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Monday, 16 January 2017 18:45

The Effects of Wearing Shoes too Small

ankle-surgeryIn a recent study focusing on the effects of shoes on women’s feet, 88% of the women included were wearing shoes that were too small for their feet. 356 women were included in the study. Most of the women had not re-measured their feet in over ten years, and over 50% stated that they experienced daily foot pain from their shoes. Wearing shoes that are too tight can make way for the development of foot conditions such as bunions, hammertoes, corns, and calluses, and can even result in surgery for the treatment or removal of such conditions. Surgery is often seen as the final option for the treatment of many of these conditions; to lessen the possibility of surgery and the development of these conditions in general, always wear shoes of the proper size.

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to fix a foot ailment. To learn more, contact Dr. Rudolph La Fontant of Foot and Ankle Institute of Iowa. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

When Is Surgery Necessary?

Foot and ankle surgery is generally reserved for cases in which less invasive, conservative procedures have failed to help with the problem. Some of the cases in which surgery may be necessary are:

  • Removing foot deformities like bone spurs and bunions
  • Severe arthritis that has caused bone issues
  • Cosmetic reconstruction

What Types of Surgery Are There?

The type of surgery you receive will depend on the nature of the problem you have. Some of the possible surgeries include:

  • Bunionectomy for painful bunions
  • Surgical fusion for realignment of bones
  • Neuropathy decompression surgery to treat nerve damage

 

Benefits of Surgery

Although surgery is usually a last resort, it can provide more complete pain relief compared to non-surgical methods and may allow you to finally resume full activity.

Surgical techniques have also become increasingly sophisticated. Techniques like endoscopic surgery allow for smaller incisions and faster recovery times.

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

Read more about foot surgery.

xrayTennessee guard Jordan Bone suffered a stress fracture in his left foot, already causing the freshman to remain sidelined at the Volunteers’ final two games at the Maui Invitational last week. Luckily, coach Rick Barnes announced that Bone is expected to be back in the game in two to four weeks. Bone started both of Tennessee’s first two games, averaging 9.3 points and 3.3 assists. Stress fractures are a very common injury in sports, with basketball definitely included.  Depending on the severity of the injury, healing times can vary greatly.

Activities where too much pressure is put on the feet can cause stress fractures. To learn more, contact Dr. Rudolph La Fontant of Foot and Ankle Institute of Iowa. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle concerns.

Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

The Stress Fractures occur on the foot and ankle when muscles in these areas weaken from too much or too little use. Then the feet and ankles lose support when walking or running from the impact of the ground. Since there is no protection the bones receive the full impact of each step. The stress on the feet causes cracks to form in the bones, thus called stress fractures.

What are Stress Fractures?

Stress fractures occur frequently in individuals whose daily activities cause great impact on the feet and ankles. Stress factors are most common among:

-runners                                  

-people affected with Osteoporosis

-play tennis or basketball

-gymnastics

-high impact workouts

Symptoms

Pain from the fractures occur in the area of the fractures, and can be constant or intermittent. It will often cause sharp or dull pain with swelling and tenderness. Engaging in any kind of activity which involves in high impact will aggravate pain.

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 Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle.

Monday, 02 January 2017 18:57

Winter Shoes May Affect Bunions

bunions7As the winter months are here, you may find yourself switching to winter shoes such as boots. However, it’s important to be mindful that boots are often narrow and can irritate bunions. Bunions are known as bony protrusions on the side of the feet, developing over time. Narrow shoes such as winter boots can contribute to the progression of this condition, so it’s vital to accommodate your feet. Opt for wide shoes and look to treatment options such as orthotics, padding, and if the condition is severe, anti-inflammatory medications or injections.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact Dr. Rudolph La Fontant of Foot and Ankle Institute of Iowa. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is a Bunion?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs by the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why do Bunions Form?

  • Genetics – susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary
  • Stress on the feet – poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can cause bunions to form

How are Bunions Diagnosed?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How are Bunions Treated?

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 Bunions

Monday, 26 December 2016 02:59

Diabetes Could Lead To Amputations

elderly-feet 3For those who have been diagnosed with Diabetes, or those with family members who have, taking care of your feet is something that should be taken very seriously.  Because of the lack circulation in the feet and legs, numbness can occur.  This could prevent noticing that there is even a problem. That, coupled with inordinately slow healing, can cause infections to persist, spread, and even lead to amputation. Make sure to look out for signs of foot problems. If you have numbness, sores, or any type of slow-healing wound, see a doctor immediately.

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 of Foot and 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. Diabetes can damage blood vessels in many parts of the body, including 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 because 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 one of our offices located in Des Moines, IA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Diabetic Foot Care

running-shoe9By the time the average American reaches age 50, they are expected to have accumulated 75,000 miles on their feet. If you’re an avid runner, you may have more miles on your feet, so it’s especially important to optimize proper foot care. Knowing your body type, running style, your feet and the kinds of activity you routinely follow are all aspects to consider when maintaining foot care. Proper footwear is also vital in making sure that your feet are comfortable and healthy. Our feet change as we age, expanding and potentially becoming flatter.

Exercising your feet regularly with the proper foot wear is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Rudolph La Fontant of Foot and Ankle Institute of Iowa. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

Many common running injuries are caused by overuse and overtraining. When the back of the kneecap starts wearing out and starts causing pain in your knee, this is commonly referred to as runner’s knee. Runner’s knee is a decrease in strength in your quadriceps and can occur if you’re not wearing properly fitted or supporting shoes. To prevent runner’s knee, focusing on hip strengthening is a good idea, as well as strengthening your quads to keep the kneecaps aligned.

What Are Some Causes of Running Injuries?
- One cause of a common running injury is called iliotibial band syndrome.
- Plantar fasciitis is also another common injury.
- Stress fractures can occur from overtraining, lack of calcium, or even your running style.

Best Ways to Prevent Running Injuries
- Wear footwear that fits properly and suits your running needs.
- Running shoes are the only protective gear that runners have to safeguard them from injury.
- Make a training schedule. Adding strengthening exercises as well as regular stretching can help keep you strong and limber and can lessen the possibility of injuries.
- Stretching keeps muscles limber, this will help you gain better flexibility.

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

Read more about How to Prevent Running Injuries

Monday, 12 December 2016 23:37

How to Tell If You Have Plantar Fasciitis

toenail-fungus7If you’re experiencing stiffness and pain in the soles of your feet that typically becomes more prominent during the mornings, you may have plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis can be described as a foot condition that results from overuse of the plantar fascia, the tissue that runs along the soles of your feet. Excessive stress on this area can lead to inflammation. Being overweight, having flat feet or high arches, pregnancy and improper footwear such as flip flops are also factors in the development of plantar fasciitis. Treat your condition by icing your feet, stretching your muscles and having proper rest by avoiding any strenuous activity.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Dr. Rudolph La Fontant of Foot and Ankle Institute of Iowa. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

·     Excessive running

·     Non-supportive shoes

·     Overpronation

·     Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

·     Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices

·     Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis

·     Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

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

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis

Monday, 05 December 2016 21:06

All About Stress Fractures

xrayThe fifth metatarsal is the long bone that connects to the pinky toe on the outside of the foot.  This bone is especially prone to fracture for people involved in any sort of prolonged physical activity, especially team sports.  This is one of the most common injuries in soccer, but many other athletes also suffer this injury.  It is vitally important to never ignore any type of foot pain, on the field or off.  Professionally, there is immense pressure to perform, which can lead to dependency on prescription painkillers.  But the truth is, we all need our feet, not just star athletes. The best course of action is always to contact a podiatrist and get to the root of the problem.

Activities where too much pressure is put on the feet can cause stress fractures. To learn more, contact Dr. Rudolph La Fontant of Foot and Ankle Institute of Iowa. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle concerns.

Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

The Stress Fractures occur on the foot and ankle when muscles in these areas weaken from too much or too little use. Then the feet and ankles lose support when walking or running from the impact of the ground. Since there is no protection the bones receive the full impact of each step. The stress on the feet causes cracks to form in the bones, thus called stress fractures.

What are Stress Fractures?

Stress fractures occur frequently in individuals whose daily activities cause great impact on the feet and ankles. Stress factors are most common among:

-runners                                  

-people affected with Osteoporosis

-play tennis or basketball

-gymnastics

-high impact workouts

Symptoms

Pain from the fractures occur in the area of the fractures, and can be constant or intermittent. It will often cause sharp or dull pain with swelling and tenderness. Engaging in any kind of activity which involves in high impact will aggravate pain.

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 Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle.

Monday, 28 November 2016 22:02

CDC Releases Report on Arthritis

Arthritis5Arthritis is a condition that affects not only the hands and wrists, but feet and ankles as well.  There are more than 50 million people in the US that are currently diagnosed with arthritis and there are a lot of different opinions on how to effectively treat the disease.  Frequently it is difficult to parse through what does work and what doesn’t.  Arthritis can be painful, especially when it affects the foot and ankle area.  When trying to manage this pain, it is important to be informed on what types of treatments are effective, keeping in mind that some can actually be harmful.  The CDC has recently released a report that outlines some good and bad treatments for this chronic ailment.

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Rudolph La Fontant of Foot and Ankle Institute of Iowa. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Arthritic Foot Care

Arthritis is a joint disorder that involves inflammation of different joints in your body, such as in your feet. Arthritis is often caused by a degenerative joint disease and causes mild to severe pain in all affected areas. On top of this, swelling and stiffness in the affected joints can also be a common symptom of arthritis.

In many cases, wearing ill-fitting shoes can worsen the effects and pain of arthritis. Wearing shoes that have a lower heel and extra room can help your feet feel more comfortable. In cases of rheumatoid arthritis, the arch in your foot may become problematic. Buying shoes with proper arch support that contour to your feet can help immensely.

Alleviating Arthritic Pain

  • Exercises that stretch the foot can prevent further pain and injury and increase mobility
  • Most of the pain can be alleviated with anti-inflammatory drugs, heat, and topical medications
  • Massages can help to temporarily alleviate pain.

It is best to see your doctor for the treatment that is right for your needs and symptoms. Conditions vary, and a podiatrist can help you determine the right method of care for your feet.

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

Read more about arthritic foot care

foot-injurySenior Kyle Crutchmer of Oklahoma State University’s wrestling team had his season cut short due to an injury to his right foot. Nevertheless, he still has a great chance to achieve All-American status for the second time at the 174-pound weight class. Six of Oklahoma State University’s matchups are against preseason top 25 teams, four of which are also in the top 10. In regards to the upcoming competition, Crutchmer states, “We’ve been training all summer and fall for this.”

Sports related foot and ankle injuries need proper treatment before players can go back to their regular routines. For more information, contact Dr. Rudolph La Fontant of Foot and Ankle Institute of Iowa. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Sport Related Foot and Ankle Injuries

Foot and ankle injuries are a common occurrence when it comes to athletes of any sport. While many athletes dismiss the initial aches and pains, the truth is that ignoring potential foot and ankle injuries can lead to serious problems. As athletes continue to place pressure and strain the area further, a mild injury can turn into something as serious as a rupture and may lead to a permanent disability. There are many factors that contribute to sports related foot and ankle injuries, which include failure to warm up properly, not providing support or wearing bad footwear. Common injuries and conditions athletes face, including:

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Plantar Fasciosis
  • Achilles Tendinitis
  • Achilles Tendon Rupture
  • Ankle Sprains

Sports-related injuries are commonly treated using the RICE method. This includes rest, applying ice to the injured area, compression and elevating the ankle. More serious sprains and injuries may require surgery, which could include arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery. Rehabilitation and therapy may also be required in order to get any recovering athlete to become fully functional again. Any unusual aches and pains an athlete sustains must be evaluated by a licensed, reputable medical professional.

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 sports related injuries.

Monday, 14 November 2016 12:23

Preventing Athlete’s Foot

athletes-foot8Odor emanates from people’s feet due to sweat or a lack of good hygiene practices. Bacteria can form as a result of either of these two reasons, and it may produce a strong odor. They tend to form around areas that are moist on your feet, and they feed on skin oils and dead cells. When bacteria thrive, they eliminate waste in the form of organic acids, which causes feet to smell. In order to keep your feet bacteria free, you should change your socks daily, keep your toenails clipped and clean, dry feet thoroughly after showering, and swab in between your toes with rubbing alcohol.

Athlete’s foot is an inconvenient condition that can be easily reduced with the proper treatment. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Rudolph La Fontant of Foot and Ankle Institute of Iowa. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Athlete’s Foot: The Sole Story

Athlete's foot, also known as tinea pedis, can be an extremely contagious foot infection. It is commonly contracted in public changing areas and bathrooms, dormitory style living quarters, around locker rooms and public swimming pools, or anywhere your feet often come into contact with other people.

Solutions to Combat Athlete’s Foot

  • Hydrate your feet by using lotion
  • Exfoliate
  • Buff off nails
  • Use of anti-fungal products
  • Examine your feet and visit your doctor if any suspicious blisters or cuts develop

Athlete’s foot can cause many irritating symptoms such as dry and flaking skin, itching, and redness. Some more severe symptoms can include bleeding and cracked skin, intense itching and burning and even pain when walking. In the worst cases, athlete’s foot can cause blistering as well. Speak to your podiatrist for a better understanding of the different causes of athlete’s foot, as well as helping you figure out which treatment options are best for you.

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

Read more about athlete’s foot.

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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

Monday: 8:30 am - 5 pm
Tuesday: 8:30 am - 5 pm
Wednesday: 8:30 am - 5 pm
Thursday: 8:30 am - 5 pm
Friday: 9 am - 12 pm

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