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Care for Feet and Ankles

We put our feet through a lot. It’s not surprising that many people feel foot pain. Even though foot conditions are widespread, many people do not get medical help.

When you suffer a foot problem, Northern Nevada Health System is here to help. We can diagnose, treat and help prevent the issues and diseases that affect a patient’s feet, ankles and related structures of the leg. These include:

  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Hammertoe
  • Sprained ankles
  • Bunions
  • Achilles tendonitis
  • Bone spurs
  • Ingrown toenails

There are many risk factors that contribute to foot conditions. These include age, lifestyle, diet, weight and wearing ill-fitting shoes.

We offer a wide range of podiatry specialties. You should make an appointment to see a podiatrist for foot care if you have any of the conditions listed above. You should also see a podiatric physician for any of the following:

  • Foot pain following an injury
  • Sudden, severe foot pain
  • Foot pain, if you have diabetes or peripheral vascular disease
  • An open sore or ulcer on your foot
  • Redness or swelling of your joints
  • No relief from foot pain despite self-care

The physicians at Northern Nevada Health System recognizes how foot and ankle conditions can impact daily activities. We use non-surgical and surgical techniques to help patients regain pain-free mobility and promote better podiatric health. Some of the services offered include:

Bunion Care

A bunion is a large lump on the joint at the base of the big toe. It results from changes in alignment of bones of the front part of the foot. Treatment options vary with each bunion, and podiatrists will work with each patient to come up with a plan. Surgery is usually the last option and podiatrists encourage patients to make footwear and other changes to avoid surgery.

The primary goal of most early treatment options is to relieve pressure on the bunion and halt the progression of the joint deformity.

Learn More about Bunion Care

Diabetic Foot Care

People with diabetes are more likely to develop wounds and infections even from a minor foot injury. This is due to poor circulation and nerve damage to the feet.

Diabetic foot infections and wounds do not typically hurt. Therefore, they can often be unrecognized by the patient because of decreased or absent sensation in the foot. When left untreated, they can lead to infection, gangrene and lower limb amputation. For this reason, people with diabetes should treat their feet with special care.

With proper care, diabetic foot wounds can generally heal themselves. Once the wounds are healed, action must be taken to prevent wounds from recurring. Diabetics are also prone to having blockages in the lower leg arteries causing inadequate blood flow to the legs and feet.

Improving blood flow will help non-healing wounds due to arterial insufficiency. Treatment options include balloon angioplasty or leg bypass surgery around the blockage.

Learn More about Diabetic Foot Care

Hammertoe Care

A contracted or “crooked” toe is called a hammertoe. It may have resulted from previous trauma or from an imbalance in the muscles or tendons. Hammertoes may be aggravated by shoes that don’t fit properly. A hammertoe may also result if a toe is too long and is forced into a cramped position when a tight shoe is worn.

Treatment options vary with the type and severity of each hammertoe. Podiatrists work with patients to make footwear and other changes as early on in treatment as possible to avoid surgery. If surgery is needed, podiatrists with a specialty in surgery can remove the tiny bone that is prominent and restore the toe joint to normal alignment. This often relieves the pain.

Learn More about Hammertoe Care

Plantar Fasciitis Care

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the band of tissue (the plantar fascia) that extends from the heel to the toes. The fascia first becomes irritated and then inflamed, resulting in heel pain. People who have problems with their arches, either because of flat feet or high-arched feet, are more prone to developing plantar fasciitis. Treatments include pain relievers, physical therapy and over-the-counter or custom-fitted arch supports (orthotics) to help distribute pressure more evenly across the feet.

Learn More about Plantar Fasciitis Care

If you need a referral to a physician at Northern Nevada Health System, call our free physician referral service at 775-356-6662.