Winter Olympics and Your Feet

In case you didn’t know this month is the Winter Olympics in South Korea. All these athletes have dedicated their life to mastering their sport and being among the best in the world. All of that training and work takes a toll on their whole body especially the feet. The Olympians spend hours on their feet training which would include running, biking, skiing and recently added to the winter Olympics; snowboarding.

When you are out enjoying the winter sports there are a few tips to remember. Many injuries on the slopes happen because of overuse, to avoid those you can apply the rule of 3’s; stop before 3pm, don’t ski more than 3000 meters in a day, and take the 3rd day off. Another injury to look out for that happens specifically to snowboarders is called the “snowboarder’s fracture”. This happens because of the angle of the foot in the snowboard boots when they land. The foot is turned in and the toes are moving toward the head, this position makes the outside of a bone called the Talus susceptible to fracture. This fracture can be problematic since it is hard to diagnose and affects the ankle.

The way to avoid this fracture is to have more rigid boots. Some have hypothesized that softer, more flexible, snowboard boots allow for the motion in the ankle that causes the fracture. After the fracture happens immobilization and ice are best along with evaluation to determine if surgery is necessary. After the bone has been given time to heel, early and focused physical therapy will improve the outcome and get you back on the slopes.
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!
Mark Tenny, DPM
#topdoctors #bestABQfootdoctors #nmfai #wesavesoles #fifteenyearsstrong

Achilles Tendon Injuries

If you watch basketball you probably saw or heard about DeMarcus Cousins recent injury to his achilles tendon.  He was diagnosed after the game with an MRI confirming a complete rupture of his achilles tendon which means he will not be returning to play this season.  In my practice we see a lot of achilles injuries ranging from minor tendonitis problems to partial and complete tears.  The interesting thing about DeMarcus Cousins injury is that it was not an obvious traumatic injury.  He was just playing the game like usual, got in a small scuffle and then couldn’t walk on his leg anymore.  It is not unusual for me to see patients who are wondering how they have such a horrible problem with no good story of an injury to tell.  It would be great if we could all talk about how we injured our leg or foot after falling from the back of a car racing down the freeway or sprained our ankle while lifting a car off a fallen friend but unfortunately sometimes we are just going about our normal activities and suffer an injury that takes us out of our normal ability to get around.  Many people feel that since there wasn’t a good cause to the pain that they should just ignore it or hope that it goes away with a little home remedy.  Don’t let the injury get worse by ignoring it.  Most injuries will heal much faster with aggressive treatment.  If you are limping even a little bit you need to be seen and evaluated.  Despite the fact, that you didn’t fall off the roof, you may still have a serious injury that will do better with appropriate treatment by a podiatrist.  Unfortunately, sometimes as in the case of DeMarcus Cousins it may even require surgery to correct appropriately.  Fortunately though, almost all injuries get back to normal function and hopefully if all goes well we’ll see DeMarcus Cousins back on the court next 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!

Nathan Ivey, DPM

#topdoctors #bestABQfootdoctors #nmfai #wesavesoles

 

It’s Hammertoe Time!

Toes are relatively small and you rarely think about them until they start hurting.  There are 3 problems that come up in the toes; mallet toes, claw toes and hammer toes.  Let’s talk about hammer toes.  All toe problems begin as biomechanical issues with your feet, i.e. flat feet, high arches, etc.  Your foot type and years of walking on them create muscle imbalances that manifest as toe deformities.

There is a delicate balance of muscles helping to stabilize the toes and allow for normal function.  Once one of those muscles begins to fatigue that balance is thrown off and hammer toes happen.  At first, they are flexible and you only notice them when you have your feet up, then you start to notice them rubbing on your shoes and finally they begin causing pain at all times.

What can you do?  Early on you can use orthotics to help the mechanics of your feet to give you the best chance of preventing them.  Later as they are flexible a minor procedure can be done to help rebalance the muscles.  After your toes are permanently deformed the only choice is surgery to fuse your toes straight.  Your best option is to have your feet evaluated early, so you can prevent the hammertoes.  Come in to see me and bring your hammertoes with you.

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!

Mark Tenny, DPM

#topdoctors #bestABQfootdoctors #nmfai #wesavesoles #fifteenyearsstrong

The Gravity of Gout

Growing up I loved the Indiana Jones movies.  They had suspense, adventure and interesting historical tidbits.  One scene became relevant to my profession as I was asked to give a presentation to my co-residents.  If you remember in “The Temple of Doom” there is a scene where a formal dinner was served with snake surprise, beetles and chilled monkey brains.  What do those 3 things have in common, other than being questionable food choices?  They would all cause gout flares in someone with gout.

Gout is an arthritic disease because it attacks joints, usually the big toe joint, but it can affect any joint.  Uric acid crystals begin to form in the joint which is caused by your body having too much uric acid.  You can either be an over producer of uric acid or under excreter, either way there is too much uric acid in your body.  You can recognize gout by a red, hot, swollen and painful joint, in more severe cases the crystals called tophi begin oozing out of the skin.  If left untreated gout will do damage to the joint and prevent motion and can cause constant pain.

The treatments will depend on whether you’re an overproducer or under excreter.  There are drugs to take that will help maintain a normal level of uric acid to prevent gout flare ups.  When you get a flare, Colchicine is often used to calm it down.  It is a good idea to come in to the office so tests can be done to prevent flares and evaluate the amount of damage already done to determine the best way to prevent further damage to the joint.

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!

Mark Tenny, DPM

#topdoctors #bestABQfootdoctors #nmfai #wesavesoles #fifteenyearsstrong

 

Warts….Verruca Vulgaris

Verruca Vulgaris! No those aren’t fighting words but the medical term for warts.  When I was in school I did a presentation on Warts and gained an increased appreciation of them.   One article I read stated that 50 percent of warts resolve in 2 years without any treatment.  When I read that I was skeptical, most of the warts I had seen had been around for longer than 2 years and were nowhere near resolving.  I tested this theory out on myself.  After more than two years I have a study with a sample size of one that refutes that claim.  After your wart doesn’t go away without treatment there are several ways to treat them.

These treatments range from duct tape (needs to be silver) to surgical removal and even LASER.  These treatments have two ways to help remove warts.  The first is destruction of the wart.  The second is cueing the body to attack the wart.  This is related to that study that didn’t pan out for me.  The immune system is the best treatment for warts, but sometimes it needs a little help recognizing what’s foreign.  There is even one treatment that injects bacteria into the wart so the body will attack it.

If you think you have a wart, take a picture of it.  Then look for these two things to make sure it is a wart.  1. The skin lines (like finger prints) will be interrupted at the edge of the wart.  2. Pinpoint bleeding, which is the little dark spots in the middle of the wart.  After you have identified it’s a wart go after it with your preferred treatment, then if it doesn’t work come see me in the office.

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!

Mark Tenny, DPM

#topdoctors #bestABQfootdoctors #nmfai #wesavesoles #fifteenyearsstrong

 

Why Podiatry?

A question I often answer is; why podiatry? Do you have some fascination with feet? How can you handle the smell?  The answers to those questions start when I was 6.  I am #6 of 7 children and my older siblings thought I was the perfect size for a game called human cannonball.  It was really fun until I dislocated my elbow.  After one attempt by the orthopedic surgeon to correct the dislocation I recommended he just cut me open and fix my elbow and it worked!  Since then I have been drawn to medicine.

The next event to shape my career was a job I took after undergrad to help my pre-med resume.  I worked as a medical assistant for a Podiatrist.  During my 1+ years there I was exposed to the patient doctor relationship.  I discovered the other reason I was drawn to medicine, the interpersonal interaction that occurs in a doctor’s office every day.

I tell you this story to demonstrate two things.  One is my philosophy as a doctor.  I see my role as an educator, and my goal is to educate patients about what is happening to their body.  Then between the two of us we can come up with an appropriate treatment plan.  The other is to encourage all to play a role in your care.  As I did when I was 6, you are never too young or old to be involved in the decision-making process.  In this information age, Dr. Google or other search engines can be resources, but verify things you find with other sources, to be assured you have good information.  Then when you arrive at the office you can further verify the online sources.

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!

Mark Tenny, DPM

#topdoctors #bestABQfootdoctors #nmfai #wesavesoles #fifteenyearsstrong

How to Avoid Foot Amputation

I have spent time in the past 4 weeks helping diabetic patients at all levels of care.  Many diabetic patients come into the office with questions about how to avoid being the other types of patients I have seen, those with ulcer or amputation.  We have all heard the stories of diabetics with an infection and needing an amputation.  My goal as a physician would be to prevent this situation.  One of my friends from Podiatry School has published a one page handout to help diabetics prevent sores, which prevent ulcers and in turn will prevent amputations.

 

Click here for a downloadable version of this article.

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!

Mark Tenny, DPM

#topdoctors #bestABQfootdoctors #nmfai #wesavesoles #fifteenyearsstrong

Fall Prevention: Leaves are supposed to fall. People aren’t.

In the early 90’s, while I was enjoying grunge music with a bad haircut, my 90 year old grandmother fell when she was out shopping.  Many times, these falls result in breaking an ankle or a hip, which require surgery, my grandmother ended up breaking her wrist and neck.  Ever since that event I have been acutely aware of the importance to prevent falls, especially of the older generation.

Fall prevention, like many other problems, begins with recognizing there is a problem.  This realization happens by noticing that you lose your balance more often or you have had a number falls in the past year.  You may also be evaluated by a physician, who will ask you a number of questions and watch you walk around the office.  These evaluations don’t take long but can be of great help if it results in you feeling more secure in walking.

Now you acknowledge you have a tendency to fall but what can be done about it.  There are some walking aids you can use to help you feel more stable.  These include; braces that give your foot a slightly wider base and support your ankle, a walker that widens your base even more or even just a cane.  These can also be augmented with physical therapy, where they will help you to adjust your gait to make it more stable.  Any of these could have helped my grandma when she fell, luckily, she recovered fully from her injuries, but it would have been even better to prevent such a fall.

Have you or someone you love had a fall recently?  If so, it is time to request a Fall Risk Assessment.  We can perform the Fall Risk Assessment and begin the process of preventing and/or changing the things that can lead to a fall.  Many times, this is a multi-team effort and we can help get you on the right track.

By making minor changes, you can lower your chances of falling.

Request a Fall Risk Assessment today!  Call us today for an appointment at 505.880.1000.  We take care of your feet…so that they’ll take care of you!

Mark Tenny, DPM

#topdoctors #bestABQfootdoctors #nmfai #wesavesoles #fifteenyearsstrong

Lisfranc

As football season begins again and we are exposed to the reasons we like to watch and for some why we like to play.  I am reminded of a little known injury that is very easily missed by ER physician, Orthopedist and Podiatrist alike, maybe because it’s named after a French gynecologist (Jacques Lisfranc de St Martin).  Lisfranc is a ligament that helps to stabilize your 1st Metatarsal.  It runs between two bones, the Medial Cuneiform and the 2nd metatarsal.  The disruption of this ligament can cause major instability in the foot.

I gave myself a review in lisfranc injuries after the opening game of the college football season 2 years ago.  Our starting quarterback sufferer this injury in the 2nd quarter, but it was missed by the medical staff and he continued to play until he kept complaining of pain causing the staff to review their initial exam to find he had suffered a lisfranc injury.  These injuries usually happen when you step in a hole or you miss a step.  In the case of our starting quarterback, he slowed down too fast on the turf.

These injuries can be devastating to the biomechanics of the foot.  If diagnosed properly and treated surgically, whether you are a professional athlete or weekend warrior, you can make a full recovery.  You will end up with some screws and pins in your foot but they are for the best and will aid in your recovery.  That quarterback is now a backup in the NFL, and we won the game in dramatic fashion.

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!

Mark Tenny, DPM

#topdoctors #bestABQfootdoctors #nmfai #wesavesoles #fifteenyearsstrong

Blisters

Blisters are a real pain in the foot, for many reasons.  I was running the other day, enjoying the thin New Mexico air, and that pain started on both my feet.  Blisters can pop up for many reasons; excess friction, excess heat, etc.  They are the separation of the epidermis from the dermis and they hurt a lot.  They are filled with clear or serous fluid or they can be filled with blood.

How do you Prevent blisters?

Most blisters form because of friction between your skin and the shoe.  The way to prevent them is to counteract or stop that mechanism.  In my case of the blisters from running I could have worn a second pair of socks, which causes friction between the two pairs of socks instead of your skin.  Another way to prevent the mechanical blister is to pad around the area to take pressure off the skin, this can be done with a felt pad or some mole skin.  The biggest key to preventing is knowing why they are happening in the first place.

Do I pop the blister?

Short answer is no, but as many rules there is an exception.  If the blister is large then yes you can pop it.  The way to do it is to just pop the side and let the fluid drain out.  Resist the temptation to remove the top of the blister, that is your protection for the dermis.

When to see a doctor

There are a few reasons to come in, one is a large tense blister.  You may need some more specific professional advice to care for the really big ones.  If there is blood in the blister, bring that one in to the office.  Lastly any blister that forms without a clear cause should be seen, as there are a number of diseases that can cause blisters.

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!

Mark Tenny, DPM

#topdoctors #bestABQfootdoctors #nmfai #wesavesoles #fifteenyearsstrong