American Foot and Ankle Specialists

Posts for category: Foot Care

February 26, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: bunions  

Bunions, the bony lumps on the inside of the feet, aren't always just abnormal-looking. For some patients at American Foot & Ankle bunionsSpecialists in Sun City and Scottsdale, AZ, bunions are painful and make walking difficult. In these instances, Dr. Michael Stegman and Dr. John Erotas have a variety of ways to treat the pain and help you regain proper movement. They discuss some of these treatments below.

Over-the-counter options

A common complication associated with bunions is the friction that is placed on them while wearing shoes. For this problem, your Sun City and Scottsdale podiatrist will make recommendations on specific products that can be purchased at your local drugstore. There are splints available to help hold the big toe away from the others; the goal is to gradually guide the joint back into place. There are also gel-filled or cushioned pads that can provide a barrier between your bunion and the inside of your shoe; they often look like a sleeve that fits over the front part of the foot and the big toe. Wearing shoe inserts in combination with a bunion pad ensures that your feet are positioned properly and the pressure is evenly distributed.

Prescription options

Sometimes severe bunions do not respond well to "one-size-fits-all" treatments. In cases such as these, your podiatrist may recommend custom orthotics to wear inside your shoes. Orthotics are made from your specific measurements, ensuring a perfect fit that accommodates your needs. You may also need to wear specialized shoes that allow enough room in the toe box for the displaced joint.

Surgical options

If your bunion has caused you unrelenting pain for at least a year, your podiatrist may suggest surgery. This is especially true if the bunion has led to additional issues like hammertoes or bursitis. With bunion surgery, the main goal is to reposition the big toe back into place; this is accomplished by realigning the ligaments, bones, and muscles in the immediate area of the bunion. Recovery from foot surgery can be lengthy, so most physicians advise giving conservative treatments time to work first.

To have your bunions or any foot-related problem evaluated, contact American Foot & Ankle Specialists in Sun City and Scottsdale, AZ today.

February 26, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: neuroma  

We use our feet constantly; the average person takes between five and seven thousand steps every day. It’s no wonder, then, that the feet neuromaare subject to a variety of injuries and conditions that impede walking and cause pain. A neuroma is one such condition, but fortunately for people in Sun City, Arizona, the podiatrists at American Foot and Ankle Associates have the training and experience necessary to treat these nerve tissue disorders effectively. You’ll learn here how Dr. John Erotas and Dr. Michael Stegman help their patients manage their neuromas.

What is a neuroma?

A neuroma is an area where nerve tissue has thickened and become irritated. Repeated friction or compression on a nerve can cause a neuroma to develop in various places on the body, but the feet are at a particular disadvantage since we wear shoes and place pressure on the feet day in and day out. Most of the time, neuromas form between the third and fourth toes; these are known as Morton's neuromas. People who are diagnosed by their Sun City podiatrist as having a neuroma often have pain or tingling in the ball of the foot; it may feel as though you have something in your shoe or your sock is bunched up. Injuries to the foot may result in the formation of a neuroma; wearing narrow shoes can also be a cause. If you have other foot abnormalities, such as hammertoes, bunions or fallen arches, you're at a greater risk for developing a neuroma. 

How neuromas are treated

The standard procedure with most foot problems is to treat the problem conservatively at first; this can mean changing your footwear to something more roomy or wearing cushions or shoe inserts that help to redistribute the pressure on your foot. Your Sun City podiatrist may recommend more in-depth treatments, such as cortisone injections or surgery, if your neuroma doesn't respond well to non-invasive therapy. Early diagnosis helps to increase your chance of success with conservative methods of treatment.

For treatment of a neuroma or any other foot or ankle related problem, the podiatrists at American Foot and Ankle Associates are here for you. Call today to make an appointment with Dr. Stegman or Dr. Erotas at either our Scottsdale and Sun City, AZ location.

December 14, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: foot care   aging feet  

Aging feet develop more problems due to the wear and tear of joints over the course of many years. This can be problematic for many geriatric foot careindividuals, which is why your Scottsdale and Sun City, AZ, podiatrists, Drs. Michael Stegman and John Erotas, are here to help.

The Problem

Aging leads to foot problems because our skin:

  • Thins
  • Loses elasticity
  • Becomes more dry
  • More fragile.

Routine foot care can help avoid the development of diabetes and arthritis, which may affect foot health; healing may take longer for the elderly.

People experience more foot pain, which can be debilitating. Foot pain can be problematic for mobility, especially when someone wants to exercise to maintain their health and pursue social activities, especially as they age.

Signs of aging feet include:

  • More regular aches and pains
  • Developing bunions
  • Signs of clawing of the toes
  • General circulatory problems

How to Stay Healthy

Staying active helps keep feet healthy by:

  • Toning up muscles
  • Strengthening arches
  • Stimulating blood circulation.

General Foot Care Advice from your Scottsdale and Sun City podiatrists

  • Cutting toenails properly to prevent soreness, infections, ulcerations and ingrown toenails.
  • Checking your feet daily and moisturizing them to prevent dryness of the soles, heels, and brittle toenails.
  • Keeping feet warm, like wearing stockings, but make sure they're not too tight to avoid poor circulation and cramps.


The older you get, the more important it is to,

  • Wear comfortable, well-fitting, supportive shoes that hold your foot firmly in place for adequate support
  • Avoid wearing slippers since that will encourage feet to shuffle around
  • A pair of running shoes for proper shock absorption, stability, and arch support
  • Avoid plastic uppers that do not allow feet to breathe and stretch to accommodate your foot shape.

Managing your aging feet is important. If you have any questions or concerns about foot care, you should contact your Scottsdale and Sun City, AZ, podiatrists, Drs. Michael Stegman and John Erotas. They have the expertise to help figure out and treat your foot issues.

By American Foot & Ankle Specialists
October 02, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Ankle Sprain  
Ankle sprains are a very common injury. In fact, more people visit the emergency room due to ankle sprains than any other lower ankle sprainextremity injury, according to a study published in Clinical Orthopaedic and Related Research. Sun City and Scottsdale, AZ, podiatrists Dr. Michael Stegman and Dr. John Erotas of American Foot & Ankle Specialists explain a few signs and symptoms that may occur if you've sprained your ankle.

Your ankle hurts
Did your pain occur after your rolled your foot or twisted your ankle? Sudden changes in the movement of your foot or ankle can tear or stretch ligaments, resulting in a painful sprain. The pain from a sprain may be constant or intermittent and may intensify with activity.

Standing and bending your foot is difficult
Suspect a sprain if it's difficult to put any weight on your ankle or bend your foot. Don't force yourself to use the ankle despite the pain, as this could lengthen healing time.

Your ankle is swollen
Swelling is common after an ankle injury. When you were injured, your body sent white blood cells to your ankle to facilitate healing. In order to get the cells to your ankle quickly, your blood vessels had to expand quickly to accommodate the increased blood flow, which caused the swelling. Ice packs and a compression bandage can help reduce swelling. If you use ice, follow the 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off rule. Place a thin cloth between your skin and the ice bag.

You noticed some sound effects when you hurt your ankle
That popping sound wasn't your imagination. As the ligaments tear or stretch, it's not unusual to hear a pop.

You have a bruise
In addition to swelling, bruising can also occur if you have a swollen ankle.

You have pain on the outside of the ankle both in front and under the ankle bone or in front, under and behind the ankle bone it is best to see the doctors at American Foot & Ankle Specialists.  Also if there is pain on the outside of the leg about 6 inches above the ankle bone.

What should I do if my ankle doesn't get better?
Using the RICE method (rest, ice, compression and elevation) can reduce your pain and help your ankle heal. If walking is difficult or impossible, you have severe pain, or your symptoms does not improve after a week or two, schedule an appointment with our Sun City or Scottsdale office.

A visit to the foot doctor can determine the cause of your ankle pain. If you're concerned about a possible sprained ankle or another foot or ankle problem, schedule an appointment with Drs. Stegman and Erotas of American Foot & Ankle Specialists by calling (623) 977-8388for the Sun City office or (480) 483-9000 for the Scottsdale/Paradise Valley office.
August 07, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: toenail fungus  

One foot problem that you certainly don’t want to reoccur is toenail fungus. It makes your toes smelly and unattractive. At its worse, it could toenail funguscause the loss of a whole toenail, which may affect your ability to walk comfortably throughout the day. Find out how you can get control of chronic toenail fungus and reclaim your toe health with the help of a podiatrist at American Foot & Ankle Specialists in Sun City or Scottsdale, AZ.

The Causes of Toenail Fungus
If you are a swimmer or athlete you are more likely to develop toenail fungus. That’s because the fungus thrives in wet, warm places and is easily spread in these environments. Athletes spend a lot of time in sweaty sneakers, which is why they often have problems with fungus. Someone who already has athlete’s foot on the skin is more prone to getting a toenail fungus as well. People who share public showers without wearing protective shoes often develop toenail fungus.

When It's Chronic 
If you apply an over-the-counter treatment for toenail fungus and it reoccurs soon after, you may have a chronic case. Sometimes the fungus comes back simply because you continue to do the same activities that caused the infection in the first place. In other cases, you just have a stubborn fungal infection that needs a more aggressive treatment by a Sun City or Scottsdale podiatrist.

Podiatric Treatment for Chronic Toenail Fungus
In cases of chronic toenail fungus, your podiatrist will likely recommend a prescription anti-fungal powder, spray, cream, or pill (or a combination of these). If needed, part of the infected nail may be debrided by your foot doctor. In addition to using the anti-fungal agent exactly as prescribed, you’ll need to do the following going forward:

- Properly clean and thoroughly dry your toenails each day.
- Dry your feet immediately after coming out of a pool or shower.
- Clip the nails regularly and neatly.
- Avoid sharing shoes and socks with others—wear clean ones daily. 

Get Your Toenails Healthy Again
All it takes is one call to American Foot & Ankle Specialists in Sun City or Scottsdale, AZ to get help with chronic toenail fungus. A podiatrist can recommend a fast and effective treatment. Call today to set up a foot consultation with Dr. Michael Stegman or Dr. John Erotas.