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December 2021

Tuesday, 28 December 2021 00:00

Can Osteoarthritis Occur in the Ankles?

Osteoarthritis in the ankles is a very painful condition which causes the cartilage that protects bones in the ankle to deteriorate. This leads to bones rubbing against each other, swelling, stiffness, tenderness and intense pain in the ankle, and a decreased ability to walk or bend and flex your ankles. Several factors can increase your risk of developing osteoarthritis (OA) in the ankles, such as previous ankle injuries, recurrent high-impact stress on the ankles, misaligned joints, genetics, obesity and age. Your podiatrist can diagnose OA with a physical exam to test joint tenderness and swelling, X-rays, a gait analysis to assess your stride and foot and ankle biomechanics, and blood tests to distinguish OA from other forms of arthritis. There are many ways a podiatrist can help you manage the symptoms of OA, from lifestyle changes and physical therapy to various braces and orthotic devices, topical creams, pain relievers, and steroid injections. In severe cases of OA, surgery may be beneficial to remove spurs and loose cartilage, fuse the ankle to reduce pain, or replace damaged cartilage and bone with prosthetic parts (arthroplasty). If you believe you may have osteoarthritis in the ankle, it is suggested that you make an appointment as soon as possible to begin treatment.

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Ronald K. Olm from Grand Traverse Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Arthritic Foot Care  

Arthritis is a term that is commonly used to describe joint pain.  The condition itself can occur to anyone of any age, race, or gender, and there are over 100 types of it.  Nevertheless, arthritis is more commonly found in women compared to men, and it is also more prevalent in those who are overweight. The causes of arthritis vary depending on which type of arthritis you have. Osteoarthritis for example, is often caused by injury, while rheumatoid arthritis is caused by a misdirected immune system.

Symptoms

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Decreased Range of Motion

Arthritic symptoms range in severity, and they may come and go. Some symptoms stay the same for several years but could potentially get worse with time. Severe cases of arthritis can prevent its sufferers from performing daily activities and make walking difficult.

Risk Factors

  • Occupation – Occupations requiring repetitive knee movements have been linked to osteoarthritis
  • Obesity – Excess weight can contribute to osteoarthritis development
  • Infection – Microbial agents can infect the joints and trigger arthritis
  • Joint Injuries – Damage to joints may lead to osteoarthritis
  • Age – Risk increases with age
  • Gender –Most types are more common in women
  • Genetics – Arthritis can be hereditary

If you suspect your arthritis is affecting your feet, it is crucial that you see a podiatrist immediately. Your doctor will be able to address your specific case and help you decide which treatment method is best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Traverse City and Kalkaska, MI . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about How to Care for Your Arthritic Foot
Tuesday, 21 December 2021 00:00

How Bunions Form

Bunions are a common foot deformity known as a small, bony lump on the side of the big toe. This bony protrusion usually forms due to the big toe bending towards the smaller toes when it should be straight, thus pushing the bones out of alignment. Bunions gradually form over time and typically get worse without treatment. The angle of the bunion gets sharper, and the bump can grow larger. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary. Bunions may be the result of an inherited mechanical structure, or they may form from wearing shoes that are too tight. Common symptoms of a bunion include pain in the affected area, inflammation, a burning sensation, and possible numbness. It is suggested that larger shoes, or shoes with a wide toe box be worn when you are afflicted with a bunion. Patients who are struggling with this ailment should consult with a podiatrist as soon as possible to determine the best course of treatment.

If you are suffering from bunion pain, contact Dr. Ronald K. Olm of Grand Traverse Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.

Causes

  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development

Symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Traverse City and Kalkaska, MI . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about What Are Bunions?
Wednesday, 15 December 2021 00:00

Tired of Getting Cold Feet?

Cold feet, generally caused by poor blood flow, often increases as we age. Causes can be linked to having a more sedentary lifestyle, obesity, diabetes and smoking. But the sensation of cold feet, while annoying, can also indicate much more serious conditions, such as Deep Vein Thrombosis, or blood clots; hardening of the arteries, or atherosclerosis. These conditions can be life threatening and should not be overlooked. Some ways you can improve circulation to the feet include lowering blood pressure with a healthy diet, getting more exercise, and keeping your feet elevated by using a recliner. If symptoms of cold feet persist, please consult a podiatrist to find out more information on treatment methods.

Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact Dr. Ronald K. Olm of Grand Traverse Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is can be caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Plaque buildup or atherosclerosis results from excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. This can restrict the amount of blood which can flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.

Causes

Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development. It can also cause:

  • Muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness   
  • Numbness or cramping in the legs 
  • Skin discoloration
  • Slower nail & hair growth
  • Erectile dysfunction

Those who have diabetes or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, as are those who are over 50. If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions.

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 one of our offices located in Traverse City and Kalkaska, MI . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Poor Blood Circulation in the Feet
Thursday, 09 December 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!

Tuesday, 07 December 2021 00:00

Taking Steps Toward a Lifetime of Healthy Feet

Taking care of our feet will help you to stay active and mobile throughout your lifetime. One of the best paths to healthy feet is to wear good shoes that fit well, are supportive, and have plenty of room in the toe box and proper cushioning on the sole and heel. Maintaining a healthy weight is also very important. Carrying around extra weight puts undue stress on your feet and ankles can increase our chances of developing conditions like diabetes, which can further compromise the health of your feet. Good old-fashioned hygiene is another basic element in maintaining optimum foot health. Feet should be kept clean, dry and moisturized, and fresh socks should be worn every day. Toenails need to be trimmed straight across and kept around 1-2 mm (0.04” to 0.08”) long. Trimming toenails too short might allow them to grow into the skin. Also, to prevent getting a cut or fungal infection, you should avoid going barefoot in public,  especially in communal shower areas and other wet spaces open to the public. A podiatrist can also offer additional advice and professional care throughout your lifetime to keep your feet healthy and functional.

Everyday foot care is very important to prevent infection and other foot ailments. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Ronald K. Olm from Grand Traverse Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Everyday Foot Care

Often, people take care of their bodies, face and hair more so than they do for their feet. But the feet are a very important aspect of our bodies, and one that we should pay more attention to. Without our feet, we would not be able to perform most daily tasks.

It is best to check your feet regularly to make sure there are no new bruises or cuts that you may not have noticed before. For dry feet, moisturizer can easily be a remedy and can be applied as often as necessary to the affected areas. Wearing shoes that fit well can also help you maintain good foot health, as well as making it easier to walk and do daily activities without the stress or pain of ill-fitting shoes, high heels, or even flip flops. Wearing clean socks with closed shoes is important to ensure that sweat and bacteria do not accumulate within the shoe. Clean socks help to prevent Athlete’s foot, fungi problems, bad odors, and can absorb sweat.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Traverse City and Kalkaska, MI . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Every Day Foot Care
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