Bunions are more common than you may think. According to the American Foot and Ankle Society, one-third of American women suffer from this uncomfortable and unattractive foot deformity. At Lake Ridge Podiatry in Woodbridge, VA, Dr. Ranieri helps many people walk without pain, and he stops the progression of bunions. Here are the details.
How do bunions form?
A bunion, a bony bump at the bottom of the big toe, forms due to mechanical pressure and friction on the metatarsophalangeal joint. Contributing factors are:
- Age (middle years and up)
- Gender (being a woman)
- Tight, narrow-toed toes with high heels
- Improper gait (putting pressure on the side of the foot)
- Injury to the foot
- Fallen, or flat, arches
As a bunion develops and worsens, it turns the big toe toward the second toe and may even cross it. Pain, a lop-sided gait, and limited mobility result.
Diagnose and treatment at Lake Ridge Podiatry
Don't wait for a bunion to impact your life. Come to our Woodbridge, VA, office for a gait assessment and exam by Dr. Ranieri. He may take X-rays as well.
Thankfully, most bunions respond well to simple and consistent interventions you can easily maintain. They include:
- Switching to more conservative footwear (lower heels and spacious toe boxes)
- Keeping a healthy body weight
- Rest and ice as needed
- Taping or strapping on the affected joint
- Shoe padding
- Orthotics, or inserts, custom-made to your foot shape and gait
Stretching exercises maintain range of motion and mobility, and over the counter ibuprofen to relieve the inflammation and pain of any arthritis which may develop. If you have corns and calluses due to friction, your podiatrist will remove than safely and comfortably in the office.
Regarding surgery (bunionectomy), you may be a candidate if simple treatments are ineffective or if your gait and the flexibility of your big toe are severely compromised.
Contact Lake Ridge Podiatry
Your foot and ankle health is our only business. We take bunions seriously. Dr. Ranieri can stop this deformity and help you stay mobile and free of pain. Call our Woodbridge, VA, office for more information.
We are open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. Call us at (703) 491-2603 today.
Do you have diabetes? Then, you must know that diligent foot care is a must. At Lake Ridge Podiatry in Woodbridge, VA, our experienced podiatric physician, Dr. Ranieri, helps diabetic patients achieve and maintain the best foot health and function. Here's how you can participate.
The impact of diabetes
The fluctuating blood glucose levels characteristic of diabetes impacts every bodily system and function, including vision, cardiovascular health, wound healing, nerve function, and more. Peripheral neuropathy is a very common diabetic complication that impedes perception of pain, and poor micro-circulation impairs wound healing.
For example, a diabetic person may not know he or she has a large blister on the foot--even if it becomes deep and infected. Or, a bug bite may go unnoticed until a wound has formed. Endocrine Web reports that between 9 and 20 percent of diabetic foot wounds (ulcers) lead to partial or complete amputations.
As such, the team at Lake Ridge Podiatry in Woodbridge, VA, recommends yearly in-office foot exams. Dr. Ranieri carefully inspects all foot and ankle surfaces, looking for changes in color and skin temperature, corns, calluses, swelling, blisters, breaks in the skin, hammertoes, and Charcot's foot. With Charcot's foot, bones progressively weaken and deform, but diabetics may be unaware of the serious changes to their foot structure.
What you can do at home
Daily, diligent foot care at-home wards off serious foot problems. Here are the simple things you can do, according to your Woodbridge, VA Diabetic foot care expert:
- Wash your feet every day with soap and water, and dry them with a clean, soft towel.
- Cut your nails straight across and even with the end of the toes.
- Apply moisturizer every day.
- Look for changes in the skin and nails--cracks, rough, red areas, blisters, cuts, rashes, corns, and calluses.
- Stop smoking as it impairs peripheral circulation.
- Wear comfortable shoes with low heels, arch support, and roomy toe boxes. Dr. Ramieri will tell you if you need shoe inserts or other modifications for wounds or other problems.
- Use flip-flops or sandals poolside and in the gym locker room. Avoid going barefoot--even in the house.
- Wear clean, well-fitting socks which have no seams to cause friction.
At Lake Ridge Podiatry in Woodbridge, VA, Dr. Ranieri offers a wide range of foot and ankle care. Partner with us and have good podiatric health as you manage your diabetes. Phone us for an in-office consultation: (703) 491-2603.
Treating Your Heel Pain
Every step you take puts stress on your feet. Although your feet can take a heavy load, excess stress can cause problems and one of the most common ones is heel pain. If your heel pain is persistent you will need to consult a podiatrist such as Woodbridge’s Dr. Ranieri at Lake Ridge Podiatry.
Causes of Heel Pain
Heel pain can have many causes including the following:
- Plantar fasciitis: One of the most common causes of heel pain arises when the plantar fascia – the ligament joining the heel and toes – becomes overstretched. This causes pain and the base of the heel.
- Bursitis: This condition is caused by swelling of the bursae – small fluid-filled sacs – that cushion the tendons and muscles near the joints in your feet.
- Achilles tendonitis: Common in runners and other athletes, Achilles tendonitis arises when the Achilles tendon – the tendon joining the heel and the calf – becomes stressed and inflamed. This can cause pain in the heel and ankle.
- Heel spur: A heel spur is caused by the build-up of a calcium deposit on the base of the heel bone. It can cause severe heel pain.
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome: This condition is caused by the compression of the posterior tibial nerve. It causes pain that radiates from the inside of the ankle to the heel and along the foot.
Treatment for Your Heel Pain
Woodbridge residents who are suffering from persistent heel pain can seek help from Dr. Ranieri. After a full examination and discussion of your symptoms, he will diagnose the cause of your pain. Depending on the cause and severity of the heel pain, you may need to rest your foot, perform stretching exercises, take pain medication, or use orthotic devices. In rare cases, if the problem is severe, you may need surgery.
If you are looking for a podiatrist in Woodbridge, call Dr. Ranieri at (703) 491-2603 to schedule an appointment.
Are you experiencing pain and redness around a toenail? You may have an ingrown toenail, a common foot problem for people of all ages. At Lake Ridge Podiatry in Woodbridge, VA, your podiatrist, Dr. Ranieri, treats ingrown toenails and shows patients how to avoid them.
How does an ingrown toenail occur?
Also called onychocryptosis, an ingrown toenail happens when a nail—typically on the big toe—invades the skin along the side of the toe. Pain, redness, infection, and limited mobility are common symptoms. For individuals with diabetes, a lowered immune system and impaired circulation in their extremities, ingrown toes become dangerous both to podiatric and overall health.
Treating ingrown toenails
In his Woodbridge office, your podiatrist sees many ingrown toenails. Actually, the Institute for Preventive Foot Health reports a full 18 percent of American adults have had an ingrown toenail at some point in their lives.
Some of these toenails resolve with proper trimming and warm soaks. More serious cases require proper treatment by a skilled foot doctor promoting the best patient outcomes, improving mobility/foot appearance, and preventing infection.
To treat onychocryptosis, Dr. Ranieri often recommends removal of part of the toenail. Also called partial nail plate avulsion, this quick, in-office procedure takes the pressure off the skin and underlying nail plate. Some people require antibiotics to heal infection.
If ingrown nails recur, your podiatrist may perform a matrix ectomy to stop nail growth completely. Experts at the Cleveland Clinic say this nail bed destruction with selected chemicals typically ends the problem once and for all.
Preventing ingrown toenails
Although some people have inherited foot structures that encourage ingrown toenails, many cases can be averted with proper at-home care. Common sense practices include:
- Trimming each toenail straight across—not too short and never rounding the corners (make sure your clippers are clean)
- Wearing shoes which are roomy in the toes, thus avoiding undue pressure on the nails
- Changing socks every day to avoid fungal growth
- Protecting your feet from injury as you work and play sports (and make sure they fit well)
- Contacting your podiatrist as soon as you see a problem developing
At Lake Ridge Podiatry in Woodbridge, PA, Dr. Ranieri wants his patients to have the healthiest feet and ankles possible. For more information on ingrown toenails or any other foot health problem, contact your podiatrist at (703) 491-2603.
Hammertoes are among the many foot and ankle conditions treated by your podiatrist, Dr. Gerard Ranieri of Lake Ridge Podiatry Woodbridge, VA. The condition makes walking painful and can even change your gait. Fortunately, preventing hammertoes can be as easy as taking these steps.
Check your shoe size
Did you know that your shoe size can change throughout your life? As you grow older, the ligaments that connect the bones in the joints in your feet together become looser. As a result, your feet may become a little longer and wider. Shoe size can also change if you gain weight or become pregnant. Consider the fit of the shoe, not the number on the bottom, when you try on shoes.
Stay away from tight shoes and high heels
These shoes can increase the pressure on your toes. Eventually, the middle joint of a toe may begin to bend, forming a hammer shape. If you already have a muscle/tendon imbalance, wearing these shoes will increase your risk of developing the condition.
Look for shoes that provide plenty of room in the toe area and aren't pointed. Wearing shoes that keep one or more of your toes in a bent position can increase your hammertoe risk. If one of your toes is longer than your big toe, buy shoes that fit the longest toe comfortably.
Ask your Woodbridge foot doctor to fit you with orthotics
Orthotics are prescription shoe inserts that keep your foot properly aligned. If you have a muscle/tendon imbalance in your foot or toes, orthotics can help you avoid hammertoes or slow the progression of the condition if you do develop hammertoes. The inserts also cushion the feet and absorb shock.
See your podiatrist if your toe starts to bend
Hammertoes are flexible initially but gradually become inflexible. If your toe no longer moves, you may experience pain when you walk or stand. Gait changes caused by hammertoes can affect the alignment of your entire body and trigger pain from your feet to your back.
Wearing orthotics and performing toe exercises can slow the progression of hammertoe, while splints may help keep your toe properly aligned. If your toe does become inflexible, surgery may be needed to release the tendon that keeps the toe bent.
Do you suffer from hammertoes? Your podiatrist in Woodbridge, VA, Dr. Ranieri of Lake Ridge Podiatry, can help you ease your pain. Call him at (703) 491-2603.
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