Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for category: foot and ankle surgery

Do you have trouble walking due to a disability or other foot or ankle problem?  Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are testing robotic exoskeletons to decrease the amount of energy it takes to walk.

Although they are having some success, the use of exoskeletons to help improve your walking is still a long way from becoming an affordable reality.

Fortunately, you can take advantage of (AFOs) ankle foot orthoses which are proven to help people who have a variety of problems walking.

Arizona Brace
Severe Flatfoot
Many people have flat feet and are prone to get plantar fasciitis. But if you have severe flatfoot, meaning you're feet are so pronated you are practically walking on the inside of your feet, an Arizona Brace is what this Seattle podiatrist recommends.

Chronic Ankle Instability
Frequently, this condition develops after an ankle sprain that has not healed adequately. Patients complain about repeated ankle turns particularly on uneven surfaces, lasting discomfort and swelling, pain, and feeling unsteady.

Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction
People who participate in high impact sports are most at risk for developing this condition. It can develop from a tear or overuse. The foot becomes unstable and flat foot develops.

Moore Balance Brace
The Moore Balance Brace is recommended for people who feel unsteady on their feet or have sustained a fall. It is also commonly prescribed for patients with diabetic neuropathy who have trouble feeling their feet. The brace greatly improves stability, reduces fear of falling, and provides patients with more confidence when walking.

If you're having problems walking for any of the reasons listed above, call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

Get our free foot book "No More Foot Pain", mailed directly to your home.

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

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While their name implies comfort, flatform shoes, the latest trend in footwear (think Miley Cyrus and Katie Perry) may end up being anything but comfortable. Flatform shoes are half platform shoes, half ballet flat--supposedly the look of high heels with the comfort of flats. Originally introduced in 2011, these shoes are back in style now much to the consternation of this Seattle podiatrist.

Flatforms are bad for your feet because they are inflexible so your foot can’t do what it was intended to do which is flex when you walk. This makes them very unstable. When you can’t walk properly you’re more likely to fall which it what Vogue writer Liana Satenstein experienced when she was in recently in Japan. As a result of her fall she tore a ligament. Apparently these trendy shoes have been all the rage in Japan for many years where flatform accidents are epidemic.

Shoes like these are the worst choice if you already have an unstable or unsteady gait. But even those with perfect feet and balance can be laid flat by this shoe with a torn ligament or a broken ankle. Torn ligaments are a usualy the result of an ankle sprain from a fall. How long you’ll be out of commission depends to a great degree on the height of the fall, how bad the ankle was twisted, and other factors.

Finding the right shoe for you is often a matter of really understanding your own individual feet and foot limitations. One way to do this is by joining Dr. Robyn Paloian and me at Nordstrom’s at Northgate in Seattle on Saturday, July 12th from 10am – 12 noon. We’ll be looking through the sea of the latest fashions to find something that will work for your particularly foot type.

To make a reservation for this event, contact us at 206-368-7000 or send an email to [email protected] with the subject line, "I want to go shopping with Dr. Berg and Dr. Robyn".

By Dr. Rion Berg
November 20, 2013
Tags: heel pain   bunions   foot surgery  

Pop star Cher, 67, of the dynamic duo “Sonny and Cher” is finally going to have foot surgery after suffering for 16 years from an old injury. On her Twitter feed she told fans that she’s been in pain ever since a piece of equipment fell off of a wall and crushed her foot. Instead of taking good care of herself she only wore a cast for 2 weeks. Good for you Cher for finally admitting this publically!

She still wore her stiletto heels in a recent episode of Dancing with the Stars where she was guest judge but that will be the last time. She won’t wear them again until just before Christmas as she heals from the surgery. She recently tweeted, “LAST NITE, WAS LAST NITE 2 WEAR HEELS TILL AFTER OPERATION...SOOO...I BIT THE BULLET..&..WORE THEM! HEAVEN & pain, But WORTH IT... 6 wks (weeks) till I'm running around on STILETTOS!” Untweet. As a foot doctor I tell all my women patients to avoid high heels since they can cause many foot problems down the road even without a simultaneous foot injury to deal with.

If you’ve been putting up with foot pain for a long time, don’t be like Cher. As a Seattle podiatrist I’ve seen patients like Cher who went too long with problematic feet and suffered the consequences. Whether you have heel pain that won’t resolve, bunions that keep getting worse, or an old injury, please don’t wait to see a podiatrist. I’ve been treating patients with all of these problems for over 30 years and would be happy to help you. Often if you come in as soon as the pain starts, I can help you put off or even prevent surgery. At the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City our philosophy is to treat conservatively and leave surgery as a last resort.

Call our office today at 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online. Let us help you get back on your feet.

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What a week of so many wonderful moments during this unprecedented run of sunny days in Seattle.

With it so warm and beautiful out, it has certainly been a time to enjoy whatever your cup of tea is from hiking, camping, biking , walking and of course fun on the lakes or Puget Sound.

After an evening of a joyous reunion with friends at a fabulous find, Meo’s Mediterranean Greek restaurant (half price bottle of wine and two old Greek fellows on mandolin and guitar Weds., Mill Creek ), the call came in from daughter number two about an accident involving her boyfriend. While on a lake near Cle Elum he was jumping off a tree trunk into lake when the branch broke. He went straight down into the shallow water and impaled his right foot on a stump. This cut straight through the inside of his arch severing a muscle in two. He went to an urgent care center and the physicians there determined no major arteries were involved and all tendons of importance still attached and working. They wrapped him up and sent him to me.

Thank goodness for friends like Dr. Alan Woodle, who happens to be a night owl. He agreed to assist me in repairing the damage to the boyfriend’s foot. After working with me for three hours in my surgical center, we cleaned out, repaired and confirmed there no damage to major nerves, arteries or tendons. Other than missing several weeks of work, the boyfriend should be fine and able to return to all activities.

My daughter’s boyfriend was one lucky young man. He will not suffer any long term effects from his playful plunge. He was also lucky to have a girlfriend whose father just happens to be a board certified surgeon with his own surgical center and who also happens to have a wonderful podiatrist friend willing to get up in the middle of the night. Plus this young man had no insurance.

My message is that summer fun, can come undone in a flash. These kids now have an insurance policy. With Obama Care it will now be easier for young people to get health insurance even if they think they don’t need it.  Obviously this young man could have had a financial disaster if luck was not on his side.  

While not the most common way to break a toe, stomping on it could certainly cause this pesky injury and lead to delaying appearances, especially if you have to wear high heels like Jennifer Aniston.

Toe fractures occur frequently, often resulting from a direct blow to the end of the toe. When was the last time you wandered in the dark and kicked a piece of furniture? You have good company as this is the number one patient complaint. Ouch!

The toe will swell and often discolor. The fractures can range from very fine fracture lines to longer fractures with separation of the fragments. The most painful ones are where the fracture extends into the joint.  Each toe other than the great toe has three bones and any one or more of them can be involved.

The problem with toe fracture healing is just what Jennifer presents with. If I’m not misjudging the situation, that dress she wore would typically be covering a pair of heeled shoes. This would certainly place a lot of stress on the toe fracture and cause significant pain.

The fractured part has to be put to rest. If you have normal sensation, the goal then is to immobilize the injured bones and have pain as close to zero as possible throughout the day. The most common treatment is to apply a buddy splint;  wrapping the toe and then taping it to the next toe. I like to splint the toe to two other toes for increased stability.

The goal is stability and no pain. If you are still having moderate pain just using the splint, the toe is not stable and will take much longer to heal. A stiff hiking boot, surgical sandal, or a below the knee walking cast can be necessary to heal a toe fracture. The sooner you come in and get the toe immobilized the better; then the healing can begin.  

So, don’t cover up a pair of high heels while nursing a broken toe, have it evaluated by a foot specialist, have it splinted and immobilized properly , and pay attention to my “zero” rule when it comes to how much pain you should be having.

All people with broken toes, call us at 206-368-7000 or www.bergdpm.com