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One of the most important aspects of running is wearing a supportive running shoe. Neglecting to do so may lead you to a variety of foot problems that can cause injury and impede performance. But with as many choices as we have when choosing shoes, how do you pick the shoe that is right for you? The fact of the matter is, not everyone will need the same type of shoe. When picking out shoes, you will need to consider which shoe type is the best for you and your foot structure.
The shoes we recommend for our patients are typically broken down into two categories:
- Stability shoes – shoes that have equal amounts of stability and cushioning to help absorb shock. These shoes are great for people who have mild to moderate flat feet or high arches feet.
- Maximum stability shoes – shoes that give maximum support and motion control. These are great for people who have severe flat feet or arthritis in their feet.
Comfort is always key when picking out your sports shoes. What may work for one person may or may not work for you as well. It is always important to buy the shoes that are most comfortable to you when trying them on. Shoe shopping can be overwhelming. Qualities to look for while shoe shopping are:
- Get BOTH of your feet measured for length and width while you are standing.
- Always buy for your bigger foot. Many times, with athletic shoes, you may go up in a size to have 1 thumb’s width room from your longest toe to the end of your shoe.
- Shoes should be sturdy and should not bend in half or twist in half.
- Shop for your shoes at the end of the day, when your feet have swollen and will measure your true size better.
- Wear the same type and thickness of socks you plan to wear with those shoes when trying them on.
- Walk around several laps with the shoes on. Avoid the carpet and try tiled surfaces. If your feet do not feel comfortable now, they won’t feel better at home. There should be no “break-in” period.
- If you have arch supports/orthotics, bring these with you and try them in the shoes before buying.
- Remember, each style may be better for a certain foot shape. Each brand offers a variety of choices and there may only be one style that your feet will feel good in.
- A well-built shoe will many times cost $100-$200.
- A well-built shoe usually has a removable insole liner that you can replace with orthotics.
- It is recommended to change shoes every 300-400 miles of wear, even if the shoe appears to be in good condition. This is because the inner body of the shoe and cushioning for shock absorption break down over time and no longer offer you proper support.
At DMFA we strive to provide our patients with top notch care. This includes ensuring our patients are educated on treating their foot and ankle issues not only when they are scheduled to see us, but are aware of preventative measures they should be taking as well when we aren’t around. Knowing the best type of shoe for your foot type and how to properly pick out the best shoes for all your needs is key! Keep this information handy next time you decide it’s time to spoil your feet with a new pair of shoes.
For patients who suffer from ongoing arthritis or connective tissue conditions, like plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis, stem cell therapy can offer optimal results. The use of amniotic tissue has been documented in published literature since the early 1900’s. Amniotic membrane has been the subject of many scientific publications evaluating its use in:
- Modulation of inflammation
- Reduction of scar tissue formation
- Enhancing healing
What is amniotic fluid?
Amniotic fluid contains a multitude of proteins and growth factors. The mixture creates an extra-cellular matrix to recruit the body’s stem cells to reconstruct and regenerate the injured tissue that is causing pain.
Is amniotic stem cell therapy right for you?
By using amniotic fluids, arthritis and soft tissue injury patients have another option to repair tissue damage without needing pain masking injections and/or surgery.
You and your podiatrist may consider the use of stem cell therapy if:
- You have been diagnosed with an injury resulting in inflammation
- Conservative treatment such as anti-inflammatories, physical therapy, and bracing have not provided symptomatic relief of inflammation
- You want a non-steroidal option or have reached your limit of steroid injections
Why choose stem cell therapy?
Stem cell therapy offers a quick recovery and may be covered by your insurance. Patients can return to everyday, non-high impact activities, within 24-48 hours. The stem cell injection is safe and drug free while containing several growth factors and other endogenously synthesized molecules. All you need is one 15-minute office visit and just a single injection.
Here at DM Foot & Ankle, our doctors are always keeping up with the best treatment options available for our patients. We are happy to explain all treatments and address all questions our patients may have. If you are interested in stem cell therapy, don’t hesitate to call us today.
If you are struck with a stabbing pain in your heel with your first steps in the morning, you may be suffering from plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the band of tissue (the plantar fascia) that extends from the heel to the toes. In this condition, the fascia first becomes irritated and then inflamed, resulting in heel pain.
The most common cause of plantar fasciitis relates to faulty structure of the foot. For example, people who have problems with their arches, either overly flat feet or high-arched feet, are more prone to developing plantar fasciitis.
Wearing footwear that lacks support on hard, flat surfaces puts abnormal strain on the plantar fascia and can also lead to plantar fasciitis. This is particularly evident when one’s job requires long hours on the feet. Obesity and overuse may also contribute to plantar fasciitis.
The symptoms of plantar fasciitis are:
- Pain on the bottom of the heel
- Pain in the arch of the foot
- Pain that is usually worse upon arising
- Pain that increases over a period of months
- Swelling on the bottom of the heel
People with plantar fasciitis often describe the pain as worse when they get up in the morning or after they have been sitting for long periods of time. After a few minutes of walking, the pain decreases because walking stretches the fascia. For some people, the pain subsides but returns after spending long periods of time on their feet.
Our podiatrists will determine a patient’s diagnosis based on patient history, risk factors and physical exam findings. In addition, diagnostic imaging studies, such as x-rays, may be used to distinguish if a patient is suffering from plantar fasciitis.
Treatment of plantar fasciitis begins with first-line strategies, such as:
- Stretching. Exercises that stretch out the calf muscles and plantar fascita help ease pain and assist with recovery. We offer Trigger Point foam rollers, handheld rollers and massage balls to help you with all your stretching needs.
- Avoid going barefoot. When you walk without shoes, you put undue strain and stress on your plantar fascia. We offer a supportive flip flop that can be worn as your house shoe.
- Ice. Place a thin towel between the ice and your heel; do not apply ice directly to the skin.
- Limit activities. Cut down on extended physical activities to give your heel a rest.
- Orthotic devices. Custom devices that fit into your shoe and help correct the underlying structural abnormalities causing the plantar fasciitis. Many times, these devices are covered by your insurance.
- Stem cell injections. This type of injection if safely derived from human amniotic membrane while enhancing your body’s own healing process.
- Cortisone injections. Corticosteroid injections are used to help reduce the inflammation and relieve pain.
- Night splint. Wearing a night splint allows you to maintain an extended stretch of the plantar fascia while resting.
- EPAT (Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology). EPAT is an innovative, non-invasive way to treat pain. It is based on a unique set of pressure waves that stimulate the metabolism, enhance blood circulation, and accelerate the healing process.
When Is Surgery Needed?
Although most patients with plantar fasciitis respond to nonsurgical treatment, a small percentage of patients may require surgery. If, after several months of nonsurgical treatment, you continue to have heel pain, surgery will be considered. Our foot and ankle surgeons will discuss the surgical options with you and determine which approach would be most beneficial for you.
No matter what kind of treatment you undergo for plantar fasciitis, the underlying causes that led to this condition may remain. Therefore, you will need to continue with preventative measures. Wearing supportive shoes, stretching, and using custom orthotic devices are the mainstay of long-term treatment for plantar fasciitis.
Ankle sprains may be one of the most common injuries, but they are also frequently misdiagnosed. The two major types of ankle sprains - high ankle sprains and lateral ankle sprains - often look the same even though they affect entirely different ligaments.
Pain, swelling, limited motion and bruising in the entire ankle region can occur in both high ankle sprains and lateral ankle sprains. The difference lies in where the injury occurs, and which ligaments are involved.
When our foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Diana Emini and Dr. Michelle Kim, diagnose an ankle sprain, it is important for them to understand how the injury occurred. Lateral sprains are caused by the foot turning inward, whereas high ankle sprains are the result of the foot being forced outward.
High ankle sprains can be more complicated because this region has five ligaments connecting two bones in the leg, compared with three ligaments that can be affected in lateral ankle sprains. The more ligaments involved and the worse they are torn, the more severe the injury.
Also, the prognosis for a high ankle sprain is usually worse when compared to a low ankle sprain, and it often takes longer to heal. Therefore, it is critical to see one of our podiatrists promptly to get an expected prognosis since all sprains differ in terms of recovery.
Remember! Any time you see bruising or are unable to bear wight on your foot after an injury, contact our office as soon as possible to make an appointment to be evaluation by one of our physicians.
Did you know that our doctors are Board Certified in Foot and Ankle Surgery by The American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery? Many foot problems do not respond to “conservative” treatment. When this occurs, Dr. Diana Emini or Dr. Michelle Kim can determine when surgical intervention may be the best option. Often when pain or deformity persists, surgery may be appropriate to alleviate discomfort or to restore the function of your foot.
Types of Foot Surgery
Bunion Surgery: There are many different types of bunion surgery depending on the severity of the bunion and the joint involvement. Our podiatrists have excellent results with minimal pain post-operatively.
Hammer Toe Surgery: Hammer toe surgery may involve removing a portion of one of the bones in the toe to realign the toe or could involve fusing the joints in the toe. In some cases, it may involve placing a temporary wire to hold the toes straight or a permanent implant in the toe to maintain realignment.
Fusions: Fusions are usually performed to treat arthritic or painful conditions of the foot and ankle. A fusion involves removing all cartilage from a joint and then joining two or more bones together so that they do not move. Fusions can be done with screws, plates, or pins, or a combination of these.
Heel Spur Surgery: Based on the condition and the nature of the disease, heel surgery can provide relief of pain and restore mobility in many cases. Our podiatrists will determine which heel surgery method is best for you based on their examination.
Metatarsal Surgery: Surgery on the long bones of the feet is performed for a variety of reasons but is commonly performed to redistribute the weight bearing on the ball of the foot. In some severe cases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, surgery may involve removing the metatarsal heads (the bones in the ball of the foot area).
Tendon Surgery: Surgery on the tendons can be performed for acute injuries such as ruptures and can also be performed for chronic conditions to lengthen or shorten the tendon, depending on the problem. In some cases, tendons may be re-routed to improve foot and ankle function.
Nail Surgery: Toenails can become deformed, damaged or infected. It may be determined that the best treatment option may involve surgery. These types of surgeries are typically performed in the office under local anesthetic. Patients can walk out of our office after the procedure and return to normal activities a few days following.
Neuroma Surgery: Neuroma surgery involves removing a benign enlargement of a nerve, which may be causing tingling/burning/numbness to certain toes, usually between the metatarsal heads in the ball of the foot. This soft tissue surgery tends to have a shorter recovery time than bone procedures, but it leaves some residual numbness related to the removal of the piece of nerve tissue.
Reconstructive Surgery: Reconstructive surgery of the foot and ankle consists of complex surgical repairs that may be necessary to regain function or stability, reduce pain, or prevent further deformity or disease. Reconstructive surgery may require any of the following: tendon repair/transfer, fusion of bone, joint implantation, bone grafting, skin or soft tissue repair, tumor excision, amputation or osteotomy of bone (cutting of bones in a precise fashion).
Skin Surgery: Growths of the skin or skin surface can occur on the foot. These can include lipomas, fibromas, cysts, warts and moles can occur on any part of the foot skin surface. Some of these conditions can be painful and impact daily activities. In other cases, they can be questionable because they are new in appearance and a biopsy or aspiration may be recommended. On occasion it is recommended to fully excise those lesions. Depending on the size and depth of the condition, surgery may be performed in the office under local anesthesia or take place in an outpatient operating room.
Most of these surgeries heal within 3 weeks and the patient can be walking right away. Each of our patients is sent home with post-operative instructions written out for them and tailored to their specific procedure. Dr. Diana Emini and Dr. Michelle Kim aim for each of our surgical patients to have a satisfactory and speedy recovery.
Our physicians have had the most specific and specialized training for the foot and ankle. Because of this critical difference, our podiatrists are the most appropriate specialists to promptly diagnose and treat various foot and ankle conditions. We proudly serve Lemont, Lockport, Homer Glen and all surrounding areas. Don’t wait! Call (630) 863-7517 to schedule your evaluation with one of our podiatrists today.