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22 Podiatry Facts for Twosday in Frisco, Texas

In honor of 2/22/22, here are 22 facts regarding podiatry and your feet:

  1. Both feet contain a combined total of 52 bones: 26 in each foot!
  2. Archeologists have found evidence of foot doctors in ancient Egyptian tombs and Greek ruins.
  3. APMA (The American Podiatric Medical Association) estimates that everyone will walk close to or more than 100,000 miles in their lifetime.
  4. Standing in one spot puts more strain on your feet than walking does.
  5. The first shoes were said to be made out of animal skin about  5 million years ago.
  6. The health of your feet can be an indication of your overall health and illnesses such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and arthritis.
  7. Toe to thumb transplants have been performed in cases where thumbs have undergone traumatic amputation.
  8. Those who wear heels periodically are more likely to have foot pain and seek treatment later in life.
  9. Skin cancer can develop on the feet.  It is important to check the skin on the feet, especially the bottoms, for new moles.
  10. Lower back pain can actually be worsened or even caused by poor foot support.  Custom orthotics can help with low back pain, hip pain, and last for 2-3 years on average.
  11. Abraham Lincoln, along with other significant historical figures have written about the care they received from podiatrists (at the time called chiropodists).
  12. Ankle injuries should be treated promptly to prevent further injury and prevent chronic ankle pain/instability later in life.
  13. Heel numbness can be caused by possible neuropathy (damage to nerves) or nerve compression.
  14. Toenails grow very slowly. It takes 5-6 months to grow an entirely new toenail, which is slower than fingernails.
  15. Foot sizes have been increasing over the last few decades.
  16. Our feet are at their biggest in the afternoon/evening.
  17. Heel pain is very common: 6 in 10 Americans have experienced pain in the past year.
  18. Shoe shopping is best done in the afternoon due to swelling and should be properly measured while standing.
  19. More often than not, people have two different sized feet.
  20. There are about 250,000 sweat glands in a single pair of feet and can produce almost half a pint of moisture daily.
  21. If your second toe is longer than your first toe this can be a sign for increased risk of bunions, hammers toes (toes that point down), and even back problems.
  22. Your feet can continue growing even as an adult. Feet become wider and longer as you age because your tendons and ligaments lose elasticity

 

To schedule an appointment to learn even more about your feet click here

Treating Toenail Fungus in Frisco, Texas

 

Toenail fungus, which medically is termed onychomycosis, is a common condition that can cause changes to the thickness and color of a nail.  Fungus, in general, is an organism that likes moist and dark environments, just like how we can find in our shoes!  Wearing shoes, especially when snug, can cause repeated friction and microtrauma which can cause nails to lift up. This lifting of the nail allows fungus to enter and infect the nail.

Toenail fungus symptoms include discoloration and thickening of the nail.  The affected nail may become brittle and separate from the nail bed.  You may notice debris (buildup) underneath the nail.  Sometimes the nail can even have an odor.  The nail may become painful as it continues to thicken, which can be worsened with certain shoes.  Often, we see toenail fungus in combination with Athlete’s Foot (a fungal infection of the skin).

Although anyone can contract toenail fungus, there are certain groups that are more at risk than others including those who are immunocompromised, have diabetes, and are elderly.  People with poor circulation are also more prone to a fungal infection of the toenails.  We also see toenail infections more commonly in those with excessive sweating of the feet and Athlete’s Foot infections.

Without treatment, the toenail fungus will likely spread to other toenails.  There are multiple types of treatment options:

  • Oral medications, depending on the medication, offer success rates of up to 76%. These antifungal pills often have predictable and successful results.  Typically, these require about a 12 week course of treatment and improvement to the nail is noticed as it grows out.  As with any oral medication, although uncommon there are risks.  We require routine bloodwork to be done to ensure that there are no side effects particularly on the liver or blood cell count.
  • Topical medication includes creams and medicated nail lacquers. Overall, these are not quite as effective as oral medication but are an option if there are contraindications or hesitancy to taking antifungal pills.  Topical medications tend to work better on more mild nail infections.  With use of topical medication, we recommend regular nail trimming.
  • Laser therapy is another option for treating toenail fungus. Laser therapy typically involves 4 weekly sessions of 12 minutes of laser exposure, which is relatively painless.  Research has shown to have approximately 67% efficacy rate, with some sources even higher than this.
  • Nail Removal is a last choice option for severe nail thickness. This involves a minor procedure in the office where the affected toe is numbed with anesthesia and the nail is removed.  Regardless of the treatment option there is always a chance of recurrence.

There are certain steps that can be taken to help prevent toenail fungus.  These include:

  • Changing socks regularly, especially throughout the day if you have sweaty feet
  • Avoiding being barefoot in public areas, especially damp areas like showers/saunas/etc
  • Ensuring that clean instrumentation is used when cutting nails/getting a pedicure
  • If noticing any signs of Athlete’s Foot (fungal skin infection) seek prompt treatment
  • Wearing shoes that fit your feet well
  • Wearing shoes with material like mesh that breathes well
  • Wearing moisture wicking socks
  • Having toenails well trimmed
  • Seeing a podiatrist in a timely manner when noticing changes in nail color or thickness

If you have any concerns about possible toenail fungus, make an appointment with Star Foot & Ankle Specialists and have Dr. Heredia and Dr. Zellers find the best treatment for you!

Schedule an appointment by clicking here

 

How to Treat Heel Pain in Frisco, Texas

Heel pain is often caused by a very common condition called plantar fasciitis, which is inflammation of the plantar fascia.  The plantar fascia is a ligament that starts on the heel bone, runs across the bottom of the foot, and ends near the base of the toes.  This means that the plantar fascia acts as an arch support.

Heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis often presents as pain with first step in the morning when getting out of bed or when getting up from resting or extended sitting.  This is because at rest the plantar fascia shortens and with that first step the plantar fascia stretches out.  Plantar fasciitis pain can also be felt when standing for extended periods or when exercising.

There are multiple possible causes of plantar fasciitis including overpronation (rolling inwards of the foot and ankle), ill-fitting shoegear, obesity, tight calf muscles/Achilles tendons, and standing on hard surfaces for extended periods.

We start with conservative (non-surgical) treatment for patients with plantar fasciitis.  This may include rest, NSAIDs, or steroids.  We also recommend calf stretches and icing the heel.  We also recommend changing shoes to a more supportive pair as well as orthotics to help provide arch support and take pressure off of the heel.  If these treatments do not provide complete relief, we can also consider stretching devices such as a night splint, physical therapy, and cortisone injections.  In severe and chronic cases, surgical intervention is an option.

The podiatrists at Star Foot & Ankle Specialists will provide a thorough explanation and tailor treatment to each individual patient.  If surgical intervention is necessary, they offer minimally invasive techniques

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