Items filtered by date: January 2017

Thursday, 19 January 2017 18:31

When to Treat Nails

The most common cause of nail complaints is nail fungal infection, a rather benign condition in which the nails become thickened, oddly shaped, with debris under the nail fold. If there is no pain or the nail is not lifting from the nail bed, treatment is entirely aesthetic. But other nail defects can underlie more serious illnesses.

Examples of nail changes that you should bring to your doctor or podiatrist:

  • Nail pitting – along with skin changes may indicate psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis
  • Nail spooning – notably associated with iron deficiency anemia
  • White lines across the nail – at least send a photograph to your doctor as it may be indicative of arsenic posioning
  • A black or brown stripe from the end of the nail into the cuticle – SEE YOUR DOCTOR as this is a sign of melanoma
  • Swelling of the tissue under the nail – indicative of lung disease
  • Whitish nails with a pink end – can be a sign for liver disease, heart failure, kidney failure or diabetes
  • Grooves across the nail – associated with zinc deficiency, diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, scarlet fever, measles, mumps and pneumonia
  • Lifting of the nail from the nail bed – can be a sign of psoriasis or thyroid disease
  • Yellow nails – respiratory diseases and lymphedema

Each of these signs of disease can be confirmed by additional symptoms. See your doctor to identify any underlying problems if you notice any changes in your body or energy level. Many of these signs are early changes and can help prevent disease progression.

Please visit our website for more information or call 614-885-3338 (FEET) to schedule an appointment with us at our Columbus or Gahanna office

Tuesday, 03 January 2017 18:30

My Child’s Heel Hurts

Do you notice that your child complains of heel pain especially after running, jumping, or playing sports? Is the pain on the back of the heel? No parent likes to see their child in pain. Often the first causes that come to mind are the scariest: tears, breaks, and perhaps…cancer. Although these fears are occasionally legitimate, most often the pain is not a threat to the health and well-being of your child. In fact, the pain may be easily treated at times. One of the major causes of heel pain in children, especially in boys, is a condition called Sever’s Disease. The Achilles tendon on the back of the lower leg is pulling on a secondary ossification center (that allows bones to keep growing as the child grows) and causing inflammation and pain from overuse. Another way to describe the condition is growth plate swelling. Children usually first notice it around 8 or 9 years old with high impact activities and notice that rest improves the symptoms. When you see the podiatrist, they may recommend radiographs to confirm the diagnosis and rule out any other problems.

Your podiatrist may recommend the following for pain relief:

  • Activity modification including avoidance of running and jumping
  • They may recommend that the child put sports on hold if possible until the symptoms full subside
  • Daily stretching to reduce equinus (contracture of calf muscles) can help reduce the pull of the tendon
  • Heel lifts in the child’s shoes to allow relaxation of the Achilles and reduce pull on the heel bone – bring in your child’s shoes that they wear (all of them) to ensure fit of heel lifts
  • Ice at the heel or behind the knee may be recommended with a simple warning to keep the cold exposure to no more than 20 minutes at a time
  • Ibuprofen or naproxen may be taken orally to reduce symptoms, but they do not “cure” the problem, but rest may
  • They may recommend a CAM walker and crutches during the first two to three weeks of symptoms if it is caught early
  • While in the CAM boot, the child may still use a stationary bike or swim to stay active and limber
  • Physical therapy may be used to increase the strength of the athlete and improve control of motion around the ankle

If the symptoms do not resolve, an MRI can be ordered to determine a separate cause the child’s pain. Sever’s apophysitis is not a condition to worry about but it is a condition that should be treated early to reduce pain and return the child to sports and daily activities. If instructions from the podiatrist are followed, most cases resolved within a few months.

Please visit our website for more information or call 614-885-3338 (FEET) to schedule an appointment with us at our Columbus or Gahanna office

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