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

Childhood Development: What’s normal and what’s not

Ever wonder why your child looks like they are flatfooted or pigeon-toed?  It all could be part of normal development.  I have a 5 year old and an infant so I have been watching feet grow and can sympathize with the concern

 

ed parent.  Most have heard that flat feet are bad and can cause problems in the future.  We all want what’s best for our children and many of us make huge sacrifices to achieve those goals.

Normal development:

Bowed legs are normal through the toddler years (2-4) and sometimes it is very pronounced earlier in that time frame and will slowly improve. Flat feet are common in early walkers and can stay flat through 6-8 years of age.  At this time the knee/leg relationship becomes more like an adult and children usually don’t grow out of a foot condition after about 8 years old.

 

When to see a podiatrist?

There are two main reasons to send your children to see a podiatrist for flat feet or high arches.  One is if your child can’t or won’t do normal activities.  This can be from pain when he/she does that activity or inability of the foot to perform the motion/activity.  The other reason to come see a podiatrist is he/she is getting older and the foot is still flat or has high arches.

What can be done?

If your child has flexible flat feet, meaning an arch can be created, then an orthotic is a great device to help support the foot and the muscles and ligaments that help to create an arch.  Orthotics can help prevent problems later in life.  The same can be said for very high arched feet, they just develop different problems.  If the flat foot is rigid then surgery is the best option and the decision lies with you and your surgeon to find the optimal time to perform the surgery.

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

I Love What I Do! – Readers’ Choice Award

I was very humbled to be chosen this year as the winner of the 2017 Readers Choice Awards for best Podiatrist.  The award was given thanks to those who voted for me this year.  I am blessed to have wonderful patients who were generous enough to take time out of their busy lives to vote for me.  As I thought about how wonderful it was that my patients voted for me for this award, it made me realize how much I love what I do and how much I love my patients.  Those I treat have brought me a lot of happiness and fulfillment.  I have the privilege of practicing medicine and keeping people active by treating their foot and ankle pain.  I have been doing this for 15 years as a private practice podiatrist and I will continue to do so as long as I can.  There have been a lot of changes to medicine that unfortunately have taken away our ability to connect with our patients but as long as we have even a few minutes in each visit to connect I will continue to listen and learn about the pain that my patients experience and diagnose and treat successfully.  The ability to connect with my patients is what continues to drive me to do what I do as well as I can.  I’m grateful for everyone who voted for me who believes in me and my ability to do my job well.  Doing what I do is much more than a job to me and the ability to get to know each of my patients is a true blessing and a privilege.  The relationships I make keep me smiling and coming to work each day.  So I thank all of my patients for sharing a tiny bit of their lives with me even if it is a complaint of pain.  Thank-you for voting for me.  Thank-you for giving me a chance to do what I enjoy and treat you.  It is easy for me to work hard at living up to being the #1 choice because I love what I do!

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

#readerschoicewinner #topdoctors #bestABQfootdoctors #nmfai #wesavesoles #fifteenyearsstrong

Ankle Replacement Surgery: How long will recovery take?

ankle replacement surgery recoveryI’ve been doing total ankle replacements for a couple of years now.  My implant of choice is the Wright Medical Ankle Implant because of its full, staged, revision system should revision ever be necessary.  One of the most commonly asked questions is concerning the length of recovery after the replacement.  There is a lot of different information out there regarding this subject.   Some information suggests up to a year for recovery.  I think that some of the information is implant specific so keep that in mind.  So what has my experience been?

The surgery generally takes a couple of hours.  After the surgery, most patients spend 2-3 days in the hospital.  While in the hospital, they work with the physical therapy team to ensure that they can remain non weight-bearing on the surgical extremity.  Assuming they have a good support system, they get to go home.  For people who live alone or who need further therapy, they sometimes need to go to a rehab facility prior to going home.

My patients are generally non weight-bearing on the affected ankle for 2 weeks.  After that, I let them start putting some weight on the ankle.  That does not mean that they are walking.  They are in a hard cast from week 3-4 so walking is not really possible.  However, they can put weight on the extremity to stand and to transfer.  Once the cast comes off at 4 weeks, the patient is placed in a surgical boot.  At that point, they can start walking but this is most likely going to be a transition.  Most patients start with the boot and crutches and slowly wean off of the crutches.  That can take a couple of weeks.  Most patients are returning to a regular shoe, sometimes with an ankle brace, somewhere between 6-8 weeks.

So, when are you “back to normal?”  My response is…that depends on what “normal” is for you!  Even after walking in a regular shoe, your ankle and leg can be weak and stiff.  Sometimes, further physical therapy is required.  If you had a fairly modest activity level prior to surgery, you’re going to be back to normal faster.  If you had a higher level of activity prior to the surgery, it is going to take a little longer.  And remember, low impact activity is the way to go with these implants as they will last longer.

I follow my total ankle patients very close for the first 3 months.  I then see them back at 6, 9, and 12 months.   By 6 months, most of my patients are pretty much back to what they would consider to be normal.  And while there are exceptions, this seems to be the trend.

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!

Jonathan Williamson, DPM

#topdoctors #bestABQfootdoctors #nmfai #wesavesoles

15 Year Anniversary

In July of 2002 the ink dried on the paperwork and New Mexico Foot & Ankle Institute was formed out of the ashes of a practice run by Dr. Michael Federico.  Dr. Federico had run a fantastic practice out of both Albuquerque and Artesia.  His service model was 2nd to none and New Mexico Foot & Ankle Institute was formed in hopes of taking all the good from that practice and building it up to what it is today.  We are celebrating 15 years in practice this month here in Albuquerque.  The Artesia practice was closed 7 years ago due to the cost of commuting so far.  We still miss our Artesia and Roswell offices but our families don’t miss us being gone so much.  We have grown from a one doctor practice to a four doctor practice with two locations in Albuquerque.  We continue to strive to treat our patients better than any practice in town and due to some great employees we are able to pull this off the vast majority of the time.  We plan to celebrate our 15-year anniversary all summer long with some specials for our patients to thank them for being so loyal to us over the years.  We continue to do what we do because we love the patients that come to see us.  Those relationships that have been built help us to keep going each day.  We’ll keep making those feet feel better as long our patients keep coming to see us and letting us be a part of their lives.  Thanks to everyone who has been part of the past 15 years.  Here’s to another 15 wonderful years!!

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 #fifteenyearsstrong

Summer Sandals and Ugly Nails

toenail fungusWe treat onychomycosis, aka toenail fungus.

It’s finally getting warm and spring has arrived and summer is almost here.  The sandals always start to show up in clinic this time of year.  We get an influx of both new pain from the less supportive sandals and the wave of folks who realize that those ugly nails need to be treated if they are going to be showing them off in sandals.  Men and women both like to have normal nails and after a winter of hiding them in shoes it is time to figure out how to get them looking normal again.  Almost all of the cases of ugly nails come from a fungus that grows in the nail and makes them thick, discolored and ugly. Most folks have tried something the pharmacist, the neighbor, or the internet has suggested and figured out after a few months that they are getting nowhere fast with the current “stuff” they are putting on the nails.  Unfortunately, after coming to see a professional they realize that there is no quick fix for those ugly nails.  It takes a lot of work and patience to get them clear and pretty again.

Topicals as a general rule work only about 25% of the time regardless of whether it is the internet sensation or the latest billion dollar prescription medication.  That leaves you with two options, laser therapy or a pill.  A good discussion with a qualified, knowledgeable podiatrist will help you decide which option is best for you, visit our NM Laser Nail Centers site.   In some rare cases people even choose to just to remove the nails temporarily or permanently.   In all cases if you have fungus in your nails you should work with your doctor to find the quickest and most effective way to get hose nails back to normal again.

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

Wrong size shoes?

Are you wearing the wrong size shoes? A recent study done in the UK on 2000 patients shows 1/3 of men and almost ½ of women have shoes that don’t fit right.   Some people might ask how that is possible but it doesn’t really surprise those of us who work with feet every day.  What people don’t realize is that their feet change constantly over time and the size you wore in high school is not the size you should be wearing now.  To compound this problem we have less and less stores fitting people and more and more folks are just plain buying shoes online and not trying them on at all.  I often joke with people about the fact that most shoes are now being made out of the U.S. and the standards are not very high and shoes just don’t fit like they used to.  We also see routinely that a size 10 in a Nike doesn’t even fit close to the same as a size 10 in a New Balance shoe.  In the clinic each day I see people with real problems that can cause real pain.   I see at least 1-2 people a day who simply need to invest in a properly fitted and properly stable shoe.  They don’t need surgery, and they don’t need injections, casts, or prescription medications.  Just a new pair of shoes.  Find a good store where they still carry a measuring device for your foot or ask your podiatrist for your size and go get some good shoes.  What constitutes a good shoe?  That’s a blog for another day.  How often do you go to a doctor and he simply tells you to go shopping.  Probably not often but it’s a great way to prevent foot pain, so start shopping.

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

 

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