Ingrown toenails can become a painful nuisance that can affect us throughout the day. An ingrown nail is when a side of the nail starts to grow into and irritate the skin. This can cause pain and redness. There are a variety of reasons that they can develop, like cutting your nails improperly opposed to straight across, after nail trauma, or some people naturally have more curved nails than others. These can be especially painful in shoes and eventually become infected if left untreated. So what can be done?
If the ingrown toenail is minor, than your doctor may be able to trim the offending edge to give you some relief; however, by the time most people come in with an ingrown toenail it is past the point of a simple trim. The next option is what is called a partial nail avulsion. What this normally entails is your doctor numbing up your toe to help take away discomfort, so that the portion of the side of the nail that is ingrown can be removed all the way back to where the nail starts under the skin. If you are someone who has had recurrent ingrown nails on the same toe, than a chemical can also be used to help prevent that portion of the nail to grow back ingrown. After the procedure you may have some mild discomfort once the numbing medicine wears off, which can be controlled with Tylenol or anti-inflammatories. Your doctor will usually have you soak your toe over the next couple days and cover the area with a Band-Aid. Sometimes, especially if the toe is infected, your doctor may put you on a course of oral antibiotics.
–Dr. Colleen Law
Lateral ankle sprains are the most common type of ankle sprains. These sprains happen after an inversion injury or inward rolling of your foot on your ankle and affect the ligaments on the outside of your ankle. They most commonly occur in sports, especially seen in basketball and football, but also can occur in everyday activity. The lateral ankle is composed of three major ligaments, the anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL), the calcaneal fibular ligament (CFL), and the posterior talofibular ligament (PTFL). There are varying degrees of severity of ankle sprains, but the most commonly injured ligament is the ATFL.
Certain people are more prone to ankle sprains than others, especially those with a higher arch foot or those who have had a severe or multiple sprains in the past. It is normal after suffering from a sprain to have varying levels of swelling and bruising. The most important thing following a sprain is over the first 24-72 hours to practice the pneumonic RICE. RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Studies also show that initiation of early range of motion is key in the recovery process. Once the swelling goes down, then strengthening of the muscles around the ankle joint should be initiated to help prevent chronic ankle instability. Taping, bracing, and balancing exercises also can help in preventing re-injury. Most people start to feel better after a sprain over a couple of days, but in the case of severe sprains this could take several weeks to recover. If you develop a sprain that is not improving over a couple days, especially if you have followed the pneumonic RICE, then make sure you schedule an appointment with your doctor.
-Dr. Colleen Law
Colleen Law graduated from Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and completed her residency at St. Luke’s University Health Network in Allentown, Pennsylvania. At St. Luke’s, she underwent extensive training in elective and reconstructive forefoot, rearfoot, and ankle surgery, as well as experience in wound care and diabetic limb salvage.
Prior to her medical education, Dr. Law attended Lehigh University, where she was a member of the cross country and track and field teams. Through this experience, she developed an interest in sports medicine, which led her to pursue a career in podiatry. In addition to her interest in sports medicine, she is also interested in elective and reconstructive foot and ankle surgery and diabetic limb salvage.
During her free time, Dr. Law enjoys spending time running and hiking with her husband Matt and vizsla.
Dr. Law is accepting new patients beginning July 17, 2017.