A podiatrist is a specialist who provides medical diagnosis and treatment, including surgery, of foot and ankle problems. Common foot conditions treated at Winneshiek Medical Center are:
- sprains and fractures
- heel pain/spurs
- ingrown toenails
- diabetic foot management
The podiatry program at Winneshiek Medical Center offers full-time care to patients of all ages. Call 563-382-2911 for an appointment. You do not need a referral.
Common foot and ankle problems:
A neuroma is the thickening of nerve tissue. Neuromas are commonly found in the foot, and when one develops at the base of the third and fourth toe, it is called Morton’s neuroma. If left untreated, neuromas can lead to permanent nerve damage.
Anything that causes compression or irritation of the nerve can lead to the development of a neuroma. Wearing shoes with a tapered toe box or high-heeled shoes that compress the toes are common causes of neuromas. They can also be caused by repetitive activities, such as running or racquet sports.
Toe and Metatarsal Fractures
Bone fractures in the foot are common and require evaluation by a specialist. There are two types of fractures:
- Traumatic fractures are caused by a direct blow or impact, like severely stubbing your toe.
- Stress fractures are tiny, hairline breaks that are usually caused by repetitive stress, abnormal foot structure, deformities, osteoporosis or improper footwear.
Stress fractures commonly afflict athletes.
If a toe or metatarsal bone fracture is not treated correctly, serious complications may develop, including: a deformity in the bone structure, arthritis, chronic pain, and long-term dysfunction.
Diabetic Foot Care
Diabetes may cause nerve damage that takes away the feeling in your feet. Additionally, diabetes may reduce blood flow to the feet, making it harder to heal an injury or resist infection. Proper care by a foot/ankle specialist is necessary to maintain good foot health and prevent complications, such as amputation.
When a toenail is ingrown, the nail is curved downward and grows into the skin, usually at the sides of the nail. If an ingrown nail causes a break in the skin, bacteria may enter and case an infection. The most common cause of ingrown nails is improper trimming. Cutting your nails too short encourages the skin next to the nail to fold over the nail. Ingrown toenails can also be caused by wearing shoes that are tight or short.
Bunions occur when the big toe leans toward the second toe rather than pointing straight ahead. The result is a visible bump on the side of the big toe. Most often, people inherit a foot structure that is prone to developing bunions. Contrary to popular belief, bunions are not caused by the shoes you wear, although certain shoe types may cause symptoms to appear sooner. Many people unnecessarily suffer pain from bunions for years before seeking treatment.
Planter warts are non-cancerous growths that occur on the sole, heel or ball of the foot. They are rough and spongy, and most are gray or brown with dark pinpoints. Planter warts are caused by exposure to the human papilloma virus (HPV), which can invade the body through tiny cuts or breaks in the skin on the bottom of the foot. HPV infection, and the resulting planter warts, can largely be avoided by not walking barefoot in public locker rooms, showers and swimming pools.