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November 2021

The Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) test is a non-invasive vascular screening that evaluates a patient’s risk of having peripheral artery disease (PAD), which causes poor circulation in the lower limbs. During this test, the doctor measures your blood pressure in both arms and both ankles and then compares those numbers to come up with a ratio. Each range of ratios is correlated with a level of risk of having PAD. A normal ABI range is from 0.9-1.4. A person with a mild-to-moderate risk of PAD has an ABI between 0.7-0.9. Someone with severe PAD could have an ABI between 0.3-0.5. Critical cases have ABI ratios of 0.3 or less. To learn more about peripheral artery disease or to get tested, schedule an appointment with a podiatrist near you. 

Vascular testing plays an important part in diagnosing disease like peripheral artery disease. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, or diabetes, consult with Frank Henry, DPM from Marble Falls, TX. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Vascular Testing?

Vascular testing checks for how well blood circulation is in the veins and arteries. This is most often done to determine and treat a patient for peripheral artery disease (PAD), stroke, and aneurysms. Podiatrists utilize vascular testing when a patient has symptoms of PAD or if they believe they might. If a patient has diabetes, a podiatrist may determine a vascular test to be prudent to check for poor blood circulation.

How Is it Conducted?

Most forms of vascular testing are non-invasive. Podiatrists will first conduct a visual inspection for any wounds, discoloration, and any abnormal signs prior to a vascular test.

 The most common tests include:

  • Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) examination
  • Doppler examination
  • Pedal pulses

These tests are safe, painless, and easy to do. Once finished, the podiatrist can then provide a diagnosis and the best course for treatment.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Marble Falls, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

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Tuesday, 30 November 2021 00:00

Vascular Testing in Podiatry

In foot care, vascular testing may be required in the diagnosing and treatment of certain podiatric conditions. Vascular testing is particularly relevant for patients with high-risk diabetes, poor circulation, peripheral artery disease (PAD), and chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). Procedures typically involve the examination of blood vessels throughout the body for blockages or buildup.

Vascular testing is very important for the diagnosis of various conditions, including peripheral artery disease and chronic venous insufficiency, as these conditions can greatly affect one’s quality of life and cause pain in the lower limbs. Circulatory problems in the feet and ankles can reflect issues throughout the body, making testing of the blood vessels pertinent.

Testing methods vary between practitioners and can be specific to certain foot and ankle problems. Modern technology has brought about the ability to perform vascular testing using non-invasive methods, such as the cuff-based PADnet testing device. This device records the Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI)/Toe-Brachial Index (TBI) values and Pulse Volume Recording (PVR) waveforms. Contact your podiatrist to determine what vascular testing is available for your needs.

Wednesday, 24 November 2021 00:00

Do I Need to See a Podiatrist for Flat Feet?

When the feet are pressed flat while standing, this can often be a result of the condition known as flat feet or fallen arches. Usually, flat feet are not serious and do not need treatment. They should not interfere with your daily physical activities either. However, in more serious cases, patients with flat feet should consult with a podiatrist. Common reasons a podiatrist should be consulted include flat feet that are painful, stiff, or weak. Patients who have flat feet and often injure their feet or ankles, have a balance problem, or have only one foot that is affected, should consult with a podiatrist as well. For certain cases of flat feet, surgery may be necessary, but in most cases, a podiatrist will be able to suggest proper footwear and exercises in order to treat this condition.

Flatfoot is a condition many people suffer from. If you have flat feet, contact Frank Henry, DPM from Marble Falls, TX. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Are Flat Feet?

Flatfoot is a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arches never formed during growth.

Conditions & Problems:

Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.

Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.

Knees – If you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.  

Symptoms

  • Pain around the heel or arch area
  • Trouble standing on the tip toe
  • Swelling around the inside of the ankle
  • Flat look to one or both feet
  • Having your shoes feel uneven when worn

Treatment

If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Marble Falls, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Wednesday, 24 November 2021 00:00

Flat Feet

Flatfoot is a condition that occurs when the arches on the foot are flattened, which allows the soles of the feet to touch the floor. Flatfoot is a common condition and it is usually painless.

Throughout childhood, most people begin to develop arches in their feet, however, some do not. Those who do not develop arches are left with flatfoot. The pain associated with flat feet is usually at its worse when engaging in activity. Another symptom that may occur with those who have this condition is swelling along the inside of the ankle.

It is also possible to have flexible flatfoot. Flexible flatfoot occurs when the arch is visible while sitting or standing on the tiptoes, but it disappears when standing. People who have flexible flatfoot are often children and most outgrow it without any problems.

There are some risk factors that may make you more likely to develop flatfoot. Those who have diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis have an increased risk of flatfoot development. Other factors include aging and obesity.

Diagnosis for flat feet is usually done by a series of tests by your podiatrist. Your podiatrist will typically try an x-ray, CT scan, ultrasound, or MRI on the feet. Treatment is usually not necessary for flat foot unless it causes pain. However, therapy is often used for those who experience pain in their flat feet. Some other suggested treatment options are arch supports, stretching exercises, and supportive shoes. 

Tuesday, 16 November 2021 00:00

Sever's Disease

Sever's disease, also known as calcaneal apophysitis, is a medical condition that causes heel pain in children’s feet while they’re growing. Sever's disease occurs most commonly in boys and girls between the ages of 8 and 14.

Sever's disease occurs when the child’s growth plate, or the calcaneal epiphysis, an area attached to the Achilles tendon, is injured or when the muscles and tendons of the growing foot do not keep pace with bone growth. The result is constant pain experienced at the back of the heel and the inability to put any weight on the heel. This forces the child to bear weight on their toes while walking. When a toe gait develops, the child must change the way they walk to avoid placing weight on the painful heel. If this is not properly addressed, this can lead to further developmental problems.

The most common symptom of Sever's disease is acute pain felt in the heel when a child engages in physical activity such as walking, jumping or running. Children who are active athletes are among the group most susceptible to experiencing Sever's disease. This is due to the extreme stress and tension placed on their growing feet. The rolling movement of the foot during walking or running and obesity are both additional conditions linked to causing Sever's disease.

The first step in treating Sever's disease is to rest the foot and leg and avoid physical activity. Over the counter pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory medications can be helpful for reducing the amount of heel pain. A child with Sever's disease should also wear shoes that properly support the heel and the arch of the foot. Consider purchasing orthotic shoe inserts which can help support the heel and foot while it is healing. Most patients with Sever's disease symptoms report an eventual elimination of heel pain after wearing orthotic insoles that support the affected heel.

Sever's disease may affect either one heel or both. It is important for a child experiencing heel pain to be examined by a foot doctor who can apply the squeeze test. The squeeze test compresses both sides of the heel in order to determine if there is intense pain. Discourage any child diagnosed with Sever's disease from going barefoot as this can intensify the problem. Apply ice packs to the affected painful heel two or three times a day for pain relief.

Exercises that help stretch the calf muscles and hamstrings are effective at treating Sever's disease. An exercise known as foot curling has also proven to be very effective at treating Sever's disease. When foot curling, the foot is pointed away from the body, then curled toward the body to help stretch the muscles. The curling exercise should be done in sets of 10 or 20 repetitions and repeated several times throughout the day.

Treatment methods can continue for at least 2 weeks and as long as 2 months before the heel pain completely disappears. A child can continue doing daily stretching exercises for the legs and feet to prevent Sever’s disease from returning.

Tuesday, 16 November 2021 00:00

What to Do if Your Child Has Sever’s Disease

If your active child is suddenly complaining of foot pain, walking on their tippy toes, or limping, they may have Sever’s disease. Though the name can sound frightening, Sever’s disease is actually an injury. It occurs when the growth plate in your child’s heel bone is damaged due to repetitive strain from running, jumping, and other athletic activities. At home, you can help your child find relief by resting and icing the affected foot (it often affects both feet at once) and encouraging them to wear comfortable, supportive shoes. Seeing a podiatrist, who can prescribe orthotics, suggest exercises to help relieve symptoms, and rule out any other potential causes for your child’s pain, can also be very beneficial. 

Sever's disease often occurs in children and teens. If your child is experiencing foot or ankle pain, see Frank Henry, DPM from Marble Falls, TX. Our doctor can treat your child’s foot and ankle needs.

Sever’s Disease

Sever’s disease is also known as calcaneal apophysitis, which is a medical condition that causes heel pain I none or both feet. The disease is known to affect children between the ages of 8 and 14.

Sever’s disease occurs when part of the child’s heel known as the growth plate (calcaneal epiphysis) is attached to the Achilles tendon. This area can suffer injury when the muscles and tendons of the growing foot do not keep pace with bone growth. Therefore, the constant pain which one experiences at the back of the heel will make the child unable to put any weight on the heel. The child is then forced to walk on their toes.

Symptoms

Acute pain – Pain associated with Sever’s disease is usually felt in the heel when the child engages in physical activity such as walking, jumping and or running.

Highly active – Children who are very active are among the most susceptible in experiencing Sever’s disease, because of the stress and tension placed on their feet.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Marble Falls, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle injuries.

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Friday, 12 November 2021 00:00

It's Time for Beautiful Feet

You don't need an excuse to have beautiful nails. Step outside without worrying about the appearance of your feet.

Tuesday, 09 November 2021 00:00

Blisters

Blisters are pockets of fluid that occur under the top layer of your skin. These fluid pockets are usually filled with pus, blood, or serum. Blisters may itch or hurt and can appear as a single bubble or in clusters.

The most common types of blisters are friction blisters. This type of blister may be caused by wearing shoes that are too tight. Friction blisters can also occur on the hands. A change in temperature may also cause blisters on the feet. In the freezing air, frostbite on your toes can lead to blisters, as well as sunburn from hot weather.

The best way to treat a blister is to keep it clean and dry. Most blisters will get better on their own. Once the skin absorbs the fluid within the blister, it will flatten and eventually peel off. You should avoid popping your blister unless you podiatrist does it for you. Additional treatment options include applying an ice pack to the blister or using over-the-counter blister bandages to cover the affected area.

If your blister becomes discolored, inflamed, or worsens it is advised that you speak to your podiatrist. Blisters that are yellow, green, or purple may be infected and require immediate medical attention. Blisters that are abnormally colored may be a sign of a more serious underlying health condition such as herpes.

Tuesday, 09 November 2021 00:00

Don’t Pop a Blister

Blisters are small, fluid-filled pockets that form on the skin in response to trauma. Blisters on the feet are typically caused by friction from wearing ill-fitting shoes or exercising, but are also commonly caused by warts, athlete’s foot, and allergic reactions. If you have a blister, it is best to avoid popping it. The fluid inside the blister protects the raw skin underneath it, helping it heal from damage. When a blister is popped, it can be very painful and is more likely to become infected. If your blister has popped on its own, don’t peel off the top layer of skin. Leave it there and cover the blister with a clean bandage to protect it. If your blister is very painful, showing signs of infection, or leaking pus, please seek the care of a podiatrist. 

Blisters may appear as a single bubble or in a cluster. They can cause a lot of pain and may be filled with pus, blood, or watery serum. If your feet are hurting, contact Frank Henry, DPM of Marble Falls, TX. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Foot Blisters

Foot blisters are often the result of friction. This happens due to the constant rubbing from shoes, which can lead to pain.

What Are Foot Blisters?

A foot blister is a small fluid-filled pocket that forms on the upper-most layer of the skin. Blisters are filled with clear fluid and can lead to blood drainage or pus if the area becomes infected.

Symptoms

(Blister symptoms may vary depending on what is causing them)

  • Bubble of skin filled with fluid
  • Redness
  • Moderate to severe pain
  • Itching

Prevention & Treatment

In order to prevent blisters, you should be sure to wear comfortable shoes with socks that cushion your feet and absorb sweat. Breaking a blister open may increase your chances of developing an infection. However, if your blister breaks, you should wash the area with soap and water immediately and then apply a bandage to the affected area. If your blisters cause severe pain it is important that you call your podiatrist right away.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Marble Falls, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Tuesday, 02 November 2021 00:00

Understanding Overpronation

If the arch of the foot collapses while bearing weight, it is known as overpronation.  When the frame of the foot collapses overpronation causes stress and inflammation to the feet leading to a variety of conditions such as plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, metatarsalgia, tendonitis, or bunions. Overpronation is common among those who have flexible flat feet, but other factors like obesity and pregnancy can also cause flat feet. Some patients with overpronation never develop symptoms or feel pain, but if symptoms are present the pain is extreme and walking becomes difficult. This causes intense strain on the feet and calves. Patients who experience overpronation should wear footwear that fits properly and also has a firm and supportive heel. These patients may even be prescribed orthotics to support the arch of the foot. Anyone who is afflicted with overpronation should consult with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment recommendation. 

If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Frank Henry, DPM from Marble Falls, TX. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Biomechanics in Podiatry

Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.

A History of Biomechanics

  • Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
  • In 1974, biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area.

Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.

Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Marble Falls, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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