Posts for: July, 2021
On a daily basis patients turn up at our offices with heel pain and a referral from their physician with a diagnosis of heel spurs.
The difficulty with this is that the patient then associates the continued presence of the bone spur with future suffering. In actual fact the pain is from inflammation and the spur, the thicken fascia, soft tissue swelling and bone inflammation are all symptoms of a chronic overuse injury. Our task to effectively resolve the immediate pain and prevent long term reoccurrence, is to identify the structural and functional origin of the condition. Sometimes it’s fairly easy other times prolonged, requiring multi faceted approaches. There is no one fix for all and many professed “cures” actually prolong and exacerbate the condition.
This senario used to be a more common place occurrence in our clinics and emergency rooms across the country, thankfully of late, less so.
Imagine you're suffering from the discomfort of a corn or a callous, browsing the isles of your local pharmacy you notice a product marketed as a "cure" for your corns. So, If it's sold on the shelves in the drug store its gotta be safe to use; Right? Wrong!
Usually, somewhere further down on the box, in the unreadably small print, there is advice and qualifiers for the application of this medicated pad or liquid. Needless to say much goes unread and unheeded. Normally these fall off, or wash off and with it some skin. This can bring some relief or little effect at all. However, if left on for longer than intended, or applied to skin with poor sensation and/or poor blood supply the results can be catastrophic and in a blink of an eye.
This gentleman had applied corn pads to painful calluses under both big toes, seven days prior to his visit with us. Both came off after two days, one however had caused the tissue to ulcerate and subsequently he developed cellulitis (infection) in his forefoot thus requiring aggressive management. He noticed intense pain, oozing yellow discharge and swelling.
Fortunately when he called we happened to have a cancellation and a motivated receptionist (thanks Mel).
He is in his 80s; diabetic, only one Covid-19 shot and thus very reluctant to visit the busy emergency department. To boot, his first available doctors appointment wasn’t until late July.
Its easy to see from one foot to the other how dramatically different the effects can be from the same medication on the same individual but different localized circulatory and sensory status.
Such lesions can be limb or life threatening if not managed properly and can take a considerable time to resolve completely.
These are difficult times so please check-in with those at risk and ask if they are worried about any health issues, even those that may seem minor or inconsequential.
To schedule an appointment at an office location near you with one of our dedicated specialists. We do not require a referral, however pertinent information from your primary care specialist may help in our diagnosis. Bring any pertinent images (X-rays) or test results with you and if appropriate samples of your footwear. Given the nature of our specialty it is likely we will want to observe you standing or walking during the initial exam. Call The Podiatry Associates in Mississauga, at (905)568-3800. We are also located in Brantford, ON, at (519) 751-2900 and Whitby, Ontario, at (905) 433-0200