Let Us Treat Your Feet This Winter

Take extra care when walking on snow and ice. If you experience a fall and sustain an injury, we're here to help. We treat trauma, soft tissue injuries, and fractures.

Surgery for Big Toe Arthritis

Arthritis often strikes the joint connecting the big toe to the ball of the foot and can cause significant pain. This affliction is more common as one ages and cartilage wears away between the bones. A surgery can be performed where the bones are fused together with metal plates, but this can limit the flexibility of the toe. Another option is a type of implant that can be inserted between the bones and can cushion the aching joint. Such an implant can be as small as a miniature marshmallow. It is made of saline solution and polyvinyl alcohol, like that used in soft contact lenses. This material compresses a bit under pressure, much like real cartilage. If you suffer from arthritis in the big toe, consult with a podiatrist to see if surgery is a treatment that is right for you.

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to treat a foot ailment. To learn more, contact Dean Kim, DPM of Greater Texas Foot & Ankle Specialist. 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 Frisco, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Wearing a Brace After an Ankle Sprain

Rushing the healing process after spraining an ankle is unwise, according to experts. This is because if the ankle does not fully heal, it is much more likely to be sprained again. For this reason, using an ankle brace during the recovery period can be a good idea. The goal of wearing an ankle brace is to speed up the healing process while preventing further pain. There are three types to consider, based on the severity of the sprain. The first type, used in more severe cases, immobilizes the ankle while providing compression to keep swelling down. If you are healing from a more moderate sprain, you may wish to use a brace that eases up on compression but keeps the ankle from moving laterally. For a mild sprain, a lighter-weight brace is suggested, which still offers some support while it helps to stabilize the joint. For more information on the proper brace to use after an ankle sprain, please consult a podiatrist. 

Ankle sprains are common but need immediate attention. If you need your feet checked, contact Dean Kim, DPM from Greater Texas Foot & Ankle Specialist. 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 take place when the ligaments in your ankle are torn or stretched beyond their limits. There are multiple ways that the ankle can become injured, including twisting or rolling over onto your ankle, putting undue stress on it, or causing trauma to the ankle itself.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Mild to moderate bruising
  • Limited mobility
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration of the skin (depending on severity)

Preventing a Sprain

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

Treatment of a Sprain

Treatment of a sprain depends on the severity.  Many times, people are told to rest and remain off their feet completely, while others are given an air cast. If the sprain is very severe, surgery may be required.

If you have suffered an ankle sprain previously, you may want to consider additional support such as a brace and regular exercises to strengthen the ankle.

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

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When to Worry About a Child’s Foot Pain

Early intervention is key to halting chronic foot problems in children. Issues that are common with children’s feet include flat feet, which describes the appearance of a foot that does not have a well-developed arch and the foot lays flat against the floor. While there are usually no symptoms of flat feet in kids, some children may complain of cramping, pain, and tenderness in the foot or leg. They might limp or exhibit an aversion to athletic activities and walking because they say their legs and feet get tired. It is important that parents do not automatically attribute a child’s foot pain to growing pains as it can be more serious. It is suggested that if your child says or shows they feel pain in their feet or legs, a podiatrist be consulted to do a thorough examination of the feet and rule out anything serious or structural abnormalities that might be helped with simple intervention techniques.

The health of a child’s feet is vital to their overall well-being. If you have any questions regarding foot health, contact Dean Kim, DPM of Greater Texas Foot & Ankle Specialist. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Tips for Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

  • Make sure their shoes fit properly
  • Look for any signs of in-toeing or out-toeing
  • Check to see if they have Clubfoot (condition that affects your child’s foot and ankle, twisting the heel and toes inward) which is one of the most common nonmajor birth defects.
  • Lightly cover your baby’s feet (Tight covers may keep your baby from moving their feet freely, and could prevent normal development)
  • Allow your toddler to go shoeless (Shoes can be restricting for a young child’s foot)
  • Cut toenails straight across to avoid ingrown toenails
  • Keep your child’s foot clean and dry
  • Cover cuts and scrapes. Wash any scratches with soap and water and cover them with a bandage until they’ve healed.

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

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Why Plantar Flexion Is Important

Every time you press your foot down on the accelerator of the car, nine muscles in your ankle, foot, and leg are used to accomplish this task. Additionally, very time you stand on tiptoe to reach something on a high shelf, you need these same muscles to help you to accomplish that. Dancers and many athletes, such as basketball and soccer players, depend on plantar flexion to extend their feet. This action is called flexing the muscles, and an injury to any of the muscles involved can make it painful and difficult to extend the foot. Ankle sprains and fractures are the main conditions that inhibit plantar flexion. When the ankle bones and muscles are injured, the result is swelling that reduces the range of motion. Three actions can help to prevent these types of injuries. First, it is beneficial to wear shoes that fit properly, and avoiding high heels which do not support the ankle. Secondly, perform exercises that strengthen those muscles in the legs, ankles, and feet which support plantar flexion. And lastly, consult a podiatrist who can provide you with tips on how to preserve ankle strength and support. 

If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dean Kim, DPM from Greater Texas Foot & Ankle Specialist. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Biomechanics in Podiatry

Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.

A History of Biomechanics

  • Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
  • In 1974, biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area.

Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.

Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot.

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

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Falling May Affect Confidence Levels of Seniors

Many elderly people know the importance of maintaining physical mobility, knowing it can affect their ability to walk and complete daily activities. Falling can be common among seniors, possibly resulting in a broken toe or foot, which may happen from a loss of balance and strength. It can also invoke fear of falling, and moving around may be put on the back burner. This can negatively affect social life, in addition to losing the satisfaction of accomplishing a physical task. There are fall prevention methods that can be implemented which can raise confidence levels, and reduce the fear of falling. These can include frequently engaging in a gentle exercise routine that can increase balance and strengthen the body. Many patients find it helps to improve lighting in the household, and installing grab bars can help to find stability that is needed in the shower and toilet areas. Additionally, it is beneficial to have regular physical and eye examinations, which can help to monitor existing medication and eyeglasses. Falling can affect the feet, and it is advised that you speak with a podiatrist who can guide you toward fall prevention techniques.

Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with Dean Kim, DPM from Greater Texas Foot & Ankle Specialist. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.

Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.

How to Prevent Falls

Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:

  • Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
  • Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
  • Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
  • Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
  • Utilizing a walker or cane
  • Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
  • Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness

Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.  

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

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Injury From a Winter Sport? Get the Care You Need

Winter sports can be fun for many – but only with the proper protective gear. Even with the right equipment, however, injuries can happen. If you’ve sustained foot or ankle trauma or a foot or ankle injury, we’re here to help.

Causes and Prevention of Ankle Pain

The ankle is a complex structure of ligaments, tendons, muscles, and other soft tissues that connect the bones of the feet and the legs. The ankle supports your weight whenever you stand, balance, or move. It helps you flex, extend, and rotate your feet. Pain in the ankles can be caused by many conditions. The most common among them are sprains, fractures, and tendonitis. In addition, ankle pain can be caused by arthritis, bursitis, and flat feet. Among the ways to avoid ankle pain are maintaining a healthy body weight, strengthening the leg and foot muscles, and warming up properly before engaging in strenuous exercise or sports. Further, it is a good idea to wear shoes that support the feet and ankles and that are designed for the sport of activity you are doing. At the first sign of ankle pain, it is recommended that you stop the activity immediately and rest the ankle. If pain persists, if the ankle begins to swell, or if bearing weight becomes a problem, it is wise to consult a podiatrist who can determine the severity of your injury and provide appropriate treatment options.

Ankle pain can be caused by a number of problems and may be potentially serious. If you have ankle pain, consult with Dean Kim, DPM from Greater Texas Foot & Ankle Specialist. Our doctor 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 our office located in Frisco, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

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Qualifications to Become a Podiatrist

Podiatrists are medical specialists that treats any type of foot and ankle disorders. People who are interested in practicing this branch of medicine will have to go through an extensive schooling and training program. After a bachelor's degree is obtained, the residency program can begin. This will take approximately three years, and is followed by passing the American Podiatric Medical Licensing Examination. Many states require podiatrists to enroll in a continuing education program sporadically throughout their careers.  This is beneficial in keeping up with current knowledge and improved podiatry techniques. Research has shown the best candidates to enter a podiatry residency program will have additional skills in addition to their academic achievements. These can include problem-solving and time management skills, in addition to superb communication skills. This branch of medicine can be lucrative, and provide a sense of accomplishment. If you are interested in pursuing podiatry as a career choice, please seek advice from this type of doctor who can help you to determine if this is a right decision for you.

If you are experiencing pain in the feet or ankles, don’t join the stubborn majority refusing treatment. Feel free to contact Dean Kim, DPM from Greater Texas Foot & Ankle Specialist. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Podiatrist?

Someone would seek the care of a podiatrist if they have suffered a foot injury or have common foot ailments such as heal spurs, bunions, arch problems, deformities, ingrown toenails, corns, foot and ankle problems, etc.

Podiatric Treatment

A podiatrist will treat the problematic areas of the feet, ankle or lower leg by prescribing the following:

  • Physical therapy
  • Drugs
  • Orthotic inserts or soles
  • Surgery on lower extremity fractures

A common podiatric procedure a podiatrist will use is a scanner or force plate which will allow the podiatrist to know the designs of orthotics. Patients are then told to follow a series of tasks to complete the treatment. The computer will scan the foot a see which areas show weight distribution and pressure points. The podiatrist will read the analysis and then determine which treatment plans are available.

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

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Can Heel Spurs Be Prevented?

Many people have heel pain and show no other symptoms. This can indicate a heel spur has developed, and treatment is often sought for relief. A heel spur is defined as a bony growth that gradually forms on the bottom of the heel, and can come from excessive pressure the heels endure from being overweight, or if the plantar fascia becomes damaged. Wearing shoes that do not fit correctly may cause a heel spur to develop, in addition to having an abnormal foot structure. There are specific groups of people who may be prone to developing a heel spur. These can include runners, elderly people, diabetic patients, or people who have frequent gout attacks. People who have pain with a heel spur often notice there is tenderness surrounding the heel, and the affected foot and ankle may become swollen. Additionally, there may be sharp heel pain after rising in the morning. Effective prevention methods may consist of stretching the feet regularly, wearing insoles that can provide support, and maintaining a healthy weight. If you feel you have a heel spur, it is strongly urged 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 Dean Kim, DPM from Greater Texas Foot & Ankle Specialist. 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 Frisco, TX . We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

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