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February 2022

Tuesday, 22 February 2022 00:00

Ankle Sprains and Chronic Ankle Instability

If you have ever had an ankle sprain, it is likely an experience that you wouldn’t want to repeat. Yet spraining your ankle once can make future ankle sprains more likely. In some individuals, the sprained ankle doesn’t heal fully. This not only increases the risk for future sprains, but can also cause chronic ankle instability. Chronic ankle instability is characterized by ankle pain, swelling, tenderness, stiffness, and repeated sensations of the ankle “giving out.” The ankle instability can be caused by excessively lax ligaments, or deficits in the nerves and muscles surrounding the ankles. If you are prone to ankle sprains, don’t live with chronic pain. Please seek the care of a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Ankle sprains are common but need immediate attention. If you need your feet checked, contact Chukwuma Ukata, DPM from Advanced Carolina Foot and Ankle Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains take place when the ligaments in your ankle are torn or stretched beyond their limits. There are multiple ways that the ankle can become injured, including twisting or rolling over onto your ankle, putting undue stress on it, or causing trauma to the ankle itself.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Mild to moderate bruising
  • Limited mobility
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration of the skin (depending on severity)

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

Treatment of a sprain depends on the severity.  Many times, people are told to rest and remain off their feet completely, while others are given an air cast. If the sprain is very severe, surgery may be required.

If you have suffered an ankle sprain previously, you may want to consider additional support such as a brace and regular exercises to strengthen the ankle.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Garner and Kenansville, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 21 February 2022 00:00

Gout Pain Can Be Managed

Gout is a painful, inflammatory form of arthritis. Those affected will typically feel an intense stiffness in the joints of their feet, particularly in the big toe. Schedule a visit to learn about how gout can be managed and treated.

The presence of diabetic peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage) and peripheral artery disease (poor circulation) in many diabetic patients creates a perfect storm of factors that can make wounds difficult to detect and take longer to heal. Chronic wounds that don’t heal (ulcers) are potentially very dangerous to both the overall health of the patient as well as their affected limb. There are eight steps every diabetic should take to help prevent such ulcers: 1) check your feet daily for cuts, growths or red spots, 2) wash and thoroughly dry your feet every day, 3) moisturize your feet, except between the toes, 4) trim your toenails straight across, but not too short, 5) avoid walking barefoot, and wear shoes that fit well, 6) protect your feet from extreme heat or cold, 7) elevate your feet as much as possible when sitting, and exercise your toes and ankles to aid circulation, and 8) have a podiatrist examine your feet at least once a year.

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with Chukwuma Ukata, DPM from Advanced Carolina Foot and Ankle Center. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Garner and Kenansville, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Tuesday, 08 February 2022 00:00

LEAP May Help Save Your Limbs

When the feet suffer loss of protective sensation due to nerve damage from diseases such as diabetes, peripheral neuropathy or Hansen’s disease, injuries can go undetected. These can worsen and develop into wounds that do not heal. Chronic wounds that do not heal (ulcers) can become infected and pose serious health risks, including amputation in severe cases. Individuals with a loss of protective sensation can reduce these risks by practicing the five steps in lower extremity amputation preventions (LEAP). Step 1: At-risk patients should have their feet screened four times a year. Step 2: Patients should be educated on self-management techniques to become an active participant in preventing foot problems. Step 3: At-risk patients should examine their feet daily to detect any foot injuries or toenail problems. Step 4: Shoes should be fitted properly to the foot with ample room to prevent most foot problems from occurring. Step 5: Reporting any injuries or wounds to a podiatrist immediately is strongly suggested.  

Limb salvage can be an effective way in preventing the need for limb amputation. If you have diabetes, cancer, or any other condition that could lead to foot amputation if left unchecked, consult with Chukwuma Ukata, DPM from Advanced Carolina Foot and Ankle Center. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Limb Salvage?

Limb salvage is the attempt of saving a limb, such as the foot from amputation. Podiatrists also try to make sure that there is enough function in the foot after the salvage that it is still usable. Diabetes is the number one cause of non-traumatic amputations in the United States. Those with diabetes experience poor blood circulation, which prevents proper healing of an ulcer. If the ulcer is left uncheck, it could become infected, which could result in the need for amputation.

However, there are other causes as well, such as cancer and traumatic injury. Links between higher mortality rates and amputation have been found. This translates into higher healthcare costs, and a reduced quality of life and mobility for amputees. Podiatrists have attempted to increase the prevalence of limb salvage in an attempt to solve these issues.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Limb salvage teams have grown in recent years that utilize a number of different treatments to save the infected limb. This includes podiatrists that specialize in wound care, rehabilitation, orthotics, and surgery. Through a combination of these methods, limb salvage has been found to be an effective treatment for infected limbs, and as an alternative to amputation. Podiatrists will first evaluate the potential for limb salvage and determine if the limb can be saved or must be amputated. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Garner, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Tuesday, 01 February 2022 00:00

The Two Types of Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a medical condition characterized by poor blood flow to the lower limbs. Though often asymptomatic in its early stages, PAD can eventually result in leg cramps and pain while walking, muscle weakness, coldness or numbness in the feet, and the formation of ulcers on the feet and lower legs. There are two types of PAD, occlusive and functional. Occlusive PAD occurs when something physically blocks or narrows the arteries. The most common cause of occlusive PAD is a buildup of a fatty substance, called plaque, along the artery walls. Functional PAD occurs when the blood vessels are not working properly. This is often caused by abnormal contractions, or muscle spasms, in the walls of the arteries. To learn more about PAD, please consult with a podiatrist. 

Peripheral artery disease can pose a serious risk to your health. It can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, consult with Chukwuma Ukata, DPM from Advanced Carolina Foot and Ankle Center. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is when arteries are constricted due to plaque (fatty deposits) build-up. This results in less blood flow to the legs and other extremities. The main cause of PAD is atherosclerosis, in which plaque builds up in the arteries.

Symptoms

Symptoms of PAD include:

  • Claudication (leg pain from walking)
  • Numbness in legs
  • Decrease in growth of leg hair and toenails
  • Paleness of the skin
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Sores and wounds on legs and feet that won’t heal
  • Coldness in one leg

It is important to note that a majority of individuals never show any symptoms of PAD.

Diagnosis

While PAD occurs in the legs and arteries, Podiatrists can diagnose PAD. Podiatrists utilize a test called an ankle-brachial index (ABI). An ABI test compares blood pressure in your arm to you ankle to see if any abnormality occurs. Ultrasound and imaging devices may also be used.

Treatment

Fortunately, lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, managing cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and quitting smoking, can all treat PAD. Medications that prevent clots from occurring can be prescribed. Finally, in some cases, surgery may be recommended.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Garner and Kenansville, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Peripheral Artery Disease
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