Posts for: December, 2018
An ankle sprain occurs when the foot rolls or twists to the point where a ligament inside stretches beyond its normal capacity. Ankle sprains are extremely common, with an estimated 25,000 sprains happening in the United States every day. Athletes and people who work outdoors or on uneven surfaces are at a higher risk for spraining their ankle. Regular wear of high-heeled shoes is also a risk factor.
Sprained ankles are diagnosed by degree; that is, the severity of the sprain and the symptoms it produces. Grade 1 sprains are the mildest, with minimal swelling and tenderness due to a slight ligament tear. Usually, Grade 1 sprains still allow for weight to be put on the ankle. Grade 2 sprains have a more significant injury to the ligament and, while walking may still be possible, it is painful. Grade 3 sprains are diagnosed when the affected ligament has sustained a complete tear and the ankle cannot bear weight. Grade 3 sprains typically display obvious bruising and swelling around the ankle.
The grade of an ankle sprain will determine the treatment. The tried-and-true RICE method - rest, ice, compression, and elevation - is usually sufficient for Grade 1 sprains. Refraining from walking, keeping the ankle elevated for the first two days, stabilizing the ankle with a compression dressing, and applying ice to reduce swelling helps the sprain resolve within 2 to 4 weeks. Grade 2 sprains also respond well to RICE treatment, although healing typically takes longer and a firmer immobilization device, like a splint, is typically recommended. Grade 3 sprains often require similar treatment used for ankle fractures; a cast or brace may be needed and surgery may be considered for some patients.
To ensure proper healing, it is important to follow the recommendations of your podiatrist. Attempting to return to normal activity too soon could result in a repeat injury or permanent ankle instability.
What is Sesamoiditis?
Sesamoids are small bones that are only connected to tendons or surrounded in muscle. This only appears in a few places in the body, one of which is the foot. Two very tiny sesamoids are found in the underside of the foot near the big toe. One is on the outer side of the foot and the other bone is close to the middle of the foot. This structure provides a smooth surface for the tendons to slide over, which helps the tendons move muscles. They help with weight bearing and also help to elevate the bones of the big toe. So now that you know what sesamoids are, you might be wondering what sesamoiditis is and what its symptoms are.
Just like any other bone, sesamoids can unfortunately fracture. The tendons surrounding the sesamoids may also become irritated or inflamed and this is what sesamoiditis is. Sesamoiditis is also a form of tendonitis and is a common condition among ballerinas, runners, and baseball catchers due to the pressure that is constantly placed on their feet.
Symptoms of Sesamoiditis
Symptoms of Sesamoiditis may include:
- Pain under the big toe or ball of the foot
- Swelling and/or bruising
- Difficulty in bending and straightening the big toe
- Resting and stopping any activity that could be causing pain and inflammation
- Anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen and aspirin only after consulting your physician
- Icing the sole of the foot
- Wearing soft-soled and low-heeled shoes
- Cushioning inserts in the shoes
If symptoms persist after treatments, you may need to wear a removable brace for 4-6 weeks to help the bones heal. Call your podiatrist today to ask any questions about sesamoiditis and get on your way to pain-free feet once again!
How your foot doctor in Vineland, NJ, can help your feet
If you have foot pain, don’t ignore it. Your feet play an important role in your life, carrying you through your daily activities. Foot pain may or may not go away on its own. The good news is, your foot doctor can help. Dr. Jeffrey Belancio at South Jersey Foot and Ankle Specialists in Vineland, NJ, can help you and your feet feel better.
You may experience foot pain from an obvious cause like a foot injury. Fractures, sprains, and strains are all common foot problems. Fortunately, you can do a lot to prevent foot injuries. Remember to:
- Wear supportive footwear, appropriate to the activity you are doing, and avoid going barefoot
- Clear your floors of hard, sharp objects or things you might trip over
- Be aware of the surfaces you are walking on, and try to walk on even surfaces
Foot pain may also be associated with a medical condition like diabetes, which commonly affects your feet. The disease compromises your immune, nervous, and circulatory systems, affecting your ability to heal. That means if you get a minor cut or blister, it could turn into a large, painful diabetic ulcer. Remember to examine your feet regularly for injuries, and visit your podiatrist regularly to take care of your feet when you are diabetic.
One of the most common causes of foot pain is plantar fasciitis. The thick band of tissue running across your heel can become inflamed, causing the condition. It can occur from walking or standing on hard surfaces for long periods of time, or from rolling your feet when you walk. It’s more common in runners, people who are flat-footed, or if you are overweight.
You can try a few remedies to ease plantar fasciitis pain including:
- Doing arch stretches during the day
- Resting and elevating your feet
For stubborn plantar fasciitis pain that doesn’t resolve, it’s time to visit your foot doctor. Custom orthotics and footwear, physical therapy, night splints, and anti-inflammatory medications are just a few of the treatments for plantar fasciitis.
You don’t have to deal with foot pain all by yourself. Your foot doctor can help. Get relief from your foot pain by calling Dr. Jeffrey Belancio at South Jersey Foot and Ankle Specialists in Vineland, NJ. Call now!