Frequently Ask Questions

How do I avoid ankle pain when I exercise?

Many athletes or exercise enthusiasts experience ankle pain while they run. However, there are ways to prevent the pain! One of the best things you can do is make sure you are wearing athletic shoes that fit properly. Many people don’t have a perfect stride. A lot of runners either under or overpronate. Simply put, underpronation is when the foot doesn’t roll inward enough and overpronation occurs when the foot rolls too far inward. Properly fitting shoes can correct these problems and help prevent ankle pain in the future.

It’s very important to listen to what you’re body is telling you. If you start to experience any pain, modify or stop your workout. Also make sure to schedule an appointment with Dr. Dr Khanh Le of Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic. We proudly serve the greater Eastside including Sammamish, Issaquah, Bellevue and Redmond areas. Remember, we are here to help keep you on your feet!

How do I prevent shin splints?

The first thing you need to know is that shin splints are caused by many different factors. Often they’re caused by stress fractures in the shinbone, swollen muscles, or flat feet. One of the most important things to do is check your shoes. Worn out or unsupportive shoes put you at risk of developing shin splints. If your shoes need to be replaced, go shopping later in the day. Your feet swell as the day progresses, so going later will ensure a more accurate fit.

Custom orthotics can also help prevent shin splints. They stabilize the foot and help support flat feet. In addition to purchasing orthotics, try strengthening exercises for your leg. Walking around on your tiptoes or your heels are good exercises to start with.

Lastly, stretch before and after exercise. If you suspect you have shin splints do not ignore them, they will only get worse. Give Dr Khanh Le a call if you are experiencing any pain in your feet or ankles at (425) 868-3338 or schedule an appointment online

How do I avoid bunion surgery?

Surgery can sometimes be avoided through the use conservative treatments. These interventions are meant to relieve pain, so that daily activities aren’t limited. However, they will not completely resolve the bone deformity.

Start by checking your footwear. Roomy shoes with a wide, deep toe box will accommodate the enlargement. Wearing a bunion pad or orthotics can help take the pressure off of your big toe joint. Moleskin and felt patches can also be used on the areas with the most pressure.
If there is swelling, take pain relievers like such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen or aspirin. Icing the painful area can also help. Remember to only apply ice to the joint for 10-20 minutes at a time, and keep a cloth between your skin and the ice.

If you have exhausted all of these non-surgical treatments, it’s time to consider surgery as an option. Remember, you don’t have to live with foot pain. Call Dr Khanh Le of Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic for relief.

Do I have to wear my orthotics all the time?

No matter how often someone wears glasses, once they take them off they will have a problem with their sight. The same goes for orthotics. Once you stop wearing them, your foot or ankle problem will return.

Orthotics are devices that are worn inside shoes. They hold your foot in the proper position to promote proper alignment and relieve foot pain. However, they will not correct your feet. They only correct the position of the foot when they are worn.

Orthotics have to be been broken in, and it can take up to 6 weeks to notice the first sign of improvement. If you don’t wear them consistently, this amount of time could increase. Of course, the time frames vary based on the severity of the foot or ankle problem. If you don’t notice improvement after a couple months, set up an appointment with Dr Khanh Le of Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic. He will get you back on your feet again!

Why is my toenail black?

Trauma is one of the most common causes of black toenails. The black coloration is caused by a bruise or blood blister that forms underneath the toenail. Simply put, the black color is caused by blood that has settled underneath your nail.

If you have dropped something heavy or even stubbed your toe, you will most likely see the color change in a couple of days. Black toenails are most common in runners or dedicated walkers. While walking or running, the toes hit the top, sides or front of the shoes. This trauma then results in the discoloration or bruising. Black toenails can happen to serious athletes even if their shoes are the perfect fit!

If you have a black toenail and are not an athlete or haven’t dropped anything on your toe, it’s important you call your podiatrist. A fungal infection, ill-fitting shoes or even a malignant melanoma could be the cause. Don’t hesitate to call Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic at (425) 868-3338 for more information. The staff at our Sammamish, WA office are happy to help!

Can I run with plantar fasciitis?

If you want to try running with plantar fasciitis, one of the most common sources of heel pain, reduce your running time by 25-75%. This will help the injury heal and you can still continue your workout. Avoid running uphill and sprinting. If your symptoms are too severe to run, but you still want to exercise, try a low-impact activity. This can include cycling or swimming.

Once the injury has healed and you return to your usual running routine; start out with short, slow runs. Working out on a soft, flat surface is best. If you don’t experience any pain within a day, you have found the right balance between running and recovery. Returning to your regular training routine will depend on the severity of your injury. If you have heel pain, call Dr. Dr Khanh Le at our Sammamish, WA office today!

How often should I replace my running shoes?

The first thing you should do is listen to what your body is telling you. As a shoe wears out, the midsole breaks down. This means your footwear is not supporting or cushioning your foot and the rest of your body. The body can tell that you your shoes are wearing out in a number of ways. Arch pain, shin splints, muscle fatigue and sore knees are just some of the signs that indicate you may need to replace your athletic shoes.

A great rule of thumb is to trade your running shoes every 300-500 miles. Of course this depends on your weight, running style and the surfaces where you run. If you are a smaller runner, your shoes will generally last longer than a heavier runner’s shoes. The same goes with running surfaces. Rough surfaces may require you to replace your shoes more often. Call Dr. Dr Khanh Le at Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic if you have questions about your running shoes. We serve the Sammamish, Bellevue, Issaquah, and Redmond Kirkland and Bellevue areas. 

Why is my toenail falling off?

Torn or ripped toenails can be extremely painful! There are a number of reasons why your toenail is in this condition. Sustaining an injury to your toe is a common cause. If you have longer toenails, one of them may have gotten caught on something that caused it to pull away from the nail bed. Stubbing your toe often can also cause your toenail to detach. It’s common for runners to lose toenails because of the repetitive pressure on the toes from running shoes. Skin conditions, chemicals and certain medicines may also result in the loss of a toenail.

Fungal toenail infections also cause detached toenails. The infection begins when tiny fungi enter the nail bed through small cuts. If your toes are yellow, cracked, thickened, discolored or spotted, you may be suffering from a fungal toenail infection. This is not something to ignore!

No matter the cause of your toenail problem, Dr Khanh Le can help! Call Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic at (425) 868-3338 in Sammamish, WA to learn more. 

What is causing my heel pain?

Heel pain is one of the most common foot problems Americans experience, and it is also one of the foot problems that we treat frequently. The two most common causes of heel pain we see in the office are plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis.

Plantar fasciitis develops when the ligament that connects the ball of the foot and heel bone becomes inflamed, weak and swollen. The pain can range from mild to debilitating. Many patients feel a stabbing pain in their heel with their first steps in the morning. This problem is common in runners, pregnant women and people who are overweight.

Achilles tendonitis involves the inflammation of a tendon. However, it is found in the back of the ankle, not the bottom of the foot. Like plantar fasciitis, this leads to irritation, inflammation and pain located in the back of the heel. It’s common in athletes and runners.

You don’t have to live with heel pain. If you reside in the Sammamish, Issaquah, Bellevue or Redmond areas, call Dr Khanh Le at Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic. We are here to get you back on your feet again!

What foot problems can affect my child?

Great question! It’s important to take care of your child’s feet early in life so they can avoid problems down the road. Three of the most common pediatric foot problems we treat at the Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic are ingrown toenails, warts and Sever’s Disease.

It would be hard for your child not to notice an ingrown toenail! This painful nail problem occurs when the corner of a toenail, usually on the big toe, grows into the skin. This results in swelling, redness and sometimes infection. It is not something to ignore!

Warts, growths on the bottom of your child’s feet, are also a pediatric concern. They’re caused when the human papillomavirus (HPV) enters the body through small cuts, and are commonly found on the heels or balls of the feet. Because of the pressure, the warts can sometimes grow inward causing pain.

Lastly, Sever’s Disease is a bone disorder caused by inflammation in the growth plate of the heel bone. If your child is experiencing heel pain, this could be the cause. It usually develops during your child’s growth spurt, anywhere between the ages of 8 – 15 years old.

Do you perform bunion surgery?

Dr Khanh Le is a bunion expert and often will perform surgery to correct the deformity. If you’ve noticed a large bump coming out from the joint of your big toe, it could be a bunion. This is a progressive deformity, which means it usually begins as smaller bump then keeps growing if left untreated.

In the early stages, bunions may not display symptoms. However, as it progresses, pain is usually experienced. The feet become red, tender and swollen. Sometimes a burning sensation or numbness can occur as well.

If conservative treatments don’t work, we recommend surgery, or a bunionectomy, to surgically realign the great toe joint. This involves making surgical cuts in the metatarsal, repositioning it and fixating it internally. This corrects the anatomical position of the foot.

Never ignore foot problems! If you live in the Sammamish, Bellevue, Issaquah and Redmond areas give The Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic a call. We’re your bunion experts!

Can you remove warts?

Yes we can! At The Plateau we use laser surgery to remove them. Most of the plantar warts we treat are harmless, however they can cause quite a bit of pain. Many people will mistake these thick layers of dead skin for corns or calluses. The truth is, a wart is a viral infection.

The virus enters the skin through small cuts or abrasions. Often, walking barefoot through dirty surfaces is the cause. They appear hard, flat and rough. Warts are extremely resistant to treatment and often will reappear. If you don’t seek treatment the wart will grow or you will start noticing the formation of clusters. In some cases it can be as large as an inch in circumference!

Have you noticed gray or brown bumps on the bottom of your feet? Is there a pinpoint of black in the middle? Chances are, you have a wart. Call Dr. Dr Khanh Le and ask about laser surgery treatment

What are the benefits of laser surgery?

At The Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinicwe frequently use laser surgery to eradicate unsightly warts and fungal toenails. The laser is a finely focused, intense beam of light that is used to perform safer and more convenient surgeries. Simply put, the laser turns the water in your cells to steam, called vaporization.

Laser surgery has many benefits. First and foremost, it enables us to removed damaged or unwanted tissue without the side effects of a scalpel. The unwelcome cells are vaporized almost instantaneously and the surrounding tissue is not affected. As a bonus, the laser sterilizes the affected area and stops any bleeding. Also, the recovery time is much quicker than traditional methods. Swelling and tissue injuries resolve faster so the patient experiences less pain. The cosmetic advantage is that there are usually no scars left behind.

Are you interested in laser surgery? If you have fungal toenails, warts or scar tissue it’s something you may want to look into. Dr Khanh Le is an expert in this type of surgery and is happy to guide you through the process. Set up an appointment today.

What are some tips on avoiding foot problems?

One of the best ways to prevent foot problems is to check your feet daily, especially if you have circulatory problems or diseases like diabetes. Pay attention to your toenails, heels and balls of your feet. If you’re older look for age-related issues. These could include  arthritis, heel pads wearing out and hammertoes.

Another important factor in your foot health is your footwear. It’s very important to achieve the proper fit! Always be sure your shoes aren’t too tight and go shopping at the end of the day. This way, your feet are the most swollen and you can be sure your shoes will fit at all times. Having good arch support is important as well. Flip-flops and stilettos are definitely not the best footwear choices.

Do you need more foot care tips? Call Dr Khanh Le of Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic at 425-868-3338. We proudly serve the Sammamish, Issaquah, Bellevue and Redmond areas.

Why do my shoes smell?

Have you ever cleared a room by taking off your shoes? Have you ever wondered why your shoes smell? Simply put, smelly shoes are the result of sweat and bacteria interacting. Did you know your feet have over 250,000 sweat glands each? Believe it or not, your feet perspire more than any other area on your body. Each day a foot can produce up to a pint of sweat. However, it’s not sweat alone that causes the odor.

Bacteria are the actual cause of the smell. These tiny organisms eat the sweat produced by your feet. It is the waste excreted by the bacteria that smells. Bacteria love damp, dark places like your footwear. The sweat from our feet cannot escape while we wear shoes, so the bacteria have a feast. Once you take off your shoes, the smell of all of the bacteria’s waste hits you at once.

If you want to prevent or reduce foot odor give Dr Khanh Le a call. The Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic has been serving patients in the Sammamish, Bellevue, Issaquah, and Redmond, WA areas since 1992. Put your feet into our hands!

What can I do about my stinky feet?

Smelly feet? You’re not alone. We know how self-conscious foot odor can make you feel! The good news is that there are a variety of home remedies to treat this. The first thing you can do is keep your feet clean. Wash them every day with soap and water. If you want to go the extra mile, soak your feet in an Epsom salt bath. Not only will this kill bacteria, it will also relax your foot and ankle muscles. After your foot bath, it is important to make sure that your feet are dry before putting on socks or shoes.

Proper shoes are another key component in combating stinky feet. When choosing footwear, purchase a pair that is well ventilated. Go for natural leather. This offers more airflow to your feet than rubber or plastic shoes. Don’t just buy one pair of breathable shoes, buy a couple. It’s important to alternate your shoes daily. Let your shoes breathe 24 hours after you wear them. Airing them out causes the bacteria to die.

If you need to mask the smell, sprinkle some baking soda in your shoes and let them sit overnight. You can also try a vinegar spray. Using equal parts vinegar and water, spray this into your shoes, leaving 30 minutes to dry before putting them on.

If you are still having problems with foot odor and cannot seem to find a solution, call The Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic at (425) 868-3338. There are prescription solutions to this problem. Dr Khanh Le has been practicing in Sammamish, WA since 1992. Remember, you don’t have to live with foot odor!

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