Utah boasts a wealth of outdoor activities, and while the health benefits of hiking and skiing are hard to deny, they also are accompanied by a certain number of unavoidable strains, sprains, twists and, yes, fractures from time to time. It’s because of those cases it pays to know an excellent Salt Lake City orthopedics specialist.
With these kinds of trauma, it’s a good idea to see a Salt Lake City orthopedics professional such as an orthopedic surgeon or an emergency doctor. Cuts, lacerations or punctures should also be treated as soon as possible by the appropriate foot care specialist. Yet there also are other symptoms for which you should not hesitate to see a a Salt Lake City orthopedics specialist:
- persistent pain in ankles, toes or anywhere along the feet
- blisters or swelling
- ingrown toenails
- discoloration, brittleness, thickening, loosening or crumbling toenails, which could be symptoms of fungal infection
- streaks of red or swelling
- stress fractures—cracks in the bones of the foot caused by overuse
- severe cracking, scaling or peeling of skin on your foot
- corns—harder, swollen skin on joints and other parts of the foot, usually caused by incorrect footwear
- bunions—a deformity in which the big toe points toward the other toes
- hammer toes—when the toes are bent into a claw- or hammer-like position
- heel spurs—a painful condition on the underside of the heel, caused when the plantar tendon on the bottom of the foot hardens where it attaches to the heel bone
- plantar fasciitis—a painful inflammation on the sole of the foot, causing stiffness, aching or burning on the bottom of the foot
- flat feet, or a collapse of the arch as a result of improper development of the foot during childhood, trauma or stress later in life.
Salt Lake City orthopedics specialists can address many of these problems with simple measures, such as better footwear or a simple topical cream. Other issues, including plantar fasciitis, can be addressed with minimally invasive surgery.
Treatment for heel pain
Some Salt Lake City orthopedics specialists, including the Foot & Ankle Institute (a part of Heiden Davidson Orthopedics) have begun to use a new minimally invasive surgery technique to treat plantar fasciitis. In the FAST Technique, the orthopedic surgeon makes a tiny incision in the sole of the foot while the patient is under local anesthesia—meaning fully awake but under a mild sedative to reduce anxiety.
Using a toothpick-sized instrument, the surgeon carefully removes thickened, scarred tissue from the affected area.
A short time after the operation, the patient is able to bear full weight when wearing a special walking boot. The foot is fully healed after three to four weeks.
Treatment options to suit the patient
Salt Lake City orthopedics specialists focus on a patient’s need first. Sometimes the solution to ongoing foot pain is related to the gait—the way a patient walks and places his or her feet. Gait analysis and proper selection, sizing and fitting of footwear, including socks, can make a huge difference in a patient’s comfort as well as performance.
Whether it’s custom footwear, braces, orthopedic devices, surgery or other treatments, Salt Lake City orthopedics specialists and foot-health professionals work with their patients to reduce pain, heal wounds, sprains and strains and find the optimal solutions that restore full motion and function as quickly as possible.