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Monday, 24 April 2017 00:00

Foot Care while Hiking

Those who enjoy hiking as a regular activity should be sure to employ foot care while on the trail to avoid potential pain and injury. The first step to maintaining proper foot care while hiking is to be aware of one’s surroundings. Many hiking-related foot injuries and conditions often occur as a result of not being aware while on the trail: rolled ankles, broken toes, and blisters. When hiking, be sure to wear shoes that are breathable and that either dry quickly or are waterproof. When trying on hiking boots or shoes, finding a great fit is important. With modern innovations in footwear, hiking boots are becoming lighter and more comfortable.

Everyday foot care is very important to prevent infection and other foot ailments. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Rudolph La Fontant from Foot & Ankle Institute of Iowa. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Everyday Foot Care

Often, people take care of their bodies, face and hair more so than they do for their feet. But the feet are a very important aspect of our bodies, and one that we should pay more attention to. Without our feet, we would not be able to perform most daily tasks.

It is best to check your feet regularly to make sure there are no new bruises or cuts that you may not have noticed before. For dry feet, moisturizer can easily be a remedy and can be applied as often as necessary to the affected areas. Wearing shoes that fit well can also help you maintain good foot health, as well as making it easier to walk and do daily activities without the stress or pain of ill-fitting shoes, high heels, or even flip flops. Wearing clean socks with closed shoes is important to ensure that sweat and bacteria do not accumulate within the shoe. Clean socks help to prevent Athlete’s foot, fungi problems, bad odors, and can absorb sweat.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Des Moines, IA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 17 April 2017 00:00

Keeping kids free of foot injuries

With the approach of warmer weather, many children are gearing up and preparing for fair-weather sports such as softball and soccer. Regardless of the sport your child may be participating in, injuries are bound to occur. To help protect your child’s feet for the upcoming season, consider the following tips. Be sure to have protective tape available to wrap around the ankles, as tape can help prevent or brace sprains or fractures. Be sure your child is wearing shoes appropriate for the sport he or she is participating in, as this can not only improve your child’s performance, but also protect him or her from injury.

Making sure that your children maintain good foot health is very important as they grow. If you have any questions, contact Dr. Rudolph La Fontant of Foot & Ankle Institute of Iowa. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

Having healthy feet during childhood can help prevent medical problems later in life, namely in the back and legs. As children grow, their feet require different types of care. Here are some things to consider...

Although babies do not walk yet, it is still very important to take care of their feet.

Avoid putting tight shoes or socks on his or her feet.

Allow the baby to stretch and kick his or her feet to feel comfortable.

As a toddler, kids are now on the move and begin to develop differently. At this age, toddlers are getting a feel for walking, so don’t be alarmed if your toddler is unsteady or ‘walks funny’. 

As your child gets older, it is important to teach them how to take care of their feet.

Show them proper hygiene to prevent infections such as fungus.

Be watchful for any pain or injury.

Have all injuries checked by a doctor as soon as possible.

Comfortable, protective shoes should always be worn, especially at play.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Des Moines, IA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What to Do to Keep Your Child’s Feet Healthy
Monday, 10 April 2017 00:00

Preventing diabetic lesions

For people who live with diabetes, footcare should be high on the list of concerns related to overall health. Due to constricted blood flow or nerve damage, diabetics need to take extra care to avoid potential foot and leg injuries. Walking barefoot is not typically a good idea, as you may not feel it when you step on something sharp. Proper inspection is also very important. Be sure to check your legs and feet for any kind of sores or lesions. Gone unnoticed or untreated, these wounds can quickly become infected and lead to very serious consequences like amputation. Along with daily personal inspection, make sure you have your feet checked often by a podiatrist.

Diabetic foot care is important in preventing foot ailments such as ulcers. If you are suffering from diabetes or have any other concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Rudolph La Fontant from Foot & Ankle Institute of Iowa. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes affects millions of people every year. The condition can damage blood vessels in many parts of the body, especially the feet. Because of this, taking care of your feet is essential if you have diabetes, and having a podiatrist help monitor your foot health is highly recommended.

The Importance of Caring for Your Feet

  • Routinely inspect your feet for bruises or sores.
  • Wear socks that fit your feet comfortably.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that provide adequate support.

Patients with diabetes should have their doctor monitor their blood levels, as blood sugar levels play such a huge role in diabetic care. Monitoring these levels on a regular basis is highly advised.

It is always best to inform your healthcare professional of any concerns you may have regarding your feet, especially for diabetic patients. Early treatment and routine foot examinations are keys to maintaining proper health, especially because severe complications can arise if proper treatment is not applied.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Des Moines, IA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 03 April 2017 00:00

Pay attention to your shoes

Whether or not your shoes fit properly could be the difference between having healthy feet and having to walk around in pain. There are around 100 different working parts in your feet with 25% of all the bones of your skeleton residing inside your slippers. That being said, it is no wonder that wearing good quality, well-fitted shoes is extremely important for good foot and overall health. There are a few tips to follow when you are shoe-shopping: make sure to get your feet measured (they change size over time!), walk around the shoe store a bit with your new pair on, and buy activity appropriate footwear. This last point is especially important for running. Just because you’re not jogging in high heels doesn’t mean you’re wearing the right shoes.

Finding a properly-fitting shoe is important in reducing injuries and preventing foot problems. For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Rudolph La Fontant from Foot & Ankle Institute of Iowa. Our doctor  will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Proper Shoe Fitting

A common concern when it comes to foot health, having properly fitted shoes can help prevent injuries to the foot. Out feet affect our posture and gait, which in turn affects the biomechanics and overall bodily structure. With 33 joints, 26 bones, and over 100 ligaments, the potential for serious injury is much greater than one realizes. Although the feet cease growth in adulthood, they still change shape as they mature. Here are some factors to consider when it comes to investing in proper fitting shoes:

  • Be sure the shoes fit correctly right away
  • Ensure the ball of your foot fits comfortably in the widest portion of the shoes
  • Even though they may look fashionable, improper fitting shoes can either create adverse conditions or exacerbate existing ones you may already have
  • Walk along a carpeted surface to ensure the shoes comfortably fit during normal activity

Keeping in mind how shoes fit the biomechanics of your body, properly-fitting shoes are vitally important. Fortunately, it is not difficult to acquire footwear that fits correctly. Be sure to wear shoes that support the overall structure of your body. Do your feet a favor and invest in several pairs of well-fitted shoes today.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Des Moines, IA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 27 March 2017 00:00

Stretching Key in Avoiding Injuries

During the winter season at the beginning of the year, many people strive to get into shape for the upcoming summer season. Before jumping straight into working out however, many podiatrists agree that it is important to warm up and stretch properly. Injuries such as stress fractures, tendonitis, and plantar fasciitis are all more likely to occur if the feet are not stretched properly. In addition to stretching and warming up, wearing supportive sneakers and slowly increasing high impact activities can also minimize your risk of suffering these injuries.

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with Dr. Rudolph La Fontant  from Foot & Ankle Institute of Iowa. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Stretching the Feet

Being the backbone of the body, the feet carry your entire weight and can easily become overexerted, causing cramps and pain. As with any body part, stretching your feet can serve many benefits. From increasing flexibility to even providing some pain relief, be sure to give your feet a stretch from time to time. This is especially important for athletes or anyone performing aerobic exercises, but anyone experiencing foot pain or is on their feet constantly should also engage in this practice.

Great ways to stretch your feet:

  • Crossing one leg over the others and carefully pull your toes back. Do 10-20 repetitions and repeat the process for each foot
  • Face a wall with your arms out and hands flat against the wall. Step back with one foot and keep it flat on the floor while moving the other leg forward. Lean towards the wall until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and perform 10 repetitions for each foot
  • Be sure not to overextend or push your limbs too hard or you could risk pulling or straining your muscle

Individuals who tend to their feet by regular stretching every day should be able to minimize foot pain and prevent new problems from arising.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Des Moines, IA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Monday, 20 March 2017 00:00

Managing Blisters

Those who spend a large amount of time putting pressure on their feet are prone to developing blisters, or pockets of fluid between layers of skin which develop due to friction. Minor blisters should not be popped, and instead left alone and covered to provide cushioning and avoid further friction. Prevent the development of blisters by wearing proper-fitting shoes and socks that provide ample comfort and support. Be sure to treat blisters immediately after discovery to avoid pain and disruption of daily activities. If a blister ruptures, immediately disinfect the area and treat it with antibiotic ointment. Consult with a doctor if the pain persists or there is any sign of infection.

Blisters are prone to making everyday activities extremely uncomfortable. If your feet are hurting, contact Dr. Rudolph La Fontant of Foot & Ankle Institute of Iowa. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Foot Blisters

Foot blisters develop as a result of constantly wearing tight or ill-fitting footwear. This happens due to the constant rubbing from the shoe, which can often lead to pain.

What are Foot Blisters?

A foot blister is a small fluid-filled pocket that forms on the upper-most layer of the skin. Blisters are filled with clear fluid and can lead to blood drainage or pus if the area becomes infected.

How do Blisters Form?

Blisters on the feet are often the result of constant friction of skin and material, usually by shoe rubbing. Walking in sandals, boots, or shoes that don’t fit properly for long periods of time can result in a blister. Having consistent foot moisture and humidity can easily lead to blister formation.

Prevention & Treatment

It is important to properly care for the affected area in order to prevent infection and ease the pain. Do not lance the blister and use a Band-Aid to provide pain relief. Also, be sure to keep your feet dry and wear proper fitting shoes. If you see blood or pus in a blister, seek assistance from a podiatrist.

 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Des Moines, IA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Blisters on the Feet

Ingrown toenails are classified as the growth of the nails into the sides of the skin, resulting in symptoms of pain and irritation. Typically, surgery is considered as an option in helping to correct ingrown toenails, but the following at-home DIY procedure can help. The first step involves soaking your feet in warm water with baking soda and salt. Use a cotton ball soaked in raw honey and a garlic clove to apply space between the end of the nail and skin. The mixture has antiseptic properties and will help with the separation of the ingrown toenail. Do this for at least 15 days, then gradually work toward separating the toenail from the skin.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. Rudolph La Fontant of Foot & Ankle Institute of Iowa. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition

Prevention

Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.

Treatment

Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Des Moines, IA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Ingrown Toenail Care
Monday, 06 March 2017 00:00

Understanding Hammertoes

If you have hammertoes, it may be due to a number of factors including improperly-fitting shoes or muscle and nerve diseases that can affect your feet. Hammertoes are described as bent and curled toes, seeming to resemble the claw of a hammer. The condition is permanent and may require treatment if pain progresses. Typical treatment includes wearing the proper footwear and physical therapy. A final option is surgery for severe cases, but consulting with your podiatrist first about your condition is recommended before deciding on the surgical option.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Rudolph La Fontant from Foot & Ankle Institute of Iowa. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

If you have any questions please contact our office located in Des Moines, IA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What Are Hammertoes?
Monday, 27 February 2017 00:00

Feet May Show Underlying Diseases

Feet are the pillars of our body.  The importance of of them cannot be overstated.  They bear our weight, get us from place to place, and keep us from falling over.  If there is something wrong with your feet, other parts of your body may be affected.  The opposite can also be true.  For instance, if your feet are cold or numb, this could be a symptom of poor circulation, diabetic neuropathy, or both.  Changes in the color and texture of the toenails could be a sign of toenail fungus, or potentially something more serious.  If the joints in your feet or toes hurt, this could be a sign of rheumatoid arthritis.  There are many other symptoms of underlying diseases that may manifest themselves on or in your feet.  It is important to never neglect and regularly inspect them.

When dealing with systemic disease of the feet, it is extremely important to check the affected areas routinely so that any additional problems are caught quickly.  If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles contact Dr. Rudolph La Fontant from Foot & Ankle Institute of Iowa. Our doctor will assist you with all of your podiatric needs.

Systemic Diseases of the Feet

Systemic diseases affect the whole body, and symptoms usually are displayed in the feet. This condition can make a patient’s ability to walk unbearable.  Systemic diseases include gout, diabetes mellitus, neurological disorders, and arthritis.

Gout – is caused by an excess of uric acid in the body. Common symptoms include pain, inflammation, and redness at the metatarsal/phalangeal joint of the base big toe. Gout can be treated by NSAIDs to relieve pain and inflammation, and other drugs that lower the acid levels in the body.

Diabetes mellitus – is an increase in the level of blood sugar that the body cannot counteract with its own insulin. Failure to produce enough insulin is a factor in Diabetes.

Diabetes of the Feet

Diabetic Neuropathy – may lead to damaged nerves and affect the feet through numbness and loss of sensation.

Peripheral Vascular Disease – can restrict the blood flow to the feet, and often times lead to amputation of the feet. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Des Moines, IA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Tuesday, 21 February 2017 00:00

What is Morton’s Neuroma?

Morton’s neuroma, caused by a thickening of tissue around the nerves in your toes, usually happens between the third and fourth toes, causing a feeling like something is stuck in your sock. Your foot, which has more than 100 muscles, 26 bones, and 33 joints, is a very complex structure, which is why foot pain can be so common. Morton’s neuroma is often treated fairly simply, by things like foot and arch supports, anti-inflammatories, orthotics, and physical therapy. It is always important to discuss with your doctor the treatment plan that is right for you. This condition must be treated to ensure that no additional foot complications develop over time.

Morton’s neuroma is a very uncomfortable condition to live with. If you think you have Morton’s neuroma, contact Dr. Rudolph La Fontant of Foot & Ankle Institute of Iowa. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs and answer any of your related questions.  

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton's neuroma is a painful foot condition that commonly affects the areas between the second and third or third and fourth toe, although other areas of the foot are also susceptible. Morton’s neuroma is caused by an inflamed nerve in the foot that is being squeezed and aggravated by surrounding bones.

What Increases the Chances of having Morton’s Neuroma?

  • Ill-fitting high heels or shoes that add pressure to the toe or foot
  • Jogging, running or any sport that involves constant impact to the foot
  • Flat feet, bunions, and any other foot deformities

Morton’s neuroma is a very treatable condition. Orthotics and shoe inserts can often be used to alleviate the pain on the forefront of the feet. In more severe cases, corticosteroids can also be prescribed. In order to figure out the best treatment for your neuroma, it’s recommended to seek the care of a podiatrist who can diagnose your condition and provide different treatment options.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Des Moines, IA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Morton's Neuroma
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Locations & Hours

Foot & Ankle Institute of Iowa
2629 Beaver Ave. Suite 15
Des Moines, IA 50310

Phone: (515) 223-5219
Fax: (515) 223-9344

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