Understanding Toe Walking in Toddlers

Understanding toe walking in toddlers is important for parents to discern normal development from potential issues. It's common for children under two years old to exhibit toe walking as they learn to walk. Toe walking is defined as the absence of heel strike during initial contact. It typically resolves as the child grows older, with most children demonstrating ankle dorsiflexion by age of five. However, toe walking can also be associated with specific conditions like cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, or autism spectrum disorders. For that reason, it's important to distinguish idiopathic toe walking, or ITW, where no pathology exists, from toe walking caused by underlying conditions. Recent studies suggest that more than half of young toe walkers will not face significant developmental or neuropsychiatric issues. While parents should monitor their child's development closely, toe walking alone isn't always indicative of a serious problem. If your child continues to toe walk past the age of five, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist who can conduct a thorough exam and suggest the next course of action. 

If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Scott Samera, DPM from Samera / Foot + Ankle. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Biomechanics in Podiatry

Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.

A History of Biomechanics

  • Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
  • In 1974, biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area.

Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.

Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot.

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

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Let the Expert Treat Your Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails can be painful and can make wearing shoes or walking uncomfortable. Seek professional help if you believe you've developed an ingrown toenail and be treated safely. 

How to Find Foot Pain Relief From Arthritis

There are multiple varieties of arthritis, and a challenge many of them share in common is foot pain. Arthritic foot care is important to finding relief from arthritis, a condition that has no cure. Luckily, help from a podiatrist, lifestyle modifications, and physical therapy can all contribute to happier feet. If you have foot pain, it is suggested you consult a podiatrist who can provide personalized guidance based on your condition. They may recommend suitable footwear with good arch support and cushioning to reduce pressure on the affected joints. Podiatrists may also recommend regular stretching exercises, such as gentle calf stretches and toe exercises, which can help maintain flexibility and alleviate stiffness in the feet. Lifestyle modifications, such as losing weight and switching to lower-impact exercise, can also be important to arthritic foot care.  Over-the-counter or prescribed medications can be part of the treatment plan, and in some cases, your podiatrist may suggest custom orthotic inserts to provide additional support to your feet. If you are experiencing foot pain from arthritis, it is suggested that you make regular appointments with a podiatrist for ongoing care. 

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment, contact Scott Samera, DPM from Samera / Foot + Ankle. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Arthritic Foot Care  

Arthritis is a term that is commonly used to describe joint pain.  The condition itself can occur to anyone of any age, race, or gender, and there are over 100 types of it.  Nevertheless, arthritis is more commonly found in women compared to men, and it is also more prevalent in those who are overweight. The causes of arthritis vary depending on which type of arthritis you have. Osteoarthritis for example, is often caused by injury, while rheumatoid arthritis is caused by a misdirected immune system.

Symptoms

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Decreased Range of Motion

Arthritic symptoms range in severity, and they may come and go. Some symptoms stay the same for several years but could potentially get worse with time. Severe cases of arthritis can prevent its sufferers from performing daily activities and make walking difficult.

Risk Factors

  • Occupation – Occupations requiring repetitive knee movements have been linked to osteoarthritis
  • Obesity – Excess weight can contribute to osteoarthritis development
  • Infection – Microbial agents can infect the joints and trigger arthritis
  • Joint Injuries – Damage to joints may lead to osteoarthritis
  • Age – Risk increases with age
  • Gender –Most types are more common in women
  • Genetics – Arthritis can be hereditary

If you suspect your arthritis is affecting your feet, it is crucial that you see a podiatrist immediately. Your doctor will be able to address your specific case and help you decide which treatment method is best for you.

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

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How to Recognize Charcot Foot

Charcot-Marie-Tooth, or CMT disease, is a genetic condition that affects the peripheral nerves. It can be recognized by progressive muscle weakness, particularly in the arms and legs. The condition is named after Jean Charcot, Pierre Marie, and Howard Henry Tooth, the physicians who first described it. Symptoms of Charcot foot often begin in adolescence or early adulthood and may include weakness and wasting of muscles in the foot and lower leg, as well as a loss of sensation in toes, and lower limbs. Additional symptoms can include abnormalities in foot muscles, unstable ankles, cramping in lower legs, and reduced reflexes. Over time, symptoms may worsen, leading to increased muscle and joint pain, neuropathic pain, and walking and mobility problems. Assistive devices, such as wheelchairs, leg braces, special shoes, or orthopedic devices, play an essential role in managing Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. If you believe you may be experiencing symptoms of CMT, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for a comprehensive assessment and personalized care planning.

Some foot conditions may require additional professional care. If you have any concerns, contact Scott Samera, DPM of Samera / Foot + Ankle. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Rare Foot Conditions

The majority of foot conditions are common and can be treated by a podiatrist.  Standard diagnostic procedures are generally used to identify specific conditions and treatment can be rendered. A podiatrist also treats rare foot conditions which can be difficult to diagnose and may need extra attention and care. 

There are many rare foot conditions that can affect children. Some of these can include:

  • Freiberg’s disease
  • Kohler’s disease
  • Maffucci syndrome

Freiberg’s disease - This can be seen as a deterioration and flattening of a metatarsal bone that exists in the ball of the foot. It typically affects pre-teen and teenage girls, but can affect anyone at any age. Symptoms that can accompany this can be swelling, stiffness, and the patient may limp. 

Kohler’s disease - This often targets the bone in the arch of the foot and affects younger boys. It can lead to an interruption of the blood supply which ultimately can lead to bone deterioration. The patient may limp or experience tenderness, swelling, and redness.

Maffucci syndrome - This affects the long bones in a child’s foot leading to the development of abnormal bone lesions. They are benign growths and typically develop in early childhood and the bones may be susceptible to breaking. 

A podiatrist can properly diagnose and treat all types of rare foot conditions. If your child is affected by any of these symptoms or conditions, please don’t hesitate to call our office so the correct treatment method can begin.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Lake City and Branford, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.
 

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Causes of Big Toe Pain

Pain in the big toe can be attributed to various causes, including arthritis, fractures, and gout. While most cases are manageable with conservative remedies, certain conditions like sesamoiditis may necessitate more specialized treatment. Arthritis, specifically hallux rigidus, is a common culprit, often affecting individuals over the age of 50, particularly women. Ingrown toenails can also lead to discomfort when toenails are cut too short or improperly. Gout, characterized by the buildup of uric acid in joints, frequently targets the big toe joint. Turf toe, a sports-related injury resulting from repetitive bending or jamming, is more prevalent among athletes on artificial turf. Sesamoiditis, common in runners and ballet dancers, results from inflammation of tendons around the sesamoid bones below the big toe. Toe fractures are commonplace due to various activities or accidents. Bunions, deformities at the base of the big toe, can cause discomfort and joint inflammation. Other potential causes encompass nail infections, Raynaud's disease, Morton's neuroma, and rheumatoid arthritis. If you have unexplained, persistent big toe pain, or if it is worsening, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for diagnosis and treatment.

Toe pain can disrupt your daily activities. If you have any concerns, contact Scott Samera, DPM of Samera / Foot + Ankle. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Causes Toe Pain?

Most severe toe pain is caused due to a sports injury, trauma from dropping something heavy on the toe, or bumping into something rigid. Other problems can develop over time for various reasons.

Toe pain can be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:

  • Trauma
  • Sports injury
  • Wearing shoes that are too tight
  • Arthritis
  • Gout
  • Corns and calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Blisters
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Sprains
  • Fractures (broken bones)
  • Dislocations

When to See a Podiatrist

  • Severe pain
  • Persistent pain that lasts more than a week
  • Signs of infection
  • Continued swelling
  • Pain that prevents walking

Diagnosis

In many cases the cause of toe pain is obvious, but in others, a podiatrist may want to use more advanced methods to determine the problem. These can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.

Treatment

Treatments for toe pain and injuries vary and may include shoe inserts, padding, taping, medicines, injections, and in some cases, surgery. If you believe that you have broken a toe, please see a podiatrist as soon as possible.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Lake City and Branford, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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Diabetic Foot Wound Considerations in the Elderly Population

Wound care in the elderly, particularly when it comes to foot care, demands special considerations. Foot care education and routine foot care are widely emphasized to prevent foot ulceration in diabetes. However, elderly people face unique challenges that can affect their ability to maintain proper foot health. Factors such as poor vision, arthritic complications, diminished manual dexterity, and memory loss can hinder their capacity to prevent or treat foot lesions effectively. Studies have shown that a significant percentage of elderly individuals with diabetes struggle with basic foot care tasks. This underscores the need for tailored wound care strategies for this population. Furthermore, elderly patients with diabetes often contend with ocular complications, including diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and glaucoma, which can impair their ability to care for their feet. If you are diabetic and elderly, or taking care of a person in this population, it is strongly suggested that you schedule regular appointments with a podiatrist for routine examinations, regular foot care, and treatment of foot wounds, should they arise.

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with Scott Samera, DPM from Samera / Foot + Ankle. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

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

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Wounds That Don't Heal Need to Be Checked

Your feet are covered most of the day. If you're diabetic, periodic screening is important for good health. Numbness is often a sign of diabetic foot and can mask a sore or wound.

Causes of Foot Pain From Running

Embarking on a running journey often leads to foot discomfort, ranging from blisters due to friction or wet conditions to more serious injuries caused by repetitive impact. One cause of foot pain in runners is stress fractures, often the result of overuse or sudden mileage increase. Plantar fasciitis, another common cause, is characterized by heel pain resulting from increased mileage or improper shoe choices. Achilles tendonitis, another overuse injury, requires timely diagnosis and treatment by a podiatrist to prevent complications and chronic pain. Metatarsalgia, causing ball of foot pain, and Morton’s neuroma, marked by nerve enlargement between third and fourth toes, commonly cause pain in the metatarsal and toe area of the foot. Pain along the top of the foot may be linked to tightly laced shoes or other causes. Tibialis posterior tendonitis, causes throbbing or burning pain along the arch. Bunions, a deformity of the big toe, and hallux rigidus, or stiffness in the big toe, necessitate treatment from a podiatrist. It is always a good idea to address foot pain rather than to ignore it and keep running. If you are a runner experiencing foot pain, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for a thorough foot exam that will form the basis of an appropriate treatment plan. 

Sports related foot and ankle injuries require proper treatment before players can go back to their regular routines. For more information, contact Scott Samera, DPM of Samera / Foot + Ankle. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Sports 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 Lake City and Branford, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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The Importance of Foot Exams for Seniors

As individuals age, the importance of comprehensive healthcare extends to often overlooked areas, and one such critical aspect is foot health. Foot exams for elderly patients are integral in preventing, identifying, and addressing potential issues that can significantly impact their overall well-being. Aging brings about changes in foot structure, reduced skin elasticity, and diminished sensory perception, making the elderly more susceptible to foot problems. Routine foot examinations can detect early signs of conditions like arthritis, diabetes-related complications, and circulatory issues. Assessing foot health aids in preventing falls, a prevalent concern for the elderly, by addressing issues related to balance and stability. Additionally, podiatrists can identify and manage common foot ailments like bunions, corns, and fungal infections, enhancing mobility and comfort. Regular foot exams empower elderly individuals to actively participate in their health, fostering independence and ensuring that any potential foot-related concerns are addressed promptly, contributing to an overall better quality of life. If you are elderly or caring for an older person, it is suggested that you visit a podiatrist who can perform regular foot exams.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Scott Samera, DPM from Samera / Foot + Ankle. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

The Elderly and Their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet and can hide many life-threatening medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

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

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Broken Toe Symptoms Are Difficult to Dismiss

A broken toe, or toe fracture, is a painful injury when one or more toe bones, known as phalanges, sustain damage. This injury typically results from a sudden impact or trauma, such as stubbing the toe, dropping a heavy object on it, or experiencing a direct blow during sports or accidents. The symptoms of a broken toe are distinct and hard to miss. The most common sign is immediate pain and discomfort, which can range from mild to severe, depending on the extent of the fracture. Additionally, swelling, bruising, and tenderness around the affected area are typical and may worsen over time. The toe may also appear misshapen or out of alignment, making it challenging to move or bear weight. In some cases, you may even hear a cracking or popping sound at the time of the injury. Proper diagnosis and timely treatment are essential for a full and safe recovery. If you have sustained a broken toe, it is strongly suggested that you consult a podiatrist who can accurately diagnose and treat this condition.

Broken toes may cause a lot of pain and should be treated as soon as possible. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Scott Samera, DPM from Samera / Foot + Ankle. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is a Broken Toe?

A broken toe occurs when one or more of the toe bones of the foot are broken after an injury. Injuries such as stubbing your toe or dropping a heavy object on it may cause a toe fracture.

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • Swelling
  • Pain (with/without wearing shoes)
  • Stiffness
  • Nail Injury

Although the injured toe should be monitored daily, it is especially important to have a podiatrist look at your toe if you have severe symptoms. Some of these symptoms include worsening or new pain that is not relieved with medication, sores, redness, or open wounds near the toe.

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

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