Posts for tag: sudden injuries
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.
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 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
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
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 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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
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.
Sandals and summer go together like peanut butter and jelly, but too many sandals don’t offer the correct support or protection and can leave your feet aching or lead to other issues. Don’t fret, there are still plenty of options out there that will make your podiatrist happy and look fashionable.
The key features to look for in a summer sandal are:
Arch Support – Perhaps the biggest complain podiatrists have about sandals is the lack of support. When your foot is not properly supported, it can lead or contribute to plantar fasciitis, fallen arches, and even ankle, knee, hip, and back pain. Sandals might be appropriate at times, but you should never plan on walking in them for long distances or periods of time as this can exacerbate issues.
READ MORE: Plantar Fasciitis
Toe Protection – Personally, I love showing off my toes in the summer (especially after my latest PediCare Salon visit!), but leaving your tootsies exposed can result in pain or injury. Stubbed or stepped on toes are common and can result in fractures and unsightly bruising. There is also a potential for cuts and abrasions or even sunburn. Choosing sandals with enclosed toes can eliminate some of these flip flop risks.
READ MORE: PediCare vs Pedicure
Materials – Choosing the right sandal all depends on the occasion, but you should always match the material of the sandal to your activity. If you’re going to be wearing your sandals around water, don’t choose leather, suede, canvass, or other materials that absorb water or are damaged by it. Make sure any straps are comfortable and wont rub to form blisters. Pay attention to the sole thickness as well; the shoe should not fold in half if you attempt to bend it.
Sandals fit properly only if your entire foot is resting on the footbed. If your heel hangs off the back or your smallest toe is falling off the side, you need a bigger size or a completely different sandal. Look for brands that boast the APMA seal of approval. This seal is granted only to products that have shown consistent benefits for foot and ankle health. To find brands with this approval click HERE, scroll down to shoes, flip flops/sandals and click. There are over 400 individual sandals to explore!
If you’re looking for the perfect summer sandals, the FAAWC offers Revere sandals for both men and women. The footbed is removable to fit your orthotics, meaning you’ll be looking good and keeping your feet (and your podiatrist) happy and supported.
READ MORE: Insoles vs Orthotics
Call or drop by today to browse our selection of perfect summer sandals.
Last week we focused on ligaments and the ways we can sprain, tear, and stretch them. Today, we focus on our tendons, specifically the Achilles tendon. Achilles was a great hero of ancient Greece and the battle for Troy. Legend has it that he couldn’t be defeated in battle, but a single arrow to the back of the heel was enough to bring him down. If you’ve ever torn or ruptured your Achilles tendon, you know exactly why.
READ MORE: High Heels and Your Achilles Heel
A tendon is a strong cord that connects muscles to bones. The Achilles tendon connects your calf muscle to your heel bone and is the biggest tendon in your body. During recreational sports or heavy activity, the tendon may overstretch (causing pain) or tear/rupture (causing lots of pain). If your tendon ruptures, you might hear an audible “snap” or “pop” followed by severe pain and an inability to walk on the affected limb. While minor injuries can recover with rest and time, an Achilles tendon rupture may need to be surgically repaired to ensure proper healing.
Diagnosing an Achilles Tendon rupture is relatively straightforward. Your podiatrist may ask you to try pointing your toes, or they may feel around the calf for the tendon itself. In cases of a complete rupture, they may be able to feel a gap between the two ends. If there is any question about the severity of your injury, they may request additional tests such as an MRI or ultrasound to get a better look. Strains and ruptures can be treated with surgical or non-surgical options. Which you choose depends on a lot of factors so be sure to discuss your options thoroughly with your podiatrist.
Nonsurgical treatment of an Achilles tendon rupture involves complete immobilization of the foot and ankle. You may wear a cast or walking boot in combination with crutches to avoid weight-bearing. This path requires a minimum of six weeks for healing and can often take months with many follow up visits to your doctor. Tendons left to repair naturally are not as strong as surgically repaired ones so physical therapy and ankle strengthening will be important parts of your treatment plan. The chances of re-rupture are higher with non-surgical treatment.
The surgical solution for an Achilles tendon rupture is to have your podiatrist stretch and sew the two pieces of your tendon back together. While this sounds gross and invasive, it’s a fairly simple procedure. Surgical repair of tendons makes them stronger, lessening the chances of another rupture, and gives you more range of motion than a non-surgical option. Recovery time is shorter with a surgical fix meaning you’ll be back to the activities you love in no time! All of our doctors are well trained in the repair of Achilles tendons and can answer any questions you may have about your procedure or healing.
READ MORE: Achilles Heel Injuries in Gymnasts
Keeping your Achilles tendon strong and protecting your feet and ankles during activity can help reduce the chances of a strain or rupture. Perform calf-raises to keep muscles in shape and vary your activities, so you aren’t putting the same stresses on your feet all the time. Watch yourself during high-risk activities such as jumping or running. If you think you have strained or ruptured your Achilles tendon, call the FAAWC today. Our urgent care access means getting the care you need, right when you need it. Call 740-363-4373 today!