Foot and Ankle Center Blog

Posts for: April, 2012

By Foot & Ankle Center Of Illinois
April 16, 2012
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Pregnancy  

Pregnant Foot PainDuring pregnancy, it's not uncommon for women to experience an array of aches and pains all over the body. Among these complaints are tired, swollen, achy feet- a common and painful symptom experienced by mothers-to-be during their nine months of pregnancy.

One of the most common foot problems that occur during pregnancy is swelling, or edema, which results from the extra accumulation of blood. The natural weight gain and enlarging uterus puts pressure on the veins that lead to the legs, causing circulation to slow down and increasing fluid retention. The legs and feet may become swollen, making shoes tight, and in some cases causing pain and discomfort. Slight swelling during pregnancy is normal and usually subsides after giving birth. Women should pay close attention to edema symptoms. Swelling to the face or a sudden onset of swelling could be a sign of a more serious condition called preeclampsia and should be reported immediately.

Another troubling foot problem that can occur during pregnancy is over-pronation (flat feet) which is caused when a person's arch flattens out upon weight bearing causing the feet to turn in abnormally. This condition develops when the dense band of tissue in the arch of the foot called the plantar fascia becomes strained and inflamed due to increased flattening of the feet. Over-pronation is common in pregnancy due to the increased weight gain which stresses the feet and flattens the arches. Walking can become very painful, and women may experience increased discomfort and strain on the feet, calves and back.

There are various remedies available to help minimize and alleviate foot pain during pregnancy.

  • Take short breaks during the day and elevate your feet to relieve pressure and swelling.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Wear shoes that are soft, comfortable and give your feet room to move.
  • Wear seamless socks that do not constrict circulation.
  • Exercise or walk regularly to promote overall health.
  • Stretch legs frequently and avoid crossing your legs when sitting.
  • To prevent arch pain, stretch daily, avoid going barefoot and wear supportive low-heeled shoes.

When foot pain persists, visit Foot & Ankle Center Of Illinois. We'll work with you to find the best treatments for your foot pain. Pregnancy and pending motherhood should be a pleasant, enjoyable experience. Understanding the causes of foot pain and learning easy home remedies can help women step more comfortably throughout these special nine months.

By contactus
April 11, 2012
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

The differences between and OB-GYN and a Podiatrist are fairly obvious but what is not so obvious is how they are alike. Both medical specialists recognize that Diagnostic Ultrasound is a fast and safe way to get a real time image and information for treatment. Whereas OB-GYNs have been using ultrasound for some time, this tool is becoming best practice in the field of podiatry.

What is Diagnostic Ultrasound?

Diagnostic Ultrasound is a medical technique to view parts of the body by using high frequency sound waves. It produces sound waves by crystals that oscillate at a frequency beyond the range of the human ear. When sound waves penetrate the tissues of the body, part of the sound wave is reflected back causing reflective patterns that are sent to a computer. The patterns are then sent to a screen where they produce an image; and the image can be studied “live” or recorded and printed later.

What is the Procedure like?

Contact is made to the body using a hand-held device called a transducer. The transducer transmits the sound waves and captures the reflective echoes that produce an image. A transmission gel is used to complete contact between the transducer and the skin.

Is the Procedure painful?

There is no pain or discomfort associated with Diagnostic Ultrasound with the possible exception of a cold feeling that may be produced by the gel or the metal head of the transducer. The image is produced by the reflection of sound waves. Unlike an X-ray machine, no radiation is used.

Why is Diagnostic Ultrasound used in Podiatry?

Diagnostic Ultrasound is used because it is considered extremely safe procedure; however, when studying the damage of the foot and ankle, it is a very effective method to determine how to proceed and treat. Thicker tissue such as bones, produce a different image than fluid filled structures such as a cyst. A trained podiatrist can differentiate between what is normal and what is not.

How is Diagnostic Ultrasound used in Podiatry?

Ultrasound has proven to be an effective way to recognize many foot and ankle disorders such as: Morton’s neuroma, Achilles tendonitis, tears and ruptures, fibromas, cysts, ganglions, bone injury, bursitis, ligament tears, heel spurs, plantar facia tears and inflammation, pinching of nerves, abnormal growths, joint swelling, tarsal tunnel syndrome, bone injuries, fractures, stress fractures, ankle sprains and strains.  It can also be used to find pieces of glass, wood or metal from puncture wounds which can be a frequent, hard to find reason for foot pain. Diagnostic ultrasound can even find areas of localized infection, show if tissue is being pinched between bones. It is particularly useful to use as a guide for the placement of an injection to ensure that medication is placed precisely where it needs to be for maximum effectiveness and pain relief. 

What are the Benefits of Diagnostic Ultrasound?

There are many benefits to use Diagnostic Ultrasound and the risks are minimal making this a wonderful tool for diagnosis and treatment of numerous foot and ankle disorders. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Testing is quick and painless
  • Results are available immediately and you are able to see the problem when the ultrasound is being performed
  • There is no radiation or side effects with this machine as there are with other diagnostic tests
  • Ultrasound is much less expensive than MRI, CT scan or bone scans
  • Unlike the magnetic field of MRI units, ultrasound is not affected by cardiac pacemakers or implants within the body
  • Ultrasound may actually have advantages over MRI in seeing tendon structure, which is better appreciated by ultrasound than MRI at a fraction of the cost, and
  • For diagnostic ultrasound there are no known harmful effects on humans

As with all disorders, your podiatrist is the best person to determine when it is appropriate to use Diagnostic Ultrasound and when other methods may be preferred. If you or someone you know suffers from chronic, unexplained foot pain and you want a definitive diagnosis, call Dr. Sigle today at (217) 787-2700 for an appointment.To learn more about this treatment, visit www.myfootandanklecenter.comand view a short video of the procedure.



By contactus
April 11, 2012
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

I am pretty sure that most Americans have not thought about visiting Russia, especially to Siberia because of its reputation of being the place for misfits and enemies of the state. However, since the end of the Cold War, orthopaedic and podiatric surgeons around the world have traveled to this remote place to receive advanced training at the Gavriil Ilizarov Hospital in Kurgan, Russia. Known as the “Soviet Wizard of Bones,” Dr. Ilizarov was the original inventor of numerous external fixation techniques for trauma and limb lengthening techniques for deformity correction.

After traveling nearly 9,000 miles over a twenty hour period to Kurgan, Russia, I joined a team of physicians from the US and Canada. We were housed in modest hotel in close proximity to the hospital. For the next seven days, we interacted with the top surgeons in the world who were trained by Ilizarov himself. Our training was comprehensive centering on the treatment of complex ankle fractures, nonunion fractures, infected nonunion fractures, bone infections, deformity corrections, charcot deformity, compression and distraction treatments for nonunion, limb lengthening, and bone transport for bone regeneration.

The Ilizarov joint distraction is a relatively new technique involving the application of an external frame or fixator across the ankle joint. The Ilizarov frame supports the foot, ankle and tibia with fine tensioned wires similar to the suspension bridge principle.  The frame is designed to allow full weight bearing after the procedure. As the ankle joint is immobilized by the wires, it may be necessary to wear a rocker sole shoe while it is in place.

The frame is used to open up the ankle joint. It can achieve this as it is fixed on either side of the ankle. The distance between the two points of fixation across the ankle joint is increased using bars and nuts. This stretches the soft tissues and opens the joint. The traction is maintained usually for three months; then the frame is removed. The initial operation is normally combined with an arthroscopic debridement of the ankle joint.

When our daily sessions ended, we socialized with the Russian physicians who opened up their homes and hearts to us.  After much toasting and fellowship, I could not help reflect the progress that has been made since the early nineties.  This experience was a real eye opener for me. As I returned home to the states I not only had a whole new perspective on medicine, but acquired new surgical skills for complex foot and ankle reconstruction.