Back to Top

Medical & Surgical Treatment of Foot & Ankle

Your best choices for your family's foot care needs

Category Archives: Foot Care

Children’s Shoe Buying Tips

ActiveSoccerSports1One 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 are 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: 810.629.3338 [FEET].  Don’t live with foot pain, call today!


Dr. Hirt Named Educator of the Year!

Educator AwardThe staff of Fenton Foot Care would like to congratulate Dr. James Hirt on being honored with the Educator of the Year Award for Podiatry for the Academic year 2014-2015 from Genesys Regional Medical Center Medical Education Department!

When asked about the achievement, Dr. Hirt said “I am very privileged to be able to participate in the education of the next generation of podiatrists. I find it very rewarding to see the progression of the podiatry residents as they advance through their 3 years of office and surgical training, becoming experts in the field.Dr Hirt and award I am very pleased that one of the outstanding graduating residents, Dr. Erin Holdren-Otis will be joining our Fenton Foot Care office. Dr. Holdren-Otis has a level of knowledge and expertise that will be a great addition to our team. I would also like to wish the other graduate, Dr. Eric Kuhlman the best as he ventures into his fellowship in advanced foot and ankle reconstruction.”

Congratulations to both Dr. Hirt and Dr. Holdren-Otis on their achievements; we couldn’t be prouder!

Dr. Holdren-Otis Comments on Miguel Cabrera’s Calf Injury

Miguel CabreraMiguel Cabrera, the Detroit Tigers 1st baseman and big hitter, painfully took off from 1st base during a hit and run in the 4th inning of the July 3rd game against the Toronto Blue Jays. The Tigers went on to win but learned after an MRI that they would lose Cabrera for 6 weeks due to a calf strain.  Reports say that he has a grade 3 strain of the calf muscle, which is the worst of the strains.  It must be a bad injury because this is Cabrera’s first stint on the disabled list in his 12 year career.  He has played with a fractured navicular in his foot, anterior ankle spurs, and a core muscle tear, all of which required surgery in the off season.  Cabrera was batting .350 in 77 games, including 16 doubles, 15 home runs and 54 RBIs.

The calf muscle is comprised of two separate muscles, the gastroc and soleus, that come together to form the largest tendon in the body, the Achilles.  They are the main plantar flexors, aka push off power, for the lower extremities.  Injuries are usually the result of a sudden push off force, an over stretching of the muscle, or changing of direction, and can occur no matter how strong the muscle.  Strains are graded from 1 to 3, three being the most severe.  Grade 1 involves 10% of the muscle belly, and the athlete feels mild discomfort but can still continue playing.  The next day the calf may be tight and sore but usually resolves in 4-5 days.  Grade 2 can involve up to 90% of the muscle fibers and pain is felt when walking or pushing off; some swelling and bruising may also be seen.  These injuries can make the calf very tight and deeper achy pain can be present for 1-2 weeks or more.  Immediately after a Grade 3 tear the athlete feels sharp pain which can involve a partial or full rupture of the muscle.  Swelling and bruising normally occur and it is painful to fire the muscle. Only when the muscle is fully torn is surgery indicated.

Unfortunately, calf strains like Miguel Cabrera’s just take time to heal.  Rest is the most important thing for him at this time.  Already, Cabrera has undergone Platlet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy, which concentrates his own blood and injects the important healing factors back into the calf.  He has also spent time in the hyperbaric oxygen chamber to help increased the amount of oxygen getting to his calf, increasing his healing potential. Lastly he has a heel lift in the boot he is wearing to make sure the calf muscle doesn’t stretch too much while he walks during his recovery.  The tendon is not involved so no surgery will be needed, but it will take at least 6-8 weeks to heal fully.  Lots of rehabilitation will also be needed to regain the ability to push off his left leg.  Even with all the advanced technology at the fingertips of Tigers’ Athletic Trainer Kevin Rand, it will still take time for Cabrera’s soft tissues to heal.  Rand is hopeful that Cabrera will be back at the 6 week mark.

I myself have also suffered a calf strain in the past and it was very painful! I am hopeful too that Miguel will return quickly, but I am not so sure.  The team will definitely miss him in the meantime. Go Tigers!

Welcome Dr. Holdren-Otis!

IMG_04651We at Fenton Foot Care are excited to welcome Dr. Holdren-Otis!  We made sure her first day was as festive as possible, complete with an unexpectedly balloon filled office!  Dr. Holdren-Otis grew up in Portland, MI and completed her undergraduate studies at Albion College.  During her four years as a Briton, she competed in varsity volleyball as a setter/right blocker and ran sprint relays, 400 meter hurdles and the 3000 meter steeple chase for Albion’s track team.  She also journeyed to Honduras for a medical mission. Dr. Holdren Otis graduated with a Major in Biology and Religious Studies and was a member of the Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society.

Dr. Holdren-Otis received her medical education at Scholl College at Rosalind Franklin University in North Chicago, IL.  Throughout her training, she worked at Cook County Hospital as well as at multiple VA venues.  Dr. Holdren-Otis continued her training at Genesys Regional Medical Center in Grand Blanc, MI, where she learned advanced techniques for the treatment of diabetic wounds and received 3 years of surgical training for correction of all foot and ankle deformities. She currently lives in Grand Blanc with her husband. In her free time she enjoys running, baking cookies, her dogs, the Detroit Tigers, and spending time with her nieces.

Dr. Holdren-Otis is excited to be a member of the Fenton Foot Care family, and is ready to help you!  Call 810-629-3338 (FEET) for an appointment today!

How To Protect Your Feet This Summer

Happy_Feet_in_SandNow that the weather is warmer, our feet are much more exposed to the elements.  When we wear sandals, flip flops, or go barefoot, we expose ourselves to many more opportunities for foot problems.  Sandals and flip flops don’t offer much support, and pool areas and public showers can breed infections such as plantars warts and athlete’s foot.  Exposed feet are also prone to sunburn.

Below is some good advice to help you keep your feet healthy this summer:

Going Barefoot

  • Limit your time going barefoot as it exposes the feet to sunburn, infections, and injury due to lack of support.
  • Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to your feet, especially the top and front of your ankle.  Re-apply after going in the water.
  • Keep blood flowing while relaxing in the sun by doing periodic ankle flexes, toe wiggles, and calf stretches.
  • Some summer activities require different type of foot wear, so be prepared and always pack an extra pair of shoes just in case.  If your shoes get wet, make sure to dry them out completely before wearing them again to prevent the growth of fungus and bacteria.
  • If you injure your foot or ankle, make sure to see a podiatrist.  Many people see only a family doctor when something is broken or sprained, but a podiatrist can start treating you and getting you back on your feet immediately.

Flip Flops

  • Do not wear flip flops while running or playing sports, they offer no support and put you at great risk of injury due to lack of heel and arch support.
  • Flip flops should be worn in places bacteria could be such as pools and public showers

Be Prepared

In case of minor foot problems, be prepared with this on the go foot gear:

  • Flip flops to protect your feet at pools, spas, hotel rooms and airport security screenings.
  • Band Aids for minor cuts and scrapes.
  • Antibiotic cream to treat any skin injury.
  • Blister pads or moleskin for blisters.
  • Motrin/Advil to ease your tired and swollen feet.
  • Sunscreen.
  • Aloe vera or Silvadene cream to relieve sunburns.

If you have any questions, visit the patient education section of our website, or make an appointment today.  We offer prompt appointments and no waiting to be seen.  We value your time and want to help you keep your feet happy!

Avoiding Shin Splints This Running/Walking Season

shin splintsIf you are an avid walker or an experienced runner, you have probably experienced shin splints.  Shin splints are one of the most common lower extremity ailments and are characterized as pain in the front inside area of the shin bone and are caused by overexertion.  The most common cause of shin splints is inflammation of the sheath that surrounds the shin bone called the periostum. Other causes include: having flat feet or high arches, inadequate footwear, running on hard surfaces, and increasing your training too quickly.

As anyone who has had them can tell you, shin splints can be very painful, and the pain is usually caused by small tears in the muscle where it attaches to the shin bone.  Below are some tips to help both treat and prevent shin splints:

  • Treatment
    • ice the area to reduce pain and inflammation
    • take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen
    • rest and allow the injury to heal
  • Prevention
    • properly stretch before walking or running
    • strengthen your leg muscles
    • wear insoles or custom functional orthotics that offer arch support
    • be sure you have the right shoes for your foot type and activity (you can see our list of recommended shoes here
    • avoid running on hard surfaces
    • shorten your stride

If the pain is really bad, come in and see us as soon as possible.  Our doctors can give you a full diagnosis to find out if there is something more serious, such as a stress fracture in the area.  If we discover something more serious than shin splints, we can design a treatment plan and get you back on your feet in time to enjoy summer!

Pedicure Advice From Dr. Hirt

pediSummer is officially here, and for a lot of us that means pedicures.  Unfortunately, not all pedicure facilities offer clean and proper foot care, which can cause infections and other foot ailments.  “It’s important that you take the time to find salon that has good procedures to prevent infection” says Dr. Hirt, “if you follow these recommendations, you will greatly reduce your chances of getting an infection or other ailment from your pedicure”:

  • Make sure that all instruments used are clean and sterilized.
  • Make sure foot tubs or basins are drained after every pedicure to get rid of all the bacteria present.
  • Make sure the technician’s hands are clean.
  • If you have diabetes, pedicures are not advised.  Come in and talk to us before receiving a pedicure to identify any potential risks.
  • Don’t allow aggressive cleaning.  Nails should be cut straight with slightly rounded edges.  If bleeding of calluses occurs, see your podiatrist.
  • Discolored or sickly nails should only be treated by your podiatrist.
  • Since polish hides the nails from the sun, which can lead to fungus, so you may wish to limit the use of polish to special occasions.

Following this advice will keep your feet happy, healthy, and ready for sandal season!

The doctors and staff at Fenton Foot Care are always available to answer any of your foot and ankle questions and concerns.  Call for an appointment today!  810-629-3338 [FEET].

Fenton Foot Care

16229 Torrey Road Ste. 1

Fenton, Michigan 48430

Are Your Kids Wearing the Right Shoe for the Sport They Play?

Youth soccerIt’s important to choose the right footwear for your children’s activities. Sneakers made for tennis players will provide different support and traction than cleats made for football players.  Below is a list that will help you make the best shoe choices for your little athlete, or even for yourself!

A thick, stiff sole that gives support while running and landing jumps. Basketball players should look for high ankle construction that supports the ankle during quick changes in direction.  Volleyball players should look for a lighter shoe, with less midsole support for quick starts and stops.

A good amount of high ankle support is especially important for lineman and other players who make frequent sideways movements during play.  Football and lacrosse players should have shoes with proper traction on a grassy field, in both wet and dry conditions.  Shoes with proper traction can help prevent injury.

Soccer shoes should have a good-quality footbed, which can help provide proper arch support.  Make sure they feature the stud type for the ground that will be played on most often: soft, hard, firm, or turf.  Also, use molded rubber cleats rather than the screw-on variety.

Shoes should offer plenty of arch support.  If you experience arch pain, try using customized shoe inserts called orthotics.  Baseball and softball shoes should have no more than a half inch of space between the big toe and the end of the shoe.  Metal baseball spikes should not be used by athletes younger than 13.

A good running shoe should provide maximum shock absorption to help avoid injury.  It is also important to match your shoe to your foot’s arch type (high, medium, low).  Replace your running shoes after 300-500 miles.

Foot Health Awareness Month True or False

Heel PainApril is Foot Health Awareness Month, so here is a true/false quiz to help you be sure your feet are as healthy as they can be!



You can walk with certain kinds of fractures.  Common examples include breaks in the smaller, outer bone of the lower leg, small chip fractures of the foot or ankle bones, and the often-neglected fracture of the toe.




A toe fracture needs prompt attention.  X-rays will reveal if it is a simple, displaced fracture or an angulated break.  Your podiatrist can develop the right treatment plan once he or she has identified the type of break.




Heat promotes blood flow and can cause greater swelling, which can lead to more pain.  An ice bag wrapped in a towel is the ideal temporary treatment before you see your podiatrist.




Ankle sprains often mean torn or severely overstretched ligaments, and they should receive immediate care.




All of those words are appropriate for describing a broken bone


You may have noticed that all of the answers were “false”.  These are 5 common myths about foot and ankle injuries.  If you suspect you have broken or sprained your foot or ankle, don’t take chances, come in today.  Your feet are your foundation, don’t risk further pain and injury.  You don’t have to live with foot pain, keep your feet happy and make an appointment today, your feet will thank you!

Toenail Fungus Home Remedies?

fungusIn our office we hear of many home remedies for toenail fungus. Toothpaste, Vicks VapoRub, vinegar, bleach, Listerine, and ammonia just to name a few.  The problem with all of these is simple: they don’t work.  While products such as Vicks VapoRub do contain trace amounts of ingredients that can work as an anti-fungal, there are better and faster treatments available.

The most important part of treating fungal nails is to be sure that it’s actually a fungus that is affecting your nail.  There are several reasons your toenails might appear thick, brittle or discolored, which include:

  • Fungus
  • Mold
  • Yeast
  • Trauma to the nail

Each of these conditions requires a different and specific treatment, and since they all look similar, it’s impossible to know which of these is affecting your nail by appearance alone.  In the office, we will take a painless sample to determine what is affecting your nails and develop the appropriate treatment plan.  For each specific infection we use combination treatments to get the fastest and best results, and if it is indeed toenail fungus, we have several options available, none of which will leave you smelling like VaporRub!

So if your nails are “less than beautiful”, make an appointment today.  At Fenton Foot Care we have everything you’ll need to make your nails beautiful again, and keep them that way!  Sandal season is upon us, so don’t delay, get your feet and nails into sandal-shape today!