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Tuesday, 20 February 2024 00:00

Toenail fungus, medically termed onychomycosis, is a common fungal infection that affects millions of people worldwide. Fungi thrive in warm, moist environments, making the feet susceptible to infection, particularly in damp socks and shoes. When fungi, such as dermatophytes, yeasts, or molds, penetrate the toenail bed or nail plate, they cause the toenail to become discolored, thickened, and brittle. Fungal nail infections often start as a small white or yellow spot under the nail and progressively spread, leading to more severe symptoms if left untreated. Factors like poor foot hygiene, wearing tight or ill-fitting shoes, and walking barefoot in public places increase the risk of toenail fungus. Additionally, individuals with weakened immune systems, diabetes, or circulatory issues are more prone to fungal infections. If you have developed toenail fungus, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist who can offer effective preventive measures, in addition to prescribing medication if needed for successful treatment.

If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Lee R. Stein of Lake Shore Foot & Ankle, PC. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Symptoms

  • Warped or oddly shaped nails
  • Yellowish nails
  • Loose/separated nail
  • Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
  • Brittle, broken, thickened nail

Treatment

If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.

Prevention

In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.

In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Chicago, Highland Park, and Uptown, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

Read more about How to Treat Your Toenail Fungus
Tuesday, 13 February 2024 00:00

Debridement is a critical aspect of managing severely injured feet and lower extremities from diabetes, particularly in cases of open fractures with extensive skin and soft tissue loss. This surgical procedure involves the meticulous removal of contaminated, nonviable tissues and foreign materials from the wound. Debridement plays a pivotal role in preventing infection, a common complication in such injuries. During debridement, podiatric surgeons must work under optimal conditions, utilizing good anesthesia, adequate lighting, and magnification. The use of a tourniquet is often essential for better visualization of contaminants and distinguishing between viable and nonviable tissues. Skin margins are carefully freshened, subcutaneous tissues are excised to reach healthy fat, and damaged muscles and tendons are assessed for viability. Preservation of vital structures like nerves and blood vessels is paramount, as they are crucial for future reconstruction efforts. Proper recording of the debridement procedure, including the extent of tissue damage and the status of nerves and tendons, is essential for guiding subsequent treatment. If you are a diabetic patient and have wounds, ulcers, or other foot or ankle skin conditions, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can consider debridement as a possible effective treatment.

Limb salvage can be an effective way in preventing the need for limb amputation. If you have diabetes, cancer, or any other condition that could lead to foot amputation if left unchecked, consult with Dr. Lee R. Stein from Lake Shore Foot & Ankle, PC. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Limb Salvage?

Limb salvage is the attempt of saving a limb, such as the foot from amputation. Podiatrists also try to make sure that there is enough function in the foot after the salvage that it is still usable. Diabetes is the number one cause of non-traumatic amputations in the United States. Those with diabetes experience poor blood circulation, which prevents proper healing of an ulcer. If the ulcer is left uncheck, it could become infected, which could result in the need for amputation.

However, there are other causes as well, such as cancer and traumatic injury. Links between higher mortality rates and amputation have been found. This translates into higher healthcare costs, and a reduced quality of life and mobility for amputees. Podiatrists have attempted to increase the prevalence of limb salvage in an attempt to solve these issues.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Limb salvage teams have grown in recent years that utilize a number of different treatments to save the infected limb. This includes podiatrists that specialize in wound care, rehabilitation, orthotics, and surgery. Through a combination of these methods, limb salvage has been found to be an effective treatment for infected limbs, and as an alternative to amputation. Podiatrists will first evaluate the potential for limb salvage and determine if the limb can be saved or must be amputated. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Chicago, Highland Park, and Uptown, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Limb Salvage
Tuesday, 06 February 2024 00:00

Swelling in the feet and ankles, or edema, can stem from various causes. Among the causes of swollen ankles and feet is an abnormal fluid buildup that may result from high sodium intake. Other factors that cause swelling in the feet and ankles include prolonged periods of sitting or standing, injuries, or underlying medical conditions, such as heart or kidney disease. A genetic predisposition can also contribute to thicker ankles, and may be influenced by obesity or the structural absence of a defined calf muscle. Fluid retention, which is often linked to excessive sodium consumption or impaired sodium regulation in the body, can increase swelling, particularly in individuals with heart disease. Pregnancy commonly leads to swollen ankles and feet due to increased fluid volume and pressure from the growing uterus. Managing swollen ankles involves lifestyle adjustments, such as reducing sodium intake, staying hydrated, maintaining regular physical activity, and seeking medical guidance when necessary. If swelling persists or is accompanied by other symptoms, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist who can conduct a thorough exam and offer the appropriate treatment options. 

Swollen feet can be a sign of an underlying condition. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Lee R. Stein of Lake Shore Foot & Ankle, PC. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Swollen feet are a common ailment among pregnant women and people who stand or sit for extended periods. Aging may increase the possibility of swollen feet and patients who are obese often notice when their feet are swelling too. There may be medical reasons why swollen feet occur:

  • Phlebitis - A condition that causes the veins to become inflamed and can also cause leg pain.
  • Liver disease - This may lead to low blood levels of albumin which is a protein. This can cause fluid in the blood to pass into the tissues and several areas of the body can become swollen.
  • Heart failure - When the heart doesn’t pump properly the blood that is normally pumped back to the heart can pool in the veins of the legs causing swollen feet.
  • Kidney disease - One of the main functions of the kidneys is releasing excess fluid in the body. This type of condition can make it difficult for the kidneys to function properly, and as a result the feet may become swollen.
  • Deep-vein thrombosis (DVT)- This is a serious condition where blood clots form in the veins of the legs. They can block the return of blood from the legs to the heart which may cause the feet to swell. It is important to be treated by a podiatrist if this condition is present.

Swollen feet can also be caused by bone and tendon conditions, including fractures, arthritis, and tendinitis. Additionally, there may be skin and toenail conditions and an infection may cause the feet to swell. Patients who take medicine to treat high blood pressure may be prone to getting swollen feet. 

Many patients elevate their feet to help relieve the swelling and this is generally a temporary remedy. When a podiatrist is consulted the reason behind the swelling can be uncovered and subsequently treated.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Chicago, Highland Park, and Uptown, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.


 

Read more about Swelling of the Feet
Wednesday, 31 January 2024 00:00

Gout is a painful, inflammatory form of arthritis. Those affected will typically feel an intense stiffness in the joints of their feet, particularly in the big toe. Schedule a visit to learn about how gout can be managed and treated.

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