FAQ

Can I run with a bunion? What are the non-surgical treatments for neuropathy? What is a podiatrist, anyway? Whatever your question, basic or complex, we can answer it. When it comes to feet, whatever your condition, simple or serious, we can treat it.  McDowell Orthopedics & Podiatry Group is your go-to source for information and expert foot care.

No question is too simple or too hard for us. If your concern is not listed here, call the McDowell Orthopedics & Podiatry Group at 916-961-3434 or visit our office in Carmichael, California.

Diabetic Foot Care

Why do those with diabetes need special diabetic socks?

When you have diabetes, you can benefit from special socks if you have problems with your feet, including neuropathy and circulation issues. If you don’t have these problems, you can wear whatever socks you want, as long as they breathe well, and are not constricting your feet in any way. However, diabetic socks offer peace of mind and comfort with features like these:

Weave: Some regular socks are too tightly woven at the opening, which could constrict blood flow in the legs. Special socks made for those with diabetes usually have a larger weave that fits around the ankle and the calf to reduce tightness.

Material: They are also made of anti-microbial, anti-fungal, acrylic material that wicks moisture and prohibits the growth of bacteria. They are padded for protection too, and sewn without seams to reduce friction or irritation that could create blisters.

Color: Diabetic socks are light-colored as well, which can help people detect any bleeding or discharge from wounds on the feet.

Call the McDowell Orthopedics & Podiatry Group at 916-961-3434 to reach our office in Carmichael, which also houses the Foot and Ankle Centers for the Care of Neuropathy. We can treat your diabetic feet in a jiffy! 

How can I prevent a diabetic ulcer?

Preventing diabetic ulcers requires you to inspect your feet every day, keep your feet clean and dry, practice caution when cutting your nails, wear the right socks and shoes, and get regular check-ups.

There are also some things you shouldn’t do. Don’t try to get rid of calluses, warts, or blisters yourself. If you need help, schedule an appointment with the McDowell Orthopedics & Podiatry Group. Never go barefoot, even around your house. If you do, you risk stepping on something that could really get you in trouble, especially if the cut or scrape goes unnoticed and turns into an ulcer.

If you check your feet every day for any sores, cracks, tenderness, swelling, and tenderness, you’ll be able to get early treatment if you see any problems developing. Soaking and cleaning your feet once a day in a foot bath is that extra step that will keep your feet soft, clean, and dry, and save you from getting most minor skin problems that snowball into bigger ones.

Don’t forget to schedule a check-up for your feet at least once a year with the McDowell Orthopedics & Podiatry Group in Carmichael, CA, at 916-961-3434.

Can I shower with a foot ulcer?

Questions about at-home foot ulcer care and showering with your wound are best handled by your podiatrist, doctor, or nurse. There are many ways to treat foot ulcers and each doctor may have different methods.

However, there’s one basic rule to remember: Your dressing and the skin surrounding the wound should always be dry. Getting your bandage wet in the shower wouldn’t be the best idea—it may soften the healthy tissues and cause the ulcer to spread.  

The wound should be cleansed daily, though, so your doctor may give you or your family members some home care ulcer-cleansing methods before you leave the hospital. Make sure you ask for their recommendations on how often you should change dressings.

We’re experts in neuropathy care and would love to answer some of these questions for you, too. Call the McDowell Orthopedics & Podiatry Group at 916-961-3434 to make an appointment and get your life back to normal!

Why are my feet numb and tingly?

Foot Trauma & Fractures

How does poor blood flow affect my feet?

Poor blood flow is often caused by a narrowing of arteries, which means that less oxygen is brought to your legs and feet. The loss of oxygen is troubling because proper flow supplies the tissues with nutrients to help your body heal itself and function normally.  

Cuts and scrapes that seem like minor problems need to be taken more seriously, as they can take longer to heal and may develop into wounds. In fact, some of these problems may not heal unless they’re treated by a podiatrist. If not properly cared for, those slow-healing wounds could develop into ulcers that may result in amputation. 

Circulation problems in the feet and legs are often categorized as peripheral arterial disease. We can help treat your condition at McDowell Orthopedics & Podiatry Group. Successful recovery from circulation problems usually require you to quit smoking, get more exercise, and manage your diabetes more closely. Please call us at 916-961-3434 or drop by our office in Carmichael, CA, to schedule an appointment. We also serve Roseville, Rocklin, and the surrounding Sacramento area.

What is the cause of my inside ankle pain?

If you are feeling tingling, burning, numbness, and shooting ankle pain that is similar to an electric shock, you may be experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome. This set of symptoms appear when there’s a compression of the posterior tibial nerve that runs along the inside of the ankle. For this condition, it is important to see a doctor as soon as you notice the symptoms. If left untreated, tarsal tunnel syndrome can create permanent nerve damage.

It’s also possible that you have torn or inflamed your posterior tibial tendon. In this case, you could experience pain on the inside of your foot that gets worse with activities like running. You may also have pain on the outside of the ankle and notice a fallen arch on the affected foot. To initially treat posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, rest from activities, ice your foot, and make an appointment with a doctor.

There are many reasons for pain on the inside of your ankle—including deltoid ligament sprains, synovitis, and stress fractures. See us as soon as you can to make sure you have the right diagnosis. The McDowell Orthopedics & Podiatry Group can be reached in Carmichael, CA, at 916-961-3434.

Is yoga good for my feet?
Yoga and feet go together well! And not just that—yoga and your back, hips, and knees also go together, too! Foot pain often creates problems that radiate into those areas, so it’s very beneficial to consider joining a class or practicing at home.
How do I know my toe is broken?
Broken toe symptoms include pain, swelling, stiffness, and bruising that lasts up to two weeks. Your toe may be crooked and red around the affected area. Walking and wearing shoes may create a lot of pain, since the movement irritates the break or crack. In some cases, blood will pool underneath the toenail.
How is an ankle sprain different from a fracture?

At first, the ability to determine an ankle sprain vs. ankle fracture might be difficult. Let’s talk anatomy to clear things up.

The ankle connects the tibia and fibula of the lower leg with the talus on the top of your foot. Between these three bones are ligaments that hold the bones in place and allow for some elastic movement. Furthermore, tendons attach muscles to the bone, so you can move your foot around and keep the joints stable.

An ankle fracture is a break in one or more of these bones. An ankle sprain is damage to the ligaments. It happens when the ligament stretches beyond the elasticity it’s used to. You’ve probably pulled the muscles and tendons past their limit as well.

Did that help? We hope it did! If you need to make an appointment with the McDowell Orthopedics & Podiatry Group for an ankle sprain or fracture, call 916-961-3434 to reach our office in Carmichael, CA.

Foot & Ankle

What are ultrasounds used for?
Ultrasounds are one of our diagnostic tools that help us to determine the extent of soft tissue injuries like Morton’s neuroma, heel pain, plantar fasciitis, tarsal tunnel syndrome, and tendonitis. The soft tissue includes muscles, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage.

In this painless test, sound waves are transmitted into the body, bounced back, and recorded—all through a probe. If the object has a higher density, the image that appears will be bright white. If the examined tissue has less density, the image will appear gray.

We may opt to use ultrasound because it can be used on almost anyone. If you’re pregnant or have a pacemaker, you can have an ultrasound as opposed to an MRI or CT scan. Also, an ultrasound does not produce radiation like an X-ray or CT scan.

If you have more questions about diagnostics, feel free to ask our expert staff at McDowell Orthopedics & Podiatry Group. You can call our office at 916-961-3434 to make an appointment. We’re also on Facebook and Pinterest!

Why do my heels hurt in the morning?

If your heels hurt in the morning, you may have a condition called plantar fasciitis—the most common kind of heel pain. When you put too much pressure on your plantar fascia—the tissue that runs from heel to toe along the arch of your foot—tiny tears can form in the tissue as a result of the stress. This creates pain and inflammation.

When you’re resting the foot, these tears try to repair themselves. However, when you take a step, you only reinjure the area by stretching out the tissue again. Often, these symptoms are felt when you first step out of bed in morning or stand up after sitting down for a long period of time.

People with this type of pain also experience dull or sharp pain, stiffness in the heel, and a burning feeling on the bottom of their feet that radiates into the back of their foot.

If you feel this type of pain in your heel, it’s best to get early treatment. Make an appointment at the McDowell Orthopedics & Podiatry Group in Carmichael, CA, by calling 916-961-3434.

Can I pop a blister?

Popping a blister isn’t necessary if it’s not causing you pain. Eventually, the skin underneath the blister will grow and absorb the fluid-filled bubble on your foot.

However, if the blister is so big or painful that you can’t walk, there’s a safe way to pop it and prevent infection. You should never pop a blister if you have diabetes or poor circulation—always consult your doctor in that case.

First, wash your blister and hands with soap and water. Puncture a small hole on the side of the blister with a needle, sterilized by rubbing alcohol. Gently drain the fluid by squeezing or pressing on the area.

Don’t take the skin off! Apply some antibiotic cream over the patch and cover with a Band-Aid. After a few days, the skin on top should dry up. You can remove this with a sterilized tweezers or scissors.

If you experience symptoms of pain, redness, warm skin, or discharge from the area, please call the McDowell Orthopedics & Podiatry Group at 916-961-3434 so we can clean up the infection.

Why is there a bump on my heel?
How do I cut thick toenails?

You could have thick toenails for a plethora of reasons: fungal problems, old age, or damage from a traumatic injury. Proper nail trimming is important, so here are our tips on how to cut dense toenails.

First, soak your feet for about 10 minutes to soften up the nail. Make sure you’re very careful. While it’s easier to cut your toenails when they’re soft, it’s also easier to cut too short, which could create ingrown toenails or infections that lead to diabetic ulcers and wounds. Use a sharp nail clippers or nail nipper to make short, straight cuts across the toenail, starting at one side. Too big cuts could crack or tear the nail.

If you’re afraid you’ll hurt yourself when trimming your toenails, don’t hesitate to call the McDowell Orthopedics & Podiatry Group at 916-961-3434. We offer medical nail trimming so you don’t have to go through the unnecessary pain and complications that come with cutting them yourself.

Why am I losing my balance?

You could be losing balance because of peripheral neuropathy in your feet. One of the main symptoms of this condition is the loss of feeling and numbness, which can make it harder to sense the placement of your feet when you start walking. You may feel more uncoordinated than normal.

Also, you might develop a wider walking stance without even knowing it just to compensate for this lack of feeling. You may even drag or trip over your own feet.

The symptoms of neuropathy can start as a tingling or burning sensation but can develop into very serious symptoms with painful consequences. Our office has a special clinic, called the Foot and Ankle Centers for the Care of Neuropathy, just to reduce and lessen the symptoms of this condition. This way, you can take care of your balance problems too!

When you start experiencing these symptoms, make an appointment with the McDowell Orthopedics & Podiatry Group. Our Carmichael office, which also serves Roseville and the greater Sacramento area, can be reached at 916-961-3434 and found on Facebook and Twitter!

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Get In Touch

Carmichael Office

6620 Coyle Avenue,
Suite 202

Carmichael, CA 95608

Roseville Office

576 N Sunrise Avenue,
Suite 230

Roseville, CA 95661

Phone: 916-961-3434         

Hours: Monday - Friday, 8am-5pm

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