5 Reasons To See A Doctor Fast

1. The faster you seek treatment, the easier it is to treat.

  • Someone that comes in with heel pain that’s only been present for one week will respond to treatment quicker than someone that has been dealing with it for 8 months.  The longer you wait to seek treatment, the harder it is to treat.  Your body usually starts to ignore the area that is injured or in pain and quits sending those healing cells down to resolve it.

2. It could be a stress fracture.

  • Stress fractures are common in the foot.  They are microfractures that occur at high pressure areas on the foot from repetitive stress to the bone.  Athletes, especially runners are susceptible to stress fractures because of the repetitive motion with running.  If pain is persisting in your foot for more than 5 days, you should seek treatment by your podiatrist.

3. It can affect how you walk.

  • Limping is never good.  Getting up in the morning and walking with a limp is disheartening.  You think, “I’m just getting old,” but that’s not the reason.  Most likely, you’re suffering from arch pain/plantar fasciitis and don’t even know it.  Simple treatments can make it go away.  You don’t have to walk with a limp, you just need to see your podiatrist!

4. It can cause other problems.

  • So maybe you were just limping initially, but now that’s you had foot pain for a couple of months, it has started to make your knee hurt.  This is a common finding in people that ignore foot pain.  Altering the way you walk because of your foot pain can cause extra stress on your knee, hip and back.  Once your foot pain is gone, you’ll slowly notice the other aches and pains secondary to it will resolve as well…as long as no permanent damage occurred.

5. It feels soooo much better when it’s gone.

  • “I don’t know why I didn’t come to see you sooner.”  That’s the phrase I hear all the time.  It’s amazing how long people will ignore their foot pain…and how happy they are when it’s gone.  Sometimes, foot pain can really affect your life!  It can keep you from running that extra mile or cause you to have a bad day at work.

When to See a Podiatrist About Flat Feet

Flat feet, fallen arches, or “pes planus” is normally a symptomless and fortunately painless condition. It is characterized by the arch of the foot collapsing completely, which causes the entire sole of the foot to come into perfect contact with the ground. An estimated 20-30 percent of the entire population has some form of flat feet, ranging in severity from asymptomatic to somewhat problematic. Most people who endure this problem are able to experience life pain and symptom free from the nearly unnoticeable abnormality. However, a small sector of those affected do experience pain or discomfort, which is when a treatment program needs to be put in action.

Fairly common in infants and small children, but also prevalent in adults, flat feet becomes a problem if pain or discomfort is present in the foot or even around the knee and lower leg area. Pain around the knee and lower leg areas can arise because flat feet can alter proper foot and leg alignment, which will put unusual strain on the knee. Adults can develop the condition as the result of injury or even from normal wear and tear due to the natural aging process.

Treatment of flat feet by a fully educated, trained, and licensed Podiatrist like Mid-South Foot and Ankle Specialists should be sought if the previously mentioned pain in the foot or knee areas start to surface and becomes a painful problem. Depending on the cause and exact type of the condition, a variety of forms of treatment may be prescribed. Verification of the exact cause and type of flat feet that each individual has, should only be handled by a professional podiatrist. Often times, the actual treatment method will include some form of arch support or light gymnastic style exercise. In rare cases, something more involved may be necessary, but only your skilled podiatrist would be able to accurately make that determination.

If you suffer from flat feet, plantar fasciitis, or any other form of problematic foot condition, we encourage you to contact our Mid-South Foot and Ankle Specialists today and potentially rid yourself of that problem in virtually no time at all!

Preventing Athlete’s Foot Infection

So you had a great time at the swimming pool, but a strange itching sensation has since snuck its way in between your toes. Turns out moisture and bare feet don’t make such a great combo, and you’re left with a case of athlete’s foot for your summertime laps. Use the following tips to prevent athlete’s foot and keep your feet in tip-top shape.

• Keep your feet clean and dry.
• Dry between your toes after swimming or bathing.
• Wear shoes or sandals that allow your feet to breathe.
• When indoors, wear socks without shoes.
• Wear socks to absorb sweat. Change your socks twice a day.
• Use talcum or antifungal powder on your feet.
• Allow your shoes to air for at least 24 hours before you wear them again.
• Wear shower sandals in public pools and showers.

St. Francis Hospital Bartlett Anniversary

Drs. Chad and Julie Kate Webster with their children enjoy the 10th Anniversary carnival at St. Francis Hospital Bartlett. MSFAS and SFHB have worked together over the last 10 years to provide quality foot and ankle care to patients admitted to the hospital and patients who are having outpatient surgery. Also pictured is Darth and his wife, Rosalind. Darth is a member of the surgery team at SFHB and works closely with all the doctors to ensure surgery goes well.
SFHB anniversay

Your Feet Need Sunscreen

Feet are covered in skin and need protection just like the rest of your exposed body parts. I admit I have been guilty of slathering SPF on my shoulders and missing my feet causing a sun burn on the top of them. This is not only painful, but also creates increased risk for skin cancer of the foot. Studies show that about 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers and 65 percent of melanoma cases are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. Yes, skin cancers of all types can occur on your feet.

Being in practice for over 10 years, I have diagnosed and treated several patients with skin cancers on their feet. The most common forms of skin cancer on the foot are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and malignant melanoma. Patients often present with skin lesions that appear rather benign. Some lesions are painless and do not behave or look like we, the patient or the doctor, expect. Some skin cancers result from long standing ulcerations or wounds on the foot and ankle which may be very painful. These can develop into a cancerous lesion, causing it not to heal. Moreover, skin cancers on the foot can go misdiagnosed as blisters, calluses, moles, chronic dry skin, bruises, athlete’s foot, warts, or ulcers.

Recently, a patient presented to our office with a spreading skin lesion that was red, scaly and had drainage between the 1st and 2nd toes. She has been prescribed creams and treatments from other physicians, and it was not responding. It resembled tinea pedis (athlete’s foot) with the exception that the surrounding skin edges were very irregular. It just didn’t look like a typical rash. A simple biopsy done that same day in the office confirmed a few days later that the lesion was malignant melanoma. She was immediately referred for treatment to a surgical oncologist. The patient, Ms. Anne Agee stated, “Everyone should get a second opinion when things aren’t getting better. If it hadn’t have been for Dr. Smith, I might not be alive today.” That certainly is true, as the survival rate for those with advanced malignant melanoma is only 15 percent.

Prevention of skin cancer on the feet and ankles is similar to any other body part: limit sun exposure, apply appropriate sunscreen, and check your body for suspicious lesions. With Memphis’ warm climate, we are more susceptible to sun exposure on our feet throughout the year, thus increasing risk of skin cancer. In fact, one or more blistering sunburns in childhood or adolescence can more than double a person’s chances of developing melanoma later in life.

Seek medical treatment sooner rather than later if you have a suspicious lesion on your foot, ankle, or any area of your skin. Suspicion for skin cancer should arise if you have a lesion that has irregular borders, is uneven in color, is quickly growing, has been present for a long period of time, is recurring in the same spot, or is not getting better with the usual treatment. If you have a skin lesion or wound on your foot or ankle that is suspicious, it may be time for a biopsy. A simple “punch” biopsy can be done in the office under local anesthesia to determine an accurate diagnosis. An accurate diagnosis can lead to earlier treatment and resolution before it becomes life or limb threatening.

basal cell carcinoma
This basal cell carcinoma resembles a wart or callus.

malignant melanoma
This patient was concerned about a bruise on her toe. A biopsy revealed malignant melanoma.

squamous cell carcinoma
This recurring blister was diagnosed as squamous cell carcinoma.

skin cancer lesions
Lesions such at this could be a wart, chronic athlete’s foot, a callus, or a skin cancer.