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Medical & Surgical Treatment of Foot & Ankle

Your best choices for your family's foot care needs

Category Archives: Foot Care

I Have Swelling!

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Some compression socks like these have loose material around the toes for comfort.

Your feet can tell you a lot about your overall health. One of the ways is if you have swelling without any other explanation, like injury. Swelling can cause heaviness in legs, pain/ achiness and fatigue.Swelling is usually noticed at the end of the day when you take off your socks and a dent is noticed at the top in your legs. Some swelling when you press into it bounces right back while other swelling if you press you notice the intent of your finger for time afterwards. The term for this type of swelling is called pitting edema. Swelling can also be a result of the veins being damaged or not working well.

Swelling can be a sign of problems with kidneys, the heart and other full body issues. If you notice more swelling than normal it is a good thing to have it looked at. Basic bloodwork and tests can be done to make sure that swelling is not a result of your heart or kidneys. Also when you’re seeing the doctor please make a note of when you swell more, if the swelling goes away with sleep or elevation and how long you have noticed an increase in swelling.

If you do not have an injury and your bloodwork says your heart and kidneys are OK then the swelling can be treated in different ways. Sometimes your primary care doctor will prescribe you a water pill like Lasix, to help you urinate the excess fluid out of your body. This can take a while to adjust the medication, so you must be patient. Elevation of the legs when you are at rest is also very effective and recommended. Lastly compression of the swelling in the legs can encourage it not to become a chronic problem. Some compression stockings can be very tight and difficult to wear but they’re very effective. Over-the-counter compression socks and athletic compression socks are available. They are less tight and more easily worn for mild to moderate swelling.

Caring for Aging Feet

On average, a person will walk 75,000 miles by the age of 50 and take up to 10,000 steps on any given day. This creates up to hundreds of tons of foot pressure every day. The podiatrists of Fenton Footcare share that, as we age, proper foot care is essential to maintain good health and toHeel Pain continue our walking independence.

 

There are several ways to reduce the risk of foot problems:

 

  • Check feet regularly, or have a family member check them for skin cracks or peeling, color and temperature anomalies, or thick and discolored nails.
  • Practice good foot care.  Applying moisturizing creams and scrubbing feet with pumice helps keep the skin supple and prevent cracks. Warm Epsom salt baths soothe the feet, while certain exercises strengthen them and improve flexibility. Wash and thoroughly dry feet often.
  • Avoid walking barefoot.
  • Keep blood circulating as much as possible. Do this by elevating feet when sitting or lying down, stretching after sitting for long periods of time, walking, having a gentle foot massage, or taking a warm foot bath.
  • Wear proper fitting shoes. Avoid pressure from shoes that don’t fit right. Wearing comfortable shoes that fit well can prevent many foot ailments. The size of our feet change as we age so always measure feet before buying shoes.
  • Minimize exposing feet to cold temperatures.
  • Don’t smoke. Smokers are more likely to develop blisters and have fractures.

 

Foot pain of any kind is not normal and should be checked by a podiatrist for proper diagnosis and care. It is recommended that adults over the age of 65 visit their podiatrist for an annual consultation. Call us for convenient appointment times: 810 629 3338

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.

 

Teens and Foot Health

pizza shoes 2Most teenagers recognize the importance of regularly caring for their teeth, skin, eyes, and bodies (exercise), but few know to care for their feet. Yet, foot health plays an important role in their overall health and wellness. Teens should be aware that foot pain of any kind is not normal.  Whether they are dealing with blisters, athlete’s foot, or ingrown toenails, caring for feet at an early age reduces the risk of complications later.

 

Following are some easy steps to maintain healthy feet:

  • Wash your feet daily with soap and water. It’s tempting to just swish your feet around in the shower, but it’s important to use soap to remove germs and grime. Don’t forget to wash in between your toes.
  • Keep feet dry. Fungus, including the kind that causes athlete’s foot, loves to grow in moist, damp environments, so after your shower, dry your feet thoroughly, paying extra attention to the spaces between your toes. If your socks get wet during the day, change them… (It’s not a bad idea to keep an extra pair in your locker or gym bag.)
  • Trim toenails into a slight curve. Too-long toenails not only wreck your socks and look crazy, but they can harbor bacteria. Use a pair of toenail clippers to cut your toenails to just above or at the edge of your toe. Cut straight across the nail, or a slight curve is OK too.
  • Wear supportive, properly fitted shoes. Improperly fitted, unsupportive shoes are a major cause of foot pain and injury. There are many shoes that are fashionable and lend needed support.

Back to School! Children’s Shoe Shopping Advice

Pediatric shoes

Pediatric shoes

One of the most important purchases on any parent’s shopping list should be a pair of proper fitting shoes for their child. The podiatrists and staff of Fenton Foot Care would like to share several important factors that parents should consider while back to school shopping:

  • Children’s Feet Change with Age. Shoe and sock sizes may change every few months as a child’s feet grow.
  • Shoes That Don’t Fit Properly Can Aggravate the Feet.  Always measure the child’s feet before buying shoes, and watch for signs of irritation.
  • Never Hand Down Footwear.  Just because a shoe size fits one child comfortably doesn’t mean it will fit another the same way. Also, sharing shoes can spread fungi like athlete’s foot and nail fungus.
  • Examine the Heels.  Children may wear through the heels of their shoes quicker than outgrowing shoes themselves. Uneven heel wear can indicate a foot problem that should be checked by a podiatrist.
  • Take Your Child Shoe Shopping.  Every shoe fits differently. Letting a child have a say in the shoe buying process promotes healthy foot habits down the road.
  • Always Buy for the Larger Foot.  Feet are seldom precisely the same size.
  • Buy Shoes That Do Not Need a “Break-In” Period.  Shoes should be comfortable immediately. Also make sure to have your child try on shoes with socks or tights, if that’s how they’ll be worn.
  • Consider Closed Toe Shoes. Covering the child’s toes allows for more protection.

Do Your Child’s Shoes “Make The Grade?”

  • Look For a Stiff Heel. Press on both sides of the heel counter. It shouldn’t collapse.
  • Check Toe Flexibility. The shoe should bend with your child’s toes. It shouldn’t be too stiff or bend too much in the toe box area.
  • Select a Shoe With a Rigid Middle. Does your shoe twist? Your shoe should never twist in the middle
  • Are the shoes secure on the foot? Laces or Velcro are best to hold the foot in place.

 

If your child is experiencing foot pain or you have other concerns, please make an appointment today by calling: 81o 629 3338

Pedicure Advice

painted toesSpring/summer marks a busy time for pedicurists. Unfortunately, not all pedicure facilities offer clean and proper foot care and infections and other foot ailments may arise. Fenton Foot Care and Brighton Family Foot Care would like to share the following advice for individuals deciding on a location to receive a pedicure:

  • Make sure that the instruments used are clean and sterilized.
  • Make sure foot tubs or basins are drained after performing a pedicure to get rid of all the bacteria present.
  • Make sure the technician’s hands are clean.
  • If you are diabetic, pedicures are not advised.  Visit your podiatrist before receiving a pedicure to identify any potential risks.
  • Do not allow aggressive cleaning.Nails should be cut straight with slightly rounded edges.bleeding of calluses occurs, see your podiatrist.
  • Discolored or sickly nails should be treated by your podiatrist.
  • Since polish hides the nails from the sun and can foster fungus, you may wish to limit the use of polish to special occasions.  However, keeping your feet clean,trimmed and skin moisturized for summer sandal wearing is recommended.

 

The doctors and staff at Fenton Foot Care and Brighton Family Foot Care are available to answer your foot and ankle questions and concerns.

 

Tips For Going to the Amusement Park This Summer

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Dr. Holdren Otis and her husband Corey with Minnie Mouse.

Last year I went to Michigan Adventure as well as Disney World and observed people in all different kinds of shoes. Even a well planned out trip through the park puts miles on your feet, knees, hips and back. I know how temping it is to slide on those flip flops for a day in the sun, so many people I saw waiting in line for rides were sporting them. They look cute and show off your pedicure but by the end of the day your feet will be hurting. Instead, choose a nice vented pair of supportive running/walking shoes or sandals with an arch built in.

Drink plenty of water! This will help prevent your legs from swelling while you are on them all day. Depending on the amusement park, you may be able to carry water in a small back pack, others you may have to hand your water to a person not going on the ride with you.

Wear Sunscreen, even on  your feet, if the skin is exposed then it can get burned. Nothing is worse than a sunburn on your feet and having to put your feet into a pair of shoes the next day.

If you are going to the water park, wear supportive sandals. This was the most memorable part of my trip to Michigan Adventure. They weather was perfect, not too hot, a little breezy at times. The reason it was so memorable was actually because my feet hurt, badly. I walked around barefoot.

Summer is Here: Avoid Those Stinky Feet and Smelly Shoes

IMG_3940Smelly feet and shoes come from sweaty feet! All the organisms that live in shoes need a dark, warm, damp environment to thrive, and when they thrive they can make some bad odors. Your shoes are the perfect environment for fungus, bacteria, yeasts and all the other little creepy things that live in shoes.

Tips to prevent those smelly feet:

  • Let shoes dry for 24 hours before wearing them again
  • Don’t leave your gym shoes in the gym bag, as they will not get dry
  • Wear sandals in the gym showers and locker rooms to prevent contaminating feet
  • Wear socks: socks wick moisture from the feet and prevent the feet from being wet and stinky
  • Avoid shoes that are made of rubber or cheap leather, as they will cause more heat and moisture
  • Change your socks in the middle of the day if they get damp
  • There are many medications for purchase in the Fenton and Brighton office to treat sweaty feet (Don’t forget to treat your shoes too if odor gets really bad!)

If you get odd rashes or skin lesions on feet or legs go to one of our offices and have them looked at.  They could be a result of sweaty feet and easily treated. The public wastes millions of dollars on over the counter treatments that don’t fix the problem they have.  Have one of our expert doctors diagnose and give you the right treatment today!