Have you ever twisted your ankle while participating in a sport? Or maybe you simply slipped while walking? Either way, ankle sprains, and fractures should not be ignored. Ankle sprains are common injuries that occur when ligaments are stretched or torn, with nearly 85% occurring laterally or on the outside of the ankle joints. By visiting your podiatrist, you can receive the care you need to get back on your feet.
Symptoms of a Sprained or Fractured Ankle
Your symptoms upon spraining your ankle may vary depending on the severity of your pain and how it occurred. The symptoms of an ankle sprain may include:
- Pain or soreness
- Difficulty walking
- Stiffness in the joint
All ankle sprains will produce some level of pain at the time of your injury and the joint will also feel tender, beginning to swell. If your sprain is mild, you may experience a slight loss in the function of your joint.
With a more serious sprain, you will most likely fall during the initial impact of the injury. It will often be difficult to move or put weight on your injured ankle, producing bruising and swelling from the ankle to the foot. Once you have had ankle sprains or other ankle injuries before, you may have a weakened joint that creates more of a chance for future injuries to take place.
Common symptoms of an ankle fracture are similar to ankle sprains, and include:
- Pain to touch
- Inability to walk on the leg
- Deformity around the ankle
Treatment and Prevention
Treatment for your ankle sprain begins with self-care. The RICE evaluation is highly recommended upon the initial onset of your injury:
When your podiatrist feels you are ready to begin participating in sports and exercising, you can help prevent further sprains and fractures by wearing an ankle brace during the first initial months of being back on your ankle. Special wraps are also available to protect your ankle.
If your symptoms still persist after taking the initial step of at-home-care, or if you suspect you might have a fracture, a visit to your podiatrist may be in order. With a consultation at our practice, your ankle sprain or fracture can be treated and further prevented. There is no need to put an end to your athletic lifestyle with recurring ankle injuries.
How many times have you found yourself yelling, “Oh, my aching feet,” but then shrugged it off, figuring that "aching feet" are a natural part of life? You don’t have to put up with aching feet. Your podiatrist urges you to not ignore that ache in your feet. When pain occurs, it is the first sign that something isn’t right, so a trip to our practice is in order.
Gout is a form of arthritis, and it can often cause extreme pain to your feet. Approximately one million Americans suffer from gout, and although its source is a systemic problem within the body, there are some suggestions for how to treat gout that may help reduce your chance of having a gout flare-up.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Because the joint inflammation of gout can resemble that of a joint infection or other forms of arthritis, diagnosing gout requires removing a small amount of fluid from the joint and examining it for uric acid crystals. Once a diagnosis has been made, your podiatrist can recommend a gout treatment plan to help:
- Stop acute attacks
- Rapidly relieve pain and inflammation
- Avert future attacks
- Prevent the development of tophi, kidney stones and kidney disease
Gout treatment will most likely involve anti-inflammatory medications to relieve acute pain and inflammation, as well as urate-lowering drugs to control urate levels and prevent future attacks.
Other gout treatment strategies might include the following:
- Avoid foods with high purines, such as organ meats, anchovies, shellfish, bacon and gravies, and increasing intake of dairy foods.
- Avoid alcohol, which increases the production of urate and impairs excretion
- Lose weight to reduce blood urate levels
- Avoid medications that contribute to hyperuricemia, including diuretics
With proper treatment by your podiatrist, gout is one of the most controllable forms of arthritis. So when pain occurs, don’t just deal with it, seek treatment immediately.
What do I do?
Often, the problems in your feet and ankles go away with time, rest, ice, anti-inflammatories and changing your shoes. However, sometimes these problems just won’t go away, and that's when you should visit your podiatrist for further diagnosis and treatment.
When Should I See a Podiatrist?
If you are having a specific foot problem, your best bet is to visit your podiatrist for the best care available. Several serious conditions, such as diabetes and peripheral arterial disease, can show up in your feet first, making it more important than ever to get them checked out.
A Wound or Sore That Does Not Heal
If you have an open sore on your foot or ankle, you should visit your podiatrist immediately! This is especially important if you have diabetes, as it takes a diabetic longer to heal even when being treated.
Some changes to your feet are normal as you age, but having pain isn’t one of them. As you begin putting more miles on your feet, you may notice that your feet change shape, lose cushioning, experience skin changes, develop arthritis and experience an array of other complications. It's always best to get checked by your podiatrist rather than unknowingly let a serious foot issue worsen, especially as you age.
Pain Increasing with Activity or Lasting more than 24 Hours
If you are experiencing pain that gets worse with activity, this may be a sign of a stress fracture. You should not try to work through the pain. Instead, it is vital that you visit your podiatrist. If you treat a stress fracture early, you can potentially avoid more serious problems, such as a stress fracture that will not heal, or one that turns into a fully broken bone.
Don’t ignore your foot or ankle pain! Visit your podiatrist for a diagnosis, treatment and to help prevent your symptoms from worsening.
Since your feet bare the brunt of your weight, it is important to take extra precautions while working to protect them from harm. When your job requires you to stand on your feet for a long period of time, work in potentially hazardous areas, or with potentially hazardous materials, you have some risk of foot injury. Productive workers depend on their ability to walk and move about safely, with ease and comfort. According to the National Safety Council, there are about 120,000 job-related foot injuries in any given year, with one-third of them being toe injuries.
Follow Proper Guidelines
- Washing your feet daily
- Drying them thoroughly
- Checking your feet for corns, calluses and cracks
- Keeping your feet warm
- Trimming your toenails straight across
- Visiting your podiatrist.
- Wearing protective footwear for each activity
- Develop safe work habits and attitudes
- Be aware of the hazards of your job
- Be alert and watch for hidden hazards
- Watch out for other workers’ safety
- Follow the rules and don’t cut corners
Wear Protective Footwear
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