|ELITE STRIDE FOOT AND ANKLE CENTER||
There are a various causes of soft tissue masses or skin lesions on the foot and leg. It is important to perform a self evaluation of your feet and legs daily after the shower. Make sure to inspect in between your toes as well. Things to look for are: discolored areas, pronounced lumps, painful masses, wounds (especially if they are not healing), and raised areas of skin. Has the area grown in size? Has the area become painful? Has the area changed color or shape? If you notice an area of concern, do not hesitate to make an appointment with a foot doctor. It is better to get a proper workup early, rather than later, in order to pave a plan of treatment. Your podiatrist may take xrays, perform a biopsy, order an MRI, order labs, etc. The area of question may be cancerous or may be something completely benign, like a wart. It is important to clear your mind by seeking proper evaluation and treatment early. Your podiatrist can also educate you on preventative measures. If you suspect an area of concern on your skin of the foot or leg, please call us at 561-626-3338.
So you have a BUNION.....
The medical name for a bunion is known as hallux valgus. Its key feature is a bump on the side of the big toe joint which is a sign of changes within that joint. The big toe starts to shift and abut the second toe instead of pointing straight. The big toe joint acts as the foundation for a tremendous amount of your body weight. Because of this, bunions can cause extreme pain if left untreated. There are a variety of non-surgical treatments available such as, but not limited to, orthotics or insoles that are placed into your shoes, injections to relieve pain, supportive orthopedic shoes to control and stabilize your foot, and foot paddings to provide comfort. Surgical management is also an option if your bunion is inhibiting your daily activities or the pain continues to persist. There are many different types of bunion surgeries. Bunion surgery is tailored to your specific foot. If you have a bump on the side of your big toe joint, call Elite Stride Foot & Ankle Center today. One of our top of the line surgeons will evaluate you fully, perform x-rays of your foot, explain the mechanisms behind your big toe joint pain, and deliver a treatment plan that best suits you. Take the first stride to foot pain relief today! Call 561-626-3338.
Bare feet are universally associated with summer, but for those who enjoy walking barefoot, Dr. DeJesus warns that inattention to seemingly minor puncture wounds on the soles of your feet can allow serious infections to develop and spread.
“Going barefoot heightens risk for puncture wounds, which require different treatment from cuts because the tiny holes often harbor foreign matter under the skin,” says Dr. Lady Paula DeJesus, DPM, FACFAS, a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. “Glass, nails, needles and seashells are common offenders. Regardless of the substance, anything that remains in the wound increases your chances for complications.”
Puncture wounds in the feet too often are superficially treated, according to Dr. DeJesus, and it is best to get proper care within the first 24 hours to make sure anything that might be embedded in the wound is removed. She notes research suggests that 10 percent of puncture wounds do result in serious infection, but such complications can be prevented with prompt and appropriate medical attention.
The depth and relative cleanliness of a puncture wound are the main factors determining possible infection risk.
“Studies show 60 percent of patients who required incision and drainage of a puncture wound had something embedded,” says Dr. DeJesus. “With the increasing prevalence of drug-resistant bacteria, even healthy people are getting potentially life-threatening staph infections. So if you step on something and the skin is broken, get treated right away.”
Treatment involves a thorough cleaning to decrease infection risk. Tetanus shots often are needed. Following treatment, the wound should be monitored carefully at home.
“Sometimes an infection can develop later and migrate to the bones,” says Dr. DeJesus. “So if the wound stays red, swollen and sore after a few days, go back to the doctor for further treatment. In all cases, a puncture wound on your foot should never be taken lightly.”
For further information about puncture wounds and other foot conditions, contact Dr. DeJesus at
561-626-3338 or visit the ACFAS consumer Web site, FootHealthFacts.org.
Parents can prevent a common childhood foot problem by following some simple recommendations. Foot and ankle surgeon Dr. Lady Paula DeJesus, DPM, FACFAS, says ingrown toenails are one of the most frequent conditions she treats in children. Many kids hide their ingrown toenails from their parents, even though the condition can cause significant pain. An ingrown nail can break the skin and lead to dangerous infections.
Dr. DeJesus blames tight shoes, tight socks and incorrect nail trimming for most cases. In others, the children may inherit the tendency for nails to curve. Dr. DeJesus shares the following tips from the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.
Teach children how to trim their toenails properly. Trim toenails in a fairly straight line, and don't cut them too short.
Make sure children's shoes fit. Shoe width is more important than length. Make sure that the widest part of the shoe matches the widest part of your child's foot.
If a child develops a painful ingrown toenail, reduce the inflammation by soaking the child's foot in
room-temperature water with epsom salt and gently massaging the side of the nail fold.
The only proper way to treat a child's ingrown toenail is with a minor surgical procedure at a doctor's office. Parents should never try to dig the nail out or cut it off. These dangerous "bathroom surgeries" carry a high risk for infection. Dr. DeJesus says she may prescribe antibiotics to children with infected ingrown toenails.
For more information on pediatric foot problems such as ingrown toenails, contact Dr. DeJesus at
561-626-3338 or visit the ACFAS Web site, FootHealthFacts.org.
When at the pool or beach we all lather up with sun screen to protect our skin from the harmful rays of the sun. But do we remember to apply sunscreen to our feet?
Many don’t realize skin cancer can occur on the feet from unprotected sun exposure, and overlook applying sunscreen to the area. But, Dr. Lady Paula DeJesus, DPM, FACFAS warns skin cancer of the foot is prevalent and can even be fatal if not caught early.
While all types of skin cancer, including squamous cell and basal cell carcinoma, can be found on the foot, the most common is the most serious form, melanoma. Symptoms can be as subtle as an abnormal looking mole or freckle found anywhere on the foot, and often go unnoticed without routine foot exams.
According to foot and ankle surgeon Dr. DeJesus early diagnosis is key to effective treatment for the condition. But because people aren’t looking for the early warning signs or taking the same precautions they do for other areas of the body, often times skin cancer in this region is not diagnosed until later stages.
“I advise my patients to regularly inspect their feet, including the soles, in between their toes and even under their toenails, for any changing moles or spots and to have any suspicious areas promptly examined by a foot and ankle specialist,” Dr. DeJesus explains.
For more information on skin cancer of the foot contact Dr. DeJesus at 561-626-3338 or visit the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons’ Web site, FootHealthFacts.org.
Many Achilles tendon surgery patients in Palm Beach County are getting back on their feet faster, thanks to new procedures and techniques.
Dr. Lady Paula DeJesus, DPM, FACFAS, a foot and ankle surgeon in Palm Beach Gardens, says the introduction of tissue graft products, bone anchors, radio frequency treatments and new arthroscopic procedures provide patients with less invasive treatments and speedier recovery times.
"These surgical advances will shorten recovery times for many patients, allowing them to get back to their jobs and active lifestyles in less time," says Dr. DeJesus.
The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscle to the heel bone in the back of the leg and facilitates walking. The most common Achilles condition is tendonitis, an inflammation of the tendon. Dr. DeJesus says most tendonitis cases can be successfully treated with non-surgical methods such as rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy.
But some tendonitis patients develop scar tissue on the tendon, or their tendon fibers weaken and develop microscopic tears, a condition called Achilles tendonosis. Fixing these problems may require surgery and weeks to months of recovery.
Dr. DeJesus says recently-introduced radio frequency technology can shorten recovery time for some patients by using radio waves to stimulate healing in the tendon. The procedure requires smaller incisions to insert the wand-like radio frequency device. Smaller incisions mean less damage to skin and muscle, less pain, and lower risk of surgical infections. Patients recover faster.
Achilles tendon ruptures are the most serious Achilles injuries. Most patients require surgery to decrease the likelihood of a re-rupture. Various techniques are available, and increasingly may include tissue grafts used as a bridge to link the detached tendon lengths. The graft provides a scaffold on which new tissue grows, increases the overall strength of the repair, and is usually absorbed by the body within a year.
Dr. DeJesus is a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons and is board CERTIFIED with The American Board of Foot & Ankle Surgery and with The American Board of Podiatric Medicine.
Dr. DeJesus' phone number is 561-626-3338.
Go to the ACFAS consumer Web site, FootHealthFacts.org, for reliable information on Achilles tendon problems.
It’s not what fashion-conscious women want to hear—another warning about high heels.
But according to a Palm Beach Gardens foot and ankle surgeon, pump-style shoes often cause significant pain by irritating a common bony deformity on the back of the heel called ‘pump bump.’ In many cases, it can lead to bursitis or Achilles tendonitis if left untreated.
“Pump bump is common in young women who wear high heels almost every day,” says Dr. Lady Paula DeJesus, DPM, FACFAS. She is a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS).
“The rigid back of a pump-style shoe can create pressure that aggravates the heel bone when walking,” says Dr. DeJesus.
According to the ACFAS Consumer Web site, FootHealthFacts.org, the bump or bony protrusion is a hereditary deformity that can cause Achilles tendonitis or bursitis due to constant irritation from pump-style shoes. Those with high arches or tight Achilles tendons are especially vulnerable to developing pump bump if they work in high heels.
The medical term for the disorder is Haglund’s deformity. In addition to the noticeable bump, symptoms include pain where the Achilles tendon attaches to the heel, swelling in the back of the heel and redness in the area.
In most women, doctors can prescribe medications to reduce the pain and inflammation. This does not, however, get rid of the bony protrusion. Dr. DeJesus says icing the back of the heel reduces swelling, and stretching exercises can relieve tension in the Achilles. Long-term, it’s best to avoid wearing high heels, if possible.
“When the dress code requires high heels, I tell my female patients to try heel lifts to decrease pressure on the heel," says Dr. DeJesus. "Or, I recommend they wear appropriate dress shoes that have soft backs or are backless.”
Women with foot pain can contact Dr. DeJesus's office at 561-626-3338. For more information on "pump bump" and other foot and ankle conditions, visit FootHealthFacts.org.
Foot and ankle problems in children often go unnoticed. Signs and symptoms can be subtle, and sometimes children can’t explain what’s wrong. It’s important to protect growing feet and have problems checked out early. Dr. Lady Paula DeJesus, DPM, FACFAS, a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, offers five warning signs parents should watch for.
1. Your Kids Can’t Keep Up with Their Peers
If children lag behind in sports or backyard play, it may be because their feet or legs are tired. Fatigue is common when children have flat feet. The muscles in the feet and legs tire easily because the feet are not functioning as well as they should.
2. Children Voluntarily Withdraw from Activities they Usually Enjoy
If they are reluctant to participate, it may be due to heel pain — a problem often seen in children between the ages of 8 and 14. Repetitive stress from sports may cause muscle strain and inflammation of the growth plate, a weak area at the back of a child’s heel.
3. They Don’t Want to Show You Their Feet
Children may feel pain or notice a change in the appearance of their feet or nails but don’t tell their parents because they fear a trip to the doctor’s office. Dr. DeJesus encourages parents to make a habit of inspecting their child’s feet starting at a young age. Look for any changes such as calluses, growths, skin discoloration, or redness and swelling around the toenails.
4. Your Child Often Trips and Falls
Repeated clumsiness may be a sign of in-toeing, balance problems or neuromuscular conditions.
5. The Child Complains of Pain
It is never normal for a child to have foot pain. Injuries may seem minor, but if pain or swelling last more than a few days, have your child’s foot examined.
If you’ve noticed any of these signs in your children, call Dr. DeJesus' office at 561-626-3338 for an assessment. For more information on foot conditions visit the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons’ Web site, FootHealthFacts.org.
Do you ever feel burning, tingling or numbness in your feet and toes? Dr. DeJesus warns against ignoring those symptoms. They could be a warning sign of diabetes.
Dr. DeJesus, DPM, FACFAS, says those symptoms may be caused by a condition called diabetic peripheral neuropathy, or nerve damage. Neuropathy in the feet can lead to permanent numbness, deformities such as bunions and hammertoes, and dry skin that cracks open and won't heal.
"Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is not only painful but dangerous," says Dr. DeJesus, a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. "It's a leading contributor to foot ulcers in people with diabetes."
Burning, tingling and numbness in toes can also be symptoms of thyroid problems, nutritional deficiencies, back problems and pinched nerves in the ankles. In the United States, diabetes is the leading cause of peripheral neuropathy and can lead to further foot complications.
Out of the 23 million Americans with diabetes, one in four has not been diagnosed. Some people learn they have diabetes only after seeing a doctor for burning, tingling and numbness in their toes and feet. Many people already diagnosed with diabetes are not familiar with neuropathy's symptoms. According to FootHealthFacts.org, even diabetic patients who have excellent blood sugar control can develop diabetic neuropathy.
Medications can treat pain caused by neuropathy. However, nerve damage cannot be reversed.
"When you have diabetes, especially diabetic neuropathy, a minor cut on your foot can turn into a catastrophe," says Dr. DeJesus. "The statistics on diabetic ulcers are sobering."
Twenty percent of diabetes patients who develop ulcers will require an amputation. Patients who are black, Hispanic and Native American are twice as likely as whites to need a diabetes-related amputation. Half of all people with diabetes who have a toe or foot amputation die within three years. The annual cost for diabetic ulcer care in the U.S. is estimated at $5 billion.
For more information on foot problems such as diabetic peripheral neuropathy, make an appointment with Dr. DeJesus by calling 561-626-3338.