Foot News Blog

As we age, the risk of falling increases.  A number of factors contribute to this risk, including progressive weakness of the foot and legs, decreased ability to lift the ankle, causing the toes to drag on the ground, stroke, as well inner ear problems.  While not all of the problems contributing to increased fall risk are treatable, some measures can be taken to reduce the risk of falling.  People fall every day just from simply walking, often leading to other significant injuries including hip, leg, and arm fractures, internal head injuries, lacerations, and other injuries.  Some of the injuries can become life threatening, especially when the faller is on blood thinner medication.

A number of tips can help prevent such falls.  Use of either a 2 or 4 point walker can provide needed stability, reducing the risk of falling.  A number of different braces are available to assist in dorsiflexing the ankle, preventing the toes from dragging the ground while swinging the leg forward.  Virtually all of these braces are covered by insurance, and while somewhat cumbersome, virtually all fit in to an athletic shoe.  Finally use of a leather soled shoe, in leiu of a rubber soled shoe, can greatly reduce the risk of falling.  Rubber soled shoes grip the ground, potentially causing one to trip.  A leather soled shoe slides much more easily, greatly reducing the risk of tripping over ones own shoes.

If you or a loved one has some weakness of the foot or leg, have had a history of falling, or simply feel unstable while walking, give us a callDr. Block and staff at the Bluegrass Foot Center will work hard to keep you upright, stable, and on your feet!

Diabetes effects millions of people in the world, of all walks of life.  You may not know that many celebrities live with diabetes daily.  These people include:

Halle Berry

Mary Tyler Moore

Patti LaBelle

Brett Michaels

Drew Carey

Sherri Shepherd

Randy Jackson

Mike Huckabee

Larry King

Nick Jonas

 

Sometimes when you walk, run, or ascend stairs do you experience a sharp, stabbing pain in the ball of your great toe. Does it ache and/or burn at the end of a long day? This could signal early degeneration of the joint. The ball of the great toe is quite complex, involving motion of the great toe over the round head of the 1st metatarsal, and two bones (sesamoids) on the bottom of the joint that move in unison with the great toe. 

In some people, genetics, prior injury, or poor mechanics of the foot can lead to degeneration of this joint.  In some cases the great toe can jam into the top of the joint, resulting in progressive loss of cartilage within the joint, bone spur formation, and inflammation.

The severity of pain can vary, and is not always related to the severity of arthritis.  Moreover, x-rays do not always correlate with the severity of arthritis.  The complex series of events that lead to the arthritis are treatable, with conservative options including anti-inflammatory medications, custom orthotics to improve the mechanics of the joint, periodic steroid injection, possible use of topical anti-inflammatory medications, use of stiff soled shoes, and finally surgery.

When conservative options fail to reduce the pain, surgery is sometimes required.  One simple fact that should be known is that the arthritic changes that take place in the joint will not reduce with time.  Unless something is done to reduce the pressures within the joint, the arthritic damage will progress over time.  That leaves the patient with a choice.  Do I pursue surgery now in effort to preserve the joint, or leave the joint as is, knowing the arthritis will get worse with time?   If you choose to wait, the joint surfaces will have to be removed in order to remove the pain.  When the arthritis is more advanced, surgical options include fusing the joint together, where the two bones grow together and no longer move, or replacing the joint with an artificial implant.  Both options bear advantages and disadvantages, but possess good success rates in alleviating the pain of the arthritis.

If you experience pain in the ball of your great toe, or any other foot pain, we are the experts you need.  In the Owensboro, Western Kentucky, or TriState area, Dr. Block and staff at the Bluegrass Foot Center-your source for all your foot and ankle problems!

Boston Redsox Outfielder Carl Crawford was recently diagnosed with an injured ulnar collateral ligament of his elbow.  While he is expected to be out of action for 3 months, it is believed surgery will not be necessary.  In effort to speed the healing of this area, he did have a platelet rich plasma (PRP) injection of his elbow.  One commonality between the ulnar collateral ligament of the elbow, and that of the plantar fasciaa, is that of very limited blood flow to these areas.  Due to the type of inflammation and the limited blood flow, PRP injection is a great, nonsurgical option to try and resolve the chronic inflammation of the area.

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