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By Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates
May 28, 2020
Category: Foot Care
Tags: toenail fungus  
Onychomycosis is the technical term for toenail fungus. It’s when fungus gets under the nail and causes an infection. You’ll notice that the nail changes color and starts emitting an odor. If left untreated, the infection can spread to the other toes and even the fingers. The best thing to do is to schedule an appointment with your local podiatrist. 
 
What Causes Toenail Fungus?
Your feet are vulnerable to fungi and bacteria due to their location on the body. This is especially true if you go barefoot in damp areas like locker rooms, showers, and swimming pools. Your feet come in direct contact with these pathogens. An injury to the nail bed also opens your body up to infection. Even the smallest cut provides an opening for bacteria. Other possible risk factors include pre-existing medical conditions like immune-deficiency, diabetes, circulatory problems, and other chronic illnesses. 
 
Podiatry Treatment for Toenail Fungus
Schedule an appointment with your podiatrist right away when you notice differences in the appearance of your toenail. This includes any thickening, discoloration, or deformity. Your podiatrist will first need to make a diagnosis before treatment starts. This is done through a simple lab test. 
 
The first line of treatment includes oral and topical antifungal. Topical antifungal medication or cream is applied directly to the nail. Oral antifungal is taken just like regular medication. These are also more effective. You will take the oral antifungal for approximately three months.
 
For severe cases, patients require surgery. That’s why it’s so important to seek treatment from your foot doctor right away. They can help you before it gets to this point. Otherwise, your podiatrist performs a temporary removal of the nail. This gives your doctor space to evenly apply the topical antifungal.  
 
Toenails that don’t respond to any treatment need permanent nail removal. This eliminates the fungal infection while getting rid of the damaged nail.
 
At-Home Solutions for Toenail Fungus
There are a few things you can do at home to help treat your toenail fungus. A strict cleaning regime can relieve mild infections. Patients have found success in filing off the white marks and then applying over-the-counter antifungal agents. These do not stop infections from coming back, which is why we encourage patients to seek treatment from a medical professional.
By Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates
May 27, 2020
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Plantar Fasciitis  

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, approximately 2 million plantar fasciitis cases are treated every single year.

If you suspect that you have plantar fasciitis, a prompt diagnosis by one of the podiatrists here at the Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates in Boise, Nampa/Caldwell, and Meridian, ID, is vital since the condition can cause immense heel pain and other related symptoms—read on to learn more.

Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms to Watch Out For

Plantar fasciitis causes stabbing and sharp heel pain that usually occurs when you suddenly stand up after being at rest for a long time or get up in the morning. Although affected people usually describe the most common symptom as a shooting pain, plantar fasciitis could likewise cause the heel to swell. This pain could be immensely severe after rest, but it typically lets up as the day progresses, although it often reappears after long periods of staying on your feet or exercising.

Your plantar fascia, situated at the bottom of your foot, is a dense connective tissue ligament or band that connects your foot’s portion to your heel. Its main job is to support your foot arch (sort of like the bowstring of a bow) by absorbing all kinds of strains and stress placed on your feet. Over time, some individuals could develop inflammation or a strain in the plantar fascia that could become a recurring or chronic condition.

Diagnosing Plantar Fasciitis

Heel pain is the most unmistakable and common plantar fasciitis symptom. This could also be accompanied by swelling and some redness in certain people. With this in mind, if you have heel pain that persists for weeks, consult a podiatrist at our Boise, ID, practice as soon as possible. Your podiatrist will go through all of your symptoms, evaluate your foot, order necessary tests to rule out similar foot conditions, and recommend treatments that will work best for your specific symptoms.

Need Expert Relief from Your Heel Pain? We Can Help

Arrange an assessment with one our podiatrists here at Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates by calling (208) 327-0627 to reach our Boise, ID, office, (208) 463-1660 for our Nampa/Caldwell, ID, office, and (208) 888-9876 for our Meridian, ID, office.

By Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates
May 20, 2020
Category: Foot Issues
Tags: Neuroma   Morton's Neuroma  
Morton's NeuromaA podiatrist can help you with a variety of conditions that affect the feet, including Morton’s neuroma. A neuroma is the thickening of nerve tissue in the body, with Morton's neuroma specifically happening in the ball of the foot. It’s caused by an irritation in the nerve between the third and fourth toes. Patients experience pain while walking, with a burning, tingling, or numbness. 
 
Developing Morton’s Neuroma
 
There isn’t any known cause for Morton’s neuroma. There are a few factors that can increase your risk though. These include: 
  • Trauma or injury to the foot, damaging the nerve and resulting in swelling.
  • Improper footwear, like shoes that squeeze the foot together. High heels also increase pressure on the vulnerable areas.
  • Recurring stress to the feet through repeated physical activities or exercise. This is common with patients who are constantly on their feet due to their job. 
  • Deformities of the foot, like a high arch or flat foot. These lead to instability throughout the foot. 
The most important thing that your podiatrist recommends is wearing comfortable shoes. You don’t want anything that squeezes or hurts. Always wear athletic shoes when engaging in any physical activity. 
 
How to Treat Morton’s Neuroma at Home
 
Start by finding shoes that give your toes lots of room and are easily adjustable. The soles need to be shock-absorbent and thick. This keeps the pressure off the feet. You should also invest in shoe inserts or soles recommended by your podiatrist. Lastly, pay attention to your feet and their pain levels. When your Morton’s neuroma starts to act up, take a minute to rest. Take off your shoe and massage the area. An ice pack brings down the swelling too. 
 
Talking to Your Podiatrist
 
You should schedule an appointment with your podiatrist as soon as you experience foot problems. Morton’s neuroma gets worse without treatment. Identifying the neuroma early on can prevent needing aggressive treatment options like surgery. 
 
For early forms of Morton’s neuroma, changing your shoes is enough to relieve your symptoms. Your podiatrist’s goal for early treatment is to relieve pressure from the affected area. After going through a physical examination and having X-rays done, your podiatrist creates a treatment plan that works for you. 
 
There are a few different options that can work for you:
  • Taping and padding: This is a special type of tape and bandages that you place on the bottom of the foot. This helps with your symptoms. 
  • Orthotics: These are the custom shoes that your podiatrist can create for you. 
  • Medication: Cortisone injections reduce the pain and inflammation in the foot. Anti-inflammatory drugs also reduce your swelling. 
  • Surgery is the last resort for treatment. The procedure is done on an outpatient basis. The injured nerve is removed and recovery takes a few weeks.
By Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates
April 29, 2020
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Shoes   Injuries  
The Right ShoesExercise is an important aspect of keeping our bodies healthy and happy. That’s why it’s so important to wear the correct shoes for certain activities. Whether you’re an athlete, workout buff, or enjoy walking and hiking, you need the proper footwear. It makes the difference between enjoying your favorite activities and sitting out with an avoidable injury. Talk to your podiatrist to have your feet evaluated for your future workout needs.
 
Essential Equipment
All exercise involves your feet, ankles, and knees. Placing pressure on them puts you at risk for strains, sprains, and wear-and-tear injuries. Find shoes made specifically for the activity you engage in while also providing a good fit. They should accommodate your body and activity level. 
 
Pay attention to the wear on your older shoes. The soles show where you need more support in the future. The right shoe also feels good from the start. Don’t believe the sentiment that a shoe needs to be broken in. This is not true and creates ongoing problems. 
 
Matching Your Shoe to Your Sport
Different types of exercise affect your feet in different ways. Your shoes need to support the high-risk areas. 
  • Running requires shoes with shock absorption. Your feet take on a lot of pressure and friction. Cushioning your shoes in the correct areas keeps you from feeling the pain. 
  • Traction is important in sports that need quick changes in direction and sprinting, like basketball. Traction should never be too high or low. The right shoes keep you from slipping on the floor while letting you move and pivot.
  • Ankle support is a must. It limits the side-to-side movement that knocks your ankle out of alignment. This kind of support keeps ankle sprains at bay. For sports like basketball, hockey, skiing, and skating, make sure that your shoes aren’t too high. Otherwise, they will dig into your Achilles tendon. You can also wear soft ankle braces.
  • Arch support varies for everyone. Your podiatrist can test your foot to determine your gait. Depending on the results, your podiatrist can recommend orthotics or special shoe inserts.
Remember to Replace Your Old Shoes
Pay attention to the state of your shoes to understand when to replace them. When the condition starts to decline, especially the arch support and sole, it’s time to go shopping. Start looking for a replacement when they become uncomfortable and wear differently. You don’t have to wear shoes for a long time for them to wear out either. If you are participating in sports or activity on an almost daily basis, your shoes are bound to wear out quickly. 
By Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates
April 23, 2020
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Podiatrist  

Find out when your foot and ankle problems warrant turning to a podiatrist for care.

Spring is on its way and even though we may be self-quarantining, a lot of people are getting out in nature. This means more hiking, biking, walking, and running. As a result, you may notice tired, sore, red or achy feet. While some of these issues will go away with a little TLC and rest, it’s important to know when you should also turn to our Boise, ID, podiatrists for care.

It may be time to see a podiatrist if you are dealing with (or think you’re dealing with).

Bunions

This bony protrusion that typically develops on the outer side of the big toe joint will usually grow larger over time. This affects the overall structure of your feet, causing pain and swelling in and around the big toe joint. To prevent the bunion from getting worse and causing significant pain, it’s important to talk with your podiatrist about simple lifestyle changes you can make now to prevent the deformity from getting worse.

Heel Pain

If you have severe or persistent heel pain this symptom alone also warrants seeing a podiatrist. If you’ve suddenly started tackling tougher Boise, ID, terrain for your runs, or increased the length of your runs, this could leave you deal with inflamed ligaments in the foot. If heel pain is making it difficult to get around, or if symptoms don’t improve within a week of rest and at-home care, then it’s time to see a foot doctor.

Ankle Trauma

If you suspect that you may have sprained or even broken your ankle it’s important that you trust that instinct and see your doctor right away. If the problem isn’t properly treated it’s very possible that the damaged ligament, tissue, muscle or bone will not heal properly. This can lead to long-term ankle pain, weakness and instability. Any foot or ankle injuries should be evaluated by a podiatrist as soon as possible.

Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates has offices in Boise, Nampa, and Meridian, ID, to serve you better. During the pandemic, we want our patients to stay as healthy as possible during this time. Patients who are experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms, those who’ve been exposed to someone who’s tested positive for Covid-19 and those who’ve traveled out of the state or country the last 14 days should reschedule their appointments.

If you are dealing with foot and ankle problems that are impacting your daily routine call one of our offices today at (208) 327-0627 for our Boise, ID, office, (208) 463-1660 for our Nampa/Caldwell, ID, office, or (208) 888-9876 for our Meridian, ID, office.





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