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Tuesday, 06 July 2021 00:00

Should I Treat My Bunions?

Bunions are bony growths that appear on the outer side of the foot at the base of the big toe joint. This is a deformity that may cause pain, swelling, redness, and difficulty wearing shoes and while walking. When left untreated, bunions tend to progressively worsen over time. As a bunion grows, it pushes the big toe towards the smaller toes, changing the shape of the foot in the process. The misaligned big toe may then push the second toe out of alignment. Bunions can also lead to arthritis in the big toe joints. Bunions can be managed and their progression can be slowed through a variety of conservative treatments, such as footwear modifications. Surgery may also be an option and can permanently correct a bunion. If you suffer from bunions, it is suggested that you see a podiatrist for treatment.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact Dr. James Kutchback of James Kutchback, DPM, ABLES, CWS-P. 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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Tuesday, 29 June 2021 00:00

What Is a Metatarsal Fracture?

The metatarsals are five long, slim bones that run the length of the foot to the base of the toes. They are a common site of fractures. The fifth metatarsal bone, which is located on the outside of the foot and connects your pinky toe to the rest of the foot, is the most likely foot bone to be fractured due to an acute injury. Metatarsals can also be the site of stress fractures, which occur over time due to overuse. Like other fractures, metatarsal fractures may be open or closed. Open fractures refer to broken bones that break through the skin, while closed fractures are internal. Metatarsal fractures can also be displaced, where the bones have become misaligned, or nondisplaced. If you suspect that you may have broken a bone in your foot, it is suggested that you see a podiatrist as soon as possible. 

A broken foot requires immediate medical attention and treatment. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. James Kutchback from James Kutchback, DPM, ABLES, CWS-P. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Broken Foot Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

A broken foot is caused by one of the bones in the foot typically breaking when bended, crushed, or stretched beyond its natural capabilities. Usually the location of the fracture indicates how the break occurred, whether it was through an object, fall, or any other type of injury. 

Common Symptoms of Broken Feet:

  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Blue in color
  • Numbness
  • Cold
  • Misshapen
  • Cuts
  • Deformities

Those that suspect they have a broken foot shoot seek urgent medical attention where a medical professional could diagnose the severity.

Treatment for broken bones varies depending on the cause, severity and location. Some will require the use of splints, casts or crutches while others could even involve surgery to repair the broken bones. Personal care includes the use of ice and keeping the foot stabilized and elevated.

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 Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment for a Broken Foot

If you are suffering from tenderness, pain, or stiffness in the joints of your feet or ankles, call us to schedule an appointment.

Tuesday, 22 June 2021 00:00

Athlete’s Foot: Not Just for Athletes

Athlete’s Foot is a fungal infection that affects the skin on the feet. Despite its name, this fungal infection does not only occur in athletes. In fact, Athlete’s foot affects 1 out of 10 Americans. Athlete’s Foot is also known as dermatophytosis of the foot or tinea pedis. The fungi that are responsible for this condition feed on skin proteins called keratin, and love hot and steamy environments such as locker rooms, swimming pools, non-breathable footwear, and blisters and cuts on the feet which allow them access into your system. Getting a proper diagnosis is important in order for your podiatrist to rule out other conditions such as eczema and pso­ri­a­sis, and to provide proper treatment.

Athlete’s foot is an inconvenient condition that can be easily reduced with the proper treatment. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Dr. James Kutchback from James Kutchback, DPM, ABLES, CWS-P.  Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Athlete’s Foot: The Sole Story

Athlete's foot, also known as tinea pedis, can be an extremely contagious foot infection. It is commonly contracted in public changing areas and bathrooms, dormitory style living quarters, around locker rooms and public swimming pools, or anywhere your feet often come into contact with other people.

Solutions to Combat Athlete’s Foot

  • Hydrate your feet by using lotion
  • Exfoliate
  • Buff off nails
  • Use of anti-fungal products
  • Examine your feet and visit your doctor if any suspicious blisters or cuts develop

Athlete’s foot can cause many irritating symptoms such as dry and flaking skin, itching, and redness. Some more severe symptoms can include bleeding and cracked skin, intense itching and burning, and even pain when walking. In the worst cases, Athlete’s foot can cause blistering as well. Speak to your podiatrist for a better understanding of the different causes of Athlete’s foot, as well as help in determining which treatment options are best 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.

Read more about How to Deal with Athlete's Foot
Wednesday, 16 June 2021 00:00

When to Consult With a Podiatrist

The foot is composed of 26 bones along with a variety of joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles. A podiatrist is a doctor that specializes in conditions that impact these structures of the foot as well as the ankle. They can specialize in a variety of specific areas, such as surgery, wound care, sports injuries, and diabetic conditions. Podiatrists can treat a variety of conditions that include (but are not limited to) bunions, heel pain, flat feet, sprains, warts, nail conditions, and corns or calluses. Podiatrists should be consulted when there is severe foot pain, swelling, numbness, an open sore or a sign of infection that lasts multiple days. You should also consult with a podiatrist immediately if the foot or ankle cannot bear any weight.

If you are dealing with pain in your feet and ankles, you may want to seek help from a podiatrist. Feel free to contact Dr. James Kutchback from James Kutchback, DPM, ABLES, CWS-P. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Podiatrist?

A podiatrist is a doctor of podiatric medicine who diagnoses and treats conditions of the foot, ankle, and related structures of the leg. Your podiatrist may specialize in a certain field such as sports medicine, wound care, pediatrics, and diabetic care. Podiatrists have the ability to become board certified through training, clinical experience, and then taking an exam.

What Do Podiatrists Do?

On a daily basis, a podiatrist may perform the following activities:

  • Diagnose foot ailments such as ulcers, tumors, fractures, etc.
  • Use innovative methods to treat conditions
  • Use corrective orthotics, casts, and strappings to correct deformities
  • Correct walking patterns and balance
  • Provide individual consultations to patients

It is very important that you take care of your feet. It’s easy to take having healthy feet for granted, however foot problems tend to be among the most common health conditions. Podiatrists can help diagnose and treat a variety of feet related conditions, so it is crucial that you visit one if you need assistance.

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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There are patients who have found their gait or walking style may have been altered if their lifestyle includes frequently wearing flip flops. The heel and ankles can negatively be affected, in addition to the skin on the feet when flip flops with no backs are worn often. Many people choose to wear this type of shoe for their ease and colorful designs, despite the potential damage they may cause. The toes can naturally scrunch in an effort to keep the shoe on the foot and performing this motion repeatedly can overstretch the plantar fascia, which is the band of tissue that connects the heel to the toes. If you enjoy wearing flip flops,please consult with a podiatrist who can recommend a more supportive sandal that can have less harmful side effects on the overall foot.

Flip-flops can cause a lot of problems for your feet. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. James Kutchback from James Kutchback, DPM, ABLES, CWS-P. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

Flip-Flops and Feet

Flip-flops have managed to become a summer essential for a lot of people. While the shoes may be stylish and easy to slip on and off, they can be dangerous to those who wear them too often. These shoes might protect you from fungal infections such as athlete’s foot, but they can also give you foot pain and sprained ankles if you trip while wearing them.

When Are They Okay to Wear?

Flip-flops should only be worn for very short periods of time. They can help protect your feet in places that are crawling with fungi, such as gym locker rooms. Athlete’s foot and plantar warts are two common fungi that flip-flops may help protect your feet against.

Why Are They Bad for My Feet?

These shoes do not offer any arch support, so they are not ideal for everyday use. They also do not provide shock absorption or heel cushioning which can be problematic for your feet. Additionally, you may suffer from glass cuts, puncture wounds, and stubbed toes since they offer little protection for your feet.

More Reasons Why They Are Bad for Your Feet

  • They Slow You Down
  • May Cause Blisters and Calluses
  • Expose Your Feet to Bacteria

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 Flipping Out About Flip Flops
Monday, 31 May 2021 00:00

Gout Pain Can Be Managed

Gout is a painful, inflammatory form of arthritis. Those affected will typically feel an intense stiffness in the joints of their feet, particularly in the big toe. Schedule a visit to learn about how gout can be managed and treated.

The most common reason for a stress fracture to develop is from overuse and participating in repetitive activities. Sporting events that require frequent running and jumping may cause stress fractures to gradually occur and this may cause pain and discomfort. Many patients may feel mild symptoms immediately following this type of injury and choose to ignore them. This can cause the stress fracture to worsen and the symptoms to intensify. People may also find if they increase the speed and duration of their training too quickly, a stress fracture may result from not gradually increasing speed and distance. Additionally, this type of ailment may occur from an abnormal foot structure or from wearing shoes that do not fit properly. If you incur this type of injury, it is suggested that you confer with a podiatrist when signs and symptoms first arise as there are several treatment options available.

Activities where too much pressure is put on the feet can cause stress fractures. To learn more, contact Dr. James Kutchback from James Kutchback, DPM, ABLES, CWS-P. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep your pain free and on your feet.

Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

Stress fractures occur in the foot and ankle when muscles in these areas weaken from too much or too little use.  The feet and ankles then lose support when walking or running from the impact of the ground. Since there is no protection, the bones receive the full impact of each step. Stress on the feet can cause cracks to form in the bones, thus creating stress fractures.

What Are Stress Fractures?

Stress fractures occur frequently in individuals whose daily activities cause great impact on the feet and ankles. Stress factors are most common among:

  • Runners                                  
  • People affected with Osteoporosis
  • Tennis or basketball players
  • Gymnasts
  • High impact workouts

Symptoms

Pain from the fractures occur in the area of the fractures and can be constant or intermittent. It will often cause sharp or dull pain with swelling and tenderness. Engaging in any kind of activity which involves high impact will aggravate pain.

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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Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) occurs when the outer, or peripheral, arteries narrow due to a build-up of plaque. Peripheral arteries transport blood—which carries oxygen and nutrients—to the legs and arms, keeping the skin and underlying tissue alive and healthy. When PAD is present in the legs, it can reduce the normal amount of blood flow, oxygen, and nutrients to the feet. This may lead to dysfunction in the skin and tissue, causing it to break down and make it more susceptible to developing wounds. PAD can be an inherited disease, or may be caused by diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, or obesity. Symptoms of PAD in the feet may include burning, aching, coolness, redness, reoccurring infections, and sores in the toes and feet that do not heal. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact a podiatrist for a full examination, testing, diagnosis and proper treatment.

Peripheral artery disease can pose a serious risk to your health. It can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, consult with Dr. James Kutchback from James Kutchback, DPM, ABLES, CWS-P. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is when arteries are constricted due to plaque (fatty deposits) build-up. This results in less blood flow to the legs and other extremities. The main cause of PAD is atherosclerosis, in which plaque builds up in the arteries.

Symptoms

Symptoms of PAD include:

  • Claudication (leg pain from walking)
  • Numbness in legs
  • Decrease in growth of leg hair and toenails
  • Paleness of the skin
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Sores and wounds on legs and feet that won’t heal
  • Coldness in one leg

It is important to note that a majority of individuals never show any symptoms of PAD.

Diagnosis

While PAD occurs in the legs and arteries, Podiatrists can diagnose PAD. Podiatrists utilize a test called an ankle-brachial index (ABI). An ABI test compares blood pressure in your arm to you ankle to see if any abnormality occurs. Ultrasound and imaging devices may also be used.

Treatment

Fortunately, lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, managing cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and quitting smoking, can all treat PAD. Medications that prevent clots from occurring can be prescribed. Finally, in some cases, surgery may be recommended.

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 Peripheral Artery Disease
Tuesday, 18 May 2021 00:00

Why Aging Feet Need Regular Care

Foot care for the elderly is important as skin tends to thin out and lose elasticity, and nails can become dry and brittle—making the feet more susceptible to infections, blisters, toenail fungus, ingrown toenails, and more. It is important for an aging adult to practice regular foot care, or if they cannot do it themselves, have a caretaker do it. Toenails should be trimmed and filed regularly: straight across, and not too short in order to avoid ingrown toenails. Nail clippers should be sanitized and never shared. Feet should be cleaned, moisturized, and inspected daily for signs of infection which may include cracks, blisters, discolored nails, or bleeding sores. Footwear should be properly sized with good arch support to aid in mobility and prevent slips and falls. Shoes should never force the feet or toes into a position that is uncomfortable or restricts circulation. Additionally, older adults should make an appointment with a podiatrist for an examination and possibly even a gait analysis to detect and treat any developing or existing conditions.

Everyday foot care is very important to prevent infection and other foot ailments. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. James Kutchback from James Kutchback, DPM, ABLES, CWS-P. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Everyday Foot Care

Often, people take care of their bodies, face and hair more so than they do for their feet. But the feet are a very important aspect of our bodies, and one that we should pay more attention to. Without our feet, we would not be able to perform most daily tasks.

It is best to check your feet regularly to make sure there are no new bruises or cuts that you may not have noticed before. For dry feet, moisturizer can easily be a remedy and can be applied as often as necessary to the affected areas. Wearing shoes that fit well can also help you maintain good foot health, as well as making it easier to walk and do daily activities without the stress or pain of ill-fitting shoes, high heels, or even flip flops. Wearing clean socks with closed shoes is important to ensure that sweat and bacteria do not accumulate within the shoe. Clean socks help to prevent Athlete’s foot, fungi problems, bad odors, and can absorb sweat.

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 Everyday Foot Care
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