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Jeffrey Jackson, DPM Emily Ernst, DPM

April 2022

Tuesday, 26 April 2022 00:00

What Is a Heel Spur?

When the heel bone suffers repeated strain or irritation, the body can react by sending extra amounts of calcium to the injury site to protect it. Among the causes are poorly fitting shoes, obesity, arthritis, gait abnormalities, excessive running, and plantar fasciitis. This calcium can build up over time and cause hard, pointy deposits, known as spurs, to develop on the heel bone. Heel spurs can cause pain that may be worse in the morning or more mild and steady throughout the day. Rest or activity can trigger the pain. Heel spurs may occur along with plantar fasciitis, which may cause tenderness and inflammation as well. Not all heel spurs are painful, but those that are can be treated by a podiatrist with a variety of therapies including custom orthotics, physical therapy, cortisol injections, anti-inflammatory medications, or surgery if more conservative methods do not provide relief. 

Heel spurs can be incredibly painful and sometimes may make you unable to participate in physical activities. To get medical care for your heel spurs, contact one of the podiatrists from JE Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors will do everything possible to treat your condition.

Heels Spurs

Heel spurs are formed by calcium deposits on the back of the foot where the heel is. This can also be caused by small fragments of bone breaking off one section of the foot, attaching onto the back of the foot. Heel spurs can also be bone growth on the back of the foot and may grow in the direction of the arch of the foot.

Older individuals usually suffer from heel spurs and pain sometimes intensifies with age. One of the main condition's spurs are related to is plantar fasciitis.

Pain

The pain associated with spurs is often because of weight placed on the feet. When someone is walking, their entire weight is concentrated on the feet. Bone spurs then have the tendency to affect other bones and tissues around the foot. As the pain continues, the feet will become tender and sensitive over time.

Treatments

There are many ways to treat heel spurs. If one is suffering from heel spurs in conjunction with pain, there are several methods for healing. Medication, surgery, and herbal care are some options.

If you have any questions feel free to contact one of our offices located in Fleming Island and Palm Coast, FL . We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

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Wednesday, 20 April 2022 00:00

How You Can Protect Your Limbs as a Diabetic

While complications of diabetes, such as poor circulation and neuropathy, can make a wound easier to develop and harder to detect and heal, there are many preventative measures you and your podiatrist can take to reduce your risk of amputation. On your end, make foot care a priority. Wear shoes and socks that fit well and don’t rub against any part of your feet or cut off circulation. Avoid walking barefoot. Elevate your feet and wiggle your toes frequently to keep the blood flowing. Eat a balanced diet and exercise to help manage your sugar levels and maintain a healthy body weight. Don’t smoke. Inspect your feet twice a day, using a mirror if needed, to see the bottom of your feet. Get to your podiatrist right away if you spot anything unusual. Early recognition/treatment of a problem can greatly reduce your risk of amputation. Some wounds may be avoided by getting regular foot screenings and having a podiatrist trim your toenails and treat any corns or calluses. They may also prescribe diabetic shoes and create custom orthotics to prevent foot injuries. If a wound does develop, your podiatrist can dress your wound appropriately, remove dead skin and tissue (debridement), reduce pressure and friction on the wound, and help restore adequate blood flow. They can also advise you on how to properly care for your wound at home. In cases where a higher level of wound care is necessary, your podiatrist may be able to use skin or bone grafts, or perform reconstructive surgery to replace or rebuild infected or necrotic bones, tendons and tissue.

Limb salvage can be an effective way in preventing the need for limb amputation. If you have diabetes, cancer, or any other condition that could lead to foot amputation if left unchecked, consult with one of the podiatrists from JE Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Limb Salvage?

Limb salvage is the attempt of saving a limb, such as the foot from amputation. Podiatrists also try to make sure that there is enough function in the foot after the salvage that it is still usable. Diabetes is the number one cause of non-traumatic amputations in the United States. Those with diabetes experience poor blood circulation, which prevents proper healing of an ulcer. If the ulcer is left uncheck, it could become infected, which could result in the need for amputation.

However, there are other causes as well, such as cancer and traumatic injury. Links between higher mortality rates and amputation have been found. This translates into higher healthcare costs, and a reduced quality of life and mobility for amputees. Podiatrists have attempted to increase the prevalence of limb salvage in an attempt to solve these issues.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Limb salvage teams have grown in recent years that utilize a number of different treatments to save the infected limb. This includes podiatrists that specialize in wound care, rehabilitation, orthotics, and surgery. Through a combination of these methods, limb salvage has been found to be an effective treatment for infected limbs, and as an alternative to amputation. Podiatrists will first evaluate the potential for limb salvage and determine if the limb can be saved or must be amputated. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Fleming Island and Palm Coast, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Tuesday, 12 April 2022 00:00

Your Feet and Falling

Falling can result in bone breaks or worse, and they are especially prevalent among older people. While there are many causes of falls, such as poor eyesight, hearing, slowing of reflexes, or side effects from medication, foot problems can also impact balance and gait and result in falls. Those with diabetes or circulatory problems need to be particularly careful to examine their feet for problems they might not feel. Simple things one can do to help avoid falling include checking environments for safety hazards, wearing properly fitted and supportive footwear, staying physically active, having regular examinations of ears and eyes, limiting alcohol consumption, using canes or other assistive devices if called for, and being aware of unusual ground conditions. Meeting with a podiatrist to check your feet, help assess risks for falls, and inform you of how to minimize this from happening in the future.

Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with one of the podiatrists from JE Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.

Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.

How to Prevent Falls

Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:

  • Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
  • Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
  • Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
  • Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
  • Utilizing a walker or cane
  • Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
  • Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness

Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Fleming Island and Palm Coast, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Monday, 11 April 2022 00:00

Heel Pain Can Be Treated!

Do you suffer from heel pain when you get up in the morning? If so, you should seek the professional help of your podiatrist and have a proper diagnosis performed. Heel pain can be caused by several different foot-related conditions.

Tuesday, 05 April 2022 00:00

What Causes a Bunion to Form?

While the exact cause of a bunion is not always apparent, their bony disfigurement is hard to miss. Genetics are believed to sometimes play a role in the development of a bunion. Many consider gout and rheumatoid arthritis as a possible link to certain bunions that have formed, as well as abnormal foot structures such as flat feet, flexible joints, loose ligaments, and more. Tight, pointy high heels and other types of ill-fitting footwear may worsen a structural abnormality and increase the likelihood of a bunion forming. Standing for prolonged periods of time can also worsen bunion symptoms. Podiatrists deal with bunions every day and have various techniques for correcting them, depending upon how far along the deformity has progressed. Don’t delay in making an appointment with a podiatrist to have your feet examined if you have redness, swelling, soreness, an existing bony bump, or a bump that’s beginning to form at the joint of your big toe.

If you are suffering from bunion pain, contact one of the podiatrists of JE Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.

Causes

  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development

Symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Fleming Island and Palm Coast, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Bunions
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