26 bones. 33 joints. Over 100 tendons, muscles, and ligaments. That’s what makes up the complex structure of each foot!
The American Podiatric Association (APA) estimates that the average person takes between 8,000 and 10,000 steps daily. That adds up to over 110,000 miles in a lifetime!
Let’s think about that for a minute; with all the work your feet do getting you around, it’s no wonder they hurt and develop different aches and ailments over time.
But many of us ignore those “tiny” aches and pains in our feet.
In many cases, foot and ankle injuries will go away with a little rest, medication, maybe ice, compression and elevation.
But these aids don’t work, for everyone, all the time.
In some cases, a visit to the podiatrist is the only way to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Whether a wound develops in your feet, from injury, an accident, or from an underlying condition, the team at Family Foot and Ankle Clinic can help. We can get you on the path to recovery and back to actively living your life.
We think nothing of stuffing our feet into shoes (even ill-fitting ones) or exposing them to rough surfaces. Yet when there is a cut, bruise, or discoloration, we pay our feet no mind. This is reckless as even the tiniest of wounds can easily become infected, if exposed to bacteria.
But how do you know if your wound is a minor one or if it’s a serious one? Here are three wounds that should have you sprinting to your podiatrist.
1. Foot infections
These are painful disorders that form when basic foot injuries are left untreated. Injuries that lead to infection include cuts, abrasions, and puncture wounds.
Symptoms of foot infections include fever, swelling, and redness around the puncture.
The severity of wounds can depend on the depth of the wound, the presence of foreign bodies in the wound, and the “cleanliness” of the penetrating object.
It’s tempting to try and treat puncture wounds by yourself, but you shouldn’t. For one, you can’t even estimate how deep the penetrating object has traveled.
If you receive a puncture wound, make sure you see a podiatrist within 24 hours for a thorough cleaning and careful follow-up.
2. A wound that does not heal
When a sore doesn’t seem to heal, it increases your chance of getting a bone infection (osteomyelitis). This can occur because the skin around the foot and ankle is quite close to the bone. This proximity exposes the bones to any infections that come through the skin.
If you have a sore that doesn’t heal, book an appointment with a podiatrist who can treat wounds, prescribe antibiotics, and carry out urgent surgery, if required. A sore that doesn’t heal can also be indicative of an underlying condition, which is further reason to have your foot examined.
3. Diabetic ulcers
People with diabetes have an increased chance of developing foot sores or ulcers. These ulcers form due to poor circulation, friction, or pressure from ill-fitting shoes, trauma, and other factors.
Due to the onset of peripheral neuropathy, a numbness in the feet from diabetic nerve damage, patients with diabetes may not even be aware of the problem. Diabetic patients must visit the podiatrist regularly to identify any risk factors that could lead to infection of the foot.
These are a few sores that you should never ignore, if you find them on your feet. If you notice any swelling, redness, or soreness around your feet, don’t assume sore feet or foot discomfort are normal.
It might be an indication of a serious health problem.
At Family Foot and Ankle Clinic, Dr. Joel Tikalsky and the team can help diagnose and treat medical conditions of the feet. Even if you feel that your feet are perfectly healthy, it’s a good idea to get them regularly checked by a podiatrist. Our offices in Weston, Merrill, Marathon, Antigo, & Woodruff, Wisconsin, are open Monday through Friday. Visit our website here to schedule an appointment today.