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Join us on our FaceBook Page!  See Dr Felton’s interviews.  He will answer commonly asked questions and show you how custom orthotics are made.  Plus, there is a video of a toenail removal.

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PRP, or Platelet Rich Plasma injections, now available at Twin Cities Foot and Ankle Clinic

PRP, or Platelet Rich Plasma, is a non-surgical technique to restore health to injured structures like tendons, joints, or muscles. It is your own blood, passed through a process that concentrates the platelets, and healing factors. This is then carefully injected back into the injured area, and this then helps to speed up the healing, using you own body’s blood. In addition to increased concentration of platelets, the resulting serum that is injected back into your own body has increased levels of a variety of growth factors. These growth factors have been shown to increase the rate at which tissue heals.

What conditions can be treated using PRP?

– Chronic tendonitis such as Achilles Tendonitis or Plantar Fasciitis

– Acute injuries of tendon, ligament or muscle, and even bone fractures

– Arthritis

– During surgery PRP is sometimes used to increase the rate of healing of the tissues.

Many professional athletes have used PRP as part of their recovery from injuries. These include Tiger Woods, Olympic swimmer Dara Torres, Tennis Stars Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova, NBA players such as Stephen Curry and Kobe Bryant.

Please contact us if you would like to try this treatment on your injury.

“I’m too embarrassed to show this nail to the doctor” (warning: graphic content)

One of the problems we see at Twin Cities Foot and Ankle Clinic is that some people are too embarrassed to show their feet, even to the doctor.  There is one patient I recall who never went barefoot, because growing up, feet were treated as “private parts”, never to be shown.  This is cultural for some, just squeamishness for others.

 

This is the toe of a woman in her 50’s who just didn’t want anyone to see the nail when it began to grow in like this. ,

or this elderly patient who refused to take off her shoes for her family .

There is this young woman in her 20’s who never wore sandals because she was embarrassed about the appearance of this baby toe

There are people who look at an  toenail that is starting to change in appearance,

  but they don’t come in because they are embarrassed, and the next year it could look like this:   

 

Bunions and hammertoes start out mild, like this: , but if left untreated, could end up like this: .

Of course, that change won’t happen overnight, but the time to start treatment is when it is very mild.

 

We would rather seen an ingrown toenail when it looks like this:  than wait until it looks like this:

 

So, just know that as bad as you think your foot looks, we’ve seen worse!!  Please schedule an appointment today!

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What is ESWT, and will it help my plantar fasciitis?

One of the most common complaints seen in patients coming to foot and ankle specialists is heel pain.   A 2010 study estimated that

5 million people

are being treated for heel pain at any given time.  ¹

There are many causes of heel pain.  The most common is Plantar Fasciitis.

One tool we have at Twin Cities Foot and Ankle Clinic is ESWT.  This stands for Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy.  But many people don’t like the sound of a treatment that has the word “shock” in it, so it is also being called Acoustic Compression Therapy.  Simply put, it is a pulsed ultrasound wave that goes into the tissue, and will help break up scar tissue.  It can be used on tendon, ligament, muscle, or joint.  Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most researched uses for this technology in the lower extremity, along with Achilles Tendonitis.

Up until recently, the only option for using this technology, which is similar to that which is used to break up kidney stones in the operating room, was the OssaTron.  This required patients to be under general anesthesia and left them with quite a lot of pain following the procedure.

photo courtesy of Sanuwave Health, Inc.

 

We now have many options for a lower intensity of the same technology that can be used in the clinic with no anesthesia and no lasting pain.  In fact, most patients notice less pain upon standing immediately following the procedure.  Our particular unit is called the Well Wave.  We have used this treatment for over 2 years on over 250 patients, including some Minnesota Vikings, and have noted remarkable results.  It is not a one-time fix, but it allows our patients to stay active while undergoing treatment.

Recently, a study was done on long term satisfaction of patients who used this technology for Plantar Fasciitis after failing other treatments.  “The study included 75 patients and 87.5 percent of the patients were either satisfied or very satisfied with their ESWT experience at an average of nine years after treatment…”. ²

¹(Tong KB, Furia J. Economic burden of plantar fasciitis treatment in the United States. Am J Orthop. 2010; 39(5):227-31).

²(Weil L Jr., et al. Long-term results of extracorporeal shockwave treatment for chronic plantar fasciitis. Presented at the International Society for Medical Shockwave Treatment Annual Meeting, Chicago, June 2010.)

Julio Jones and Turf Toe

Atlanta Falcon’s wide receiver, considered by some to be the best wide receiver in the NFC, is considering surgery for his turf toe injury.  What is Turf Toe?

According to WebMD, “ ‘Turf toe’ is the common term used to describe a sprain of the ligaments around the big toe joint. Although it’s commonly associated with football players who play on artificial turf, it affects athletes in other sports including soccer, basketball, wrestling, gymnastics, and dance. It’s a condition that’s caused by jamming the big toe or repeatedly pushing off the big toe forcefully as in running and jumping.”  Artificial turf increases the incidence of this injury, leading to the name this particular sprain is known by.

 (photo courtesy of okfootmd.com)

At Twin Cities Foot and Ankle Clinic, we treat patients from professional athletes to high school athletes with this problem.  A patient will usually present after a particular injury that they can point to, and the pain just stays.  It will affect how they use the foot, and will affect their ability to perform in their particular sport.  As a result of walking in such a way to avoid the big toe joint pain, they may also present with knee or hip pain, as well.

Treatment usually starts with taping the foot and toe joint to stop upward movement of the joint, rest, ice and antiiflammatory medications.  For the vast majority of patients, this is all we need to do.  The physician may choose to include various types of physical therapy measures such as ultrasound, ESWT, light therapy, and manual therapy.  A good biomechanical evaluation of the foot is also recommended to find ways to prevent recurrence of the injury.  An X-Ray of the foot can often tell us if there is damage to the bone or cartilage that is aggravating the problem.

If these do not work, a corticosteroid injection into the joint may be necessary.

Lastly, if all of those measures do not resolve the problem,  advanced imaging such as MRI, CT or Ultrasound may be employed to see if there is cartilage or bone damage that is too subtle to be seen on plain X-Ray.  If there is a loose bone spur, or damage to the cartilage in the joint, then surgical intervention may be necessary.

We wish Julio well on his road to recovery!

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We have a video on You Tube that has reached over a million views!!

We have been posting some videos of patient care on You Tube that some viewers find quite interesting.  This one  shows a patient in her 50’s with an injured toenail.  After losing the toenail, it began to grow back quite thick.  She then became very embarrassed to show it to anyone, and was unable to trim it for the past two years before she saw us.  You can watch Dr. Sperling trim this nail here.

 

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