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Monday, 30 April 2018 00:00

How Do I Know if I Have Gout?

The general cause of a condition referred to as gout is an excess of uric acid that accumulates in the body. The big toe is typically affected, and obvious symptoms may include intense pain, swelling, and redness in the surrounding areas. It will often appear as an inflamed protrusion on the side of the big toe, and may affect the ability to walk. Research has shown that it may be a controllable condition and may occur because of the foods that are ingested. There may be several  items that may fall into this category, including the consumption of red meat, an excessive salty foods, and any type of shellfish. Drinking excess alcohol may also lead to the development of gout, in addition to a family history of high blood pressure. Occasionally, there may be specific medical conditions in which the body has difficulty eliminating uric acid, such as kidney or thyroid ailments. The treatment for gout can vary, so it’s advised to consult with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Blake Zobell from Utah. 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 one of our offices located in Richfield and Ephraim, Utah. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Everything You Need to Know About Gout
Monday, 23 April 2018 00:00

Surgery for Bunions

If you experience a bony growth on the side of the big toe, you may have what is referred to as a bunion. This condition may require surgery to be performed, which will generally provide permanent relief. This surgical procedure typically involves removal of the bony protrusion or possibly a restructuring of the toes, which will depend on the severity of the bunion. Surgery will involve undergoing general or local anesthesia, which is determined based on each individual. There may be several ways to perform this type of operation, and it can typically depend on other factors involving the foot, such as any arthritis that may be present. Recovery includes utilizing a bandage or splint so the foot is protected and can rest comfortably. Crutches may be beneficial to use, which can aid in keeping weight off the toe. If you have a bunion and would like additional information about how surgery can be effective for you, please schedule a consultation with a podiatrist.

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to treat a foot ailment. To learn more, contact Dr. Blake Zobell of Utah. 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 one of our offices located in Richfield and Ephraim, Utah. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 16 April 2018 00:00

Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury

If you have severe pain in the back of your heel, you may have an Achilles tendon injury. It is the body’s thickest tendon, and it connects the back of the heel to the calf muscles. When the foot pushes forward while running, the Achilles tendon absorbs the force necessary for this to be accomplished. The beginning of an injury is typically represented by a dull ache in the back of the heel, and the pain will increase in severity if the running activity continues. There may be several causes for this type of injury to occur, including a poor range of motion in the ankle, calf muscles that are weakened, and having flat feet. Specific exercises that are practiced may aid in the healing of an Achilles tendon injury, and it’s recommended to see a podiatrist for a proper examination.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Blake Zobell of Utah. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What are the symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Richfield and Ephraim, Utah. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 09 April 2018 00:00

Can High Heels Damage My Feet?

Many women choose to wear high heels to increase confidence, height, and the muscle tone of the leg. These perceived benefits may not outweigh the damage the feet may incur as a result of wearing this type of shoe. The arch of the foot is typically affected, which may lead to pain and discomfort. When the heel of the foot is raised, the ligaments of the arch become weak, and may result in the development of a condition referred to as fallen arches or flat feet. There is generally not enough room for the toes to move about freely, and this may result in a conditions such as hammertoe. The feet absorb the body’s mass, and the weight becomes redistributed, which affects the ball of the foot when high heels are worn. If high heels are frequently worn, the Achilles tendon may become shorter, causing severe pain. Recent research has suggested that wearing shoes with a shorter heel can prevent many foot injuries from occurring.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Blake Zobell from Utah. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which parts of my body will be affected by high heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What kinds of foot problems can develop from wearing high heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How can I still wear high heels and maintain foot health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Richfield and Ephraim, Utah. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 02 April 2018 00:00

What is a Corn?

A small mass of skin that develops between the toes or on the pinky toe is generally referred to as a corn. If you have a corn you may experience severe pain, which typically happens when shoes that are worn do not fit correctly. Corns develop as a result of the pressure that a tight fitting shoe may create, causing the nerves to react with extreme pain. The color appears to be white, yellow or gray, and the consistency is typically hard and dense. Corns commonly develop as a result of constant friction against the skin, which often comes from poorly fitting shoes. Additionally, it's recommended that high heels are avoided, because the toes need adequate room to move. A consultation with podiatrist is suggested for proper treatment options and additional information about corns.

If you have any concerns regarding your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Blake Zobell of Utah. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Corns: What are they? And how do you get rid of them?
Corns can be described as areas of the skin that have thickened to the point of becoming painful or irritating. They are often layers and layers of the skin that have become dry and rough, and are normally smaller than calluses.

Ways to Prevent Corns
There are many ways to get rid of painful corns such as wearing:

  • Well-fitting socks
  • Comfortable shoes that are not tight around your foot
  • Shoes that offer support

Treating Corns
Treatment of corns involves removing the dead skin that has built up in the specific area of the foot. Consult with Our doctor to determine the best treatment option for your case of corns.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Richfield and Ephraim, Utah. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Corns: What Are They, and How Do You Get Rid of Them
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