What is a Podiatrist?

Podiatrist“But that’s what podiatrists do. They deal in fungus. They’re knee-deep in fungus. This guy knows fungus.” This quote may sound familiar if you are a fan of Seinfeld…

And yes, it is true. A podiatrist is your go-to doctor for fungal toenails and athlete’s foot. But today’s podiatrist can offer so much more.

A podiatrist specializes in all aspects of the lower extremity below the knee. This classically includes toenails, heel pain, bunions, hammertoes, flat feet, arthritis, and fractures. Additionally, podiatrists deal with aspects of dermatology, neurology, plastic surgery, and complex reconstructive surgery of the lower extremity. This may include diagnosing and treating a melanoma, treating peripheral neuropathy, performing a skin or muscle flap to cover a wound, or even addressing a residual clubfoot deformity. Podiatrists play a crucial role in the management of diabetes and peripheral vascular disease as well. In fact, it is recommended that these patients see a podiatrist every 3 months for routine care.

Podiatrists employ many cutting edge techniques including stem cell injections, laser therapy, shockwave, minimally invasive surgery and 3D scanning of orthotics.

Whether a painful ingrown toenail or a complex deformity correction, a podiatrist can handle any problem that involves your foot or ankle. Let us help you at Bay Area Orthopaedic Specialists. Call to schedule your same day appointment with Dr. Troxell.

Strategies For Beating Heel Pain: Guide To Overcoming Plantar Fasciitis

Heel pain is one of the most common chief complaints seen in a foot and ankle specialists’ office daily. Its most widespread cause is plantar fasciitis.

Plantar FasciitisPlantar fasciitis is inflammation of the wide band of tissue called the plantar fascia located deep in the sole of your foot. This band runs from your heel bone towards the ball of the foot. It is a ligament that attaches your heel bone to the bones of the metatarsals.  It serves as a supporting structure for the arch of your foot.

The plantar fascia has a huge job supporting the arch of the foot and can commonly become fatigued or injured. This creates inflammation and pain especially with the first step out of bed in the morning or standing after extended periods of rest.

Over time if left untreated it can lead to damage to the architecture of the ligament itself with tearing and chronic inflammation. The tightness of the ligament can also lead to the development of heel spurs. It is important to see a specialist when these symptoms first arise as effective treatment becomes more difficult the longer it has gone neglected.

Treatment for plantar fasciitis is most successful when done in a multimodal approach. This includes a regimen of rest, icing, oral anti-inflammatories, injection therapy, stretching, proper shoe wear, and orthotics.

If you are suffering from heel pain, call to schedule your appointment with Dr. Troxell and get back to being pain free. 727-209-6677.

Shin Splints – What You Need To Know

Shin splints (medial tibial stress syndrome) are often considered a runner’s ailment but any vigorous activity can bring them on. Repeated pounding and stress on the muscles, tendons and bone tissue of the lower leg can cause repetitive microtrauma resulting in pain and inflammation. The most common symptom of shin splints is lower leg pain. The pain can range from mild to severe. It typically occurs both during and after exercise and may be aggravated when the sore spot is touched. You may also experience tenderness or soreness along the inner part of the lower leg.

People who have a higher risk of developing shin splints include:

  • Runners, especially those who run on hard or uneven surfaces or suddenly increase their running program
  • Athletes who participate in stop-start sports like tennis, racquetball, soccer or basketball
  • Dancers
  • Members of the military and people who march or walk a lot
  • People with osteoporosis
  • People who wear inappropriate or worn-out footwear

Most shin splints can be diagnosed through a physical exam. Your doctor will ask about the types of activities you enjoy and how often you participate in them. He or she will examine your lower leg checking for pain and tenderness along the shin bone. Your doctor may order imaging tests such as a bone scan, X-ray, or MRI to rule out stress fractures or other shin problems. Most shin splints respond to non-surgical treatments that can include:

  • Taking a break from vigorous physical activities to give your legs time to heal
  • Elevate your legs
  • Use ice packs
  • Take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory, such as Advil or Aleve
  • Stretch your lower leg muscles
  • Wear elastic compression bandages
  • Use a foam roller to massage your shins
  • Wear arch supportive shoes
  • Biomechanics assessment
  • Physical therapy

Shin splints usually resolve within one or two weeks of rest and or limited activity.

Check with your doctor before resuming physical activities. Ease back into your sport or exercise routine. Begin slowly and gradually increase the duration, intensity and frequency. If the pain returns stop the activity immediately, ice the area and rest for a day or two before trying again.

Reviewed by Ronald D. Troxell, D.P.M.

Dr. Troxell offers both conservative and surgical management to the lower extremity. Ronald treats all aspects of the foot and ankle, from ingrown toenails and skin lesions to complex fractures and nerve pain. He specializes in arthroscopy, trauma, bunions, Charcot, total ankle arthroplasty, complex reconstructive surgery of the foot and ankle, and sports medicine.