Sprained ankles aren't always minor injuries. In fact, they carry the possibility of leading to permanent ankle instability or arthritis in some cases if untreated. Fortunately, your Williamsburg and Hampton, VA, podiatrist, Dr. Sara Bouraee offers the care you need to recover from ankle sprains, as well as a host of other podiatric injuries and conditions.
What causes an ankle sprain?
Ankle sprains occur when there is a tear or overstretching of the ligament that connects the bones in your ankle joint. Sprains are grouped into three categories:
- Grade One: These mild sprains occur if you experience slight stretching or tearing. Although the sprains can be a little painful, they usually heal in a week or two.
- Grade Two: Grade two sprains involve partial tearing of the ligament. In addition to causing more pain and swelling, these sprains can also make your ankle a little unstable while the sprain heals.
- Grade Three: These severe sprains are very painful and occur when the ligament tears completely. You may find it difficult to put any pressure on the ankle due to joint instability.
How can a foot doctor help?
Depending on the severity of your sprain, your podiatrist may recommend:
- Compression Bandages: The bandages help reduce swelling and stiffness.
- Tape, Braces or Walking Boots: Taping your ankle or wearing a brace or boot helps support and stabilize your ankle.
- Pain Relief Methods: Ice and over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium, can be helpful in controlling pain.
- Crutches: Crutches relieve pressure on your ankle, allowing for the proper amount of healing to take place. These support devices often prove to be a necessity if your injury is very painful or your ankle has become unstable.
- Physical Therapy: Physical therapy sessions improve the strength and stability of both your ankle and the muscles that support it. The exercises you learn will help you improve your range of motion and increase flexibility.
- Surgery: Most people who have sprained ankles don't need surgery. However, it may be recommended if your ankle is still unstable after physical therapy or isn't healing well.
In pain? Give us a call
Prompt treatment is important for painful ankle sprains. Schedule an appointment with your podiatrist in Williamsburg and Hampton, VA, Dr. Sara Bouraee by calling (757) 220-3311 for the Williamsburg, VA, office or (757) 224-7605 for the Hampton office.
Diabetic feet need special care because of decreased circulation, neuropathy, joint deterioration, and more. While your primary care physician may guide you on blood sugar control, medications, a healthy diet, and active lifestyle, your podiatrist assesses and treats how your feet and ankles function everyday and for the long term. Enlist their help in the health maintenance of your diabetic feet.
Keeping ahead of neuropathy and avoiding amputation
Those are two key goals of diabetic foot care. Your podiatrist will want to see you regularly to assess the color, temperature, sensation, function, and shape of your feet and ankles, noting any developing problems. Early detection of circulation issues, nerve degeneration (neuropathy), and deformities, such as hammertoes, bunions, and Charcot Foot, are key.
Your podiatric foot examination will include an eye-on inspection of your skin (color, temperature, texture, and integrity). Your foot doctor also may perform gait analysis to watch for changes in how you walk. Sometimes a podiatrist orders X-ray imaging or an MRI to view the internal structure of the foot and/or ankle.
Remember, that foot ulcers are the primary threat to the overall health and well-being of the diabetic, says the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). Untreated, they may lead to complications so severe amputation is the only option.
What can you do to treat your diabetic feet?
- Be proactive. Inspect your feet daily, looking redness or skin breakdown.
- Wash and dry your feet daily.
- Trim your toenails carefully using a clean clippers. Trim straight across and not too short to avoid ingrown toenails.
- Wear shoes at all times--even indoors--to avoid injury.
- Wear clean, well-fitting, moisture-wicking socks.
- Keep your weight and blood sugars within normal range.
- Get in-office treatment of calluses and corns, says the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.
- Avoid all forms of tobacco.
- Report any changes to your foot doctor as soon as possible.
- See your podiatrist every six months or as he or she directs.
Healthy feet and a healthy you
Podiatric health is so important, but especially to the diabetic. So stay in touch with your foot doctor, and be routinized in your foot care for better long-term health.
Are you dealing with pain, burning, tingling or numbness between your toes or in the ball of the foot? If you said “yes” then you could be dealing with a neuroma, a pinched nerve or benign tumor of the nerve that is often found between the third and fourth toes.
The classic symptom of a neuroma is pain, particularly when walking—a factor that leads many people to liken the condition to feeling like a pebble is in their shoe. You may find that the pain eases up whenever you aren’t walking or when you rub the pained area with your hands. While neuromas can happen to anyone, they are most commonly found in women.
While the causes of a neuroma are still not clear, there are factors that can increase the likelihood of developing one, such as:
- Extremely high arches
- Flat feet
- Trauma that leads to nerve damage in the feet
- Improper footwear (high heels over two-inches tall; pointed toes)
- Repeated stress placed on the foot
Treating a Neuroma
A neuroma will not go away on its own, so it’s important to see a podiatrist if you are experiencing any of the condition's symptoms. The type of treatment or treatments recommended to you will depend on the severity of the neuroma.
Those with minor neuromas may be able to lessen symptoms by wearing shoes that provide ample room for the toes and offer thick soles that provide more support and cushioning for the toes and balls of the feet. Sometimes a podiatrist may recommend custom orthotics to place inside the shoes, as well.
Your podiatrist may also recommend padding or taping the ball of the foot to improve faulty biomechanics and reduce discomfort. While medication will not eliminate the problem, it can temporarily alleviate symptoms. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories can often briefly reduce pain and swelling, but for those dealing with more severe pain, steroid injections may be necessary to ease symptoms.
Surgery for a Neuroma
Surgery only becomes necessary when conservative treatment options have failed to provide relief, or when the neuroma has progressed enough that conservative care won’t be enough. During surgery, the inflamed nerve is removed through a simple outpatient procedure. Afterward, there is a short recovery period of a couple of weeks before patients are able to move about pain-free once again!
Give us a Call!
If you are dealing with new or worsening foot pain it’s important that you turn to a podiatrist that can help give you the answers you need. Schedule an appointment today.
Learn more about plantar warts, why you have them and how to treat them.
Are you or someone you know dealing with plantar warts? While these growths are completely harmless they can be annoying and uncomfortable. Of course, our Williamsburg and Hampton, VA, podiatrists Dr. Sara Bouraee and Dr. Mahmoud Salem understand that you may have questions about this common foot problem. Here are some of your most frequently answered questions regarding plantar warts.
What causes plantar warts?
Plantar warts, and warts in general, are the result of an infection known as the human papillomavirus (HPV). There are many different strains of HPV and only a few cause warts to develop. Plantar warts are warts that develop on the soles of the feet.
How do I know that a growth is a wart?
Plantar warts are usually flat growths that may look grainy or tough in texture. If you look closely enough you may even notice little black dots in the center of the wart (this is the wart’s blood supply). A wart may appear alone or in clusters; they may be small or they may become very large. Plantar warts most often appear on the heel or ball of the foot.
How is a plantar wart treated?
Plantar warts, just like any other wart, will go away over time without treatment; however, it can take a year or more for the wart to go away. One issue with plantar warts is that they can be uncomfortable or even painful when wearing shoes or walking. Furthermore, those with diabetes who develop a wart should see their foot doctor in Williamsburg and Hampton, VA, right away, as even minor problems can cause more serious complications if left untreated.
If you choose to seek treatment, your podiatrist has several options for removing the wart. Some treatment options include,
- Acid solutions to burn the wart off
- Laser treatment
- Cryotherapy (Freezing the wart)
Is there a way to prevent plantar warts?
Since this infection can be found just about anywhere it can be rather tricky to avoid getting warts. Of course, there are certain things you can do to reduce your chances of developing plantar warts. Some ways to reduce your risk is by,
- Moisturizing your feet and preventing cracks
- Keeping feet clean
- Wearing footwear in public showers, locker rooms, swimming pools and other warm, moist communal environments where HPV often lives
- Keeping any cuts of scrapes clean
- Wearing absorbent socks that wick away sweat, as well as changing socks immediately if they are sweaty
- Avoiding using towels, socks, shoes or other items of someone who is infected with warts
Hampton Roads Foot and Ankle Specialists have offices in Williamsburg and Hampton, VA, to provide you with the comprehensive foot care you need. If you are dealing with painful plantar warts call (757) 220-3311 today to schedule an appointment!
A bunion is one of the most common foot deformities, often affecting the joint at the base of the big toe. Anyone can develop this painful condition but it most often occurs in women. A bunion affects the structure of the foot, causing the joint to become enlarged, which causes the big toe to lean inward towards the other toes. In some cases, the big toe even overlaps the toes. This deformed joint may often become red or swollen, especially when wearing certain shoes or after certain physical activities.
A bunion is a gradual deformity, which means that as soon as you begin to notice changes in the joint or you start to experience symptoms you should consult a podiatrist. While the only way to correct the deformity is through surgery this is usually the last treatment option. After all, a foot doctor can often create a treatment plan that will reduce pain and prevent the deformity from progressing without needing to turn to surgery.
The first course of treatment is usually more conservative. You may be able to manage your bunion pain and swelling by:
- Taking over-the-counter NSAIDs
- Icing the bunion for up to 15 minutes at a time, 2-3 times a day
- Placing orthotics into your shoes to alleviate pressure on the joint (talk to your podiatrist about creating custom orthotics)
- Splinting or taping the foot to improve the structural alignment
- Wearing appropriate and supportive footwear that doesn’t put pressure on the toes or bunion
- Applying a bunion pad over the area to prevent a callus from forming while wearing shoes
- Avoiding certain activities and sports that could exacerbate your condition
For many people, these lifestyle changes and simple at-home treatment options are all that’s needed to reduce bunion pain and discomfort, and to prevent the problem from getting worse. Of course, if you find that at-home care isn’t providing you with relief, or if bunion pain is persistent or severe, then you should turn to a podiatrist for an evaluation. Not sure if you have a bunion or not? Call your foot doctor.
When should someone consider bunion surgery?
As we mentioned earlier, bunion surgery is considered a last resort when all other treatment options have been exhausted and they haven’t helped get your bunion symptoms under control. You may also want to consider getting bunion surgery if:
- Your bunion is large and makes it difficult to wear shoes
- Your bunion pain is severe and chronic
- You have trouble walking or moving around because of your bunion
- Your bunion is affecting your quality of life
It can take up to 6 months to fully recover from traditional bunion surgery so it’s important to discuss all of your treatment options with your podiatrist to find the most effective method for getting your bunion symptoms under control.
This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.