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Posts for category: Podiatry Services

By Foot & Ankle Institute
June 05, 2018
Category: Podiatry Services

Getting an immediate diagnosis and proper care for a foot or ankle fracture is crucial.

Fractured foot or ankle

There are many reasons why someone might face a broken bone in their foot or ankle, from car accidents and bad falls to a sports injury; however, if you think you have fractured your foot it’s important that you seek medical attention from one of our West Houston, TX, foot & ankle specialists Dr. Samuel Mendicino, Dr. Asia Lo, or Dr. Manish Patel as soon as possible to ensure that you get the proper care you need to promote faster healing. So, how do you know if you fractured your foot or ankle?

With 26 bones within the foot and 3 in the ankle, it actually doesn’t come as much of a surprise that it’s pretty common to break a bone in the foot or ankle. There are many situations that can cause a broken bone in the foot, as we mentioned above. While children are more likely than adults to deal with a fractured foot or ankle, this doesn’t mean that it can’t also happen to adults, as well.

The most common symptoms of a broken bone include pain that is bad enough that it’s almost unbearable to put weight on the foot. You may also notice swelling, tenderness, and bruising. You can check your injured foot with your other foot to see if there are noticeable differences between the two. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it’s important to call your West Houston, TX, podiatrist or foot & ankle specialist immediately. Do not ignore any of these symptoms or wait for them to go away on their own. Not treating a fractured foot or ankle could lead to long-term complications such as chronic pain and weakness.

Along with a physical examination, we will also perform x-rays to determine whether you actually have a broken bone. Once we have confirmed that you fractured your foot or ankle we can help create a treatment plan that will work for you. The most important thing you can do is rest and stay off the foot and ankle until it heals. Most of the time, a cast and crutches may be prescribed to help you move around without exacerbating the injury.

As the foot or ankle mends itself, you can manage pain, swelling, and other symptoms through simple at-home measures such as over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers, icing, and elevation. You will also need to come back in for a follow-up after a few weeks to make sure your foot is healing properly. During this time a series of therapeutic exercises might be recommended to help restrengthen your foot and ankle after the injury.

If you or a loved one is dealing with the symptoms above or other ankle or foot problems, it is important that you see a foot and ankle specialist in West Houston, TX, as soon as possible to ensure that the injury doesn’t get worse! Call your podiatrist at the Foot & Ankle Institute right away.

By Foot & Ankle Institute
December 01, 2017
Category: Podiatry Services
Tags: plantar fasciitis  

If you've noticed heel pain upon waking up in the morning or standing after a long day of driving your car, you may be dealing with plantar heel painfasciitis. If the pain worsens after climbing stairs or standing for a long period of time, it's even more likely that this is your problem. This is a common foot condition seen by Dr. Asia Lo, Dr. Manish Patel, and Dr. Samuel Mendicino, our podiatrists at the Foot and Ankle Institute of West Houston, TX. They've answered a few questions they hear frequently from their patients who have been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis.

What is the plantar fascia?

In addition to bones and muscles, your body has stretchy bands of tissue, called ligaments and tendons, that connect these structures and facilitate movement. The plantar fascia is a ligament that runs across the arch of the foot, connecting the bone directly behind the toes to the heel and allowing you to stand, walk, and run properly.

What is plantar fasciitis?

The ligament known as the plantar fascia is made to take a lot of pressure, as it's used constantly. However, certain situations and conditions can cause it to become swollen, inflamed, and painful. If you have anatomical issues in your foot such as high arches, flat feet or a pronated gait, it can affect the way your plantar fascia functions. Jobs that require a lot of standing or walking can also send you to your West Houston podiatrist with heel pain. Being overweight or beginning a new running or walking exercise routine too rapidly can also cause plantar fasciitis.

How is plantar fasciitis treated?

The good news is that plantar fasciitis is often treated with conservative methods such as at-home exercises, reducing activity, and wearing shoe inserts or finding a more supportive pair of shoes. However, if your heel pain continues, your West Houston foot and ankle specialist may suggest other treatments such as steroid injections or surgery.

You don't have to live with heel pain. Contact the Foot and Ankle Institute in West Houston, TX to make an appointment with one of our skilled podiatrists today!

By Foot & Ankle Institute
September 21, 2017
Category: Podiatry Services
Tags: Puncture Wounds  

Puncture wounds can occur just about anywhere on the body, but they're most likely to happen on your feet from stepping on something puncture woundssharp. To avoid potentially serious infections, it's important to understand how puncture wounds affect the body and what can be done to treat them. The podiatrists at the Foot & Ankle Institute of West Houston, Texas - Dr. Asia Lo, Dr. Samuel Mendicino, and Dr. Manish Patel - can help if you are dealing with a puncture wound.

What is a puncture wound?

Unlike cuts or scrapes, which go across the skin's surface, puncture wounds on the feet are vertical injuries that often occur from stepping on a sharp object such as a nail or splinter. They can also occur from animal bites due to the shape and length of the canine teeth. Puncture wounds do not typically bleed much and may look and feel minor, but your West Houston podiatrist cautions all patients to have these types of injuries evaluated.

Why are puncture wounds potentially dangerous?

When a sharp object breaks the skin, it can leave behind any bacteria or other germs. Because of their shape and size, most cuts can usually be cleaned well enough to avoid serious infection. Puncture wounds, however, trap the bacteria inside the skin's deeper surfaces, making it difficult or impossible to clean them effectively. This can lead to potentially serious complications, including tetanus, a bacterial infection that affects the function of the nervous system.

How are puncture wounds treated?

If you step on a nail or other sharp object, your West Houston podiatrist recommends removing the object if possible. The wound should be thoroughly cleaned with soap and water. You should also call the Foot & Ankle Institute to report the injury; our medical staff will determine if you need to be seen. Animal bites, especially from wild animals or those that may not have had a rabies vaccine, always warrant medical treatment.

How can I prevent puncture wounds?

The best way to prevent puncture wounds on the feet is to wear sturdy shoes at all times outdoors. Parents and caregivers should make sure to keep their children's feet protected as well and discourage playing around old buildings and other structures that may contain nails or other sharp objects. To prevent animal bites, avoid contact with wild or stray animals.

For injuries, ongoing problems or any other foot and ankle related issue, trust your West Houston podiatrists at Foot & Ankle Institute! Contact us today for an appointment.

By Foot & Ankle Institute
March 15, 2017
Category: Podiatry Services
Tags: foot surgery   ankle surgery  

Find out if it’s time to talk us about whether foot surgery is right for you.foot surgery

It’s always ideal to avoid surgery whenever possible. I think we can all agree on that. However, there are certain foot and ankle problems that may actually benefit greatly from surgery over other more conservative methods. From the office of our West Houston, TX, podiatrists - Dr. Samuel Mendicino, Dr. Asia Lo and Dr. Manish Patel - find out more about when to consider foot and ankle surgery.

Why foot surgery?

While our goal as your West Houston foot doctor is to make sure that we are able to treat and/or manage your foot and ankle conditions through more conservative and non-invasive treatments; unfortunately, this isn’t always an option.

If we’ve been working with you to provide a wide variety of non-surgical interventions but they just aren’t managing your symptoms, then it’s time for us to step in with more drastic measures. Surgery, in some cases, may be the only way to eliminate severe pain or improve how your foot functions.

What are some conditions that may require surgery?

Tendon Injuries

Whether you are dealing with structural abnormalities or a sports-related injury, there are many reasons why a tendon may need surgery. Perhaps you ruptured the tendon on the playing field or you were born with a shortened Achilles tendon, which is causing chronic and severe pain. In these cases, tendon surgery may be recommended.

Arthritis

While some people can find relief through medications and other arthritis therapies, surgery may be recommended to fuse together one or more joints so improve how your foot functions. In some cases, pins or plates are also put into the foot to help support and strengthen weakened feet.

Bunions

Bunions can often be managed through simple at-home care and by wearing proper footwear. Of course, if your deformity is so severe that it is causing persistent pain and making it difficult to walk around or go about your day then it’s time to talk to us about surgery. Surgery is the only way to actually repair a bunion.

If you have questions about foot surgery or want to talk to our podiatrist about whether it might be the next step in your treatment, call Foot & Ankle Institute of West Houston, TX, to schedule a consultation with us.

By Foot & Ankle Institute
January 26, 2017
Category: Podiatry Services
Tags: Foot Fracture  

A fractured foot requires immediate medical attention so don’t let it go ignored.

You are in the heat of the game. You see the football being thrown in your direction. It looks like there is no one around. You catch the stress fractureball just in time to start running, but before you know it you are being tackled. You slam into the ground and the next thing you know you are trying desperately to put weight on your foot but the pain is too unbearable. You could be dealing with a stress fracture. Our West Houston podiatrists, Dr. Samuel Mendicino, Dr. Asia Lo and Dr. Manish Patel, offer up some common signs of a fractured foot and what to do about it.

What is a stress fracture?

This refers to a small crack in one of the bones of the foot. Since this condition is often the result of overuse or repetitive movements, it is most often seen in athletes. The bones of the foot and lower leg, which take on the majority of the weight when you move, are particularly prone to stress fractures during certain physical activities. While a stress fracture can occur in any bone in the foot or ankle it most often happens to the second or third metatarsals, the long bones in the foot, since this region often takes the greatest impact when walking or running.

What is a toe or forefoot fracture?

These types of fractures are relatively common and are typically the result of a traumatic injury or blow to the foot. Just like stress fractures, this is commonly seen in athletes.

What are the symptoms of an ankle or foot fracture?

The most common symptom you will experience is pain in the foot or ankle. If you have a stress fracture you may not notice pain right away, as it might gradually show up over time and get worse with certain high-impact activities. Other symptoms include,

  • Bruising near the fracture
  • Pain that goes away when resting
  • Pain that is aggravated by movement or daily activities
  • Swelling of the foot or ankle
  • Pain or difficulty bearing weight (often the case with toe or forefoot fractures)

It’s important that you see one of our West Houston foot and ankle doctors right away if you are experiencing symptoms of a stress fracture. Since there are many other conditions that can cause these symptoms it’s important that we diagnose the problem so that we can create a treatment plan that gets you back into the action as soon as possible.

If you are worried that you may be dealing with a fractured ankle or foot then it’s time you called Foot & Ankle Institute in West Houston, TX today, at (281) 531-4100. The sooner you seek treatment the better.