With two dozen bones, 33 joints, and over a hundred connective tissues and muscles inside each of them, your feet are complex structures. It's no wonder, then, that foot injuries are so common. Some, like a stubbed toe, can be painful but heal quickly without any complications. Others, as we'll discuss below, usually require the help of the podiatrists at Southern Maryland Foot and Ankle such as Dr. Larry Hotchkiss, Dr. Justin Pointer, and Dr. Amin Jahedi in Clinton, Maryland. Here are three of the most common foot injuries we see in our office.
This injury is an inflammation of a large ligament in the arch of the foot. Often the first symptom is a pain when stepping down on your foot after a long period of rest, and although you may be able to "walk it off" early on, the pain may begin to intensify, especially if you have a job that requires long periods of standing. To manage this foot injury, your Clinton podiatrist may recommend rest, ice, and supportive shoe inserts that help take the pressure off your arches. Steroid injections or physical therapy is typically used for persistent cases of plantar fasciitis. For a few people, surgery to sever the ligament may be necessary for full relief.
A bunion isn't actually a foot injury; it is an abnormality in the joint at the base of the big toe that often occurs due to the consistent wear of narrow, confining shoes. Women are typically more affected by bunions than men due to the styles of their footwear. The big toe begins to shift toward the smaller toes, resulting in a large, bony lump on the inside of the foot. Many people with bunions aren't bothered by them, but sometimes they can be painful. Cushions and shoe inserts can help take pressure off the bunion while wearing shoes, and splints to wear at night can help guide the big toe back into place. Wearing shoes with more room in the toe area can also make a big difference.
The Achilles tendon is another large band of tissue inside the foot and runs along the back of the leg to the heel. It can become inflamed and painful after adopting a new, high-impact exercise routine such as tennis or jogging. Changing to a less intense workout, such as biking or swimming, combined with physical therapy as recommended by your Clinton podiatrist, can often resolve this foot injury.
Call Us Today!
If you think you've injured any part of your foot or ankle, don't hesitate to call Southern Maryland Foot and Ankle in Clinton or Waldorf to schedule an appointment with one of our podiatrists. Call (301) 868-3899 for the Clinton office and (301) 843-9581 for the Waldorf location.
Bunions are an abnormality of the joint at the base of the big toe that causes it to jut outward, often leaving the shape of the foot deformed. Although many people have bunions that don't affect their lives, the podiatrists Southern Maryland Foot & Ankle in Waldorf Dr. Larry Hotchkiss, Dr. Amin Jahedi, and Dr. Justin Pointer see many patients who experience pain and difficulty walking due to bunions. If that sounds like you, read on to learn about the way bunions are treated.
Cushions and pads
Cushioning bunions from rubbing against the inside of shoes is often the first line of defense in treating them. There are a variety of these soft, lightweight pads available at your local pharmacy; your Waldorf podiatrist can make suggestions on which will be best for you. It may also help to wear shoes that leave plenty of room in the toe area; bunions are thought to be caused or exacerbated by tight-fitting footwear.
These corrective devices are often worn at night to help gradually guide the displaced toe joint back into the proper position. Depending on your needs, a splint may be soft or rigid. Splints may be used in tandem with cushions to provide you with the most consistent relief and opportunity for healing.
If your bunions don't respond to the treatments discussed above, you may be a candidate for bunion surgery. Although there are several different surgical techniques that are used on bunions, the ultimate goal is to restore your foot to the proper shape by removing the outgrowth of bone and repositioning the displaced muscles and tissues.
If you have a bothersome bunion, it's time to contact your podiatrist in Clinton and Waldorf, MD for an evaluation at Southern Maryland Foot & Ankle today!
Find out the best measures you can take to prevent athlete’s foot.
Despite its name, anyone can develop athlete’s foot even if they aren’t athletes. This fungal infection creeps into the skin where it causes a nasty, itchy red blistering rash to appear on your feet, often between the toes. Whether this is an infection you face often or you just want to know how to safeguard yourself from it, our Clinton and Waldorf, MD, podiatrists - Dr. Larry Hotchkiss, Dr. Amin Jahedi, and Dr. Justin Pointer - have the answers you’ve been looking for.
How do you prevent athlete’s foot?
Fungus is all around us. Of course, fungus often thrives in environments that are damp, moist, warm, and dark. So it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that fungus can be found growing in locker rooms and communal showers, swimming pools and the gym. This is why it’s always a good idea to wear shoes or protective sandals in public bathrooms and showers. Not doing so could lead to a pretty nasty case of athlete’s foot.
Also, if you know someone who has athlete’s foot make sure you don’t share shoes, socks, or towels with them. Fungal infections are highly contagious, which is why it’s common for this infection to easily affect an entire family. While an infection is present in your household remove all bath mats and wash them in hot water. Keep all bath mats off the bathroom floor until the infection has fully cleared.
How do you treat athlete’s foot?
If you are a healthy individual then you may easily be able to treat this infection from the comfort of your own home. After all, there are over-the-counter anti-fungal medications available that can help treat and eliminate your fungal infection. Of course, if you have diabetes or a compromised immune system, or if you are dealing with a severe infection, then you’ll want to turn to our Waldorf and Clinton foot doctors right away for care. Also, if you find that at-home treatment isn’t reducing your symptoms or clearing the infection you’ll also want to see a doctor.
Southern Maryland Foot & Ankle in Waldorf and Clinton, MD, is dedicated to providing patients of all ages with the proper and thorough foot and ankle care they deserve. No matter whether you are dealing with athlete’s foot or you have questions about other services we offer, don’t hesitate to call our office to learn more.
Would you like to help ensure that your child's feet remain healthy throughout the coming years? Clinton and Waldorf, MD, podiatrists Dr. Larry Hotchkiss and Dr. Justin Pointer share a few foot care tips just for kids.
Skip the shoes until your child walks
Cute shoes can definitely make an outfit, but your baby is better off without shoes, even soft ones, until he or she begins to stand and walk. Shoes restrict your child's ability to move his or her feet and may even interfere with normal foot development if they're too tight.
Learning to walk barefoot offers some important benefits. When a toddler isn't wearing shoes, it's easier to feel the floor, which may help improve balance. Going barefoot at this stage may also help your little one develop stronger arches.
Choose footwear wisely
When you buy shoes for your children, consider these three factors:
- Wiggle Room: Although allowing a little room to grow may seem like a good idea, can be difficult to walk in too-big shoes. Struggling to walk in the shoes may actually harm muscle development in the feet.
- Flexibility: Look for shoes that bend to accommodate the natural movement of your child's feet when they walk, run and jump. The soles of the shoes should flex in the heels and in the mid-section of the shoes.
- Arch Support: Flip flops, boots and other stylish shoes are available in the smallest sizes, but that doesn't mean that they're a good idea for your child's feet. Wearing flip flops in particular can cause foot, ankle or knee pain because the sandals don't adequately support the feet or control foot motion.
Replace shoes often
During growth spurts, you may need to replace your child's feet every two or three months. When you shop for shoes in Clinton or Waldorf, ask the salesperson to measure your child's feet to ensure that you select the correct size. Pay more attention to the way your child says the shoes feel than the size noted on the outside. Because fit may vary by manufacturer, your child may actually need to go up or down a size depending on the brand.
Proper care is the key to protecting your child's feet. If you're concerned that your child may have a foot problem that affects balance or walking ability, schedule an appointment with podiatrists Drs. Larry Hotchkiss and Justin Pointer by calling (301) 868-3899 for the Clinton, MD, office or (301) 843-9581 for the Waldorf office.
You misstep when out for your morning walk. Your foot twists and while you don't fall, your ankle bears the stress of that sudden motion. You're in pain, and you think you may have sprained your ankle. At Southern Maryland Foot & Ankle, your Waldorf, MD, podiatrists Dr. Larry Hotchkiss and Dr. Justin Pointer know how to evaluate, treat and prevent ankle sprains so you stay active.
Signs of an ankle sprain
Nearly two million Americans experience ankle sprains yearly, says research appearing in American Family Physician. They happen when quick twisting motion tears or stretches the supporting ligaments on the outer aspect of the ankle.
Typical signs of this common, but potentially serious injury, include:
- Inability to bear weight on the affected limb
- Gait instability
Usually, ankle sprains occur during walking or running, particularly on uneven surfaces, if the person is wearing worn shoes, if the individual is sedentary or if an athlete fails to stretch before strenuous activity. Whatever the circumstance, you should contact your Waldorf, MD, podiatrist immediately for advice and a same day appointment if necessary.
Treating an ankle sprain
Attend to your injury immediately with the RICE protocol:
- Ice (20 minutes on the affected area and 20 minutes off)
- Compression (with an elastic bandage)
- Elevation above the level of the heart
These strategies reduce pain and swelling and protect the ankle from further harm.
At Southern Maryland Foot & Ankle, your podiatrist will inspect your ankle and take digital X-rays to explore the extent of the injury. Most ankle sprains respond to the RICE protocol.
Sometimes, the doctor recommends a semi-rigid ankle support to add protection, and within a few days, he will ask the patient to begin stretching and strengthening exercises. While most sprains do well without invasive treatment, some are severe enough to require stabilization surgery. Whatever the case, active treatment prevents further injury and the extended immobility which could result.
Preventing an ankle sprain
Your Waldorf, MD, podiatrist recommends these strategies to keep your ankles strong and functional:
- Stay as active as you can. A sedentary lifestyle weakens everything--your heart, bones and supportive tissues, too.
- If you engage in strenuous exercise, stretch 10 to 15 minutes before your workout or run. This applies to individuals of all ages.
- Wear good shoes. Whether you walk, run, play ball or something else, your feet and ankles benefit from the protection and support of well-fitting footwear.
- If you're over 40, get a routine podiatric exam annually. If you're diabetic, see Dr. Pointer or Dr. Hotchkiss as often as they recommend to watch for injuries, sores and poor circulation.
Keep on your feet
Know the signs of ankle sprains. For more information, contact the nearest office of Southern Maryland Foot & Ankle. For the Waldorf office, phone (301) 843-9581. For the Clinton location, call (301) 868-3899.
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