My Podiatry Blog

Posts for category: Podiatry

By Foot & Ankle Institute of Nevada
September 26, 2019
Category: Podiatry
Tags: Metatarsalgia  

What Is Metatarsalgia?

If simply taking steps is painful, you may be suffering from Metatarsalgia.

It's normal for your feet to ache after standing for hours on end or pounding the pavement for miles, but persistent pain is a sign that something might be wrong. Dr. L. Bruce Ford and Dr. Douglas Doxey of the Foot and Ankle Institute of Nevada can walk you through the risk factors, signs and solutions for Metatarsalgia.

What is Metatarsalgia?

The metatarsals are the small bones connecting your toes to your ankles. Small nerves are located between these bones, and pressure on the nerve can cause inflammation, or Metatarsalgia. The condition largely affects the ball of your foot, leaving you with shooting pains, a burning sensation, tingling or numbness. The pain could come on gradually or rapidly and is often exacerbated by putting weight on your foot.

What causes Metatarsalgia?

There are many things that can increase your risk or predilection for the condition. Wearing shoes that are too tight or narrow, especially heals, and high impact exercises like jumping and running are potential causes. If you are overweight, that can put more pressure on your foot as well. Having a high arch or stiff ankle also adds pressure. Older individuals are at increased risk of Metatarsalgia because your foot pads tend to loose cushioning as you age. Arthritis or diabetes can also increase your chance of developing foot pain.

How do I treat Metatarsalgia?

Needing surgery to cure your foot pain is not likely, especially when you are diligent about following your doctor's advice. Your Sparks, NV specialist will likely recommend one or more of the following.

  • Try shoe insoles to ease or distribute pressure on your foot
  • Avoid wearing high heeled shoes for prolonged periods of time. Choose footwear with a roomy toe box
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Take adequate time off from activity after foot injuries
  • Elevate your feet when resting
  • Try an over the counter anti-inflammatory medication
  • Exercise your ankles

If foot pain is preventing you from being up and active, call your Sparks, NV specialist today at 775-331-1919.

By Foot & Ankle Institute of Nevada
July 11, 2019
Category: Podiatry
Tags: ankle pain  

Maybe you noticed a twinge of pain in your ankle after running on the treadmill or stepping off the curb wrong. Unfortunately, the ankle is delicate and prone to injury. While ankle sprains are often the most common cause of ankle pain, it’s important to know what’s going on and when you symptoms warrant seeing our Sparks, NV, podiatrists Dr. L. Bruce Ford and Dr. Douglas Doxey.

What can cause ankle pain?

Ankle pain can affect one or both ankles at any age. Even minor pain can make it difficult for someone to walk around or put weight on the affected foot. Along with a sprained ankle there are other causes that could be to blame including:

  • Strained muscles or ligaments
  • Bone fractures
  • Flat feet
  • Achilles tendonitis
  • Bursitis
  • Chronic lateral ankle pain
  • Arthritis (causes long-term and worsening ankle pain and stiffness)
  • Gout

As you can see, many of these issues will require medical attention to ensure that you are giving your ankle the proper care and rest it needs to heal properly. Chronic conditions such as arthritis will often require long-term medications to reduce the progressiveness of the symptoms and prevent complications. Other conditions may require wearing a protective brace or boot to take weight off the foot and ankle until it heels.

What are the symptoms of ankle pain?

Ankle pain can develop anywhere in the ankle, and the location can often help our podiatrists determine what might be causing your symptoms. Along with pain you may also notice swelling, stiffness, redness, or difficulty putting weight on the ankle. If the pain is the result of an accident or fall, you may have noticed a snapping or popping sound at the moment of impact.

Who can experience ankle pain?

Ankle pain is something that can affect anyone no matter their age. While falls and sports injuries often cause ankle pain it is common for athletes to develop ankle pain more often than most. Physically active men under the age of 24 and women over the age of 30 are also more susceptible to ankle pain.

When should I see a doctor?

If you are dealing with severe pain or swelling, or if you can’t put weight on the ankle you should avoid any activities that exacerbate your symptoms and schedule an immediate appointment with one of our Sparks, NV, foot doctors. The sooner you seek treatment the faster you can get rid of your pain.

If you are dealing with ankle pain it’s important that you have a doctor in Sparks, NV, that can give you the answers you’re looking for. Call Foot & Ankle Institute of Nevada today.

By The Ford Center for Foot Surgery
May 17, 2018
Category: Podiatry
Tags: Fractures  

Your feet provide a strong foundation of support for your entire body. When there is a broken or fractured bone in the foot or ankle, even the most basic daily activities can become difficult or even impossible to accomplish. Symptoms include pain, swelling, limping, and Injurybruising on the foot. It’s important to have a potential foot or ankle fracture diagnosed and treated promptly by a podiatrist at Foot & Ankle Institute of Nevada in Sparks, NV.

Common Causes of Foot and Ankle Fractures
Running, jumping, and performing other energetic activities can cause ankle and foot fractures. In other cases, a fracture may occur due to a sudden injury, like dropping something heavy on the foot. Brittle bones due to aging or lack of nutrients can also make a patient more likely to experience a fracture. If a patient has ankle instability or a previous foot injury without sufficient treatment, he or she is also more likely to experience a foot fracture.

Treating Fractures
It is possible for a foot or ankle fracture to heal on its own without surgery, but it requires plenty of therapy and rest. Here are a few of the treatment options you’ll consider with your Sparks, NV podiatrist:

  • Splinting the foot after realigning the fractured bone. 
  • Creating a walking cast or brace to wear for a period of time.
  • Pain medication.
  • Mandatory rest—staying off your feet to ensure proper healing.
  • Ankle surgery (such as an arthroscopy) or foot fracture surgery.


Preventing Future Fractures
One way to prevent a fracture is to wear supportive footwear and the orthotic devices recommended by your doctor going forward. If you play sports, having your feet securely wrapped before games and practices may help. Eat a diet rich in calcium to strengthen the bones in your feet. Remember that getting proper rest after an injury is key to avoiding a recurrence of the fracture. Many people aggravate the problem by trying to resume everyday activities too soon after treatment.

Get Treatment ASAP
If you’ve suffered a potential ankle or foot fracture, seek treatment from a podiatrist as soon as possible if you want your feet restored to good health. Call (775) 331-1919 today for an appointment with Dr. Douglas Doxey or Dr. L. Bruce Ford at their office in Sparks, NV.

By The Ford Center for Foot Surgery
March 05, 2018
Category: Podiatry
Tags: Foot Pain  

Foot pain. Where did it come from all of a sudden, and why won't it go away? Your Sparks, NV, podiatrists, Dr. Douglas Doxey and Dr. L. foot painBruce Ford, understand your discomfort, and they can help. Often called metatarsalgia, this persistent shooting pain on the ball of the foot requires accurate diagnosis and well-thought-out care. At the Foot & Ankle Institute of Nevada, you'll receive premiere podiatric services that soothe those painful feet and help you get on with life.

What is metatarsalgia?

According to the American College of Foot & Ankle Orthopedics & Medicine, metatarsalgia is a cluster of symptoms affecting the ball of the foot at the metatarsal heads of the second, third and fourth toes. The metatarsal bones are the foot bones which extend from the heel to the base of the toes.

The symptoms of this metatarsalgia include:

  • Sharp, sudden pain
  • Inability to flex the toes, or pain on flexing
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Inflammation and swelling
  • Compensatory gait problems (the patient walks differently to avoid pain)

Metatarsalgia often feels as though the individual is stepping on small stones while walking barefoot. Unfortunately, the condition is persistent and usually develops because the foot is trying to avoid something that is chronically uncomfortable.

Causes range from obesity, poorly fitting shoes, the presence of bunions or arthritis, high arches, stress fractures (from running or other sports), and common toe deformities such as hammer or claw toes.

Treatments

Your podiatrists in Sparks see numerous patients who suffer from metatarsalgia. Each receives a complete podiatric examination, gait analysis, and X-ray imaging. The doctors key in the individual's symptoms, trying to understand what causes the shooting pain, where it's located, when it starts, and what may relieve it.

Most often, Dr. Doxey and Dr. Ford use conservative treatments to relieve the discomforts of metatarsalgia. Although both podiatrists are highly qualified foot surgeons, surgery is not necessarily the path to pain relief and recovery of function. Conservative measures usually suffice, and they may include:

  • Losing weight to relieve excess pressure on the ball of the foot and to avoid compensatory gait patterns
  • Changing shoes to something more supportive and with ample room in the toes
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Shoe padding under the ball of the foot
  • Custom-made shoe orthotics to relieve pressure and correct how the person walks
  • Rest, ice, and elevation
  • Exercises aimed at increasing strength, flexibility, and function

With very severe cases of bunions, hammertoes or claw toes, surgical correction of the deformities may help alleviate metatarsalgia.

Get moving

If your feet hurt, you can get relief. Contact the Foot & Ankle Institute of Nevada for a consultation with Dr. Doxey or Dr. Ford in Sparks, NV. Expertise and kindness are hallmarks of their practice. Call (775) 331-1919.

By The Ford Center for Foot Surgery
December 22, 2017
Category: Podiatry
Tags: ankle pain  

Find out what could be the culprit behind your ankle discomfort.ankle pain

Ankle pain of any magnitude it not something you should ignore. If you are in pain chances are good that you want to get to the bottom of this issue as soon as possible. Ignoring the issue or trying to self-diagnose could cause further complications, which is why you should turn to one of our Sparks, NV, podiatrists Dr. L. Bruce Ford or Dr. Douglas Doxey for care.

Of course, you may be curious to know what’s going on even if you are going to see a foot care specialist. There are many injuries and disorders that can lead to ankle pain and discomfort, among other problems. Some of these problems include:

  • Strains and sprains
  • Bursitis
  • Broken ankle
  • Stress Fractures
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Arthritis (e.g. osteoarthritis, rheumatoid)

So, when is it a good time to schedule an appointment with our Sparks, NV, foot doctors?

You should call us immediately if you are dealing with severe pain or inflammation, if you have any signs of an infection (fever; skin that’s warm to the touch) or if you cannot put weight on the foot. These symptoms are serious and the sooner you seek treatment the better.

While not an emergency it’s still important that you call us for an appointment if you are dealing with pain or swelling that doesn’t go away after a few days of at-home care.

How is ankle pain treated?

The treatment plan that is best for you will depend on the cause of your pain. In most cases, people will benefit from resting the ankle and avoiding certain exercises or activities that could exacerbate your symptoms.

Pain and swelling can also be combated with icing and over-the-counter (or prescription) pain relievers. If the pain is more aggressive, then we may recommend a stronger painkiller or other options like steroid injections to offer better relief.

Other options include:

  • Immobilization
  • Bracing or splinting
  • Custom orthotics
  • Proper footwear
  • Steroid injections
  • Shockwave therapy
  • Ultrasound

Foot & Ankle Institute of Nevada is ready to help you get back on your feet. If you are noticing symptoms of a sprained ankle or any changes to the health of your feet or ankles then it’s time you turned to our Sparks, NV, foot care team.