Posts for: May, 2014
Now that summer is here it is more tempting than ever to walk around outside barefoot – don’t do it!!! It is far too easy to unknowingly step on glass or a sharp twig, especially if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetic neuropathy. All it takes is a small cut or puncture and walking around on it for the day to turn into an ulcer that needs to be treated in our office with subsequent follow up visits. As much as we would love to see you, don’t let the reason for your appointment be that you were barefoot outside. Leave those shoes on!
Have you recently sprained your ankle? Stubbed your toe? Stepped off a curb wrong? Or did you experience some other sort of minor trauma or acute injury? If you have swelling and pain, RICE may be able to help you out! This method of pain management can help ease the swelling and ache if you are unable to come in to see Dr. Mendoza for a few days following an injury.
RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate
R: Rest the injured area to protect it from further damage.
I: Ice can be applied for 20 minutes at a time with 20 minute breaks, and as often as you can.
C: Compress the injured area with an elastic bandage, but be careful not to wrap too tightly.
E: Elevate the injury site above the level of your heart, put a pillow under your foot every time you are sitting or lying down.
So sit back, throw a wrap and ice on, prop your leg up, give us a call at 615-452-8899, and relax!
Bunions, also called hallux valgus, are a bony bump on the side of the big toe. They are caused by the hallux (the big toe) leaning towards the second toe instead of pointing straight ahead. This leaning throws the bones out of alignment and produces the bunion’s “bump”. It is a progressive disorder with symptoms usually appearing at later stages – although some people never experience the symptoms!
The main symptoms are pain and redness at the site of the bunion, with burning sensation and numbness possible. Wearing wider shoes can give the bunion more room and reduce pain. Although wearing shoes that crowd the toes won’t cause the bunions, it can make the deformity worse and cause symptoms to appear sooner. They are caused by an inherited faulty mechanical structure of the foot. It is the foot type that is inherited that makes a person prone to developing a bunion.
Because bunions are progressive, they won’t just go away. Sometimes oral anti-inflammatories, icing, and/or a steroid injection may help. Custom orthotics can help slow the progression of the bunion by reducing flexibility in overly-limber feet. In some cases, surgery is needed if other non-surgical options are not relieving the ache. Schedule your appointment with Dr. Mendoza to determine the best course of action for you to reduce your bunion pain!
If you’ve ever had gout before you know that it can be extremely painful – even arising overnight. Gout is a disorder caused by the build-up of uric acid, most often in the joint of the big toe. Because uric acid is sensitive to temperature changes it is more likely to crystallize in the joint of the big toe because it is the coolest part of the body, and it can become very painful. Uric acid is present in the blood and is eliminated in the urine. It is the result of the breakdown of purines – foods with high levels of purines include red meat, red wine, and beer. Watching your diet to avoid these foods can help control your gout attacks.
In addition to being inherited, there are other factors that put a person at risk for developing gout: high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, water pills, and simply being a man aged 40 to 60. It is important for Dr. Mendoza to look at your x-rays and personal and family history to determine if the inflammation is caused by something other than gout. Depending on the severity of your gout attack, he may write you a prescription or give you an injection to help relieve the pain.
Do you have pain associated with the base of your big toe but don’t think it is a bunion deformity? Sesamoiditis may be your problem!
The sesamoids are two pea-shaped bones located in the ball of the foot, beneath the big toe joint. They act as a pulley for tendons by providing leverage when the big toe pushes off while walking, running and jumping. The sesamoids also act as a weight bearing surface for the long bone, called the first metatarsal, connected to the big toe. Although many people become affected with it due to increased activity levels, it is most common in runners and dancers because they push off the ball of their foot so much.
Frequently wearing high-heeled shoes can also be a contributing factor to Sesamoiditis – which is an overuse injury with chronic inflammation of the sesamoid bones and tendons surrounding those bones. It is possible to fracture a sesamoid bone – either acutely with a direct blow or chronically with a hairline fracture from repetitive stress. After examining the foot and radiographic evaluation, Dr. Mendoza will help you decide the best course of action. Sometimes oral medications such as ibuprofen will be enough to cut the pain. Other options include steroid injections to reduce the inflammation, or even a surgical procedure to remove part or all of the affected sesamoid bone.
Call our office today at 615-452-8899 if you think you’re experiencing sesamoiditis!