DMFA Blog

Posts for tag: DM Foot and Ankle Associates

By Dr. Diana Emini
September 23, 2015
Category: Uncategorized

    Hallux what? Nearly everyone has heard of bunions, but not too many people have heard of "hallux limitus." This is a similar, yet different, problem that can happen to the big toe joint of the foot.

    With each and every step we take, we need to push off with our big toe joint to get the proper propulsion motion required to walk or run. The optimal range of motion needed for this is about sixty-five degrees. Sometimes, due to the structure of the foot, the big toe joint cannot achieve this full range of motion. Instead, it may only get thirty degrees or less of motion. This is what we call "hallux limitus."

    Basically, hallux limitus is the name we use to describe the loss of movement in the big toe. It starts off as a mild limitation of motion and can continue on to become a completely bone-on-bone arthritic joint. Eventually, as the two ends of the bone continue to collide and jam against each other, there is progressive inflammation, loss of cartilage, formation of bone spurs, and loss of joint space. Symptoms include pain in the joint with upward motion, swelling in the joint, stiffness of the joint, and changes in the appearance of the big toe joint. Common causes include abnormal alignment of the first metatarsal, a long first metatarsal, or trauma.

    Early treatment options include functional orthotics, anti-inflammatory medications, or cortisone injections. If these do not alleviate the symptoms, then surgery is the next possibility. The earlier the condition is treated, the better the outcome of your big toe joint.

     That's why out-of-sight, out-of-mind shouldn’t apply when it comes to your feet. You may not be wearing flip-flops or sandals for much longer, but you don’t want to forget about your foot health. Now is the perfect time to come into DM Foot & Ankle Associates to get your feet evaluated!


By Michelle Kim
November 12, 2014
Category: diabetes

 

 

"To The Veterans of the United States of America: Thank you, for the cost you paid for our freedom, thank you for the freedom to live in safety and pursue happiness, for freedom of speech, and for all the freedoms that we daily take for granted.”

                                                Sara Niles, Torn From the Inside Out

 

Veteran’s Day annually falls on November 11th and marks an important day of honoring our veterans for their loyalty, hard work, and willingness to serve their country. We take time to celebrate the sacrifice and achievements of millions of Americans who have served and protected our nation both in times of peace, and war.

While this day is most dear to us, November brings to light another topic that affects millions of Americans and Veterans alike, Diabetes. American Diabetes Month is a time of raising awareness of the issues surrounding diabetes, as well as highlighting the people that this disease impacts. While Veterans Day and diabetes awareness are both very different topics, during this month it is important to realize how they relate and why feet are such an important factor.

 

How do they relate?

 

According to the American Diabetes Association, right now, 5.5 Million Veterans receive VA (Veteran’s Health Administration) health care services. Out of those 5.5 million veterans, every 1 out of 4 has diabetes.

 

What does this have to do with feet?

 

There are many foot problems that can accompany diabetes, some can be quick and severe, while others can be slow and make you susceptible to things like peripheral arterial disease or amputations.

Here are some common problems associated with diabetes:

 

Neuropathy: Nerve damage resulting in loss of feeling in the legs as well as pain.

Skin Changes: Dry feet resulting from losing control of nerves that affect oil and moisture.

Foot Ulcers: Ulcers occur most often on the ball of the foot or on the bottom of the big toe. Ulcers on the sides of the foot are usually due to poorly fitting shoes.

Poor Circulation: Blood vessels of the foot and leg to narrow and harden

 

How can DMFA help?

Here at the DM Foot & Ankle, Dr. Emini and I offer comprehensive and healthy foot treatments for the different complications that may occur with diabetes. We schedule annual foot examinations, in which we observe and treat overall health of patient’s skin, circulation, nerves, and foot structure. For neuropathic feet, we cut toenails safely and take care of calluses, which can ulcerate if left untreated. In terms of foot protection, we have 3 different lines of diabetic shoes (approved by Medicare) that help protect the feet with extra thickness in the soles. We offer all of these services and many more! Make sure to call our office with any questions or to schedule a foot exam if you are having problems like the ones mentioned above.

Be sure to help raise awareness of diabetes this month, and to thank each and every one of the veterans in your life!

BY: Michelle Kim

From summer days at Lemont’s Centennial Pool to glimpsing animals after-hours at Brookfield Zoo’s Summer Nights, there’s plenty going on during the warm weather.

 

As podiatrists at DM Foot and Ankle Associates, we know this is one of the more popular times of year to get mani-pedis to look good in sandals. 

 

While a mani-pedi is relaxing, we also know it can have a downside – Dr. Diana Emini and I have seen too many patients in our Lemont office with wartstoenail fungus or other infections that were contracted from unsanitary nail salons.

 

Some of these issues take months to resolve – a fungal toenail takes a year to grow out after treatment.

 

If you’re planning to visit a nail salon this summer, keep the following tips in mind to protect yourself:

 

·  While most nail salons follow guidelines for cleanliness and disinfection, pay attention to whether there are dirty tools or instruments around the room. Also, don’t be afraid to ask how they clean their tools. Floors and tables should be free of nail clippings and debris. Also, make sure nail clippers, cuticle pushers and other instruments are cleaned between clients with a heating system (or autoclave,) or soaked in Barbicide (blue disinfectant in glass jars), and stored in a closed container. 

·   Shave your legs post-pedicure. Avoid running a razor below your knees for at least 24 hours before a pedicure. Nicking yourself could put you at risk for an infection during a pedi. Also, postpone a pedicure if you have an open sore or wound, as nail dust could get in and lead to an infection.

·   For those who get regular mani-pedis, buy your own nail tools to use at the salon. 

·  Make sure that pedicure footbaths and filters and cleaned and disinfected between uses. Improper cleaning can leave bacteria and fungus behind. Many higher-end salons have switched to pipeless technology in their pedicure baths that don’t re-circulate the water.

·  Don’t wear artificial nails to cover up problems – this could make nail issues worse. Artificial nails aren’t recommended for those prone to fungal infections or those with brittle nails. For those with otherwise healthy nails, artificial nails are usually OK as long as they’re not continuously worn.

If you think you have a wart, fungus or infection from a nail salon, call our office so we can help. We offer laser treatment for fungal nails, and can offer advice on preventing the problem from happening again.

 

Enjoy getting your toes in the sun or sand this summer, and stay safe while getting your feet groomed!

 

By Michelle Kim

This Fourth of July weekend is bound to be full of fun times for people across Lemont with activities such as barbecues, out-of-town travel and trips to beaches or pools.

And while summer weekends are when people tend to go barefoot while they’re having fun outdoors, keep in mind that doing so has potential to lead to fungal infections such as athlete’s foot.

As podiatrists at DM Foot & Ankle Associates, Dr. Michelle Kim and I have treated countless patients for fungal infections in the feet or toenails. Unfortunately, conditions such as athletes foot are often spread in places where people go barefoot, such as public showers or swimming pools.

The condition ranges from mild scaling and itching to painful inflammation and blisters. It often starts between the toes or on the arch of the foot and may spread to the bottom and sides of the foot.


Depending on the type of infection you have, there are different kinds of medication that may be used in treating athlete’s foot.

One of the main goals of treatment is making the infected area a place where it’s hard for athlete's foot fungus to grow. In short, that means keeping the feet clean and dry.

Certain shoe materials, such as vinyl, allow feet to stay moist – the perfect breeding ground for fungus. In addition, you should wear dri-fit socks that wick moisture from the feet.

Meanwhile, if your condition is mild, over-the-counter and prescription powders, lotions, or ointments can often help treat scaling, itching and inflammation. However, please consult our office before taking any medications.

Also, foot soaks may help dry excessive perspiration, but you should contact our office first. If your athlete's foot doesn’t improve, we may prescribe stronger medication.

Don’t forget that the fungal infection can spread to the toenails, and if that happens, they must also be treated. This can come in the form of creams or pills, and in our office, we also offer laser treatment for fungal nails – which comes with a high success rate.

Even after treatment, those with fungal infections are also prone to re-infection. You can avoid this by keeping your feet clean and dry, avoiding moist environments, wearing socks in airport security lines, removing shoes and avoiding going barefoot in public places such as pools and gyms.

We hope you have a safe, fun holiday weekend, but should you need our services for a fungal infection or any other issue, call our office right away.

By Diana Emini

 


When the U.S. men's soccer team played Germany in the World Cup last week, thousands of fans crowded into Chicago's Grant Park to watch on giant screens.

Team USA lost the match, but World Cup fever has hit hard, and many soccer fans are following the action.

As podiatrists at DM Foot & Ankle Associates, Dr. Michelle Kim and I love to see people excited about sports, but we know soccer can lead to painful injuries. One problem the sport can create is Achilles tendonitis.

The Achilles tendon is the band of tissue that connects the calf muscles at the back of the lower leg to the heel bone. Those who suffer from it experience irritation and inflammation in the large tendon in the back of the ankle. The injury tends to be common in athletes -- especially those who play soccer -- as a result of getting stepped on or kicked, rolling the ankle the wrong way or too much force when starting or ending a sprint.

Most often, the inflammation that comes with the injury can lead to pain and swelling.

There are several factors that may increase a person's risk of Achilles tendonitis:

  • Age and sex: Achilles tendinitis is common among middle-aged men.

  • A naturally flat foot arch can put more strain on the Achilles tendon. Obesity and tight calf muscles also can increase the strain.

  • Running or exercising in old, worn-out shoes can increase the risk. Running on hilly terrain also can put someone at higher risk of Achilles injury.

  • Those with diabetes or high blood pressure may be at at higher risk

  • Certain types of antibiotics have been linked with a higher risk of Achilles tendinitis.

The good news is that Achilles tendonitis often responds well to measures such as rest and ice. When it's persistent, treatment can include:

  • Medications: These can include over-the-counter drugs for pain, or stronger medications to reduce inflammation

  • Physical therapy such as stretching and strengthening exercises

  • Shoe inserts that elevate the heel to ease strain on the tendon

  • Surgery: If conservative treatments aren't effective or if the tendon tears, this might be done to repair the Achilles tendon

If you're suffering from Achilles pain from soccer or other sports, call our office so we can evaluate you and get you on the path back to health. We hope you enjoy watching the World Cup this summer, and go Team USA!

By Diana Emini