Wound Care: Healing Lower Leg Ulcers

Wound Care
Dr. Thomas LeBeau performing a foot exam.

 

Wound Care

Wound Care: Healing Lower Leg Ulcers

Thomas A. LeBeau, DPM

St. Augustine Foot and Ankle

Foot ulcers and other open foot wounds are a major cause of disability, morbidity and mortality. Varicose veins, poor circulation and diabetes can lead to open foot wounds.

Approximately 15 percent of diabetic patients develop diabetic foot ulcers. Some even suffer foot amputations, many of which are preventable with proper foot wound care treatment.

Foot and ankle wounds can be caused by traumatic injury or could be arterial and venous wounds, pressure ulcers, diabetic wounds and wounds related to diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and scleroderma. Older patients are also vulnerable to poor circulation, decreased sensation and impaired healing.

Wounds can be treated conservatively or aggressively depending on the severity. Like any ailment the best treatment is prevention. For example someone with diabetes should get on a diabetic foot care regiment. A regular diabetic foot care regiment will help prevent future problems that could not only include wounds but also amputations.  Diabetics should be on a diabetic foot care regiment no ifs, ands, or buts about it. However, if you have a foot ulcer/ foot wound that has already developed the sooner you are treated the better. Some foot wounds can be treated with wraps and antibiotics while others may require procedures and skin grafts. All of this often depends on the severity of the foot ulcer / foot wound and how soon it is treated.

Fortunately, wound care is a specialty of podiatry doctor Thomas A. LeBeau, DPM.

See Dr. LeBeau for foot and ankle wound care that includes:
• Foot ulcer treatment and other foot wound care treatment
• Leg ulcer treatment and other leg wound care treatment

Take a step toward saving your feet. Call Dr. LeBeau’s office today at 904-824-0869. Please feel free to use our online Request an Appointment at info@staugustinefoot.com

Ingrown Toenail: Growing Past

ingrown toenail
Dr. Thomas LeBeau will help you grow past that ingrown toenail.

Grow Past an Ingrown Toenail

Thomas A. LeBeau, DPM

St. Augustine Foot and Ankle

An ingrown toenail is when a toenail grows into the flesh as opposed to over it. The big toe is the most common place for a nail to become ingrown, however, they can occur on any toe. This will most often affect people with thick or curved nails but anyone could have a toenail ingrown as a result of an injury, shoes that do not fit properly, or poor grooming. Diabetics and people with vascular problems should be extra aware of their toenails because left untreated an ingrown could cause other serious issues up to and including losing a limb!

An ingrown toenail is most commonly caused by cutting your toenails too short or rounding them. Further, poorly fitting shoes that constrict the toes as well as stubbing or jamming the toe can also cause a toenail to become ingrown. If left untreated, an ingrown toenail can become infected, more painful, and may require surgery.

The best way to treat an ingrown toenail is to prevent one from ever developing. The best ways to prevent an ingrown toenail are as follows:

  • Do not cut your toenails too short and do not round the corners. Do cut the toenail straight.
  • Where shoes that properly fit, particularly, shoes that are a bit wider in the toe area to allow movement.
  • Avoid trauma to the toes as best you can like jamming or stubbing.

In the case that an ingrown toenail does develop, fear not, there are several ways to conservatively treat the toenail with minimal discomfort and great effectiveness. These treatments include soaking the toe, elevating the foot, topical antibiotics, or simply gently pushing back the overgrown skin away from the toenail. More advanced cases may require oral antibiotics or a simple in office procedure. In a more extreme situation a portion of the toenail maybe removed entirely. This type of procedure would require a local anesthetic. Surgical procedures for an ingrown toenail usually have somewhat prolonged healing and follow ups with your doctor to be sure no other infection settles in.

With our experience at St. Augustine Foot and Ankle we will do everything in our power to get you feeling better as quickly as possible. If you think you may be suffering from an ingrown toenail, give us a call to set an appointment at (904) 824-0869 or feel free to email us at info@staugustinefoot.com

Plantar Fasciitis “The Scoop”

plantar fasciitis
Dr. Thomas LeBeau seeing a patient for plantar fasciitis.

Safe, reliable relief from disabling foot pain (Plantar fasciitis).

With heel pain or plantar fasciitis, also known as foot pain, the bottom of your foot may hurt when you stand, especially after you get out of bed first thing in the morning. Without a heel pain diagnosis and heel pain treatment, plantar fasciitis can lead to painful heel spurs and chronic disabling pain. Over-pronation (flatfeet) is the leading cause of heal pain. Your arch can collapse from weight-bearing, causing the plantar fascia to stretch away from the heel bone. When you stand, your plantar fascia is pulled tight like a bowstring. During a long rest, the plantar fascia contracts back to its original shape and your pain is reduced.

Heal Pain can be caused by any number of things including poorly fitting shoes, over use (too much walking or running), barefoot walking or running, being over-weight, a foot injury, and/or genetics among other things. Untreated foot pain could also lead to other discomfort such as knee pain, hip pain, and back pain. Getting help and relief from plantar fasciitis and/or heel pain is key to avoiding other uncomfortable and painful issues.

Plantar fasciitis is also called heel spur syndrome. It can be treated by using a variety of conservative approaches such as anti-inflammatory medicines, orthotic shoe inserts and foot physical therapy modalities (heat, ice, massage and therapeutic exercise). Any number or combination of conservative treatments could relieve you of your pain.

With the experience and skill of podiatrist Thomas A. LeBeau, DPM and his staff at St. Augustine Foot and Ankle, you could walk away from plantar fasciitis without surgery. Getting you back on your feet is the top priority. So for lasting relief, call 904-824-0869. Please feel free to use our online ‘Request an Appointment’ form.

Broken Ankle

source ; http://www.staugustinefoot.com/blog/?p=561

We are here to help with your broken ankle.
We are here to help with your broken ankle.

Broken Ankle

St. Augustine Foot and Ankle

Ankle injuries are among the most common of the bone and joint injuries. Often, the degree of pain, the inability to walk, may indicate that you have a broken ankle. This might cause you to seek care in an emergency situation.

For the most part, your concern is the same as the doctor’s: Is it a broken ankle? It is often impossible to diagnose a broken ankle rather than a sprain, a dislocation, or tendon injury without X-rays of the ankle.

Signs and symptoms of a broken ankle tend to be obvious. Pain is the most common complaint. Swelling frequently occurs around the ankle too. You may see bruising (“black and blue”) about the joint, although not immediately. This bruising can track down toward the sole of your foot or toward the toes. In severe fractures you may see obvious deformities of bones around the ankle.

When you have a broken ankle, there several things you can look for to determine whether or not you need to see your doctor or go to an emergency department. The following situations warrant seeing your doctor as soon as possible:

  • You cannot bear weight on the ankle.
  • Your pain remains intolerable despite using over-the-counter pain medications.
  • Home care fails to reduce your pain.

When a doctor evaluates your broken ankle, the main task is to determine if you have fractured a bone or if the joint has been damaged sufficiently to have become unstable. Joint instability often suggests multiple fractures, a fracture with a ligament injury, or sometimes ligament injury alone. If the doctor suspects a broken bone, he or she will ask for ankle X-rays and MRI. The doctor may also ask for X-rays or MRI of your knee, shin, or foot, depending on where the pain is.

If surgery is not required, the type of fracture and the stability of your joint will determine the type of splint or cast that will be used and how long it will need to be in place. If your bones are not aligned properly, the doctor may realign them before placing the splint or cast. Some minor broken ankle scenarios do not require a splint or cast. In these cases the fracture will be managed as an ankle sprain.

After the swelling decreases and you are reexamined, foot doctor / podiatrist may place a better-fitting cast or splint on the ankle. Depending on the type of broken ankle, you may be placed in a walking cast, which can bear some weight, or you may still need a non-weight-bearing cast that will require the use of crutches to help you walk. Follow-up care for an ankle fracture depends on the severity of the fracture. The average broken ankle requires 4-8 weeks for the bone to heal.

With our experience at St. Augustine Foot and Ankle we will do everything we can to help with your broken Ankle and get you back to your regular activity. If you suspect you have a broken 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