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Posts for: July, 2018

July 18, 2018
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Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a disease in which certain cells of the immune system malfunction and attack healthy joints. RA causes inflammation in the synovium (lining) of joints, most often in the joints of the hands and feet. The signs of inflammation can include pain, swelling, redness, and a feeling of warmth around affected joints. In some patients, chronic inflammation results in damage to the cartilage and bones in the joint. Serious damage can lead to permanent joint destruction, deformity, and disability.

When joints become inflamed due to RA, the synovium thickens and produces an excess of joint fluid. This overabundance of fluid, along with inflammatory chemicals released by the immune system, cause swelling and damage to the joint’s cartilage and bones. Foot problems caused by RA most commonly occur in the forefoot, although it can also affect other areas of the foot and ankle. Deformities and conditions associated with RA may include: rheumatoid nodules, dislocated toes, hammertoes, bunions, heel pain, Achilles tendonitis, flatfoot, and ankle pain.

RA is usually diagnosed prior to visiting a foot and ankle surgeon; however, a podiatrist may be the first to diagnose RA. It is diagnosed on the basis of a clinical examination as well as blood tests. While the treatment of RA focuses on the medication prescribed by a patient’s rheumatologist, there are various options for treatment plans aimed at relieving the pain of RA-related foot problems. The plan may include one or more of the following options: orthotic devices to give proper support, accommodative shoeing to relieve pressure points, steroid injections to reduce inflammation, and surgery as a last resort to correct any deformities associated with RA.

Click here or call Nashville Podiatry at 615-452-8899 to schedule your appointment today!

July 11, 2018
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Do you have pain in your heel? Is it worse when you first get up in the morning? Or after you have been sitting down for a while and stand back up? Does it seem to subside but then return after spending a long time on your feet?  You may have plantar fasciitis!

Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar fascia – the ligament that stretches from your heel to your toes.  The ligament can become inflamed at your heel if you have problems with your arches (either overly flat or high-arched), work long hours on hard surfaces, or wear non-supportive footwear. 

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If you are unable to come in to see Dr. Mendoza for a few days, try to avoid going barefoot – no shoes puts more strain on the plantar fascia.  Resting, icing the heel, and stretching the calf and Achilles tendon can also help ease the pain.  Wearing supportive shoes is important; Dr. Mendoza recommends running shoes for everyone (even if you’re only walking in them!).  Other treatment options include:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications

  • Strapping the foot

  • Custom orthotics to support the arch

  • Steroid injections to break the pain cycle

  • Night splints to keep the keep the plantar fascia extended while sleeping

  • Surgical release of the ligament

Call our office at 615-452-8899 to schedule an appointment to treat your heel pain!