My Podiatry Blog
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.


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.

By The Ford Center for Foot Surgery
November 08, 2017
Category: Podiatry
Tags: Heel Pain  

Suffering from heel pain? Heel pain can interfere with your normal activities and make life miserable. If treated properly, your foot will heal heel painwell, allowing you to return to physical activity. Foot & Ankle Institute of Nevada, which is located in Sparks, NV, offers state-of-the-art treatments for heel pain. Dr. Douglas Doxey and Dr. Bruce Ford are some of the top podiatrists in Sparks, NV. Here are four proven ways to end resistant heel pain.

#1- Orthotic Devices

Orthotics are among the best ways to treat resistant heel pain. Podiatrists offer orthotic devices that provide arch support and cushioning for added shock absorption, protection, and comfort. Studies have shown that podiatrist-prescribed orthotic devices improve function and decrease foot pain. 

#2- Stretching Exercises

Podiatrists prescribe stretching exercises for various foot conditions. Stretching exercises are one of your best bets for getting relief of your pain. research has shown that stretching exercises improve function, soothe heel pain, and reduce inflammation.

#3- Steroid Injections

Steroid injections are anti-inflammatory medicines used to treat foot pain. Steroid injections offer quick relief for pain and inflammation that is in one part of your body. Steroid injections allow doctors to deliver a high dose of medication directly to the problem area. You can get steroid injections at your podiatrist's office. 

#4- Night Splints

A night splint can relieve your heel pain. The night splint keeps your foot in a neutral position with the toes pointed up. This position gently stretches the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia. The splint is adjustable, so you and your podiatrist can adjust it to the proper angle.

Heel pain hurts, but you don't have to suffer. Call Foot & Ankle Institute of Nevada at 775-331-1919 now to schedule an appointment in Sparks, NV. Get your life back on track by receiving the best treatment available.

By The Ford Center for Foot Surgery
August 17, 2017
Category: Podiatry
Tags: Foot Pain  

You have foot pain in Sparks, NV, that just doesn't seem to go away. When you walk or when you stand for long periods of time, the ball of foot painyour foot aches. Dr. Douglas Doxey and Dr. L. Bruce Ford of the Foot & Ankle Institute of Nevada often see people that feel very uncomfortable with a chronic and easily treated condition called metatarsalgia. With their experience, expertise, and advanced diagnostic and treatment techniques, Dr. Doxey or Dr. Ford can tell you what's going on in your feet and how to manage or eliminate it.

Where are the metatarsal bones?

There are five of them, and they extend from the heel of your foot to your toes. When the tops of these bones become inflamed due to repeated stress (playing tennis, for instance), arthritic changes or just wearing shoes that are too narrow and tight, metatarsalgia results.

Frequently, the discomfort of metatarsalgia centers on the metatarsal heads (the tops of the bones) near the second, third and fourth toe combined. Also common is foot pain which originates in the ball of the foot at the first, or big, toe. Location and description of symptoms help your podiatrist make an accurate diagnosis.

What can you do?

Treatment of foot pain associated with the metatarsal bones may be easier to treat that you may think. Dr. Doxey or Dr. Ford may key in on how much you stand on your feet during the day, what sporting activities you engage in and what kind of shoes you typically wear. Frankly, just resting, elevating and even icing your feet after use (or overuse) helps reduce the swelling associated with this kind of foot pain.

Another simple intervention paying attention to your shoes. If you are a woman, are you wearing narrow-toed shoes? Are you frequently in high heels? If so, consider wearing shoes with a wider toe box so your feet are not so cramped.

Also, the American Podiatric Medical Association recommends wearing shoes with heels no higher than two inches. The lower the heel is and the more supportive the shoe is, the better your feet will feel. Furthermore, change your shoes often, and purchase new ones when current pairs are showing wear.

Finally, your podiatrist may recommend custom-made orthotics, or shoe inserts, to keep the pressure off your metatarsal bones. Soft padding may accomplish the same thing, but it's important to engage the help of your foot doctor to understand what will work best.

Get on your feet!

Don't let foot pain stop you from having an active lifestyle. Contact the Foot & Ankle Institute of Nevada to find out what's wrong and correct it. Call the office in Sparks, NV, today for your personal consultation: (775) 331-1919.

By The Ford Center for Foot Surgery
June 20, 2017
Category: Podiatry
Tags: Neuropathy  

Neuropathy doesn’t have to dictate your daily activities. Find out how to quell your symptoms.neuropathy

If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes but didn’t catch it right away you may also be faced with neuropathy, a condition that can cause nerve damage in the feet. Neuropathy can also lead to numbness, tingling, muscle weakness and loss of sensation, but our Sparks, NV, podiatrists, Dr. Douglas Doxey and Dr. L. Bruce Ford, are here to tell you how to best manage your neuropathy symptoms.

Give Your Feet Some TLC

If you have diabetic feet that also have neuropathy you’ll want to give them some extra attention when it comes to providing the very best care. Since you may have lost feeling in your feet, you’ll want to wear socks and shoes all the time. Going barefoot could lead to an injury that you may not even notice. Examine your feet everyday for any new cuts, wounds, bruising, redness or other issues that may require monitoring or medical attention.

Get Fit

You wouldn’t believe just how great exercise can be, even for neuropathy. We don’t mean that you have to run a marathon either. Just taking a walk a couple times a week can go a long way to strengthening muscles, reducing your pain and discomfort and even keeping your blood sugar levels under control. Also look for other forms of exercises like yoga that might provide your body and mind with some great health benefits.

Eat for Your Feet

This might sound silly, but as our Sparks foot doctors will tell you, what you eat is so important to your health. Especially if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetic neuropathy, you’ll want to make sure that you are getting all the vitamins and nutrients you need. Incorporate lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet, along with lean proteins and whole grains. Stay away from processed foods or sugar, which can affect your blood sugar levels. This also means avoiding or limiting your alcohol consumption.

If you have questions about how to care for neuropathy, don’t hesitate to call The Foot & Ankle Institute of Nevada in Sparks, NV, to get the answers you’re looking for. We are here to make sure you get the care you need.

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