Tuesday, 31 January 2023 00:00

Bunions are essentially defined as bumps that can form on the side of the big toe or pinky toe that are bony in texture. Many patients with bunions are often interested in learning more about why they have developed this condition and what contributed to it. The answer may surprise many patients. Interestingly, heredity and genetics is one of the major contributing factors in bunions. Specifically, the shape of your foot that you inherit from your parents is a major factor that can determine your susceptibility to bunions. Unfortunately, individuals do not have control over their genetic disposition to bunions. It is estimated that more than 80 percent of individuals living with bunions have a history in their family tree of bunions. Although this may lead one to believe that they can do nothing to prevent the development of bunions, this is not technically true. There are a number of steps that an individual can take to mitigate their risk of developing bunions, such as wearing footwear that fits properly. Contact a podiatrist today for more information. 

If you are suffering from bunions, contact Dr. Mark Gagnon of Advanced Podiatry. 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 due to 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 worsen existing bunions

How Are Bunions Diagnosed?

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?

  • 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

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

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Tuesday, 24 January 2023 00:00

Peripheral artery disease involves the narrowing of blood vessels to the extremities, especially common in the lower legs. This occlusion is the result of a buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries, restricting blood flow to the legs, feet and toes. Risk factors for peripheral artery disease, or PAD, include being over 60 years old, smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. The most common symptom is pain and weakness in the legs that may get better after resting. Other symptoms include numbness and a feeling of cold feet. Brittle toenails and toenails that grow slowly are other signs of PAD, along with sores or ulcers on the skin of the legs and feet that take a long time to heal. If peripheral artery disease goes undetected, it can cause extremely serious problems, including heart attack, stroke, or limb loss. To find out if you have PAD, please consult a podiatrist who can perform various imaging and other tests and discuss appropriate treatment options. 

Peripheral artery disease can pose a serious risk to your health. It can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, consult with Dr. Mark Gagnon from Advanced Podiatry. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is when arteries are constricted due to plaque (fatty deposits) build-up. This results in less blood flow to the legs and other extremities. The main cause of PAD is atherosclerosis, in which plaque builds up in the arteries.

Symptoms

Symptoms of PAD include:

  • Claudication (leg pain from walking)
  • Numbness in legs
  • Decrease in growth of leg hair and toenails
  • Paleness of the skin
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Sores and wounds on legs and feet that won’t heal
  • Coldness in one leg

It is important to note that a majority of individuals never show any symptoms of PAD.

Diagnosis

While PAD occurs in the legs and arteries, Podiatrists can diagnose PAD. Podiatrists utilize a test called an ankle-brachial index (ABI). An ABI test compares blood pressure in your arm to you ankle to see if any abnormality occurs. Ultrasound and imaging devices may also be used.

Treatment

Fortunately, lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, managing cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and quitting smoking, can all treat PAD. Medications that prevent clots from occurring can be prescribed. Finally, in some cases, surgery may be recommended.

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

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Tuesday, 17 January 2023 00:00

The number of people who are over 65 years old that fall is staggering. Research has shown this occurs in approximately one out of three people across the nation, and can be a leading cause of injury. Older people who have fallen may develop a fear of falling, and this may hinder their desire to complete daily activities. Most falling episodes can be prevented when effective strategies are implemented. These can include improving lighting in the household, removing clutter, and wearing shoes that fit correctly. Many people find it helpful to have grab bars installed in the toilet and shower area, in addition to having routine physical and eye examinations. Having these performed is crucial in updating prescription medicine and eyeglasses, which may help to maintain a sense of balance. Additionally, the number of falls may be reduced as the body becomes stronger when a regular stretching and exercise regime is performed. Falling can affect the feet and compromise daily living. If you would like to learn about additional fall prevention techniques, please confer with a podiatrist.

Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with Dr. Mark Gagnon from Advanced Podiatry. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.

Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.

How to Prevent Falls

Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:

  • Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
  • Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
  • Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
  • Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
  • Utilizing a walker or cane
  • Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
  • Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness

Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.  

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

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Wednesday, 11 January 2023 00:00

Custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, should be periodically replaced. Orthotics must fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles!

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