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May 2019

Friday, 31 May 2019 00:00

Heel Pain Can Be Treated!

Do you suffer from heel pain when you get up in the morning?

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Stress fractures are small breaks in the bone that are caused by repetitive stress. They typically occur due to overuse, forcing the bones of the foot or ankle to continually absorb the full impact of each step taken. Stress fractures can also be caused by abnormal foot structure, osteoporosis, bone deformities, or wearing improper footwear during exercise.

Stress fractures are common for individuals whose daily activities cause high levels of impact on their feet and ankles. Those who run, play tennis or basketball, or practice gymnastics tend to experience these fractures more frequently. Anyone is susceptible to this problem, though. Individuals who are normally sedentary and suddenly begin an intense, high impact workout may sustain stress fractures. This is because their muscles are not yet strong enough to handle and cushion the intensity of their activity. Osteoporosis may also cause someone to get stress fractures, because the disease weakens an afflicted person's bones and makes it easier for them to break down.

Pain from stress fractures typically occurs in the general area of the fracture. Pain can also manifest as “pinpoint pain” or pain that is felt when the site of the injury is touched, and can be accompanied by swelling. It may occur during or after activity, and it may disappear while resting and return when standing or moving. Engaging in any kind of activity, high impact or otherwise, will aggravate the pain. If the intensity of the activity increases before the stress fracture has properly healed, it can cause a full fracture.

Treatment can vary depending on the individual and the degree of injury. The primary way to treat a stress fracture is to rest the hurt foot. Some fractures will heal quickly with only a little bit of rest, while others may require a long rest period and the use of crutches, immobilization, or physical therapy. Under certain circumstances, surgery may be required to install support pins around the fracture to assist in healing.

If you are undergoing a new exercise regimen in running or some other kind of high impact activity, set incremental goals on a weekly basis so you can build up muscle strength. Make sure to wear supportive shoes to better protect you feet.

If you begin to experience any symptoms of stress fractures, you should stop exercising and rest. If the symptoms persist, consult with your podiatrist. Remembering these tips can help you prevent stress fractures to your foot and ankle, and allow you to continue living normally.

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Stress fractures are tiny cracks in the bones of the feet. They occur as a result of participating in activities that cause the bones in the foot to weaken and crack faster than the healing process can begin. This can occur due to several reasons, including training in your chosen sport before adequate healing has been completed, increasing the amount of time training in a short period of time, or running on different surfaces. The symptoms that are associated with stress fractures often include swelling, burning pain, and difficulty walking on the affected foot. Effective treatment begins with staying off the foot for several weeks, depending on the severity of the injury. This can be accomplished by wearing a cast. If you have sustained a stress fracture, speak to a podiatrist who can guide you toward proper treatment options.

Activities where too much pressure is put on the feet can cause stress fractures. To learn more, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick from Illinois. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep your pain free and on your feet.

Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

Stress fractures occur in the foot and ankle when muscles in these areas weaken from too much or too little use.  The feet and ankles then lose support when walking or running from the impact of the ground. Since there is no protection, the bones receive the full impact of each step. Stress on the feet can cause cracks to form in the bones, thus creating stress fractures.

What Are Stress Fractures?

Stress fractures occur frequently in individuals whose daily activities cause great impact on the feet and ankles. Stress factors are most common among:

  • Runners                                  
  • People affected with Osteoporosis
  • Tennis or basketball players
  • Gymnasts
  • High impact workouts

Symptoms

Pain from the fractures occur in the area of the fractures and can be constant or intermittent. It will often cause sharp or dull pain with swelling and tenderness. Engaging in any kind of activity which involves high impact will aggravate pain.

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.

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Monday, 20 May 2019 00:00

All About Broken Ankle

Broken ankles or “ankle fractures” are a type of injury that occurs when the bones that make up the ankle joint are broken. Ankle injuries are some of the most common bone and joint injuries. The ankle joint is made up of three bones that join. The tibia is the main bone, and it makes up the inside of the anklebone. The fibula is a smaller bone, and it makes up the outside of the anklebone. A membrane called the joint capsule is lined with a layer called the synovium, which covers the entire joint. The synovium produces synovial fluid which allows for the joint surfaces to move.

An ankle becomes broken when the joint is stressed beyond the strength of its limits. When an ankle is fractured, ligaments may also tear at the same time. Fractures often occur to the ankle rolling or twisting in an unusual way. At times, a fracture may even be caused by an extreme force applied to the joint.

Symptoms of a broken ankle include pain, swelling, bruising, discoloration, numbness, and an inability to move the toes. If you have a broken ankle, you may also hear something tear or snap when you initially suffered the injury. If you have pain from a broken ankle, beware that the pain will not always come from the exact area of the fracture; you may also experience pain from associated foot fractures. The swelling you may experience can suggest that soft tissue damage may have occurred due to the injury.

There are differences between an ankle fracture and an ankle sprain. The difference is that a fracture or break in the bone is required to classify an injury as a broken ankle. An ankle sprain occurs when there is a tear or disruption of ligaments in the ankle. In some cases, the prognosis of an ankle sprain may be worse than that of a fracture.

X-rays are the most common way used to diagnose a broken ankle. X-rays show if the ankle is broken and where exactly the fracture is located. It will also show how many pieces of broken bone there are. A second method of testing to see if an ankle is broken is a stress test.  To do this, the doctor will put pressure on the ankle and perform a stress test to determine if the fracture requires surgery. Other methods for diagnosis include CT scans and MRI scans.

If you are suffering from a broken ankle, consult with your podiatrist immediately to receive a proper diagnosis and treatment.

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The treatment and recovery for a broken ankle depends on the doctor’s specific diagnosis. For a stable ankle break, you may need to use crutches in order to keep weight off of the injury. You also may need to wear a boot or a cast. An unstable break, on the other hand, will typically require surgery. Both those with stable and unstable ankle breaks usually need to attend physical therapy. The recovery varies on the injury and the surgery. The time to return to low-impact athletic activity can span from three to four months for a stable ankle break, and nine months to one year for unstable ankle breaks. Be sure to consult with a podiatrist on the particular details of your ankle injury.

Broken ankles need immediate treatment. If you are seeking treatment, 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 Ankles
A broken ankle is experienced when a person fractures their tibia or fibula in the lower leg and ankle area. Both of these bones are attached at the bottom of the leg and combine to form what we know to be our ankle.

When a physician is referring to a break of the ankle, he or she is usually referring to a break in the area where the tibia and fibula are joined to create our ankle joint. Ankles are more prone to fractures because the ankle is an area that suffers a lot of pressure and stress. There are some obvious signs when a person experiences a fractured ankle, and the following symptoms may be present.

Symptoms of a Fractured Ankle

  • Excessive pain when the area is touched or when any pressure is placed on the ankle
  •  Swelling around the area
  •  Bruising of the area
  • Area appears to be deformed

If you suspect an ankle fracture, it is recommended to seek treatment as soon as possible. The sooner you have your podiatrist diagnose the fracture, the quicker you’ll be on the way towards recovery.

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.

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The purpose of the body’s circulation system is to transport blood, oxygen, and nutrients throughout the body. A reduction of blood to a specific part of the body may cause one to experience symptoms of poor circulation. The most common causes of poor circulation in the feet are obesity, diabetes, and heart conditions such as peripheral artery disease (PAD). Common symptoms of poor circulation include tingling, numbness, throbbing, pain and muscle cramps.

Peripheral artery disease is a common cause of poor circulation in the legs. Symptoms of PAD are cramping, pain or tiredness in the leg or hip muscles while walking or climbing stairs. This pain tends to go away with rest and starts back up when you begin to walk.  It is a condition that causes the blood vessels and arteries to become narrow. Although PAD is more common in adults over the age of 50, it may also occur in younger people.  A similar condition called atherosclerosis causes arteries to stiffen up due to a buildup of plaque in the arteries and blood vessels.

Blood clots are also a common cause of poor circulation in the feet. Clots may obstruct blood vessels and if they occur in the legs, they may eventually lead to pain and discoloration. This occurrence is commonly known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and it may travel to the lungs. Varicose veins are another condition that may lead to poor circulation, and it is caused by incompetence of the valves in the veins. Women who are overweight are prone to developing this condition. Lastly, diabetes, which is correlated with poor blood sugar metabolism may lead to chronic poor circulation. Those with diabetes often suffer from cramping in the legs, calves, thighs and buttocks.

If you are looking for ways to avoid poor circulation there are some tips you can follow. One tip is to avoid sitting for too long. If you plan to sit down for a long period of time, you should try standing up occasionally, to improve your circulation. Another great way to avoid poor circulation is to exercise. Exercise is an excellent way to pump the heart and increase blood flow. Those who suffer from poor circulation should also avoid smoking, reduce their salt intake, and try to lose weight.

If you are experiencing symptoms from poor circulation in your feet, you should consult with your podiatrist to determine the best method for treatment for you. He or she may prescribe medication in addition to recommending specific lifestyle changes to improve your circulation.

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One of the first symptoms that is noticed in poor circulation is a numbing or tingling sensation that is felt in the feet. When the blood circulates properly, toxins are carried through the bloodstream for elimination. If the arteries are clogged, the blood may have difficulty moving freely through the body. There are several methods to improve poor circulation. Research has indicated that exercising regularly is beneficial in improving circulation, and this can include yoga, stretching, or walking. Additionally, this condition can be improved by incorporating foods into your diet such as fruits and vegetables. Many patients enjoy massages as an effective method to improve circulation. If you have poor circulation and would like information about how it affects the feet, please consult with a podiatrist.

While poor circulation itself isn’t a condition; it is a symptom of another underlying health condition you may have. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick of Illinois. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) can potentially lead to poor circulation in the lower extremities. PAD is a condition that causes the blood vessels and arteries to narrow. In a linked condition called atherosclerosis, the arteries stiffen up due to a buildup of plaque in the arteries and blood vessels. These two conditions can cause a decrease in the amount of blood that flows to your extremities, therefore resulting in pain.

Symptoms

Some of the most common symptoms of poor circulation are:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Throbbing or stinging pain in limbs
  • Pain
  • Muscle Cramps

Treatment for poor circulation often depends on the underlying condition that causes it. Methods for treatment may include insulin for diabetes, special exercise programs, surgery for varicose veins, or compression socks for swollen legs.

As always, see a podiatrist as he or she will assist in finding a regimen that suits you. A podiatrist can also prescribe you any needed medication. 

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.

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Monday, 06 May 2019 00:00

Treating Toenail Fungus

Fungal infection of the toenail, or onychomycosis, typically appears as a gradual change in a toenail’s texture and color that involves brittleness and darkening.  The fungal infection itself occurs beneath the surface of the nail.  Aside from discoloration, other symptoms include the collection of debris beneath the nail plate, white marks on the nail plate, and a foul odor emanating from the nail.  If ignored, the infection can spread into other nails and the skin; in severe cases, it can hinder one’s ability to work or walk. 

The toenails are particularly vulnerable to contracting infection in moist environments where people are likely to be walking barefoot, such as around swimming pools, public showers, and locker rooms.  Fungal infection may also be more likely to occur in nail beds that have been injured, and sufferers of chronic diseases such as diabetes, circulatory problems, or immunodeficiency conditions are particularly prone to developing fungal nails. 

Fungal nails can be primarily prevented by practicing proper hygiene and regularly examining the feet and toes.  Carefully washing the feet with soap and water and thoroughly drying the feet afterwards are essential.  Other tips include wearing shower shoes in public areas, changing shoes and socks daily, keeping toenails clipped at a short length, wearing breathable shoes that fit properly, wearing moisture-wicking socks, and disinfecting home pedicure tools and instruments used to cut nails.

Fungal nail treatment may vary between patients and the severity of the condition.  Your podiatrist may suggest a daily routine of cleansing that spans over a period of time to ease mild infections.  Over-the-counter or prescription antifungal agents may also be prescribed, including topical and/or oral medications.  Debridement, or the removal of diseased nail matter and debris, may also be performed.  In more severe cases, surgical treatment may be needed.  In some instances, the temporary removal of the fungal nail allows for the direct application of a topical antifungal to the nail bed.  In other cases, a chronically painful fungal nail that has not responded to other treatments may be permanently removed; this allows the infection to be cured and avoids the growth of a deformed nail.  

Published in Featured
Monday, 06 May 2019 00:00

Facts About Toenail Fungus

The purpose of the toenail is to protect the toes against injury. Many patients experience toenail fungus at some point in their lives. They often notice the nail will change consistency and has a yellow or white tinge to it.  Additionally, the nail will become darker and thicker as the fungus grows deeper into the nail bed. This condition is considered to be contagious, and the fungus that causes this thrives in warm and moist areas. These include public pools and surrounding areas, shower room floors, and locker rooms. As the fungus progresses, the nail may become brittle, and may have a foul odor to it. It may be possible to prevent this type of fungus from entering the body. This can be accomplished by wearing appropriate shoes while in public areas, and changing your socks often if they are wet for the majority of the day. Please consult with a podiatrist for additional information about toenail fungus.

For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick of Illinois. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Toenail Fungus Treatment

Toenail fungus is a condition that affects many people and can be especially hard to get rid of. Fortunately, there are several methods to go about treating and avoiding it.

Antifungals & Deterrence

Oral antifungal medicine has been shown to be effective in many cases. It is important to consult with a podiatrist to determine the proper regiment for you, or potentially explore other options.

Applying foot powder on the feet and shoes helps keep the feet free of moisture and sweat.

Sandals or open toed shoes – Wearing these will allow air movement and help keep feet dry. They also expose your feet to light, which fungus cannot tolerate. Socks with moisture wicking material also help as well.

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.

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Published in Blog
Wednesday, 01 May 2019 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!

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