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During the Washington state stay at home order, as an allowed medical service, we are open Monday through Friday from 9 A.M. - 3 P.M. for virtual (telehealth) appointments, and for urgent or emergent in office appointments. All entering the clinic are required to wear a mask or bandana or scarf; and to wear gloves. All persons entering the office will be screened at the door for COVID symptoms. We appreciate your cooperation during this difficult time, and look forward to serving you all soon once the restrictions are lifted.

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Blog | Foot Doctor Gig Harbor WA 98335

Friday, 22 January 2021 00:00

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.

Monday, 18 January 2021 00:00

Diabetic Foot Care Tips

Diabetic patients are at a higher risk for foot related issues. Those with diabetes are more prone to developing poor blood circulation. One common condition, known as neuropathy, which leads to the loss of sensation in the feet, changes in the shape of the feet, and cuts or sores that do not heal properly, is also common among diabetic patients. Because of these potential issues, daily foot care is very important. One key step to foot care is doing daily checks for problems such as cuts, sores and infections. Making sure to regularly wash your feet with warm water and to dry them thoroughly is also suggested. It is also beneficial to always wear shoes and socks in order to protect the feet from extreme temperatures. Keeping up circulation by periodically wiggling the toes and exercising is suggested as well. Lastly, it is important to go to your podiatrist for regular checkups, and to let them know if you are experiencing any foot problems.

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. James D. McAlexander from Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. 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 Gig Harbor, WA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Diabetic Foot Care
Tuesday, 12 January 2021 00:00

Why Might Someone Need Foot Surgery?

Foot surgery may be necessary for a variety of conditions when nonsurgical methods do not yield results or when the condition is severe. Depending on what is causing it and its severity, chronic foot pain may require surgery. A foot injury, such as a fracture or ruptured Achilles tendon may require surgery as well. Foot deformities, including bunions, hammertoes, and bone spurs may need to be surgically corrected if they cause significant symptoms and conservative treatment methods are ineffective. Other conditions that could warrant surgery include arthritis and neuromas. If you are experiencing foot pain, it is recommended that you consult with a podiatrist who can help find the right treatment for you.

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to treat a foot ailment. To learn more, contact Dr. James D. McAlexander of Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. 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 alleviate the problem. Some of the cases in which surgery may be necessary include:

  • Removing foot deformities like bunions and bone spurs
  • 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 Gig Harbor, WA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Foot Surgery
Monday, 04 January 2021 00:00

Who Does Sever’s Disease Affect?

An injury to the growth plate in the heel may indicate a condition that is known as Sever’s disease. It generally affects children and young teenagers who participate in sporting activities. The heel can become inflamed, which can cause severe pain and discomfort. Mild relief may be found when the activity that caused the injury is temporarily stopped, and walking patterns may be changed. It may help to wear custom made orthotics if Sever’s disease is severe, and some patients find it necessary to take pain medication. If your child complains of heel pain, please consult with a podiatrist who can properly diagnose and treat Sever's disease.

Sever's disease often occurs in children and teens. If your child is experiencing foot or ankle pain, see Dr. James D. McAlexander from Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor can treat your child’s foot and ankle needs.

Sever’s Disease

Sever’s disease is also known as calcaneal apophysitis, which is a medical condition that causes heel pain I none or both feet. The disease is known to affect children between the ages of 8 and 14.

Sever’s disease occurs when part of the child’s heel known as the growth plate (calcaneal epiphysis) is attached to the Achilles tendon. This area can suffer injury when the muscles and tendons of the growing foot do not keep pace with bone growth. Therefore, the constant pain which one experiences at the back of the heel will make the child unable to put any weight on the heel. The child is then forced to walk on their toes.

Symptoms

Acute pain – Pain associated with Sever’s disease is usually felt in the heel when the child engages in physical activity such as walking, jumping and or running.

Highly active – Children who are very active are among the most susceptible in experiencing Sever’s disease, because of the stress and tension placed on their feet.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Gig Harbor, WA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle injuries.

Read more about Sever's Disease
Wednesday, 23 December 2020 00:00

It's Time for Beautiful Feet

You don't need an excuse to have beautiful nails. Step outside without worrying about the appearance of your feet.

There are a variety of injuries and issues that can affect the feet. Therefore, proper foot care is important, and those who have diabetes, arthritis, or poor blood flow should be under the care of a podiatrist. Common foot issues that podiatrists can care for include ligament sprains, broken bones, heel pain, warts, athlete’s foot, and ingrown toenails. They can prescribe medications for these foot-related issues, perform surgery, prescribe orthotics, and provide recommendations and solutions for your particular foot problem. Those who are older should be under the care of a podiatrist as well, because as the feet age, a variety of issues, such as bunions, arthritis, or foot pain, may become more prominent and can lead to falls. If you are in one of these risk groups, or believe that you have injured your foot, it is highly recommended that you are under the care of a podiatrist.

If you are dealing with pain in your feet and ankles, you may want to seek help from a podiatrist. Feel free to contact Dr. James D. McAlexander from Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Podiatrist?

A podiatrist is a doctor of podiatric medicine who diagnoses and treats conditions of the foot, ankle, and related structures of the leg. Your podiatrist may specialize in a certain field such as sports medicine, wound care, pediatrics, and diabetic care. Podiatrists have the ability to become board certified through training, clinical experience, and then taking an exam.

What Do Podiatrists Do?

On a daily basis, a podiatrist may perform the following activities:

  • Diagnose foot ailments such as ulcers, tumors, fractures, etc.
  • Use innovative methods to treat conditions
  • Use corrective orthotics, casts, and strappings to correct deformities
  • Correct walking patterns and balance
  • Provide individual consultations to patients

It is very important that you take care of your feet. It’s easy to take having healthy feet for granted, however foot problems tend to be among the most common health conditions. Podiatrists can help diagnose and treat a variety of feet related conditions, so it is crucial that you visit one if you need assistance.

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

 

Read more about What is a Podiatrist?
Monday, 14 December 2020 00:00

Mild Relief Options for Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a noticeable foot condition that many people experience. It is characterized by an upward bend in the middle joint of the second or third toe, and can often cause difficulty in wearing shoes. This ailment can be prompted by having certain medical conditions, such as diabetes. Additionally, many patients develop hammertoe from wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in. Mild relief may be found when specific stretches are performed on the toes, and it may help to wear protective pads on top of the affected toes. If you have hammertoe, please consult with a podiatrist. A podiatrist can offer treatment options which may include surgery that can permanently straighten the toe.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. James D. McAlexander of Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

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

Read more about What Are Hammertoes?
Monday, 07 December 2020 00:00

Keys for Managing Gout

Gout is a very painful type of arthritis that can cause joints to become stiff, hot, or tender. Gout is caused by a buildup of uric acid, most commonly affected is the big toe. Those who eat a lot of foods that contain high purine levels, such as red meat, seafood, and alcohol, are at an increased risk for developing gout. Other risk factors that may contribute to the onset of gout can include include genetics, family history, sex, or age. Gout is found to be more common in men and the risk increases with age. Because there is no cure for gout, even when no symptoms are present, it is important to manage this condition correctly. One key to managing gout is keeping a healthy weight because excess body weight can lead to more uric acid in the body. Another key to managing gout is to have a well balanced diet that cuts down on the intake of foods and alcohols that are rich in purines. Staying hydrated is important as well. If you are afflicted with gout, make sure to check with a podiatrist for help managing it as well as various treatment techniques.  

 

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. James D. McAlexander from Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

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

Read more about Everything You Need to Know About Gout
Monday, 30 November 2020 00:00

Everyday Habits for Elderly Foot Care

As we age, foot problems can become more common and our feet may need more attention. There are several things that can be done daily to help maintain your foot health. Inspect your feet after washing and thoroughly drying them. Look for any blisters, cuts, cracks, dry skin, or sores so that they can be treated early to prevent complications later, such as infection. Moisturize your feet to prevent dry, cracked skin. Keep your nails neat, and trim them straight across to avoid ingrown toenails. Protect your feet by wearing properly fitted shoes and socks. Finally, it is recommended that you visit a podiatrist regularly. A podiatrist specializes in diagnosing and treating various foot conditions and can help you maintain the health of your feet for years to come. 

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Dr. James D. McAlexander from Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. 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 Gig Harbor, WA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Elderly Foot Care
Monday, 23 November 2020 00:00

Heel Pain Can Be Treated!

Do you suffer from heel pain when you get up in the morning? If so, you should seek the professional help of your podiatrist and have a proper diagnosis performed. Heel pain can be caused by several different foot-related conditions.

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