Items filtered by date: February 2017
A portion of the population will develop a mass or nodule on the foot that may worry them. However, many masses are benign and should not be treated with surgery unless symptomatic. Examples include fibromas, which are hard rubbery mobile masses often on the bottom of the foot; cysts which are fluid filled sacks, often near joints; lipomas which are fat accumulations; and exostoses which are bony outgrowths. If you notice a mass on your foot, look for change in size, especially rapid change, pain, itching, redness, swelling and any color changes to the skin. Changes, especially rapid growth and system symptoms like night sweats and rapid weight loss mean that you should see your doctor right away.
Actions that may be considered by your doctor or podiatrist:
- Imaging including x-rays, computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- If a cyst is identified, they may try draining it or use steroids to reduce it
- If symptomatic but not growing, they may try to offload the mass and prevent pain from bearing weight on the mass
- If bone, joints, or tendons are affected, they may remove the mass even if it is not growing because of mass effects on these structures or location of the mass
- Any mass that is rapidly growing may warrant a referral to oncology
- Oncology may also recommend radiation and/or chemotherapy
- If melanoma is discovered, your doctor may have to perform a more extensive surgery because of the nature of this cancer
Most masses are benign and it is rare for a large number of them to become cancerous. However, early detection and monitoring can prevent invasive growth and metastasis that could threaten life or limb. See your doctor or podiatrist early and often if you notice these important changes.
Venous disease is common among the elderly. As we age, the valves in the veins that maintain the movement of blood back to the heart weaken and are insufficient to prevent backflow of blood. The blood pools to some extent, allowing fluids to diffuse from the capillaries to the tissue external to the vascular system. This accumulation leads to swelling of the legs and feet, darkening of the skin, and weeping wounds. The darkening of the skin is due to hemosiderin from the blood depositing in the skin. The wounds occur due to increased pressure and erosions. Although surgical treatment of this condition is limited, there are conservative treatments that are extremely effective in preventing wounds.
Treatments that may be considered by your doctor or podiatrist:
- Compression stockings during the day, but NOT at night
- Elevation of the legs above the heart
- If wounds form, an Unna boot may be used to treat and heal the ulcers
- Myofascial release therapy and kinesiotherapy may help women in menopause dealing with venous disease
- While standing exacerbates swelling, exercise including walking, biking, and swimming can improve symptoms
- Swelling may also be controlled with medications, including diuretics
- Venoblation is a surgical option that is reserved for patients that have venous disease that is refractory to more conservative therapy
Venous disease is a condition that, once acquired, requires life-long treatment and management. Working closely with your doctor, you should be able to prevent complications and control symptoms.