While treating and encouraging a lot of women training to walk the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Walk in Dallas, I have met a lot of courageous, strong women. Some are walking as survivors, others are walking because someone close to them is suffering from the disease, and many, unfortunately, have lost someone they love.
Constant chatting is the name of the game during these long training walks. When I accompany some of my patients on their walk, the questions always turn to feet. Women are curious about all things feet from proper shoe gear, how to prevent injuries, to the most common topic, their toenails! Most will say they have either lost toenails or they have turned colors due to the chemotherapy.
Most of the survivors agree that when undergoing chemo, the majority of the time they are not warned on what to expect their toenails to begin to look like. No one tells them that their toenails will most likely fall off, turn colors, get thick, have skin attached to them and even possibly smell.
Common chemotherapy drugs; (Adriamycin, Taxol, 5-Fluorouracil, just to name a few) cause damage and attack the tissue that keeps the toenail in place. This is called onycholysis. It is common for the nail to loose its attachment to the part or all of the nail bed. When a nail looses its attachment it allows dermatophytes ( the bugs that cause ugly fungal infections) to get under the toenail; this causes onychomycosis or fungal toenails.
Tips to Keeping your Toenails Looking There Very Best:
1. Clip toenails straight across and keep them short, this prevents splitting and breakage of the toenail.
2. Keep toenails clean and moisturized. If going for a pedicure, make sure all instruments have been sterilized (this means cooked in an autoclave, not just soaked in solution).
3. Gently cut away any loose cuticles, do not pick or pull at them. This can cause bleeding which can easily lead to an infection.
4. Try to avoid injuries to your toes and toenails, they will bruise easily. Wear wider shoes that have plenty of room in the toe box. Wider shoes will also allow for more circulation to the toes and toenails. Also make sure the shoes are long enough, long walks cause swelling so buy your walking shoes a half size larger than normal shoes.
If your nails become infected, inflamed or painful you need to see a podiatrist. Paranychia or an infection around the nail can become quite painful very quickly. There are some over the counter treatments that may be fine for your type of infection or you may need a prescription medication to help combat the problem. Onychomycosis can spread, so prompt treatment is important. There are some very advanced treatments that are now available including topical treatments, oral medication and laser treatment for fungal toenails. Just because you have had chemotherapy does not mean you need to have ugly toenails! Visit your podiatrist for more answers on toenail troubles.
Foot and ankle athletic injuries are very common. We specialize in sports medicine getting you back to sports as soon as possible. The most common foot and ankle sports injuries are plantar fasciitis, ankle sprains, shin splints, Achilles tendonitis, peroneal tendonitis, stress fractures, posterior tibial tendonitis, anterior tibial tendonitis, neuromas, tarsal tunnel syndrome, ankle instability, and metatarsalgia. Gait problems can also cause ileotibial band syndrome, patella tendonitis, back pain, hip pain and piriformis syndrome. Medications, injections, splinting, orthotics and/or physical therapy are often quite helpful in treating most injuries. Our doctors will discuss your injury and prescribe a course of treatment that will return you to sport stronger than when you came into the office.
Fall down, go boom? Foot and ankle trauma is extremely common no matter how young or old you are. Fractures, torn ligaments and tendons, sprain and strains, puncture wounds and toenail trauma occurs every day. Our physicians can help put you back together so that you can recover from your accident as fast as possible. Don't wait too long to seek medical advice after your accident or injury. Delaying treatment often only worsens the problem!
Foot pain related to congenital and acquired foot and ankle deformities is extremely prevalent in our society. Pain can be from flat feet or a high arched foot and associated gait problems; or be from a progressive deformity like a bunion or a hammertoe. Our doctors are extensively trained to diagnose and treat the underlying deformity to help you function at your best. We want to prevent your problems from getting worse, no matter what you inherited from your family! God may have had a sense of humor when he created your feet, but we will work with you to optimize your biomechanical function and aesthetics! No one should suffer from ugly, painful feet!
Neurological foot and ankle issues can be a burning or shooting pain, numbness, weakness or just a "pins and needles" sensation. Nerve can be affected by compression at the spine level, knee level, ankle level or in your foot. Neuropathy can be a subtle nerve degeneration from aging, diabetes, and a myriad of other causes. Do not assume your nerve issues will go away or that nothing can be done. A proper diagnosis can lead to alleviation of your nerve troubles.
Healthy Steps Shoe Store and Spa welcomes patients and their families as well as the surrounding communities of Grapevine, Southlake, Colleyville and beyond to help them with their therapeutic shoe gear needs. A certified pedorthotist is always available by appointment for consultation, and safe pedicures by a licensed medical nail technician highlight your spa experience. An extensive array of prefabricated and custom orthotics as well as many foot care essentials are also readily available to compliment your shoe and sandal purchases. We carry a wide variety of comfort shoe gear that are as pretty as they are comfortable.