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Monday, 29 April 2019 00:00

What Is Cuboid Syndrome?

The bones that are found on the outside of the foot are referred to as the tarsal bones. The cuboid bone has six sides, and is located within these group of bones. The function of this bone is to keep the foot stabilized in addition to evenly distributing the body’s weight. If an injury should occur that affects the cuboid bone, a condition that is known as cuboid syndrome may develop. This can happen as a result of an injury that includes sprained ankles, or possibly from performing repetitive motions that running and dancing are comprised of. The symptoms that are associated with this condition often include pain and discomfort that is felt on the outside of the foot, and it may be difficult to walk. If you have experienced an injury, and notice pain on one side of your foot, it is advised to counsel with a podiatrist who can recommend correct treatment options.

Cuboid syndrome, also known as cuboid subluxation, occurs when the joints and ligaments near the cuboid bone in the foot become torn. If you have cuboid syndrome, consult with Dr. James D. McAlexander from Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Cuboid syndrome is a common cause of lateral foot pain, which is pain on the outside of the foot. The condition may happen suddenly due to an ankle sprain, or it may develop slowly overtime from repetitive tension through the bone and surrounding structures.

Causes

The most common causes of cuboid syndrome include:

  • Injury – The most common cause of this ailment is an ankle sprain.
  • Repetitive Strain – Tension placed through the peroneus longus muscle from repetitive activities such as jumping and running may cause excessive traction on the bone causing it to sublux.
  • Altered Foot Biomechanics – Most people suffering from cuboid subluxation have flat feet.

Symptoms

A common symptom of cuboid syndrome is pain along the outside of the foot which can be felt in the ankle and toes. This pain may create walking difficulties and may cause those with the condition to walk with a limp.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of cuboid syndrome is often difficult, and it is often misdiagnosed. X-rays, MRIs and CT scans often fail to properly show the cuboid subluxation. Although there isn’t a specific test used to diagnose cuboid syndrome, your podiatrist will usually check if pain is felt while pressing firmly on the cuboid bone of your foot.

Treatment

Just as the range of causes varies widely, so do treatments. Some more common treatments are ice therapy, rest, exercise, taping, and orthotics.

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.

 

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Tuesday, 23 April 2019 00:00

Aftercare for Hammertoe Surgery

Many patients elect to have surgery done to permanently correct hammertoe. After surgery is performed, it is recommended to wear certain shoes that are designed to keep the toe in the correct position for several weeks. These types of shoes also provide adequate protection for the affected toe. Research has indicated that it is beneficial to walk for limited amounts of time throughout the day. This is helpful in increasing blood flow in the body, which aids in faster healing. Additionally, swelling may be diminished when the foot is elevated. If you have hammertoe, and are considering treatment options that include surgery, it is strongly suggested that you speak with a podiatrist who can properly guide 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.

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There are many people who enjoy wearing high heels. This type of shoe can enhance the appearance of the legs by making them look longer and thinner. Potential damage to the foot may be diminished if proper stretching exercises are frequently performed, thereby strengthening the foot. Many people may experience heel pain, and this may be a result of shortened calf muscles. There are many foot conditions that can gradually develop from wearing high heels. These may include ingrown toenails, bunions, or Morton’s neuroma, which is a form of nerve damage that occurs between the toes. If you would like additional information about how high heels can affect the feet, consulting with a podiatrist is recommended.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or 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.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which Parts of My Body Will Be Affected by High Heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What Kinds of Foot Problems Can Develop from Wearing High Heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How Can I Still Wear High Heels and Maintain Foot Health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

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 Why High Heels Are Not Ideal for Healthy Feet
Published in Blog
Monday, 08 April 2019 00:00

Different Types of Ankle Sprains

Many teenagers may experience the pain and discomfort of an ankle sprain. This may be the result of torn ligaments in the ankle or the surrounding area, and may occur as sporting activities are pursued. Research has indicated there are three types of ankle sprains. A sprain is known to be mild when the ligaments are slightly stretched. If the ligaments are marginally torn, the sprain is considered to be moderate, and putting weight on the foot may be painful. If the ligament should completely tear, the sprain is severe. This is typically accompanied by swelling, and it may be impossible for the foot to bear any amount of weight. There are methods that can be implemented for keeping the ankles strong, which may help in preventing ankle sprains. These include performing gentle stretching exercises to help keep the ankles flexible and wearing shoes that have adequate ankle support. If you have sprained your ankle, it is strongly suggested that you speak to a podiatrist who can begin the correct treatment for you.

Ankle sprains are common but need immediate attention. If you need your feet checked, 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.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains take place when the ligaments in your ankle are torn or stretched beyond their limits. There are multiple ways that the ankle can become injured, including twisting or rolling over onto your ankle, putting undue stress on it, or causing trauma to the ankle itself.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Mild to moderate bruising
  • Limited mobility
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration of the skin (depending on severity)

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

Treatment of a sprain depends on the severity.  Many times, people are told to rest and remain off their feet completely, while others are given an air cast. If the sprain is very severe, surgery may be required.

If you have suffered an ankle sprain previously, you may want to consider additional support such as a brace and regular exercises to strengthen the ankle.

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.

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Monday, 01 April 2019 00:00

The Location of the Sesamoid Bones

The sesamoid bones are located at the bottom of the big toe. The purpose of the sesamoid bones is to protect the tendons in that area of the foot, in addition to increasing mobility of the tendons. If these bones should become irritated and inflamed, a condition that is known as sesamoiditis may develop. Common causes of this ailment may include overuse of the tendons which may occur while participating  in sporting activities, or from a sudden injury. There are typical symptoms that may be associated with sesamoiditis, and these may include pain that is felt in the toes while walking, and discomfort may be present when the big toe is pulled up. Wearing proper footwear may help to relieve pressure on the sesamoid bones, in addition to adding custom made orthotics to your shoes. If you feel you have this condition, it is advised that you schedule a consultation with a podiatrist so the correct treatment can begin.

Sesamoiditis is an unpleasant foot condition characterized by pain in the balls of the feet. If you think you’re struggling with sesamoiditis, contact Dr. James D. McAlexander of Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will treat your condition thoroughly and effectively.

Sesamoiditis

Sesamoiditis is a condition of the foot that affects the ball of the foot. It is more common in younger people than it is in older people. It can also occur with people who have begun a new exercise program, since their bodies are adjusting to the new physical regimen. Pain may also be caused by the inflammation of tendons surrounding the bones. It is important to seek treatment in its early stages because if you ignore the pain, this condition can lead to more serious problems such as severe irritation and bone fractures.

Causes of Sesamoiditis

  • Sudden increase in activity
  • Increase in physically strenuous movement without a proper warm up or build up
  • Foot structure: those who have smaller, bonier feet or those with a high arch may be more susceptible

Treatment for sesamoiditis is non-invasive and simple. Doctors may recommend a strict rest period where the patient forgoes most physical activity. This will help give the patient time to heal their feet through limited activity. For serious cases, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine a treatment option that will help your specific needs.

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 Sesamoiditis
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