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Posts for tag: discoloration

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!

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!

 

Tennis is an incredibly popular sport in the United States with almost 18 million recreational and professional players. With new technology and advances, the ball is flying faster than ever before which means we have to be going faster to keep up. This puts additional strain and pressure on our already taxed feet which can leave us open to many types of tennis injuries.

Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains are the most common tennis injury and can take a player out of the game for weeks or months at a time. Rapid changes in direction and jumping are two highest risk factors for ankle sprains and tennis has both. Ankle sprains happen when the ligaments of the ankle (most often the interior ligaments) are stretched or even torn due to unnatural movement of the ankle. Some players will wear an ankle brace on a weak ankle as a precaution. This is especially important if you have had prior ankle sprains as you have a higher reinjury risk.

Subungual Hematomas

You would recognize this injury as a pool of blood beneath your big toenail. The constant direction changes in tennis cause your feet to slide around inside your shoes. This can put undue pressure on the front of the toes and cause bruising beneath the nail. Your podiatrist can release the pressure and drain the blood in a single office visit. After bandaging, you can get back on the court, but if the nail needs to be removed, you might be out for a week or more.

Muscle Cramps

These occur mostly in the calf and foot. Cramps are caused by loss of blood flow due to dehydration. Staying hydrated, wearing appropriate sweat-wicking clothing, and stretching before exercise can all help avoid muscle cramps. If you cramp during a match, you must rest completely until you have rehydrated and stretched. If you don’t, you could lead yourself down a path to chronic injury.

Muscle Strains

Straining of the calf muscle is a common occurrence in tennis and can take a player out for weeks. Everyone has a dominant leg and usually it is just a bit stronger than the other. You may also have imbalanced muscle groups (such as your thighs being stronger than your calves) which can lead to injury. If you land on the wrong foot or use your weaker leg to push off for a move, you could cause micro-tears in the muscle. Over time, this can cause chronic issues. Rest and physical therapy are the best ways to overcome muscle strains.

READ MORE: Strain or Sprain?

Plantar Fasciitis

We talk about plantar fasciitis a lot because it is one of the most common causes of foot and heel pain. The plantar fascia, a band of tissue across the bottom of the foot, is used in every walking and running movement. When it is stretched or torn, it can cause intense pain. Wearing the right shoes with custom orthotics and stretching are great ways to avoid plantar fasciitis. If you experience heel pain, start with RICE and keep resting for longer than you normally would (a few weeks rather than a few days). If the issue does not resolve, you may need injections, tapings, casts, or even surgery. Resting now can avoid a longer recovery time later.

Achilles Tendonitis

Tendonitis can be acute, caused by a sudden increase in exercise, or it can be chronic, a prolonged injury that flares up over time. Either way, it isn’t something you want to deal with. Keep your Achilles and calf muscle loose with daily stretching and strengthening exercises. Limited mobility of the ankle and tightness when you point your toes are signs that your Achilles tendon is stiff and could be susceptible to injury. Wearing a heel lift, especially when you are off the court, can help relieve strain on the Achilles.

READ MORE: Achilles Tendon Ruptures

Heel Bruise

This injury is more common amongst older tennis players because their heel pads (the fatty cushioning under your heel) have worn down over time and there is no longer enough cushioning between your heel and the ground. This injury is easy to treat with rest, ice, and extra padding in your tennis shoes. Talk to your podiatrist about gel heel cups to soften the impact. You’ll also want to see your podiatrist to rule out heel fractures which can present with bruising.

 

Although there are a lot of potential risks in tennis, many of them are easy to avoid when you stretch, wear the proper shoes, and exercise caution with your running and jumping. If you are experiencing a tennis-related foot or ankle injury, come see the FAAWC. We have more experience at keeping athletes on the court and can help put you back in the game, not benched on the sidelines. Don’t give up the sport you love because of a simple injury. Come see us today.

 

 

 

 

Warts are unsightly and bothersome. While they may not be dangerous, they should still be removed by a trained professional and not treated at home with wives tales and OTC solutions. A wart on the bottom of the foot is called a plantar wart and is the most common place to form a wart. These appear as raised and callused pieces of skin, often with multiple black dots caused by clotted capillaries.

What are warts?

A wart, in the simplest definition, is a skin infection. Verruca Plantaris, a form of the HPV virus, causes the top layer of skin to grow rapidly, creating a raised mound. While it is only a superficial condition, it will not resolve on its own. Over one half of the population will experience a wart at some point in their life.

How do you get warts?

Don’t worry about picking up any toads; they don’t cause warts. Warts are caused by direct contact with the virus. It may enter the skin through small or invisible cuts and abrasions. Even simple issues such as cracked heels can give the virus a chance to enter your skin. Warts are communicable and can spread to others or different parts of your body. Symptoms may not manifest for weeks or even years after contact.

READ MORE: Cracked Heels in the Summer

How is it treated?

Warts are unsightly but not immediately dangerous to your health. Still, it is important that they are removed, so they do not spread. Home remedies should be avoided. Touching the wart will spread the virus, freezing it off could cause skin damage, acid is just a bad idea altogether. If you are diabetic or have any issues with foot and ankle circulation, you should not treat infections at home. Only your podiatrist can ensure your wart is taken care of safely and effectively.

READ MORE: Summer Ready Feet Today!

 

 

You try to avoid it, but it happened. You developed fungal nails. This infection occurs from contact with fungus in warm, moist places. Often pools or communal showers can spread fungus and it grows well in dark places like sweaty socks. Improper nail clipping and cuts or abrasions on your feet can give fungus an easy entry. If you develop athlete's foot, it can spread to your nails. Fungal infection of the nail is identified by thick and brittle nails, often with yellow discoloration. You may also experience pain with a severe infection.

READ MORE: Fungal Nails

Traditional treatments for fungal infections include: topical creams, nail lacquer, oral medications, or surgical removal. Your podiatrist may need to identify the strain of fungus before treatment or suggest multiple treatments options in conjunction. If severe infection occurs, the nail may need to be surgically removed which means a long recovery time and no regrowth of the nail. Don't fret! There is a way to avoid all this.

The Foot & Ankle Wellness Center has been treating fungal nails with wild success using the Aerolase laser. We see a 90% success rate in laser treatments; the highest of any treatment option. Our Aerolase laser penetrates through the nail plate to the nail bed where it kills fungal infection with no damage to the surrounding nail. This is a safe and painless treatment. You can reapply nail polish immediately after treatment (we recommend Dr. Remedy's anti-fungal polish). Your nail won't look perfect right away. After the infection is destroyed, the yellowed and thickened nail will need to grow out. This usually takes about 6-12 months. Additional trimming and treatment in our PediCare salon can help make the existing nail look better.

READ MORE: The PediCare Difference

Not all insurances cover laser treatments, but HSA (Healthcare Savings Accounts) may be applicable. Fees for treatment range between $249.00 up to $399.00.  You will receive a written quote prior to treatment including the number of nails requiring treatment and the total price.  Two additional evaluations within 12 months of your original treatment date are included and we will provide laser treatment of any re-infection that occurs at no additional cost.

Call today to schedule your appointment.