Luckily, we are highly skilled in treating a variety of conditions and issues. Whether you have slight discomfort or severe pain, we can provide you with care that allows you to live the lifestyle you want!
These are just some of the conditions, treatments, and services you will find at our podiatric office. Just ask us if you have any questions!
What Does Wound Care Involve?
You need to take care of your feet because they carry you through your life. If you have a diabetic ulcer, it’s important to know how to treat it and what your podiatrist can do to help. Diabetes affects most major body systems including your nervous, immune and circulatory systems. Diabetes can also dramatically affect your feet. Your podiatrists at Atlantic Podiatry in Fort Pierce, FL are ready to help with wound care.
There are ways to prevent diabetic ulcers and other foot wounds. Remember to:
- Wash your feet with warm water and gentle soap and apply moisturizer daily
- Keep your toenails trimmed and clean to prevent ingrown toenails, infections and nail fungus
- Check your feet daily, and use a hand mirror to examine the soles of your feet
- Wear moisture-wicking socks and comfortable shoes and never walk barefoot
Wound Treatment & Protection
Even with careful prevention, about 15% of people with diabetes will develop diabetic ulcers. Diabetes compromises your nervous system, you may develop an ulcer and not feel it. It’s important to do a visual examination of your feet and look for any swelling or redness. You may also notice a bad odor or drainage coming from your feet.
If you do develop an ulcer or wound, you need to protect it. The goal is to help it heal as quickly as possible and not become infected. You need to:
- Gently remove dead skin or tissue
- Apply topical medications and dressings to protect the wound
- Take the pressure off of your feet by wearing custom footwear, orthotics or wearing a brace. Using crutches or a wheelchair can also be helpful.
If your diabetic ulcer or wound does become infected it’s time to see your podiatrists at Atlantic Podiatry. They may prescribe antibiotics to eliminate infection and provide a variety of soothing treatments including prescription topical medications and bandaging.
If you have a severe ulcer that doesn’t respond to non-invasive treatment, surgery may be indicated. Possible surgical procedures include removing or shaving bone to reduce pressure and correcting bone deformities in your feet.
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Diabetic Foot Care
Daily preventative care can help you decrease your risk of developing these other serious conditions like ulcers and infections. Inspecting your feet at the end of the day to look for any abnormalities, maintaining proper hygiene, keeping your feet warm in cold weather, encouraging blood flow in the feet, and maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle can discourage other conditions from developing.
What Does Limb Salvage Mean For Diabetics?
Diabetes is a common medical condition that can affect the major systems of your body including your circulatory, immune, and nervous systems. One of the more serious effects on your circulatory system is lack of blood flow to your extremities. This lack of blood flow can cause soft tissue death, especially in your extremities including your feet and toes, potentially resulting in the need for amputations.
Diabetes & Your Immune System
The effects of diabetes on your immune system can result in you having a cut or blister that won’t heal, and which turns into a diabetic ulcer. Nervous system issues associated with diabetes can include injuries to your feet or toes, and you may not feel the injury. Even small injuries can have serious consequences.
Limb Salvage Techniques
Dr. John Goggin and Dr. John V. Perrone at Atlantic Podiatry in Fort Pierce, Florida are experts at treatment known as diabetic limb salvage, the goal of which is to avoid amputation if possible, and preserve the function of the affected extremity.
Diabetic limb salvage techniques utilize several medical treatments from diverse medical disciplines, including:
- Surgery, to eliminate infection and diseased tissue, and to reconstruct limbs and extremities
- Vascular medicine, to restore blood flow and aid healing in affected areas
- Infectious disease, to treat diabetic infections using a combination of antibiotics and other medicines
- Internal medicine, to manage additional medical conditions including heart disease and diabetes
- Physical therapy, to improve strength, mobility, and function
Diabetic limb salvage involves several different services available from your podiatrist. At Atlantic Podiatry, your podiatrist can remove damaged or compromised tissue and treat wounds and infections. These services help to preserve healthy tissue and facilitate healing. Tissue reconstruction may also be a part of the recommended treatment, to restore full function and appearance of affected limbs.
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Heel Spurs/Plantar Fasciitis
Heel spurs occur in at least 50% of people who have plantar fasciitis. Past treatments for heel spurs, a bony growth that begins on the front of your heel bone and points toward the arch of your foot, included surgery to remove the growth. Nowadays, surgery is rarely a treatment option and more plans for physical therapy, ice, and pain medications are used to treat heel spurs.
A bunion is a bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of your big toe. They can develop from an inherited structural defect, excess stress on your foot, or can result from an existing medical condition.
For the most part, bunions require no medical treatment. However, if you are experiencing one or more of the following, a podiatrist can help alleviate your symptoms.
Corns tend to be smaller than calluses and are the hard center is surrounded by irritated skin. While corns can be found on the bottom of the foot where pressure is usually applied, it is more common that you find corns on the tops and sides of your toes and even between your toes. When pressure is applied, corns can cause significant pain and discomfort.
Hammertoe is a deformity where one or both joints of the second, third, fourth or fifth toes begin to bend outside of their normal alignment. Pressure can begin to weigh heavy on the toes as you wear shoes which is where pain and other symptoms develop.
Hammertoes typically begin with small symptoms and deformities and continue to worsen with time. In its beginning stages, hammertoes are often impressionable which means they can be controlled using minimal treatment. It is important to know the signs of hammertoes to get them evaluated early. If left untreated, hammertoes can become more firm and difficult to manipulate, requiring surgery.
Flat foot is a condition where the arches on the inside of your feet are flattened which causes the sole of the foot to touch the floor when standing upright. It is likely for flat feet to be caused by the arches not fully developing during childhood and is considered a very common and painless condition. On the other hand, flat feet can occur after an injury or from the normal aging process.
While it is common not to experience any pain or symptoms of flat feet, some people do tend to sense pain in the heel or arch area. Physical activity can irritate the area and inflame the foot along the inside of the ankle. This can be caused by the tendon that is supporting the arch being stretched as it is depreciating.
Athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) is a specific type of fungal infection that typically begins between the toes. A common cause of athlete’s foot is sweaty feet that are confined to tight shoes for a long period of time. Signs and symptoms of athlete’s foot include a scaly rash that usually causes itching, stinging and burning. Athlete’s foot is contagious and should be carefully monitored and treated. Athlete’s foot can easily be treated with antifungal medications, but the infection is likely to recur. Prescription medications also are available.
A sprained ankle occurs when you twist your ankle in an abnormal way causing the ligaments holding your ankle bones together to stretch or tear. Most sprained ankles involve injuries to the ligaments on the outer side of the ankle. Treatment for a sprained ankle depends on the severity of the injury. Although you may just need proper rest and pain medications to heal, it is important to have the sprain looked at by a professional to determine the severity and proper treatment.