Ankle Sprain: 101

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We can help you recover from an ankle sprain!

Ankle Sprain: 101

Thomas A. LeBeau

St. Augustine Foot and Ankle

An ankle sprain is an injury to one of the ligaments in your ankle. Ligaments are bands of tissue that connect our bones. Ligaments are flexible, however, all it takes is a sudden twist for them to stretch too far or tear.

Ankle sprains are graded according to severity. A Grade I sprain indicates ligaments that are stretched but not torn. A Grade II sprain indicates that ligaments are partially torn. Finally, a Grade III sprain is a fully torn ligament.

Ankle sprains grade also may indicate your discomfort or mobility. People with Grade I sprains may be able to walk without pain or a limp. Those with Grade III sprains are often in such pain that they can’t walk at all. Grade II sprains usually fall somewhere in between.

You might get a sprain if your foot lands on the ground at an angle. Ankle sprains often occur during intense physical activity or sports such as basketball, volleyball, running, jumping, or football. Ankle sprains are not limited to these activities and can happen in everyday activity.

At St. Augustine Foot and Ankle we will diagnose your ankle sprain by starting with a physical exam. We may also take X-rays to rule out broken bones or take an MRI. An MRI will show details of the ligament damage. We have an extremity MRI here at the office that is comfortable and does not require you to lay in a tube!

If you suspect you have an ankle sprain, here are a few tips treating it before you get to our office:

  • Rest the ankle – Stay off your feet! Keep weight off your ankle. If the pain is severe, you may need crutches until it goes away.
  • Ice your ankle – Ice will help reduce pain and swelling. Ice your ankle for 15-20 minutes every two to three hours for two days, or until the swelling is improved. After that, ice it once a day until you have no other symptoms.
  • Compress your ankle – Use an ACE bandage to keep down swelling. Start wrapping at your toes and work back towards your leg.
  • Elevate your ankle – Keep your ankle elevated when you are sitting or laying down.
  • Use braces or ankle stirrups – Braces will give your ankle support.
  • Take anti-inflammatory painkillers – Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like Advil or Aleve will help with pain and swelling. However, these drugs have side effects, like stomach upset and an increased risk of ulcers. They are best taken with food, and they should be used only occasionally, unless your doctor specifically says otherwise.
  • Get to the St. Augustine Foot and Ankle as soon as possible!

How quickly your ankle sprain heals depends on how severe your injury is. Many people recover in four to six weeks. People heal at different rates. Your age and general health may affect the pace of your recovery.

With our experience at St. Augustine Foot and Ankle we will do everything we can to help you with your sprained ankle and get you back to your regular activity. If you suspect you have sprained your ankle or are feeling pain in your ankle of any kind please give us a call to set an appointment as soon as possible at (904) 824-0869 or feel free to email us at info@staugustinefoot.com

Bunions: What to Expect

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Here to help you with your bunions!
Here to help you with your bunions!

 

Bunions: What to Expect

Thomas A. LeBeau, DPM

St. Augustine Foot and Ankle

 

A bunion (hallux valgus) is an enlargement of the joint at the base of the big toe that forms when the bone and support tissue move out of place. This forces the big toe to bend toward the others, causing an often painful lump on the inside foot.

Bunion — from the Latin “bunion,” meaning enlargement — can also occur on the outside of the foot along the little toe, where it is called a “bunionette” or “tailor’s bunion.” Although bunions tend to run in families, it is the foot type that is passed down — not the bunion. Other causes of bunions are foot injuries, neuromuscular disorders and congenital deformities.

You may get bunions if:

  • The way your foot is shaped puts too much pressure on your big toe joint. Because bunions can run in families, some experts believe that the inherited shape of the foot makes some people more likely to get them.
  • Your foot rolls inward too much when you walk. A moderate amount of inward roll, or pronation, is normal. But damage and injury can happen with too much pronation.
  • You have flat feet.
  • You often wear shoes that are too tight.

At St. Augustine Foot and Ankle, we will ask questions about your past health and carefully examine your toe and joint. Some of the questions might be: When did the bunions start? What activities or shoes make your bunions worse? Do any other joints hurt? We will examine your toe and joint and check range of motion. This is done while you are sitting and while you are standing so that we may see the toe and joint at rest and while bearing weight

X-rays are often used to check for bone problems or to rule out other causes of pain and swelling. An MRI may be ordered if there is a suspicion of soft tissue damage. Other tests, such as blood tests are sometimes done to check for other problems that can cause joint pain and swelling. These problems might include gout, rheumatoid arthritis, or joint infection.

With our experience at St. Augustine Foot and Ankle we will do everything we can to help with your bunions and get you back to your regular activity. If you suspect you have a bunion or are feeling pain in your ankle or foot of any kind please give us a call to set an appointment as soon as possible at (904) 824-0869 or feel free to email us at info@staugustinefoot.com

 

Some of the information above was found at www.WebMD.com

Ankle Injuries: What to Expect

source ; http://www.staugustinefoot.com/blog/?p=166

Ankle injuries are more common than you may think.
Ankle injuries are more common than you may think.

Ankle Injuries: What to Expect

Thomas A. LeBeau, DPM

St. Augustine Foot and Ankle

Ankle injuries aren’t just sports injuries. Often thought of as such, ankle injuries can occur at any time in any environment. You don’t have to be an athlete or even a “weekend warrior” to turn your ankle and hurt it. Something as simple as walking on an uneven surface can cause a painful, debilitating ankle injuries.

Ankle injuries can happen to anyone at any age. However, men between 15 and 24 years old have higher rates of ankle injuries, compared to women older than age 30 who have higher rates than men. Half of all ankle injuries occur during an athletic activity. Every day in the U.S., 25,000 people sprain their ankle. And more than 1 million people visit emergency rooms each year because of ankle injuries. The most common ankle injuries are sprains and fractures, which involve ligaments and bones in the ankle. But you can also tear or strain a tendon.

The symptoms of a sprain and of a fracture are very similar. In fact, fractures can sometimes be mistaken for sprains. Tendon related ankle injuries have similar symptoms as well. That’s why it’s important to have an ankle injury evaluated by a doctor as soon as possible. The signs include: pain, swelling, bruising, and the inability to bear weight on the injured joint.

At St. Augustine Foot and Ankle we diagnose ankle injuries by starting with a physical exam. We may also take X-rays to rule out broken bones or take an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). An MRI will show details of any ligament damage that may have occurred. We have an extremity MRI here at the office that is comfortable and does not require you to lie in a tube!

If you suspect you have an ankle injury, here are a few tips treating it before you get to our office:

  • Rest the ankle – Avoid putting weight on your ankle as best you can. If the pain is severe, you may need crutches until it goes away.
  • Ice your ankle – to reduce pain and swelling. Do it for 15-20 minutes every two to three hours for two days, or until the swelling is improved. After that, ice it once a day until you have no other symptoms.
  • Compress your ankle – Use an elastic bandage to keep down swelling. Start wrapping at your toes and work back towards your leg.
  • Elevate your ankle – on a pillow when you’re sitting or lying down.
  • Use braces or ankle stirrups – to give your ankle support.
  • Take anti-inflammatory painkillers – Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin will help with pain and swelling. However, these drugs have side effects, like stomach upset and an increased risk of bleeding and ulcers. They are best taken with food, and they should be used only occasionally, unless your doctor specifically says otherwise.
  • Get to the St. Augustine Foot and Ankle as soon as possible!

How quickly ankle injuries heal depends on how severe the injury is. Many people recover in four to six weeks. But that’s just a rough estimate. People heal at different rates. Your age and general health may affect the pace of your recovery.

With our experience at St. Augustine Foot and Ankle we will do everything we can to help with ankle injuries and get our patients back to their regular activity. If you suspect you have an ankle injury or are feeling pain in your ankle or foot of any kind please give us a call to set an appointment as soon as possible at (904) 824-0869 or feel free to email us at info@staugustinefoot.com

Some of the information above was found at www.WebMD.com

MRI: No More Claustrophobia!

source ; http://www.staugustinefoot.com/blog/mri-no-claustrophobia/

Dr Thomas LeBeau photo
MRI: No More Claustrophobia!

MRI: No More Claustrophobia!

Thomas A. LeBeau, DPM

St. Augustine Foot and Ankle

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is an imaging test that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to create detailed images of the body that are not usually visible with other diagnostic images. An MRI often gives different information about the body through the image than can be seen with an x-ray, ultrasound, or CT scan. As a podiatrist I may order an MRI to help me diagnose several types of issues including injuries like sprains and tears to bone infections like osteomyelitis.

An MRI requires the area of the body being studied to be placed inside a machine that contains a strong magnet. Usually these machines are very large and require the patient to lie in a tube or tightly enclosed area. Most often, regardless of what part of the body is being imaged, a patient must lay with their entire body enclosed in a tight space. Once positioned in the machine the imaging begins. A typical MRI will take 45-90 minutes to complete. The images from the MRI scan are digital and can be saved and stored on a computer for more study. Digital images can be viewed from virtually anywhere including on a home computer, tablet, and can even be shown in the operating room during surgery.

As mentioned earlier, most MRI machines require someone to lie in a tightly enclosed space. In podiatry, we typically only call for MRI images of the lower leg like the ankle or foot. At St. Augustine Foot and Ankle we questioned why it was necessary for our patient to lay entirely in a tight space when we are only imaging the lower leg. Based on patient feedback we found that this can be very uncomfortable. To address this concern for our patients and provide a better service we invested in an extremity only MRI machine. This type of machine only requires you to put your leg into an enclosed space as opposed to the entire body. After two years of using this machine we have found that our patients are far more comfortable. This has allowed us to perform more MRI’s on patients that would normally prefer not to. Further, this has led to improved care because we have been able to diagnose problems that we would not be able to without the MRI and also make the diagnosis much more quickly. That’s a great win for our patients!

MRI: No More Claustrophobia!
MRI: No More Claustrophobia!

If your doctor has requested that you get an MRI performed on your leg (knee, ankle, foot) or your arm (elbow, wrist, hand) and you are anxious about lying in a tightly enclosed space, please give us a call so we can help! Once we complete the MRI we can get the image to your doctor in about 24 hours time.  Or if you prefer to work with us on your lower extremity issue we can do that also.

With our experience at St. Augustine Foot and Ankle we will do everything we can to make you feel comfortable so your MRI can be performed without issue.  If you are in need of an MRI or if you are feeling pain in your foot or ankle of any kind please give us a call to set an appointment as soon as possible at (904) 824-0869 or feel free to email us at info@staugustinefoot.com.