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Medical & Surgical Treatment of Foot & Ankle

Your best choices for your family's foot care needs

Category Archives: Diabetes

My Feet Feel Funny! Could I Have Neuropathy?

Nerves allow you to know what is going on in every part of your body. The nerves to your feet are the longest, traveling from your back/spinal cord to the tips of your toes. The longer the nerve, the more likely for it to be damaged along the way. Nerves allow you to feel hot and cold, light touch, pressure and of course, pain. When you step on something, like a Lego, you will feel a combination of pressure and pain. Your brain then send a signal to your leg very quickly to “lift up your foot” for protection of the foot. The same is true if you touch something very cold or hot.
When nerves do not work properly, this is be called neuropathy. It can cause a number of different symptoms including numbness, tingling, pins and needles, feeling like the foot is covered in leather, very hot or cold sensations, shooting pain and burning. Some people describe their neuropathy as “I can feel my feet, but they don’t feel like mine.”

Neuropathy can be caused by many different things. The most commonly known is Diabetes. If you have numbness or decreased sensation is does not automatically mean you have Diabetes. Other causes of nerves not working correctly are an injury to the back, exposure to certain chemicals like pesticides or agent orange, chemotherapy and lack of Vitamin B because of gastric bypass (weight loss surgery)img_4366-1 img_4365-1. Sometimes it is difficult to determine exactly what has caused this weird sensation, nevertheless it can still be treated if it is bothersome!

To determine what type of neuropathy you have, several different test can be done to make sure that the treatment you and your doctor choose will be effective. Most of these test can be done right in the office.

Neuropathy that is painful and bothersome can be treated in a daily basis, while other types are mild and not affecting your daily life are monitored. Please see your doctor to determine the right treatment for you.


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. 

November is Diabetes Awareness Month.

Diabetic Shoe

Diabetic Shoe

Diabetes is a disease affecting many parts of the body.  While there is no cure for diabetes, there is hope. With proper diet, exercise, medical care, and careful management at home, a person with diabetes can enjoy a full and active life.
Of the more than 28 million people in the US with diabetes, about half will develop neuropathy, a loss of feeling in the lower extremities. This nerve damage means an open sore or injury on the foot may go unnoticed until it becomes infected, which can eventually lead to the need for partial or full amputation of the foot or lower leg. In fact, diabetes is the leading cause of non-traumatic lower-limb amputation.  Your Fenton Foot Care podiatrist is an integral part of the treatment team that prevents unnecessary complications including amputations.
The doctors and staff at Fenton Foot Care and Brighton Family Foot Care encourage individuals to schedule a Comprehensive Diabetic Foot Exam.  This simple, painless examination helps diagnose the onset of diabetes and foot related problems due to the disease.
Call us for convenient appointment times:
Fenton Footcare
14229 Torrey Rd Suite #1
Fenton, MI 48439
Brighton Family Footcare
7990 Grand River Rd Suite D
Brighton MI 48114
Your feet tell a story…We are here to listen!