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Patient Education Articles

Achilles Tendon Tear & Repair

The Achilles tendon

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The Achilles tendon is the most powerful tendon in the human body.  Tendons are strong tissues that connect muscles to bone.  The Achilles tendon is located in the lower back part of the leg and works with the calf muscles to provide forceful foot movements. 

Arthritis

Joints pain

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Arthritis is a common disease that causes joint pain, stiffness, immobility, and swelling.  Arthritis is actually a term for a group of over 100 diseases that affect the muscle and skeletal system, particularly the joints.  Arthritis alters the cartilage in joints.  Cartilage is a very tough, shock absorbing material that covers the ends of many of our bones.  The cartilage forms a smooth surface and allows the bones in our joints to glide easily during motion.  Arthritis can cause the cartilage to wear away.  Loss of the protective lining can cause painful bone on bone rubbing.  Arthritis can be quite painful and disabling.  While this may be tolerated with medications, therapy, other modalities, and lifestyle adjustments, there may come a time when surgical treatment is necessary.

Arthroscopy

Joint problem

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Arthroscopic Surgery is a procedure that allows surgeons to see, diagnose, and treat problems inside a joint.  The procedure, also called an Arthroscopy, requires only small incisions and is guided by a miniature viewing instrument or scope.  Before arthroscopy existed, surgeons made large incisions that affected the surrounding joint structures and tissues.  They had to open the joint to view it and perform surgery.  The traditional surgery method carries a higher risk of infection and requires a longer time for recovery.  In contrast, arthroscopy is less invasive.  It has a decreased risk of infection and shorter recovery period.  Today, arthroscopic surgery is one of the most common orthopedic procedures.  

Athlete's Foot

fungus

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Athletes are not the only people who can get athlete’s foot.  A fungus that thrives in warm environments, such as poolside surfaces and locker rooms, causes the skin infection to develop between the toes or on the soles of the feet.  Many cases of athlete’s foot can be treated with over-the-counter products.  You should contact your podiatrist or dermatologist if you have a severe or prolonged athlete’s foot infection.

Atrial Fibrillation

common heart condition

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Atrial Fibrillation, also known as A Fib or AF, is a common heart condition that causes an abnormal rhythm (arrhythmia). It is sometimes described as a quivering heart or fluttering heartbeat. A change in the electrical charge that travels through the heart’s upper chambers can cause the rhythm of the heart to get out of sync. During an episode, typical symptoms include heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and weakness that may come and go or last for extended periods of time. A Fib is a treatable condition that should be managed by a cardiologist to prevent serious complications, such as blood clots, heart failure, or stroke. AF is not life-threatening, but emergency treatment may be required at times to restore regular rhyth

Bunion

common foot deformity

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Bunions are a common foot deformity, especially in females.  They most frequently result from wearing shoes that are too small and or have a high heel.  Abnormal pressure from poor fitting shoes causes the bones in the big toe and foot to move out of position.  This results in a large painful bump on the side of the foot at the big toe.

 

Bunionette

bump that occurs near the base of the little toe on the foot.

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bunionette is a bump that occurs near the base of the little toe on the foot.  They are not as common as bunions, a similar condition that develops near the base of the big toe.  However, people with bunionettes often have bunions as well.

Claw Toe

Claw toe most frequently develops in older women

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Claw toe most frequently develops in older women.  It causes the joint at the base of the toe to bend upward and the other joints on the toe to bend downward in the shape of a claw.  Claw toe may be related to underlying medical conditions or caused from wearing poor fitting shoes.  It is important to diagnose and treat claw toe early because the condition tends to become worse over time.  Significant cases of claw toe may require surgery to correct the toe joints.

Corns

small raised thick areas that develop on the tops of the feet or toes

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Corns are small raised thick areas that develop on the tops of the feet or toes.  Corns occur because of friction from wearing poorly fitting shoes or as the result of foot deformities.  It is best to consult a podiatrist, a foot specialist, for treatment of this problem.  A podiatrist can remove a corn and recommend toe pads, shoe inserts, and properly fitting shoes to help prevent corns in the future. 

Da Vinci Robotic Surgery

surgery to be performed with smaller incisions

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Robotic surgery with the da Vinci® Surgical System allows surgery to be performed with smaller incisions compared to traditional open surgery. By making only a few tiny incisions, patients benefit from having less pain, less scarring, less bleeding, and less down time. 
 

Diabetic Foot

Diabetes-related foot problems

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Foot problems are a common complication of Diabetes. Diabetes is a disease that affects how the body uses glucose, a sugar that is a source of fuel for the body. Normally, insulin, a hormone, helps glucose get into the body cells so that it is used for energy. People with diabetes either do not produce enough insulin or the insulin does not work like it should. Therefore, glucose does not get into the body cells. As a result, there is too much sugar in the blood, which can make people ill and result in medical complications. Diabetes is manageable. People with diabetes need to be aware of the possible associated medical problems.

Ganglion Cysts - Foot - Podiatry

bottom of the foot.

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Ganglion cysts are a common condition that can develop on the top or bottom of the foot.  They are not harmful or cancerous, although they may cause discomfort.  Ganglion cysts that are painful or interfere with walking are treated with non-surgical methods or surgical removal.

Gout

disorder that can cause sudden joint pain

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Gout is a disorder that can cause sudden joint pain.  It occurs most commonly in the big toe, although it may affect other joints.  The buildup of uric acid, a substance found naturally in the body and in certain foods, causes gout.  Episodes of gout tend to come and go.  Symptoms are treated with medications to ease pain and decrease inflammation.  Measures can be taken to help prevent gout in some cases.

Hallux (Great Toe) Rigidus

Your big toes help you maintain balance

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Your big toes help you maintain balance.  They receive a huge amount of stress each time you walk, stand, squat, or climb stairs.  People with degenerative arthritis may develop a condition called hallux rigidus, meaning a “stiff big toe.”  Hallux rigidus occurs when the joint at the base of the big toe wears down and makes movement difficult.  Hallux rigidus is a progressive condition, and over time, the toe may become very stiff.  Early treatment is important, and may help prevent future surgery.

Hammer Toe

causes the middle joint to bend.

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Hammertoe most commonly affects the second toe on the foot.  It causes the middle joint to bend.  Hammertoe is most frequently caused by structural problems in the toe or from wearing poor fitting shoes.  It is important to diagnose and treat hammertoe early because the condition tends to become worse over time.  If left untreated, hammertoe can require surgery.

Heel Cracks

heel fissures

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Cracked heels (heel fissures) are a common foot condition.  The condition develops in dry skin or calluses on the heel if there is too much pressure on the skin.  Moisturizing creams, clinical skin treatments, heel cups, or insoles can help.  People with certain medical conditions, signs of infection, or significant cracked heels should contact a podiatrist for professional treatment. 

Heel Pain

wrong type of shoes to abnormal growths or tendon problems

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Your heels bear tons of pressure each day when you stand and walk.  It’s no wonder that heel pain is a common complaint.  Heel pain occurs for a variety of reasons, from wearing the wrong type of shoes to abnormal growths or tendon problems.  Fortunately, most cases of heel pain can be treated without surgery.  Talk to your podiatrist if you have heel pain.  Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent bigger problems.

Heel Spurs

bnormal bony growths that develop at the back or under the heel

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Heel spurs are abnormal bony growths that develop at the back or under the heel as a result of ongoing soft tissue inflammation or irritation.  The inflammation, more so than the heel spur, can cause significant pain.  Fortunately, symptoms can be eased with non-surgical treatments for the vast majority of people.

Hindfoot Fracture (Heel/Ankle Joint)

car crashes or falls from a height

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It takes a lot of force to fracture the bones in the hindfoot.  A fracture is a broken bone. Injuries most frequently result from car crashes or falls from a height.  Fractures may occur in the heel or the bone located on top of the heel.  Hindfoot fractures take a long time to heal, with or without surgery.

Ingrown Toenails

Toenail grows into the skin

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Ingrown toenails are a common condition in adults.  They occur when the corner of a toenail grows into the skin or when the skin grows over the toenail.  Ingrown toenails cause pain and swelling.  If left untreated, they can lead to infection.  In some cases, ingrown toenails can be treated at home.  A doctor should treat an ingrown toenail if home treatments fail, you are at risk for infection, or you suspect that your ingrown toenail is infected.

Lisfranc Fracture Dislocation

Mid foot Podiatry

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Lisfranc fracture occurs in the bones of the midfoot.  The fracture results from dropping something heavy on the foot or twisting the foot during sports or an accident.  If you suspect you have a Lisfranc fracture, you should see your podiatrist for prompt treatment.  Some Lisfranc fractures can heal with casting and physical therapy.  Bones that have moved out of place typically require surgery. 

Mallet Toe

Joint closest to the tip of the toe to bend downward

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Mallet toe most commonly affects the longest toe on the foot, although any toe can be affected.  It causes the joint closest to the tip of the toe to bend downward.  Mallet toe is most frequently caused by structural problems in the toe or from wearing poor fitting shoes.  It is important to diagnose and treat mallet toe early when the joints are still flexible, because the condition tends to become worse over time.  Joints that become rigid or fixed can require surgery to place the bones in proper position.

Metatarsal Fracture

Forefoot injury

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Your forefoot acts as a springboard with each step you take and a cushion when your foot touches the ground.  The metatarsal bones located in the forefoot bear and shift your body weight to help maintain balance.  Jumping, twisting, dancing, and running add even more force to the forefoot, making the bones vulnerable to fracture from trauma and overuse.  The majority of metatarsal fractures heal with non-surgical treatments.  Fractures that require surgery usually heal uneventfully.

Morton's Neuroma

Foot injury

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Morton’s Neuroma is a painful foot condition.  It occurs when a nerve near the toes becomes compressed and inflamed.  If diagnosed early, many cases of Morton’s Neuroma can be treated without surgery.  However, surgery for the condition has a high success rate.

Neuropathy

Nerve Pain

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Neuropathy, also referred to as neuralgia or neuritis, is a type of pain that involves the nerves.  Neuropathy results from nerve degeneration, pressure, inflammation, or infection.   There are several causes of neuropathy, including carpal tunnel syndrome, pinched nerves, spinal stenosis, and pressure from spinal discs. Nerve pain management is individualized.  Lifestyle changes including weight loss, regular exercise, and smoking cessation; and physical therapy can help relieve some types of pain.  People with more significant symptoms may need medication or surgery to help relieve and manage pain.

Orthotics

shoe inserts that are used to correct an irregular walking pattern

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Orthotics are shoe inserts that are used to correct an irregular walking pattern.  They perform functions that make standing, walking, and running more comfortable and efficient, by altering slightly the angles at which the foot strikes a walking or running surface.

Peripheral Artery Disease

Poor Circulation

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Peripheral artery disease (PAD), also referred to as arteriosclerosis of the extremities and peripheral vascular disease, is a condition that causes poor blood circulation to the kidneys, intestines, arms, legs, and feet.  Blood flow may be reduced or blocked by narrowed or hardened blood vessels.  This can lead to tissue and nerve injury or damage.  You may decrease your risk of PAD by reducing the risk factors that you can control.  PAD is treated with medications and surgery.  In severe cases, amputation may be necessary.

Peripheral Neuropathy

nerves are damaged resulting in pain and loss of function

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Peripheral neuropathy is a symptom rather than a disease in itself.  It occurs when nerves are damaged resulting in pain and loss of function, such as motor movement or the sense of touch.  Peripheral neuropathy commonly develops in the longest nerves first, affecting the toes and feet.  Correcting the underlying cause of peripheral neuropathy, such as managing diabetes, can help resolve symptoms.  Physical or occupational therapy, medications, and lifestyle changes may be recommended as well.

Plantar Fasciitis

When plantar fascia, is irritated and inflamed.

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Plantar fasciitis is a painful foot condition.  It occurs when connective tissue at the bottom of the foot, called the plantar fascia, is irritated and inflamed.  The condition commonly occurs among people who spend a lot of time on their feet.  Heel pain that occurs in the morning upon wakening is a hallmark sign of plantar fasciitis.  Fortunately, for the majority of people, symptoms are relieved with non-surgical treatments.

Plantar Warts

Warts on Feet

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Plantar warts are small growths that appear on the bottom of the foot.  A virus causes plantar warts.  They are contagious and can be spread from person to person.  Plantar warts should not be treated with over-the-counter treatments.  A doctor should remove plantar warts.

Platelet-Rich Plasma

Therapy is a cutting-edge procedure that is revolutionizing the field of orthopedic medicine

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Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy is a cutting-edge procedure that is revolutionizing the field of orthopedic medicine.  PRP therapy is a new treatment that relieves pain and promotes long lasting healing of musculoskeletal conditions. PRP Therapy uses components of the body’s own blood cells to formulate a customized “cocktail” that stimulates the natural healing process in certain orthopedic conditions. 

Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction

Acquired Flatfoot

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Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, also known as acquired flatfoot, results when the tendon at the back of the ankle is inflamed or torn.  It is a progressive condition that can eventually lead to a fallen arch or flatfoot.  Advanced cases, or those that do not respond to non-surgical treatments, may require surgery.  There are various surgical procedures for posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, and it is common to need more than one.

Sesamoid Fracture & Sesamoiditis

Big Toe

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The sesamoids are two small bones near the base of the big toe.  They help to bear weight and act as pulleys to help move your big toe when you walk.  Too much repetitive pressure, force, or tension can cause sesamoiditis, an inflammatory condition.  If the impact is great enough, the bones can break (fracture).  The majority of people with sesamoiditis or sesamoid fracture heal well with non-surgical treatment.

Shin Splints

Pain at the front or lower inside edge of the leg

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Shin splints is a term to describe pain at the front or lower inside edge of the leg.  The pain is most frequently caused by muscle overuse, improper form when exercising, or wearing the wrong type of athletic shoes.  Most cases of shin splints resolve with rest.  In rare cases, surgery may be necessary to treat complications from shin splints.

Sports Medicine and Fitness Training

Physical activity is essential for overall health, injury prevention, rehabilitation, and quality of life.

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The benefits of exercise and fitness are well known.  Physical activity is essential for overall health, injury prevention, rehabilitation, and quality of life.  Sports medicine is a science that involves a team of specially trained health professionals from a wide variety of practice areas, including surgeons, physicians, physical therapists, nutritionists, researchers, athletic trainers, coaches,  and other professionals

Sprains & Strains

Sprains and strains are common injuries

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Sprains and strains are common injuries that can happen to anyone, but occur most frequently in people who participate in sports, perform repetitive activities, or are at-risk for falls.  Sprains involve the tissues that connect bones together (ligaments).  Strains involve a different group of tissues, muscles and the tendons that connect muscles to bones.  Mild sprains and strains can heal with rest and home care.  Significant sprains and strains may require rehabilitation, surgery, or both.

Stress Fracture

Leg and Foot

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Stress fractures are tiny hairline breaks in the bone.  They tend to develop in the legs or feet of dancers, athletes, or military personnel who exercise when their muscles are fatigued or when their bodies are not yet conditioned to the activity level.  Rest and physical therapy can help most stress fractures heal.  Surgery is used in select cases.

Tendonitis

inflammatory condition

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Tendonitis is an inflammatory condition that can develop in a tendon. Tendons are strong fibers that connect your muscles to your bones. Tendonitis most frequently results from overuse of a joint. Symptoms include pain and tenderness. Most cases of tendonitis are relieved with rest and anti-inflammatory medications. Chronic tendonitis may require surgery if symptoms are intolerable despite nonoperative treatment.

Toe Fracture

Phalange Fracture

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Toe fractures can certainly hurt, but they are rarely incapacitating.  Toe fractures most frequently result from trauma.  The majority of toe fractures  heal without surgery.

Toenail Fungus

white or yellow spots on the nails

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Not only is toenail fungus unsightly, but it is difficult to treat.  You should consult a podiatrist at the first sign of toenail fungus, such as white or yellow spots on the nails.  Your doctor will provide treatments to help stop the fungus and promote healthy nail regrowth.

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