By East Texas Foot and Ankle Centers
August 22, 2019
Tags: Hammertoes  

Find out how to treat and manage your hammertoes to prevent complications.

A hammertoe is a common foot deformity that often affects the middle joint of the smaller toes. Since these toes tend to bend downward Hammertoesonce affected, an accompanying corn or callus often develops on the joint of the toe due to the friction from wearing shoes. Read on to learn more about this condition, its symptoms, and when to turn to our Tyler, TX, podiatrist Dr. James Kent for help.

Here are some of the best ways to prevent a hammertoe from getting worse:

 

Exercises

You can perform simple foot stretches and exercises to alleviate discomfort and to improve how other ligaments, tendons, and muscles in your feet work. These exercises can also maintain flexibility in the joint preventing a hammertoe from becoming rigid. Simple stretches include marble pickups and towel curls. Perform these exercises every day.

 

Wear Proper Shoes

Make sure that the only shoes you wear from here on out have a roomy toe box, which prevents the joints of your toes from being bent or bunched up into awkward and painful positions. Other necessities include good arch support and a low heel (high heels can also exacerbate foot problems). If certain shoes rub against the hammertoe and cause pain, then you may want to opt for supportive sandals.

 

Orthotics

Our Tyler, TX, foot doctor can make custom orthotics or shoe inserts to correct imbalances and improve how your feet function as a whole. Orthotics are great for patients dealing with common foot deformities such as hammertoes and bunions, and provide ample support, cushioning, and stability for the feet. Orthotics also redistribute weight evenly throughout the foot to prevent excess pressure on the deformed joint.

 

Apply Protective Padding

To prevent a callus from forming on the deformed joint, you should apply a protective padding (e.g. moleskin) to the problem area before putting on shoes. While this can provide relief for rigid hammertoes, it’s best used on those with flexible hammertoes.

 

Concerned? Contact our Tyler, TX, Office Today

It’s important to call us if the pain doesn’t go away or if it gets worse after 2-3 weeks of at-home care. Additionally, those with diabetes, poor circulation, and weakened immune systems should see a foot and ankle professional right away for treatment.

East Texas Foot & Ankle Center is dedicated to providing patients with the comprehensive and thorough foot and ankle care they need. Whether you are dealing with hammertoes, bunions, diabetic feet, or other problems, our knowledgeable, friendly staff is ready to help you get the care you need. Dial (903) 939-3668 today.

By East Texas Foot and Ankle Centers
June 20, 2019
Tags: foot pain  

Your foot pain doesn’t have to become a daily struggle that worsens over time. Without basic care and attention, it could lead to a more foot-painserious condition—one that could temporarily take you off of your feet. Get help at the onset of foot pain with the help of a podiatrist at East Texas Foot & Ankle Centers in Tyler, TX.

Foot Pain Causes
It’s normal to feel some aches and pains in your feet on occasion, especially considering how many steps you probably take every day to work, school, and during athletic activities. But when the pain is persistent and progresses, it’s something that requires immediate treatment. These are a few possible causes of chronic foot pain:

- Plantar fasciitis (also called heel spur syndrome) which is an irritated tendon that connects the toe bone to the heel.
- Bunions (a deformity that causes the base of the toe bone to shift out of alignment).
- Neuromas (bundles of nerves that form around the toes).
- Ankle sprains or Achilles tendon injuries.
- Crush injuries (common in work places that require heavy lifting).
- Ingrown toenails.
- Calluses and corns.

Foot Pain Treatments Available
You’ll find a wide range of effective, modern foot pain treatments at East Texas Foot & Ankle Centers in Tyler, TX. Those include:

- Pain laser treatments.
- Shockwave therapy.
- Orthotics and inserts, customized for your feet.
- Medication to help manage pain.
- Wound debridement (diabetic foot care).
- Safe removal of calluses and corns.
- Physical therapy.
- Foot surgery (including minimally invasive options like plantar fascia releases).

Foot Care Tips
If you want to avoid or minimize foot pain, follow these foot care tips:

- Change your footwear, as it is very often the main reason why your feet start to hurt or weaken. Switch to comfortable, cushioned, well-heeled, well-made shoes and sneakers.
- Make a commitment to lose some weight, as added pounds put extra stress on your feet.
- Schedule regular checkups with your podiatrist to monitor your foot health.

A Podiatrist Can Help
Dr. James Kent is a podiatrist serving patients in Tyler, TX who is committed to utilizing the latest treatments and providing compassionate care. To get help identifying the cause of your foot pain and possible remedies, call (903) 939-3668 today to schedule a foot exam.

By East Texas Foot and Ankle Centers
April 11, 2019
Tags: Bunion Surgery  

Do you have a bunion, that pronounced bump at the base of the big toe? Many people suffer the pain and irritation of this common Bunionspodiatric condition, and its frequency and severity increase with age, overuse, gender, and hereditary factors. For the best evaluation and treatment, including state-of-the-art bunion surgery, see Dr. James Kent at East Texas Foot & Ankle Centers in Tyler, TX.

Symptoms of bunions

Also called Hallux valgus, bunions affect a large portion of the adult population--a full 36 percent, reports Science Daily. Obvious upon visual inspection, this sore, reddened bump at the bottom of the big toe causes significant irritation and pain on the inside of the foot. As time goes on, the big toe often turns inward toward the second and even third toes, leading to mobility problems and other issues such as corns, calluses and hammertoes.

Precipitating factors include age (over 40), gender (women get more bunions), and shoe fit. Poorly supportive shoes with tight toe boxes and high heels place undue pressure on the forefoot, bending the big toe inward.

Treating bunions

At East Texas Foot & Ankle Centers, Dr. James Kent does a thorough physical inspection and review of bunion symptoms. He also takes X-rays and an MRI, depending on how severe the deformity and disability are.

Bunion care is very individual. Each case is different, and most do not require surgery. However, if rest, ice, splints, orthotics (shoe inserts) and analgesics provide little relief over the course of several months, bunion surgery may be warranted.

The surgery, called a bunionectomy, may be performed on an outpatient basis with local anesthetic, nitrous oxide, oral sedation, or a combination of all three. Dr. Kent is trained in MIS, or minimally invasive surgeries called:

  • Head procedures which work on the big toe joint
  • Base surgeries which involve the bone of the big toe and its surrounding ligaments

Base surgeries are more complicated and require a fair amount of downtime, crutches, and physical therapy.

Your foot doctor will go over your care plan with you so you understand your bunion treatments--surgery or not. Dr. Kent and his team always say, "We keep you walking."

Find out more

Bunions do not resolve on their own. If you are exhibiting symptoms and have any questions about bunion surgery, give East Texas Foot & Ankle Centers a call. Your podiatric health will be in the best of hands. Phone (903) 939-3668.

By East Texas Foot and Ankle Centers
January 23, 2019
Category: Podiatry
Tags: Diabetic Care  

Patients who struggle with diabetes have to be concerned with more than just keeping their sugar levels under control. They must also be concerned with how their medical condition will affect the healing of wounds and cuts, especially on the feet and toes (lower extremities). Diabetic Foot CarePodiatrist Dr. James Kent at East Texas Foot Ankle Centers in Tyler, TX can teach you more about the importance of diabetic foot care and help keep your feet in good shape.

Understanding Why Diabetic Foot Care Is Important
Your feet are two of your most valuable resources, giving you the proper balance and stability you need to get around throughout your day. Diabetic patients are at a higher risk of developing serious foot-related problems because their feet take longer to heal after injury and may be more prone to deformities. Some patients must work with a podiatrist on a regular basis to prevent foot injuries, manage nerve damage (also called neuropathy), and have wounds treated immediately to avoid painful abscesses and ulcers.

What Is Included in Diabetic Foot Care?
It is generally a good idea to see your podiatrist for regular examinations to keep your feet healthy, but these visits are particularly important for patients who have diabetes and circulatory diseases, Diabetic foot care treatments suggested by your Tyler, TX podiatrist may include:

- Professional nail clippings (a preventative measure).
- Wound care.
- Orthotics (shoes or inserts to protect and support your feet).
- Antibiotic therapy if there’s an infection.
- Surgical removal of infected tissue.

Additional Foot Care Information
Paying close attention to your feet is the best way to avoid complications when you’re managing diabetes. Remember these tips and incorporate them into your daily routine if you want to keep your feet in the best condition possible:

- See your primary care provider regularly to ensure that you’re getting the medication and advice that you need to manage diabetes.
- At the first sign of a cut on the foot or even an ingrown toenail, make an appointment to see your Tyler, TX podiatrist for assistance.
- Cover your feet when walking around, whether indoors or outdoors to minimize the chance of injury. Wash and dry them daily, and apply lotion in moderation.

Come in for a Foot Examination
Your foot health is important and it can be related to your overall health. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, see a podiatrist at East Texas Foot Ankle Centers in Tyler, TX for a diabetic foot care examination and treatment. Call (903) 939-3668 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. James Kent.

By East Texas Foot and Ankle Centers
December 10, 2018
Category: Podiatry
Tags: Bunions  

Bunions—they're something only an old grandma would have, right? In reality, these bony bumps on the side of the foot and the base of the big toe are very common and can develop at any age. Those with bunions experience a limited mobility and substantial discomfort. AtFoot Bunion East Texas Foot & Ankle Center in Tyler, TX, experienced podiatrist, Dr. James Kent, sees and treats scores of bunions annually—read below to see how he can make you feel well again!

How bunions start

The metatarsophalangeal joint at the bottom of the big toe takes substantial pressure from daily walking and standing. Over time—particularly if you are overweight or wear narrow, high-heeled shoes—a pronounced and uncomfortable bump, or Hallux valgus, can form. Calluses and soreness from friction against the shoe add to the problem, and the big toe, and even second and third toes, may turn inward toward the midline of the foot.

While women form more bunions than men do, bunions are not just a female issue. This foot deformity seems to have a hereditary component; in other words, foot structure, and therefore, bunions, run in families.

What you should do

If you suspect that you are developing a bunion, contact Dr. Kent right away for a foot examination and X-ray screening in our Tyler, TX office. Afterward, we will diagnose the problem, and if it is a bunion, customize a care plan to alleviate the symptoms and keep the deformity from worsening. Many patients do not require surgery (bunionectomy or osteotomy) although that is an option as needed.

Usually, patients respond well to more conservative care plans which may include:

  • Changing shoes to ones with more cushioning, roomier toe boxes, flexible materials, and lower heels (no higher than 2-1/2 inches, as advised by the American Podiatric Medical Association)
  • Rest
  • Ice to reduce swelling
  • Elevation
  • Shoe padding
  • Massage
  • Cortisone shots
  • Customized orthotics (shoe inserts) to reduce friction and to correct gait issues (how you place your feet when you walk)

Interested? Contact our Tyler, TX, office today!

Give East Texas Foot & Ankle Center a call to arrange a consultation with Dr. Kent. He and his caring team set the highest standards for your podiatric health and strive for the best possible patient outcomes. Phone us today at (903) 939-3668!





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