Archive for the ‘Foot Surgery’ Category

Use Caution when Mowing your Lawn to Prevent Injury!

September 19th, 2017 by Lindsay Lopez

Homeowners should always use caution when mowing their lawn. Take time to protect your feet and the feet of those around you, when using a mower with a rotary-blade.

25,000 Americans sustain injuries from power mowers each year according to the US Consumer Products Safety Commission. Did you know that the blade on your mower moves at 3,000 revolutions per minute? It CAN also produce more kinetic energy than a .357handgun!
Children under 14 and adults over 44 are the most likely to get injured from mowers. To prevent injury, please consider the simple precautions listed below:
• Don’t mow your lawn when its wet. You can lose control of the mower if you slip and cause a foot injury.
• Always were heavy shoes or work boots. Do not wear sneakers or sandals.
• Small children should not ride on adults lap while the adult is using a lawn tractor. This can cause serious injury to the child.
• When a mower is running, do not pull it backward.
• Children should avoid the area being mowed.
• To avoid projectile injuries, keep the clip bag attached.
• Make sure your mower has a release mechanism on that handle, so it automatically shuts off when you let go.
If you are injured while mowing, please seek immediate treatment. The wound will need to be flushed and antibiotics will need to be applied to prevent infection. More serious injuries could require surgical intervention.

Mow safely!


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

We are humbled and honored to be on the ‪#‎ballot‬ this year for ‪#‎Best‬ ‪#‎Podiatrist‬ ‪#‎Charlottesville‬.  Voting is open till 22 June.

Thanks to all our patients who continue to support and appreciate our office.  You all make us all enjoy what we do everyday.…/…/HealthampBeauty


Elaine Allen, DPM joins Blue Ridge Foot and Ankle Clinic
Elaine Allen, DPM joins Blue Ridge Foot and Ankle Clinic

Blue Ridge Foot and Ankle Clinic is pleased to announce Dr. Elaine Allen will be joining our practice. Dr. Allen is Board Certified in Foot Surgery by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery. Dr.  Allen has been actively practicing podiatry and foot & ankle surgery in Virginia and Georgia for 8 years.  She will be seeing patients in our newly built Fishersville office beginning September 14, 2015.

Call our Fishersville office at (540) 949-5150 or schedule and appointment online at Schedule Appointment to consult with Dr Allen on your foot and ankle injury or concern.


Construction Pictures

July 16th, 2014 by Dr.Chang

Work has started on our NEW Fishersville podiatry clinic. Stay tuned for more exciting news and progress pictures.











Construction 10.22.14

Construction 10.22.14

Fishersville Office 10.22.14

Fishersville Office 10.22.14

The internal walls are framed.

The internal walls are framed.

OFFICE 10.13.14.small.2


Walls are going up! 10.8.14

Walls are going up! 10.8.14


August 2014

BRFAA Fishersville Map2

66 Parkway Lane Fishersville, VA


July 2014


July 2014


July 2014




February 11th, 2014 by Dr.Chang

Ingrown nails

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.

Ingrown toenail


April 10th, 2013 by Dr.Chang

          Bunions are enlargements of the joints at the big toe (hallux valgus) or little toe (Tailor’s Bunionette). However, bunionsbunion before are more than just bony protrusions: they are structural abnormalities in the foot, misalignments caused by hereditary factors or lifestyle habits such as wearing narrow shoes, high heels, and tight sporting or dance shoes. The structural change causes the “V” shape, or “valgus” of the big toe, that is marked by an enlarged joint.
          Especially because your feet support the weight and movement of your entire body each day, it makes sense that any sort of disturbance to the structure of your bunionfeet can cause considerable pain. However, the “V”ing of your first toe joint places considerably more stress on the joint than when the bones in the joint connect in a straight line. Bunions can therefore be excruciatingly painful. Luckily, treatment 
and surgery for bunions are highly effective means to limiting your pain and allowing you to return to your daily activities!
          Initial, non-invasive treatments for bunions include side lining your tight-fitting shoes in favor of comfortable, well-fitted footwear (shoes that do not bunch your toes together or cause pressure on your toe joints). Splints and orthotics can also do wonders for repositioning your toes. Bunions caused by arthritis in the joint are treated well by medications that can reduce pain and swelling. If these methods do not improve your foot pain, your podiatrist may suggest surgery, which is a highly effective form of addressing the structural misalignment in your foot.
          The main goal of bunion surgery is to improve your ability to walk and do other activities on your feet. Bunion surgery straightens the structural misalignment of the bones in your foot, decreasing the pressure on the joints. As a result of your surgery, your pain will be drastically improved, if not eliminated.
          Bunion surgery involves work on the soft tissue and/or bone of the big toe joint in order to relieve the pain in the joint, and to restore normal alignment to the joint. Not all bunions are created equally, and, as follows, not all patients with bunions will receive the same sugery. In fact, there are over one hundred kinds of bunion surgery!
Common types of bunion surgery include:
*Removal of the metatarsal head (the part of the foot that is bulging out toward the center of your body). This is called an “exostectomy” or “bunionectomy.”
*Realignment of the soft tissues (ligaments) around the big toe joint.
*Removal of a small wedge of bone from the foot (metatarsal osteotomy), or from the toe (phalangeal osteotomy).
*Removal of bone from the end of the first metatarsal bone, which joins with the base of the big toe (metatarsophalangeal joint). At this joint, both the big toe and the metatarsal bones are reshaped (resection arthroplasty).
*Fusion (arthrodesis) of the big toe joint
*Fusion of the joint where the metatarsal bone joins the mid-foot (Lapidus procedure)
*Implant insertion of all or part of an artificial joint
Bunion after 
          The more involved the bunion is, the more complex the surgery. In the case that the joint is severely deformed, a surgeon may stabilize the re-alignment with wires, stitches, screws, or plates. Depending on your foot misalignment, your surgeon will suggest the optimal procedure for you.
          Bunion surgeries are most frequently conducted as an outpatient operation, and take about one hour. Most often, patients receive local anesthetics with IV sedation (twilight anesthisa). You will be required to have a follow up visit to take your stitches out in two weeks.  In most cases the healing process takes about 6 weeks.
          Unfortunately, there are many distressing myths about bunion surgery that you may find while browsing the internet. Let us help to quell your fears by assuring you that an overwhelming number of bunion surgeries (over 90%!) are successful in relieving pain and properly realigning the joint.
          While surgery can be painful, bunion surgery is no more painful than any other invasive procedure. The greatest cause of pain, in fact, is the swelling after surgery.  Remember that, because your foot is below your heart, it is more difficult for your veins to fight gravity in order to return blood from your foot to your heart. Therefore, the swelling can often throb, and you will have to consistently elevate your foot. Furthermore, your feet have an incredible amount of nerves without much soft-tissue padding around them. The swelling can aggravate the nerves and cause pain. However, in the long run, bunion surgery vastly reduces pain that bunions cause with walking and standing for long periods of time.
          Another myth is that bunions can reemerge after surgery. While reoccurrence is possible, it is not likely. Furthermore, a bunion would come back over time and due to a lack of change in lifestyle and habits that caused your bunion in the first place. Go into the surgery aware of the fact that you will have to stay committed to the health of your feet! Side-lining your high heels and prioritizing comfortable shoes and time for foot exercises will be necessary for the longevity of the surgery.
          Finally, depending on your specific surgery, you won’t necessarily have to take a lot of time off of work. Most patients can return to a desk job after two weeks, and to an active job after two months. Additionally, over 90% of our patients report an amazing decrease in pain and increase in function after their surgeries!
          Depending on the surgery, you may be placed in a surgical boot and able to walk within two weeks of the surgery. With more complex surgical procedures, you may be required to wear a cast or splint, and walk on crutches.
          In order to best maintain the results of your surgery, it will be important for you to continue to be dedicated to the health and wellbeing of your feet. Committing to lifestyle changes, such as not wearing tight shoes and doing prescribed exercises and stretches for your toes and feet, will drastically increase the benefits of surgery, and reduce the likelihood of any future pain.
            Dr. Chang and Dr. Murray to have decades of experience successfully treating and operating on bunions. Remember that treatment and surgeries are most successful when you address and treat your bunion early. So contact us at Blue Ridge Foot and Ankle – we can help you solve your foot pain!
Comment on this post to share your thoughts or contact Blue Ridge Foot and Ankle Clinic. We’d love to hear from you!
Blue Ridge Foot and Ankle Clinic
Charlottesville Podiatrist Location: 887 A Rio E Ct., Charlottesville VA, 22911 (434) 979-8116
Waynesboro Podiatrist Location: 417 S. Magnolia Waynesboro,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.

Youth and Adolescent Ingrown Toenails

March 13th, 2013 by Dr.Chang

     A large number of young patients visit us for help with their ingrownpainful ingrown toenails. Typically, these children and adolescents are in a considerable amount of pain and discomfort, and have already sought treatment from their pediatrician multiple times. Pediatricians can prescribe oral antibiotics and other temporary fixes, but, ultimately, the most effective and long-lasting treatment comes from an experienced podiatric specialist. Podiatrists are trained in minimally-invasive procedures to treat the vast majority of ingrown toenails, and are able to do so with the best results and the least amount of pain involved.
     An ingrown toenail is a curved nail that grows into skin around toenail borders. Basically, the nail doesn’t fit its border, and the sharp edges of the nail gradually grow into the skin around the nail, irritating the skin. Ingrown toenails start out as tenderness when pressure is applied to the outside of the nails. They lead to redness, swelling, warmth and pain in the skin around the nail. If an ingrown nail breaks the skin, bacteria can easily enter and cause an even more painful infection in the area.
     Ingrown toenails have various causes. Contrary to popular belief, they are more often hereditary than caused by incorrect nail maintenance or clipping, especially among younger populations. Second to heredity, pediatric ingrown toenails commonly result from improperly sized footwear, such as wearing socks or shoes that are too tight, or from repetitive activities, such as kicking and running, that involve repeated pressure on the toes. Causes also include trauma, such as stubbing the toe, having an object falling on it. In more rare cases, ingrowns result from improper trimming such as cutting the nails too short, encouraging the skin next to the nail to fold over the nail. Other nail conditions such as fungal infections or losing a nail due to trauma, certain medications, and a deepening of the nail groove due to obesity, can also cause ingrown toenails.
     A number of highly effective treatment options are available to patients with ingrown toenails. While copious material is available on the Web for home-treatment, such as soaking feet in Epsom® salt, using antibiotic ointment, using ingrown nail medications such as Outgrow®, or cutting the nail in certain ways, these treatments almost always provide only temporary relief from pain: these products do not prevent or heal ingrown toenails. Ultimately, the nail continues to cause problems until a specialist can remove the part of the nail that is causing the problem.
     At Blue Ridge Foot and Ankle, we perform a minimally invasive procedure, removing 15% of the offending nail border. Cosmetically, nails end up looking normal, and healthier, and, more often than not, patients never again have ingrown toenail problems. The key to successful treatment is early intervention and this kind of specialized treatment from your podiatrist.
     Be sure to communicate with your children what Cleaning of a foot.they should expect in the podiatrist’s office, and from ingrown toenail treatment. Ingrown toenail surgeries take place in the podiatrist’s office. Local anesthetics are used to anesthetize the entire toe, which will last for approximately eight hours. Once the toe is anesthetized, there is no pain involved with performing the actual procedure, and the procedure takes only minutes. The nail border, and sometimes the root of the nail, is removed with the treatment best suited for each person’s individual case. The foot is then lightly bandaged.
     Most patients experience minimal pain after ingrown toenail procedures, and are able to resume normal activities after one day, and most do not even need a follow-up appointment. If an infection is present, an antibiotic may be prescribed. In fact, most patients are so surprised by how easy the procedure is that they wish they had come in much earlier to get their ingrown nail problem fixed!
     After the surgery, and in everyday life, proper nail maintenance routines are important to prevent further incidence of ingrown toenails. Be sure not to cut notches into the nail, since they are proven ineffective: notches do not to reduce the tendency for the nail to curve downward. Do not repeatedly trim nail borders, because this will not change the way the nail grows. Do not place cotton under the nail, because it will not relieve pain and can increase the incidence of infection by providing a place for harmful bacteria to grow. Also, remember that foot maintenance is paramount for patients with diabetes or other secondary nerve or circulatory problems. If you or your children have such problems, be sure to consistently seek help from a trained medical specialist for routine podiatric care.
     Ingrown toenail procedures are easy and highly effective; so don’t postpone making an appointment with Dr. Murray and Dr. Chang at Blue Ridge Foot and Ankle. As in the case with most medical conditions, remember that the earlier the symptoms are treated, the more successful the outcome. So visit us at Blue Ridge Foot and Ankle to help you solve your ingrown toenail problems.
     Comment on this post to share your story or contact Blue Ridge Foot and Ankle. We’d love to hear from you!
Blue Ridge Foot and Ankle Clinic
Charlottesville Podiatrist Location: 887 A Rio E Ct., Charlottesville VA, 22911 (434) 979-8116
Waynesboro Podiatrist Location: 417 S. Magnolia Waynesboro,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.


Summer Blog Series: Acute Inflammation

July 31st, 2012 by Dr.Chang

Inflammation is your body’s response to injuries, trauma, illness or infections, in which your body tries to increase the blood flow to the affected area. The accumulation of fluids, however, can be painful and result in swelling, increased warmth and redness of the skin, and even bruising. Acute inflammation is the immediate response to trauma, injury, irritation or surgery, and will usually occur within two hours of the event of injury. Note that acute inflammation is different from chronic inflammation, which is more regular, does not always follow a traumatic injury, is caused by a virus or bacteria and therefore treated differently.

Acute inflammation treatment should be responded to with “RICE to the D” therapy: the age old Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation, mixed with a Diagnosis from your podiatrist, since your podiatrist can best determine the cause of your foot and ankle pain and swelling. Remember to R: stay off your foot or ankle since pressure on it may cause further injury. I: Apply an ice pack or bag of ice to intervals of 15 minutes to the injured area, placing a thin towel between the ice and your skin. Wait for 40 minutes before icing again. Repeat as desired – the more the better! C: you can control swelling with an elastic wrap around the inflamed area, and E: raise your foot or ankle slightly above the level of your heart to reduce the swelling. Your podiatrist may also suggest that you take NSAIDs. With RICE, your symptoms will most likely improve within a few days. If your symptoms persist or worsen, be sure to see your podiatrist to receive a proper diagnosis and care.

With summer now in full swing, many of our patients are excited to get in shape and restart their outdoor exercise routine. Exercise can create a great amount of strain on the body’s bones, joints, ligaments and tendons. During a 10-mile run, the feet make 15,000 strikes. Each strike is at a force of three to four times the body’s weight.

Are you feeling pain when you run?  It is important that you are aware of the difference between typical running injuries and possible symptoms of more serious ailments, such as Peripheral Artery Disease (P.A.D.). Many common symptoms of running injuries are the same as those of P.A.D., so we caution you to treat any discomfort seriously. Common symptoms of P.A.D. include:

  • Painful cramping of leg muscles
  • Numbness, weakness or heaviness in the muscles
  • Toe and foot sores that do not heal

Fortunately, there are easy-to-use, non-invasive diagnostic systems that can be utilized in our office to help identify P.A.D. and determine whether medical or surgical treatment is necessary. These tests can be completed in just 15-20 minutes during a regular office visit.

Please contact us if you would like to schedule an evaluation!




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