Posts for category: ankle
Your body is connected in so many ways, from the bones that make up our skeleton, to the muscles that help move that skeleton, to the 100 billion nerve cells that carry those movement messages from our brain to parts of our body. Of those 100 billion nerves, about 200,000 are in each foot. That’s a lot of nerve endings! Unfortunately, that also means a lot of things that could potentially go haywire and cause medical issues.
Here are a few nerve-related issues that occur in our feet that we treat here at Connecticut Foot Care Centers:
- Acrocyanosis– Typically this benign condition produces swelling, color change, excessive sweating, or excessive coldness in feet. It can also be an indicator of a serious medical illness elsewhere in the body, so get it checked out ASAP if you have those symptoms.
- Alcoholic Neuropathy– This nerve-loss condition is caused by ethanol, the toxic agent in alcohol. Ethanol does damage to nerve tissue, which can cause loss of sensation in the feet. Treatment often includes B-12 injections, oral medication, ointments, or magnetic therapy.
- Chilblains– Chilblains are caused by a poor reaction to cold. Circulation can contribute to chilblains. It often causes itchiness, pain, cracked skin, and redness. If you have poor circulation, keep your feet warm to prevent chilblains.
- Ischemic foot– This is a lack of arterial blood flowing from the heart to the foot. It could be caused by arterial blockage from cholesterol, arterial spasms, or arterial injury. Lack of oxygen and nutrients cause this issue.
- Neuroma– If you experience numbness, tingling, burning or pain in the ball of your feet, it’s possibly a neuroma. This enlarged, benign growth of nerves can be treated with custom orthotics and/or cortisone injections. In severe cases, surgery is necessary.
- Spasms– There are a lot of things that could cause spasms in your feet including vitamin deficiencies, hyperventilation, hypocalcemia, muscle cramps, or serious neuromuscular conditions like Parkinson’s.
- Venous stasis– Loss of leg vein function is called venous stasis. Your normal blood flow is altered or ceased, which can lead to blood clots. Swelling and varicose veins are common with this condition.
There are a lot of potential things that can go wrong with the nerves in your feet. One thing that all of these issues have in common is that you need to see your podiatrist if you are dealing with any of them!
If you notice any changes in your feet, call us today. Our team of foot doctors here at Connecticut Foot Care Centers is highly trained. We provide the best in foot care and utilize the newest diagnostic and treatment techniques and technologies. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff has unparalleled experience and can help you at any of our six conveniently located Connecticut offices. Request an appointment today!
Our team of podiatrists, Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Richard E. Ehle, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M. and Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M., can help treat Ankle Instability at the Connecticut Foot Care Centers, LLC, located in Rocky Hill, Bristol, Middletown, Glastonbury, Newington and Kensington, Connecticut. Ankle instability occurs when the outer part of the ankle consistently buckles after weight is put on it. This is an unnerving feeling that can lead to a decrease in mobility if not treated at the time this condition first presents itself. This can be magnified when you’re on uneven surfaces. People with this condition have ankles that feel unsteady. It commonly presents itself when the ankle feels as if it is about to yield to any minor pressure. The pain can range from minor to severe. There is also an occurrence for those who experience this condition to be sensitive to touch and have inflammation. It is very helpful to pay attention to the way you walk to ensure that your steps are taken in a manner that prevents your ankle from rolling inwards or outwards in an abnormal manner. Weakened ligaments that encompass your ankle may be another contributing factor to twisting your ankle in a way that causes ankle instability. Another symptom is having a sore ankle after exercising.
Contact us to learn more about ankle instability. This condition is generally caused by an ankle sprain that hasn’t yet properly healed since the ligaments in your ankle were stretched, and when they healed, they became weaker and lost some of their elasticity. Those who take part in activities that involve heavy use of the ankle like gymnastics or sports, are at a greater risk for ankle instability. You can self-treat this condition if it’s not caused by a severe injury. Such treatment includes the use of compression, ice and rest. If you are able to exercise, it is a great way to increase your flexibility in the ankle. In particular, the best types of exercises help with your range of motion, balance and reinforcing the muscles of your ankles.
Chronic ankle instability is a condition characterized by a recurring giving way of the outer (lateral) side of the ankle. This condition often develops after repeated ankle sprains. Usually the giving way occurs while walking or doing other activities, but it can also happen when you're just standing. Many athletes, as well as others, suffer from chronic ankle instability.
People with chronic instability often complain of:
- A repeated turning of the ankle, especially on uneven surfaces or when participating in sports.
- Persistent (chronic) discomfort and swelling.
- Pain or tenderness.
- The ankle feeling wobbly or unstable.
Chronic ankle instability usually develops following an ankle sprain that has not adequately healed or was not fully rehabilitated completely. When you sprain your ankle, the connective tissues (ligaments) are stretched or torn. The ability to balance is often affected. Proper rehabilitation is needed to strengthen the muscles around the ankle and retrain the tissues within the ankle that affect balance. Failure to do so may result in repeated ankle sprains.
Repeated ankle sprains often cause- and perpetuate- chronic ankle instability. Each subsequent sprain leads to further weakening (or stretching) of the ligaments, resulting ni greater instability and the likelihood of developing additional problems in the ankle.
In evaluating and diagnosing your condition, the podiatrist will ask you about any previous ankle injuries and instability. Then he or she will examine your ankle to check for tender areas, signs of swelling, and instability of your ankle. X-rays or other imaging studies may be helpful in further evaluating the ankle.
Treatment for chronic ankle instability is based on the results of the examination and tests, as well as the patient's level of activity. Non-surgical treatment may include:
- Physical therapy. Physical therapy involves various treatments and exercises to strengthen the ankle, improve balance and range of motion, and retrain your muscles. As you progress through rehabilitation, you may also receive training that relates specifically to your activities or sport.
- Bracing. Some patients wear an ankle brace to gain support for the ankle and keep ankle from turning. Bracing also helps prevent additional ankle sprains.
- Medications. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may be prescribed to reduce pain and inflammation.
In some cases, the foot and ankle surgeon will recommend surgery based on the degree of instability or lack of response to non-surgical approaches. Surgery usually involves repair or reconstruction of the damaged ligament(s). The surgeon will select the surgical procedure best suited for your case based on the severity of the instability and your activity level. The length of the recovery period will vary, depending on the procedure or procedures performed.
If you believe you have chronic ankle instability and have not seen a podiatrist, call one of our six offices to make an appointment.
Connecticut Foot Care Centers
Podiatrists in CT