What Causes Instability When Walking?

If you have instability issues when walking, there are a variety of root causes that might be producing your difficulties. Abnormal gait, the pattern of how you walk, can happen as a result of genetics, disease, trauma, or infection. Specific diseases that lead to instable walking include osteoarthritis, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, MS, and Lyme diseases.

A major concern with an unstable gait is ensuring that you do not end up on the ground. Fall prevention measures will depend on your particular situation and may entail physical therapy, leg braces, orthotics, or use of a walker or cane.

What is Raynaud’s Disease?

Raynaud’s disease is a rare disorder that can cause your toes to become abnormally cold in response to emotional stress or low temperatures. When the disease attacks, the skin in your impacted areas may change colors. Initially, your cold toes might turn white, then blue as numbness sets in. Affected areas can later turn red, accompanied by a throbbing or tingling sensation, as circulation improves. If you are experiencing these symptoms, it is likely that you have Raynaud’s syndrome.

The reason this happens is that your body experiences a narrowing of blood vessels, known as vasospasm. This ailment is not particularly disabling in and of itself, but if you suffer from a severe case you could end up developing an infection in the affected toes.

How Can I Prevent Losing a Toe?

Two common complications associated with diabetes are neuropathy and poor circulation. Nerve damage can inhibit your ability to feel heat, cold, and pain. Reduced circulation can compromise the healing process when an injury does occur. Patients are at risk for losing a toe or foot when an injury develops into a non-healing wound or ulcer. Infection can set in, and if it goes into the bone or leads to gangrene, amputation is often necessary to save the rest of the leg.

Amputation prevention starts with careful inspection of your feet on a daily basis. Look for changes to your skin color or shape of your foot, redness, warmth, blisters, cuts, scrapes, painful areas, and new corns or calluses. Remember: even the smallest injury could turn into a serious complication without treatment, so address any symptom promptly. Contact Dallas Podiatry Works as soon as possible for appropriate treatment. Keep your glucose levels under control, inspect your feet every day, and contact us at the first sign of anything suspicious.

My toe is crooked, could it be hammertoe?

Our feet are often scrunched in shoes and hidden from view. If you have noticed that one of your toes is looking slightly crooked, there is likely a reason and it could be hammertoe.

A muscle or tendon imbalance in your foot can create this condition that causes one or more of your toes to bend. The problem affects the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes and you will see that the toe bends down toward the floor at the middle joint.

It usually starts mild and progressively gets worse if intervention and the proper treatment isn’t taken. Wearing tight, pointed-toe shoes often aggravates the condition. You may see corns develop on the top of the crooked toe from the shoes rubbing against it.

What do I do about glass inside of my toe?

If you have glass inside your toe, you need to have your foot examined immediately. Puncture wounds may not seem serious at first, especially if they don’t bleed too much when they occur. However, they can cause significant discomfort and complications. In addition to toe pain, they can become infected quite easily—especially if the glass is stuck deep in your foot. It might already be infected if the wound is swollen or reddened, and if moving your toes is uncomfortable. We will need to remove the glass with sterile tools and treat any infection to prevent additional problems.

What is the difference between a sprain and a break?

A sprain and a break affect completely different structures within your lower limbs. Sprains are soft tissue injuries. They occur when the ligaments that stabilize your ankle or other foot structures are stretched beyond their normal flexibility, damaging them. In some cases, the connective tissue may even tear. A broken bone affects your hard tissue. Damage strains the bony structure beyond what it can support, so it cracks. Both of these are common problems for athletes and other active people. Typically they occur suddenly and painfully, and need professional intervention to heal correctly.

What causes shin splints?

Shin splints are a painful problem with inflammation in the tissues along your shin bone. Also known as medial tibial stress syndrome, this is one of the more common running injuries. It develops when you suddenly increase the strain on your legs, like starting a new exercise program, increasing the duration or speed of your runs, beginning a hill running regimen, or wearing worn out shoes. When you develop this issue, your lower legs feel sore and tender. Sometimes they swell. Usually the discomfort increases when you are active and decreases when you rest. It can make it hard for you to continue running until the pain is resolved.

How does pregnancy affect your feet?

Your body undergoes significant changes when pregnant, and many women find their feet are included! With added hormones and weight gain, your feet may increase in size, swell, and ache. The body releases a hormone called relaxin that softens and lengthens ligaments. This allows the feet to spread out and “grow” in size—often a whole shoe size, or even two. The additional weight changes your center of balance, which can strain and cause pain in your heels, arches, balls of the feet, and ankles. Your body also retains more water during later pregnancy, which can settle in your legs and feet and cause swelling.

All of this is normal, but the changes can be uncomfortable. The doctors of Dallas Podiatry Works will work with you to help support your feet and relieve the extra pressure. They can also detect some pregnancy complications that may show in your feet first.

What is Adult Acquired Flatfoot?

Adult acquired flatfoot is a deformity that develops when the arch along the inside of your foot flattens out after your skeleton has stopped growing, compromising your foot’s support. Your arch can “fall” for many reasons, but the primary reason an adults develops a flatfoot deformity is the weakening and rupture of the primary tendon controlling the arch, the Posterior Tibial Tendon. This runs along the inside of the ankle to its attachment on the foot. This condition is most common in middle-aged to elderly women, especially if they are sedentary.

Adult acquired flatfoot isn’t always painful, but a flattened arch puts additional stress on the heel and other joints, like the ankles and knees.

Is the NeuroTherm® pain relief process painful?

If you’ve been suffering with foot pain that is related to nerve compression or damage, you understand pain. The goal of NeuroTherm® is to relieve this ongoing discomfort through a process known as radiofrequency nerve ablation. Is the process pain-free? No. A needle is used during the treatment, so there is some level of discomfort. However, a local anesthetic minimizes pain for most people.

The area may be uncomfortable for a time, however, you will be able to leave Dallas Podiatry Works on your own and go right back to your daily routine. We expect most patients to be fully recovered from nerve pain in 4-6 weeks.

What are plantar warts?

These noncancerous growths or bumps, caused by the human papillomavirus, come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The virus enters through cuts or breaks in the skin and manifests beneath pressure points on your feet, such as the balls of the feet or the heels. Pressure from standing and walking push these warts beneath the skin’s surface where friction causes a rough patch of thickened skin to develop over the top.

Plantar warts are not a serious health concern but they may become painful. As the overgrown callus becomes larger, placing weight on the affected area can be painful. This condition is an aggravating inconvenience that you don't need to endure. Self treatments may take months or years to give you relief.

How can I prevent plantar warts from returning?

Are plantar warts waging a war against your feet? These pesky growths on the soles of your feet can be extremely painful and difficult to cope with. The longer they remain, the more likely they are to increase in size and conquer more area.

Preventing Plantar WartsHome remedies for killing these warts include: soaking the foot in hot water for 90 minutes every day, a nail application of liquid vitamin A, salicylic acid treatments available over-the-counter, or freezing the wart with sodium nitride. If you don't see improvement within one to two weeks, consult your doctor at Dallas Podiatry Works.

The surest way to rid your feet of plantar warts is to visit the podiatrists at Dallas Podiatry Works. Our Q Clear Laser procedure may be your solution. This treatment is virtually pain free with an 80-90% success rate in curing resilient warts.

What Type of Shoes Should Diabetics Wear?

Individuals with diabetes should pay particular attention to footwear, even those in the earliest stage of the disease. It is vital that the footwear meets the following objectives:

  • Shoes should relieve areas of excess pressure–not add to it. Excessive pressure and friction causes a breakdown of the skin that leads to diabetic ulcers.
  • Footwear should reduce vertical and horizontal pressure and shock. This is important for the bottom of the foot as well as each of the sides.
  • They should stabilize and support foot deformities caused by the disease. Diabetic patients suffer from conditions such as Charcot foot and hammertoes that need to be accommodated. Shoes should relieve the pain and decrease progression of these ailments.
When should I come in to see a podiatrist?

If you are experiencing pain in your feet or ankles, you should make a podiatry appointment today! Too often patients delay treatment, because they think that the discomfort will go away on its own. Unfortunately, instead of the condition getting better, it worsens. Recovery time is lengthened and the patient has endured pain from a condition that is both preventable and treatable.

If your feet hurt, the effects are felt with every step. The solution may be as simple as proper footwear, custom orthotics, or strengthening exercises.

Does the nail procedure permanently fix my ingrown nail?

Treatment of ingrown nails is typically tailored to permanently fix the condition by killing off a section of the nail root thereby permanently narrowing the nail. You'll be able to continue living free from the pain and worry caused by an ingrown nail.

How soon will I feel results from my orthotics?

The “breaking in” period for new custom orthotics will differ for each patient. However, there is a similar process that everyone can use as their feet learn to love being in the correct position. Just like a bad habit, it takes time for the feet to feel good once they are properly aligned. However, once they are in their proper place—your entire body will benefit!

The best rule of thumb is to start slowly. Wear the prescription orthotics for a short time (start with two hours), and then give your feet a rest. Gradually increase the time that you are wearing them each day. By the second week of wear, you will likely be able to enjoy the orthotics all day.

Remember, let your feet guide you. While it takes time to adjust, your feet should never be in pain due to an orthotic.

Is it really worth the time and money to go to physical therapy?

We are strong advocates of physical therapy.

Our experience is that PT is an effective means of dealing with many of the conditions we see, including heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis, achilles tendonitis, and a variety of joint afflictions. Additionally we have found that post-operative PT gets our patients back to their regular activities and in their normal shoes more rapidly.

Will I be able to get back into my heels after surgery?

This depends on the type of surgery you have undergone, the extent of your pathology, and the overall function of your feet. These are just of few of the contributing factors.

Our primary goal is to relieve your pain and get you moving. We strive to satisfy your personal goals. The only way to determine whether your end goals are realistic and attainable is to come in for an evaluation.

Will insurance cover my surgery?

In almost all circumstances, insurance will cover your surgical procedures according to the details of your specific plan.

Typically, there is a deductible that needs to be satisfied before insurance coverage kicks in. Plans then can vary in the percentage of charges for any procedure. We verify insurance coverage prior to surgery so that you will be well versed in your financial obligations before moving ahead with your surgery. There are cases in which your surgeon will need to change the plan as a result of intraoperative findings, which could affect the amount of monies owed.

Will the screws in my foot set off the alarms at the airport?

This is a common concern among many post-surgery patients. So far, the type of metal and the small quantities in which we use them have not caused airport metal detectors to sound.

It is always a good idea to alert security staff if you have any sort of metal implant, but you shouldn't experience any issues with small metal screws in your feet.

The doctor has great “bedside manners” when talking to patients. Great staff and comfortable atmosphere.

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Derrick W.

The staff at Dallas Podiatry Works could not have been more courteous, helpful, and professional in doing their job. They made me feel comfortable when I was there, which is certainly appreciated. They answered all the questions that I had and just made each visit the most pleasurable that it could be. I would highly recommend them to anyone needing this type of foot care.

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Joseph B.

I would highly recommend Dr. Brook to anyone with foot problems–especially problems that stump other podiatrists. He really is very caring and very knowledgeable.

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Jeannette H.

Dr. Joel Brook and the staff were nice and helpful. Though I was a new patient, I got right in as soon as they were open in my preferred location. They diagnosed the problem and provided medicines along with a perfect gel bandage so I could keep exercising while my toes healed. My toes already hurt less and look a little better each day. If I have future issues, I will be a repeat customer. Here’s hoping I don’t, but at least I know my feet are in good hands.

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Meryl E.

I visited this office for an ingrown toe nail a few years ago. After seeing another doctor, who made it worse, he referred me to Dallas Podiatry Works. The doctor there was able to fix my problem. I’m not great with reviews, all I can tell you is that this doctor and staff will have you up and running or doing whatever it is you do in no time. You will be in great hands. You’d be a fool not to use this doctor. Now its time to visit him again for the other toe.

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Google User

Been having bad ankle pains for 6 months was referred here and it was a great visit ladies in the front desk medical assistants and the Doctor were all very friendly and make you feel very comfortable.

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Elizabeth G.

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Dallas Office: 12221 Merit Drive, Suite 280, Dallas, TX 75251

Plano Office: 5068 W. Plano Parkway, Suite 155, Plano, TX 75093

Join the 100,000 happy feet that have found relief at Dallas Podiatry Works! Our Dallas podiatrist and Plano podiatrist provides 5-star-rated foot care and ankle care. Our advanced foot care includes children's foot care, sports-related foot injuries, bunion treatment, bunion removal surgery, toenail fungus treatment, ingrown toenail treatment, hammertoe treatment, claw toe treatment, neuroma treatment, heel pain relief, limb salvage, wound care, arthritis treatment, safe pedicure, medicures, corn removals, callus removals, wart removals and more.
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