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Monday, 28 January 2019 00:00

Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Ankles

Rheumatoid arthritis usually affects small joints first, but it can move to larger joints, such as ankles. If this condition spreads to the ankles, then it can hinder one’s ability to walk, and cause extreme discomfort. Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis usually come in flares that can last anywhere from a couple days to a couple weeks. These symptoms include inflammation and stiffness in the joints of the ankle. If this goes untreated, then this condition has the potential to permanently change the structure of the ankle joints. Rheumatoid arthritis also breaks down cartilage in the ankle that protects the bones from rubbing together, so this may create friction that will cause further weakness and instability. Oftentimes, people with rheumatoid arthritis in the ankles also experience symptoms in their feet. If you feel that you may have rheumatoid arthritis in either your feet or ankles, then it is strongly recommended that you consult with a podiatrist to receive treatment.

Ankle pain can be caused by a number of problems and may be potentially serious. If you have ankle pain, consult with one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Ankle pain is any condition that causes pain in the ankle. Due to the fact that the ankle consists of tendons, muscles, bones, and ligaments, ankle pain can come from a number of different conditions.

Causes

The most common causes of ankle pain include:

  • Types of arthritis (rheumatoid, osteoarthritis, and gout)
  • Ankle sprains
  • Broken ankles
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Achilles tendon rupture
  • Stress fractures
  • Bursitis
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Plantar fasciitis

Symptoms

Symptoms of ankle injury vary based upon the condition. Pain may include general pain and discomfort, swelling, aching, redness, bruising, burning or stabbing sensations, and/or loss of sensation.

Diagnosis

Due to the wide variety of potential causes of ankle pain, podiatrists will utilize a number of different methods to properly diagnose ankle pain. This can include asking for personal and family medical histories and of any recent injuries. Further diagnosis may include sensation tests, a physical examination, and potentially x-rays or other imaging tests.

Treatment

Just as the range of causes varies widely, so do treatments. Some more common treatments are rest, ice packs, keeping pressure off the foot, orthotics and braces, medication for inflammation and pain, and surgery.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

Read more about Ankle Pain
Monday, 21 January 2019 00:00

Treating Fungal Nails with Laser Treatment

Fungal nail infection (onychomycosis) is one of the most common nail disorders among adults. It is a mycotic infection that occurs underneath the nail plate. The nail can become deformed, lifted, brittle, and discolored. These symptoms may lead to acute pain in the toenail area. There are various types of fungal nail infections and various types of treatments. One form of treatment is laser therapy, which also consists of varying methods. Photodynamic therapy uses light irradiation and a photosensitizing drug to find specific cells and destroy them. Other laser therapies that involve neodymium yttrium-aluminum-garnet or low-level lasers aim to selectively hinder fungal growth. Laser therapies are selective to the localized infection, which decreases the chance of systemic side effects. If you are interested in laser treatment for a fungal infection, consult with a podiatrist for further guidance.

Laser treatment can be an effective way to get rid of toenail fungus. If you have any questions about laser treatment, consult with one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors 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 one of our offices located in Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Laser Treatment for Fungal Nails
Monday, 14 January 2019 00:00

Where Are the Sesamoid Bones Located?

The structure of the foot consists of 26 bones. Two of these bones are referred to as the sesamoid bones, and their location is under the joint of the bottom of the big toe. The condition known as sesamoiditis occurs if these bones should become inflamed and irritated, which may be caused by an injury. Many patients have noticed symptoms that may include pain while standing, or severe discomfort if the toe is pulled in an upward motion. A proper diagnosis is generally necessary in confirming this condition, and this may consist of having an X-ray or MRI performed. There are several forms of effective treatment, including wearing shoes that offer additional cushioning, resting the foot, or using custom orthotics. These methods may provide a portion of the desired relief, and it is suggested to consult with a podiatrist for additional treatment options.

Sesamoiditis is an unpleasant foot condition characterized by pain in the balls of the feet. If you think you’re struggling with sesamoiditis, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors will treat your condition thoroughly and effectively.

Sesamoiditis

Sesamoiditis is a condition of the foot that affects the ball of the foot. It is more common in younger people than it is in older people. It can also occur with people who have begun a new exercise program, since their bodies are adjusting to the new physical regimen. Pain may also be caused by the inflammation of tendons surrounding the bones. It is important to seek treatment in its early stages because if you ignore the pain, this condition can lead to more serious problems such as severe irritation and bone fractures.

Causes of Sesamoiditis

  • Sudden increase in activity
  • Increase in physically strenuous movement without a proper warm up or build up
  • Foot structure: those who have smaller, bonier feet or those with a high arch may be more susceptible

Treatment for sesamoiditis is non-invasive and simple. Doctors may recommend a strict rest period where the patient forgoes most physical activity. This will help give the patient time to heal their feet through limited activity. For serious cases, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine a treatment option that will help your specific needs.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Sesamoiditis
Monday, 07 January 2019 00:00

The Benefits of Shockwave Therapy

The benefits of using a method that is referred to as shockwave therapy may be experienced as accelerated pain relief and ease in mobility. It is defined as an acoustic energy wave that may provide relief to patients who have chronic foot conditions. It is administered through an applicator that consists of compressed air and is injected into the affected area. It may be effective in improving blood flow to the damaged tissue, in addition to stimulating the formation of new blood vessels. It has been known to reverse chronic inflammation, and this may bring moderate desired relief. If you would like additional information about shockwave therapy, please consult with a podiatrist to see if this type of treatment is correct for you.

Shockwave therapy is a treatment commonly used to treat various injuries and conditions, particularly plantar fasciitis in the feet. To learn more, consult with one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave therapy is a new treatment option designed to treat bone conditions such as tennis elbow, shoulder pain, and others. Shockwave therapy uses high intensity sound waves that are directed to the affected tissues of the body with pinpoint accuracy. The effects are very beneficial, leading to a production of collagen fibers, eliminating inflammation.

Who Benefits from Shockwave?

Shockwave is recommended for patients suffering from heel pain and associated problems. Heel pain is a common condition which can be caused by obesity, overexertion, and spending a substantial amount of time on hard floors with your feet exposed and unsupported.

Fast and Easy

The therapy is actually a simple process that can leave patients feeling better the very next day. Shockwave therapy is not as dramatic as it sounds. It enables more blood flow to effected areas, addressing the source of the problem and allowing treatment to last for a long time.

Treatment & Recovery Time

Shockwave treatment will enable your feet to recover quickly. This is especially important since surgery is not required. It is cost effective and does not require the use of anesthesia. This treatment is a better option to surgery, since it is proven safe.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Treating Heel Pain with Shockwave Therapy
Wednesday, 02 January 2019 00:00

How to Manage Elderly Feet

Research has shown that it may be common for elderly people to develop uncomfortable foot conditions as the aging process occurs. It’s important to take proper care of your feet at any age, and this is especially true of the elder population. There are several methods to keep the feet healthy, and these may include incorporating gentle foot exercises and walking for short periods of time into your daily activities. This may aid in keeping the muscles in the feet strong, which can help in maintaining the balance that is necessary to prevent falling. There are several daily routines that can be implemented to keep the feet healthy, and these may include observing your feet daily, which may help in noticing any cuts or bruises, washing your feet every day, in addition to wearing shoes and socks that fit correctly. If you would like additional information about the importance of taking care of elderly feet, please consult with a podiatrist for proper guidance.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

The Elderly and Their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet and can hide many life-threatening medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Taking Care of Elderly Feet
Wednesday, 26 December 2018 00:00

Contagious Athlete’s Foot

The obvious symptoms that are associated with athlete’s foot is mild to severe itching, especially between the toes. This uncomfortable condition is caused by a fungus that is known as trichophyton, and thrives in warm and moist areas, which may include the inside of shoes or socks. Additionally, this contagious fungus may live in public pools, locker rooms and surrounding areas, and it is suggested to wear appropriate shoes if you are in these places. Patients who have severe cases of athlete's’ foot may experience red, flaky, and cracked skin on the side and soles of the feet, and in extreme cases, blisters and swelling may develop. If you have become afflicted with these symptoms, it is suggested to seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can perform a correct diagnosis and proper treatment options can be discussed.

Athlete’s foot is an inconvenient condition that can be easily reduced with the proper treatment. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine.  Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Athlete’s Foot: The Sole Story

Athlete's foot, also known as tinea pedis, can be an extremely contagious foot infection. It is commonly contracted in public changing areas and bathrooms, dormitory style living quarters, around locker rooms and public swimming pools, or anywhere your feet often come into contact with other people.

Solutions to Combat Athlete’s Foot

  • Hydrate your feet by using lotion
  • Exfoliate
  • Buff off nails
  • Use of anti-fungal products
  • Examine your feet and visit your doctor if any suspicious blisters or cuts develop

Athlete’s foot can cause many irritating symptoms such as dry and flaking skin, itching, and redness. Some more severe symptoms can include bleeding and cracked skin, intense itching and burning, and even pain when walking. In the worst cases, Athlete’s foot can cause blistering as well. Speak to your podiatrist for a better understanding of the different causes of Athlete’s foot, as well as help in determining which treatment options are best for you.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Athlete's Foot
Monday, 17 December 2018 00:00

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

There is a portion of tissue that is located on the bottom of the foot, which is referred to as the plantar fascia, and its primary function is to connect the heel bone to the toes. If this should become inflamed, which may occur gradually or from an injury, a condition that is known as plantar fasciitis may develop. This may produce severe pain and discomfort and is often felt in the front of the heel and in the back of the arch. When this band of tissue is not inflamed, it provides the body with strength and support, in addition to overall balance. Many athletes may experience this condition if the heel endures excess pressure, and this can occur while frequently participating in activities that include running and jumping. Research has shown there are patients who may be inclined to develop plantar fasciitis, which may include people who are obese, stand for most of the day, or have a specific foot structure such as flat feet or high arches. If you feel you may have this condition, it is advised to confer with a podiatrist to determine the best treatment. 

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact one of our podiatrists  from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Non-supportive shoes
  • Overpronation
  • Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

  • Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices
  • Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis
  • Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis
Monday, 10 December 2018 00:00

Tips for Choosing the Correct Shoe Size

There are several reasons why shoes may not fit correctly. These may include having toenails that are not trimmed properly or having medical conditions such as diabetes and poor circulation. Additionally, research has shown the feet may change sizes as the aging process occurs and it is advised to properly measure your feet before purchasing shoes. When a shoe is selected that is similar to the shape of your foot, the desired comfort level may be easier to attain. There are a few simple steps that may be implemented to ensure a properly fitted shoe. These may include expecting the shoe to feel comfortable when initially tried on, making sure there is adequate room for the longest toe to fit easily in, and walking in the shoes before making the decision to buy them. If you would like additional information about choosing the correct shoe size, it is suggested to speak with a podiatrist.

Getting the right shoe size is an important part of proper foot health. Seek the assistance of one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors will provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Getting the Right Shoe Size

There are many people who wear shoes that are the incorrect size, negatively affecting their feet and posture. Selecting the right shoes is not a difficult process, so long as you keep several things in mind when it comes to choosing the right pair.

  • When visiting the shoe store, use the tools available to measure your foot.
  • Be sure there is ‘wiggle room’. There should be about an inch between your toes and the tip of your shoes.
  • Do not always assume you are the same size, as manufacturers run differently.
  • Purchase shoes later in the day, as your feet swell as the day progresses.
  • If a shoe is not comfortable, it is not suitable. Most shoes can’t be ‘broken in’, and comfort should be the ultimate goal when it comes to choosing the right pair of shoes

As our feet hold our body weight and keep us moving, it is important to treat them right. Picking the right pair of shoes can provide your feet comfort and mobility without pain.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Getting the Right Shoe Size: To Keep Your Feet Happy
Monday, 03 December 2018 00:00

Toe Arthritis

If you are experiencing pain and discomfort in your big toe, you may have a foot condition that is known as toe arthritis. It may be caused by wearing shoes that are too tight and may not have adequate room for the toes to move about in. One of the first signs that may be indicative of toe arthritis may be pain that is felt in the toes. Many people feel stiffness in the toes, and this may be a result of the diminished cartilage that is located between the joints, in addition to obvious redness and swelling of the toes and surrounding area. If you are afflicted with this condition, it may be difficult to perform daily activities that may include walking or standing for extended periods of time. If you are experiencing arthritis in your feet or toes, it is suggested to speak with a podiatrist who can advise you on correct treatment options.

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Arthritic Foot Care  

Arthritis is a term that is commonly used to describe joint pain.  The condition itself can occur to anyone of any age, race, or gender, and there are over 100 types of it.  Nevertheless, arthritis is more commonly found in women compared to men, and it is also more prevalent in those who are overweight. The causes of arthritis vary depending on which type of arthritis you have. Osteoarthritis for example, is often caused by injury, while rheumatoid arthritis is caused by a misdirected immune system.

Symptoms

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Decreased Range of Motion

Arthritic symptoms range in severity, and they may come and go. Some symptoms stay the same for several years but could potentially get worse with time. Severe cases of arthritis can prevent its sufferers from performing daily activities and make walking difficult.

Risk Factors

  • Occupation – Occupations requiring repetitive knee movements have been linked to osteoarthritis
  • Obesity – Excess weight can contribute to osteoarthritis development
  • Infection – Microbial agents can infect the joints and trigger arthritis
  • Joint Injuries – Damage to joints may lead to osteoarthritis
  • Age – Risk increases with age
  • Gender –Most types are more common in women
  • Genetics – Arthritis can be hereditary

If you suspect your arthritis is affecting your feet, it is crucial that you see a podiatrist immediately. Your doctor will be able to address your specific case and help you decide which treatment method is best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about How to Care for Your Arthritic Foot
Monday, 26 November 2018 00:00

Practicing Daily Foot Care is Important

It is important to maintain proper care for your feet, and this may be especially true of the elderly population. Research has shown the natural cushioning in the feet may diminish as the aging process occurs, and the toenails and skin may appear to become dry and brittle. There are several ways to practice good foot care, and these may include looking at your feet closely on a frequent basis, which may aid in noticing any blisters or cuts, wearing footwear that feels comfortable, and performing mild stretches, which may improve circulation. Additionally, washing and drying the feet daily may be helpful in preventing or controlling unpleasant foot odor. If you would like additional information about how to take care of elderly feet, please consult with a podiatrist.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

The Elderly and Their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet and can hide many life-threatening medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Elderly Foot Care
Monday, 19 November 2018 00:00

Plantar Warts Cause Pain in the Heel

The medical name for a condition that is commonly known as plantar warts is called verrucae warts. It is a result of the human papillomavirus (HPV) that typically enters the foot through small cracks in the heel and will affect the skin on the bottom of the feet. If you are afflicted with this painful foot condition, you may experience symptoms that include pain while walking as a result of pressure the heel must endure, and a yellow and hardened area on the skin, possibly with small black spots in the center. This virus lives in areas that are consistently moist and humid, which may include swimming pools and the surrounding areas or locker rooms. There are several different treatment options that can be implemented, which may provide the desired relief, and it is suggested to speak with a podiatrist to discuss which is the best one for you.

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

About Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus, getting into open wounds on the feet. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.

While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain or those suffering from diabetes or a compromised immune system require immediate medical care. Plantar warts are easily diagnosed, usually through scraping off a bit of rough skin or by getting a biopsy.

Symptoms

  • Lesions on the bottom of your feet, usually rough and grainy
  • Hard or thick callused spots
  • Wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots
  • Pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing

Treatment

  • Freezing
  • Electric tool removal
  • Laser Treatment
  • Topical Creams (prescription only)
  • Over-the-counter medications

To help prevent developing plantar warts, avoid walking barefoot over abrasive surfaces that can cause cuts or wounds for HPV to get into. Avoiding direct contact with other warts, as well as not picking or rubbing existing warts, can help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. However, if you think you have developed plantar warts, speak to your podiatrist. He or she can diagnose the warts on your feet and recommend the appropriate treatment options.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What Are Plantar Warts?
Monday, 12 November 2018 00:00

How to Care for a Broken Toe

If you have incurred an injury to your toe or have dropped a heavy object on it, you may have a broken toe. Common symptoms that typically accompany this condition may include pain and discomfort, swelling, redness, or tenderness. Walking may prove to be a difficult task to accomplish, and the toe may often appear bruised. For severely broken toes, the affected bone may protrude from the skin, or the toe may appear to be at an unnatural angle. Once a proper diagnosis is performed, which is often accomplished by having an X-ray taken, proper treatment techniques can begin. These may include elevating the foot, which may reduce any pain or swelling, taping the affected toe to the toe next to it for support, or wearing appropriate footwear that that can accommodate the broken toe. If you feel you have broken your toe, it’s suggested to speak with a podiatrist as quickly as possible.

Broken toes may cause a lot of pain and should be treated as soon as possible. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is a Broken Toe?

A broken toe occurs when one or more of the toe bones of the foot are broken after an injury. Injuries such as stubbing your toe or dropping a heavy object on it may cause a toe fracture.

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • Swelling
  • Pain (with/without wearing shoes)
  • Stiffness
  • Nail Injury

Although the injured toe should be monitored daily, it is especially important to have a podiatrist look at your toe if you have severe symptoms. Some of these symptoms include worsening or new pain that is not relieved with medication, sores, redness, or open wounds near the toe.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about What to Know About a Broken Toe
Monday, 05 November 2018 00:00

What Causes An Ingrown Toenail?

If you are experiencing pain and swelling surrounding the nail on the big toe, you may have what is known as an ingrown toenail. Research has shown that when this condition is treated promptly and correctly, many unpleasant and uncomfortable foot conditions may be avoided. These may include a  painful infection developing, as well as partial or total removal of the toenail. There are several causes of why this ailment may occur, including improperly cut toenails, wearing shoes and socks that may be too tight, or possible injuries to the toe. Additionally, genetics may play a role in determining the shape of the toenail, which may press more easily into the side of the toenail.  Painful symptoms may include bleeding or discharge from the surrounding area of the toenail, severe redness, or swelling. It’s advised to consult with a podiatrist as quickly as possible so the correct treatment options may be discussed.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition

Prevention

Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.

Treatment

Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Ingrown Toenail Care
Monday, 29 October 2018 00:00

Treatment Options For Bunion

The medical condition known as hallux valgus is commonly referred to as a bunion. It typically occurs as a result of a misalignment in the joint of the big toe, and may cause pain and discomfort. It appears as a large bony protrusion on the side of the big toe and may be difficult to wear specific shoes. If you have a bunion, you most likely may notice tenderness and swelling around the affected joint, in addition to possible joint pain arising from the development of arthritis. This may develop at a faster rate if the bunion is not treated promptly. Some of the reasons why bunions could form may include having an abnormal foot structure such as flat feet, an inherited genetic trait, or extremely flexible ligaments and tendons. Research has shown there are different treatment techniques, which may provide moderate relief. This includes wearing shoes that fit correctly, performing gentle exercises, or wearing insoles in the shoes. It’s important to consult with a podiatrist who can determine the best treatment option for you.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why Do Bunions Form?

Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions

How Are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How Are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Bunions
Monday, 22 October 2018 00:00

Possible Treatments of a Broken Ankle

Research has shown the ankle is comprised of three bones that interlock together. If an injury is endured that fractures one or more of these bones, it is often referred to as a broken ankle. There are several ligaments and tendons that are attached to these specific bones and may become displaced if the ankle becomes fractured. This typically may occur if a fall has happened and the ankle twists unnaturally. The noticeable symptoms may often include severe pain in and around the affected ankle, unsightly bruising, or difficulty in moving the toes. There are several ways to treat this condition, including wearing a protective boot, taping or wrapping the ankle, which may provide additional support, or possible surgery, which is often determined by the severity of the fracture. If you have broken your ankle, it’s advised to speak with a podiatrist as quickly as possible so the correct choice of treatment can begin.

Broken ankles need immediate treatment. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors 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 one of our offices located in Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Monday, 15 October 2018 00:00

Intense Pain May Accompany Gout

An excess of uric acid levels in the blood may lead to a painful condition known as gout. When the body has difficulty in processing this buildup, crystals will typically form in the joint of the big toe. It is often considered to be a form of arthritis, and may cause considerable pain and discomfort. This ailment may develop as a result of ingesting foods that are rich in purines, which may often include red wine, seafood or chocolate. Research has shown there may be several predispositions for gout to occur. People who have high blood pressure or who have abnormal kidney functions may be at a greater risk to develop this ailment. Patients who are afflicted with gout are aware of the intense pain, swelling and redness that accompanies this predicament. If you have developed gout it's suggested to consult with a podiatrist who can provide valuable information about the treatment of this debilitating condition.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Monday, 08 October 2018 00:00

Are Plantar Warts Painful?

The majority of warts can be unsightly and painful, and a plantar wart is no exception. This type of wart develops on the heel of the foot and will grow inward as a result of the pressure the feet endures on a daily basis. It is known to be caused by the human papillomavirus, which is also referred to as HPV, and may be more prevalent in children and people who have compromised immune systems. This contagious virus can be transmitted by direct contact with a person who may carry the germ or from an object that may have been contaminated. Some of the symptoms that might be associated with plantar warts may include a small area that may be rough in texture on the heel of the foot. Additionally, there may be tiny black dots in the center of the wart, and you may experience pain while walking or standing. If you are afflicted with plantar warts, it’s suggested to speak with a podiatrist who can offer correct treatment options that may include removal of the wart.

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

About Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus, getting into open wounds on the feet. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.

While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain or those suffering from diabetes or a compromised immune system require immediate medical care. Plantar warts are easily diagnosed, usually through scraping off a bit of rough skin or by getting a biopsy.

Symptoms

  • Lesions on the bottom of your feet, usually rough and grainy
  • Hard or thick callused spots
  • Wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots
  • Pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing

Treatment

  • Freezing
  • Electric tool removal
  • Laser Treatment
  • Topical Creams (prescription only)
  • Over-the-counter medications

To help prevent developing plantar warts, avoid walking barefoot over abrasive surfaces that can cause cuts or wounds for HPV to get into. Avoiding direct contact with other warts, as well as not picking or rubbing existing warts, can help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. However, if you think you have developed plantar warts, speak to your podiatrist. He or she can diagnose the warts on your feet and recommend the appropriate treatment options.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 01 October 2018 00:00

Common Reasons for Blisters to Form

Many people are aware of the discomfort that is typically associated with blisters on the feet. A blister affects the skin on the feet, and the body’s natural response to injured skin will often result in forming a bubble of fluid over the affected area. This will protect the skin from additional damage or infection that may occur. The most common reason for blisters to develop may be wearing shoes that do not fit properly and this may cause friction as the shoes rub against the skin. Additionally, blisters may develop if you are exposed to extremely cold temperatures, which may cause frostbite to occur. Blisters may also form as a result of a harsh sunburn, or an allergic reaction to an insect bite. Treatment may generally include using a gauze covering for protection, while wearing shoes, followed by fresh air exposure when the shoes are removed, which may accelerate the healing process. It is suggested to seek the counsel of a podiatrist to learn about additional treatment options for blisters.

Blisters may appear as a single bubble or in a cluster. They can cause a lot of pain and may be filled with pus, blood, or watery serum. If your feet are hurting, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Foot Blisters

Foot blisters are often the result of friction. This happens due to the constant rubbing from shoes, which can lead to pain.

What Are Foot Blisters?

A foot blister is a small fluid-filled pocket that forms on the upper-most layer of the skin. Blisters are filled with clear fluid and can lead to blood drainage or pus if the area becomes infected.

Symptoms

(Blister symptoms may vary depending on what is causing them)

  • Bubble of skin filled with fluid
  • Redness
  • Moderate to severe pain
  • Itching

Prevention & Treatment

In order to prevent blisters, you should be sure to wear comfortable shoes with socks that cushion your feet and absorb sweat. Breaking a blister open may increase your chances of developing an infection. However, if your blister breaks, you should wash the area with soap and water immediately and then apply a bandage to the affected area. If your blisters cause severe pain it is important that you call your podiatrist right away.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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