Our feet take a beating daily. We use our feet for nearly everything that we do, often taking their function and health for granted until something goes wrong. Keeping our feet healthy and strong will pay dividends in every area of our life.
Working with an experienced podiatrist like Dr. Kleis can help ensure that your feet stay at their best for a lifetime of good health.
Most Common Foot Injuries
Some of the most common foot injuries include plantar fasciitis, ankle sprains, and injuries, stress fractures, bunions, turf toe, Achilles tendinitis, heel spurs,
Turf toe is most often associated with athletes, especially athletes that play on artificial turf, hence the name “turf toe.” However, the injury occurs whenever the big toe extends beyond its normal range of motion and is actually a sprain of the big toe.
Turf toe often occurs in football players when the toe of the shoe catches on the turf, but the rest of the body continues forward with a great deal of force. This causes the big toe to bend upward and sprains the muscles that support the big toe. Turf toe can also be caused by repeated pushing off of the ground, as in basketball or ballet.
The most common symptoms of turf toe are swelling in the big toe, pain, and limited movement in just one big toe, at the base. Sometimes, a “pop” is heard when the injury occurs and it is often painful at the moment when the injury occurs. However, if the injury happens over time, as when pushing off the big toe for dancing, basketball, tennis, or running, the patient may not feel a sudden injury. Instead, the toe will swell and become painful in the hours after the injury occurs. In all cases, however, the pain, swelling, and limited movement at the base of the big toe will be consistent in turf toe injuries.
To diagnose turf toe, Dr. Kleis will need to examine your feet, looking at the injured toe in comparison to the uninjured foot. The doctor may also need to get an X-ray to rule out any other injuries. Dr. Kleis will ask about your medical history, occupation, sports participation, family history, and other relevant areas to determine if any other foot issues need to be addressed. Then, Dr. Kleis will develop a treatment plan for your turn toe injury and help you devise a strategy for avoiding new injuries in the future.
Treating turf toe involves immobilizing the toe by either taping it to a splint or the surrounding toes. Rest, ice, and elevation, in addition to the compression provided by the splint, will aid in healing the turf toe injury. Resting the toe is important and Dr. Kleis may recommend the use of crutches until the toe is well on its way to recovery. Elevating the toe and keeping it iced will be important steps to reducing the inflammation and promoting healing. Over the county medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can assist in reducing inflammation and controlling pain. Surgery is only occasionally required for repairing turf toe. However, it can take several weeks for the toe to completely heal and great care should be taken to not re-injure the toe during that time.
To prevent future turf toe injuries, ensure that the shoes you wear to participate in sporting activities are supportive and prevent the toe from overextending. Dr. Kleis may also prescribe inserts for your shoes that can help prevent the injury from recurring.
The ligaments around the ankle are designed to keep the ankle from moving too much from side to side. This protects the ankle bones from breaking. Ligaments provide strength and stability to the ankle. A sprained ankle occurs when the ankle is moved beyond its normal range of motion. When the ankle turns or twists awkwardly, stretching or tearing of the ligaments around your ankle can occur.
Sprained ankles can vary in severity. Often, a mildly sprained ankle can be treated with ice, elevation and rest at home. However, some sprained ankles can be difficult to treat and occasionally require surgical intervention to return the patient to full recovery. A medical evaluation of your sprained ankle can help determine whether the injury is severe and layout an appropriate course of treatment.
Ankles sprains are often caused by participation in sports activities. When another person lands on your leg or foot, an over-extension of the ankle may occur, causing a sprain. However, it doesn’t require a vigorous activity for an ankle sprain to happen. Walking on an uneven surface can result in a twisted ankle. A fall or stumble can twist your ankle, causing the ligaments to extend beyond their capability and spraining the ankle.
A sprained ankle will be painful, swollen, and often red and warm to the touch. If you have injured your ankle, call Dr. Kleis for an evaluation and treatment options. Dr. Kleis may recommend ice and rest at home, or prescribe stabilization methods to aid in recovery. Often, crutches are recommended to avoid placing additional stress on the injured ankle as it heals.
To prevent strains and sprains in the future:
- Warm-Up - Warm your muscles properly before participating in sports activities.
- Proper Shoe Wear – Choose shoes that properly support your feet and ankles. Shoe choice should be based on the activity you intend to engage in.
- Get Regular Exercise – Maintaining good muscle tone and flexibility is important in avoiding many types of injuries.
- Avoid Certain Activities – Don’t participate in activities that your muscles are not conditioned for.
- Avoid High Heels – High-heels can contribute to the likelihood of a fall or ankle sprain.
- Avoid Uneven Surfaces – Avoid walking or running on uneven surfaces, or take great care when these areas cannot be avoided.
If you have injured your ankle and are experiencing pain and swelling, call Dr. Kleis for an evaluation of your sprained ankle. Dr. Kleis will examine your injury and devise a treatment plan for recovery. Call (714) 760-4944 to schedule a consultation today!
Bunions are a common foot problem that develops over time, usually caused by a combination of genetic factors and shoe-wear habits. While bunions can be painful, they do not always require intervention by an orthopedic doctor, like Dr. Kleis. However, if the condition is consistently painful, worsening, and causing difficulty finding shoes that fit comfortably, you may need an examination and treatment for your bunions.
Dr. Kleis is an orthopedic doctor providing treatment for bunions in Costa Mesa and all of Southern California. Dr. Kleis has more than 25 years of experience treating all manner of foot disorders, including bunions, and can recommend a personalized treatment plan for you. To schedule an appointment for bunions, please call (714) 760-4944.
Injuries to the Achilles tendon most often occur as a result of physical activity or overuse. When the Achilles tendon is stretched too much or used in a way that it is not accustomed to, pain and swelling can result.
Many Achilles tendon injuries can be treated with ice and anti-inflammatory medication and rest. However, severe injuries, such as a tear or a rupture may require a doctor’s treatment. If pain and swelling in your heel or Achilles tendon are made better with rest and ice, you may be safe to resume normal activities once the pain is gone.
Many times, Achilles tendinitis can be treated at home, under the care of a doctor. However, left untreated or in more serious cases, tendon tears may occur, requiring surgery. Achilles tendinitis can be diagnosed through a doctor's exam. Dr. Kleis may use X-rays to rule out other common injuries or ultrasound to visualize the soft tissues of the tendon.
Dr. Kleis may prescribe treatment that includes pain medications, anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, or orthotic devices. Dr. Kleis utilizes the EPAT acoustic wave treatment and low-level laser therapy for treating Achilles tendonitis. He is one of the only doctors in Southern California to offer both treatments. These treatments are used by many professional sports teams and have been clinically proven to be some of the most effective treatments for Achille's tendinitis. After utilizing the acoustic wave and laser treatment therapies, surgery is seldom required to treat Achilles tendinitis.
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of foot pain. The pain from plantar fasciitis is caused by inflammation in the plantar fascia, the thick band of tissues that runs lengthwise along the bottom of your foot, from your heel to your toes. When this band of tissue is inflamed, it causes stabbing and sometimes extreme pain when you step. The first steps of the morning can be especially painful.
Causes of plantar fasciitis foot pain include aging, specific types of exercise that places a lot of stress on your heels, the shape of a person’s foot, extra weight, and too much time on your feet. If you are experiencing foot pain from plantar fasciitis, Dr. Kleis has treatments that can help. Schedule an evaluation of your plantar fasciitis pain by calling (714) 760-4944.
Heel spurs are often associated with plantar fasciitis, caused by calcium deposits forming on the underside of the heel bone, brought on by repeated strains on the muscles and ligaments of the foot. The condition occurs over many months and often isn’t painful in the early stages. Heel spurs are more common in athletes but can occur in anyone who experiences repeated or continued strain in the foot, such as is common with plantar fasciitis.
Increased risk factors for developing heel spurs include walking and running, especially when done on hard surfaces, carrying extra weight, wearing shoes with insufficient arch support, and a walking or running gait that places excess strain on the heel bone. As people age, their risk factors for heel spurs increase, as the padding on the bottom of the foot often decreases as people get older, placing more strain on the ligaments on the bottom of the foot and the heel. Diabetes causes decreased circulation and can contribute to several foot problems, including heel spurs. Having either flat feet or high arches can increase a person's likelihood of developing heel spurs, as well.
Many times, heel spurs will have no discernible symptoms. However, inflammation can occur at the site of the heel spur, causing pain and swelling. Walking or jogging is more likely to irritate the ligaments around the heel spur, causing the pain in the soft tissues that surround the heel spur, even though the heel spur itself does not actually hurt. Many people who suffer from heel spurs describe the pain as a sharp pain in the morning that turns into a dull ache as the day goes on.
Treatments for heel spurs may require the intervention of a certified podiatrist like Dr. Kleis. If pain in your heels and bottom of your feet persists for more than one month, you should have it evaluated by Dr. Kleis. He can prescribe an individualized treatment plan for heel spurs that may include physical therapy exercises, special stretching, inserts, and custom orthotic shoes that can assist in alleviating the pain associated with heel spurs. In very rare cases, surgery is required to treat heel spurs. Dr. Kleis can help determine whether surgery is necessary in your case. For an evaluation of heel pain, schedule a consultation with Dr. Kleis today by calling (714) 760-4944.