Are you suffering spending a lot of time on your feet? The longer foot pain goes unaddressed, the longer the healing process can take. This National Feet Week, Liam Stapleton our Sports Medicine Podiatrist answers some common questions around podiatry treatments.
What does a Sports Podiatrist treat?
Podiatric Sports Medicine is the study and treatment of lower limb sports injury. In general, I specialise in foot and ankle injuries, but I regularly treat leg and knee injuries. These normally involve joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons but include nerve injuries too. Diagnosis is key in treating any condition such as ultrasound scanning in clinic, biomechanic and gait analysis. They not only answer the question, what is wrong, but why? Treatment options vary depending on the injury, ranging from exercise rehabilitation, custom orthotic insoles, injections, shockwave therapy and occasionally surgery.
Benenden Hospital offers an un-rivalled Sports Podiatry service. It beats anywhere in the South East with the best in-house diagnostic imaging, rehab services, treatments options and in-house specialist referral if necessary.
I have recently picked up an injury; how do I prevent arthritis in the future?
Recent studies show that injuries such as sprained ankles and impact injuries can lead to arthritis in later life. To avoid this, early treatment is essential. Often there will be no broken bones with a twisting ankle injury but what the X-ray may not show is the ligament or cartilage injury which can lead to joint arthritis later in life. Benenden Hospital offer ultrasound imaging in clinic within its Podiatry service and state of-the-art MRI imaging to get a complete diagnosis as early as possible.
How do I go about treating Morton’ Neuroma?
A Morton’s Neuroma is a trapped nerve in the ball of your foot. It is associated with narrow and heeled shoes, but many varieties of shoes can exacerbate the condition. With footwear the key is getting shoes that suit YOUR feet!
In clinic, an ultrasound scan will confirm the diagnosis. Conservative treatment including injections and insoles will usually relieve pain for most. However, the worst affected may need a small surgical procedure. This is a condition which rarely improves with time alone, and often worsens so early treatment is essential.
How do I treat Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis is a very common injury to the heel. There are many causes, and treatment may depend as much on understanding WHY one may have it not just WHAT it is. Biomechanic and gait assessment may prove key. Occasionally, there may be tears in the plantar fascia and these need early detection, which is quickly done with an ultrasound scan in clinic.
Treatment also differs if you have suffered for a long time. Acute cases may respond best to an ultrasound-guided injection, but we know chronic long-term cases respond best to shockwave therapy coupled with exercise rehab. Those who have biomechanic reasons increasing strain on the Plantar Fascia often do best with custom orthotic insoles.
How do you treat ankle joint arthritis?
Ankle arthritis can be debilitating and threaten quality of life. Surgery is an option, and while procedures are improving all the time, success often doesn’t match similar procedures on knees and hips. The use of injectables therefore offers fantastic management options. Whilst Cortisone injections are well known for arthritis, Benenden Hospital’s Sports Medicine Podiatrist Mr Liam Stapleton offers hyaluronic acid Ostenil injections which lubricate the joint, reducing the grinding in an arthritic joint, like WD40 on a squeaky door hinge! These have been proven to reduce the need for surgery on arthritic joints.
What professions are most likely to cause Podiatry problems?
Anyone can suffer foot problems at any time of life. Sporting injuries, however, are not exclusive to sports people. I would consider someone wanting to return to regular daily activities like dog walking or shopping just as important as the marathon runner competing in three week’s time. Professions which require more walking and standing will always carry a higher risk of foot injury, with some even having injuries named after them. These include Policeman’s Heel, occasionally known as Postman’s Heel, Chef’s Foot also known as hallux rigidus and March fracture after the marching new army recruits must do.
Who is most likely to have Podiatry issues?
Children suffer the most with conditions like verruca’s, and often suffer with development issues like flat feet. Teenagers often suffer issues like growing pains and ingrown toenails. Women are three times more likely to suffer all sports injuries, as well as some joint issues like rheumatoid arthritis and bunions. Men suffer conditions like gout ten times more often than women, and often have circulation trouble like peripheral vascular disease.
To book an appointment with our highly-experienced specialists in foot and ankle care, take a look at our Podiatry Treatments or call our private patient team to book 01580 242521
Published on 09 March 2020