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Posts for category: Ankle Problems

By Howard Schaengold, DPM
January 02, 2013
Category: Ankle Problems

Sprained AnkleHave you ever twisted your ankle while participating in a sport?  Or maybe you simply slipped while walking?  Either way, ankle sprains and fractures should not be ignored.  Ankle sprains are common injuries that occur when ligaments are stretched or torn, with nearly 85% occurring laterally, or on the outside of the ankle joints. By visiting your podiatrist in Sammamish, you can receive the care you need to get back on your feet.

Symptoms of a Sprained or Fractured Ankle

Your symptoms upon spraining your ankle may vary depending on the severity of your pain and how it occurred. The symptoms of an ankle sprain may include:

All ankle sprains will produce some level of pain at the time of your injury and the joint will also feel tender, beginning to swell.  If your sprain is mild, you may experience a slight loss in the function of your joint.

With a more serious sprain, you will most likely fall during the initial impact of the injury.  It will often be difficult to move or put weight on your injured ankle, producing bruising and swelling from the ankle to the foot.  Once you have had ankle sprains or other ankle injuries before, you may have a weakened joint that creates more of a chance for future injuries to take place.

Common symptoms of an ankle fracture are similar to ankle sprains, and include:

  • Pain to touch
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Inability to walk on the leg
  • Deformity around the ankle

Treatment and Prevention

Treatment for your ankle sprain begins with self-care.  The RICE evaluation is highly recommended upon the initial onset of your injury:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevation

When your podiatrist feels you are ready to begin participating in sports and exercising, you can help prevent further sprains and fractures by wearing an ankle brace during the first initial months of being back on your ankle.  Special wraps are also available to protect your ankle. 

If your symptoms still persist after taking the initial step of at-home-care, or if you suspect you might have a fracture, a visit to your Sammamish podiatrist may be in order.  With a consultation with Howard Schaengold, DPM of Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic, your ankle sprain or fracture can be treated and further prevented.  There is no need to put an end to your athletic lifestyle with recurring ankle injuries.

Expert Corn RemvoalCorns are thickened areas of skin that develop in response to excessive pressure and friction.  This can occur when one toe rubs repeatedly against another, or when the toes rub against ill-fitting footwear.  Typically hard and circular, corns are usually not a serious problem, but can be quite painful if untreated, especially when wearing shoes.

Since corns are often symptoms of underlying problems such as faulty bone structures or abnormal gait, self-treatment should only involve footwear modification. Never attempt to cut or scrape away a corn on your own as this can lead to infection. It’s best to consult Howard Schaengold, DPM first as many times over-the-counter treatments fail to effectively treat the underlying foot disorder and can damage the healthy surrounding skin if used incorrectly.

A podiatrist will assess your corn, determine the cause, and help you determine a treatment plan to manage the pain and eliminate pressure that is causing the corn. These conservative treatments may include padding to prevent pressure, footwear modifications and orthotics to relive stress under the foot.  When pain is persistent or conservative treatment isn’t effective, minimally-invasive surgical correction may be recommended to remove the corn or repair the bone structure beneath the corn.  

The surgery can often be performed in the doctor's office, the recovery time is brief, and many patients obtain relief within days. Corns always require consultation with an experienced podiatrist at our Sammamish office.  When treated early, most corns can be resolved with non-surgical treatments.

By Howard Schaengold, DPM
February 15, 2012
Category: Ankle Problems

Stiff AnkleFollowing an ankle injury, such as a sprain or in more serious cases, ankle surgery, you will inevitably lose some strength and range of motion after being immobilized for an extended period of time.  A weak ankle can hinder normal mobility and eventually lead to another injury.

Your ankle or leg may feel stiff, especially if treatment required wearing a cast or a walking boot. Stiffness and instability are common symptoms following an ankle injury that will need to be addressed in order to get you back to your normal range of motion and activity level.

Your Sammamish podiatrist may recommend post-injury physical therapy or home exercises that will help you strengthen weak muscles surrounding the ankle joint and restore mobility to lower your risk of re-injury.  These series of stretches and exercises include range of motion exercises for the injured ankle and stretching exercises for the calf muscles.

Range of motion exercises help loosen stiff ankles while helping you regain any motion that was lost during the healing process.  It’s also important to keep your muscles flexible by stretching, especially prior to any workout or physical activity to decrease the risk of re-injury. As with all exercises, progress slowly and discontinue if painful.

The shoes you wear will also play an important role in protecting your injured ankle and restoring your mobility.  Supportive shoes will provide more comfort, better balance and help stabilize the weak ankle to prevent re-injury. 

Proper care and rehabilitation following an ankle injury is critical to ensure your ankle fully heals. Always consult Howard Schaengold, DPM if ankle pain or stiffness persists or worsens, and before starting any new exercise program.