Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD)

Peripheral vascular disease can effect one or more of the three types of vessels or “pipes” that carry fluid or blood in the extremitiesperipheral vascular disease

  1. Arteries – carry blood and fluid away from the heart. Harder. More narrow and more pressure.
  2. Veins – carry blood back to the heart. Bigger, wider, less pressure.
  3. Lymphatic’s – carries lymph (a clear fluid that bathes the body) back to the heart.

Vascular disease is very common, which is a broad term that describes disease to one or more of the above types of blood vessels in the circulatory system. It often does not get the attention that it frequently needs as many doctors are busy trying to prevent and treat coronary arterial disease (CAD)/heart disease, heart attack, stroke, smoking, and diabetes.

Patients frequently present with pains in the legs and foot and need treatment for their peripheral vascular disease. Podiatrists treat these problems on a frequent basis and can frequently help patients get back on track to a healthier and pain free life.

Don’t Live Life in Pain! Call us today for an appointment at 505.880.1000. We take care of your feet…so that they’ll take care of you!

Justin Ward, DPM

 

PAD (Peripheral Arterial Disease)

peripheral arterial diseaseThe least favorite problem we treat in podiatry is peripheral arterial disease.  I think the main reason we don’t like it is because we can’t do much about it and it can be so devastating.  In our diabetic population it is one of the main causes of leg amputations.  When the vessels of the leg clot up and very little blood can flow to the foot it results in pain early on and gangrene in the later stages.  It is important to recognize the symptoms and have a vascular surgeon evaluate the options for fixing the problem.  Much like a heart attack it is a much better prognosis the earlier it is dealt with.  For some the early treatments are just a little more walking and an aspirin each day.  For the serious ones surgical intervention can save the limb.  Most cases are easy for a podiatrist to recognize and treat.  It is not unusual for me to walk in a room and look at a leg from afar and identify signs of poor circulation.  Risk factors include smoking, obesity, leg pain while walking that resolves quickly with rest and in the late stages pain in the digits with elevation or even just lying in bed at night which is resolved with hanging the legs down.  If you have any questions or concerns about possible circulation issues associated with peripheral artery disease see a qualified podiatrist who can evaluate you to determine if you need a complete work-up by a vascular clinic.  If you just want to prevent possible problems down the road then just focus on eating well, stay healthy and keep walking.

Don’t Live Life in Pain! Call us today for an appointment at 505.880.1000. We take care of your feet…so that they’ll take care of you!

Nathan Ivey, DPM

Mother’s Day Nagging Neuroma

neuromaNeuromas are a painful condition that affects the ball of the foot.  It is worse with tight shoes and barefoot usually. Sometimes people get radiating pains out into the toes and sometimes they just feel like they are walking on a lump of something.  Many folks get a nagging soreness that just doesn’t want to go away.  My mother suffers from a nagging neuroma that doesn’t really hurt, but is sore most days.  She isn’t in pain but isn’t excited to go for a walk or do much shopping.  She has switched her shoes and now wears wider shoes even to church.  She doesn’t complain much but it is obviously still an issue.   I recently mailed her some orthotics with a special pad for the neuroma which also helped a little but she continued to have soreness with walking and standing too much.  This weekend she happened to be in town visiting family and we discussed options at length.  No one wants a shot in the foot but sometimes the inflammation just won’t go away with the other small things we do to get rid of the problem.  She kept justifying that it isn’t very painful and it probably doesn’t need an injection but it isn’t getting better and she really isn’t pushing this at all and isn’t really walking a lot.  After some gentle pushing she agreed to an injection for her pain.  It doesn’t sound like a great Mother’s Day gift but if it completely cures her problem I will count it as one of the best gifts I could give her to keep her walking and healthy.  We casted her for some custom orthotics and I’ll make her a great device to slip in her shoes and keep that nagging neuroma from ever coming back.

Don’t Live Life in Pain! Call us today for an appointment at 505.880.1000. We take care of your feet…so that they’ll take care of you!

Nathan Ivey, DPM

#bestABQfootDocs, #topdocs, #wesavesoles  #nmfai

Socks as Shoes?

There is no question that after a long day at work or play we all enjoy removing our shoes and getting a little air for our feet.  The issue is how far should that barefoot thing really go.  Walking around our homes on our soft carpet for an hour or two in the evening is one thing and going for a jog is something altogether different.  The barefoot running crowd has made a few appearances in the mainstream over the past 50 years.  The movement never really gets a lot of traction amongst the “normal” folks out there.  Running or hiking barefoot is really something designed for an athlete who is close to being in “perfect” shape.  It is not something for those of us who are maybe a few (or more) pounds overweight, or for those of us who haven’t run in a few years and want to get back into it, or for those of us who are running a little but doing more lower impact exercise or who just quite frankly don’t have a body made for marathons.  The vast majority of patients I see on a daily basis should run from the idea of being barefoot.  If you have foot pain of any kind you probably need to be looking for a more stable and firm shoe rather than looking to get rid of your shoes.  The most recent excitement about barefoot running with a variety of new shoes that were closer to socks than shoes has mostly died out again due to more injuries than success with the attempts.  So if you are running 25 miles or more a week and want to try barefoot running my only advice is to be careful, start slow, and get some good coaching if you need to change to new running style.  For the rest of us who are just trying to stay in shape and enjoy running on a more recreational basis, stick with a good stable running shoe and even consider a good orthotic to go with it and enjoy this link to another attempt to protect those feet while running around without shoes on.

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Don’t Live Life in Pain! Call us today for an appointment at 505.880.1000. We take care of your feet…so that they’ll take care of you!

Nathan Ivey, DPM

 

Kinesio Tape

We’ve all been seeing the colorful tape applied in all kinds of configurations on all sorts of locations around the body.  What is this colorful tape all about?  It is not just a fashion statement, or at least it shouldn’t be.  Kinesio tape was designed to help aid in healing and support of injuries.  It can be used for almost all aches and pains wherever they are bothering you.  Pain is the #1 indication for kinesio taping.  KT tape is the brand of tape that we see on the shelf at Walmart now so is the brand most are familiar with.  The benefit of kinesio tape is that it is easy to apply, can provide significant support and relief of pain and aid in recovery of injuries.  Despite the ease of application at home it is still not a good idea to google your pain and self diagnose your problem and self treat.  Despite this working out at times for your friends it may not be a good idea for you.  Depending on the nature of your injury a good diagnosis from a foot and ankle specialist will almost always result in speeding your recovery and elimination of your pain as quickly as possible.  It is almost a daily occurrence that patients come in with problems that have been going on for weeks and sometimes months.  At that point it is harder to treat and almost always takes longer to heal.  Come in early and we’ll treat you quickly and give you every tool available to aid in your quick recovery.  If you are lucky you’ll walk out with some colorful tape applied to your foot. We’ll teach how it works so that you can make sure you are going to get the best results from the treatment.  Come see us today and we’ll get you on the path to recovery.

Don’t Live Life in Pain! Call us today for an appointment at 505.880.1000. We take care of your feet…so that they’ll take care of you!

Nathan Ivey, DPM

 

Foot Fractures Take Time to Heal

I saw an article this week http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/sportsdoc/Why-is-76er-Ben-Simmons-foot-fracture-taking-so-long-to-heal.html.  That reminded me of questions and sometimes complaints I get in the office every week.  The question is why does it take a fracture so long to heal?  First off, most of the time the question is asked about normal healing time.  Somehow folks think that fractures should heal overnight.  While that would be great, it would be described more appropriately as a “miracle.”  While I do believe in miracles, it doesn’t happen much in my clinic.  So what is normal?   I use my active, healthy son as a good example.  He was 13 years old when he broke a bone in his hand.  It was a simple fracture with good position and just needed to heal.  He was placed in a cast for 6 weeks.  So that is “normal.”  Some fractures are more complicated with poor position, larger gaps or space between the fragments or instability where it wants to keep moving around.  On top of those poor indicators you have to add on that most of us need to use these bones to put all of our weight on.  With some fractures like the one Ben Simmons has you add on the risks of poor blood flow to certain areas and you can have a fracture that may take 3 months or more to heal.  So I’ll just apologize now to all who may end up in my office with a fracture.  It’s going to take time to heal and you are going to have to slow down and in most cases use type of cast for at least a month.  Even those toe fractures that “you don’t need to worry about” still take months to heal and need protection.   So I’m sorry you broke your foot but I need to treat the fracture and tell you that you most likely will not be breaking the laws of nature this month and will have to just try and patiently wait for this fracture to heal.  We’ll get you through it by following the healing with x-rays and protecting it with a boot or cast or special fracture shoe and give you recommendations to get you back to normal activities just as fast as we can.  Don’t live life with a foot fracture.  Come see us right away and we’ll speed the process along just as fast as humanly possible.

Don’t Live Life in Pain! Call us today for an appointment at 505.880.1000. We take care of your feet…so that they’ll take care of you!

Nathan Ivey, DPM

 

Arch Madness

March brings the onset of spring and warmer weather.  As we decide to start doing more walking outside it’s also a great time to inspect our orthotics. Many orthotics are very durable and will last sometimes for years. Patients always ask when it is time to replace orthotics.  With plastic orthotics it is often hard to tell when they are worn out.  The biggest sign is increased symptoms in our feet. Orthotics wear out by getting softer and less supportive. If you don’t feel like you are getting the same support you used to, I can assure you that you are right.  If you have an over the counter orthotic and it is over a year old it is probably time to replace it. You can put a new orthotic in your exercise shoes and use the old ones in our old dirty work shoes or some dress shoes that need some increased support.  Custom orthotics that aren’t as supportive also make a good 2nd pair of orthotics for shoes that we don’t use as much and don’t do as much walking in.  March is a great time to come in and get fitted for some new orthotics. Bring in your old orthotics (custom or over the counter) and we’ll give you $50 off a new pair of custom orthotics.

Don’t Live Life in Pain! Call us today for an appointment at 505.880.1000. We take care of your feet…so that they’ll take care of you!

Nathan Ivey, DPM

 

Stress Fractures

x-ray of one of types of stress fracturesI read an article recently about stress fractures in the foot and saw two stress fractures the same day in clinic.  The article described a few different locations that we see them. However, almost all the stress fractures we see here in clinic occur in the front part of the foot.  We see metatarsal stress fractures every week.

They are tiny fractures that occur with repetitive trauma to the foot through normal activities.  It seems like we see a lot of them in the new year as folks gear up to lose weight by increased exercise.  The fractures rarely show up on x-ray but they do a nice job of keeping us from being able to walk without pain.  Folks often delay treatment for weeks and even months. They think that nagging pain will just go away if they ignore it and exercise a little less.  Unfortunately they don’t go away and need more rest and less exercise and even less normal walking.

What to do About Stress Fractures

Most fractures will heal in a cam walker or “boot” that allows the bone to heal while allowing you to continue to get around without crutches.  The longer you delay treatment the harder it is to get them to heal. Some even require a hard cast and crutches if the delay in treatment is too long.  The good news is that they rarely require surgery and almost always disappear to never return.

We recommend good shoes and orthotics to prevent stress fractures and other injuries that can occur.  I always have a good list of recommended shoes and a number of good options for orthotics here in the office for people who are interested.  Don’t live life with a stress fracture.  Come in and see us today if you’ve got some nagging pain that just won’t get better after a few days of good rest.

Don’t Live Life in Pain! Call us today for an appointment at 505.880.1000. We take care of your feet…so that they’ll take care of you!

Nathan Ivey, DPM

 

Banish your Bunions – In time for Spring

foot with bunions and one that is bunion freeAs the temperature rises and we get excited for the warmer weather of spring we begin to pull out our open-toed shoes and sandals.  Now is the time to prepare your feet for summer!

I often get asked what those bumps are sticking out on the side of my foot in front of the big toe.  Bunions are painful lumps on the side of your foot that can hurt when you walk and make you want to hide your feet instead of wearing sandals and flip flops.  They are common in middle age people and are generally genetic and not from wearing “bad shoes” or “heels” as many have suggested.

The bony growth of the bunion can become inflamed and painful, making finding comfortable shoes difficult.  The bump can also cause pain in the ball of the foot which is a big reason many come in for treatment.  In extreme cases, bunions can affect the rest of the foot causing multiple other deformities including overlapping toes.  Bunions become progressively worse over time.  Non-surgical treatments are to wear comfortable shoes, and sometimes insoles or “orthotics.”  Sometimes padding helps as well as splints but they have never been shown to help the deformity get better.

At some point most people decide to get rid of the bunion rather than continue to try and “live” with it.  There are many types of fixes for bunions and they continue to get easier and easier to recover from.  The severity of the bunion dictates the type of surgery required to correct the bony lump.  Many bunions are easier to fix earlier than later and sometimes it is the difference between a walking recovery and casts and crutches.  It is always a good idea to get x-rays early on even if you aren’t considering surgery so measurements of the deformity can be taken and tracked over time.  Winter is always a good time to fix a bunion so that everything is healed and ready to go for the spring sandal season.

Don’t Live Life in Pain! Call us today for an appointment at 505.880.1000. We take care of your feet…so that they’ll take care of you!

Battle against FUNGUS!

toes with fungus and healed from fungus

Are you embarrassed by your toenails?  Have you tried all of the home remedies on Pinterest for toenail fungus?  Do you still have toenail fungus?  Do you want to wear sandals this summer?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions we are here to help you.  Don’t be embarrassed because onychomycosis (toenail fungus) is everywhere in our environment and we are all susceptible.  Did you know that your toenail fungus is under and in the nail making it tough to treat?  We have a LASER for that!  Our laser can penetrate the nail bed killing off the fungus inside, underneath and around the nail.  The severity of your fungus will be determined by Dr. Ivey and he will decide how many treatments will be required.

We also have a complete arsenal of medical grade anti-fungal products that help keep new bacteria and fungus at bay as we treat you with our laser.  Don’t forget that a healthy toenail replaces itself every 6-9 months and you should start seeing healthy new growth in about 4 months.  If you have tried everything and are ready to get rid of your toenail fungus once and for all, we are ready to help you BATTLE toenail fungus.

We also recommend a good scrubbing of your shower pan at home, keep clean sheets on your bed, wear dry clean white socks and wear shower shoes when not showering at home.  If you’re prone to sweaty feet take extra socks with you daily and change them at lunch time.  Anything you can do to prevent a re-infection will help the healing process.

Don’t Live Life in Pain! Call us today for an appointment at 505.880.1000. We take care of your feet…so that they’ll take care of you!

 

Lori Schleich, Marketing Representative