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Wednesday, 04 December 2019 00:00

What Is Gout and Why Does It Occur?

A common form of arthritis that is known as gout may be prevalent among men over the age of forty. This painful condition can be caused by genetic factors, or from eating foods that have elevated levels of purines. This may cause crystals to form in the joints, and often affects the big toe. These types of foods can include shellfish, alcohol, red meat, or drinks that have high sugar levels. The pain typically starts at night, and in severe attacks, anything that touches the affected area may be intolerable. This condition can be diagnosed by performing a joint aspiration. This technique involves extracting a small amount of fluid from the affected joint, followed by analyzing it for high levels of uric acid. There are specific medications that may be available for the treatment of gout. Additionally, these types of attacks may be prevented when healthy eating habits are implemented into your daily routine. If you are experiencing gout, it is suggested that you speak with a podiatrist who can guide you toward proper treatment options.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Michael Doughty from Doughty Podiatry, P.A. Our doctor 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 our office located in Baltimore, MD. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Gout
Wednesday, 27 November 2019 00:00

Are You Suffering from Ingrown Toenails?

If left untreated, an ingrown toenail can lead to greater issues. Give us a call, and get treated!

Poor circulation may affect one’s quality of life and can lead to possible health complications if not properly addressed. Some symptoms one may experience if they are dealing with poor circulation of the feet are a possible numbing and tingling feeling in the affected area, swelling of the feet, ankles, or legs, joint and muscle cramping, discoloration of the skin, and ulcers in the legs and feet. Poor circulation may also lead to a feeling of regular fatigue, digestive issues, and possible memory loss or trouble concentrating. If untreated, poor circulation of the feet may lead to serious complications, which is why we recommend it is best that you see a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and advised recovery regime.

While poor circulation itself isn’t a condition; it is a symptom of another underlying health condition you may have. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact Dr. Michael Doughty of Doughty Podiatry, P.A. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) can potentially lead to poor circulation in the lower extremities. PAD is a condition that causes the blood vessels and arteries to narrow. In a linked condition called atherosclerosis, the arteries stiffen up due to a buildup of plaque in the arteries and blood vessels. These two conditions can cause a decrease in the amount of blood that flows to your extremities, therefore resulting in pain.

Symptoms

Some of the most common symptoms of poor circulation are:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Throbbing or stinging pain in limbs
  • Pain
  • Muscle Cramps

Treatment for poor circulation often depends on the underlying condition that causes it. Methods for treatment may include insulin for diabetes, special exercise programs, surgery for varicose veins, or compression socks for swollen legs.

As always, see a podiatrist as he or she will assist in finding a regimen that suits you. A podiatrist can also prescribe you any needed medication. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Baltimore, MD. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Causes Symptoms and Treatment for Poor Circulation in the Feet
Monday, 18 November 2019 00:00

How Do Heel Spurs Develop?

One of the most noticeable symptoms of a heel spur is pain in the heel and surrounding areas. It can occur as a result of walking and standing on hard surfaces, wearing new shoes that do not fit correctly, or after training for a specific sport. It can develop from consistent pressure that is put on the heel, and may cause a small bony protrusion to form on the heel bone. The symptoms that many people experience is pain on the bottom of the foot while pursuing activities that require walking and standing. If a heel spur is left untreated, pain and discomfort may be felt even when the foot is resting. Moderate relief may be found if a protective pad is worn in the shoe. Additionally, it may be helpful to stretch the heel frequently. This can be accomplished by standing on a step, and gently raising and lowering the heel. Severe heel spurs can be debilitating. If you are suffering from this ailment, it is strongly advised that you consult with a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.

Heel spurs can be incredibly painful and sometimes may make you unable to participate in physical activities. To get medical care for your heel spurs, contact Dr. Michael Doughty from Doughty Podiatry, P.A. Our doctor will do everything possible to treat your condition.

Heels Spurs

Heel spurs are formed by calcium deposits on the back of the foot where the heel is. This can also be caused by small fragments of bone breaking off one section of the foot, attaching onto the back of the foot. Heel spurs can also be bone growth on the back of the foot and may grow in the direction of the arch of the foot.

Older individuals usually suffer from heel spurs and pain sometimes intensifies with age. One of the main condition's spurs are related to is plantar fasciitis.

Pain

The pain associated with spurs is often because of weight placed on the feet. When someone is walking, their entire weight is concentrated on the feet. Bone spurs then have the tendency to affect other bones and tissues around the foot. As the pain continues, the feet will become tender and sensitive over time.

Treatments

There are many ways to treat heel spurs. If one is suffering from heel spurs in conjunction with pain, there are several methods for healing. Medication, surgery, and herbal care are some options.

If you have any questions feel free to contact our office located in Baltimore, MD. We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

Read more about How to Treat Heel Spurs
Monday, 11 November 2019 00:00

Ankle Sprains May Be Common Among Athletes

Research has shown that ankle sprains are common among people who frequently participate in sporting activities. This is often the result of tearing or overstretching the ligaments in the ankle. Common symptoms of this type of injury may include severe swelling, pain, and it may be difficult to put weight on the ankle. Relief may be found when the affected foot is elevated, and this may help to alleviate a portion of the swelling. Additionally, it may be beneficial to wrap the ankle in an elastic bandage, and this can help to provide the support that is needed as the healing process takes place. If the activity is resumed that caused the sprain before the ankle has had a chance to completely heal the sprain may return, and ligaments may be scarred. If you have fallen or twisted your ankle, and think it may be sprained, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can diagnosis and treat this condition.

Although ankle sprains are common, they aren’t always minor injuries. If you need your ankle injury looked at, contact Dr. Michael Doughty from Doughty Podiatry, P.A. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains are the result of a tear in the ligaments within the ankle. These injuries may happen when you make a rapid shifting movement while your foot is planted. A less common way to sprain your ankle is when your ankle rolls inward while your foot turns outward.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Pain at the sight of the tear
  • Bruising/Swelling
  • Ankle area is tender to touch
  • In severe cases, may hear/feel something tear
  • Skin discoloration

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

In many cases, the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevate) is used to treat ankle sprains. However, you should see a podiatrist to see which treatment option would work best with your injury. In severe cases, surgery may be required.

It is important to ask your doctor about rehab options after you receive treatment for your injury. Stretching, strength training, and balance exercises may help the ankle heal while also preventing further injury.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Baltimore, MD. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Ankle Sprains
Monday, 04 November 2019 00:00

Why Choose Foot Surgery?

Many patients choose to have foot surgery performed as an option to relieve severe pain and discomfort. Relief may be found when toenail removal is chosen to correct chronically infected ingrown toenails. Bunion surgery may be a choice to consider if the bunion is painful and unsightly. Research has indicated it is helpful to wear orthotics following a bunionectomy, as this may help to achieve long lasting relief. If pain is felt from a deformed ankle, the surgery that may help diminish the discomfort is referred to as an ankle fusion. Additionally, this type of surgery may help patients who have ankle arthritis, and neuromuscular disorders. If you have foot pain, and are considering surgery, it is strongly advised that you schedule a consultation with a podiatrist who can properly guide you toward making the choice that is correct for you.

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to treat a foot ailment. To learn more, contact Dr. Michael Doughty of Doughty Podiatry, P.A. 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 office located in Baltimore, MD. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Foot Surgery

Living with foot pain is hard on your body.  Give us a call and let us find out what's wrong.

Tuesday, 22 October 2019 00:00

What is a Stress Fracture?

Have you recently gone on vacation, and walked more than you usually do at home on a day to day basis? Do you now have pain in your ankle or foot? Stress fractures don’t only occur in people who run and exercise daily, because anyone is at risk. Typically, this type of injury can be caused by a sudden increase in physical activity. Examples are an increase in exercise frequency, running on a different surface, and even changing your shoes can all be causes of a stress fracture. A stress fracture is a small crack in a bone, or severe bruising within a bone. To prevent stress fractures, it is suggested that you implement a proper nutrition regiment, wear shoes that fit correctly, and start slowly when beginning any new exercise routine. If you believe you have a stress fracture, it is strongly advised to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist. Prior to your appointment, it is suggested that you  elevate your foot which may help to relieve swelling.

Activities where too much pressure is put on the feet can cause stress fractures. To learn more, contact Dr. Michael Doughty from Doughty Podiatry, P.A. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep your pain free and on your feet.

Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

Stress fractures occur in the foot and ankle when muscles in these areas weaken from too much or too little use.  The feet and ankles then lose support when walking or running from the impact of the ground. Since there is no protection, the bones receive the full impact of each step. Stress on the feet can cause cracks to form in the bones, thus creating stress fractures.

What Are Stress Fractures?

Stress fractures occur frequently in individuals whose daily activities cause great impact on the feet and ankles. Stress factors are most common among:

  • Runners                                  
  • People affected with Osteoporosis
  • Tennis or basketball players
  • Gymnasts
  • High impact workouts

Symptoms

Pain from the fractures occur in the area of the fractures and can be constant or intermittent. It will often cause sharp or dull pain with swelling and tenderness. Engaging in any kind of activity which involves high impact will aggravate pain.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Baltimore, MD. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
Monday, 14 October 2019 00:00

How Are Ingrown Toenails Treated?

The condition that is known as ingrown toenails happens as a result of the edge of the nail growing into the skin surrounding the nail. It can typically cause severe pain and discomfort, and it may be difficult to wear shoes that are normally worn. The edges of the nail can appear red, swollen, and tender when touched, and it is beneficial to begin treatment as quickly as possible. This can consist of soaking the affected nail in warm water, which is helpful in softening the skin around the nail. This may also make it easier to move the edge of the toenail away from the skin with a piece of cotton. If an ingrown toenail should become infected, surgery may be required to remove a portion of the nail. If you are afflicted with this ailment, it is strongly suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can offer you proper treatment techniques.

Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. Michael Doughty of Doughty Podiatry, P.A. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.

Causes

  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • Improper shoe fitting
  • Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • Abnormal gait
  • Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.

Treatment

Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Baltimore, MD. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Ingrown Toenails
Monday, 07 October 2019 00:00

Is Hammertoe A Deformity?

There are noticeable signs you may have a hammertoe. These can include the second toe bending in a downward direction, often resembling a hammer. Additionally, it may bend over the third toe, and it may be difficult to walk. This condition may be caused by genetic traits, or can come from wearing shoes that do not have enough room for the toes to move freely in. It is considered to be a deformity of the bones in the toes, and in severe cases, surgery may be required to permanently straighten the toes. In the beginning stages of hammertoe, mild relief may be found when larger shoes are worn that can accommodate the bent toes. Some patients find it beneficial to wear pads on the top of the affected toes, and this may help to prevent corns from developing. If you are afflicted with hammertoe, it is suggested that you speak to a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition. 

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Michael Doughty of Doughty Podiatry, P.A. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Baltimore, MD. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Hammertoe
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