Posts for category: Foot Injuries
By Iowa Foot & Ankle Clinic
January 20, 2022
Tags: Foot Fracture
The simple answer is that there is no difference between a fracture and a break. From shattered bones to hairline cracks, any damage done to the bones of the feet is considered a fracture. No matter what you want to call it, it’s still important that you visit your podiatrist right away for treatment.
What are the types of fractures?
There are different kinds of foot fractures based on the type of bone that’s impacted. Fractures can impact the toes, heel, sesamoid bone, and metatarsal bone, as well as the ankles. Stress fractures are hairline fractures that occur as a result of repeated stress placed on the foot. This is common in athletes.
What are the warning signs of a fractured foot?
There are certain symptoms to be on the lookout for if you suspect that you might have a fractured foot. Some signs of a foot fracture include:
- Pain that gets worse with movement
- Limited mobility or restricted range of motion
- Trouble bearing weight on the injured foot
- Deformity or misshapen foot
Foot pain, particularly after an accident or injury, is a telltale sign of a fractured foot that should be addressed by a podiatrist.
How is a fractured foot treated?
How your podiatrist treats your foot fracture will depend on the location, severity, and type. This is why it’s important to visit your foot doctor as soon as possible after injury. Some minor fractures can be treated with home care including:
- Ample rest
- Pain relievers to alleviate pain and swelling
More moderate or severe fractures may require more aggressive treatment options to speed up the recovery process. Additional treatment options include,
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Specialized exercises
- Protective shoe or boot
- Casting, crutches, or immobilization (for more severe fractures)
Don’t ignore the warning signs of a fractured foot. If you are having trouble moving around or you are suddenly experiencing foot pain, particularly after an injury, the first call you should make is to your podiatrist. Call a foot and ankle specialist today to get the care you need.
By Iowa Foot & Ankle Clinic
December 14, 2021
From running miles to wearing shoes that are too loose or too tight, there are many reasons why you may develop a corn. A corn is your skin’s way of protecting itself when there is any friction or pressure placed on the area. While healthy individuals may be able to simply treat corns on their own with home care, those with diabetes or nerve damage should always turn to a podiatrist even for minor injuries such as corns or calluses.
What is a corn?
A corn is a buildup of skin that occurs when there is repeated friction or pressure placed on the skin. This buildup of skin helps to protect the skin underneath. Corns most commonly develop on the side or tops of the toes and can be either hard or soft. Soft corns often appear between the toes while hard corns typically form on the tops of the toes. While both corns and calluses are thickened areas of skin, calluses are often larger and typically develop on the bottoms of the feet.
Who is more at risk for developing corns?
Certain factors can make someone prone to corns and calluses. These include:
- Wearing shoes that are too tight or too narrow
- Having certain foot conditions that alter its structural alignments such as arthritis, bunions, or hammertoes
- Wearing shoes without socks
- Being a smoker
How do I treat a corn?
If you are a healthy individual, then simple lifestyle changes and home care can help to improve your corn. Soak the area for 5-10 minutes to soften the area. You may use a pumice stone to gently remove some of the thickened layers of skin. Make sure not to be too aggressive or to remove too much, as this can lead to bleeding and even infection. After pumicing the area, make sure to apply a moisturizer to your feet. If you have diabetes or nerve damage in your feet, do not try the pumice or remove the corn yourself. A podiatrist can provide you with the proper treatment.
Make sure you are wearing properly fitted shoes at all times. This can cut down on the number of corns or calluses you’ll deal with. Keep nails properly trimmed so they don’t rub against toes and cause corns. If certain areas of your feet are prone to corns, you may wish to apply protective adhesive padding to the area either to protect the corn or to prevent a new one from forming.
If you notice any changes to a corn, including signs of infection, it’s important that you turn to a podiatrist right away for care. While most corns will go away if you avoid any shoes that cause pressure or friction to the area, you should turn to a foot doctor if you have concerns.
By Iowa Foot & Ankle Clinic
November 02, 2021
Getting splinters in the feet is fairly common. Of course, some people wonder if they can simply leave a splinter in their foot and let it work itself out. Others may not know how to safely remove a splinter, which can cause more harm than good. A podiatrist can help you remove splinters from your feet, particularly in children who may be squeamish about having parents remove them.
Why Splinters Need to be Removed
Regardless of whether the splinter is wood, glass, or even a plant thorn, you must remove it from the foot as soon as possible. Why? Because these foreign objects also contain germs, which can lead to an infection if the splinter isn’t promptly and fully removed.
How to Remove a Splinter Yourself
You probably have all the tools you need at home to remove a splinter safely. Of course, it’s important to go over the basics of safe splinter removal. Here are tips for safely removing the splinter:
- Soak the foot in warm water for a few minutes to soften the skin
- Wash your hands thoroughly before removing the splinter
- Once the skin has softened in the water, see if you can squeeze the splinter out by simply applying pressure to both sides (like you would a pimple)
- If squeezing doesn’t work, you can use tweezers or a sewing needle to remove the foreign object (just make sure to disinfect these tools first with rubbing alcohol)
- If the splinter cannot be grabbed with tweezers, use the needle to create a small opening around the splinter to make it easier to grab
- Be gentle and careful when removing the splinter to avoid breaking it
When To See a Podiatrist
While a splinter often isn’t a big deal there will be situations in which turning to a podiatric physician will be the best option. You should turn to one if:
- You aren’t able to remove the splinter or foreign object yourself
- The area becomes red, tender, swollen, or contains pus (signs of infection)
- You feel like there’s a splinter but you can’t see it
- You have diabetes or nerve damage in your feet (do not try to remove a splinter yourself)
- The splinter is too deep or too painful
- Your child is too squeamish or won’t sit still so you can remove the splinter
If there is a foreign body in your foot or your child’s foot, or if there are symptoms of an infection present, it’s important that you turn to your podiatrist right away to have the splinter removed and the area properly treated.
By Iowa Foot & Ankle Clinic
October 07, 2021
Tags: Broken Toe
A broken toe is one of the most common minor injuries that you can suffer. However, sometimes, it can prove difficult to tell whether or not you actually have a broken toe. As a result, it is best to know some signs that you do in fact have a broken toe. This is helpful information no matter whether you are planning to visit a podiatrist or if you are thinking about handling your broken toe all on your own. Stubbing your toe is pretty common and most of the time, the pain goes away relatively quickly and you continue with your day. If the pain does persist, you may have a broken toe, so keep these signs of a broken toe in mind.
Are You Able to Put Weight on Your Foot?
One method that you can use to determine whether or not you have actually broken a toe is checking if you can put weight on your foot. If you can walk on your foot without limping or pain, your toe is likely not broken. Icing the toe and using some non-prescription anti-inflammatory medication will probably be enough. In the event that you continue to experience swelling or severe pain, you should see a doctor about your toe.
Does Your Toe Have a Deep Wound?
You should take a close look at your injured toe. If your toe has a deep wound or cut, the bone in your toe might get exposed to the air and a doctor should check out your injured toe. Another sign that you have a broken toe is bruising. Additionally, one more sign that you have actually broken your toe is some discoloration on or near your toe. An obvious sign of a broken toe is if it is at a different angle than the toe on your other foot.
What Else Should I Know About Broken Toes?
Taping is a common solution for a broken toe. This works just fine if the break in the toe is simple and the bones are still in alignment. Taping your broken toe will not help it heal properly, though. That is why you should keep the following information in mind:
- Consult a doctor about your broken toe so it heals correctly.
- Taping your toe could worsen the situation if you have a bad break in your toe.
- Taping your toe is only a viable solution in some circumstances.