Arch Supports Orthotics
Cancer in the foot, ankle or tibia
Diabetic Foot Care
Diabetic Foot Ulcers
Fractures & Sprains
Achilles Tendinitis- The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. When the tendon is overused, the heel can become swollen and painful. This is called Achilles tendinitis. Individuals who run for exercise or play sports may experience Achilles tendinitis when they increase the intensity or duration of their activity. Treatment consists of icing the area 15-20 minutes several times a day until the inflammation decreases, then gradually doing exercises like skipping rope and toe raises without pain until running can be resumed. If your Achilles tendon is in persistent or severe pain, contact Dr. LaPolla immediately. He will be able to determine if you have Achilles tendinitis or a torn/ruptured Achilles tendon.
Ankle Repair- We offer treatments for ankle fractures and sprains using ankle reconstruction devices. Ankle Fracture Plates are designed to provide proper healing to ankle fractures by holding a patientís re-positioned bones in place during the healing process. In addition, we use InternalBrace Ligament Augmentation Repair Kits to provide medial ankle stability and strength in both acute and chronic ankle sprains. Dr. James LaPolla, Jr. is one of only a few Podiatrists in the area using these devices.
Arch Supports Orthotics- Arch supports are over the counter shoe inserts for children and adults who experience mild to moderate pain around the footís arch. Arch supports help to hold the bones, ligaments and muscles around the arch in alignment so that walking becomes less painful and even painless. Arch supports are given a natural shape to support the arch, but unlike custom orthotics, they are not customized to your feet.
Bunions- A bunion is an enlargement of the joint at the base of the big toe that
forms when the bone or tissue at the big toe joint moves out of place. This forces
the toe to bend toward the other toes causing a painful lump on the foot. They are
brought about by years of abnormal motion and pressure over the joint. Wearing
tight shoes can cause the toes to be squeezed together which can cause bunions
as well. This is one reason why this disorder is high among women. Bunions can
cause extreme pain if left untreated, since you carry all your weight when walking
on your feet. The joint itself may become sore, making it difficult or impossible to
wear your shoes. Bunions can also occur on the outside of the foot along the
little toe. If bunions are left untreated, they tend to get larger and more painful,
which may in-turn need a surgical treatment. Call our office at the first sign of pain
or discomfort so that we may treat it with a non-surgical treatment.
Cancer in the foot, ankle or tibia- Cancer can occur in bone and soft tissue in several parts of the body. Cancer of the foot, ankle or tibia refers to cancerous tumors found in these parts of the lower body (e.g., the tibia bone/shinbone located between the knee and ankle joints). Pain, swelling, joint tenderness, the presence of a growing mass (painful or painless) or bone fractures in these areas are symptoms of cancer. General symptoms of cancer include fevers, chills, night sweats, fatigue, changes in appetite and recent undesired weight loss. It is important to "catch" cancer as soon as possible, so please contact Dr. LaPolla if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.
Corns/Warts/Calluses- Calluses are the bodyís way of protecting itself
against irritation such as people who walk barefoot a lot. However, calluses that
appear on feet protected by shoes may be signaling a more serious foot problem.
A common cause is one or more metatarsal bones are being pushed out of position.
The calluses must then be first reduced by a Podiatrist and then the foot may
need to be rebalanced with techniques to make sure the calluses donít return.
Never try to cut calluses with a razor blade or any other cutting instrument
because of risk of being cut and bleeding and such wounds can often lead to
more serious ulcers and lacerations. Commercial over-the-counter preparations
that remove warts or corns should be avoided because they can burn the skin
and cause irreplaceable damage to the foot. See you podiatrist for treating these
conditions as he has been specifically trained in the diagnosis and treatment of all
manners of foot conditions.
Diabetic Foot Care- If you have diabetes or the symptoms of diabetes, you
need a podiatric physicianís care for treatment of your feet and to prevent
amputations. It is recommended that you have a foot screening once a year if you
are a diabetic. If you have any warnings of foot problems in-between your annual
screening such as swelling of the foot and ankle, pain in the legs, open sores on
the feet that are slow to heel, ingrown or fungal toenails, bleeding corns or calluses,
dry cracks in the skin, especially around the heel, you should call our office
immediately for treatment. We have been trained specifically in the diagnosis of
all foot conditions, so please call us with the first signs of problems with your foot,
lower leg or ankle for good foot health care.
Diabetic Foot Ulcers- Diabetic foot ulcers are wounds located on the foot and caused by nerve and blood vessel complications from diabetes. Foot ulcers are often painless yet are the most common reason people with diabetes stay at the hospital. These wounds can take weeks and sometimes several months to heal. Dr. LaPolla is able to treat foot ulcers at his office in mild to moderate cases, and may recommend a hospital stay in severe cases. The doctor treats diabetic foot ulcers by cutting away dead tissue surrounding the wound and cleaning the wound. He may also apply enzymes to the ulcer as another way to dissolve the dead tissue and help the wound heal. Statistics show 15% of diabetes patients experience foot ulcers in their lifetime.
Flat Feet- Flat feet (also known as fallen arches) are a result of tendons in the foot not pulling together properly to form an arch, therefore the foot has little or no arch to support the weight of each step. Flat feet may be present from birth or caused by stretched or torn tendons, damage or inflammation to the posterior tibial tendon, broken or dislocated bones, nerve problems, rheumatoid arthritis or other health problems. People with flat feet may not have problems and therefore may not need treatment. However, some people do experience problems due to flat feet. These symptoms include painful feet, achy feet, swollen feet, difficulty with foot movement, back pain and leg pain. Custom orthotics helps both youth and adults with flat feet by properly supporting the bones, joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons in and around the arch, alleviating the pain and keeping the arch from flattening further. If you are experiencing any these symptoms, contact Dr. LaPolla for an appointment.
Fractures & Sprains Of The Foot & Ankle- Many fractures of the
foot and ankle can sometimes go unnoticed because you often can walk with certain
kinds of fractures. Some common examples: Breaks in the smaller, outer
bone of the lower leg, small chip fractures of either the foot or ankle bones. An
ankle sprain often can mean a torn or severely over stretched ligament and
should receive immediate care by a podiatrist. An x-ray, examination, immobilization
by casting or splinting and surgery may be necessary. Until you can reach
your Podiatrist for treatment, it is recommended to wrap an ice bag in a towel and
place on the injury to contract the blood vessels, reduces pain and prevents
swelling. Extra padding in your shoes helps prevent the condition. It is important
to seek prompt treatment for injury of the foot and ankle bones. With Podiatric
treatment and complete rest, stress fractures will heal quickly.
Hammer Toes- A condition usually stemming from a muscle imbalance, in
which the toe is bent in a claw-like position. It occurs most frequently with the
second toe, often when a bunion slants the big toe toward and under it, but any of
the other three smaller toes can be affected. Selecting shoes and socks that do
not cramp the toes will alleviate aggravation.
Heel Pain- Heel pain is caused by increased tension and tears in the plantar fascia - a thick ligament that connects the bottom of the heel to the ball of the foot and attaches to the base of the toes. When the ligament is stretched too far, tiny tears develop where the ligament connects to the bottom of the heel. This is known as plantar fasciitis. Excessive stretching and flattening of the plantar fascia ligament is caused by extreme pronation of the foot (flattening of the arch) during walking or standing. A tight calf muscle from exercise, walking or jogging may also result in excessive pronation of the arch, creating heel pain. Treatment includes aggressive calf muscle stretching, taking an anti-inflammatory medication and using over the counter arch supports or custom foot orthotics. Unlike over the counter arch supports, custom orthotics corrects abnormal pronation (the cause of the pain). Surgery is only recommended if orthotics fail.
High Arches- If you abnormal high arches, youíve got a medical problem
called pes clavus. High arches can cause pain in the legs and feet, are awkward
to live with and can affect the way you walk. Hammertoes and calluses are also
common side effects. Symptoms can usually be relieved by conservative measures
such as a change in footwear or exercise designed to stretch the foot and
keep it supple. If your high arches are extreme, various types of surgery may be
recommended by your Podiatrist.
Ingrown Toenails- Where once chemicals or surgical incision with sutures
were the only options for the ingrown toenail sufferer, we now offer laser surgery
as an alternative. The root of the nail determines how the nail grows and when
part of the root causing the problem is corrected by laser surgery, this leaves the
remainder of the nail intact. This surgery relieves this painful condition with a
minimum amount of discomfort and damage to the surrounding skin. A speedy
recovery and avoidance of having the problem recur are among the benefit of
Mycosis Toenails- Fungal infection of toenails is a very common foot health
problem. It often goes untreated for many years because people tend to ignore it
since they donít have any pain with it. This disease is characterized by a change
in your toenails color, thickening of the nails, a foul smell and could take months
to control. It is an infection underneath the surface of the nail, which can also
penetrate the nail and is caused by various types of fungi which are commonly
found in the environment. If it goes untreated, it may spread and impair oneís
ability to work or walk. This disease can frequently be accompanied by a secondary
bacterial and/or yeast infection in or about the nail plate. Those who suffer
from chronic diseases, such as diabetes, circulatory problems or immune-deficiency
conditions are especially prone to fungal nails. Clean, dry feet and a strict
regimen of washing your feet with soap and water and drying thoroughly are the
best way to prevent infection of the toenails. Wear shower shoes in public shower
areas, change your socks or hosiery daily, clip toenails straight across and use a
quality foot powder are other good ways to
prevent this health problems.
Orthotics- Custom orthotics are medical devices ordered by prescription that support and gently change the position of the heel, arch, muscles, ligaments, tendons and bones in the feet so that your feet function properly. Custom orthotics are built from molds of your feet and can be designed to fit inside most types of shoes to help make each step you take painless. Custom orthotics are made to relieve various types of pain, including (but not limited to) heel pain, heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis, arch pain, foot pain caused by running/walking, foot pain caused by diabetes, foot pain experienced by seniors, and foot pain related to bunions, trauma, sprains and other disorders.
Shock-Wave Heel Treatment- We now offer a new shock wave
treatment for heel pain and spurs. This is an in-office, non-invasive surgical
procedure that is covered by most insurances. So donít wait, call us today for an
Toe Infections- There are many type of toe infections. One common type is
Athleteís Foot which is a fungal infection of the feet. The fungus lives in the outer
layers of the skin and causes infections of different types. Fungal infection of the
feet is called Tinea Pedis. Tinea Pedis can take different forms such as a scaly
dry rash on the bottom and sides of feet or cracks between the toes sometimes
with soft white scale. Many people with athleteís foot also have a fungal infection
of the toenails. There are many medications to treat this condition which results in
control, rather than a cure of the condition. Call your podiatrist for treatment or if
you have any symptoms of infection such as open sores, blisters, ulcers, growths,
oozing or weeping from your toe webs or feet or pain in your feet or nails.
Venous Ulcers- Venous ulcers are wounds or open sores primarily found on the inner part of the leg below the knee and above the ankle. They are due to sustained hypertension in the veins caused by incompetent valves, are typically red in color and may also be covered in a yellow fibrous layer of tissue. A green or yellow discharge may also be present if the ulcer is infected. Venous ulcers tend to occur in patients with a history of leg swelling, varicose veins or blood clots in the veins of the legs. Treatment consists of wearing dressings around the affected area. This is called compression treatment. Dr. LaPolla determines the type of dressings to be used according to the characteristics of the ulcer base and the amount of drainage from the ulcer. Types of compression treatments include compression stockings, multi-layer compression wraps, elastic bandages and a host of other types of wound dressings.
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