Posts for: February, 2012
When you look down and see that egg sticking out by the base of your big toe, you may wonder how it formed. On the surface all you see is the bump sticking out and sometimes some redness over it. This is what we refer to as a bunion. If all we had to fix was the bump, all the bunions would be approximately the same. Underneath, however, what is really going on, is your bones have shifted and you will usually see your great toe drifting toward your second toe.
An X-ray will give us information about the angles that have changed between the metatarsals and the toe bones, the phalanges. Determining the angles gives us the picture of the degree of bunion deformity you have developed, and thus the extent of surgery that would be required to fix the problem.
In many cases, the bump is more toward the top of the foot. In this instance, pain is usually worse with heeled shoes, or any attempt to go up on the toes or crouch down on the ball of the foot.
In this case, the X-rays will show more of a spur on top of the great toe joint, and as the condition progresses there is degeneration of the joint with loss of space between the toe and the metatarsal bone.
Treatment: Initial treatment is often conservative and may include orthotics (prescriptive foot supports), change in shoes or physical therapy. If the problem is more severe, or unresponsive to conservative measures, surgery may be indicated.
Finally, if the bump and pain is more to the top of the foot, a condition called hallux rigidus (rigid or decreasing motion). This condition is progressive and earlier surgical intervention is usually recommended to save the joint.
While all bunions aren’t created equal, our attention to your problem will receive the same focus and care regardless of the condition you have. We will provide you with the best education regarding the latest advances in podiatric medicine so that you may make a healthy choice to resolve your foot problems as quickly as possible.
Dr. Rion A. Berg
Podiatrist and Board Certified Foot Surgery
Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City
2611 NE 125th St., #130
Seattle, WA 98125
Conveniently Located in Northeast Seattle
Our office is located in Lake City within 10 minutes of Shoreline, Kenmore, Juanita, Sandpoint, Meadowbrook, Wedgewood, Maple Leaf, Broadview, Greenwood, Northgate, and Pinehurst. Parking is free.
From Downtown Seattle, take the 130th St. Exit. Turn Right onto 130th. It will become 125th. Pass the light at 15th Ave NE, and continue down the hill. We are at the corner of 26th & 125th at Lake City Professional Center.
From Edmonds, take the 145th St. Exit. Turn Left onto 145th. Turn Right on 15th Avenue NE, (Starbucks). Turn Left on 125th. We are at the corner of 26th & 125th at Lake City Professional Center.
For those of you with Diabetes or who have a family member or friend with Diabetes, there is renewed hope. In a recent article in the Seattle Times, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), indicated that for the first time, there has been a drop in the number of lower extremity amputations. This has occurred despite the increased number of people who have diabetes. Two of the reasons given for the drop in number of amputations were the increased number of patients who have their feet evaluated and, the Medicare Approved Diabetic Shoe Program.
I have been a member of the team at the Northwest Hospital Wound Care Center for over twelve years. There, I have worked alongside several members of the team to treat and heal diabetic foot ulcers. Our success rate in healing diabetic wounds and preventing amputations has been wonderful. Now, Medicare has approved the Comprehensive Diabetic Foot Evaluation, (CDFE), which is designed to help prevent the ulcerations from occurring in the first place.
The CDFE is performed at my office and includes a complete review of your medical history and an evaluation of the feet particularly focused on your sensation, circulation, and all foot deformities that may contribute to the development of a foot ulcer. With special pressure testing and temperature testing, we are then able to identify any areas of the foot at risk, and implement preventive measures immediately.
The most important part of the evaluation is the patient education. Throughout your visit, Dr. Berg will teach you about the warning signs of an ulcer, and how to detect them. You will receive a packet of information that describes the simple steps to take to evaluate your own feet daily, and what to do should any of the warning signs appear in your feet. Finally, the evaluation will help Dr. Berg determine whether you need diabetic therapeutic shoes, inserts, or further diagnostic studies such as testing your circulation or evaluating your balance. Depending on the results of the exam, you may receive a recommendation to repeat the CDFE between one and four times per year.
Don’t bury your head in the sand, or wait until the horse is out of the barn! Come in today and let us help you prevent diabetic foot ulcers. Protect your feet. They are your foundation and you only receive one pair that must last you a lifetime.
Thank you for listening.
Rion A. Berg, DPM
Podiatrist and Board Certified Foot Surgeon
2611 NE 125th St., #130
Seattle, WA 98125
Our office is located in Lake City within 10 minutes of Shoreline, Kenmore, Juanita, Sandpoint, Meadowbrook, Wedgewood, Maple Leaf, Broadview, Greenwood, Northgate, and Pinehurst. Parking is free. For bus commuters, routes 41 and 243 stop right in front of our office at 26th & NE 125th.