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Items filtered by date: June 2024

Foot puncture wounds are injuries where a sharp object pierces the skin and underlying tissues of the foot. These wounds can occur from stepping on nails, glass, or other sharp objects. Proper diagnosis involves a physical examination by a podiatrist, often accompanied by imaging tests like X-rays to assess the depth and presence of foreign objects. Symptoms of a foot puncture wound include pain, swelling, redness, and bleeding at the site of injury. If the wound becomes infected, additional symptoms such as warmth, pus, and increased pain may develop. Timely medical attention is vital to clean the wound thoroughly, prevent infection, and ensure proper healing. If you have stepped on a sharp object and have developed a foot wound, it is suggested that you seek prompt medical treatment from a podiatrist who can effectively manage this condition.

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 Luis Esquerdo Cruz, DPM from Dr. Esquerdo Podiatry and Laser Center . Our doctor 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 office located in San Juan, PR . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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If you're suffering from an ankle fracture, professional attention shouldn't wait. Fractures may worsen over time and can make completing everyday activities incredibly difficult. See your podiatrist for treatment and guidance through the healing process. 

Peripheral artery disease, or PAD, poses significant challenges for foot health, stemming from restricted blood flow to the lower extremities. This condition, often caused by atherosclerosis, involves the buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries, leading to narrowed or blocked blood vessels. The diminished blood supply to the feet can result in various symptoms, including pain, cramping, numbness, and weakness, particularly during physical activity. Left untreated, PAD can contribute to serious complications such as foot ulcers, infections, and delayed wound healing. Diagnosing PAD typically involves a comprehensive evaluation by a podiatrist. This process includes a thorough medical history review, assessment of risk factors such as smoking and diabetes, and a physical examination focused on evaluating circulation in the legs and feet. Specialized diagnostic tests, such as ankle-brachial index, or ABI measurement, Doppler ultrasound, and angiography, may also be employed to confirm the diagnosis and determine the extent of arterial blockages. If you are experiencing any of the foot symptoms mentioned above, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist who can accurately diagnose and offer relief solutions for PAD.

Peripheral artery disease can pose a serious risk to your health. It can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, consult with Luis Esquerdo Cruz, DPM from Dr. Esquerdo Podiatry and Laser Center . Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is when arteries are constricted due to plaque (fatty deposits) build-up. This results in less blood flow to the legs and other extremities. The main cause of PAD is atherosclerosis, in which plaque builds up in the arteries.

Symptoms

Symptoms of PAD include:

  • Claudication (leg pain from walking)
  • Numbness in legs
  • Decrease in growth of leg hair and toenails
  • Paleness of the skin
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Sores and wounds on legs and feet that won’t heal
  • Coldness in one leg

It is important to note that a majority of individuals never show any symptoms of PAD.

Diagnosis

While PAD occurs in the legs and arteries, Podiatrists can diagnose PAD. Podiatrists utilize a test called an ankle-brachial index (ABI). An ABI test compares blood pressure in your arm to you ankle to see if any abnormality occurs. Ultrasound and imaging devices may also be used.

Treatment

Fortunately, lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, managing cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and quitting smoking, can all treat PAD. Medications that prevent clots from occurring can be prescribed. Finally, in some cases, surgery may be recommended.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in San Juan, PR . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Tuesday, 11 June 2024 00:00

Krabbe Disease and the Feet

Krabbe disease is a rare, inherited disorder that affects the nervous system, including the feet. It is caused by a deficiency of a specific enzyme that leads to the accumulation of harmful substances in the brain and other tissues. This disease often manifests in infancy but can also appear later in life. Symptoms affecting the feet include muscle weakness, stiffness, and spasticity, which can result in difficulty walking or maintaining balance. Sensory loss and neuropathy, characterized by numbness or tingling, may also occur. Treatment primarily focuses on managing symptoms and slowing disease progression. Supportive care is important for maintaining mobility and comfort. Given the complexity and potential impact on foot health, if you have Krabbe disease, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can help manage symptoms and improve your quality of life.

Some foot conditions may require additional professional care. If you have any concerns, contact Luis Esquerdo Cruz, DPM of Dr. Esquerdo Podiatry and Laser Center . Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Rare Foot Conditions

The majority of foot conditions are common and can be treated by a podiatrist.  Standard diagnostic procedures are generally used to identify specific conditions and treatment can be rendered. A podiatrist also treats rare foot conditions which can be difficult to diagnose and may need extra attention and care. 

There are many rare foot conditions that can affect children. Some of these can include:

  • Freiberg’s disease
  • Kohler’s disease
  • Maffucci syndrome

Freiberg’s disease - This can be seen as a deterioration and flattening of a metatarsal bone that exists in the ball of the foot. It typically affects pre-teen and teenage girls, but can affect anyone at any age. Symptoms that can accompany this can be swelling, stiffness, and the patient may limp. 

Kohler’s disease - This often targets the bone in the arch of the foot and affects younger boys. It can lead to an interruption of the blood supply which ultimately can lead to bone deterioration. The patient may limp or experience tenderness, swelling, and redness.

Maffucci syndrome - This affects the long bones in a child’s foot leading to the development of abnormal bone lesions. They are benign growths and typically develop in early childhood and the bones may be susceptible to breaking. 

A podiatrist can properly diagnose and treat all types of rare foot conditions. If your child is affected by any of these symptoms or conditions, please don’t hesitate to call our office so the correct treatment method can begin.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in San Juan, PR . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.
 

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Tuesday, 04 June 2024 00:00

Surgery on the Small Toes

When it comes to foot surgery, attention often gravitates toward major procedures, like bunion corrections or ankle reconstructions. However, surgeries targeting the smaller toes hold equal significance, addressing various conditions that can profoundly impact mobility and comfort. One prevalent issue necessitating such interventions is hammertoe, characterized by abnormal bending of the toe joints, often resulting from imbalanced foot mechanics or ill-fitting footwear. Left untreated, hammertoes can lead to pain, corns, and difficulty in wearing shoes. Another common concern is claw toe, where the toe bends upward from the joint at the ball of the foot, causing pressure points and discomfort. These conditions may be worsened by genetics, arthritis, or nerve damage. Foot surgery for the smaller toes aims to realign and stabilize the affected joints, relieve pain, and restore function. If you have an abnormal foot structure that is affecting the small toes, it is suggested that you seek the advice of a podiatrist who can determine if surgery is a viable option for you.

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to treat a foot ailment. To learn more, contact Luis Esquerdo Cruz, DPM of Dr. Esquerdo Podiatry and Laser Center . Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

When Is Surgery Necessary?

Foot and ankle surgery is generally reserved for cases in which less invasive, conservative procedures have failed to alleviate the problem. Some of the cases in which surgery may be necessary include:

  • Removing foot deformities like bunions and bone spurs
  • Severe arthritis that has caused bone issues
  • Cosmetic reconstruction

What Types of Surgery Are There?

The type of surgery you receive will depend on the nature of the problem you have. Some of the possible surgeries include:

  • Bunionectomy for painful bunions
  • Surgical fusion for realignment of bones
  • Neuropathy decompression surgery to treat nerve damage

Benefits of Surgery

Although surgery is usually a last resort, it can provide more complete pain relief compared to non-surgical methods and may allow you to finally resume full activity.

Surgical techniques have also become increasingly sophisticated. Techniques like endoscopic surgery allow for smaller incisions and faster recovery times.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in San Juan, PR . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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