Items filtered by date: August 2022

Tuesday, 30 August 2022 00:00

Proper Wound Care for Diabetic Patients

Treating wounds on the feet correctly is essential in maintaining proper foot health. Many diabetic patients with foot wounds may not be aware of them due to having neuropathy. This is defined as having damaged nerve endings from elevated blood sugar levels and it can be difficult to feel existing cuts, scrapes, or bruises on the feet. A simple wound may turn into a foot ulcer which can gradually lead to gangrene or amputation if prompt medical treatment is not received. It is suggested that diabetic patients check their feet daily for any abnormalities that may have developed, and this can be done by using a mirror or by having a family member check the soles of the feet. An existing wound is best treated by gently cleaning it with warm water, followed by covering it with a sterile bandage or dressing. If you have diabetes and develop wounds on the feet, it is strongly advised that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can help you manage this condition.

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with Gary Cockrell, DPM from Tennessee. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Brentwood and Madison, TN . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Tuesday, 23 August 2022 00:00

Understanding Bunions

Bunions are a foot deformity caused by a misalignment of bones that connect at the joint of the base of the big toe. This deformity causes a bony protrusion at this joint, which then causes the big toe to lean toward the other toes, rather than pointing straight forward. Certain factors can make a person more likely to develop a bunion, such as wearing high-heeled shoes regularly, overpronating, and having certain genetic factors, loose ligaments, or other anomalies in foot structure. Aside from having an irregular appearance, a bunion can cause pain, swelling, numbness, or burning in the big toe joint and/or in the first metatarsal bone (in the forefoot). It may also be difficult to walk or find shoes that fit. It is a good idea to begin treating a bunion as soon as possible for the best results in correcting it. If you already have a fully developed bunion, or believe one is forming, make an appointment with your podiatrist for an examination and evaluation.


 

If you are suffering from bunion pain, contact Gary Cockrell, DPM of Tennessee. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.

Causes

  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development

Symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Brentwood and Madison, TN . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Tuesday, 16 August 2022 00:00

Three Parts to the Ankle

Participating in athletic activities account for approximately 50% of broken or dislocated ankles. The remaining half of the population can break their ankle from pursuing daily activities which can include shopping, walking, and traveling. It can range from a hairline crack to a full blown fracture, and this can cause severe pain and discomfort. The ankle has three sections, consisting of the tibia, the fibula, and the talus bones. There are a total of 26 bones in each foot, and are surrounded by numerous tendons, ligaments, and muscles. In a severe fracture, one or more of the bones break, and may also affect the adjoining ligaments. Ankle function is often affected when any of these bones are broken. There are three types of ankle fractures that can occur. The bump on the inside of the ankle is called medial malleolus, and can become fractured from direct trauma. This often indicates a long recovery time. The bump on the outside of the ankle is created by the fibula, and may be injured as a result of a stress fracture. A bimalleolar fracture happens when both sides of the ankle become broken, and this can occur from a traumatic event such as a car accident. If you have broken your ankle, it is strongly advised that you consult with a podiatrist who can determine what the best course of treatment is for you.

Broken ankles need immediate treatment. If you are seeking treatment, contact Gary Cockrell, DPM from Tennessee. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet. 

Broken Ankles
A broken ankle is experienced when a person fractures their tibia or fibula in the lower leg and ankle area. Both of these bones are attached at the bottom of the leg and combine to form what we know to be our ankle.

When a physician is referring to a break of the ankle, he or she is usually referring to a break in the area where the tibia and fibula are joined to create our ankle joint. Ankles are more prone to fractures because the ankle is an area that suffers a lot of pressure and stress. There are some obvious signs when a person experiences a fractured ankle, and the following symptoms may be present.

Symptoms of a Fractured Ankle

  • Excessive pain when the area is touched or when any pressure is placed on the ankle
  •  Swelling around the area
  •  Bruising of the area
  • Area appears to be deformed

If you suspect an ankle fracture, it is recommended to seek treatment as soon as possible. The sooner you have your podiatrist diagnose the fracture, the quicker you’ll be on the way towards recovery.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Brentwood and Madison, TN . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Monday, 15 August 2022 00:00

Wounds That Don't Heal Need to Be Checked

Your feet are covered most of the day. If you're diabetic, periodic screening is important for good health. Numbness is often a sign of diabetic foot and can mask a sore or wound.

Tuesday, 09 August 2022 00:00

Prefabricated Versus Custom Orthotics

Prefabricated orthotics is another name for over-the-counter (OTC) orthotics. Custom orthotics are constructed to the precise specifications of your foot. With certain foot conditions, such as plantar fasciitis or flatfoot, there is evidence that prefabricated or custom orthotics help. They are not considered to help as much for overuse injuries like tendonitis or stress fractures. Rigid, or very stiff orthotics, can help control the foot position during walking but must exert force against the plantar part of the foot that is three to four times one’s body weight. Rigid orthotics are not particularly comfortable either, and less of this type of orthotic is used. Most often, one wears semi-rigid or accommodative orthotics, and they act almost like a bed for the foot spreading the weight more evenly across the surface of the footwear. When there is an abnormality of the foot, custom orthotics are thought to be better. Know that no orthotic—custom or OTC—will be able to treat all foot problems. Consult with a podiatrist to see which type is best for your condition.

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, contact Gary Cockrell, DPM from Tennessee. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Are Orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.

Over-the-Counter Inserts

Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct overarched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.

Prescription Orthotics

If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you or if you have a more severe foot concern, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high-quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and severe forms of heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.

If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist about the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain-free.

If you have any questions please contact our offices located in Brentwood and Madison, TN . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Tuesday, 02 August 2022 00:00

Toenail Fungus and Nail Polish

Toenail fungus can be an extremely unattractive and unsightly condition that negatively affects the toenails. Typically, toenail fungus will make the nail brittle or stiff. It can also manipulate the color of the nail, making it brownish or yellowish. Some individuals struggling with toenail fungus may be curious as to whether or not they are able to wear toenail polish to cover up the fungal infection. If an individual has an important event coming up, for example, they might want to hide the unsightly infection with a pop of color from a nail polish. However, there are several things to keep in mind about toenail polish and toenail fungal infections. Using non-medicated toenail polish potentially may be problematic. This is because non-medicated polish, or cosmetic nail polish, might help the fungus thrive and eventually spread. Medicated polish, on the other hand, is specifically meant to inhibit the growth of the fungus. Sometimes, these medicated nail polishes will have antifungal ingredients. A potential downside to relying solely on medicated toenail polish, however, is that it might take a long time to cure the fungal infection. To learn more about treating your fungal infection and the uses of medicated nail polish, contact your podiatrist. 

For more information about treatment, contact Gary Cockrell, DPM of Tennessee. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Toenail Fungus Treatment

Toenail fungus is a condition that affects many people and can be especially hard to get rid of. Fortunately, there are several methods to go about treating and avoiding it.

Antifungals & Deterrence

Oral antifungal medicine has been shown to be effective in many cases. It is important to consult with a podiatrist to determine the proper regiment for you, or potentially explore other options.

Applying foot powder on the feet and shoes helps keep the feet free of moisture and sweat.

Sandals or open toed shoes – Wearing these will allow air movement and help keep feet dry. They also expose your feet to light, which fungus cannot tolerate. Socks with moisture wicking material also help as well.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Brentwood and Madison, TN . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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