Frequently Asked Questions
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What is the best first aid for minor injuries?
When you first injure yourself, the RICE method is the best way to apply first aid to your lower limbs. RICE is an acronym that stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. It’s a basic treatment plan you can fulfill at home, or wherever you are, to minimize or eliminate swelling and inflammation after injuries like a sprain.
You need to rest and protect the limb to allow it to heal, so stop all activities that strain the feet. Ice the sore area to decrease swelling and inflammation in the tissues. Wrap the foot or ankle in a compression bandage and keep your limb elevated on a cushion when you’re sitting or lying down to discourage edema as well.
The quicker you take care of small injuries, the more likely the problem will heal normally and easily. Let Dr. Sanjay Patel in Connecticut help you if you’re struggling with foot or ankle pain. Just contact the Family Foot Care & Surgery, L.L.C. offices in Hamden or Milford to make an appointment with us. You can use the website or call to reach us: (203) 288-4055 for Hamden, or (203) 876-7736 for Milford.
Why does it feel like there’s a pebble in my shoe?
Feeling like you’re walking on a pebble when there isn’t one can be a symptom of a number of different foot issues, but Morton’s neuroma is one of the most common conditions. This is a thickened nerve in between two metatarsal heads, usually the third and fourth toes. The swollen tissue typically creates several other symptoms, as well. Pain, particularly when you put pressure on the foot, is common. You may notice tingling or numbness, often reaching into the toes. However, there won’t visible changes or trauma from the outside of the foot.
The good news is that Morton’s neuroma can be treated, particularly if you don’t wait to manage the problem. Some simple conservative treatments can go a long way in relieving the nerve pain and shrinking the thickened area. Let Dr. Sanjay Patel and Family Foot Care & Surgery, L.L.C. in Connecticut help you with your foot pain. Make an appointment with us through the website or by calling: (203) 288-4055 for the Hamden location, or (203) 876-7736 for our Milford office.
Does diet affect gout symptoms?
Gout symptoms and flare-ups in your feet are affected by your diet. This type of arthritis develops when uric acid crystals build up in your joints. Uric acid—and the crystals it creates—forms when your body breaks down purines in food. These purines are a protein that can be found in many different foods, particularly in animal-based products. Red meat, some poultry, and certain fish tend to be high in purines. Fructose, particularly high-fructose corn syrup, stimulates uric acid production as well. Other foods, like saturated fats and alcohol, can inhibit your body’s ability to eliminate excess uric acid and thus trigger a gout attack.
Adjusting your diet with these things in mind can make a significant difference for your condition. Don’t wait until you’re in intense pain to seek help for your arthritis. Let Dr. Sanjay Patel at Family Foot Care & Surgery, L.L.C. in Connecticut help you before pain starts and find a diet that works. Use the website request page, or call (203) 876-7736 for the Milford office and (203) 288-4055 for the Hamden location to make an appointment with us.
Can I Prevent Neuropathy if I Have Diabetes?
It is possible to prevent neuropathy in your feet and ankles, even if you already have diabetes. The key is to begin working against the nerve damage immediately. The largest part of this will be monitoring your blood sugar levels. Since elevated and fluctuating blood sugars damage your nerves, keeping this under control will decrease your likelihood of developing neuropathy.
Taking care of your feet and checking them for damage is also important. Wash and dry your lower limbs every day. Make sure you keep your toenails trimmed and inspect your whole foot for abnormal changes. Always wear clean, moisture-wicking socks and supportive, cushioned shoes. These habits help protect your lower limbs from damage as well as catch problems before they have a chance to progress—all very important when you’re trying to prevent neuropathy. Let Family Foot Care & Surgery, L.L.C. help you fight nerve issues. Make an appointment with either of our two Connecticut offices by using the website, or by calling (203) 876-7736 for the Milford office, or (203) 288-4055 for the Hamden location.
Why does my skin get so dry?
There are many different dry skin causes, from environmental factors to dehydration and poor soaps. The main reason your feet dry out, though, is that they are naturally dry parts of the body. The skin on your feet doesn’t have oil glands keeping you moisturized. Instead, you have thousands of sweat glands. Sweat isn’t always enough to keep your skin moist and supple. That’s typically why your feet dry out.
Other factors can play a significant role in your skin health and comfort. Extreme temperatures, whether heat or cold, and low humidity draw moisture out of your skin. Sun exposure, hard soaps, not drinking enough, insufficient omega-3 fatty acids in your diet, and soaking your feet for too long can all dry out your lower limbs as well. You need to actively moisturize your feet to keep your skin smooth and comfortable.
If you have uncomfortably dry skin that isn’t improving, let us know at Family Foot Care & Surgery, L.L.C., so we can help. Use our website or call to make an appointment: (203) 876-7736 for our Milford office, or (203) 288-4055 for our Hamden location.
How Can I Tell if my Toe is Broken or Sprained?
Fractures and sprains both damage your toes, but knowing whether your digit is broken or sprained is important for treating the injury. A break involves a crack or separation of bone tissue. The affected digit is painful, swollen, red, and possibly bruised. Your toe will be tender to the touch and walking on it may aggravate the discomfort. It may or may not be crooked, depending on whether the bones are displaced. The surest way to tell whether it’s broken is to have an X-ray.
Sprains have very similar symptoms. You’ll develop pain in the affected digit, particularly when you move it. It may be tender to the touch and swollen. Sometimes the toe will bruise. An X-ray can help diagnose this, too, by ruling out a fracture. If your toe is injured and you’re not sure whether it’s sprained or broken, let Family Foot Care & Surgery, L.L.C. help. Use the web request form or call us to make an appointment: (203) 876-7736 for the Milford office, or (203) 288-4055 for the Hamden office.
How Do I Tape an Injured Ankle?
It’s best to have an experienced specialist tape an injured ankle, but you can learn to do it at home. Taping your joint, if done correctly, helps stabilize it. Wrap the affected foot from your arch to midway up your calf with non-adhesive pre-wrap padding to help prevent blisters from the tape. Then make “anchors” for the athletic tape by wrapping two bands around your shin near the top of the pre-wrap padding and one around your arch when your foot is flexed. Be sure you don’t tape any of these so tightly you’ll lose circulation in your foot.
Now, make a stirrup for your heel by stretching strips of tape from the bottom of the heel up to the sides of the calf, attaching them to the anchor tape. Close up the open areas between your arch and your calf with athletic tape, keeping your foot flexed. Then anchor everything by wrapping a few strips around your arch, heel, and ankle. If this sounds confusing, let Family Foot Care & Surgery, L.L.C. help. Make an appointment at either of our offices by calling—(203) 876-7736 for Milford, or (203) 288-4055 for Hamden—or by using our website.
What stretches should I do to prevent shin splints?
There are a variety of stretches to prevent shin splints. The best stretches work the calves and the shins. You should include exercises to build lower limb strength as well. This helps condition the feet to handle the strain that may lead to painful shins. Here are a few stretches and exercises you can try:
- Wall stretch – Face a wall and lunge toward it, one leg forward and the other behind. Keeping both heels planted on the floor, straighten your back knee and lean further forward. Repeat it with both knees bent for a different stretch.
- Toe lifts – Keeping your back straight, lean backwards against a wall. Flex your feet and lift your toes up toward your shins as high as you can. Hold for five seconds, then relax and repeat ten times.
If you develop shin pain, take a break from your activities and let the Family Foot Care & Surgery, L.L.C. team help you recover. You can reach us for an appointment or more information about preventing shin splints by calling (203) 876-7736 for the Milford, CT office, or (203) 288-4055 for the Hamden location.
How can I treat a turf toe injury?
There are several ways to treat a turf toe injury. Turf toe is a sprain in the ligaments that support the first joint of your big toe—the place where the toe bone meets the metatarsal. The injury needs to be treated immediately to prevent long-term pain and weakness. Ice the toe when the problem first develops. This helps combat swelling and inflammation. Wrapping your foot in a compression bandage and keeping it elevated can decrease swelling as well. You’ll need to take a break from all activities that put pressure on the big toe, particularly hard-impact sports. Wear a stiff-soled shoe or brace for a time to keep the digit stable, too.
Severe turf toe may require a cast and no weight-bearing for a time, so the tissues stay still and un-stressed as they recover. If conservative measures are not helping your foot, you may need surgery to repair torn tissues. Let Dr. Sanjay Patel and our Family Foot Care & Surgery, L.L.C. staff help your toes heal. Use the website or call one of our two Connecticut locations to make an appointment: (203) 876-7736 for the Milford office, or (203) 288-4055 for the Hamden location.
How can I prevent the spread of warts?
Warts are contagious, but you can take precautions to prevent spreading warts to others around you. Direct contact with the growth can pass the virus to other people and even other surfaces. Footwear, towels, and moist floors have a particularly high risk for contamination. To avoid spreading the virus, don’t brush, shave, or clip the growth. Throw out or sterilize any nail files or other tools you use on the bump, and don’t share them with other people. Don’t sand the mass with a pumice stone and then use the same tool on other parts of your foot; this may spread the virus to other areas of your own limbs.
Keep the growth covered as much as you can, and wash your hands after touching it. Avoid walking barefoot—particularly in public places like bathrooms or locker rooms. Don’t share your footwear with others, either, so they are less like to be exposed to your wart. Let our Family Foot Care & Surgery, L.L.C. staff help you eliminate your skin bumps. You can make an appointment with us through our website, or by calling us: (203) 876-7736 for our Milford location, or (203) 288-4055 for our Hamden office.