Tag Archives: foot pain

HERE’S ONE FOR THE LADIES …

HIGH HEEL HAZARDS

high heels louboutin

We know, we know. We can already hear you saying, “But I love my high heels”. Aesthetically, high heels make the shape of a woman’s leg more appealing yet it seems the prettiest shoes are the most dangerous. Unfortunately, high heels are the poorest shoe choice for your health, propelling your entire body out of alignment, and altering your gait. What’s a girl to do? We’re not suggesting you become a fashion “don’t”, however there are some things you should ponder before buying your next pair of high heels.

First, some facts:

  • Every day in the US, there are over 28,000 ankle sprains.
  • 55% of those go untreated as “just a sprain”.
  • An untreated sprain may lead to future instability, early arthritis, exercise difficulty, and balance issues
  • High heels pull the muscles and joints out of sync with the rest of your body, causing back and knee pain.
  • 42% of women 25-49 years of age wear heels daily; 34% of women over 50 wear them as well.
  • In 1986, 60% of women wore heels daily; that has decreased today to below 39%. Women are now opting for more comfort and there are many well- known brands offering sophisticated choices.
  • A 1” heel puts 22% of body weight on the ball of your foot; a 2” heel places 57% of your weight; and a 3” heel puts a whopping 76% of your body weight on the forward foot. Ouch.

high heel

So, how can you be fashionable and healthy at the same time? Some tips:

  • Avoid wearing high heels on a daily basis; vary your shoe choices to rotate heel heights.
  • When wearing heels, limit wear to 4 or 5 hours at a time.
  • Limit heel height to 2”; if you need more height, choose a platform with an incline of a couple inches. A “kitten” heel (a one inch, tapered skinny heel) is a fashionable alternative.
  • Avoid pointed toe boxes that squeeze your toes together; if you want a pointed look, make sure your toes have room in the toe box before the shoe tapers (a pointy toe high heel may cause ingrown toenails).
  • Our feet tend to expand as the day progresses so purchase shoes later in the day for the best fit.
  • Perform daily calf stretches.
  • Shoes that are too large may cause blisters from friction when walking; leather insoles will help keep your foot from sliding inside the shoe.
  • Choose a thicker heel rather than a skinny stiletto for better balance.
  • Many savvy shoe brands are making dressy flats so why not opt for a pair?

If your feet or ankles have suffered the wear and tear of time in fashionable high heels, the physicians at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates can help get you back on your feet. We have convenient locations in Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, and Venice and are able to accommodate same day appointments when needed. For more information go to our website at www.SOA.md or give us a call at 941-951-2663. Be sure to like our Facebook page here or follow us on Twitter here.

Our commitment is to get our patients back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life.

Sources: American Podiatric Medical Association; American Osteopathic Association; Medical Daily; Women’s Health

YOUR FEET … Engineering or Art?

pointe_584

Leonardo da Vinci was quoted as saying “The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art”. He wasn’t kidding around considering a human foot contains 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

Because the foot is so intricate, there are so many things that can go awry; a break or fracture in any area can have an effect in another area of the body. In every case, an injury as serious as a fracture will mean the inability to bear any weight. This can be quite painful, offset balance, increase pressure on the opposite leg and joints, and even affect overall mood due to lack of exercise that may ensue. If not addressed quickly, a collapsed bone, severed ligament, or permanent deformity may develop.

In the case of breaks or fractures, foot treatment can be as straightforward as a cast or brace if treated quickly. A digital x-ray will indicate how to proceed. When an MRI is indicated, our office has a digital extremity MRI which means just the foot and ankle are inserted into the machine … no confining tube for your body! If the break is serious or ignored, surgery may be an option to offset the shift in the foot/ankle structure. Stress fractures may require protective footgear for a period of time.

Swelling is a sure sign that medical attention is in order, but it doesn’t always indicate a compromised bone. Swelling of the foot and ankle could be a result of an injury, but may also be caused by a medication, diet, pregnancy, or blood clot. Determining the source of swelling requires a medical diagnosis.

Some of the more common foot conditions we see at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates:

  • Fungal nail infections are hard to treat and unfortunately don’t go away without treatment.
  • Bunions occur at the base of the large toe forcing the toe to migrate toward the smaller ones.
  • Corns and calluses, or thick, hard areas of dead skin, are caused by friction or pressure.
  • Gout is actually a type of arthritis that occurs in the big toe.
  • Athlete’s foot is contagious, usually picked up by going barefoot in damp areas like a locker room.
  • Hammertoes can be painful, generally seen in any of the middle toes when bent at the middle joint. It is often hereditary.
  • Plantar fasciitis is often at the worst case in the morning and is noted with pain across the bottom of the foot.
  • There are more common foot conditions, and fortunately, they are generally correctable.

Our team of physicians at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates handles many types of extremity, joint, and back injuries. While all injuries are to be taken seriously, damage to the foot and ankle musculoskeletal system should be carefully monitored, as these injuries may cause challenges in other parts of the body. If you’ve had an accident and are seeking treatment, contact us today at 941-951-2663 to make an appointment. We have four locations and offer same day appointments when necessary. You may also make an appointment directly through our website at www.SOA.md   Just click on the button at the home page to request an appointment.

Please like our Facebook page HERE and Follow Us on Twitter HERE.

Foot_care

Sources: www.SOA.md and WebMD

 

Putting Your Best Foot Forward

happy foot  Foot_care

Sarasota Orthopedic Associates physicians handle many types of muscle, joint, and spine conditions and injuries. While all of these should be taken seriously, damage to the foot or ankle can result in issues in other parts of the body.

Common Foot and Ankle Injuries

There are many bones in the foot and ankle, and fractures or breaks of each can have a different effect on the body. In every case, an injury as serious as a fracture will mean a sharp inability to bear any weight. This can be quite painful and may offset balance, put increased pressure on the other leg and joints, and even affect overall mood due to the lack of exercise that will likely ensue. If the break or fracture is not addressed quickly, a collapsed bone, severed ligament, or permanent deformity can develop.

Swelling is a sure sign that medical attention is needed in the foot or ankle, but this does not always mean a compromised bone. Swelling can result from everything from prescribed medication, diet, pregnancy, and blood clots. Determining, in these cases, the source of swelling requires a professional diagnosis.

Available Treatments

In the case of breaks or fractures, foot treatment can often be as straightforward as a cast or brace if treated in a timely manner. After an X-ray procedure, a physician can determine how to proceed. Otherwise, if the break is serious enough or ignored, surgery will be necessary to offset the shift in the foot and ankle structure. Other cases, such as stress fractures, may require protective footgear for two to four months.

As for swelling, diagnostics heavily determine the treatment. If the problem is a result of new pressure, such as pregnancy, then protective footwear and medication may be prescribed. If swelling stems from disease, as in heart failure or alcoholism, lifestyle changes will be recommended along with protective footwear.

If you are needing foot or ankle treatment, contact Sarasota Orthopedic Associates to make an appointment today at 941-951-2663, or go to our website homepage at www.SOA.MD and schedule an appointment online. We have three convenient locations and provide same day appointments when needed.

For the Ladies: HIGH HEEL HAZARDS

high heels louboutin high heels2

We know, we know. We can already hear you saying, “But I love my high heels”. Aesthetically, high heels make the shape of a woman’s leg more appealing yet it seems the prettiest shoes are the most dangerous. Unfortunately, high heels are the poorest shoe choice for your health, propelling your entire body out of alignment, and altering your gait. What’s a girl to do? We’re not suggesting you become a fashion “don’t”, however there are some things you should ponder before buying your next pair of high heels.

First, some facts:

  • Every day in the US, there are over 28,000 ankle sprains.
  • 55% of those go untreated as “just a sprain”.
  • An untreated sprain may lead to future instability, early arthritis, exercise difficulty, and balance issues
  • High heels pull the muscles and joints out of sync with the rest of your body, causing back and knee pain.
  • 42% of women 25-49 years of age wear heels daily; 34% of women over 50 wear them as well.
  • In 1986, 60% of women wore heels daily; that has decreased today to below 39%. Women are now opting for more comfort and there are many well- known brands offering sophisticated choices.
  • A 1” heel puts 22% of body weight on the ball of your foot; a 2” heel places 57% of your weight; and a 3” heel puts a whopping 76% of your body weight on the forward foot. Ouch.

high heel

So, how can you be fashionable and healthy at the same time? Some tips:

  • Avoid wearing high heels on a daily basis; vary your shoe choices to rotate heel heights.
  • When wearing heels, limit wear to 4 or 5 hours at a time.
  • Limit heel height to 2”; if you need more height, choose a platform with an incline of a couple inches. A “kitten” heel (a one inch, tapered skinny heel) is a fashionable alternative.
  • Avoid pointed toe boxes that squeeze your toes together; if you want a pointed look, make sure your toes have room in the toe box before the shoe tapers (a pointy toe high heel may cause ingrown toenails).
  • Our feet tend to expand as the day progresses so purchase shoes later in the day for the best fit.
  • Perform daily calf stretches.
  • Shoes that are too large may cause blisters from friction when walking; leather insoles will help keep your foot from sliding inside the shoe.
  • Choose a thicker heel rather than a skinny stiletto for better balance.
  • Many savvy shoe brands are making dressy flats so why not opt for a pair?

If your feet or ankles have suffered the wear and tear of time in high heels, the physicians at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates can help get you back on your feet. We have convenient locations in Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, Venice, and Bradenton and are able to accommodate same day appointments when needed. For more information go to our website at www.SOA.md or give us a call at 941-951-2663. Our commitment is to get our patients back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life.

Sources: American Podiatric Medical Association; American Osteopathic Association; Medical Daily; Women’s Health

POKEMON GO? OR NO?

pokemon-go-logo-480x270

By now you’ve likely heard of the new craze, Pokémon Go. So what’s all the fuss about and why would you want to participate?  We admit at first blush, we had no interest but then we got to thinking this could be a good thing … even a healthy thing if done correctly. Say what?

Some history first. The original Pokémon appeared a little over 20 years ago for the video game device, Game Boy. The internet was just being developed at that time and not accessible to most. Pokémon was based on a coming-of-age tale hidden in a theme of “collecting” bugs while travelling through caves, cities, and forests to battle monsters on the Game Boy device. The designer of the game, Satoshi Tajiri, was an enthusiastic insect collector with a passion for Japanese monster movies, thus his inspiration.

Fast forward to today, and the theme still resonates with hundreds of shapes and sizes to reflect those odd little critters you see on your smartphones. A player creates their avatar to go in search of, and collect, Pokémon at PokeStops and PokeGyms while tossing PokeBalls and hatching PokeEggs. In fact, in Japan, they love the anime so much that there are posted real cartoon figures at locations across the city and tourists seek them out for pictures. But wait, we digress.

This new Pokémon Go is not a couch potato game as it was in the 90’s. To be successful at the game, you need to get outside.  Wow … fresh air.  Then you have to move. Double wow … exercise! We like that idea. Pokémon Go is a virtual game via avatar combined with having  you in the real world.  You must physically walk around to find the little creatures and you must walk a specified number of steps to level up.  It’s more complicated than that and you’ll need to google it and download an app if you want to join, but this game is being played by people of all ages and not going away anytime soon. Some people are playing in groups and some are using it to meet new friends. Some are teens and some are seniors. Some are competitive and some are just enjoying the fun and exercise.

PokemonGo

So why are we writing about this on an orthopedic blog? Well … people are getting hurt. Here are some safety tips:

  • Pay attention to WHERE you are. There have been cases of people being lured to locations only to be robbed; take your quest with a buddy or in a group. Be safe.
  • Look up! Don’t keep your eyes glued to your smartphone while walking in search of Pokémon. Consider this habit in the same dangerous category as texting while walking. Use the app in vibration mode so you can enjoy your surroundings while you walk, yet get an alert when you’re near a capture.
  • Finally, and here is where we can help … many people participating in Pokémon Go haven’t exercised regularly or even at all; they end up suffering problems with their legs, knees, and feet. Our caution is to begin slowly and don’t overdo it just as with any exercise.

If you do overextend yourself on a Pokémon Go journey, or if you take a nasty spill, give us a call at 941-951-2663. You may also go to our website at www.SOA.md to schedule an appointment through our home page at the green button. We have four convenient locations and offer same day appointments when needed. The commitment at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates is to get our patients back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life. Enjoy the journey and be safe!

THE HUMAN FOOT: Engineering or Art?

Foot_care

Leonardo da Vinci was quoted as saying “The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art”. He wasn’t kidding around considering a human foot contains 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

Because the foot is so intricate, there are so many things that can go awry; a break or fracture in any area can have an effect in another area of the body. In every case, an injury as serious as a fracture will mean the inability to bear any weight. This can be quite painful, offset balance, increase pressure on the opposite leg and joints, and even affect overall mood due to lack of exercise that may ensue. If not addressed quickly, a collapsed bone, severed ligament, or permanent deformity may develop.

In the case of breaks or fractures, foot treatment can be as straightforward as a cast or brace if treated quickly. A digital x-ray will indicate how to proceed. When an MRI is indicated, our office has a digital extremity MRI which means just the foot and ankle are inserted into the machine … no confining tube for your body! If the break is serious or ignored, surgery may be an option to offset the shift in the foot/ankle structure. Stress fractures may require protective footgear for a period of time.

Swelling is a sure sign that medical attention is in order, but it doesn’t always indicate a compromised bone. Swelling of the foot and ankle could be a result of an injury, but may also be caused by a medication, diet, pregnancy, or blood clot. Determining the source of swelling requires a medical diagnosis.

Some of the more common foot conditions we see at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates:

  • Fungal nail infections are hard to treat and unfortunately don’t go away without treatment.
  • Bunions occur at the base of the large toe forcing the toe to migrate toward the smaller ones.
  • Corns and calluses, or thick, hard areas of dead skin, are caused by friction or pressure.
  • Gout is actually a type of arthritis that occurs in the big toe.
  • Athlete’s foot is contagious, usually picked up by going barefoot in damp areas like a locker room.
  • Hammertoes can be painful, generally seen in any of the middle toes when bent at the middle joint. It is often hereditary.
  • Plantar fasciitis is often at the worst case in the morning and is noted with pain across the bottom of the foot.
  • There are more common foot conditions, and fortunately, they are generally correctable.

Our team of physicians at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates handles many types of extremity, joint, and back injuries. While all injuries are to be taken seriously, damage to the foot and ankle musculoskeletal system should be carefully monitored, as these injuries may cause challenges in other parts of the body. If you’ve had an accident and are seeking treatment, contact us today at 941-951-2663 to make an appointment. We have four locations and offer same day appointments when necessary. You may also make an appointment directly through our website at www.SOA.md   Just click on the button at the home page to request an appointment.

Pretty-feet-3168[1]

Sources: www.SOA.md and WebMD

Powerful TLC for Your Feet and Ankles

Eric James, MD is a Fellowship Trained orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates. He specializes in foot and ankle advanced techniques and reconstruction of complex foot deformities. Dr James shares with us the importance of not neglecting our feet … they need a workout as much as the rest of our body!

happy foot

Stretch, Stretch, Stretch

Many common conditions affecting the foot and ankle can be attributed to, or worsened by, having a tight calf muscle. A large percentage of people have overly tight calf muscles and could benefit from a daily stretching routine. I prefer the runner’s stretch where the leg being stretched is straight behind you with the heel on the ground. This is done for varying periods of time, but I generally encourage a long, deep stretch.

calf stretch

Use the Little Muscles

The small muscles in our feet are often neglected and as they weaken, so does our foot’s ability to maintain correct alignment. Keep your feet strong by using them frequently. I recommend using the toes to pick up and grab objects off the floor. Spare sock on the ground? Grab it with your toes and avoid having to bend over while providing a work out for your feet.

Wear the Right Shoes

Finding the right pair of shoes can be challenging but makes a big difference in your foot health. Make sure you plan to try on shoes later in the day when your foot has done any swelling so you don’t end up buying shoes that are too small. Wear activity appropriate shoes. Try to limit high heel wear and shoes that are too small or pointy in the toe box. These shoes can lead to numerous problems like foot pain, bunions, hammertoes and neuromas.

Check Your Feet

It is a good idea to do a check on your feet daily when you shower or bathe. Check for any skin irritation, blistering, or other abnormalities. This is particular important if you have diabetes or neuropathy (loss or abnormal sensation) in the feet.

Our feet and ankles are very important and we need to keep them healthy! Let us know if we can help in maintaining your foot and ankle health!

NOTE: Eric James, MD is one of 13 physicians at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates treating conditions of the joints, spine, and muscles. We offer same day appointments when needed. Call 941-951-2663 for an appointment at any of our four locations: Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, Venice, or Bradenton.

A CLOSER LOOK AT DR ERIC JAMES – Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Surgeon

dr james bday

In our ongoing series of SOA physician interviews, we’re getting an up close and personal look at each of our physicians.  This week, we asked Eric James, MD, orthopedic foot & ankle surgeon at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates, to answer some questions and share his thoughts with us.

What inspired you to become a physician?

In middle school I began shadowing a family friend who was an orthopedic surgeon. I found it to be very interesting and it really stuck with me. I studied engineering in college so I would have a broad background, but knew I wanted to work in orthopedics… so, here I am!

Why orthopedics?

I have always been more of a mechanically minded person and there is no better field than orthopedics for the mechanic/engineer/tinkerer. A lot of what we do on a daily basis is correcting biomechanical abnormalities, so it really fit me well.

What do you love most about your job?

Seeing someone complete the process of healing and have an opportunity to get back to doing the things they love.

If I weren’t an orthopedic physician I’d be an __________________.

Engineer, programmer, product designer, something in the technology field.

Where is the most interesting place you’ve travelled?  Why?

Costa Rica for a surfing trip before college started. We spent a good deal of time immersed in the culture and I have a lot of great memories from that trip

Any hobbies?  Activities?

I enjoy being outside and particularly on the water. I grew up surfing, fishing and diving, so I am starting to get back into some of that. I just took up paddle boarding, which is a lot of fun and great exercise too!

What’s your next adventure?

I am in the process of getting recertified for diving and I am looking to get back into spearfishing. Otherwise, I am looking forward to a relaxing vacation as season winds down!

Your guilty pleasure food?

Mint chocolate chip ice cream

Note: Eric James, MD is a fellowship trained orthopedic foot & ankle surgeon at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates.  You may read his professional biography  and watch his video on our website here. SOA has four locations in Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, Venice, and Bradenton and we offer same day appointments when needed. For an appointment with Dr James or any of our 13 physicians, please call 941-951-2663.  Our commitment is to get our patients back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life.

YOU’RE GOING TO STICK A CAMERA IN WHERE? The Basics of Ankle Arthroscopy

foot pain 1

You have probably heard of, or know someone who has had, a knee or shoulder arthroscopy or “scope.” What you may not know is that we can also perform arthroscopy of the ankle. This can be a quite useful procedure for some common ailments of the ankle. This is frequently performed as an outpatient procedure with a few small incisions.

During ankle arthroscopy a small incision about ¼” long is made over the front of the ankle. This small incision allows us to place the camera into the ankle joint and see the cartilage covering the tibia, talus and fibula (the bones that make up the ankle joint). We then make a second 1 /4“ incision that allow us to insert a second tool such as a probe or motorized shaver that we can use to assess and clean up damaged tissue. Being able to visualize the ankle joint from the inside out allows us to treat some conditions with much smaller incisions than would be possible otherwise.

ankle_arthroscopy_portals

We commonly clean up damaged cartilage or inflammation of the lining of the joint through the ankle scope. We can also perform procedures such as micro-fracture or grafting which can help stimulate healing of damaged cartilage. Recently, we have been using ankle arthroscopy to prepare the ankle joint for fusion by scraping out any remaining cartilage. This has been incredibly helpful because it allows us to perform an ankle fusion procedure through 4 or 5 small incisions instead of 1 or 2 quite large incisions. This has resulted in lower levels of pain and fewer issues with wound healing.

anklearthritis_clip_image006

If you have been having problems with your ankle, whether it is new or quite old, come see me at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates. We have many options both surgical and nonsurgical for getting you back on your feet… back to work… back in the game… back to life.

For an appointment with Dr. Eric James, orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon, call 941-951-2663.

For more detailed information on foot and ankle arthroscopy, check out this excellent article at the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society website.

http://www.aofas.org/footcaremd/treatments/Pages/Ankle-Arthroscopy.aspx

happy foot

WHY SEE AN ORTHOPEDIC FOOT & ANKLE SURGEON IF YOU DON’T WANT SURGERY?

Foot pain

Foot and ankle pain affects a large part of the population at any given time and can be quite disabling. Even if your pain doesn’t keep you from work or play, it can significantly affect your quality of life.

I frequently have patients that are surprised when I give them exercises, medications or other lifestyle modifications to help with their foot and ankle pain. They are often even more surprised when their pain gets better with simple changes! Many of the conditions that cause significant pain in the foot and ankle result from mild biomechanical imbalances and can be addressed without surgery.

happy foot

As an orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon, I consider myself an expert in treating disorders of the bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the foot and ankle. Taking care of foot and ankle problems can be challenging and requires extensive knowledge of the anatomy and biomechanics of not only the foot and ankle, but the entire body. Knowing how to expertly perform the surgery is important, but perhaps more important is knowing when it is appropriate. My approach is to use surgery as a last resort when non-surgical options have been exhausted.

If you have been dealing with pain, instability or weakness in the foot and ankle, come see me, Eric R. James, MD at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates to discuss the options we have to get you back on your feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life. We have three locations in Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, and Venice and offer same day appointments.

dr james cropped  Eric R. James, MD / Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Surgeon