Podiatrist in San Leandro, CA
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Posts for: October, 2014

By Dr. Michael Stein
October 29, 2014
Category: Bunions

Poor Bunion SurgeryIf you’ve lived in the Bay Area for a while, you might remember the following incident: five years ago, on October 27, 2009, the Bay Bridge was closed after a crossbeam that had been repaired only a few months previously broke off, taking a few rods with it. Fortunately no one was hurt, but having the busiest bridge in California shut down for almost a week was a severe headache for commuters, and a reminder that, sometimes, repair jobs don’t quite go as planned.

Repair jobs on your body also come with risks. Even though the experts work hard to give you the best possible care, no surgical operation can be 100 percent guaranteed, including bunion surgery. That’s why it’s important to follow all post-operative instructions carefully and keep a close eye on your foot as it heals.

Potential risks of bunion surgery include, among others, continued pain, nerve damage, infection, severe stiffness, arthritis in the joint of the big toe, hallux varus (a condition where the big toe drifts away from the other digits, rather than toward), and recurrence of the bunion. Following all post-operative instructions, including staying off the foot until your doctor gives you the go-ahead, remembering to use your orthotics, and avoiding ill-fitting footwear will help minimize the risks, but unfortunately there’s no way to guarantee that nothing will go wrong.

Before we scare you: bunion surgery is generally highly successful, with a large majority of patients being satisfied with the results and experiencing no complications. However, if you do experience complications from a surgical procedure—regardless of where you received the original operation, or who performed it—call Foot Doctor of the East Bay right away. Some complications—hallux varus, for example—may not require another surgery if the problem is identified early enough. Even if another operation is necessary, however, earlier diagnosis often yields a better prognosis.

If you do need a little extra repair work, give us a call—we strive to offer the best possible care, and while no procedure can ever be fully guaranteed, no one in the Bay Area is better prepared and better equipped to do the job right and fully inform you of all the risks. Give us a call at (510) 483-3390 and see what we can do for you.

Photo Credit: Stock Photo via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

By Dr. Michael Stein
October 29, 2014
Category: Bunions

Relieve Bunion Pain at HomeWe get it—your life is busy. Here in the Bay Area, there’s so much to see: take in a show at San Jose’s City National Civic, bring the kids to the San Francisco Zoo, explore the great walking and hiking trails in Oakland’s East Bay Regional Park District. Although you should visit us whenever you have serious concerns about your feet and ankles, you may not have time to stop in every time your bunion pain flares up. Fortunately, there are a number of simple remedies you can use to relieve bunion pain at home.

The first measure may be the easiest - wear better shoes. Wide, flexible soles and stiff heel counters are best, as they keep your foot in place and provide ample room for the bump. Avoid high heels - the higher the heel, the more pressure on the bunion.

In terms of physical accommodations, a little padding on the bump defends against friction. Try a moleskin or gel-filled pad. Splints might be tough to deal with during the day, but there’s no reason you couldn’t use one at night while you sleep. When you need quick relief, a little ice or massage often works wonders. If your doctor approves anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen, you could try those too.

Then there’s physical therapy—toe stretches are a great way to reduce tightness and pain, increase flexibility, and strengthen weakened muscles, all of which help keep you mobile and can help prevent the deformity from getting worse. Some of our favorites:

  • Press your toes against a wall to stretch them; do three or four sets of 10 seconds each, then flex your toes the other way and repeat.
  • Wrap a towel or resistance band around your toes and pull on the band while pushing forward with your toes.
  • Roll a golf ball under your foot for a few minutes to massage your sole and fight cramping.
  • Use your toes to grip objects. Place a number of small objects on the floor, pick them up, and place them in a bowl. Alternatively, you can grasp a small towel with your feet and pull it back and forth.

To learn more about bunion care or to schedule an appointment with the Bay Area’s leading bunion experts, call Foot Doctor of the East Bay at (510) 483-3390. Our three convenient offices serve the entire region with the highest quality foot and ankle care.

Photo Credit: Marin via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Find Proper Fitting ShoesThe American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) showcased the findings of their Today’s Podiatrist survey. The survey focused on one thousand adults and their attitudes towards podiatry. The study found that 77 percent of the people surveyed had some form of foot pain but only a third of those would actually seek the care of a podiatrist.

 "It's not surprising to see how many people are affected by foot pain, when survey results show that we view our feet as the least important body part in terms of our overall health and wellbeing," said APMA President Frank Spinosa, DPM. "Our feet are literally and figuratively the furthest things from our minds." Foot pain can negatively affect your life, including restricting your activities.

A podiatrist can provide foot and ankle care for those who need it. If you need a podiatrist, see podiatrist Dr. Michael Stein of Foot Doctor of the East Bay. Dr. Stein can treat your foot and ankle needs.

What is a Podiatrist?

 The branch of medicine that is focused on the treatment, diagnosis, and study of disorders of the lower leg, ankle and foot is referred to as podiatry. Someone would seek care in the field of podiatry when they have suffered a foot injury or have common foot ailments such as: heal spurs, bunions, arch problems, deformities, ingrown toenails, corns, foot and ankle problems etc.

Podiatric Treatment

A podiatrist will treat the problematic areas of the feet, ankle or lower leg by prescribing the following:

  • physical therapy
  • drugs
  • perform surgery on lower extremity fractures
  • orthotic inserts or soles

A common podiatric procedure a podiatrist will use is a scanner or force plate which will allow the podiatrist to know the designs of orthotics. Patients are then told to follow a series of tasks to complete the treatment. The computer will scan the foot a see which areas show weight distribution and pressure points. The podiatrist will read the analysis and then determine which treatment plans are available.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices in San Leandro, Pleasanton, and Los Gatos, CA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about What Is a Podiatrist

Treat Blisters to Run Your Next MarathonSisters got Blisters,’ a marathon duo composed of Emma Wilson, 38, and Amy Clapp, 34, is planning to participate in the upcoming London Marathon in April 2015. Wilson and Clapp are sisters who hope to raise 4,000 British pounds from the event in support of charity, Help the Hospice. The pair hold the charity close to their hearts, as their local hospice had shown tremendous support for their family when their father lost his battle to cancer sixteen years ago. The two hope to raise both awareness and money for Help the Hospice and will be organizing several fundraising events leading up to the marathon. “The first run was quite comical; we only did about three miles running and walking,” said Wilson. “It was a bit of a shock and we realized how much work we have got to do.”

Marathon runners are especially susceptible to developing blisters. To learn more, speak to Dr. Michael Stein of Foot Doctor of the East Bay. Dr. Stein can treat all of your foot and ankle needs and provide you with quality treatment. 

Foot Blisters

Foot blisters develop as a result of constantly wearing tight or ill-fitting footwear. This happens due to the constant rubbing from the shoe, which can often lead to pain.

What are Foot Blisters?

A foot blister is a small fluid-filled pocket that forms on the upper-most layer of the skin. Blisters are filled with clear fluid and can lead to blood drainage or pus if the area becomes infected.

How do Blisters Form?

Blisters on the feet are often the result of constant friction of skin and material, usually by shoe rubbing. Walking in sandals, boots, or shoes that don’t fit properly for long periods of time can result in a blister. Having consistent foot moisture and humidity can easily lead to blister formation.

Prevention & Treatment

It is important to properly care for the affected area in order to prevent infection and ease the pain. Do not lance the blister and use a band-aid to provide pain relief. Also, be sure to keep your feet dry and wear proper fitting shoes. If you see blood or pus in a blister, seek a doctor.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices in San Leandro, Pleasanton, and Los Gatos, CA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

By Dr. Michael Stein
October 22, 2014
Category: Fractures
Tags: Broken Toe   recovering  

Running with a Broken ToeHere in the Bay Area, where the weather is pleasant year round and the urban architecture and vast natural beauty offers plenty to do and see, we don’t want anything to slow us down. Unfortunately, broken toes can sometimes get in the way. Recovering from a broken toe isn’t much fun—it mainly requires a lot of rest and 4-6 weeks of time—but there are things you can do to help the recovery process move more smoothly and defend against re-injury.

Immediately after an injury, employ the R.I.C.E. system for acute injury care. First, rest: get off your feet as quickly as you can to avoid doing more damage. Next, apply ice to the area to reduce pain and swelling. Third, use compression techniques—generally, wrapping a bandage around the injury. Finally, try to keep the injury elevated above heart level as often as possible, as this reduces swelling and accelerates healing.

“Buddy taping” is a common method used on less severe fractures for keeping your bones aligned properly while they heal—we will show you how to do this when you come in for a visit. By connecting the broken toe to one of its neighbors using a piece of tape, the strength and stability of your healthy toe keep the broken one in line. Place a piece of cotton between the toes in order to keep them as dry as possible.

Keep an eye on the area, especially if the break was traumatic or there was nail damage. Re-growing toenails are at heightened risk of becoming ingrown. You could also pick up an infection more easily due to the exposed skin.

Once the toe improves, you can slowly increase the amount of walking you do per day. Wear a shoe with a stiff, protective sole; this defends against re-injury and helps keep toes more stable while walking.

As recovery comes to a close, your toe will still be relatively stiff and weakened due to lack of use. Once you’re back to walking normally, start stretching and exercising it. Your goal is to return full strength and range of motion to the affected joints, which will help prevent re-injury.

If you’re dealing with a fracture or need help recovering from a broken toe, give Foot Doctor of the East Bay a call at (510) 483-3390. Our three convenient locations serve patients throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

Photo Credit: Hisks via RGBStock.com



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