Tag Archives: foot and ankle doctor

Tips to Avoid Foot and Ankle Injuries in Gymnastics

Soon, the Summer Olympics will take place, which includes people running, jumping, and throwing themselves around, otherwise known as gymnastics.

(picture by healingfeet.com)

Gymnastics competition includes swinging on bars, jumping over odd pieces of equipment, flipping and, unfortunately, foot and ankle injuries.

Gymnasts’ feet take a lot of abuse, which can lead to foot and ankle injuries such as plantar fasciitis, foot stress fractures Achilles tendinitis, ruptured Achilles tendons, sesamoiditis, sprained or broken ankles or toes.

It’s important for gymnasts, their parents, and their coaches to be aware of what’s going on with the gymnast’s feet and be willing to accept some downtime in exchange for better health and performance down the road.

The key to staying on your feet and winning that competition is prevention. Here are some tips for preventing foot injuries in gymnasts:

  • Make sure you’re stretching properly. All gymnasts seem to spend their time in a perpetual stretch, but don’t forget the calf stretches that will help keep your plantar fascia and Achilles tendon free and less likely to be injured.
  • Take a break. Repetitive motion injuries come from repetitive motion. If you have a tendency to certain types of foot injuries, work with your coach to come up with a practice plan that will give your feet a break a couple times a week.
  • It’s easy for gymnasts who are always on the go and hyper-concerned about staying thin to neglect their eating habits. However, it’s vitally important to make sure your body has enough fuel to stay strong enough to get you through practice, as well as the rest of your day
  • Most people picture gymnasts with bare feet, and that is part of the sport’s aesthetic, but there are also shoes available to protect your feet for certain types of performances.  Choose shoes that fit fit properly and choose shoes that work with your foot type.
  • Some gymnasts, though, will prefer to perform barefoot or will have their feet taped up to provide some protection without the weight of shoes. That’s up to the gymnasts, but as always, they should be aware of how their feet feel, and consider a change if they’re experiencing foot pain.
  • Remember, any type of foot or ankle pain is never normal. A foot and ankle doctor can examine your feet and give you the best course of action.

    Please call 626-447-2184 (Arcadia) or 818-408-2800 (San Fernando) to speak to a foot and ankle specialist about your foot and/or ankle needs.

    How To Choose the Right Basketball Shoes and Avoid Ankle Injuries

    Basketball shoes are usually designed using a higher cut towards the ankle to assist with ankle stability while jumping.

    With jump shots, lay-ups, slam dunks, pivoting and rapid changes in direction the forces on the ankle can be extreme.

    If you’re looking to buy the right basketball shoe and avoid foot and ankle injuries, read the following steps.

    (picture by shoespalace.net)

    Laces help to keep the foot back in the heel counter of the basketball shoes. This allows the forefoot to function properly and reduces forward pressure onto the toes.

    A broad toe box is essential to prevent squeezing of the toes. If the basketball shoes are too shallow, this can cause pressure on the toes which may lead to blisters, the formation of corns, callus, ingrown toe nails and/or bruised toe nails.

    Always try the shoes on when standing as feet elongate and spread to check the toe room.  lack of toe room can result in nail problems. Make sure that the shoe fits the longer of your two feet and approximately 1/4″ to 1/2″  inches of room beyond the longest toe.

    If purchasing your shoes over the internet, be sure to check your size. Measure your longest foot with your socks on while standing using the size charts.

    Basketball shoes should bend only at the ball of the foot, where the toes bend, but not through the arch.

    The heel counter should be firm and feel snug as this helps to keep the heel and the foot stable.

    Leather uppers are preferred for their durability and ability to breathe. Avoid synthetic man-made materials unless the upper is an open weave fabric similar to that which exists in many sneakers.

    Basketball shoes with flat soles can help to accommodate sudden stopping and rapid directional changes. Outer basketball shoe soles are designed for superior traction in various different directions.

    Torsion should be minimal. Only a small amount of twisting motion should be available in a stable basketball shoe.

    A shoe with a low heel elevation of approximately 4 to 5mm is typical in basketball footwear.

    The heel base is generally broad. The smaller and narrower the heel base is, the less contact you have with the ground thereby increasing your instability.

    Get your shoe fit right by measuring your right length and width otherwise your game and your foot will suffer.

    Remember, any type of foot or ankle pain is never normal. A foot and ankle doctor can examine your feet and give you the best course of action.

    Please call 626-447-2184 (Arcadia) or 818-408-2800 (San Fernando) to speak to a foot and ankle specialist about your foot and/or ankle needs.

    How to Avoid Common Foot and Ankle Injuries While Running

    Running is a great way to stay in shape, but it can take a toll on your feet.To avoid foot and ankle injuries, it’s important to take precautions before you set out.

    (picture by buzzle.com)

    Most running injuries happen when you push yourself too hard.

    Adding distance or speed to your running routine, running up hills, and interval training are just some of the reasons running injuries occur.

    Here some of the more common foot and ankle injuries:

    A stress fracture is a small crack in a bone that causes pain and discomfort. It typically affects runners in the shin and feet.   Stress fractures are like a hardboiled egg. The shell is cracked and next stop is a full-fledged fracture. If this happens to you, then see a foot and ankle doctor who specializes in treating running injuries.

    Achilles tendinitis is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon, which is the large tendon that attaches the calf to the back of the heel. Achilles tendonitis is a running injury that typically occurs from an abnormal foot stroke in push-off and too-tight calf muscles.

    An ankle sprain is the stretching or tearing of ligaments surrounding the ankle. It often happens when the foot twists or rolls inward. Sprains typically get better with rest, ice, compression, and elevating the foot. Ankle sprains occur because runners don’t always watch where they are going.

    Also known as pain in the middle of arch of the foot, plantar fasciitis is most often caused by an abnormal motion of the foot or too-tight calf muscles.  The plantar fascia is a  thick band of tissue in the bottom of the foot that extends from the heel to the toes. People with tight calf muscles and a high arch are more prone to plantar fasciitis.

    Some general rules to avoid foot and ankle injuries while running include:

    • Warm-up and stretch. Many injuries occur as a result of inadequate stretching. Before and after you run, stretch your muscles thoroughly, especially your calf, hamstrings, groin, and quadriceps.
    • Mix up your fitness routine. Don’t only run. Try swimming, biking, tennis, or some other activity. This helps prevent overuse injuries that more commonly occur when you do the same type of exercise over and over again.
    • Wear proper-fitting socks and shoes with good support. If the soles of your running shoes have worn thin or are angled, it’s time to get a new pair.
    • Run on a flat, smooth surface and avoid steep hills until your body gets used to the activity.

    Remember, any type of foot or ankle pain is never normal. A foot and ankle doctor can examine your feet and give you the best course of action.

    Please call 626-447-2184 (Arcadia) or 818-408-2800 (San Fernando) to speak to a foot and ankle specialist about your foot and/or ankle needs.

    Rapper Childish Gambino Suffers Foot Fracture

    Childish Gambino a.k.a. Donald Glover won’t be taking the stage  tomorrow, or any of his 11 scheduled tour dates after that, reports Exclaim.com.

    The actor-rapper has been forced to reschedule several shows after a foot fracture while performing in Florida over the weekend.

    (picture by spinner.com)

    His official website states: “This past Saturday I fractured my foot on stage in Tampa during a performance and was rushed to the emergency room. The doctors say that if I stay off of my foot for a couple weeks and wear this boot, there’s a good chance they can avoid surgery and start performing again soon.”

    Gambino is not the first musician this year to suffer a foot injury, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ front man Anthony Keidis endured a right foot injury.

    Gambino is not specific about what part of his foot that he fractured, it could actually be quite a few maladies.  Of the 26 bones in the foot, 19 are toe bones (phalanges) and metatarsal bones (the long bones in the midfoot).

    Ankle fractures can range from the less serious injuries (small pieces of bone that have been pulled off) to severe shattering-type breaks of the tibia, fibula, or both.

    Fractures of the toe and metatarsal bones require evaluation by an experienced foot and ankle surgeon who can  give the right diagnosis and treatment, even if initial treatment has been received in an emergency room.

    Fractures  are common in the fifth metatarsal, which is the long bone on the outside of the foot that connects to the little toe. Two types of fractures that often occur in the fifth metatarsal are avulsion and Jones fractures.

    In an avulsion fracture, a small piece of bone is pulled off the main portion of the bone by a tendon or ligament. This type of fracture is the result of an injury in which the ankle rolls. Avulsion fractures are often overlooked when they occur with an ankle sprain.

    Jones fractures occur in a small area of the fifth metatarsal that receives less blood and is more prone to problems in healing.  A Jones fracture can be either a stress fracture (a tiny hairline break that occurs over time) or an acute (sudden) break. Jones fractures are caused by overuse, repetitive stress, or trauma.

    Ankle fractures are common injuries that are most often caused by the ankle rolling inward or outward. Many people mistake an ankle fracture for an ankle sprain, but they are quite different and therefore require an accurate and early diagnosis. They sometimes occur simultaneously.

    All types of foot and ankle fractures  should be seen by a foot and ankle doctor who can treat the injury.

    Remember, any type of foot pain is never normal. A foot and ankle doctor can examine your feet and give you the best course of action.

    Please call 626-447-2184 (Arcadia) or 310-551-1711 (Century City) to speak to a foot and ankle specialist about your foot and/or ankle needs.

    New Jersey Nets’ Brook Lopez Out With Ankle Sprain Injury

    On March 4, 2012, the New Jersey Nets scored a victory over the Charlotte Bobcats, 104-101, but the Nets’ Brook Lopez took a fall which resulted in a sprained right ankle.

    Lopez sprained his ankle in the third quarter and left the arena on crutches after the game. He did fly with the team to Miami, where the Nets played the Heat. Hopefully, Lopez will consulted a foot and ankle doctor about his ankle injury.

    (picture by William Perlman/The Star-Ledger)

    Lopez is the centerpiece of the Net’s efforts to try to trade for Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic. The ankle injury timetable means Lopez is out of action beyond the March 15 trade deadline, although that does not mean the Nets could not still trade him.

    This is not the first time that Lopez has missed games due to a foot condition. Lopez missed the first 32 games of the season, and 33 of the first 34, because of surgery to repair a broken fifth metatarsal bone in his right foot.

    His teammate Damion James suffered a broken fifth metatarsal in his right foot last season and had the same surgery Lopez had this season.

    James re-injured his foot against the Boston Celtics in the seventh game this season and he initially called it a sprained ankle, before it later ended up being called a bruised foot. Eventually, James had to have a second foot surgery that ended his season.

    As we mentioned in an earlier article, Common Athlete Foot Injuries, ankle sprains  are a common sports injury. The key is early treatment by a foot and ankle doctor because  “sprain” could actually be an ankle fracture.

    Treatment for sprains and treatment for fractures is very different.  An ankle that has not been properly healed and strengthened is more likely to suffer repeated sprains, leading to chronic ankle instability.

    Other sports’ injuries include:

    Achilles tendonitis, an inflammation of the tendon that runs down the back of the lower leg, can turn into the degeneration of the tendon (Achilles tendonosis).

    Heel pain is most often caused by plantar fasciitis, although it may also be caused by stress fractures. Faulty foot structure is the most common cause of plantar fasciitis, it can also result from wearing shoes that are worn out.

    In Morton’s neuroma, there is a thickening of nerve tissue in the ball of the foot resulting from pressing on and irritating the nerve.

    These are just some of the foot and ankle injuries that happen to athletes and people who participate in sporting activities; there are many more.

    Remember, any type of foot pain is never normal. A foot and ankle doctor can examine your feet and give you the best course of action.

    Please call 626-447-2184 (Arcadia) or 310-551-1711 (Century City) to speak to a foot and ankle specialist about your foot and/or ankle needs.

    Why Total Ankle Replacement Surgery is Growing in Popularity

    Arthritic hips and knees are often replaced, but did you know that total ankle replacement surgery in the U.S. more than doubled last year.

    One of the main reasons for this growth is the technological advances in ankle implants (prostheses).

    (image by wikimedia.org)

    Total ankle replacement surgery, which is also called ankle arthroplasty, is when an ankle replacement surgeon replaces damaged ankle joint with an artificial ankle joint.

    Ankle replacement surgery greatly improves function for people (especially senior) who cannot perform everyday activities without severe pain. Rheumatoid arthritis, osetoarthritis and previous injuries are the most common causes of this pain.

    In the past, the “gold standard” for treating these problematic patients was a fusion, or arthrodesis, in which the joint is removed and the bones are fused, which would take away the pain, but left the ankle immobile.

    Americans will likely see more ankle replacements in the future, with more implants currently available and FDA approved.

    The age range for ankle replacement surgery is typically people in their 40s through 60s, although older individuals who are “physiologically young” may also be good candidates.  Total ankle replacement surgery has also been done on people from 38 to 83 years of age with great success, despite the age differences.

    An ankle replacement takes about two hours. After making an incision on the front portion of the ankle, the ankle replacement surgeon removes the arthritic bone and cartilage from the tibia (leg portion of the ankle) and talus (foot portion of the ankle). The ankle implant – two metal components and a plastic spacer – is inserted to form a new ankle joint with smoother motion.

    What can you expect from a total ankle replacement? Many people enjoy improved function of their ankle, with pain-free weight bearing and range of motion. Ankle implants generally last at least a decade and experts believe that will improve with today’s technologically advanced prostheses and surgical techniques.

    In the late 1990s, only one ankle prosthesis was FDA approved in the U.S. However, today, ankle replacement doctors can select from four FDA-approved prostheses.

    For those who meet the criteria for this type of medical procedure, total ankle replacement surgery has advantages over previous treatments for severe ankle pain. To find out if you would be a good candidate for ankle replacement, contact an experienced ankle replacement doctor today.

    Remember, any type of foot pain is never normal. A foot and ankle doctor can examine your feet and give you the best course of action.

    Please call 626-447-2184 (Arcadia) or 310-551-1711 (Century City) to speak to a foot and ankle specialist about your foot and/or ankle needs.

    Why Women Have More Foot Pain in the Fall

    In the summer months, women can wear flip-flop sandals, open-toed shoes and show off a nice pedicure with good nail polish. But for many women, Fall is not quite as fun. In fact, this is the time of year when women can suffer a painful foot condition.

    (picture by rodale.com)

    This is because Fall is the annual changeover to closed-in shoe styles that are more appropriate to the cooler weather, which more painful for women who have bunions.

    It may surprise you to learn, but women with bunions are a common sight in waiting rooms of foot and ankle doctors during the Fall.

    Women are very active in the summer and often at the pool, so they often decide to get their bunion fixed in the winter, because in their mind, they’re not missing anything fun.

    That said, many women never experience pain from their bunions, even when the deformity looks severe. Shoes do not cause bunions, but they may cause bunion pain. That’s why foot and ankle surgeons recommend shoe modifications to new patients. Avoiding high heeled shoes and styles that crowd the toes together can help.

    Also in the Fall, women who are teachers may suffer back-to-school bunion pain. These women need a shoe that is wide at the front. Any shoe with a pointy front is going to put more pressure on that bunion bump and should be avoided.

    In addition to recommending shoe changes, foot and ankle doctors may also prescribe foam- or gel-filled padding, orthotics, anti-inflammatory medications, and injections for bursitis, nerve irritation and joint irritation.

    While these techniques address pain, only foot surgery can actually correct the bunion. The good news is bunion surgery has a high success rate, but foot and ankle surgeons agree that patients need to understand what their procedure and recovery will involve.

    One of the myths women are sometimes told by well-meaning friends is that once you have bunions, they will return. However, if women follow the  foot and ankle surgeon’s instructions for recovery, they can significantly reduce the chances of a bunion returning.

    In other words, if wearing four-inch heels and working on your feet all day wasn’t good for you before the surgery, then it’s not going to be good for you after the surgery.

    Remember, any type of foot pain is never normal. A foot and ankle doctor can examine your feet and give you the best course of action.

    Please call 626-447-2184 (Arcadia) or 310-551-1711 (Century City) to speak to a foot and ankle specialist about your foot and/or ankle needs.

    How to Prevent Foot Problems If You Have Diabetes

    People with diabetes can face a wide range of foot conditions and problems, often because of two complications of the diabetes: nerve damage (neuropathy) and poor circulation.

    (picture by shoecapital.com)

    For those with diabetes, small foot problems can turn into serious complications: ulcers (sores) that don’t heal, corns, calluses, cracked heels, hammertoes, bunions, ingrown toenails and more.

    Diabetes can be dangerous to your feet, even a small cut can produce serious consequences. Diabetes may cause nerve damage that takes away the feeling in your feet. Diabetes can also reduce blood flow to the feet, making it harder to heal an injury or resist infection.

    Because of these problems, you may not notice a foreign object in your shoe. As a result you could develop a blister or a sore. This could lead to an infection or a non-healing wound that could put you at risk for an amputation.

    To prevent complications of diabetes, patients are advised to follow diabetic foot care guidelines (listed below) and see a foot and ankle doctor who can help them prevent foot problems or fix problems that exist.

    • Inspect your feet daily for cuts, blisters, redness, swelling, or nail problems. Use a magnifying hand mirror to look at the bottom of your feet. Call your foot and ankle doctor if you notice anything suspicious.
    • Wash your feet in lukewarm water. Keep your feet clean by washing them daily.
    • Wash your feet gently using a soft washcloth or sponge. Dry by blotting or patting, and carefully dry between the toes.
    • Use a moisturizer daily to keep dry skin from itching or cracking. But DON’T moisturize between the toes, which could encourage a fungal infection.
    • Cut your toe nails carefully straight across and file the edges. Don’t cut nails too short, as this could lead to ingrown toe nails.
    • Never treat corns or calluses yourself. No “bathroom surgery” or medicated pads. Visit your foot and ankle specialist for appropriate treatment.
    • Wear clean, dry socks. Change them daily.
    • Avoid socks with tight elastic bands (they reduce circulation). Don’t wear thick or bulky socks (they can fit poorly and irritate the skin).
    • Wear socks to bed if your feet get cold at night, but never use a heating pad or hot water bottle.
    • Shake out your shoes and feel the inside before wearing. Remember, your feet may not be able to feel a pebble or other foreign object.
    • Keep your feet warm and dry. Don’t let your feet get wet in snow or rain. Wear warm socks and shoes in winter.
    • Never walk barefoot. Always wear shoes or slippers. You could step on something and get a scratch or cut.
    • Take care of your diabetes. Keep your blood sugar levels under control.
    • Don’t smoke. Smoking can restrict blood flow in your feet.
    • Get periodic foot exams. Seeing your foot and ankle doctor on a regular basis can help prevent the foot complications of diabetes.

    Remember, any type of foot pain is never normal. A foot and ankle doctor can examine your feet and give you the best course of action.

    Please call 626-447-2184 (Arcadia) or 310-551-1711 (Century City) to speak to a foot and ankle specialist about your foot and/or ankle needs.