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Monday, 29 March 2021 00:00

What Is Hammertoe Correction?

Hammertoe correction is a surgical procedure used to straighten hammertoes, which are toes that are bent abnormally at the middle joint. The type of surgery you have will depend on how much your toe bends. In general, during this operation the surgeon makes one or more incisions in the area where your toe attaches to your foot. They will then loosen the tendons or ligaments that are causing the abnormal bending in the affected toe. Sometimes, joint or bone tissue needs to be removed to straighten the toe. You may also need wires, screws, or pins placed through your toe bones to keep the toe straight. When the operation is over, the incisions that the surgeon made will be closed with stitches. While full recovery time varies, hammertoe correction is an outpatient procedure and you will usually be able to go home the same day. For more information about hammertoe correction, and to find out if surgery is the right option for your hammertoes, please consult with a podiatrist. 

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick of Illinois. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Chicago, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about What Are Hammertoes?
Sunday, 21 March 2021 00:00

Reminder: When Was the Last Time...?

Custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, should be periodically replaced. Orthotics must fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles!

Many popular athletic brands have running and walking shoes with an upward curvature in the toe area, known as a toe spring. Wearing shoes with toe springs requires less work from the muscles of the feet while walking, especially compared to walking in shoes with flatter soles. Because they can contribute to the weakening of foot muscles when they are worn habitually over long periods of time, shoes with toe springs may contribute to the onset of various foot problems. One common foot problem that may result from wearing these shoes is plantar fasciitis, in which the tissue running along the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed and painful. When it comes to footwear, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist to find out which type of shoes are right for you.  

If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick from Illinois. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Biomechanics in Podiatry

Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.

A History of Biomechanics

  • Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
  • In 1974, biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area.

Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.

Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Chicago, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Biomechanics in Podiatry
Monday, 15 March 2021 00:00

Walking on a Broken Foot

If you have broken a bone in your foot, you may still be able to walk, depending on the severity of the break. When recovering from this injury, it is suggested that you avoid walking excessively, as this can push the broken bone out of proper alignment and cause poor healing and foot deformities. Resting the broken foot can help the recovery process, which may take six to eight weeks. Elevating the affected foot frequently can reduce swelling and pain. If you have broken your foot, please consult with a podiatrist, who will be able to provide recommendations regarding when you can return to your regular activities following your injury. 

A broken foot requires immediate medical attention and treatment. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick from Illinois. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Broken Foot Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

A broken foot is caused by one of the bones in the foot typically breaking when bended, crushed, or stretched beyond its natural capabilities. Usually the location of the fracture indicates how the break occurred, whether it was through an object, fall, or any other type of injury. 

Common Symptoms of Broken Feet:

  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Blue in color
  • Numbness
  • Cold
  • Misshapen
  • Cuts
  • Deformities

Those that suspect they have a broken foot shoot seek urgent medical attention where a medical professional could diagnose the severity.

Treatment for broken bones varies depending on the cause, severity and location. Some will require the use of splints, casts or crutches while others could even involve surgery to repair the broken bones. Personal care includes the use of ice and keeping the foot stabilized and elevated.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Chicago, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment for a Broken Foot
Monday, 08 March 2021 00:00

Ankle Joint Surgery

A joint connects two or more bones to each other. One of the most prominent joints in the lower limbs is the ankle, where the shin bone and the bone at the top of the foot come together. Like other joints in the body, the ankle joint can be affected by injury or arthritis. When the ankle joint is significantly damaged, usually by late-stage arthritis, ankle replacement surgery may be necessary to improve joint function and relieve pain. During joint replacement surgery, the joint is partially or fully removed and replaced with an implant. For more information about ankle joint replacement surgery, please consult with a podiatrist.

In certain cases, in which the patient suffers from extreme pain or damage in a joint, joint replacement surgery may be deemed useful. If you have constant pain in a foot joint, consult with Dr. Catherine J. Minnick from Illinois. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Joint Replacement Surgery?

Over time, joints wear down; this can be exacerbated by diseases and conditions. Joint replacement surgery, also known as arthroplasty, is when a damaged joint is surgically removed and replaced with a prosthesis. Prostheses, which can be made of ceramic, plastic, or metal, act as joints in lieu of an actual joint. One of the most prevalent causes for joint replacement is arthritis.

Arthritis in the Foot

Arthritis can occur in any joint in the body, including in the feet. Common types of arthritis in the foot are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. The big toe is usually where arthritis occurs in the foot; this is known as hallux rigidus.

Joint Replacement Surgery in the Foot

The most common form of joint replacement in the foot is a first metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint placement. MTP joint replacement surgery is designed to treat hallux rigidus. Surgery is not intensive, and recovery occurs within one to two months after the procedure has been done. Overall, joint replacement surgery is a safe and effective way to treat pain in the joint of the foot.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Chicago, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Joint Replacement Surgery

Many Achilles tendon injuries happen gradually. Early symptoms of this condition can include stiffness and pain that will worsen over time. This is a common injury among runners, and the beginning signs can be mistaken for aches and pains that may be associated with participating in running and jumping activities. The Achilles tendon is located in the back of the ankle, and connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. When an injury happens, patients may notice the back of the legs may feel sore in the morning after arising, and it may be difficult to point and flex the feet. If you have endured an Achilles tendon injury, it is suggested that you speak with a podiatrist as quickly as possible who can determine what the best course of treatment is for you.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick of Illinois. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What Are the Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Chicago, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Achilles Tendon Injuries

Gout is a condition that generally affects the joints in the big toe. It is a form of arthritis, and can cause severe pain and discomfort. It occurs as a result of excess uric acid in the blood which forms crystals that lodge in the joints. An abundance of uric acid can come from genetic factors, or from eating foods that have elevated purine levels. These foods can include shellfish, red meat, and drinks that are made with large amounts of sugar. Additionally, gout can form due to obesity, kidney disease, or from taking specific types of medications. It is beneficial to incorporate healthy foods into your diet, and it is helpful to drink plenty of fresh water daily. If you are afflicted with gout, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can effectively diagnose and treat this condition.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick from Illinois. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Chicago, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Everything You Need to Know About Gout
Friday, 19 February 2021 00:00

Plantar Warts Can Be Treated!

Plantar warts are small growths that develop on parts of the feet that bear weight. They're typically found on the bottom of the foot. Don't live with plantar warts, and call us today!

Monday, 15 February 2021 00:00

Two Categories of Flat Feet

Patients who are missing an arch in their foot have the condition that is known as flat feet. Flat feet fall into two categories. Flexible flat feet have an arch that disappears when the foot bears weight and reappears while sitting or standing on tiptoes. Rigid flat feet do not have an arch regardless of whether you stand or sit. Children that have flat feet may benefit from wearing soft insoles, and this may provide additional comfort. If your child has flat feet that are causing them discomfort, it is suggested that you confer with a podiatrist who can offer treatment options.

Flatfoot is a condition many people suffer from. If you have flat feet, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick from Illinois. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Are Flat Feet?

Flatfoot is a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arches never formed during growth.

Conditions & Problems:

Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.

Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.

Knees – If you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.  

Symptoms

  • Pain around the heel or arch area
  • Trouble standing on the tip toe
  • Swelling around the inside of the ankle
  • Flat look to one or both feet
  • Having your shoes feel uneven when worn

Treatment

If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Chicago, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Flat Feet

Children and young teenagers who have heel pain may be experiencing a foot condition that is known as Sever's disease. This is an ailment that can affect the growth plate in the heel of children who frequently participate in running and jumping activities. Another term for this condition is calcaneal apophysitis. Sever’s disease can cause ankle pain and difficulty walking, which may lead to limping. Many patients find relief when the activity that caused the pain is temporarily stopped. Upon returning to physical activities, wearing supportive shoes may help to prevent this condition from recurring. Some patients find it beneficial to perform stretching exercises, as this can help to strengthen the Achilles tendon and lower the risk of future injuries. If your child is complaining of heel pain, it is strongly recommended that you schedule a consultation with a podiatrist who can effectively treat this condition.

Sever's disease often occurs in children and teens. If your child is experiencing foot or ankle pain, see Dr. Catherine J. Minnick from Illinois. Our doctor 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 our offices located in Chicago, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle injuries.

Read more about Sever's Disease
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