Items filtered by date: December 2023

Laser therapy uses focused light to destroy toenail fungus, preventing it from spreading or getting worse. This type of treatment has evolved since the 1980s with various lasers now in use, affecting the success rate for different individuals. Laser treatment can be particularly useful for individuals who cannot take certain medications due to liver or kidney problems, in addition to people with diabetes, and older adults who might not tolerate drugs well. Early treatment of toenail fungus is advised by the CDC to stop the spread of the infection and ensure better results. If not treated, the fungus may spread beyond the toenails. If you have toenail fungus, particularly if it does not resolve with more conservative treatment, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist to discuss whether laser treatment may be an option worth considering.

Laser treatment can be an effective way to get rid of toenail fungus. If you have any questions about laser treatment, consult with Gary Cockrell, DPM from Tennessee. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality treatment for fungal nails.

What Are Toenail Fungal Infections?

Onychomycosis, or fungal infection of the nail, is a relatively common and non-serious condition. Around 10 percent of U.S. citizens are afflicted with fungal nails. Common forms of fungus that infect the nail include dermatophytes, yeasts, and molds.

Symptoms of Toenail Fungal Infections Include:

  • Nail thickening
  • Brittleness of the nail
  • Discoloration of the nail

Diagnosis for Fungal Nails

Fungal infections are diagnosed by fungal culture and microscopy. This will rule out any other conditions such as nail trauma, psoriasis, lichen planus, and onychogryphosis.

What Is Laser Treatment?

Laser treatment is a non-invasive, safe, quick, and painless procedure that uses the heat from a laser to kill fungus in the nail. Each infected nail is targeted with a laser for several minutes. The treatment is usually utilized several different times over a select period. During this time, a podiatrist will keep an eye on the infection.

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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Plantar fasciitis, a prevalent foot condition, unfolds as inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is the thick band of tissue connecting the heel bone to the toes. This inflammation results in stabbing pain, typically most pronounced during the first steps in the morning or after periods of inactivity. The plantar fascia plays an important role in supporting the foot's arch and absorbing shock during walking. Several risk factors contribute to the development of plantar fasciitis. Prolonged periods of standing or walking on hard surfaces can strain the plantar fascia, increasing susceptibility. Individuals with high arches or flat feet may experience altered weight distribution, intensifying stress on the foot's support structure. Additionally, having tight calf muscles and Achilles tendons may also heighten the risk, limiting ankle flexibility. Understanding the definition and associated risk factors of plantar fasciitis is vital for proactive management. If you have heel pain, it is strongly suggested that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can offer treatment options for this painful condition.

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that is often caused by a strain injury. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Gary Cockrell, DPM from Tennessee. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot. When this ligament becomes inflamed, plantar fasciitis is the result. If you have plantar fasciitis you will have a stabbing pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. As the day progresses and you walk around more, this pain will start to disappear, but it will return after long periods of standing or sitting.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Having high arches in your feet
  • Other foot issues such as flat feet
  • Pregnancy (due to the sudden weight gain)
  • Being on your feet very often

There are some risk factors that may make you more likely to develop plantar fasciitis compared to others. The condition most commonly affects adults between the ages of 40 and 60. It also tends to affect people who are obese because the extra pounds result in extra stress being placed on the plantar fascia.


  • Take good care of your feet – Wear shoes that have good arch support and heel cushioning.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • If you are a runner, alternate running with other sports that won’t cause heel pain

There are a variety of treatment options available for plantar fasciitis along with the pain that accompanies it. Additionally, physical therapy is a very important component in the treatment process. It is important that you meet with your podiatrist to determine which treatment option is best for you.

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, 12 December 2023 00:00

Managing Charcot-Tooth-Marie Disorder

Charcot-Marie-Tooth disorder, or CMT, is an inherited neurological disorder that affects individuals globally. CMT is characterized by a gradual degeneration of muscles in the foot, lower leg, hand, and forearm, accompanied by a mild loss of sensation in limbs, fingers, and toes. The initial signs of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disorder are often a high-arched foot or difficulties in walking. Additional symptoms can include foot bone abnormalities like hammer toes, challenges with balance, occasional muscle cramping in lower legs, and loss of reflexes. While there is currently no cure for CMT, proper foot care, including wearing custom-made shoes and leg braces, can alleviate discomfort and help retain function. Moderate activity are often recommended to maintain muscle strength, with adaptive devices or surgery considered based on medical indications. Most individuals can continue to work, and wheelchair confinement is rare. For help in managing Charcot-Marie-Tooth disorder, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist.

Some foot conditions may require additional professional care. If you have any concerns, contact Gary Cockrell, DPM of Tennessee. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Rare Foot Conditions

The majority of foot conditions are common and can be treated by a podiatrist.  Standard diagnostic procedures are generally used to identify specific conditions and treatment can be rendered. A podiatrist also treats rare foot conditions which can be difficult to diagnose and may need extra attention and care. 

There are many rare foot conditions that can affect children. Some of these can include:

  • Freiberg’s disease
  • Kohler’s disease
  • Maffucci syndrome

Freiberg’s disease - This can be seen as a deterioration and flattening of a metatarsal bone that exists in the ball of the foot. It typically affects pre-teen and teenage girls, but can affect anyone at any age. Symptoms that can accompany this can be swelling, stiffness, and the patient may limp. 

Kohler’s disease - This often targets the bone in the arch of the foot and affects younger boys. It can lead to an interruption of the blood supply which ultimately can lead to bone deterioration. The patient may limp or experience tenderness, swelling, and redness.

Maffucci syndrome - This affects the long bones in a child’s foot leading to the development of abnormal bone lesions. They are benign growths and typically develop in early childhood and the bones may be susceptible to breaking. 

A podiatrist can properly diagnose and treat all types of rare foot conditions. If your child is affected by any of these symptoms or conditions, please don’t hesitate to call our office so the correct treatment method can begin.

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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Sunday, 10 December 2023 00:00

Do You Suffer From Painful Feet?

Painful deformities, such as hammertoes, can be treated. Stop living with foot pain, and have beautiful feet again!

Tuesday, 05 December 2023 00:00

What to Expect From Hammertoe Surgery

Hammertoe surgery is a procedure designed to address the deformities associated with hammertoe, a condition in which one or more toe joints become bent. Before the surgery, your podiatrist will conduct a thorough evaluation, including a physical examination, and possibly perform an X-ray that can assess the extent of the deformity and determine the best course of action. They will also have a discussion with you about the procedure, its potential risks, benefits, and alternative treatments. Depending on the complexity of your case and your preferences, hammertoe surgery can be performed under local anesthesia with or without sedation, or under general anesthesia. During the surgery, your surgeon will make incisions, reposition the affected toe joint, and may remove a small piece of bone or tendon. The toe will then be straightened and secured in its corrected position, often using pins, wires, or screws. Following the surgery, you will likely wear a special shoe or cast to protect the toe. Initially, you may experience swelling and discomfort, but these symptoms can gradually improve over time. If you have a hammertoe that is causing you pain, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist to determine whether surgery can help improve your comfort and foot function.

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to treat a foot ailment. To learn more, contact Gary Cockrell, DPM of Tennessee. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

When Is Surgery Necessary?

Foot and ankle surgery is generally reserved for cases in which less invasive, conservative procedures have failed to alleviate the problem. Some of the cases in which surgery may be necessary include:

  • Removing foot deformities like bunions and bone spurs
  • Severe arthritis that has caused bone issues
  • Cosmetic reconstruction

What Types of Surgery Are There?

The type of surgery you receive will depend on the nature of the problem you have. Some of the possible surgeries include:

  • Bunionectomy for painful bunions
  • Surgical fusion for realignment of bones
  • Neuropathy decompression surgery to treat nerve damage

Benefits of Surgery

Although surgery is usually a last resort, it can provide more complete pain relief compared to non-surgical methods and may allow you to finally resume full activity.

Surgical techniques have also become increasingly sophisticated. Techniques like endoscopic surgery allow for smaller incisions and faster recovery times.

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 and ankle needs.

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