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Recent research has shown that 60% of amputations that are not related to an injury occur in diabetic patients. The percentage rises to 80% when preceded by a foot ulcer. Infections due to diabetic foot are said to be the number one cause of leg amputations. The feet and nerves may become damaged from the high glucose levels that typically occur in diabetic patients, and this may cause a condition to occur that is referred to as neuropathy. Consequently, this may cause an inability to feel minor injuries and pain, and may ultimately lead to infections or gangrene. Many diabetics have learned that education about this condition may prevent the risk of foot ulcers and amputations. Additionally, learning how to properly care for the feet may play an essential role in possibly preventing painful foot ulcers.

Limb salvage can be an effective way in preventing the need for limb amputation. If you have diabetes, cancer, or any other condition that could lead to foot amputation if left unchecked, consult with Dr. James Kutchback from James Kutchback, DPM. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What is Limb Salvage?

Limb salvage is the attempt of saving a limb, such as the foot from amputation. Podiatrists also try to make sure that there is enough function in the foot after the salvage that it is still usable. Diabetes is the number one cause of non-traumatic amputations in the United States. Those with diabetes experience poor blood circulation, which prevents proper healing of an ulcer. If the ulcer is left uncheck, it could become infected, which could result in the need for amputation.

However there are other causes as well, such as cancer and traumatic injury. Links between higher mortality rates and amputation have been found. This translates into higher healthcare costs, and a reduced quality of life and mobility for amputees. Podiatrists have attempted to increase the prevalence of limb salvage in an attempt to solve these issues.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Limb salvage teams have grown in recent years that utilize a number of different treatments to save the infected limb. This includes podiatrists that specialize in wound care, rehabilitation, orthotics, and surgery. Through a combination of these methods, limb salvage has been found to be an effective treatment for infected limbs, and as an alternative to amputation. Podiatrists will first evaluate the potential for limb salvage and determine if the limb can be saved or must be amputated. 

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

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Monday, 25 June 2018 00:00

How Does a Bunion Form?

A bunion is considered to be a foot deformity that occurs on the side of the big toe. It will often begin slowly as the big toe gradually leans toward the toe next to it. A change in the structure of the foot may be a result of this, and this misalignment causes a bony protrusion to form on the side of the toe. A common cause of this condition may be because of a genetic trait that produces specific foot types, and research has shown this may be a contributing factor in the development of bunions. Choosing to wear poorly fitting shoes could make an already existing case of bunions even worse. There are several symptoms associated with the formation of bunions, which are often felt as a burning or numbing sensation. Additionally, the toe may become sore, red and tender. If you have developed a bunion, it’s suggested to consult with a podiatrist to learn about correct treatment options.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact Dr. James Kutchback of James Kutchback, DPM. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is a Bunion?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why do Bunions Form?

Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions

How are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

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

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Monday, 18 June 2018 00:00

Causes of Ingrown Toenails

Onychocryptosis is another name for a condition known as ingrown toenails. It’s a painful ailment that is typically the result of the toenail growing into the skin. There are several causes for ingrown toenails including a genetic trait in which the toenails are too large for the nail bed, frequent running, or improper trimming of the nails. Additionally, an abnormal growth pattern may develop as a result of a fungal infection that may damage the root of the nail. This condition is easily identified by noticing any pain, tenderness, or swelling around the affected nail, and research has shown that proper treatment should begin as soon as possible. It may be beneficial to soak the foot in warm soapy water followed by applying a bandage to the affected toe. It’s suggested to consult with a podiatrist who can properly trim or remove the affected nail if a permanent solution is needed.  

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. James Kutchback of James Kutchback, DPM. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition

Prevention

Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.

Treatment

Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.

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

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

Research has shown it’s equally important to properly care for your child’s feet as it is their teeth and eyes. The foot does not fully develop until age 16, and your child's growing feet would benefit from being monitored by a podiatrist and this may prevent uncomfortable foot conditions from developing. There are some children who demonstrate awkward walking patterns, which may be a result of the toes turning abnormally in or out, or if the toes overlap or turn under. It’s suggested that wearing shoes before the child begins to walk may restrict the muscles and tendons from gaining maximum strength. This may be a result of the feet not being able to move and stretch with ease. When shoes are purchased as walking begins, the child will benefit from wearing shoes that offer comfort and stability. A podiatrist will be able to answer any questions you may have regarding the health of your child’s feet, so please schedule a consultation.

The health of a child’s feet is vital to their overall well-being. If you have any questions regarding foot health, contact Dr. James Kutchback of James Kutchback, DPM, CWS-P. 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 intoeing or outtoeing
  • 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 offices located in The Woodlands and Woodville, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about What to Do to Keep Your Child’s Feet Healthy
Monday, 04 June 2018 00:00

What Causes Gout?

Severe pain that is experienced in the big toe and surrounding areas may be a condition referred to as gout. Since this condition is considered to be a form of arthritis, the joints in the toe may be stiff, causing difficulty in freely moving the foot. Research has shown the inflammation that typically accompanies this ailment originates from an overabundance of uric acid in the bloodstream. This is typically caused by crystals in the blood that lodge in the joints, and may form from the type of foods that are ingested. Research suggests that eating excess amounts of seafood, red meat or drinking alcohol may be contributing factors in developing gout. Other reasons may include a genetic trait, obesity, or health issues which involve the kidneys. It is beneficial to have a proper diagnosis performed which is often accomplished by undergoing an ultrasound or CT scan. If you are suffering from gout, it’s advised to speak to a podiatrist who can properly facilitate in implementing correct treatment methods.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. James Kutchback from James Kutchback, DPM. 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 offices located in The Woodlands and Woodville, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Everything You Need to Know About Gout

There are many similar symptoms between ankle sprains and ankle strains. These may include the patient experiencing swelling and pain in and around the ankle in addition to the foot showing signs of instability. The differences may often be indicated by the location of the pain. People who experience ankle sprains may often notice bruising, limited mobility in the foot and may hear a popping noise as the injury occurs. An ankle strain may be the result of overusing the muscles and tendons in the ankle, and it may occur while participating in sports that involve running and jumping. If you have incurred an ankle injury, you may want to consider speaking with a podiatrist who can properly diagnosis and treat ankle pain.

Foot and ankle trauma is common among athletes and the elderly. If you have concerns that you may have experienced trauma to the foot and ankle, consult with Dr. James Kutchback from James Kutchback, DPM. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Foot and ankle trauma covers a range of injuries all over the foot; common injuries include:

  • Broken bones
  • Muscle strains
  • Injuries to the tendons and ligaments
  • Stress fractures

Symptoms

Symptoms of foot and ankle injuries vary depending on the injury, but more common ones include:

  •  
  • Inflammation/ Swelling
  •  

Diagnosis

To properly diagnose the exact type of injury, podiatrists will conduct a number of different tests. Some of these include sensation and visual tests, X-rays, and MRIs. Medical and family histories will also be taken into account.

Treatment

Once the injury has been diagnosed, the podiatrist can than offer the best treatment options for you. In less severe cases, rest and keeping pressure off the foot may be all that’s necessary. Orthotics, such as a specially made shoes, or immobilization devices, like splints or casts, may be deemed necessary. Finally if the injury is severe enough, surgery may be necessary.

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

Read more about Foot and Ankle Trauma
Tuesday, 29 May 2018 00:00

Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis affects approximately 400,000 people in the UK. Most sufferers tend to be between the ages of 40 and 50. This condition is known to affect the joints, and many people experience the effects of arthritis in their feet. Some of the initial warning signs of rheumatoid arthritis are swelling, redness, or tenderness in the joints. If you suffer from joint pain and tenderness for a period lasting around or longer than six weeks, there is a good chance you may be suffering from arthritis. Another common symptom is stiffness felt in the joints when first waking up. Often times, joints in the feet will become painful in those with rheumatoid arthritis. Additionally, many arthritis sufferers notice that if a joint on one side of the body is in pain, the same joint on the other side of the body will be in pain as well. If you are afflicted with this condition it’s suggested to schedule a consultation with a podiatrist to determine the severity of this ailment and discuss the best treatments options available.

Because RA affects more than just your joints, including the joints in your feet and ankles, it is important to seek early diagnosis from your podiatrist  if you feel like the pain in your feet might be caused by RA. For more information, contact Dr. James Kutchback of James Kutchback, DPM. Our doctor will assist you with all of your podiatric concerns.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the membranes surrounding the joints. Inflammation of the lining and eventually the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone occur, causing severe pain and immobility.

Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Feet

Although RA usually attacks multiple bones and joints throughout the entire body, almost 90 percent of cases result in pain in the foot or ankle area.

Symptoms

  • Swelling and pain in the feet
  • Stiffness in the feet
  • Pain on the ball or sole of feet
  • Joint shift and deformation

Diagnosis

Quick diagnosis of RA in the feet is important so that the podiatrist can treat the area effectively. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, occupation, and lifestyle to determine the origin of the condition. Rheumatoid Factor tests help to determine if someone is affected by the disease.

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

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Wednesday, 23 May 2018 00:00

Do your Child's Feet Hurt?

Have your child's feet been examined lately?

Monday, 21 May 2018 00:00

Why Do My Feet Itch During Pregnancy?

A condition that women may observe during pregnancy can be itchy feet. Other symptoms that may be experienced include extreme fatigue, loss of appetite or vomiting, which may indicate serious health complications. If the feet experience severe itching, this may be referred to as cholestasis, and this condition typically affects the liver. Additionally, vitamin deficiencies may occur, which may possibly harm the fetus and may also occur in future pregnancies. Research has shown that possible hormonal changes may be responsible if cholestasis occurs and may be diagnosed properly through laboratory tests. Lotions may be chosen to help alleviate all or a portion of the itchy feeling, contrary to ingesting oral medications, which may harm the baby. It’s suggested to schedule a consultation with a podiatrist if you are affected by itchy feet during pregnancy.

Pregnant women with swollen feet can be treated with a variety of different methods that are readily available. For more information about other cures for swollen feet during pregnancy, consult with Dr. James Kutchback from James Kutchback, DPM, CWS-P. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What foot problems can arise during pregnancy?

One problem that can occur is overpronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens and tends to roll inward.  This can cause pain and discomfort in your heels while you’re walking or even just standing up, trying to support your baby.  

Another problem is edema, or swelling in the extremities. This often affects the feet during pregnancy, but tends to occur in the later stages. 

How can I keep my feet healthy during pregnancy?

  • Wearing orthotics can provide extra support for the feet and help distribute weight evenly
  • Minimize the amount of time spent walking barefoot
  • Wear shoes with good arch support
  • Wear shoes that allow for good circulation to the feet
  • Elevate feet if you experience swelling
  • Massage your feet
  • Get regular, light exercise, such as walking, to promote blood circulation to the feet

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

Read more about Pregnancy and Foot Health
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