigan State Spartans had a rough time this past weekend, losing a tough game against the Ohio State Buckeyes in East Lansing. But a player for the Buckeyes had it a little bit rougher. Kick returner and utility offensive player Dontre Wilson suffered a broken foot in the game. Wilson leads the team with 1,064 all-purpose yards and has played as a running back, receiver, and kick returner. This is a huge blow to the Buckeyes, as Wilson is expected to undergo surgery to repair the fracture, which will sideline him for more than a month. “On average, bones take 6 weeks to heal once immobilized, but factors such as age and health play a role as well” says Dr. Hirt, “someone Wilson’s age and physical condition might expect a shorter recovery.” But with only 4 weeks left in the season, his return this year is unlikely.
While it is unclear when in the game Wilson’s foot was broken, he caught two passes for 23 yards including a touchdown in the game. He also was involved in the postgame celebration, seemingly pain-free. While this may show just how tough Dontre Wilson is, it also illustrates how even if you can walk on your foot, it could still be broken. “Simply because you can move and or walk on your foot does not mean that it is not broken” warns Dr. Hirt “you will need to have an x-ray to be sure,” and being sure that a bone is not broken is very important. “The consequences of not properly healing a fracture are serious and permanent, from arthritis to deformity and healing in the wrong position, which leads to pain and complications down the road” says Dr. Hirt.
So if you suspect you have a broken bone in your foot or ankle, come in and have it checked right away, even if you feel that you can still catch touchdown passes! We offer on-site digital x-rays and diagnosis and can get you checked out and cleared or put you on the path to a full recovery. At Fenton Foot Care we use the most cutting edge surgical and non-surgical techniques to get you back to your full potential quickly, and with minimal pain. So make an appointment today!
On October 22 Miguel Cabrera had surgery to repair bone spurs in his ankle, but doctors were not prepared for what they found. “It’s worse than what we ever would have anticipated” said Tigers’ General Manager Dave Dombrowski, because what they found may keep Cabrera on the sidelines into next season.
In addition to the bone spurs, Cabrera was found to have a stress fracture of his navicular bone, which required the insertion of 2 screws. “Stress fractures”, says Dr. Hirt “are commonly caused by overuse. Bones are very strong and can handle a lot of stress, but when pushed to their maximum, they either break or a stress fracture forms. Stress fractures are best described as an incomplete break; think of a green tree branch, when you bend it it doesn’t break completely, but it cracks and comes apart.
The navicular bone is unique because it is where the posterior tibial tendon attaches; this is the tendon that holds up the arch of the foot. When the foot hits the ground, the arch wants to flatten some and the posterior tibial tendon prevents this flattening. This is why the repetitive trauma of a baseball season could cause such an injury. The twisting motion of batting and throwing as well excessive running, sliding, and other repetitive movements put the bone and tendon under tremendous stress, which can lead to the fibers of the tendon pulling away from the bone, and if the pain is ignored and the problem goes on for a long time, the tendon could rupture completely.
The most common reason the average person would develop a stress fracture in their navicular bone would be from excessive pronation of the foot, where the arch tries to flatten when the foot hits the ground. When the ligaments and joints of the foot are loose and allow the arch to flatten, it puts even more pressure on the tendon and bone. There are both surgical and non-surgical fixes for both the tendon and bone, and the earlier the problem is addressed, the less likely it will need surgery. There are many non-surgical options available: specific braces made to remove pressure from the tendon and bone, and if the arch is too flexible a custom functional orthotic can offer relief. These orthotics are NOT like the ones you buy in the store, which are made for cushioning and not support. In the office we take a mold of your foot and build an orthotic custom to your foot and the support it needs. This creates an orthotic that fits your individual foot perfectly and gives maximum support to prevent the excessive movement of joints and tendons, preventing injuries like the ones suffered by Miguel Cabrera.”
So if you’re having foot pain or discomfort, make an appointment today by calling us at (810) 629-3338 (FOOT). At Fenton Foot Care we have many options to help you feel better and avoid injuries. Whether you’re a professional athlete, a weekend warrior, or none of the above, you don’t have to live with foot pain!
Detroit Tigers‘ First Baseman Miguel Cabrera may have to undergo off-season surgery for bone spurs. Tigers General Manager Dave Dombrowski said: “We’re checking him out from a physical perspective and we’ve already done some of the work on that and we’ll do some more this week. Then we’ll determine what we’re going to do beyond there and that will be more of a doctor’s decision.” Dombrowski said of the injury: “There’s no question that the ankle started to bother him… [i]t hurt him at times worse than others because it was there but if you would do something to jar it, it would hurt him.”
Bone spurs are the result of strain on the muscles and ligaments of the foot. They usually occur in the heel as a result of stretching of the long band of tissue that connects the heel and the ball of the foot, and by repeated tearing away of the lining or membrane that covers the heel bone. These conditions may result from bio-mechanical imbalance, running or jogging, improperly fitted or excessively worn shoes, or obesity.
Bone spurs can be very painful, but don’t always require surgery. At Fenton Foot Care we have numerous treatment options, both surgical and non-surgical. Our philosophy is that the least invasive option is always preferable, and will do all we can to get you back on your feet pain free! If you are experiencing bone and/or heel spurs, make an appointment today. You don’t have to live with foot pain!