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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!

August 24, 2014
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The Noveon Nailaser Is Different!  The Noveon Laser is one of the ONLY FDA approved Lasers Used to treat Nail Fungus! (Press Release)

Noveon NaiLaser - Designed to treat toenail fungus

The Noveon NaiLaser includes several features to ensure effective toenail fungus treatment:

Light, not heat – While most toenail fungus lasers use designs that can cause pain and may not kill the fungus, scientists have identified two laser wavelengths that are particularly effective at destroying fungus cells without producing high levels of heat.  The Noveon NaiLaser uses both.

Automatic operation – A computer program controls the operation of the Noveon NaiLaser.  This increases treatment effectiveness and reduces the possibility of heat buildup. 

Patient guards – Instead of a handheld wand, the Noveon NaiLaser uses laser pathways connected to patient guards treating up to four toes at a single time. 

Patient control– A patient can instantly stop treatment with a pause switch. 

Academy Foot and Ankle successfully treats Nail Fungus with the Noveon Laser.  If you suffer from fungal nails, contact us today for an appointment!  817-424-3668 (FOOT)






August 24, 2014
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Medical Myths:  The Truth Uncovered #2

Nail Fungus Can’t Be Treated:  True or False?


What IS toenail fungus?

The medical term for Toenail Fungus is Onychomycosis.  It is the most common disease of the nails.

There are different types of nail fungus that cause the nail to change.  When a toenail is infected, it may become thickened, brittle, have white spots or patches, become loose and detached from nail bed, and produce debris under the nail.  Infected toenails may be sensitive or painful as well.

The toenail may be yellow, black, green, or white.  This can mean fungus, yeasts, molds, and/or bacteria are present.

How do you get Toenail Fungus?

The most common cause is plain old aging.  Others ways you can get nail fungus are:

•   Going barefoot in public places (swimming pools, gym locker rooms, etc.)

•   Having Athlete's Foot (the same fungi that cause nail fungus can cause Athlete's Foot)

•   Nail Injury or trauma (This includes nicks and cuts from getting pedicures)

•   Weak Immune System (Diabetes Mellitus, people on chemotherapy, etc.)

•   Sweaty feet (Hyperhidrosis) or being in a moist environment

How do you treat Toenail Fungus?

1.     Topical Treatment

2.     Oral Treatment

3.     Laser Treatment

You can discuss the different treatment options with your Podiatrist to find out which one is best for you and the type of toenail fungus you have.

With any toenail fungus treatment, patience is key!  It takes anywhere from 9 months to a year for your toenails to grow from base to tip.  This means it could take just as long for total clearing  of the nail from the toenail fungus.

August 05, 2014
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Use PRP to Increase Your Healing Potential!


What is PRP?

PRP, or Platelet-Rich Plasma, is blood plasma that has been centrifuged to concentrate the platelets.  This concentration contains several different growth factors and cytokines (small molecules used in tissue regeneration) that stimulate healing of bone and soft tissue.

PRP therapy is based on local delivery of a highly concentrated volume of platelets at the site of some musculoskeletal injury.  When activated, (typically with collagen or thrombin), these platelets release various critical growth factors involved in healing.

When is PRP Used?

PRP has historically been used in maxillofacial surgery, plastic surgery, and in open heart surgery.  There has been a recent surge in the orthopedic specialties to improve bone healing and accelerate soft tissue healing as well.

This concentrate can be injected into tissues to promote healing.  Platelet-Rich Plasma has been investigated and used as clinical tool for several types of injuries in the foot and ankle, including: nerve injury, tendinitisosteoarthritis, and bone repair and regeneration.  PRP has also received attention in the popular media as a result of its use in treating sports injuries in professional athletes.

How is PRP Injected?

This procedure is typically done in the Operating Room Suite under local or regional anesthesia.  Blood is taken from your arm and the platelets are removed.  Your body’s own platelets are then injected back into the plantar fascia, Achilles’ tendon, or surgical site.  This provides greater healing potential for chronic injuries or aids in surgical recovery.

The known actions of platelet-derived factors suggest that PRP may have significant potential in the treatment of pathological conditions of cartilage, tendon, ligament, and muscle.  The growth factors in PRP are activated and begin working within 10 minutes of the injection.

If you are suffering from an acute or chronic soft tissue injury, like the ones mentioned above, contact one of the doctors at Academy Foot and Ankle Specialists to see if PRP injections may be right for you. 

June 30, 2014
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Medical Myths:  The Truth Uncovered  #1

There’s Nothing You Can Do About A Broken Toe:  True or False?

There is often a delay in treatment for toe fractures because most people think there isn’t a treatment for them anyway.  This is FALSE!  Toe fractures are treated like any other fracture in the body.  If it’s not displaced (separation between fracture pieces), then immobilization is the typically treatment.  If there is separation of fracture pieces, sometimes a surgical procedure is necessary.  If not immobilized properly (i.e. wearing one of those stylish black Velcro boots), there can be a delay in healing or the fracture may not heal at all.  This can lead to long lasting pain and even deformity.  Kids who fracture their toes through the growth plates can have long lasting deformity as well if not treated appropriately.  The picture shown is of a female patient that broke her toe through the growth center and did not seek treatment.  The growth plate closed prematurely resulting in a shortened digit.  Moral of the story?  If you injure a toe and think it might be broken, seek treatment!  There IS something you can do about it!!  The doctors at Academy Foot and Ankle Specialists treat all conditions of the foot and ankle.  If you are experiencing foot, ankle or toe pain, contact us today for an appointment.  817-424-3668. 


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