Categories
General Podiatry

Let’s Talk About Warts

How can a wart be identified?

Most warts are harmless and benign, even though painful. They are often mistaken for corns, which are layers of dead skin that build up to protect an area which is being continuously irritated, whereas a wart is a viral infection. Plantar warts tend to be hard and flat, rough-surfaced, with well-defined boundaries. 

Because identifying a wart can be difficult, it is wise to consult a podiatrist about any suspicious growth or eruption on the skin of the feet.

How do warts occur?

Walking barefooted in public areas is the most common way of contracting plantar warts. Warm, moist environments also sustain the virus, so warts are often associated with swimming pools.

If left untreated, warts can grow to an inch or more in circumference, and they can spread into clusters of several warts. Like any other infectious lesion, they are spread by touching and scratching, and even by contact with skin shed from another wart. 

When plantar warts develop on the weight-bearing areas of the feet – the ball of the foot, or the heel, for example – they can be the source of very sharp, burning pain. Pain occurs when weight is brought to bear directly on the wart, although pressure on the side of a wart can create pain just as intense.

How can you prevent getting a wart?

  • Avoid walking barefoot, except on sandy beaches
  • Check children’s feet periodically
  • Avoid direct contact with warts – from other persons.
  • Do not ignore skin growths or changes in your skin
  • Visit your podiatrist as part of your annual health check-up

Treatment

Self-treatment is generally not advisable. Over the counter preparations contain chemicals that destroy skin cells, and it takes an expert to destroy abnormal skin cells (warts) without also destroying surrounding healthy tissue. 

Diabetics and those with cardiovascular or other circulatory disorders should avoid self-treatment.

There are many treatment options available, and a podiatrist is by far the most skilled health professional to see when you want fast, effective wart treatment. 

To make an appointment at Elite Foot Care, please phone (07) 5328 3588 and one of our friendly team will find a suitable time for you. 

Categories
Biomechanical Podiatry

Issues Caused by Limb Length Difference

Do You Have A Limb Length Difference?

At Elite Foot Care we will always check for the possibility of a limb length difference as part of our assessment.

In addition to this, we will also determine if it’s a true structural limb length difference or what we refer to as a functional limb length difference. 

What’s the difference?

A structural limb length difference means the actual bones in the lower leg, when measured, are different lengths, whereas a functional limb length difference means the bones in the legs are the same length, however when you stand it looks like one leg is shorter than the other, and the hips are visually uneven.

A functional limb length difference can be caused by a range of things, including muscles tightness in the lower back hips, spinal scoliosis or other soft tissue issues around your core and hip structures.

There is a high level of importance regarding determining whether your limb length difference is structural or functional – as the recommended treatments vastly differ.

The Best Way to Measure

Simply looking at the level of the hips while you are standing or looking at x-rays of the hips is not an accurate way to determine if a limb length exists.

A best way, and what we do at Elite Foot Care is to manually measure the right and left legs by picking a particular point in the front of the hip, and a second point on the inside of the ankle bone.

This method will give a more accurate guide as to determining if there is a true limb length difference exists. If they measure the same length, but visually your hips look uneven, then we can confidently say that you have an apparent limb length difference.

If we are unable to accurately determine your limb length difference, we may utilise a full-length x-ray to provide a very detailed assessment of your leg length and alignment.

Benefits of Podiatry

Here’s where our skill as podiatrists comes into play and what sets us apart from every other health profession. A patient can have both, meaning the legs can be different lengths and there can also be muscle tightness in the lower back. 

If a structural limb length problem is identified, a simple heel lift can be made, to the appropriate height requirement, and placed within the shoe.

A heel lift, up to 10mm can easily be made on the spot during a consultation, or the heel lift can be added to an existing orthotic insole device. Heel lifts greater than 15mm may need to be added to the outside of the shoe.

If you have a functional limb length difference, long-term use of heel lifts is not a good idea as it can lead to further muscular problems in the back. Once again, highlighting the importance of a proper assessment from our podiatrist.

If you’ve had ongoing foot, knee, hip and back problems that have not responded to other therapies, please consider seeing one of our highly trained podiatrists to see if a limb length difference exists. 

Our Senior Podiatrist Discusses Limb Length Difference

To make an appointment at Elite Foot Care, please phone (07) 5328 3588 and one of our friendly team will find a suitable time for you. 

Categories
Sports Podiatry

What Is A Gait Assessment?

Simply watching someone walk down a hallway is simple and should not be used as the only assessment tool, especially if you’ve had an accident or long-term injury. 

Using video to evaluate a patient’s gait is more accurate, especially when it is used in conjunction with a treadmill. In most circumstances one camera is used, and it is set up at the rear of the treadmill.

This video information should be recorded and then reviewed frame-by-frame using specific software, which can accurately measure various angles. 

A more professional set up though is using two video cameras so your walking or running pattern can be evaluated from both rear and side viewpoints, and these images are synced for a better overall assessment.

When a Podiatrist performs a gait assessment, emphasis will be placed on the lower limbs, and so it should be if you’ve been having foot and lower limb issues, and ongoing injuries.

Your Podiatrist will pay special attention to your foot position, ankle range of motion and your knee and hip positioning. 

As part of an overall assessment though, the upper body is also viewed, and if an abnormality is identified you may be referred to your Physiotherapist or Chiropractor for further assessment and treatment if necessary.  

At your assessment, make sure you take your old and current footwear, because specific foot-types will show different wear patterns, and this will vary between footwear styles.

Video, can also be used to evaluate the effectiveness of particular running shoes, and can easily identify if one style of running shoe is better than another. This is important if you’ve used different running shoe brands and you’re considering changing brands.

If a problem is identified, our highly-trained Podiatrists will offer various treatment options.

Yes, some patients do require orthotics, however others may simply benefit from professional footwear advice, stretching and strengthening, or one of our other treatment protocols.

We’ll only know what is best for you after you’ve had a proper gait assessment, and at Elite Foot Care we have the team and the equipment necessary to achieve this outcome.  

If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment for an assessment, please telephone our clinic on (07) 5328 3588, and one of our friendly team will be able to assist you. 

Categories
Childrens Podiatry

Children with Flat Feet

There are two main types of flat foot deformity and determining which is present is the first and most important step and why it’s important to see a Podiatrist at Elite Foot Care.

Flexible Flatfoot
This is the more common presentation of the two and is determined firstly by checking the amount of movement available through the different joints within the foot.

Aside from joint range of motion, a flexible flat foot may be identified by comparing the arch height when seated compared to when they stand.  

When a child sits in a relaxed position, it will appear as though they have a relatively good arch contour, however upon standing this disappears and the arch looks flat like a pancake.

Another common appearance is that when looking from behind, the child’s ankles may appear to be turning inwards to the ground.

Flexible flat feet may often be genetic; many parents can identify their child’s foot may look like another family members. However, it may also be linked with joint hypermobility, which is where structures such as ligaments, which hold the bones of the foot in position are too stretchy.

Flexible flatfoot may be asymptomatic in some children, however does has the potential to cause injuries and overuse conditions down the track if not properly assessed and treated.

Rigid Flatfoot
Rigid flatfoot is definitely less common, however usually has a more serious background issue arising from abnormal foot development; it is also often painful and frequently requires treatment.

Unlike flexible flatfoot, the joint range of motion through the main joint in rear-foot does not have the correct amount of motion, if any.

In rigid flatfoot cases, when the child stands on their tip toes the heel will not return to a normal position and the arch generally will not change and will remain just as flat as when sitting or standing.

Both flexible and rigid flat feet are commonly linked with other foot and lower limb problems, which is why it is important to assess as early as possible.

If you’ve noticed your child, or someone in your family has a foot similar in appearance to what I have described above, or they are complaining of ongoing pain, it is important they call Elite Foot Care for an appointment and assessment at our Woombye or Sippy Downs Podiatry clinics.

Categories
Diabetes

What is Involved in a Diabetic Foot Assessment?

There are several aspects of a diabetic assessment and below is an outline of the main tests and equipment that you can expect to be performed during your diabetic foot assessment.

The Doppler picks up the blood flow through the artery being studied and creates what is called a waveform, which can be seen on the display screen.

It also allows us to listen to the rate and rhythm of the pulse.

From this, the podiatrist is able to determine how well the blood is getting down to the toes and if any obstructions are present.

Toe Pressure Index – This test is much like when you have your blood pressure taken however the cuff is around your big toe instead of your arm. It sounds kind of funny, but it works.

The idea behind taking a toe pressure is to identify the level of vascular disease present, if any.

Once the test is completed, a numerical value will appear on the screen and this value correlates to different levels of vascular disease and allows the podiatrist to determine healing potential if an injury was to occur. This is extremely serious and it not something to joke about.

Neurological and Vascular tests – If further testing is required, other tests may be completed.

Depending on the outcome of the four tests above, the podiatrist is able to place you in a risk category and the risk category will determine how often a foot assessment should be performed, however six to twelve months is most common.

The results from all of our testing are recorded; as diabetes is a long-standing disease and monitoring the progress of these results is very important.

If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment for your diabetic foot assessment, please telephone our clinic on (07) 5328 3588 and one of our friendly team will be able to assist you.

Our Podiatry clinics are located within Sippy Downs and Woombye. Our podiatrists look forward to seeing you in the clinic, keeping you fit and active one step at a time.