American Foot and Ankle Specialists

Posts for tag: Dr. Michael Stegman


Heal Your Sprain


Ankle sprains are not serious injuries but by not being careful, it is extremely easy to sprain your ankle multiple times after the original injury.  Preventing chronic ankle sprains is simple.  Once your ankle has fully healed, apply some strengthening exercises to rebuild the tendons, ligaments, and muscles surrounding the ankle. 


After a sprain, the ankle is weak.  Any little misstep can cause another ankle injury.  It can cause the ankle to re-roll or re-twist and a person will then have to undergo another six weeks of healing.  This means that after spending weeks being careful, you will have to spend another month and half healing again. 


Immediately after your sprain, get off your ankle, lie down, elevate your foot, and ice your ankle.  Ice the ankle 3 times per day for 15 minutes each time and do this for the first week after your injury.  This will greatly reduce the amount of inflammation and pain you will experience.  Next, if you cannot walk without crutches or have tremendous pain while standing, definitely use crutches for the first few days.  

The goal after an ankle sprain is to prevent any further damage to the ankle.  A black and blue around the ankle is normal.  The next step is to come in for a visit at the American Foot and Ankle Specialists.  We will provide an x-ray to determine that you do have a sprain and not anything more severe such as a fracture.  Ankle sprains usually take around six weeks to heal.  


Prevent Long-Term Injury


The reason to see one of our podiatrists is to prevent any long term ankle symptoms.  We provide the treatment and advice to avoid chronic ankle sprains and future disability.  One of the best tools to prevent future ankle injuries is to wear an ankle brace while your ankle is healing.  An ankle brace restricts the movement of the ankle joint making it virtually impossible to sustain further ankle damage 


An ankle sprain can range for mild to severe.  With a sever ankle sprain, you may feel wobbly and unable to walk.  In this type of sprain, you will definitely want to wear crutches and come in for an office visit.  You can choose to come in to either our Sun City podiatry office or Scottsdale podiatry office.  We will do everything in our power to make sure you heal quickly. 


Call (480) 483-9000 and schedule your consultation today.


By Michael Stegman


Prevent Further Injury


Suffering an ankle sprain is often a shock because it usually isn’t a severe injury but just enough to keep you immobile.  Now, as a podiatrist, one of the main focuses I tell my patients to have is that there are two stages to healing an ankle sprain: the actual healing of the sprain and the rehabilitation of the sprain.  Both are equally important and in this post, I’ll explain why and how to go about quickly healing your sprain. 


Most sprains take around 6 weeks to heal.  The first step after a sprain is just to get off your ankle, elevate your foot and ice it.  Ice your ankle 3 times a day for fifteen minutes for the first week until inflammation has subsided.  The decrease in inflammation will help the ankle to heal faster.  


Also, if you can’t walk without pain, use crutches until you can.  The goal of sprain repair is to do whatever it takes not to further damage your ankle as this will only prolong the healing process.  Once you can walk on your ankle with little to no pain, use an ankle brace until your ankle is fully healed. 

An ankle brace is crucial to treating an ankle sprain because it restricts the movement of the ankle going making it virtually impossible to further damage the ligaments, tendons, and muscles around the ankle.  


Make sure to come in for an office visit at the American Foot and Ankle Specialists to see on of our podiatrists.  It is vital to take an x-ray of your ankle to ensure that you did not fracture your ankle but only sprain it.  This way we will know how to treat it and if you did fracture it, there will be a completely different path toward healing.  


Now, if you do have black and blues surrounding your ankle, don’t worry.  This is completely normal.  Again, it will take about 6 weeks to heal and once healed, you will have an equally important job to do in regards to healing the ankle. 


Re-Strengthen Ankle Weakness


Rehabilitation of the ankle prevents a re-sprain and chronic re-sprains that commit the patient to a long period of injury.  Because the ankle is extremely weak after a sprain, any simple, little mister can cause the ankle to roll or twist and you will have to undergo another six weeks of healing.  Physical Therapy will be helpful at this point.  


The first step is to determine the extent of your sprain by getting an x-ray.  Call (480) 483-9000 and schedule an appointment with one of our foot doctors.


Why Bunion Pain Starts


The medical term for a bunion is hallux values and symptoms include bone deformity, pain, and stiffness.  A bunion will continue to grow until a significant change in lifestyle occurs and if you are experiencing pain, it is time to immediately visit a podiatrist at the American Foot and Ankle Specialists. 


Bunion are particularly painful because as they grow, they rub up against the side of a person’s shoes.  This causes inflammation, redness, and tenderness.  After some time, cuts form on the bunion and the constant rubbing of the cuts causes tremendous pain and can even lead to an infection.  A diabetic needs to be particularly careful and come in immediately for podiatry treatment because an infection can result in an amputation.  


Reducing Bunion Pain


The way to decrease inflammation and stop the progression of bunion size is quite simple.  The first thing is to stop wearing shoes that squeeze your feet. Bunions are more common in women than in men because the prevalence of wearing high heels in our culture leads to the development of a bunion since high heels squeeze the toes so tightly together.  This squeezing is often the cause of joint inflammation and bone deformity.  


You can start of by placing a cold compress on the bunion to help decrease inflammation.  Bunion pads protect the bunion from rubbing up against one’s shoes and wearing wider, more flexible shoes will take much of the pressure off a bunion.  Changing one’s shoes to comfortable footwear will immediately provide relief but I suggest knowing which shoes to wear based on your foot type, which we can go over during an office visit.  


If you bunion has developed calluses, we can shave the callus to protect you against foot pain.  Importantly, our podiatrists provide custom-made, prescription orthotics to increase foot support while walking.  By relieving foot pressure, the bunion may stop growing altogether.  


When Conservative Treatment Doesn't Work


In cases where foot pain will not go away, surgery is recommended.  Bone surgery realigns, lengthens, or shortens the bone often getting rid of the bone.   It restores normal alignment to the toes, which relieves pain and removes unnecessary inflammation-causing tissue from the joint.  Surgery also can straighten your big toe stopping the protrusion of the joint.  


The American Foot and Ankle Specialists have offices both in Sun City and Scottsdale, Arizona.  Our specialists have helped patients for over two decades relieve bunion pain and we are confident that we can help you stop the progression of your bunion and provide you a solution to this painful problem.  


Call (480) 483-9000 and schedule your consultation. 


Causes Of Heel Pain


There are two common causes of heel pain.  One is plantar fasciitis and the other is a heel spur.  Each cause creates tremendous foot pain, especially at the heel and if you are experiencing heel pain, it is time to see a podiatrist at the American Foot and Ankle Specialists, where we can fully examine your feet and put you on the path to recovery.  


Plantar Fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia band suddenly restricts, tightens, become inflamed, and pain begins.  It normally starts after a sudden increase in activity and tight calf and foot muscles contribute to the constricting of the plantar fascia band.  People with flat feet or high-arched feet tend to develop plantar fasciitis at least once in their lifetime, especially if they are wearing shoes that don’t support their lifestyle. 

There are two ways that a person’s shoes can harm their feet causing foot pain and ultimately, lead to a plantar fasciitis foot condition.  Firstly, certain shoes are made for certain foot types.  It is entirely possible that if someone does not know this fact, they can pick a shoe at the store that supports an entirely different foot shape.  A person with flat feet can end up leaving the store with shoes that are for people with high-arched feet.  When a person wears the wrong shoes, it can easily lead to foot pain, tight muscles, and plantar fasciitis. 


The in soles of a shoe can also lead to foot pain and plantar fasciitis.  In soles are made into a generic shape with cheap material by many of the most popular shoe companies.  Such a generic shape doesn’t support foot types like those with flat feet or high-arched feet.  If you are wearing generic in soles, then this might be one of the causes of incessant foot pain.  The way to solve this problem though is quite easy.  


Treatment Of Heel Pain


Prescription orthotics made by a podiatrist at either our Sun City podiatry or Scottsdale podiatry offices will provide your feet tremendous support and quickly relieve some of the foot pain that you are experiencing on a daily basis.  Stretching and strengthening exercises are also important to heal plantar fasciitis as well as soft-tissue massage to loosen the plantar fascia band and break up any possible scar tissue.  


Heel spurs are bony projections that protrude from the heel bone, which is the largest bone in the foot.  They results in a painful jabbing or aching sensation and you may experience pain when standing up, pro-longed periods of sitting, or when you first arise in the morning.  


Many treatments that work for plantar fasciitis such as orthotics, stretching, and exercise help decrease the pain of heel spurs but if a heel spur, continues to bother a person after conservative treatment, surgery is sometimes recommended.   


The first step to treatment is understanding why you are having this problem.  Call (480) 483-9000 and we will help you figure out and treat this problem so you do not have to suffer foot pain anymore. 


By Michael Stegman


Foot Pain Without Orthotics 


The shape of your feet may be causing you foot pain and if you aren’t wearing the right shoes or in soles, your foot pain will likely only get worse.  Patients at the American Foot and Ankle Specialists always ask me what is the best thing they can do right now to relieve their foot pain and the answer is always the same. 


The first thing that I do is look at their foot type.  They may have flat feet, normal arches, or high-arches.  Afterwards, I look at their shoes and in soles.  People with flat feet and high-arches need custom made orthotics in order to avoid foot pain.  If a person hasn’t seen professional about their footwear, they are likely either wearing the wrong shoes or in soles or both.  


In every shoe, there is an in sole.  These in soles are shaped for the “average” foot and made of generic, cheap material.  If a person has flat feet or high-arched feet, their in soles may actually be causing their foot pain.


A podiatrist at the American Foot and Ankle Specialists will cast your foot and take a mold of it’s shape.  From this, your own pair of prescription orthotics will be made.  My patients are always amazed at how much better they feel when wearing our orthotics.  The reason is because these orthotics match both the shape of your feet and walking pattern giving you the maximum amount of support while you walk.


Changing Footwear To Reduce Foot Pain 


Custom orthotics are one important way to end foot pain.  The second way is to make sure you have the proper shoes on.  Different shoes are made for different foot types.  Some shoes are made for high arches while others are made for flat feet.  The problem is that most people do not know this when they are shoe shopping and end up buying a pair of shoes that do not support their foot shape.  In these cases, such shoes cause foot pain. 


If you have foot pain, it is time to see a podiatrist at either our Sun City podiatry or Scottsdale podiatry office.  People that are always on their feet, especially for work or exercise will often need custom made orthotics.  


Orthotics found in stores like CVS will not have the same heavy duty support as a prescription made orthotic.  The material will be less quality as well so if you have tried store bought orthotics and your feet are still paining you, this is likely the reason. 


Schedule Your Consultation


Everyday, we help patients overcome foot pain with podiatry treatment.  Call (480) 483-9000 and schedule your consultation today!  


By Michael Stegman