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January 2022

The presence of diabetic peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage) and peripheral artery disease (poor circulation) in many diabetic patients creates a perfect storm of factors that can make wounds difficult to detect and take longer to heal. Chronic wounds that don’t heal (ulcers) are potentially very dangerous to both the overall health of the patient as well as their affected limb. There are eight steps every diabetic should take to help prevent such ulcers: 1) check your feet daily for cuts, growths or red spots, 2) wash and thoroughly dry your feet every day, 3) moisturize your feet, except between the toes, 4) trim your toenails straight across, but not too short, 5) avoid walking barefoot, and wear shoes that fit well, 6) protect your feet from extreme heat or cold, 7) elevate your feet as much as possible when sitting, and exercise your toes and ankles to aid circulation, and 8) have a podiatrist examine your feet at least once a year.

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with Cory Brown, DPM from Brown Foot and Ankle. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

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

Read more about Wound Care
Tuesday, 18 January 2022 00:00

What Causes Toe Cramps?

Just like other parts of your body, your feet and toes have many muscles. These muscles can become cramped, leading to pain and difficulty walking. The pain is usually temporary and often goes away without treatment. Possible causes of toe cramps include having tight or weak muscles, a muscle injury, wearing poorly-fitted shoes, and being dehydrated. Sometimes, toe cramps can be a symptom of a more serious problem. For example, poor circulation can make the feet and toes ache and spasm, while nerve damage can cause pain, cramps, tingling, and numbness in the toes. Both of these conditions are often seen in patients who have diabetes. Another potential cause of toe cramps is arthritis, a condition that causes pain and inflammation in joints, including those in the toes. If you have persistent toe cramps that are bothering you, it is strongly suggested that you seek the care of a podiatrist. 

Foot Pain

Foot pain can be extremely painful and debilitating. If you have a foot pain, consult with Cory Brown, DPM from Brown Foot and Ankle. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Causes

Foot pain is a very broad condition that could be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:

  • Bunions
  • Hammertoes
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Bone Spurs
  • Corns
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Ingrown Toenails
  • Arthritis (such as Gout, Rheumatoid, and Osteoarthritis)
  • Flat Feet
  • Injury (from stress fractures, broken toe, foot, ankle, Achilles tendon ruptures, and sprains)
  • And more

Diagnosis

To figure out the cause of foot pain, podiatrists utilize several different methods. This can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.

Treatment

Treatment depends upon the cause of the foot pain. Whether it is resting, staying off the foot, or having surgery; podiatrists have a number of treatment options available for foot pain.

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

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Tuesday, 11 January 2022 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!

Hammertoes, claw toes, and mallet toes all result from the toes getting bent into odd positions. They usually look odd or unsightly, and they typically affect the smaller toes. When the toe is bent downward and the middle joint raises up, this is known as a hammertoe. This condition frequently affects the second toe and sometimes coincides with a bunion. Claw toes occur when the toes curl up due to the middle joints being bent down, and they often affect all four smaller toes at the same time. When the joint closest to the tip of the toe bends downward, it forms what is known as a mallet toe. Wearing shoes that are too tight is most commonly blamed for these conditions arising, but they can also be linked to diabetes or arthritis. These toe ailments can be quite painful, so patients who are struggling with one would be wise to consult with a podiatrist who can help find a treatment option and determine if surgery is necessary. 

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Cory Brown, DPM from Brown Foot and Ankle. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

If you have any questions please contact our office located in Abilene, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What Are Hammertoes?
Wednesday, 05 January 2022 00:00

What Are Causes of Stress Fractures?

Most people have heard of shin splints, which affect the lower leg bone as the result of hard pounding while running. But this same activity can also affect the metatarsals of the foot, resulting in stress fractures. Metatarsals are the five long bones in the foot that connect the heel and arch to the toes. The second and third metatarsals are those most likely to develop stress fractures, which are tiny cracks in the bones. This makes sense because this is the area of the foot that takes the brunt of pounding during activity. Stress fractures are thought to be more common in women and older people. Participating in certain activities – including running, playing basketball, dancing, and marching – also increases the likelihood of developing stress fractures. In addition, osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes, and calcium deficiency can be contributing factors. It may be hard to tell if you have stress fractures, because often the pain subsides after you stop the activity. However, if you begin to feel the pain even when you are not exercising, it is suggested that you seek the care of a podiatrist, who can properly diagnose your condition and suggest an appropriate treatment plan.

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, contact Cory Brown, DPM from Brown Foot and Ankle. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain free and on your feet.

How Are They Caused?

Stress fractures are the result of repetitive force being placed on the bone. Since the lower leg and feet often carry most of the body’s weight, stress fractures are likely to occur in these areas. If you rush into a new exercise, you are more likely to develop a stress fracture since you are starting too much, too soon.  Pain resulting from stress fractures may go unnoticed at first, however it may start to worsen over time.

Risk Factors

  • Gender – They are more commonly found in women compared to men.
  • Foot Problems – People with unusual arches in their feet are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Certain Sports – Dancers, gymnasts, tennis players, runners, and basketball players are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Lack of Nutrients – A lack of vitamin D and calcium may weaken the bones and make you more prone to stress fractures
  • Weak Bones – Osteoporosis can weaken the bones therefore resulting in stress fractures

Stress fractures do not always heal properly, so it is important that you seek help from a podiatrist if you suspect you may have one. Ignoring your stress fracture may cause it to worsen, and you may develop chronic pain as well as additional fractures.

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

Read more about Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
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