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Posts for: August, 2018

If you see blood pooling underneath a toenail or fingernail that is accompanied by intense pain, you can have immediate relief from a podiatrist. This is called a subungual hematoma–subungual meaning “under” and hematoma meaning “blood.” When blood builds up between the nail plate and nail bed, it creates a painful and unsightly injury.

READ MORE: Finger and Toe Discoloration

Subungual hematomas can be caused in a few different ways. You might accidentally hit your nail or drop something on it. It could be the result of sudden contact in sports or the crushing of a nail when you slam your fingers in a door. This is also a common injury for runners and athletes who wear tight shoes that don’t leave enough room for the toes.

Due to the pressure caused by the buildup of blood, intense and throbbing pain are the most common symptoms of a subungual hematoma. This will always be accompanied by red or black discoloration visible under the nail plate. Subungual hematomas can also occur in conjunction with other injuries such as fractures, cuts, and bruising of the finger itself. Even without pain, if the discoloration covers more than 50% of the nail, seek medical assistance from your podiatrist.

READ MORE: Types of Broken Bones

Immediate relief of your pain is available with a single office visit. Your podiatrist will perform decompression, also known as trephination, to drain the blood and begin healing. After numbing the affected area, your doctor may use a cautery device to painlessly burn through the nail or the nail may be perforated by a large-gauge needle. Both methods will allow blood to drain, relieving pressure and pain. In severe cases with significant bleeding or injury to the nail plate, your podiatrist may choose to remove the nail to check for lacerations on the nail bed.

Podiatrists can treat injuries to the nails of the hands and the feet. If you have a subungual hematoma, call the Foot and Ankle Wellness Center today to get immediate relief for your pain!


There’s still time to take advantage of our August MLS Laser Special!

The MLS Laser offers the very latest laser treatment technology to get you back on your feet faster. Laser therapy is safe, effective, and can greatly speed healing time. LASER stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Laser therapy is a therapeutic treatment that uses light energy (photons) for tissue healing and pain reduction. The light energy penetrates deeply into damaged cells and stimulates cellular activity. As a result of exposure to the laser, the cells of tendons, ligaments, muscles and nerves, repair themselves.

Benefits of Laser Therapy:

  • Rapid pain relief
  • Strong anti-inflammatory effect
  • Timely healing of sprain & strains
  • Rapid recovery of the structural integrity of injured region
  • Rapid resolution of swollen areas
  • Immediate improvement of local blood circulation
  • Rapid repair of superficial injuries, such as wounds and ulcers


 

FAQs

What is Laser Therapy?

Laser Therapy is the use of specific wavelengths of light to treat painful and debilitating conditions. MLS Laser Therapy is a non-invasive, safe, and effective treatment modality where this light is used to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and promote wound healing and soft tissue repair. The MLS laser is the only multi-wave locked system, dual wave, fully robotic laser therapy system on the market. This means deeper penetration with no heat produced allowing faster healing with no known side effects. It has been cleared with the FDA since 2009.

Why laser therapy over other forms of therapy?

Laser therapy does not require the use of drugs or surgery, there are no known side effects, and it is quick/convenient. Studies have shown that is it equal to or more effective than other forms of physical therapy. These studies were performed at many prestigious institutions including Harvard.

How does it work?

Light energy enters the damaged cells and stimulates inter-cellular activity. This reduces pain in the area and speeds recovery of the damaged cells. Once the cells recover, the healing process is complete.

What can I expect during a treatment?

MLS Laser Therapy is a painless treatment that lasts an average of 8 minutes. You may experience a comfortable sensation at the point of application. The laser is fully robotic and placed above the skin allowing the healing energy to penetrate tissue, where it interacts with various intracellular bio-molecules resulting in the restoration of normal cell function. This also enhances the body’s natural healing processes.

What do the treatments feel like?

There is little or no sensation during treatment. There is no pain associated during laser application. Laser treatment is relaxing and some people even fall asleep.

How many treatments does it take?

This depends on the nature of the condition being treated. The typical treatment protocol is between 6 and 12 visits. Conditions such as severe arthritis may require ongoing periodic care to control pain.

What can I expect after the treatment?

Most people experience positive results in 1 to 3 treatments, with the average course of treatment being 7 to 10 sessions. Swelling is greatly reduced and there is a rapid relief of pain. Acute conditions usually subside quickly, typically within one phase of treatments, while chronic conditions can be controlled with regular treatments.

The effects of MLS Laser Therapy are cumulative; therefore, expect to see improvement as you proceed through your treatment plan. It is critical that once you start, you complete the course of treatments recommended by your doctor or symptoms are likely to reoccur.

Are the results long lasting?

MLS Laser Therapy is about healing. It’s not about masking or covering up a condition. When you feel better from this therapy…it’s because you are better. Therefore, results have been found to be quite long lasting.

Can it be used in conjunction with other forms of treatment?

Yes. MLS Laser therapy is sometimes more effective when combined with other forms of therapy, including physical therapy, chiropractic, massage, soft tissue mobilization, electrotherapy, and following surgery.

How do I know if laser therapy is right for me?

We will evaluate your condition and perform a complete laser therapy examination to determine if you are a candidate for this procedure. Call us to schedule your evaluation or a consultation with one of our doctors.

 

Don’t wait to try our MLS laser! Until the end of August, receive 10% off when you pay in full. Call the FAAWC today to take advantage of the best healing technology on the market with the MLS Laser!


Heel pain has many causes, but the results are always the same – pain. If you’re living with heel pain not brought on by an injury, you need to see a podiatrist for an accurate diagnosis. Pump bump (Haglund’s deformity), bursitis, heel spurs, and tendonitis are all common causes of heel pain and can lead to Insertional Achilles Tendonitis.

A tendon is a strong band of tissue connecting a muscle to a bone. There are over 1,320 tendons in the human body. The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscle to the heel bone (calcaneus) and helps lift the heel off the ground when walking. Achilles tendons are prone to both overuse injuries, such as tendonitis, and sudden injuries, such as a tendon rupture.

READ MORE: Kids and Heel Pain

Insertional Achilles Tendonitis is a condition in which the end of the Achilles attached to the calcaneus begins to deteriorate. Onset is slow, with pain occurring at first during activity and then progressing in severity until you are forced to discontinue activity. Swelling and redness will be present, and it may be difficult to stretch the back of your ankle.

Your podiatrist will begin with a physical examination of your heel and ask you about your activity level and the type of pain you are experiencing. Although deterioration will not show on an X-ray, your doctor may take them to check for fractures and bone spurs. MRIs are the ideal choice for imaging the tendon to see the exact severity and location of the deterioration.

Conservative treatments for Insertional Achilles Tendonitis include RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation), stretching, use of orthotics, and physical therapy to strengthen the foot and ankle. Laser treatments can assist in pain management and promote faster healing times. Lasers have documented success in reducing bone spurs and preventing further degeneration of tendons.

READ MORE: Heel Pain? Arch Pain? Could be...

For severe pain and deterioration, a surgical solution may be necessary. During the surgical procedure, the tendon is detached from the heel, bone spurs are removed, the tendon is prepped, and the Achilles is reattached using the Arthrex SpeedBridge repair system. We use this innovative 4-anchor bridge because it allows for additional compression and stability which will increase your range of motion and speed healing.

If you are experiencing heel pain without an obvious injury, you need to see a podiatrist. Don’t wait until heel pain takes you out of the game and keeps you from the activities you love. Call the FAAWC today.


August 12, 2018
Category: Uncategorized
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Why ‘turf’ toe?

Big toe sprains often occur in athletes such as football, soccer, and baseball players. Since these sports are played on grass or turf, the injury has been dubbed ‘turf toe.’

Causes

Injury occurs when the toe is either jammed inward or bent backward beyond the range of normal flexibility. This is a sudden event, not an overuse injury. A toe sprain is more likely in athletes who perform cutting and sprinting movements on artificial turf. Grass is the preferred surface as it provides a softer impact. Improper footwear can also contribute to these injuries. Athletes should always wear the proper shoes for their particular sport. If you are at risk for a re-injury or want to avoid a bad stub, opt for shoes stiffer through the forefoot and toes.

READ MORE: The Right Shoes for Your Activity

Signs & Symptoms

There has never lived a person who could sprain their big toe and not at least wince. Most people will know they have suffered an injury by the immediate pain shooting through their toe. Overextension and impact on the joint causes damage to ligaments which causes bruising and swelling. In severe cases, there could be damage to the bones at the joint, resulting in increased pain.

Complications

Turf toe not only results in a great deal of immediate pain but as the injury goes untreated, further damage could also be occurring. Joints become less flexible and you are more likely to develop arthritis. Hallux Rigidus, extreme limited mobility of the big toe, can lead to problems with balance and performance, leaving you at a high risk for re-injury. If your joint suffers further damage, a minor injury could turn into a chronic condition that impacts your game.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is made by taking an account of the injury event and coupling it with a physical exam. Many podiatrists will take x-rays to rule out bone fractures or other, more serious injuries. It is important to visit your podiatrist early and not wait until symptoms recede and then reappear.

READ MORE: Types of Fractures

Treatment & Healing

Treatment for a sprained toe is RICE–rest, ice, compression, and elevation. If the bone is not damaged, then the only thing to do is wait for healing to occur. While recovering, you will want to switch to stiffer footwear that will protect the big toe from any unnatural movements. If you return to activity before your toe is fully healed, you risk re-injury and chronic pain and stiffness. Additional therapies such as laser therapy can help speed up healing time.

If you think you have sprained your toe, visit the FAAWC immediately. Faster diagnosis and treatment means less time sitting on the sidelines. Get back in the game faster with proper care.


Without the skeletal system, we would all be crawling around on the ground like an octopus out of the water. It’s good, therefore, that humans developed bones. In fact, the foot developed more bones than any other part of the body. Each foot has 26 bones, which is pretty awesome, but it’s also 52 different places injury can occur.

 

Bruising

Your bones are strong and can take a lot of force before succumbing to injury, but problems like a bone bruise can still cause big pain. Bruises sound minor compared to breaks, but a physically traumatic event still needed to occur to bruise a bone. The bone itself does not swell or discolor, but the sudden force causes micro-tissue tearing around the bone, and fluid and blood build up in that area. You will have swelling, tenderness, discoloration, stiffness, and pain. To diagnose a bone bruise, your podiatrist will examine the foot and ask about the injury event. Bone bruises do not show on x-rays, but your podiatrist may still take x-rays to rule out a fracture.

READ MORE: Why Your Toe Hurts...

 

Stress Fracture

Stress fractures are a type of repetitive use injury common in athletes and runners. With this type of fracture, the bone has cracked but not split completely apart. Stress fractures most often develop when people change the intensity of their workouts or the surface they are working out on. Running on a treadmill in the winter then switching to pavement in the summer puts excess force on bones, causing these hairline fractures. If you have weakened bones, you could develop a stress fracture just doing everyday activities. Stress fractures will show up on x-rays and can be treated with RICE­–rest, ice, compression, and elevation.

READ MORE: Don't Stress Over Stress Fractures

 

Acute Fracture

An acute fracture occurs in an instant from a traumatic event to the foot and breaks the bone apart. These fractures can range from simple breaks to gory compound fractures. Simple fractures, where the bones remain aligned, can be protected with a cast while they heal naturally.

Spiral fractures occur when the bone is twisted, causing the break to spiral around the bone. These may remain aligned and heal with prolonged immobilization, or they may require setting of the bones manually if they have been displaced.

Compound fractures occur when broken pieces of bone pierce the skin and extrude. These are the most severe and dangerous of all fractures as it leaves the patient oven to deep bone infections. Compound fractures require surgical repair, sometimes with the use of pins or rods to hold the bone together.

All acute fractures require a minimum healing time of 4-6 weeks and will be followed with physical therapy to strengthen muscles that were unused during the immobilization time.

READ MORE: Beware the Compound Fracture

 

Crush Injuries

Bones can also be crushed and shattered which can be very serious and requires major surgery. A comminuted fracture occurs when the bone breaks into three or more pieces. These fragments will need to be put back together and secured with pins, wires, screws, and plates. The goal is to help the bone heal back into its natural position. Some bones may be too injured to pin back together. In these cases, a substitute bone may be used. One option is to use a bone graft from your own body, usually taken from the hip or leg. Other options include donated cadaver bones and synthetic bones created in a lab or even with a 3D printer.

No matter what type of bone injury has occurred, you will need to see your podiatrist. From a bone bruise to a bone replacement, the foot and ankle surgeons at the FAAWC are the best at diagnosing and treating your bone injury. If you have pain in your foot or ankle and suspect a fracture, call us today!