Alternative Therapies for Non-Healing Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Maggot therapy, also known as Maggot Debridement Therapy, MDT, or Larval therapy, has a long history in medicine and has gained recent recognition for its unique ability to save limbs. This biotherapy involves placing disinfected maggots, often the larvae of the greenbottle blowfly, on wounds, such as diabetic foot ulcers, to debride necrotic tissues. It is particularly effective when antibiotics fail to combat bacterial infections in non-healing wounds, potentially preventing limb amputations. Maggots work by secreting special enzymes, which break down necrotic tissue, making it easier to digest and absorb. They also produce antibiotic-like agents and release ammonia to inhibit bacterial growth in the wound. Administration involves placing sterile maggots within a dressing on the wound for 48 to 72 hours. This therapy has broad applications, including diabetic ulcers, vascular ulcers, pressure ulcers, and even malignant wounds. Studies have shown that maggot therapy accelerates wound healing, reduces necrotic tissue, and decreases wound odor. While this therapy is highly effective, it should not be used for wounds near vital organs or blood vessels and in septic patients. Additional research can further expand the applications of this therapy, however, it saves 40 to 50 percent of limbs when used as a last resort. If you have a non-healing diabetic foot wound and would like alternative treatments for healing, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist to discuss this further.

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with one of our podiatrists from Illinois . Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Wheeling and Berwyn, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Symptoms of a Broken Ankle

A broken ankle is a painful and potentially serious injury that requires immediate attention. One of the most apparent signs of a broken ankle is severe pain, often accompanied by swelling and bruising around the affected area. You may find it challenging or impossible to bear weight on the injured ankle. Deformity is another clear indicator of a broken ankle. If the ankle appears misaligned or if the bone has broken through the skin, it is a clear sign of a fracture. Reduced range of motion in the ankle joint is another symptom. Additionally, attempting to move the ankle may cause further pain. Numbness or tingling in the foot or toes can also occur, indicating nerve involvement. If you suspect a broken ankle, seek immediate medical attention. An accurate diagnosis, often involving X-rays, is essential. Treatment options include casting, bracing, or surgery. If you have broken your ankle, it is suggested that you confer with a podiatrist who can accurately diagnose and treat this condition. 

Broken ankles need immediate treatment. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Illinois . Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet. 

Broken Ankles
A broken ankle is experienced when a person fractures their tibia or fibula in the lower leg and ankle area. Both of these bones are attached at the bottom of the leg and combine to form what we know to be our ankle.

When a physician is referring to a break of the ankle, he or she is usually referring to a break in the area where the tibia and fibula are joined to create our ankle joint. Ankles are more prone to fractures because the ankle is an area that suffers a lot of pressure and stress. There are some obvious signs when a person experiences a fractured ankle, and the following symptoms may be present.

Symptoms of a Fractured Ankle

  • Excessive pain when the area is touched or when any pressure is placed on the ankle
  •  Swelling around the area
  •  Bruising of the area
  • Area appears to be deformed

If you suspect an ankle fracture, it is recommended to seek treatment as soon as possible. The sooner you have your podiatrist diagnose the fracture, the quicker you’ll be on the way towards recovery.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Wheeling and Berwyn, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Broken Ankle Causes, Differences, Symptoms and Treatments

Definition and Underlying Causes of Gout

Gout is a painful form of arthritis that results from the buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints. This condition can affect anyone, and it typically targets the big toe joint. A noticeable symptom of gout is intense pain, swelling, and redness in the affected joint, often occurring suddenly and causing discomfort that can last for days or weeks. The primary cause of gout is an overabundance of uric acid in the bloodstream, a condition known as hyperuricemia. Uric acid forms when the body breaks down purines, which are found in certain foods and are also produced naturally by the body. Factors such as genetics, a diet rich in purines, excessive alcohol consumption, and obesity can contribute to elevated uric acid levels. Treatment of gout typically involves managing pain during flare-ups with anti-inflammatory medications and lifestyle modifications can help to reduce uric acid levels. Long-term strategies often include dietary changes, weight management, and medications to lower uric acid production. By understanding gout's definition, causes, and appropriate treatment options, individuals can take proactive steps to alleviate pain and prevent future attacks. If you suffer from gout, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can help you to manage this condition.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Illinois . Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Wheeling and Berwyn, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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The Basics of the Achilles Tendon

The Achilles tendon, the body's largest tendon, is susceptible to injury due to its limited blood supply and exposure to various forces. Aging and increased activity, especially in sports involving speed, heighten the risk of Achilles tendon problems. These issues are becoming more common with the active aging population. Injuries can develop suddenly or gradually, often requiring extended healing periods. A thorough history and physical examination are necessary for accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment. The primary approach for treatment involves rest and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Additional interventions such as physical therapy, orthotics, or surgery may be necessary in severe cases. If you have Achilles tendon pain or an injury, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment tailored to your situation.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of Illinois . Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What Are the Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Wheeling and Berwyn, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about The Causes, Types, and Treatments of Achilles Tendon Injuries

Why Live with Pain and Numbness in Your Feet?

Suffering from this type of pain? You may have the foot condition known as Morton's neuroma. Morton's neuroma may develop as a result of ill-fitting footwear and existing foot deformities. We can help.

Foot Pain and Mobility

Foot health plays a crucial role in maintaining an active and mobile lifestyle as you age. Your feet serve as the foundation for your lower extremities. Any significant foot disorder can impact your ability to walk, perform daily activities, and even engage in mild exercise. Having foot pain can lead to changes in your gait, which can, over time, affect your ankles, knees, hips, and even your back. While aging naturally brings changes to your feet, including alterations in shoe size and structure, discomfort and pain should not be considered normal. Properly fitting, supportive, and comfortable shoes can help prevent issues such as corns, arch pain, and bunions. Certain occupations may require safety toed shoes that may help to avoid foot injuries. Practical steps to promote foot health include daily foot inspections, regular toenail maintenance, and walking in comfortable shoes.  Addressing foot problems early and adopting preventive measures can reduce chronic pain, infections, hospital visits, and help you maintain your mobility. If you are having foot problems, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and a treatment plan that is right for you.

Foot Pain

Foot pain can be extremely painful and debilitating. If you have a foot pain, consult with one of our podiatrists from Illinois . Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Causes

Foot pain is a very broad condition that could be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:

  • Bunions
  • Hammertoes
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Bone Spurs
  • Corns
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Ingrown Toenails
  • Arthritis (such as Gout, Rheumatoid, and Osteoarthritis)
  • Flat Feet
  • Injury (from stress fractures, broken toe, foot, ankle, Achilles tendon ruptures, and sprains)
  • And more

Diagnosis

To figure out the cause of foot pain, podiatrists utilize several different methods. This can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.

Treatment

Treatment depends upon the cause of the foot pain. Whether it is resting, staying off the foot, or having surgery; podiatrists have a number of treatment options available for foot pain.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Wheeling and Berwyn, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Bunions on the Pinky Toe

A tailor's bunion, also known as a bunionette, is a condition characterized by the formation of a bony lump on the outer side of the little toe. This condition occurs when the fifth metatarsal bone, which is the bottom bone of the little toe, enlarges or shifts outward. Although less common than big toe bunions, a tailor's bunion can still cause discomfort and pain. Symptoms of a tailor's bunion include a swollen bump on the outer side of the toe, which can become red and painful, especially when it rubs against footwear. Tailor's bunions can affect one or both feet. Factors that contribute to the development of tailor's bunions include wearing ill-fitting shoes, being genetically predisposed to structural foot abnormalities, and having loose foot ligaments. A lower-than-normal fifth metatarsal bone or tight calf muscles can also contribute to the condition.  In severe cases, surgery may be recommended. For help with a bunionette, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist.

If you are suffering from bunion pain, contact one of our podiatrists of Illinois . Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.

Causes

  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development

Symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Wheeling and Berwyn, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Common Causes of Swollen Feet

Swollen feet, an uncomfortable condition, can be attributed to various factors. One prevalent cause is poor circulation, where blood struggles to flow efficiently, resulting in fluid buildup in the feet. Prolonged sitting or standing, especially in hot weather, can trigger this. Additionally, injuries such as sprains or fractures can lead to localized swelling. Certain medical conditions, such as hypertension, kidney disease, and heart failure, can contribute to fluid retention in the feet and ankles. Hormonal changes during pregnancy also play a role in swelling. Lastly, an unhealthy diet that is high in sodium can exacerbate fluid retention. Addressing swollen feet requires identifying the root cause, maintaining an active lifestyle, and wearing comfortable shoes. If you have swollen feet, it is strongly suggested that you speak with a podiatrist who can determine the cause and offer correct relief and treatment remedies.  

Swollen feet can be a sign of an underlying condition. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of Illinois . Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Swollen feet are a common ailment among pregnant women and people who stand or sit for extended periods. Aging may increase the possibility of swollen feet and patients who are obese often notice when their feet are swelling too. There may be medical reasons why swollen feet occur:

  • Phlebitis - A condition that causes the veins to become inflamed and can also cause leg pain.
  • Liver disease - This may lead to low blood levels of albumin which is a protein. This can cause fluid in the blood to pass into the tissues and several areas of the body can become swollen.
  • Heart failure - When the heart doesn’t pump properly the blood that is normally pumped back to the heart can pool in the veins of the legs causing swollen feet.
  • Kidney disease - One of the main functions of the kidneys is releasing excess fluid in the body. This type of condition can make it difficult for the kidneys to function properly, and as a result the feet may become swollen.
  • Deep-vein thrombosis (DVT)- This is a serious condition where blood clots form in the veins of the legs. They can block the return of blood from the legs to the heart which may cause the feet to swell. It is important to be treated by a podiatrist if this condition is present.

Swollen feet can also be caused by bone and tendon conditions, including fractures, arthritis, and tendinitis. Additionally, there may be skin and toenail conditions and an infection may cause the feet to swell. Patients who take medicine to treat high blood pressure may be prone to getting swollen feet. 

Many patients elevate their feet to help relieve the swelling and this is generally a temporary remedy. When a podiatrist is consulted the reason behind the swelling can be uncovered and subsequently treated.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Wheeling and Berwyn, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.


 

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Remedies for Cracked Heels

Cracked heels, those uncomfortable and unsightly fissures in the skin, often catch us off guard. Cracked heels can occur for a variety of factors, with dry skin being a prominent contributor. Excessive exposure to harsh weather, improper footwear, and prolonged standing can exacerbate the issue. Prevention starts with consistent moisturization that consists of regular application of a thick, emollient foot cream that can help to keep the skin supple. Exfoliating gently removes dead skin cells, allowing better absorption of moisturizers. Additionally, wearing well-fitting shoes with proper cushioning minimizes pressure on the heels. In cases of severe cracking, medical attention from a podiatrist may be necessary. Prescription creams and ointments, along with professional treatment, can help to provide relief. Embracing a routine of foot care and protective measures is key to healing those cracks and restoring smooth, comfortable feet. If you are afflicted with cracked heels, it is suggested that you contact a podiatrist. 

If the skin on your feet starts to crack, you may want to see a podiatrist to find treatment. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists from Illinois . Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

It is important to moisturize your cracked heels in order to prevent pain, bleeding, and infection. The reason cracked heels form is because the skin on the foot is too dry to support the immense pressure placed on them. When the foot expands, the dry skin on the foot begins to split.

Ways to Help Heal Them

  • Invest in a good foot cream
  • Try Using Petroleum Jelly
  • Ease up on Soaps
  • Drink Plenty of Water

Ways to Prevent Cracked Heels

  • Moisturize After Showering
  • Skip a Shower
  • Keep Shower Water Lukewarm
  • Don’t Scrub Your Feet

If you are unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels, seek guidance from a podiatrist. Your doctor will help you with any questions or information you may need. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Wheeling and Berwyn, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Are You Suffering From Ingrown Toenails?

If left untreated, an ingrown toenail can lead to more serious concerns, such as an infection. Knowing proper nail care can help in the prevention of an ingrown toenail. Give us a call, and get treated!

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