Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fascitiis is a common foot problem that most people will develop at some point in their life.  This pain is one of the most common reasons people seek out a Podiatrist, or foot and ankle specialist.   It is also the reason that numerous professional athletes have retired from professional sports.  That being said, Plantar Fasciitis is something that people don’t have to live with and something that can be cured relatively easily with conservative measures greater than 99% of the time.

Plantar Fasciitis is essentially an inflamed ligament on the bottom of your heel.  This ligament helps to support your arch and stabilize the smaller bones at the peak of your arch to help transfer forces through the midfoot through the stance phase of the gait cycle.  People commonly develop plantar fasciitis when standing in one position for long periods of time.  The foot then begins to roll inward or pronate and tension increases on the plantar fascial ligament.  This pain can actually worsen overnight or by sitting down to rest for a short period.

There are several treatment methods that we use to treat Plantar Fasciitis.  Stretching, icing, anti-inflammatory medication, and splinting are forms of conservative treatment.  Physical therapy can help using ultrasound or phonopheresis over a period of time, and a cortisone shot typically offers instant relief.  Orthotics often help by controlling the biomechanics of the foot.  Less than 1% of the time is surgery needed to correct the problem.

For more information on a better outcome for you, contact Advanced Podiatry in Oklahoma City at 405.285.5523.  We’re your foot and ankle solutions experts!  Are you Advanced?

Puncture Wounds

Puncture wounds are a common injury that can happen any time of year.  A puncture wound is an injury where a person in impaled by an object that penetrates the skin.  The most common part of the body where a puncture wound occurs is the foot, often from stepping on an object.  Several common types of objects that are seen causing a puncture wound are nails, toothpicks, hay or straw, a blade of grass, or a thorn from a tree or bush.

The skin is a tough organ of the body that resists punctures fairly well, and the immune system has its baseline of defenses set up in the dermis or innermost layer of skin.  Infection fighting cells are adept at fighting bacteria and bleeding often occurs to flush out the wound and bring these cells to the surface.  Often the object entering the body is broken off or left inside as a foreign body.  If not removed, this becomes a nidus of infection, which will cause redness, swelling, drainage, and extreme pain.

If you have stepped on something which has caused a puncture wound, seek medical help immediately.  The wound should be thoroughly cleansed and inspected by a medical professional to evaluate for a possible foreign body.  For more information on a better outcome for you, contact Advanced Podiatry in Oklahoma City at 405.285.5523, or visit  We’re your foot and ankle solutions experts!  Are you Advanced?

Children with Flat Feet

Pediatric flat foot is a deformity in children that can be very disabling.  Often children cannot articulate what is bothering them other than it is difficult to play and keep up with other children.  Participating in sports or PE can be an anxiety provoking experience.  This will result in a decrease in their activity, secondary weight gain, and preference for minimal impact activity.

It is common to have a flatter arch in a child less than the age of three.  This has to do with the development of a bone at the top of their foot that is critical in forming the arch.  When this bone forms, the medial arch lifts off the ground and does not bear weight any longer, but serves to transfer forces through the midfoot.

A common cause of pediatric flat foot is a shortened calcaneus or heel bone.  Another can be a tight Achilles tendon.  Children who are toe walkers (walk on their tip toes) often have a tight Achilles.  These two reasons mentioned above are predetermined by genetics.  Often they can be dealt with conservatively if caught early enough.  It is important to have these symptoms evaluated by your health care professional as children do not simply grow out of this condition as they age.

Specialized orthotics are often used to correct the deformity in the foot.  A brace can also be used to help stretch the Achilles tendon.  If these symptoms fail to resolve, surgery can correct the deformity in the foot or lengthen the tightness in the Achilles tendon.  The goal is to provide a foot that is propulsive and not painful during the gait cycle.  This outcome gives children the best opportunity to participate in activities without pain and without the fear of getting left behind.

For more information on a better outcome for you, or your child, contact Advanced Podiatry in Oklahoma City at 405.285.5523, or visit  We’re your foot and ankle solutions experts!  Are you Advanced?

Tracy Hjelmstad, DPM is a Podiatrist who practices in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Fungal Toenails Are a Thing of the Past

You’ve seen those thick, yellow, ugly looking toenails that people have.  Most of us have seen it on our parents or grandparents and think it’s the grossest thing we have ever seen.  The world has come a long way and people have so many options of treating this horrible infection that we simply shouldn’t have to deal with it any more.

Fungal toenails, called onychomycosis, is an infection to the toenail bed caused by the fungus Trichophyton Rubrum.  It is the same organism that causes athlete’s foot.  And yes, it is contagious.  Most people that have fungal toenails also have a chronic athlete’s foot that was the primary issue, with the toenails becoming secondarily infected.

This infection can come from the showers at the gym or from going barefoot at the pool, but what if I said it was more likely that you got this infection from going barefoot in the yard, or worse yet, in your house!  This fungus is an opportunistic infection that is common in nature and most people do have a mild colonization on different parts of their body.  The fungus sits there on your skin waiting for the right conditions so it can rear its ugly self to the rest of the world.

There are many homeopathic remedies that people have used to try to cure this infection, everything from Tea Tree Oil, Vick’s Vaporub, to soaking their feet in turpentine.  Many of these options have anecdotal evidence if any at all that points to a positive outcome for people self-treating onychomycosis.  There are several different treatments available that are FDA approved, some with studies showing better than 98% resolution of the fungal infection.

For more information on a better outcome for you, contact Advanced Podiatry in Oklahoma City at 405.285.5523.  We’re your foot and ankle solutions experts.  Are you Advanced?

Tracy Hjelmstad, DPM is a Foot and Ankle specialist who practices in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.