Meet Our Specialists
Our podiatrists at Clear Lake Specialties provide the highest quality podiatric medical and surgical care in a safe, effective and efficient manner while utilizing a culture of exceptional service and state-of-the-art medical technology. It is the mission of our staff and podiatric surgeons to passionately purse the health and well-being of our patients.
What is a podiatrist?
A podiatrist is a doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM), also known as a podiatric physician or surgeon. Podiatrists diagnose and treat conditions of the foot, ankle, and related structures of the leg. They complete four years of rigorous foot and ankle training in podiatric medical school.
Following graduation with a doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM) degree, podiatrists spend an additional three years in a hospital residency training program. Some Podiatrists can specialize in many fields, including:
- Sports medicine
- Podiatric surgery
- Wound care
- Diabetic foot care
The foot serves to provide balance, shock absorption, and propulsion for the human body. Injury or disease of the foot can result is the serious disability, impaired mobility, and chronic pain. In order to reduce pain and improve mobility, podiatrists often treat problems such as:
- Bunion deformity
- Heel pain/ spurs
- Corns and calluses
- Flatfoot/ high arch foot
- Wound care/ infections
- Nerve pain/ numbness/ burning/ tingling
- Diabetes ulcers
- Athletes foot
- Fungal infections
- Ingrown toenails
- Ankle Sprains/ strains
Do you have an ingrown toenail?
An ingrown toenail is a nail that has curved downward and grown into the skin. This typically occurs at either the nail borders or the sides of the nail. As a result, pain, redness, swelling, and warmth may occur in the toe. If a break in the skin forms due to the ingrown nail, bacteria may enter and cause an infection in the area; this is typically characterized by a foul odor and drainage.
Ingrown toenails have multiple reasons for developing. In many instances, the condition is a result of genetics and is inherited. The most common cause, however, is improper trimming; cutting the toenails too short forces the skin beside the nail to fold over. An ingrown toenail can also develop due to trauma, such as stubbing the toe, having an object fall on the toe, or participating in activities that involve repeated kicking or running. Wearing shoes that are too tight or too short can also cause ingrown toenails.
Treatment for an ingrown toenail varies between patients and the severity of the condition. In most cases, it is best to see your podiatrist for thorough and proper treatment. After examining your toe, your podiatrist may prescribe oral antibiotics to clear the infection if one is present. Surgical removal of either a portion of the nail or the entire nail may also be considered. In some cases, complete removal or destruction of the nail root may be required. Most patients who undergo nail surgery experience minimal pain afterward and can return to normal activity the following day.
Ingrown toenails can be prevented with proper nail trimming and by avoiding improper-fitting shoes. When cutting the toenails, be sure that you are cutting in a straight line and avoid cutting them too short. Shoes should not be too short or tight in the toe box.
Podiatrists are specialized health professionals who deal with the treatment of foot and ankle disorders. They treat foot and ankle problems seen in patients with chronic diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and peripheral artery disease. Pediatric foot deformities, foot and ankle injuries including sprains, fractures, wounds, infections, and heel pain are also examined appropriately by a podiatrist.
Flat feet, also called “fallen arches”, are caused due to imbalance in muscles or tendon in the foot and it is hereditary. The condition may not cause any pain in some, but few people do suffer from severe pain, and seek a podiatrist’s advice. An individual with flat feet may feel pain in the arch portion, along the ball of the foot, or even in the knee. Custom orthotic therapy is a treatment option to manage the pain associated with flat feet. Custom insoles, arch supports or orthotic devices may be worn to provide stability to your flat feet.
A bunion is a bony prominence that appears as a bump along the side of the big toe. It is a result of abnormal tendon or muscle balance in the foot. The presence of a bunion may cause pain due to pressure over the bony prominence applied by the shoes. It may also irritate the nerve on the side of the foot.
A painful bunion requires treatment. If the pressure increases, a fluid-filled sac called bursa may develop, and cause swelling and pain. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), splints, and orthotic devices may alleviate the pain. Surgical treatment is required to get rid of the deformity.
Most importantly, whether you are on therapy or medications, it is better to have your feet evaluated by a podiatrist. Usually, patients with diabetes are likely to develop neuropathy, which appears as a burning, tingling, or a feeling of numbness in the feet. In such conditions, you may tend to have open wounds on your feet, which you may not even realize. You will be at an increased risk of infections because of your weak immune system. In order to prevent infections, screening for wounds, evaluation of nerve sensation, and assessment of circulation should be performed at regular intervals by your podiatrist.
Use of footwear specially designed for diabetic patients can protect your feet, and help avoid complications. You can reduce your risk of developing calluses and ulcers. These shoes provide extra depth that can accommodate custom made special inserts.
Foot and ankle surgery is considered in the treatment of conditions that do not respond well to conservative treatment options, particularly when there is damage to the bones, joints, tendons or ligaments. Surgery ensures relief from pain and return to normal activities. You will be given certain postoperative instructions to be followed during the recovery. Your feet should be placed at a raised level (above heart level). There will be no pain for the first 4-24 hours following the surgical procedure. After this period, analgesics will be prescribed to keep you at ease.
Complete recovery requires at least 6 to 8 weeks during which the involved foot should not bear any weight. As with any surgery, there may be potential complications, most of which are minor. These include infection, swelling, numbness, excess scar tissue formation, and pain. If complications such as continued or worsened pain, recurring deformity, osteomyelitis, deep vein thrombosis, delayed or non-union in conditions of fracture occurs, further procedures to treat the complications will be required.