The posterior tibial tendon is located on the inside of your ankle and plays a major role in supporting and maintaining the arch on the bottom of the foot. Due to the high demands of the tendon with every day life, it can result in overuse of the tendon. This overuse is referred to as posterior tibial tendon dysfunction. When this occurs, patients will eventually develop a flat foot deformity and loss of arch height due to the weakened tendon no longer being able to support the arch. This condition is commonly seen in middle-aged women. Those with diabetes also have an increased risk.
The major problem with posterior tibial dysfunction is that it is a progressive disorder. This means that it will get worse overtime. The initial symptoms of the condition are pain and tendonitis; however there is normally no decrease in strength of the tendon or loss of arch at this stage. As it worsens, the tendon will develop tears and the patient will eventually end up with a decrease in the arch height and a flat foot. With early diagnosis, the progression can normally be slowed, or halted, through the use of orthotics, bracing, immobilization and physical therapy. If the dysfunction is left untreated, or progresses, then it may eventually have to be treated with surgical intervention.
–Dr. Colleen Law
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If you or a family member has diabetes, you understand the importance of good foot care. Diabetics face a double challenge when it comes to foot issues. First, diabetes causes nerve damage or neuropathy. Neuropathy results in a loss of feeling in your feet making it more difficult to notice pain and discomfort and, therefore, minor foot problems often become major because lack of sensation doesn’t allow them to be detected in the early stages. Second, people with diabetes often have poor circulation, which reduces the ability to resist infection and to heal once an injury or infection occurs. At Blue Ridge Foot & Ankle Clinic we believe that your podiatrist can play a key role in helping keep diabetic feet healthy. A diabetic patient should have regular check-ups with a foot doctor. In addition to preventative care, our board certified podiatrists, Dr. Stewart M. Chang and Dr. Kevin P. Murray will be watchful for many conditions that are of particular concern to diabetic patients, including:
Infections and sores (ulcers)—Even a seemingly minor cut or small blister can develop into a very serious danger for diabetic patients. Infections can quickly develop on the surface and progress down to the bone.
Dry, cracked skin—Diabetic patients are more prone to dry, cracked skin than other patients, due to poor circulation. If not kept under control, this can become an entry point for bacteria to enter and an opportunity for sores to form.
Corns and calluses—Neuropathy makes it difficult to tell if your shoes are putting pressure on your feet and causing corns or calluses, which, if left untreated, can develop into ulcers.
Nail disorders—Ingrown toenails and fungal infections are more common and more threatening among diabetic patients.
Charcot foot—This is a complex foot deformity that occurs when a broken bone goes undetected and, because the patient doesn’t feel the pain and continues to walk on it, soft tissue destruction occurs. Charcot foot is a severe and disabling condition that surgery may become necessary.
One way to ensure healthy feet if you are a diabetic is to set up a consultation with one of our podiatrists and establish good habits of care, as well as a regular schedule of visits to examine and care for your feet. Call either our Fishersville or Charlottesville office today or schedule an appointment online.
Benefits of Exercise Walking
*Based on a document produced in cooperation with the: American Podiatric Medical Association.Click here for a free book offer.
Blue Ridge Foot and Ankle Clinic 887 A Rio East Court Charlottesville, VA 22901 434-979-8116 417 South Magnolia AveWaynesboro, VA 22980 540-949-5150
Blue Ridge Foot and Ankle Clinic has been a part of the Waynesboro and Charlottesville communities for over 20 years. Podiatrists Dr. Kevin Murray and Dr. Stewart Chang offer services in sports podiatry, foot and ankle problems and diabetic foot care. Our friendly, accommodating team of Certified Podiatric Medical Assistants look forward to welcoming you to our practice.
One of the more common and less glamorous conditions we see is ingrown toenails. Sometimes there is an associated infection but many times it is pain along the nail border that brings patients to our office. Many people suffer with ingrown nails for years not knowing anything can be done. There is a simple, pain relieving procedure for this problem! The procedure has been around for many years and most of the time offers a permanent solution. The offending nail edge is removed. A chemical is then applied to destroy the root. This simple procedure is done in the office and requires no down time. Daily cleansing of the area along with a band aid for 3 – 4 weeks is all that is needed.
Good Morning! As many of you know diabetes affects the health of your feet. Many of the patients that we see daily are suffering from diabetes. So, today we wanted to share some important information with you from our friends at the American Diabetes Association. TODAY (Tuesday, March 22nd) is Alert Day and Americans are encouraged to take the risk test to see if they are at risk for developing diabetes. We encourage you to take a few minutes out of your day today to take the test. Here are more details from the American Diabetes Association:
Tuesday, March 22, 2011 is the 23rd annual American Diabetes Association Alert Day, a one-day, “wake-up” call asking Americans to “Join the Million Challenge” by taking the Diabetes Risk Test and find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes and if they are at high risk, to speak with their health care provider.
At the end of 2010, the American Diabetes Association surpassed their goal of inspiring one million Americans to join the American Diabetes Association’s movement to Stop Diabetes®. To continue this momentum, the Association is asking the public to “Join the Million Challenge” by rallying one million people to take the Diabetes Risk Test and find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, beginning on Diabetes Alert Day on March 22, 2011 and ending April 22, 2011.
Diabetes is a devastating disease that affects nearly 26 million Americans including. A quarter of those affected by diabetes are not aware that they have the disease. If current trends continue, one in three American adults will have diabetes by 2050. In addition, approximately 79 million, or one in three American adults have prediabetes, which means that their blood glucose (sugar) is higher than normal but is not high enough to be classified as diabetes. Without intervention, individuals with prediabetes are at a much higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Seeking to change the future of diabetes, the American Diabetes Association is using Diabetes Alert Day to help identify the undiagnosed and those at risk for type 2 diabetes by educating people about diabetes risk factors and warning signs.
Unfortunately, people with type 2 diabetes can live for years without realizing that they have this serious disease. While some people with diabetes exhibit noticeable symptoms (such as frequent urination, blurred vision and excessive thirst), most people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes do not experience these overt warning signs at the time that they develop the disease. Often, type 2 diabetes only becomes evident when people develop one or more of its serious complications, such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, eye damage or nerve damage, which can lead to amputation.
2011 Diabetes Alert Day
“Studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by losing just 7% of body weight (15 pounds if you weigh 200) through regular physical activity (30 minutes a day, five days a week) and healthy eating,” said Gina Perales Hethcock, Director of Communications and Hispanic Initiatives for the North Texas office. “The American Diabetes Association hopes that this American Diabetes Association Alert Day will encourage people to ‘Join the Million Challenge.’ By understanding your risk, you can take the necessary steps to help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.”
To help people determine their risk for type 2 diabetes, the American Diabetes Association provides the Diabetes Risk Test, which entails answering simple questions about weight, age, family history and other potential risk factors for diabetes. People at high risk are encouraged to speak with their health care providers. You can “Join the Million Challenge” by getting your free Diabetes Risk Test (English or Spanish) at www.stopdiabetes.com, 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or text JOIN to 69866 (Standard data and message rates apply). Although Diabetes Alert Day is a one-day event, the Diabetes Risk Test is available year round.
The Association is also encouraging the public to help spread the word about Diabetes Alert Day by sending out messages on Facebook and Twitter. You can download a Diabetes Alert Day application to post on your Facebook page or you can tweet about the importance of understanding one’s risk for type 2 diabetes and provide a link to the Diabetes Risk Test at stopdiabetes.com.
The primary risk factors for type 2 diabetes are being overweight, sedentary, over the age of 45 and having a family history of diabetes. African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are at increased risk, as are women who have had babies weighing more than nine pounds at birth.
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