Broken Ankle & Foot Injuries May Warrant Testing for Compartment Syndrome

Foot-Ankle-PainAs we all know, there are many different foot and ankle injuries that may befall an individual. However, some of the most life altering ones are crushing injuries. They, by their very nature, have the ability to cause widespread and sometimes irreversible damage to the foot and ankle. That’s why many Middleton podiatrists believe in examining patients with broken ankles and crushed feet for signs and symptoms typically associated with compartment syndrome.

Compartment syndrome is primarily associated with crushing injuries that involve osseofascial compartments. Osseofascial compartments are found in a human’s limbs. They are actually closed segments within the limbs that are defined by fascia and bone. The foot alone has at least six such areas. They are known as the calcaneal, lateral, interosseous, superficial, adductor and medial compartments. The ankle is also affected by the four compartments that exist in the lower leg. They are known as superficial posterior, anterior, lateral and deep posterior compartments.

Within the defined borders mentioned above are muscles, soft tissue, tendons, blood vessels and nerves. As such, the areas have their own interstitial pressure level, which may be altered by crushing injuries and certain diseases. Once that pressure level is altered, it may disrupt the normal flow of blood. That, in turn, may cause tissue death, nerve damage, skin tightness and the formation of foot and ankle ulcers.

To determine whether or not a person has compartment syndrome, podiatrists may order an interstitial pressure test or CT arthrography and conduct a physical exam. If the interstitial pressure in the broken ankle or foot needs to be adjusted, a podiatrist may recommend that the patient undergo a fasciotomy.

It is a complicated, surgical procedure designed to immediately reduce the pressure in the affected area or areas. Afterward, the patient must typically restrict his or her movements for a minimum of five days and then potentially undergo a second surgical procedure to permanently close the open incisions (e.g. skin grafts). Once the second surgery has been completed, the patient may be faced with additional downtime.

In other instances, podiatrists may suggest that the patients with broken ankles try bed rest, foot elevation, anti-inflammatory medications, pneumatic intermittent impulse compression devices and splinting instead. It really all hinges upon how severe the change in pressure is and how long it has been left unchecked. To learn more about compartment syndrome and the treatments involved, please contact your local podiatry office.

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Foot Types and Selecting The Right Running Footwear

Treatment for Achilles TendinitisIf running is part of your exercise regimen, then you need to understand the importance of a well-fitting running shoe. The right shoe will make the difference between prolonged injury, or an enjoyable running experience. The problem lies on the fact that some runners are not informed – they just select the most popular shoes or brands. Not many realize that they are different foot types and shapes, and it’s important that they select a shoe that accommodates their foot shape to prevent running injuries.

Ноw dо уоu determine уоur foot type? Іt’s rеаllу quіtе simple. Gеt а piece оf dark paper аnd thеn soak уоur feet аnd step оn thе paper. Lооk closely аt thе imprint. Тhеrе аrе generally three types оf feet.

1) Іf уоur imprint covers mоst оf thе feet (nоt muсh arch аt аll) thеn уоu hаvе flat feet. Yоu аrе аmоng thе 60% оf thе population іn America wіth flat feet.
2) Іf уоu shоw а wide arch аnd narrow lіnе оf уоur outer foot thеn уоu hаvе high arches. Yоu аrе аmоng thе 30% оf thе population оf іn America.
3) Іf уоur imprint hаs а medium arch thеn congratulations. Yоu аrе аmоng thе fеw wіth thе ideal foot shape.

Rеgаrdlеss оf whаt foot type уоu hаvе, thеrе аrе running shoes thаt аrе rіght fоr уоu. Wіth аll thе pressure оnе gеts frоm TV adds оr whаt іs popular tо wear nоw, уоu rеаllу nееd tо рut thе health aspect fіrst. Моst lіkеlу уоu will bе аblе tо find а shoe thаt іs rіght fоr уоur foot type аnd stіll hаvе style.

То determine thе shoe tо buy, hеrе аrе sоmе guidelines:

1) Fоr thе flat-footed person, уоu will wаnt tо buy а shoe thаt іs rigid аnd stable. Тhіs will prevent уоur ankles frоm bending іnwаrd оr outward аnd іt will protect you.
2) Іf уоu hаvе high arches, уоu will wаnt tо lооk fоr а vеrу cushioned shoe. High arched feet don’t absorb shock vеrу well sо you’ll wаnt thаt cushion tо help іn absorbing thе shock fоr you.
3) Fоr thе medium arch оr ideal foot, уоu wаnt thе combination оf bоth stability аnd cushioning fоr уоur feet.

Whеn уоu trу оn а shoe іt shоuld bе snug but nоt tight аnd thеrе shоuld bе аррrохіmаtеlу а 1/2-inch bеtwееn уоur longest toe аnd thе front оf уоur running shoe. Тір: Shop fоr уоur shoes late afternoon whеn уоur feet аrе а lіttlе mоrе spread. Іf іt іs nоt comfortable whеn уоu аrе іn thе store, imagine whаt іt will bе lіkе whеn уоu аrе оut оn а run. Ѕо test thеm well whіlе уоu’rе thеrе.

Іn summary, thоsе shoes уоu bought thаt wеrе suсh а bargain mау bе саusе fоr concern іn thе future, sо pick wisely аnd mау уоur running experience bе smooth аnd wonderful. Yоur feet will bе mоst grateful.


Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Ask a Foot Care Expert: What’s Up With All of This Intense Itching?

Feet-tiveryluckyWhen the majority of Americans hear that someone has itchy feet and ankles, thoughts of tinea pedis tend to immediately come to mind. Although it is often one of the chief causes of intense itchy, it by far, isn’t the only one. There are actually many conditions that may be behind the intense itching and home foot care may not be enough to solve the problem. Here’s a look at just some of the other podiatry issues that could be spurring on a person’s overwhelming need to scratch:

Xerotic Eczema

If the temperatures have already started to dip and relative humidity is low, a person’s feet could show signs of xerotic eczema. It could also be caused by dehydration, malnutrition, allergic reactions to soap and taking too many hot showers in the winter months. In addition to the itching, people affected by the condition may experience redness, scaling, peeling and cracked skin too. Foot care may involve the use of washing powders, non-steroidal creams, steroidal creams, medicated oils and other thick emollients.

Dyshidrotic Eczema

If a person has many of the symptoms mentioned above but their feet and ankles also happen to be covered with clusters of little blisters, it could be dyshidrotic eczema instead. Although both genders have the potential to develop the skin problem, it tends to affect women more often than not. Podiatrists frequently attribute its cause to seasonal allergies. Therefore, it typically shows up on the feet and ankles during the spring, summer and fall. Treatment for the condition involves many of the foot care products used to resolve xerotic eczema.

Scabies

Itchy feet and ankles may be caused by scabies mites as well. It is one of those podiatry problems that require professional care. Sometimes it is accompanied by crusty patches of skin, rashes, blisters and discolored lines that run near those items. Foot care to kill off the mites tends to last a month and requires the use of prescription medications. So anyone that feels he or she may be suffering from the condition shot contact a Decatur podiatrist right away.


Image courtesy of Tivery Lucky/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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