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Medical & Surgical Treatment of Foot & Ankle

Your best choices for your family's foot care needs

Category Archives: Arthritis

May is Arthritis Awareness Month

Arthritis is an inflammation and swelling of the cartilage and lining of the joints, generally accompanied by an increase in the fluid in the joints. It is a disabling and occasionally crippling disease afflicting almost 50 million Americans.

Dr Hirt and Dr Holdren

The podiatrists and staff of Fenton Foot Care and Brighton Family Foot Care would like you to know that there is usually no need to endure years of painful ambulation because of arthritic feet.  Most conditions can be diagnosed and treated either conservatively or surgically by our team.


Symptoms of arthritis in the foot and ankle include:

  •       Early morning stiffness.
  •       Limitation in motion of joint.
  •       Recurring pain or tenderness in any joint.
  •       Redness or heat in a joint.
  •       Skin changes, including rashes and growths.
  •       Swelling in one or more joints.


If you are experiencing foot pain, take time to schedule an exam today. Early detection and treatment of problems help keep you on your feet and active.

What Your Podiatrist Can Do For You In 2016:

  1. Be there when you need them. Podiatrists treat conditions of both the foot and ankle. If you have pain or questions about your feet, they are well qualified. Each podiatrist goes to a medical school specifically for foot and ankle. Today’s podiatrist also does a three year surgical residency. If you have consistent pain or problems, you don’t have to just live with them. Come see us and we can answer questions and give surgical and non surgical treatment options for anything from discolored or ingrown nails to bunions and fractures.
  2. Treat your whole family. Our podiatrists are well qualified to treat feet and ankles from birth. If you have questions about flat feet or otherwise bring your child so they can be answered. Some things may be normal, while others can be treated easily so that they may have decreased pain and less problems later on in life. No question is silly when it comes to children. Similarly the elderly are treated for calluses/corns, bunions hammertoes and more! Difficulty with balance is evaluated and many times can be addressed at the level of the foot and ankle. Of course active people also have foot issues at times as well. All can be treated in the same spot!
  3. Keep you on the road to success. Once your pain or problems are improved with treatment, a plan is made to reduce the risk of your problem coming back. Your podiatrist will educate you and give you the tools to know how to recognize the problem sooner in the future. Little to no pain is great, but if a few simple things can keep it away, we will let you know.
    Fenton Foot Care patient room

    Fenton Foot Care patient room

  4. Prevent major issues in the future. If you are diabetic, speaking with your podiatrist can open your eyes and make you look more at your feet. Diabetes can affect many body systems including blood flow, nerves, kidneys, healing time and eyes. Decreased sensation and decreased healing time can be a very bad combination causing ulcerations and sadly, amputation. An appointment to evaluate your risk and give you the tools to prevent future issues is very important.
  5. Make your back, hips, knees and feet feel better.  Much of the way we feel and walk depends on our feet. If our feet are not supported correctly it can put strain on the joints of the foot, ankle, knees, hips and back. The podiatrist can evaluate your walk and look at the bones of your foot with an xray to determine what type of support you need. Support can come in a variety of different ways including over the counter inserts, different types of shoes, braces and custom made orthotics. The doctors will find a plan that you like, are comfortable with wearing and provide maximum relief.

Dr. James Hirt and Dr. Erin Holdren Otis are podiatrists at Fenton Foot Care and Brighton Family Foot Care. They are ready to help you with your footcare needs. 

SCIENCE: Can I have normal blood work and still have gout? Yes!

Dr. Holdren Otis

Dr. Holdren Otis DPM

Dr. Holdren Otis, DPM

Gout is a type of arthritis that affect joints making them red, hot, swollen and yes, PAINFUL. It occurs mainly in men but it doesn’t leave women completely out. A flare can occur out of nowhere, waking you up at night and even the light touch of the bed sheets can cause you to jump to the ceiling. The most common place to find gout is the in big toe joint but it can show up in the knee, ankle and little toes too.
Gout is an accumulation of uric acid crystals in and around a joint. These crystals can be removed from the joint and seen under a microscope, looking like shards of glass, which makes sense because that is exactly how it feels!
When blood is drawn to determine if you have gout, it measures the concentration of uric acid. It is normal to have some uric acid in your blood because it is a breakdown product of some types of foods that you eat. These foods include steak, seafood, beer and some fruits.
If your blood is drawn during an attack, looking for uric acid, it may register as normal. Why? The majority of uric acid is not in your blood, but is in the form of crystals in your joint! It only makes sense. It is better to draw blood a few weeks after the flare has resolved to see if you need to be on a longer term gout medication. It is important to keep this uric acid in check because gout is a type of arthritis and can cause permanent damage to your joints.
Do you have gout flares? If so, there are treatments in the office that can make you feel better quickly! You don’t have to suffer during a flare. Call Fenton Foot Care for an Appointment (810) 629-3338.