GENERAL TREATMENTS (NAIL AND SKIN CARE)
A ‘general treatment’ is the term we use to describe a 30-45 minute consultation that centres around the overall health of the skin on your feet and your nails.
A general treatment may suit you if your areas of concern are as follows (but are not limited to):
- If you are unable to care for your own feet due to the inability to reach them, diabetes, disability, poor eyesight, arthritis and/or other injuries.
- You require a ‘diabetic foot check’ either yearly or bi-yearly.
- You require a ‘neurovascular assessment’ due to ageing or a disease that manifests in the feet e.g. peripheral arterial disease, neuropathy or nerve damage.
- If you are a high risk patient who wants to minimise the risk of infection. For example, those with severe diabetes, undergoing chemotherapy or are immunosupressed would most benefit from such a treatment as all instruments are sterilised prior to use and safety is the utmost concern.
- If you have an ingrown toenail (painful, swollen, red or pus filled corner of the toenail). This often occurs in people playing sports that involve kicking a ball, tight shoes, improper nail cutting, genetic predisposition or as a side effects from certain medications.
- If you have a painful wort on the foot (most common in children).
- If you have large, thickened nails that normal scissors cannot cut through
- If you have unsightly discoloured nails and/or fungal nails.
- If you hard skin on your feet such as a callus that is unsightly, painful or dry cracked heels (with or without bleeding).
- If you have painful corns on your feet.
We often recommend our patients to return every 6-8 weeks for regular treatments in order to maintain optimum foot health and prevent future problems arising.
What is the process of a ‘general treatment’?
- For all new patients we will take a full medical history and discuss what your most pressing concern is regarding your feet.
- For new patients, we will do a basic vascular and neurological assessment and discuss the results with you.
- We may cut and file your toenails, burr your nails with a special device to reduce any thickness and remove any dry/hard skin (callus) and corns. We may then further smooth the skin with a file and apply foot cream.
- We also address issues you may have such as ingrown toenails, cracked heels, tinea or fungal nails.
- We will provide you medical advice and educate you on keeping your feet great condition.
- We may recommend medications and/or lotions to treat particular conditions e.g. fungal nails, dry skin, tinea.
By the end of the treatment your feet will both look and feel a lot better than when you came in!
If you are still unsure if a ‘general treatment’ is right for you, call us on (02) 8520 8818 and let us help guide you towards the best consultation type tailored to your needs.
Sports Podiatry is the discipline that focuses on preventing, diagnosing, treating and rehabilitating injuries to the foot, ankle or lower leg sustained through participation in sports. We know athletes want to recover and compete as soon as possible, so our goal in sports injury management is for all our patients to return to their highest potential functionality in their sport.
Sadly, most people involved in regular sports are going to injure themselves at some point. High-impact sports such as footy, basketball, cycling, running, ballet, tennis, gymnastics, weightlifting, volleyball, soccer, skiing, snowboarding and cricket. In other words, any sport that involves running, jumping, squatting and landing lead to an increased risk of injuries requiring podiatric involvement. This is due to the ‘ground reaction forces’ acting on you feet, ankles, knees and hips are amplified during high-impact activity. Essentially what this means is if your foot hits the ground hard, the ground pushes back on your foot just as hard! Hence, Sport Podiatry is recommended for all athletes.
Common issues include:
- ACL/PCL injuries
- LCL/MCL injuries
- Meniscus injuries
- Strained/tight muscles
- Ruptured muscles
- Broken bones
- Shin splints
- Runners knee/Chondromalacia
- Muscular imbalance/weakness
- Knee pain/Patellofemoral pain
- High ankle sprain/Syndesmosis injury
- Calf pain
- Chronic ankle instability
- Osgood Schlatter’s Disease
- Sinding Larsen Johansson Syndrome
- ITB syndrome
At Foot HQ we have a sport-specific focus. Imagine, two people the exact same age, height and weight both sustain a medial ankle sprain. Both sprains are as severe as each other, but must be treated very differently depending on the sport each person plays. The needs of a basketball player are very different from a soccer player, both in rehab and footwear. Our management program includes gait retraining and correction of form that is specialised for your individual sporting needs.
Sport injuries come in two forms:
1 – Overuse: caused by repeated pressure on tendons and joints over time.
2 – Functional/Biomechanical: caused by the way our whole body moves and therefore how our feet, ankles, knees and hips are impacted by our movements.
However, there may be elements of both overuse and biomechanical issues occurring simultaneously. For example, compensating for an existing overuse injury – that is, changing the way you walk, jump or run to protect yourself from full weight bearing or excess pain.
If you play regular sport or have had a break due to an injury, you may want to visit a Sport Podiatrist if you get:
- Pain in the lower leg, ankles or feet
- Pain in hip or knee
- Pain in the arches of the foot or heel
- Pain during or after a game in the lower limb
- Have a history of sprains, tears, strains or ruptures in the lower limb
- Have ingrown nails, corns or callus that interfere with your game play
- Have recently bought new shoes and began experiencing sores, ingrown nails, corns or callus
- Have tight muscles and knots in the lower limb
Our therapeutic plans are tailor-made to suit your:
- Short term needs: Splinting, heat therapy, cold therapy, walking boots, therapeutic taping
- Medium term needs: Form correction, muscle strengthening, balance work, corrective orthoses, new footwear
- Long term needs: sports massage, dry needling, percussive therapy, taping, maintenance muscular program
If you are regularly involved in sports, it is worth speaking to our Foot HQ Podiatrists about how you can optimise your performance and prevent injury in sport. If you have already sustained an injury as a result of sport, you should get in contact with us as soon as possible for expert assessment and management. Call us on (02) 8520 8818.
DIABETIC FOOT ASSESSMENT
Diabetes is a complex disorder that has wide reaching implications on the foot and lower limb. As such, annual diabetic foot assessments are necessary for all people with diabetes. Did you know 15% of those with diabetes will have foot ulceration at some time during their lives? Sadly, in Australian only 50% of people with diabetes have undergone a foot assessment, despite foot assessments being shown to be effective at identifying those at high risk of foot ulceration and amputation.
People with foot problems and diabetes mellitus are at 15 times higher risk of undergoing an amputation somewhere in the lower limb. To prevent complications like this, and keep you in great conditions, our podiatrists at Foot HQ will teach you about the diabetic foot, assess your risk and monitor your feet for changes over time.
What are the assessments?:
- Neurovascular assessments – In order to prevent disease progression, we monitor our patients nervous system and blood flow regularly for changes such as loss of sensation (neuropathy) and blockages of arteries in the feet.
- Skin and nail assessments – Poorly controlled blood glucose levels are associated with higher risk of fungal skin and nail infections, and also non-healing wounds (ulceration). Diabetes can also limit sweat gland production on the feet, thus causing dry skin, cracked heels, corns and callus.
- Structural assessment – Diabetes can also lead to deformities in the feet such as loss of the arch, large hard callus formation and claw/hammer toes. In these circumstances, we can provide custom orthoses, footwear advice, offload from high pressure sites and much more to help prevent further deformity and mitigate the risk of abrasion, blisters and sores.
- Muscle testing – Diabetes can cause weakness in the muscles, resulting in changes in normal walking patterns. If your walking pattern has changed, you may benefit from a rehab program to help restore functionality, or an external device that can be worn with your regular shoes.
CHILDREN'S FOOT PROBLEMS (PAEDIATRICS)
At Foot HQ we love kids and children’s podiatry. We have a range of treatments available for children from toddlers to teenagers. If your child is suffering with pain in the hip, knee, foot or leg – its time to seek professional help from a podiatrist.
To the relief of many parents, paediatric foot and lower limb problems are very common and often, completely treatable!
Some of the most common problems we treat in kids are:
- Flat feet
- High arched feet
- Sports injuries
- Growing pains
- Heel pain/Severs disease
- Knock knees/Bow legs
- Juvenile bunion
- Knock knees/Bow legs
- Osgood Schlatter’s Disease
- Sinding Larsen Johansson Syndrome
- Kohlers disease
We know a child in pain can sometimes be stressful for parents. Thats why whether its orthotics, massage, muscle strengthening, protective boots, new footwear or stretches, our staff at Foot HQ are equipped with all the know-how to help educate both the parent and child.
There are a range of conditions that includes may affect the bones, tendons, and muscles of the foot line or hip that may lead to deformity. We are able to also help in more complex issues:
- Spastisty and its affects on the feet
- Tarsal coalition
It is important to visit a podiatrist if your child is experiencing pain in the foot/lower limb (particularly if it wakes them up at night), have begun becoming more clumsy (e.g. tripping/falling over) or are limping. Don’t hesitate to call us on (02) 8520 8818 if you would like to talk to one of our friendly podiatrists about your child’s condition and book in.
Orthotics are a form of therapy to help alter the foot posture and the way the foot interacts with the other joints in your leg. Orthotics are a physical device, customised to fit for your individual foot, and treat your specific needs. Custom orthotics are unlike off-the-shelf device as they account for the variety of foot types and are therefore better at treating flat feet, plantar fascitis, neuromas, arthritis, tendonitis, leg length differences, corns/callus and much more.
A high arched foot cannot shock-absorb as easily as healthy feet. The muscles, ligaments and tendons are tight and taking high loads of pressure. As a result, it is much more likely for people with a high arched foot to have tight muscles, get sprains, strains and even broken bones. All these high-pressure forces going through the foot often also cause plantar fascitis, corns and callus (usually under the 1st and 5th toes and the heel). These feet require a lot more cushioning and customised features on orthotics to best support the foot.
A low-arched or “flat foot” does not have enough stability when walking or standing and as a result the ankle arch rolls inward. Flat feet overuse muscles in the legs and feet in order to gain some stability, causing aching joints and tired muscles. Any misalignment in our bodies can lead to an injury or make other injuries worse. A collapsed arch forces the leg bones to twist inward, putting stress on the ankle, knee, hip and spine flat feet can make arthritis, bunions, shin splints, or plantar fasciitis worse. These feet require a structurally strong and supportive orthotic that can keep the arches up whilst remaining comfortable. Custom orthotics enhance stability and help reduce the strain on muscles and joints whilst improving physical functioning.
Most Podiatrists sell semi-custom, not fully custom orthotics. What that means is after a mould of your foot is sent to a lab, the lab will use a standard foot model to base most of the orthotic on from what is called an “arch library”. What sets us apart at Foot HQ is that we hand make each orthotic in our very own lab, so we do not use an arch library and therefore you will get a fully custom orthotic device.
What is an Ingrown Toenail?
An ingrown toenail (onychocryptosis) occurs when a nail grows into the flesh to the side of the nail causing pain, inflammation, redness and sometimes infection if left untreated. If you have pain or tenderness around one or both sides of your nail, swelling, redness, pus, or discharge coming from the site, you may have an ingrown nail.
Ingrown toenails are often caused by incorrect nail cutting, which leaves either a a nail spike (spicule) or sharp corner of the nail that eventually grows into the skin. This can also be the result of trauma, genetic predisposition to have excessively curved (involuted) toenails, taking Roaccutane (isotretinoin), playing sports that involve kicking a ball, and ill-fitting footwear.
Treatment for Ingrown Toenails
Treatment involves a thorough assessment determining the cause of the ingrown toenails. Conservative therapy typically involves removing the nail segment and re-shaping the nail plate. This option is successful in some less serious cases, but if the ingrown nails are chronic, the offending nail fragment is semi permanently or permanently removed in a simple surgical procedure conducted under local anaesthetic in sterile environment.
Your gait (the way you walk) can also contribute to the growth of ingrown nails. For example, if you tend to use the side of your big toe to push your foot off the ground, it generally results in nails which curve inward, which increases the risk of ingrown nails.
Treatment for Fungal Nails/Thickened/Misshapen Nails
A fungal/thickened or misshapen nail is a be surgically removed to promote new regrowth of a healthy nail from the nail bed. It takes 12-18 months to fully regrow a toe nail, however, we can optimise the appearance of your toe while its growing out. We use a system that restores the appearance of the natural nail by using a flexible resin that mimics the cosmetic appearance of a natural nail. This new nail is unaffected by acetone, nail polishes or detergents.
Initial Appointment – Assessment
An initial assessment is essential before any nail surgery appointment can be scheduled. The podiatrist will diagnose your ingrown toenail and take a detailed medical history to find out if you are suitable for ingrown toenail surgery. They will then explain the procedure in depth, quote you on associated costs and schedule your nail surgery appointment of you choose to proceed.
Nail Surgery – Procedure
This simple day- procedure is a “walk in and walk out” surgery, performed in our Foot HQ clinical rooms by one of our highly trained podiatrists. Nail surgery takes just 1 – 1.5 hours.
Under local anaesthetic, a sliver or whole toe nail is removed. The nail bed is then treated with a chemical that will prevent the nail from growing back. The toe is cleaned and appropriately dressed with antiseptic to minimise post-op infection.
You will be required to have someone to drive you home from the procedure. You should also bring in some open toed sandals or thongs for this appointment as you will have a bulky dressing on the toe post surgery. Please also feel free to bring in music, headphones or anything else that helps you relax.
Your podiatrist will schedule you a redressing appointment 2 days following surgery. Between the surgery and your first re-dressing appointment you will be asked to minimise physical activity, rest and elevate your foot. As well as this we will ask of you to not shower until your first re-dressing appointment. At this first re-dressing appointment the podiatrist will check the healing progress of your toe. A second redressing appointment is usually scheduled 2 – 4 weeks post surgery.
Redressing appointments are an important aspect of the treatment plan. It is vital that you attend these appointments with your podiatrist to minimise infection and to ensure the surgical site is healing. Failing to attend can lead to serious complications.
Healing & Regrowth
Most patients find they can resume most sporting activities after 2 weeks, whilst full healing of your toe takes approximately 6 – 8 weeks. There is a small risk of small chemical burns on the skin around the site of the surgery, however, these usually heal fully over time. Please speak to Foot HQ staff if you have any concerns or questions during recovery.
At Foot HQ our nail surgery is a very effective procedure, however a small % of people will experience some nail regrowth. In this case, a revision surgery will be scheduled for you at no extra cost.
If you are interested in a Ingrown Toenail Surgery or want to discuss if it is right for you, call us on (02) 8520 8818 to talk to one of our friendly podiatrists.
A biomechanical assessment is a comprehensive examination performed by a Podiatrist on the whole body (bones, muscles, posture, strength and stability). We assess whether the whole body is in sync both when stationary and when moving and we look for abnormalities. When we understand you as a whole, we can create interventions such as rehabilitation programs or orthoses to address focal areas of concern. This results in a chain reaction that will have a positive impact on your entire body, not just your feet!
Both the “flat” and “high-arched” foot are essentially a foot posture problem that can cause your entire “biomechanical chain” to be out of balance. Those who can suffer from foot pain are often battling a symptom of ankle pain, knee, hip and back pain stemming from postural weakness in the foot. As we age, we lose muscle mass and function, so our posture changes more and more. But like a strong building, the foundation is crucial to the stability of the structure. By understanding how foot posture can affect your overall posture, we can take care of our health from the ground up.
As the position of your feet affects the position of your legs and back and changes the way they distribute pressure and weight, the feet can be the cause of stress on the joints. As a result of this, at Foot HQ we have to look at the whole body and how it moves, to get to the root of the problem.
What we might do:
- Record you walk/run
- Test your muscles for strength and flexibility
- Test your stability and balance
- Test your joints for range of motion and quality of motion
- Assess your entire body posture and alignment
- Assess your foot posture and foot core strength
- Take measurements and record joint angles
We then develop a thorough report of your results and develop with you a plan of action in the immediate, short and long term to help you meet your goals.
Call us on (02) 8520 8818 to book now or if you would like to talk to one of our friendly podiatrists about whether a biomechanical assessment is right for you.
TELEHEALTH SERVICES (ONLINE CONSULTATION)
Staying safe during Covid-19 is of the utmost importance to us at Foot HQ. Thats why you can now have a Telehealth consultation from the convenience of your own home. This means if you or someone in your household has fallen ill, you have had recent surgery or for whatever reason you’re unable to come into one of our clinics, you can still get help and support from your podiatrist.
Call us on (02) 8520 8818 to see how you can get a Telehealth consultation with one of our Professionals today!
Note: Telehealth services are unsuitable if you wish to be assessed for orthotic devices.