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Medical & Surgical Treatment of Foot & Ankle

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Category Archives: Foot Care

Frank Thomas Inducted Into Baseball Hall Of Fame; Thanks His Podiatrist Amongst Many Others

Frank ThomasFrank Thomas was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, and had many people to thank for it; 138 to be exact. He joked that he had to cut 50 people out of the speech to keep from running over his allotted time. Hitting 521 homeruns over a career that spanned 18 years takes a lot of support, and Thomas made sure to thank everyone he could. He talked about his mother and the support she gave, along with his deceased father whom he credited with instilling in him his tireless work ethic. Fighting back tears Thomas thanked him for “always preaching to me that you can be someone special, if you really work at it”. He also thanked his team podiatrist, Dr. Lowell Weil Sr. for all the work he did keeping Frank on his feet. Over the years, Thomas was treated for a bone spur “half the size of a golf ball in the front of his ankle,” a tarsal coalition (also known as “flat foot”), hallux rigidus (aka “stiff big toe”), a metatarsal stress fracture, navicular fracture, posterior tibial tendonitis and ingrown toenails. There is no doubt without treatment of these foot ailments, Frank Thomas would not have had the stellar career that he did (us Detroit Tigers fans surely remember all the damage he could do in a White Sox uniform…). Proper treatment by a podiatrist allowed Frank to hit towering homeruns into his forties. Your feet literally are the foundation of your body, take care of them and they will take care of you, as Frank Thomas can tell you! Congratulations to Frank Thomas and all of the 2014 class of Hall of Fame inductees from all of us at Fenton Foot Care!

Dr. Hirt Comments on a New Shoe Trend

FlatformShoesThe flatform shoe (half flat and half platform) is a trendy shoe this summer, but while you may find the shoe attractive, it should be avoided. The reason to avoid flatform shoes is not their looks, but their functionality. “The biggest issue with this shoe is stability” says Dr. Hirt, “the foot is not allowed to adapt to the irregular terrain you may be walking on, putting you at a high risk of rolling your ankle even on a flat surface.” Rolling your ankle in this way can cause a sprain, torn ligaments, or even a broken ankle. So while these shoes may be “cute”, the cast they may put you in certainly isn’t!

Ridiculous Shoe of the Month- July

platform shoesThis month’s ridiculous shoe makes it on the list not only for its “unique” look, but also for its apparent lack of comfort and high risk of ankle injury. If you’re gonna disco, you need the right shoes!

Uriah Hall breaks toe in UFC bout

UFC Middleweight fighter Uriah Hall suffered a broken toe in the first round of his bout against Thiago Santos on Saturday, and despite the injury, Hall went on to win a decision victory over Santos. Visibly in pain, Hall fought the final 2 rounds limping yet dominating his opponent. He was attended to immediately following the bout, and tweeted a pic of the doctors working on him. UFC broken toe

Broken toes are not something to dismiss as “there is nothing you can do about a broken toe”. We hear this statement on a weekly basis from patients, but it couldn’t be more incorrect. Toe fractures are not emergencies, but they do need treatment, at minimum x-rays need to be taken to confirm there is not going to be any long term damage. X-rays taken within the first week of the fracture that show a misaligned joint allow the doctor to set the joint back in place, which will then heal with little to no chance of long term damage. Whereas if the injury is ignored, you face the risk of arthritis, bone spurs, tendonitis, deformities of the toe, and many other painful conditions. Many fractures of the toe are simple fractures where the toe remains aligned, in these cases treatment involving wearing a stiff-soled shoe or splinting the toe is enough. However, about one out of every 5 toe fractures needs more intervention.

We regularly perform surgery on patients who have a severely arthritic great toe (big toe) joint that needs to be repaired or replaced because they broke their great toe years ago and did nothing about it. If any toe is broken and the fracture enters the joint there is potential for arthritic changes later in life.

Toes have 3 joints in the and it just as easy if not easier to dislocate the toe rather than fracture the toe, as happened to another UFC Fighter in April of 2013. Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones suffered a dislocated big toe in his win over Chael Sonnen. Dislocations are serious injuries that will cause short and long term problems and should be x-rayed as soon as possible. When confirmed, a dislocation can be reduced and the joint realigned, allowing it to heal with no problems. While Jones’s injury seemed gruesome at the time, with proper treatment he was fighting (and winning) again in only 5 months! So while you may have heard that there is nothing that can be done to fix broken or dislocated toes, that is simply not the case. These Elite-Level athletes depend on their bodies to be in top condition, and understand the importance of proper foot care and treatment.

Treatment or surgery is not needed for all toe injuries, but without an x-ray you can’t know for sure. The next time you injure your toe, make an appointment so we can assess the injury and treat it now, so you can avoid bigger problems and pain in the future.

Heel Pain Relief Center Now Open!

Reception Area @ FFC

Reception Area @ FFC

Introducing the Heel Pain Relief Center, now open at Fenton Foot Care!  If you have not experienced heel pain yourself, you probably know someone who has.  As a recent article points out, 85% of adults will develop heel pain in their lifetime.  Without treatment this heel pain will last on average for 3 years, but with expert treatment from our highly-trained doctors, it can usually be resolved in less than a month.  James Hirt, DPM is an expert in treating and preventing heel pain.  Dr. Hirt is a board certified physician with 3 years of surgical training, along with advanced training in Endoscopic Plantar Fascial Release surgery.   Dr. Hirt has performed hundreds of Endoscopic Planter Fascial Release surgeries, and has the expertise and experience to identify and treat your heel pain.  There are multiple causes of heel pain, and no one treatment works for every patient or condition.  Surgery is not necessary in the majority of cases, and our doctors have the philosophy that the least invasive option is always best.

The Heel Pain Relief Center offers:

  • In-office Muscular-Skeletal Ultrasound Diagnostics
  • Custom Functional Orthotics specifically tailored to relieve your heel pain
  • Night Splints
  • Hi-Resolution Digital X-Rays
  • As well as an array of Physician-Selected over-the-counter treatment products

If you are experiencing heel pain, make an appointment today by calling 810.629.3338 [FEET].  Don’t live with heel pain, let our expert doctors help you to get back on your feet again, pain free!

The Best Sandals of 2014

The Active Times has rated the best flip-flops and sandals of 2014, and on that list are the sandals recommended by Dr. Hirt and Dr. Holdren-Otis, which are on sale now at Fenton Foot Care!  Our doctors recommend the Yumi sandal by Spenco because of its excellent arch-support and shock absorption, which can help mitigate any heel pain you might be having.

We have the Yumi sandals in both black and cork, and they are on sale this month for only $40! Come on in and try them on today, our staff can make sure you get the perfect fit!

Is Heel Pain Slowing You Down?

The website Competitor.com, an online resource for running and runners, has identified the 5 most troublesome injuries runners face.  Number one on that list: Plantar Fasciitis, the most common cause of the heel pain that some runners experience.  Dr. Hirt agrees that 1 in 4 patients he sees suffers from heel pain.

There are several treatments for Plantar Fasciitis, and since no two people’s feet are the same, there is no cookie-cutter approach to treatment.  Plantar Fasciitis is a result of the thick ligament [the Plantar Fascia] that runs from the base of the toes to the bottom of the heel being stressed. This stress causes the fibers that attach to the heel to pull away from the bone, causing inflammation, swelling, and pain in the heel.

Some of the most common treatments for Plantar Fasciitis and the associated pain are:

  • custom functional orthotics
  • night splints
  • proper shoes
  • stretching
  • corticosteroid injections
  • NSAIDS and other anti-inflammatories
  • endoscopic plantar fasciotomy surgery (EPF)
  • plantar fascial supports
  • topical anti-inflammatories

It is typically a custom-designed treatment plan based on the individual foot, using a combination of treatments that achieves the quickest result.  Dr. Hirt is an expert in treating Plantar Fasciitis and the resulting foot pain.  “Without treatment, heel pain will last, on average, for 3 years.  Whereas in the office we can usually resolve it in less than a month” says Dr. Hirt, adding “I don’t know many people who can tolerate heel pain for 3 years.”  If you are experiencing heel pain that is impacting your quality of life, call and make an appointment today at (810) 629-3338 (FEET).  Let us help you keep your feet happy so you can get back to the activities you love, just in time for summer!