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Physical therapist Steve Miller says that Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome is a fairly prevalent condition. Miller says that Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome is most likely to occur among people with flat feet and participants that go into intensive physical activity unprepared.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome is basically the compression on the tibial nerve in the ankle. The compression in the tibial nerve can cause a shooting pain in the lower areas such as the foot, ankle and lower leg. To treat the condition, a physician can provide soft tissue massages and nerve glides to lower the pain and pressure placed on the tibial nerve.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very painful. If you have any pain in your foot or ankle, see podiatrist Dr. Catherine J Minnick, DPM of Chicago. Dr. Minnick can treat your foot and ankle needs.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can also be called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon condition of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is the peripheral nerve in the leg responsible for sensation and movement of the foot and calf muscles. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the tibial nerve is damaged, causing problems with movement and feeling in the foot of the affected leg.

Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

-Involves pressure or an injury, direct pressure on the tibial nerve for an extended period of time, sometimes caused by other body structures close by or near the knee.
-Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
-At times, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.

The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

-Different sensations, an afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of the affected leg.
-The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling your toes or flexing your foot can become difficult.
-If condition worsens, infections and ulcers may develop on the foot that is experiencing the syndrome.

A physical exam of the leg can help identify the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome.

For more information about Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, follow the link below.

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

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Published in Blog
Tuesday, 10 June 2014 16:43

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, also called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon form of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. Peripheral nerves are the nerves that carry signals from the brain and spinal cord to the other parts of the body. The tibial nerve is the peripheral nerve in the leg responsible for sensation and movement of the foot and calf muscles. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the tibial nerve is damaged, causing problems with movement and feeling in the foot of the affected leg.

Common causes of tarsal tunnel syndrome involve pressure or an injury. Direct pressure on the tibial nerve for an extended period of time, sometimes caused by other body structures close by or near the knee, or trauma to the tibial nerve can result in tarsal tunnel syndrome. Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome. However, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.

Feeling different sensations in the foot at different times is a common symptom of tarsal tunnel syndrome. An afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of affected leg, with primary problems occurring on the bottom of the foot. The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling toes or flexing the foot becomes difficult. If the condition worsens, the person may develop infections and ulcers on the affected foot because of the lack of sensation. The affected foot can become permanently deformed, and sensation loss, particularly in the toes, is sometimes permanent.

A physical exam of the leg can help identify the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Medical tests, such as a nerve biopsy, are also used to diagnose the condition.

Occasionally, a person with tarsal tunnel syndrome can recover without specific treatment, but over the counter pain medication is still used to reduce the discomfort associated with the condition. Treatments for more severe tarsal tunnel syndrome focus on regaining sensation and strength in the affected toes and foot. Patients may receive physical therapy and prescription painkillers if the pain isn't managed by over the counter pain relievers. A surgery designed to lessen pressure on the tibial nerve can help in some cases. The surgeon enlarges the patient's tarsal tunnel, a ligament and bone structure in the foot that the tibial nerve passes through, relieving some of the pressure on the tibial nerve. 

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According to a study that was published in the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association, nerve decompression procedures may aid diabetic patients. The procedure is believed to drastically reduce the recurrence rate in ulcers for patients, particularly those contending with diabetic sensorimotor polyneuropathy (DSP).

Lead author D. Scott Nickerson, MD told Medscape Medical News.  "Almost every amputation is preceded by an ulcer wound. If we can do something that changes the risk of having a repeat ulcer or a first ulcer event, we can probably do something to greatly reduce the risk of an amputation.”  However, the topic of whether operative nerve works completely is subject for debate, with some who argue that there is not substantial evidence to support its use.

Diabetics need good foot care. If you or a loved one is diabetic, see podiatrist Dr. Catherine J Minnick, DPM of Chicago. Dr. Minnick can treat your podiatric conditions.

Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes affects millions of people of all ages each year. Diabetes damages blood vessels in many parts of the body, including the feet. When damage occurs to nerves in the feet, they may be unable to send the proper signals to the peripheral nervous system, resulting in a condition known as neuropathy. Once a diabetic patient develops neuropathy, it is imperative that the feet are well taken care of to avoid possible amputation of the feet.

The Importance of Caring for Your Feet

- Regularly check your feet for bruises or sores.
- Wear socks that fit your feet; socks shouldn’t be tight.
- Wear properly fitting shoes that are comfortable.

Patients with diabetes should have their doctor monitor their Hemoglobin A1C levels as this test lets the physician know how well the blood sugar levels have been controlled during the past 3 months. It is important to keep the blood sugar levels in a normal range (70-110mg/dl). It is advisable to visit a podiatrist if the diabetic patient is experiencing any conditions involving the feet.

For more information about Diabetic Foot Care, follow the link below.

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

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Tuesday, 20 May 2014 13:48

Proper Footwear is Key to Outdoor Fun

Katey Behney, co-owner of Mountain Tops Outdoors, grew up in Beacon, and spent most of her time with her family hiking up the mountain which was conveniently located nearby.

Now, Behney and her husband are on a mission to help others get their hike by ensuring they select the proper outdoor footwear.

"With an outdoor activity, you have to look at your clothing and footwear as equipment and having the right equipment is going to make the experience a better one," Behney said. "If you don't have the right shoes on, you could be cold, you could be slipping. Your feet could get wet." According to the Outdoor Industry Association in 2013 consumers spent $28.9 billion on outdoor apparel, running footwear held the first position contributing to almost half of the category's sales, with sandals following 7 per cent. 

When it comes to finding a properly fitting shoe, pick a supportive, comfortable shoe. For more information, see podiatrist Dr. Catherine J Minnick, DPM of Chicago. Dr. Minnick can work with you to find the right shoe for your feet.   

Proper Shoe Fitting

A common concern when it comes to foot health, having properly fitted shoes can help prevent injuries to the foot. Out feet affect our posture and gait, which in turn affects the biomechanics and overall bodily structure. With 33 joints, 26 bones, and over 100 ligaments, the potential for serious injury is much greater than one realizes. Although the feet cease growth in adulthood, they still change shape as they mature. Here are some factors to consider when it comes to investing in properly fitting shoes:

  • Be sure the shoes fit correctly right away
  • Ensure the ball of your foot fits comfortably in the widest portion of the shoes
  • Even though they may look fashionable, improperly fitting shoes can either create adverse conditions or exacerbate existing ones you may already have
  • Walk along a carpeted surface to ensure the shoes comfortably fit during normal activity

To learn more about proper shoe fitting, please follow link below.

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

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Laura Caradonna-Dubiel  was a participant in five Boston Marathons. Unfortunately, she could not participate for two years as a result of Morton’s Neuroma. "I didn’t run the last two years, as I had Morton’s neuroma. That is nerve damage between toes. It causes your toes to go numb, and it can be extremely painful if you try to run on it," Caradonna-Dubiel said.

To ensure she participate this year, the runner was administered cortisone shots and received orthotic inserts several weeks prior to the race.  "My feet were cramping up. I was keeping a good time, but the heat killed me," said Caradonna-Dubiel. "I was determined to finish. I kept thinking ‘Boston Strong.’ I’ve never seen crowd support like I did that day."

Morton’s Neuroma is painful. If you are experiencing foot or ankle pain, talk to podiatrist Dr. Catherine J Minnick, DPM of Chicago. Dr. Minnick can help treat your foot and ankle needs.  

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton's neuroma is a painful foot condition that commonly affects the areas between the third and fourth toe and the ball of the foot, although other areas of the foot are also susceptible to this condition. Morton’s neuroma is caused by an inflamed nerve in the foot that is being squeezed and aggravated by surrounding bones.  Women are more likely than men to have an occurrence of this foot condition.

What Increases the Chances of having Morton’s Neuroma?


-Ill-fitting high heels or shoes that add pressure to the toe or foot area.
-Jogging, running and any sports that involve constant impact to the foot area.
-Flat feet, bunions, and any other foot deformity may put you at a higher risk for developing Morton’s neuroma.

If you suspect that you may have this condition, you should visit your podiatrist. A podiatrist will first conduct a thorough physical examination to check for palpable masses between the bones of the foot. The podiatrist will also apply pressure to the foot or toe area to replicate the pain a person experiences when active.

For more information on the treatment of diabetes, visit our link below.

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

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Published in Blog
Tuesday, 13 May 2014 13:32

Morton's Neuroma

Morton's neuroma is a painful foot condition that commonly affects the areas between the third and fourth toe and the ball of the foot. Other areas of the foot can also be susceptible to this condition. Morton’s neuroma is caused by an inflamed nerve in the foot that is being squeezed and aggravated by surrounding bones.  Women are more likely than men to have an occurrence of this foot condition. When a person has Morton's neuroma, it can feel as if they are walking on stones or marbles.

There are risk factors that can increase a person's chance of having Morton's neuroma. Ill-fitting high heels or shoes can add pressure to the toe or foot area. Jogging, running and any other sports that involve constant impact to the foot area can make a person more susceptible to this condition. If a person has flat feet, bunions or any other foot deformities, it can put them at a higher risk for developing Morton's neuroma.

There is no one major sign that indicates a person has Morton's neuroma, but rather certain symptoms to look for. A person who has burning in the ball of the foot or tingling and numbness in the toe areas are signs they may have Morton's neuroma. The pain increases greatly when wearing shoes or being active. There usually is little or no pain at night.

If a person suspects that they have this condition, they should visit their doctor. A physician will check for palpable masses between the bones of the foot. A doctor will also apply pressure to the foot or toe area to replicate the pain a person experiences when active. Range of motion tests and X-rays are other options a doctor may offer a patient to rule out other conditions or problems.

Treating Morton's neuroma can be as simple as changing the type of shoes a person wears. Wear wider shoes or flat shoes with a soft sole. Doing this may help reduce the pressure on the nerve that is aggravated. If necessary, a person can have a cortisone injection to help reduce swelling and pain in the foot area.

If these methods don't relieve the symptoms, consulting with an orthopedic surgeon should be the next option. During a consultation, a patient will find out about the treatment methods available for Morton's neuroma. A surgeon can release the tissue around the nerve that is causing this pain, or they can remove a small area of the nerve completely. There is a short recovery time for this type of surgery, and afterward, patients can return to their normal lifestyle.

 

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At just the age of eight, Jack Hart needed to use a walker and was relegated to having to use a wheelchair. Hart suffers from a rare form of arthritis known as Perthes. Perthes is a form of juvenile arthritis which limits blood flow to the hip, causing the head of the femur to break down and inflammation in the hip joint.

“I noticed a big difference in him,” says Joy Hart, Jack’s mother. “We took him to his family doctor (Jeff White) who sent us to the Janeway right away for an X-ray. We got a call to come see Dr. White on Tuesday afternoon and he told us that Jack had a rare condition called Perthes disease. We had never heard of it. It was all new and overwhelming.” Although Hart is now progressing in his recovery well, including regaining his mobility, he cannot run or jump and must still undergo physio. 

If you suspect you or a loved one has arthritis of the feet or ankle, see podiatrist Dr. Catherine J Minnick, DPM of Chicago. Dr. Minnick can treat your foot and ankle conditions, injuries and needs.

Arthritic Foot Care

Humans will walk approximately 75,000 miles in the average lifetime. This can put a great deal of stress on the 26 bones and 30 joints that we have in our feet. As we get older, our feet lose flexibility and elasticity. Our shock absorbers weaken, and the joints become inflamed and distorted if arthritis occurs, making medical foot care and treatment crucial.

It is best to take care of your feet by wearing proper shoes. Certain conditions can develop as a result of poor footwear, such as hammertoe, neuromas, or bunions. Wearing shoes that have a lower heel and extra room can help your feet be comfortable. In cases of rheumatoid arthritis, the arch in your foot can be problematic. Buying shoes that contour to your feet with good arch support can help immensely.

Alleviating Arthritic Pain

-Specific exercises that stretch the Achilles tendon can prevent further pain and injury and increase mobility
-Most of the pain can be alleviated with anti-inflammatory drugs, heat, and topical medications with Capsaicin.
-Massages can help to alleviate pain temporarily.

It is best to visit your doctor for treatment that is right for your needs and symptoms. Conditions vary, and a podiatrist can help you determine the right health care for your feet.

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

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Published in Blog
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 19:30

Arthritic Foot Care

In our lifetimes we walk 75,000 miles, putting a great deal of stress on the 26 bones and 30 joints in our feet. As we age, our feet lose flexibility and elasticity. Our shock absorbers weaken, and if you add arthritis to that combination, joints become inflamed and distorted. Arthritic foot care becomes imperative at this point.


Start taking better care of your feet by buying better fitting shoes. Hammertoes, neuroma, and bunions form when our shoes fit poorly. Buy shoes with a lower heel and with more room in the shoe. Rheumatoid arthritis will cause you to lose your arch. Buying shoes with arch support will help, as will buying shoes that contour to your foot.


Leave a fingers width between your foot and the shoe. If your finger cannot fit inside your shoe when it is on your foot, it is too tight. Buy rubber soled shoes. The cushioning of the rubber absorbs shock and the flexibility of the rubber helps the ball of the foot, where you push off from as you walk. Look for square or rounded toed shoes giving your toes lots of room to move.


Exercise will also help. Stretching the Achilles tendon, the cord at the back of the heel, will prevent further pain and injury. This will also increase your foots mobility. Lack of mobility will cause significant stress and pain. Massages will also alleviate some pain. Knead the ball of your foot and your toes from top to bottom.


To stretch your Achilles tendon, lean against a wall, with palms flat on the wall. Place one foot forward and one foot back with the heel flat on the floor, then lean forward. Feel the pull in the Achilles tendon and calf. Hold for five seconds and repeat three times. The big toe stretch is another exercise that may alleviate stiffness. Place one thick rubber band around your big toes. Pull the toes toward the other toes on the foot. Hold for five seconds and repeat ten times. Another exercise to try is the toe pull. Place a thick rubber band around the toes of each foot. Spread your toes for five seconds and repeat ten times.


Pain can be alleviated with non-steroid, anti-inflammatory drugs, heat, and ultrasounds. Topical medications with Capsaicin may also help. Thus far, there is no remedy for pain that is one hundred percent effective. Buying shoes that give your feet plenty room with low rubber heels and soles will help. If needed, use heat and anti-inflammatory drugs, and exercise your tendons and toes. Lastly, arthritic foot care should incorporate massages to help your feet with circulation and to relieve the stress locked up in your feet. 

Published in Featured
Monday, 24 March 2014 20:18

Dinosaur DNA May Provide Cure for Gout

In a fascinating discovery, scientists are making use of ancientdinosaur DNA to develop a potential cure for gout. The DNA’s effectiveness as a treatment was tested by scientists through reviving a prehistoric protein via E.coli. The E.coli was then able to convert the ancient DNA into live proteins that were workable. The scientists then built a reversed timeline between the differences in DNA sequences from modern to ancient mammals, allowing them to achieve a desired result.

The DNA, which is 90 million years old, turns out to have performed best at eliminating the uric acid build up. Uric acid buildup is known for causing inflammation, a common symptom from gout. A patent has been filed for the protein with the company starting the drug’s production. The FDA is in the process of providing approval for clinical trials.

Gout is a serious condition. If you or a loved one is affected by gout, see podiatrist Dr. Catherine J Minnick, DPM of Chicago. Dr. Minnick can treat you and your loved one’s foot and ankle needs with professionalism and care.

What is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often affects the foot, especially the big toe, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.

The main reason get gout is because of a poor diet. Foods rich in purines like turkey, red meats, and liver can affect the body’s ability to excrete uric acid, which in turn leads to hyperuricema, the blood condition that causes gout to develop. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have as much as a one in five chance of developing it themselves.

Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet. In particular, low-fat dairy products, fruits high in vitamin C, and coffee are all foods that are known for their ability to help people recover from gout.

For more information about Gout in the feet and lower extremities, please follow the link below.

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

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23 year old Australian Rules footballer Jack Steven will be off the field for about 8-10 weeks after suffering an unfortunate injury during training. As a result, the St. Kilda Saints are forced to enter against Melbourne without one of their best midfielders, with the other, Leigh Montagna, under suspension. St. Kilda’s football head Chris Pelchen further said that

“Scans conducted late this afternoon revealed a fracture in his right foot which is obviously disappointing for both Jack and the club on the eve of the 2014 season.” This revealed that Steven’s fracture was a sesamoid fracture and not a stress fracture. “It’s important to note that the fracture is not stress related and followed an innocuous incident during training.”   

A sports related foot or ankle injurycan be devastating. If you suffered a foot or ankle related injury in the game come and see podiatrist Dr. Catherine J Minnick, DPM of Chicago. Dr. Minnick can determine the scope of your injury and work with you towards rehabilitation.

Sport Related Foot And Ankle Injuries 

Foot and ankle injuries are a common occurrence when it comes to athletes of any sport. While many athletes dismiss the initial aches and pains, the truth is that ignoring potential foot and ankle injuries can lead to serious problems. As athletes continue to place pressure and strain the area further, a mild injury can turn into something as serious as a rupture and may lead to a permanent disability. There are many factors that contribute to sports related foot and ankle injuries, which include failure to warm up properly, not providing support or wearing bad footwear. Common injuries and conditions athletes face, including:

•           Plantar Fasciitis

•           Plantar Fasciosis

•           Achilles Tendinitis

•           Achilles Tendon Rupture

•           Ankle Sprains

Sports-related injuries are commonly treated using the RICE method. This includes rest, applying ice to the injured area, compression and elevating the ankle. More serious sprains and injuries may require surgery, which could include arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery. Rehabilitation and therapy may also be required in order to get any recovering athlete to become fully functional again. Any unusual aches and pains an athlete sustains must be evaluated by a licensed, reputable medical professional.

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

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