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February 2021

Fungal toenail infections, also known as onychomycosis, are common infections that lead to the nails becoming discolored, yellowed, thickened, and brittle, often causing them to break. They are usually caused by fungi or yeast that enter into small cracks in the nail, ultimately infecting them. While toenail infections can affect people of any age, they are more likely in patients who have a nail injury, a weakened immune system, are older, or have athlete’s foot. The easiest way to prevent these infections is to keep the toes clean and dry. Fungi thrives in warm and moist environments, so it is important to not walk barefoot in public locker rooms and showers. Because fungal nail infections are difficult to cure, it is important to visit with a podiatrist if you notice signs of toenail fungus.

If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact one of our podiatrists of InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Symptoms

  • Warped or oddly shaped nails
  • Yellowish nails
  • Loose/separated nail
  • Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
  • Brittle, broken, thickened nail

Treatment

If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.

Prevention

In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.

In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Mt Airy, Clemmons, Winston-Salem, King, Greensboro, and Siler City, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

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Monday, 15 February 2021 00:00

Fat Pad Loss in Elderly Feet


Elderly people may experience foot conditions as a result of standing and walking throughout their lifetime. Foot problems may occur due to a loss of fat in the foot. The fat pad in the foot generally provides adequate padding, and is responsible for shock absorption. Additionally, fractures may be more likely in elderly people, and their balance may be affected as the aging process occurs. A common condition among seniors is dry skin, and this can be remedied by applying a good moisturizer as part of the bedtime routine. Older people may see changes in their toenails, where they gradually become brittle, yellowed, and thicker. If you would like additional information about how to provide proper care for your elderly relative’s feet, please consult with a podiatrist.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

The Elderly and Their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet and can hide many life-threatening medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Mt Airy, Clemmons, Winston-Salem, King, Greensboro, and Siler City, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Sever’s disease occurs when the bones in the calves grow faster than the Achilles tendon, which connects the heel bone to the calf muscle. When this happens, the tendon begins to tighten, and the heel becomes swollen and sore. Sever’s disease often affects children between the ages of 9 and 13 who are participants in running and jumping sports such as soccer, gymnastics, baseball, basketball, and football.  There is rarely swelling as a result, and most often, the heel pain is worse when running with shoes that have limited support. The pain usually goes away with rest and does not have an impact with low impact sports such as cycling and swimming. If your child complains of heel pain, you should take them to see a podiatrist for a proper examination. Upon examination, a podiatrist will be able to provide a proper diagnosis and treatment method.

Sever's disease often occurs in children and teens. If your child is experiencing foot or ankle pain, see one of our podiatrists from InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can treat your child’s foot and ankle needs.

Sever’s Disease

Sever’s disease is also known as calcaneal apophysitis, which is a medical condition that causes heel pain I none or both feet. The disease is known to affect children between the ages of 8 and 14.

Sever’s disease occurs when part of the child’s heel known as the growth plate (calcaneal epiphysis) is attached to the Achilles tendon. This area can suffer injury when the muscles and tendons of the growing foot do not keep pace with bone growth. Therefore, the constant pain which one experiences at the back of the heel will make the child unable to put any weight on the heel. The child is then forced to walk on their toes.

Symptoms

Acute pain – Pain associated with Sever’s disease is usually felt in the heel when the child engages in physical activity such as walking, jumping and or running.

Highly active – Children who are very active are among the most susceptible in experiencing Sever’s disease, because of the stress and tension placed on their feet.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Mt Airy, Clemmons, Winston-Salem, King, Greensboro, and Siler City, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle injuries.

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Monday, 01 February 2021 00:00

Can Neuropathy Be Inherited?

Peripheral neuropathy is the result of nerve damage that occurs in the extremities such as the hands and feet. When this peripheral neuropathy is inherited, it is known as Charcot-Marie-Tooth, or CMT. Charcot-Marie-Tooth affects people worldwide. While CMT is not life threatening, it does lead to the loss of mobility and function in the extremities as the nerves degenerate. There are many different genetic causes for CMT, but most cases have a variety of similar symptoms. These symptoms include having high arched feet, structural foot deformities and weakening of the muscles. Patients who are suffering from CMT should consult with a podiatrist for treatment options that can help improve function. Treatment options may include physical therapy, bracing, wearing properly fitting footwear, and maintaining a healthy weight.

Neuropathy

Neuropathy can be a potentially serious condition, especially if it is left undiagnosed. If you have any concerns that you may be experiencing nerve loss in your feet, consult with one of our podiatrists from InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment for neuropathy.

What Is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy is a condition that leads to damage to the nerves in the body. Peripheral neuropathy, or neuropathy that affects your peripheral nervous system, usually occurs in the feet. Neuropathy can be triggered by a number of different causes. Such causes include diabetes, infections, cancers, disorders, and toxic substances.

Symptoms of Neuropathy Include:

  • Numbness
  • Sensation loss
  • Prickling and tingling sensations
  • Throbbing, freezing, burning pains
  • Muscle weakness

Those with diabetes are at serious risk due to being unable to feel an ulcer on their feet. Diabetics usually also suffer from poor blood circulation. This can lead to the wound not healing, infections occurring, and the limb may have to be amputated.

Treatment

To treat neuropathy in the foot, podiatrists will first diagnose the cause of the neuropathy. Figuring out the underlying cause of the neuropathy will allow the podiatrist to prescribe the best treatment, whether it be caused by diabetes, toxic substance exposure, infection, etc. If the nerve has not died, then it’s possible that sensation may be able to return to the foot.

Pain medication may be issued for pain. Electrical nerve stimulation can be used to stimulate nerves. If the neuropathy is caused from pressure on the nerves, then surgery may be necessary.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Mt Airy, Clemmons, Winston-Salem, King, Greensboro, and Siler City, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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