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Fairhope, Brewton, Atmore, Jay Phone (251) 928-6768

bunionsA bunion is an enlargement of the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot, often formed from a bony growth or a patch of swollen tissues.It is caused by the shifting of the big toe bone inward towards the other toes. This shift can cause a serious amount of pain and discomfort. The area around the big toe can become inflamed, red, and painful.

Bunions are most commonly formed in people who are already genetically predisposed to them or other kinds of bone displacements. However, even if you do not have a history of this in your family, you can still develop bunions if you are wearing improperly fitting shoes. This can happen as you try to cram your feet into high heels, or by running or walking in a way that causes too much stress on the feet. High heels are another major culprit in the formation of bunions. Not only do they push the big toe inward, but your body weight and center of gravity is shifted towards the edge of your feet and your toes, which can cause bone displacement.

Bunions are quickly and easily diagnosed by podiatrists. However, because of their nature, they can appear similar to arthritic conditions or gout. A blood test is sometimes required to fully diagnose a bunion. A full radiological or x-ray exam could also be done by a podiatrist to examine the bone structure of your feet. One thing that is looked for specifically is an enlargement of that base joint or evidence of the big toe bone being pushed inward.

One of the first things to do if you have bunions is to get a larger, wider shoe that can remove pressure from your toes. This usually means that high heels should be eliminated from use for a period of time to allow the bunion to heal. Eliminating the pressure placed on a bunion is often enough to eliminate the pain involved with them. However, pain can persist in some instances and anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed. If the pain is too severe, steroid injections near the bunion or even surgery may be required. Orthotics for shoes may also be prescribed which can alleviate the pain of bunions by removing pressure from them. However, these methods simply stop the pain of bunions but do not correct the problem at its source.

As previously mentioned, surgery may be an option to completely eliminate your bunions. Surgery is done to reposition the toe bones so that they no longer face inward. This can be done by removing a section of bone or by rearranging the ligaments and tendons in the toe to help them align properly. Even after the surgery, it may be necessary to wear protective shoes for a while to ensure that the bunions do not return.

ingrown toenail

Signs that may indicate the formation of an ingrown toenail include redness, pain, swelling of the surrounding skin, possible bleeding or oozing of pus, and an overgrowth of the skin around the nail. The surrounding skin may also feel tender and become swollen or hardened. Most ingrown toenails are diagnosed by a simple physical exam; however, an x-ray may be required to show how deep the nail has grown into the skin of the toe.

Many factors influence the likelihood of developing an ingrown toenail. The most common way ingrown toenails are formed is due to an incorrect method in how the toenails are trimmed. If you cut your toenails too short or cut them at an angle, you’re putting yourself at risk of getting this condition. Another main factor that contributes to ingrown toenails is the choice of footwear. Those who commonly wear tightly fitted shoes, such as high heels, that do not give the toes enough room, put too much pressure on the big toes. This can create an ingrown toenail. To alleviate the pain, a small piece of cotton may be fitted underneath the nail. However, in more serious cases, total removal of the nail may be necessary.

For a proper diagnosis and advised treatment plan, we recommend you seek the care of a podiatrist as soon as you notice the warning signs of an ingrown toenail.

 

foot surgery

Foot and ankle surgery may be performed depending on the severity of the injury. In any case, if you happen to develop a foot condition, it’s always advised you seek the counsel of a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and advised treatment plan. If you notice an abnormal growth, a change in the appearance of your foot or ankle, discomfort while standing or walking, or general foot pain, it would be in your best interest to seek professional help, especially if surgery is the recommended treatment for your case.

Podiatrists perform foot and ankle surgery to treat a number of different conditions. These may include bunions, heel pain, flat feet, arthritis of the foot or ankle, sports injuries, hammertoes, ingrown toenails, complications due to diabetes, and fractures, to name a few. Again, the need for surgery is dependent upon the type of injury you are experiencing, as well as its severity. This also means that the recovery process for surgery will vary as well. With that being said, most podiatrists will recommend you get plenty of rest, stay off your feet, ice the affected area to reduce swelling, and elevate the affected area.

If you believe you have a foot or ankle injury that may require surgery, it’s highly recommended that you speak with a podiatrist as soon as possible to go over the best treatment option for your condition.

diabetic foot

Diabetes can unfortunately cause many foot problems that often lead to a great deal of pain and discomfort. For example, poor circulation of the feet is often an issue among those with diabetes because it damages the nerves. When this occurs, it’s likely for one to develop peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy can make it feel like you have pins and needles in your feet. Others who have experienced this condition have also recalled a burning, tingling, or numbing sensation.

Since nerves are often damaged due to diabetes, the issue of not feeling when a wound has developed can lead to serious complications. Minor cuts or scrapes on the foot may run the risk of getting infected if the feet are not checked daily for wounds. Diabetes may also reduce blood flow to the feet, which in turn can make it harder for wounds to heal. With that being said, it’s important you seek professional help for treating any foot ailments. To prevent yourself from running the risk of developing a serious foot condition, it’s recommended that you wash and dry your feet daily, cut your toenails carefully, keep your feet moisturized, check them regularly for any abnormalities, and keep your feet warm and dry. 

For more advice on how to care for diabetic feet, we suggest you consult with a podiatrist for professional care and a recommended treatment plan for any existing conditions.

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