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September 21, 2014
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The bones of children and adults share many of the same risks for injury. However, a child's bones are also subject to a unique injury called a growth plate fracture.

Growth plates are areas of developing cartilage tissue near the ends of long bones. The growth plate regulates and helps determine the length and shape of the mature bone.  When a child becomes full-grown, the growth plates harden into solid bone.

Because growth plates are the last portions of bones to harden (ossify), they are vulnerable to fracture. In fact, because muscles and bones develop at different speeds, a child's bones may be weaker than the ligament tissues that connect the bones to other bones.

Children's bones heal faster than adult's bones. This has two important consequences:

•    A child with an injury should see a doctor as quickly as possible, so the bone gets the proper treatment before it begins to heal. Ideally, this means seeing a Foot and Ankle Specialist within 5 to 7 days of the injury, especially if manipulation to align the bone is required.

•    The fracture will not need to stay in a cast for as long as an adult fracture would require for healing.

Appropriate evaluation by a podiatric surgeon experienced in trauma will determine the nature of the growth plate injury, will provide counseling about treatment options, and will allow for longer term follow up to assess the outcome of the injuries.

September 07, 2014
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In general, smelly feet can be controlled with a few preventive measures:

1.     Always wear socks with closed shoes.

2.     Avoid wearing nylon socks or plastic shoes. Instead, wear shoes made of leather, canvas, mesh, or other materials that let your feet breathe.

3.     Bathe feet daily in lukewarm water, using a mild soap. Dry thoroughly.

4.     Change socks and shoes at least once a day.

5.     Check for fungal infections between toes and on the bottoms of your feet. If any redness or dry, patchy skin is observed, get treatment right away.

6.     Don't wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. If you frequently wear athletic shoes, alternate pairs so that the shoes can dry out. Give your shoes at least 24 hours to air out between wearings; if the odor doesn't go away, discard the shoes.

7.     Dust your feet frequently with a nonmedicated baby powder or foot powder. Applying antibacterial ointment also may help.

8.     Practice good foot hygiene to keep bacteria levels at a minimum.

9.     Wear thick, soft socks to help draw moisture away from the feet. Cotton and other absorbent materials are best.

10.   The best home remedy for foot odor is to soak feet in strong black tea for 30 minutes a day for a week. The acid in the tea kills the bacteria and closes the pores, keeping your feet dry longer. Use two tea bags per pint of water. Boil for 15 minutes, then add two quarts of cool water. Soak your feet in the cool solution. Alternately, you can soak your feet in a solution of one part vinegar and two parts water.

September 07, 2014
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Custom Orthotics, also known as custom orthoses, are custom-made shoe inserts that correct an abnormal or irregular, walking pattern. Sometimes called arch supports, orthotics allow people to stand, walk, and run more efficiently and comfortably. While over-the-counter orthotics are available and may help people with mild symptoms, they normally cannot correct the wide range of symptoms that prescription foot orthoses can since they are not custom made to fit an individual's unique foot structure.  Prescription orthotics are just that, a prescription; just like eyeglasses, they are meant just for you!  A cast of your feet is made in the clinic, and that cast is sent to a lab with the prescription written by your doctor.  

Orthotic devices come in many shapes, sizes, and materials and fall into three main categories: those designed to change foot function, those that are primarily protective in nature, and those that combine functional control and protection.

Rigid Orthotics
Rigid orthotic devices are designed to control function and are used primarily for walking or dress shoes. They are often composed of a firm material, such as plastic or carbon fiber. Rigid orthotics are made from a mold after a podiatrist takes a plaster cast or other kind of image of the foot. Rigid orthotics control motion in the two major foot joints that lie directly below the ankle joint and may improve or eliminate strains, aches, and pains in the legs, thighs, and lower back.

Soft Orthotics
Soft orthotics are generally used to absorb shock, increase balance, and take pressure off uncomfortable or sore spots. They are usually effective for diabetic, arthritic, and deformed feet. Soft orthotics are typically made up of soft, cushioned materials so that they can be worn against the sole of the foot, extending from the heel past the ball of the foot, including the toes. Like rigid orthotics, soft orthotics are also made from a mold after a podiatrist takes a plaster cast or other kind of image of the foot.

Semi-Rigid Orthotics
Semi-rigid orthotics provide foot balance for walking or participating in sports. The typical semi-rigid orthotic is made up of layers of soft material, reinforced with more rigid materials. Semi-rigid orthotics are often prescribed for children to treat flatfoot and in-toeing or out-toeing disorders. These orthotics are also used to help athletes mitigate pain while they train and compete.

If you think orthotics may help your foot pain, make an appointment today with one of Academy's Foot and Ankle Specialists.

September 07, 2014
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Medical Myths:  The Truth Uncovered #3

Your Heel Spur Isn’t Causing Your Heel Pain!?  That’s…RIGHT!!

Heel spurs refer specifically to bone spurs in the heel. Heel spurs are growths of bone on heel bone and occur when the plantar fascia pulls at its attachment to the heel bone, as in plantar fasciitis. There is a misconception that people with heel pain are hurting because they are walking on a spur.  But in fact, the pain is merely from the inflammation around the spur, not the spur itself.  The spur formed over time to effectively lengthen the fascia because it is so tight, but the spur itself is not painful.   If you suffer from Plantar Fasciitis, visit for more information or contact one of our Foot and Ankle Specialists at 817-424-3668.

September 02, 2014
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People talk all the time about having their knee “scoped” or ankle “scoped”…but what does it mean?  

Arthroscopy, or visualization of a joint through a scope, was first performed on the knee joint.  Through medical advances, many joints can now be inspected this way.  Ankle joint pathology is now commonly treated using a “scope.”  In the past, a large incision was made and the joint was opened and inspected.  This type of procedure carries a higher risk if infection and requires a longer post-operative course.  Using the scope, surgeons are able to still visualize the joint, but at a much lower risk to the patient.  The patient is also able to weight bear much sooner, or right away, depending on the treatments performed during the arthroscopy procedure.

Ankle arthroscopy allows the surgeon to inspect and evaluate articular cartilage and soft tissue pathology.  Articular cartilage is the specific type of cartilage that covers most joint surfaces.

Symptoms that may require ankle arthroscopy include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Popping or catching
  • Feeling that the ankle is weak, or unstable
  • Locking up of the joint

Some surgical procedures performed on the joint through the “scope” include:

  • Debridement of the joint (“cleaning up” arthritis)
  • Biopsy
  • Synovectomy (Often, the lining of the joint, or the synovium, becomes inflamed and can cause ankle pain)
  • Loose body removal (Chips of cartilage or bone in the joint, which can be very painful)
  • Drilling/Curettage of a cartilage defect (Osteochondral Defect, or OCD)

If you are experiencing ankle pain, contact one of the Foot and Ankle Surgeons at Academy Foot and Ankle Specialists to learn if an Ankle Arthroscopy might be useful in treating your ankle pain!


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