Back-to-School Shoe Shopping

When shopping for new shoes, it is important to keep in mind the role shoes play in preventing foot problems and injuries. Here are five tips for selecting the best shoes for your child. Note: this may include a compromise between a favorite “in-style” design and a pair of shoes that is good for their feet.

1. Bring your child with you. Have a knowledgeable salesperson measure the length and width of your child’s foot. Guessing their size or assuming they’ve grown a certain amount may lead to an ill-fitted shoe. Children can grow at incredible rates, which means their shoe size will change frequently. The correct fit will avoid tightness and improper motions that could lead to structural and functional deformities.
Use the following rule of thumb when in doubt about proper shoe size: make sure there is at least one thumb’s width between the tip of the big toe and the end of the shoe. (This is also a great rule for adults!) If one foot is larger than the other, buy to fit the larger size.

You may ultimately have to find a compromise between fashion and function, but an appropriate shoe is imperative to your child’s foot health. Shoe shopping with your children helps teach them what to look for in a shoe, and other good habits for the future.

2. Select a good, sturdy shoe. Shoes should have a stiff heel counter (the part of the shoe that goes around the backside of the heel), a semi-rigid toe box (partly stiff/partly flexible area that goes over the tops of the toes), and a rigid midsole area. The shoe should bend where the foot bends– just behind the toes, and not under the arch. A supportive shoe will not twist in the middle or from side to side.

3. Shoes should be comfortable when they are first put on. Buying a shoe with the intent to “break it in” may signify that the shoe was not the proper fit or design for your child. (Another good rule for adults, too!)

4. Regularly check the wear pattern of your child’s shoes. By simply looking at the surface that touches the ground, you should see a normal pattern of wear in the middle and outside of the heel area as well as in the area under the big toe and second toe. This should be relatively equal in both feet. Abnormal or unequal wear patterns can indicate atypical foot changes, and may be helpful to your podiatrist in detecting a possible foot problem.

5. Avoid hand-me-downs. in general, shoes should not be passed down from older siblings or friends. Even shoes that appear in good condition can have break-down of the inner materials that provide support. Sharing shoes could also spread infections that cause warts or fungus from one child to another.

If you have questions about your child’s size, choosing the proper fit, concerns wear patterns or other noticeable changes in your child’s feet, please do not hesitate to call us at (901) 309-7700.

Getting Ready For Summer

Do your feet look like this? Warmer, sandal weather is right around the corner. Now is the time to correct foot conditions that can cause discomfort or embarrassment during the warm Summer months when bare feet are in fashion!

Let our doctors at MSFAS take care of any foot ailment you may have so you’re ready with beautiful feet for Summer. Call MSFAS today to make an appointment at any of our four convenient locations – 901-309-7700.

What is a Podiatrist?

A podiatrist is a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM), also known as a podiatric physician or surgeon. Podiatrists are rigorously trained in conditions of the foot, ankle and related structures of the leg to help diagnose and treat all conditions of the foot and ankle in adults and children.

Podiatrists are the most qualified doctors to care for your feet. They complete four years of training in a podiatric medical school and three years of hospital residency training. This training is similar to that of other doctors. Podiatrists can specialize in many fields, including surgery, sports medicine, wound care, pediatrics (children), and diabetic care.

At Mid-South Foot and Ankle, we have 6 podiatrists/foot and ankle specialists, who are all board certified and qualified surgeons. They all have completed at least 3 years of surgery training, so they can treat and provide follow-up for any foot and ankle diagnosis.

Call Mid-South Foot and Ankle Specialist today to schedule an appointment with one of our physicians. We have four Memphis area locations for your scheduling convenience. 901-309-7700

Melanoma

As fall is well underway , it is important to be mindful of the possibly damaging effects the summer sun had on your skin. Now is the time to do a “mole check” and catch melanomas early.

Melanoma is the most serious type of cancer of the skin. Each year in the United States, more than 53,600 people learn they have melanoma, and the percentage of people in the United States who develop melanoma has more than doubled in the past 30 years.

Melanomas can occur on any skin surface including feet and underneath toenails. People with fair skin, history of severe sunburn, or family history of melanoma are at higher risk of development. Often, the first sign of melanoma is a change in the size, shape, color, or feel of an existing mole.


Diagnosis can be easily achieved by a biopsy performed in the clinic and treatment can be as simple as a local excision of the cancer when caught in the early stages.

If you think you have developed a melanoma, contact Mid-South Foot and Ankle Specialist at 901-309-7700 to make an appointment today.

Nail Trauma

A very common and under-treated form of trauma is that to the toenail itself. Trauma to the nail occurs from a variety of mechanisms, with sports, kicking furniture and doors opening across toes being common causes. Obviously going bare foot or wearing open toe shoes are big risk factors.

While painful, most toenail injuries will not result in grave consequences. However they can result in more severe infections of the toe or bones within the toe. For this reason it is important to seek medical attention if you have sustained a nail injury. It is especially important if you are diabetic.

Frequently, when a nail is injured, the nail lifts off the toe. As it raises the edge of the nail can cut into the nail bed underlying the nail. These cuts, or lacerations, are usually underneath of the nail and can easily be overlooked. If enough of the nail has been loosened, bacteria can get trapped under the nail and this can lead to an infection underneath of the nail. If there is a cut, this can get infected as well.

Occasionally, there are fractures of the bones underlying the nail as well. When these fractures are associated with a laceration under the nail bed, then the bone is exposed and this is called an open fracture. In these cases, medical treatment is essential to avoid possible infection of the bone and even potential loss of the toe!

At Mid-South Foot and Ankle Specialists we have vast experience in treating uncomplicated and complicated injuries to the toenail. At the very least we will be able to address your pain and get you back into life. At most, we may be able to prevent complications that could lead to severe infection. If you think you have suffered a nail injury, please feel free to contact Mid-South Foot and Ankle Specialist at 1-309-7700 to make an appointment today.

Peripheral Arterial Disease Awareness Month

September is Peripheral Arterial Disease Awareness (PAD) Month. PAD can cause leg/foot pain and can result in lower extremity wounds and limb loss if not treated. MSFAS can HELP. Call us for an appointment today – 901-309-7700. We have four convenient locations: Cordova, East Memphis, Midtown and Atoka.
HELP-Feet

Growth Plate (Physeal) Fractures

Growth plate injuries are an interesting and challenging group of injuries based on the unique characteristics of skeletally immature bone in the developing pediatric patient. Generally they are seen after twisting or compressive forces are applied to a bone. They can occur at any age and care must be taken to accurately diagnose and treat these injuries to prevent long term complications.

Histologically, woven bone predominates in the skeletally immature patient. Mechanically, woven bone responds differently to external stress than compact or lamellar bone found in the mature skeleton. Pediatric bone has increased capacity for plastic deformation and decreased tendency for comminution when compared to adult bone.

When growth plate injury is suspected based on the history and physical exam, x-rays or CT scans are often used to confirm or stage the diagnosis. There are multiple forms of growth plate disruptions ranging from a simple compacting injury to complete dislocation.

When evaluation of the patient and fracture injury has been assessed, closed reduction is typically attempted with consent from the patient and family to proceed to open reduction if closed reduction is not possible. Sometimes, it is even necessary to insert screws or pins to stabilize the fracture. In the post-reduction setting, immobilization and non-weight bearing protocols are often implemented. Generally pediatric patients will heal these injuries within 2 months and go forward through life without residual complications.

If you think you have suffered a growth plate injury, please make an appointment with Mid-South Foot and Ankle Specialist to find the best solution for your foot. Call us at 901-309-7700 to make an appointment today.

Ankle Sprains

An ankle sprain is a very common injury and can happen to any person in any age group. Common ways that people are injured include sports, work, daily activities or simply mis-stepping on uneven ground. The injury occurs with twisting or inversion of the ankle, which is where the foot turns inward beyond normal limits of motion. When this happens the ligaments that stabilize the joint can be stretched or torn. This is called an ankle sprain.

A ligament is a stiff, rubber-band like tissue that connects bones together and stabilizes joints. There are several important ligaments that stabilize the ankle joint. The most commonly injured are those on the lateral (or outside) part of the ankle. When these are damaged, the ankle joint can become unstable and even sometimes dislocate.

The most common ankle sprain is referred to as a lateral ankle sprain and can result in significant pain and swelling, with bruising being very common. It is also common to experience continued feelings of instability and have repeat sprains. With appropriate treatment most ankle sprains can recover in a fairly short period of time and with no surgery.

However it is important to know that there are other, more serious injuries that can occur with an ankle sprain. These include complete tearing of the ligaments with dislocation or severe instability, fractures, and damage to cartilage within the ankle joint. For these reasons it is important to have a thorough examination if you suspect you have sustained an ankle sprain.

At Mid-South Foot and Ankle Specialists we employ proven treatment methods that are very effective at managing ankle sprains, and will get you back to physical activity as soon as possible. If you think you have suffered an ankle sprain, please feel free to contact Mid-South Foot and Ankle Specialist at 901-309-7700 to make an appointment today.

Digital (Toe) Fractures

Digital (Toe) fractures are a common injury experienced by thousands of Americans annually. The injury is usually caused by a combination of forces which lead to a disruption in the bone cortex resulting in a visible break on x-ray. In the most severe cases, bone can actually be broken into multiple fragments called a comminuted (or compound) fracture.

Most digital fractures are caused through stubbing or crushing mechanisms. The most frequently fractured digits are the hallux (Great toe) and the 5th digit with the least frequently injured toe being the 3rd. Patients who have fractured their toe generally present to the office with a history of recent injury, pain, swelling, bruising, difficulty weight bearing, and discomfort in shoe gear. In some cases on obvious clinical deformity can be noted as a result of the movement of bone fragments.

Initial office workup includes performing a history and physical of the patient and assessing for malalignment of the toe. The integrity of the surrounding skin, toenail, and blood and nerve supply to the toe is also carefully assessed. X-rays generally are ordered to best evaluate the nature of the bones.

Treatment choices can vary based on the injury. Some simple fractures can be addressed with splinting or taping methods to secure the toe. Sometimes a reduction or repositioning of the toe is needed, and in the most severe injuries, surgical treatment of the injury may be required. Generally fractured toes heal within 6-8 weeks and patients return to normal ambulation without ongoing complication.

If you think you have suffered a toe injury, please make an appointment with Mid-South Foot and Ankle Specialist to find the best solution for your foot. Call us at 901-309-7700 to make an appointment today.

Pediatric Flatfoot

Back to school days are fast approaching. There are so many things on our to do list to get our children ready for school – purchasing supplies and school clothes, getting physicals and shot records, registering them for school and sports, etc. When preparing for school, don’t ignore your child’s growing pains. Many children suffer from Pediatric Flatfoot and may not have symptoms.

As they grow, the flatfoot may cause the child:
• Pain, tenderness or cramping in the foot, leg and knee.
• Outward tilting of heel.
• Difficulty with shoes.
• Reduced energy when participating in physical activities or voluntary withdrawal from doing any physical activities, like sports.

Shown are pictures of a flatfoot before and after surgery. If you think your child is suffering from Pediatric Flatfoot, please make an appointment with Mid-South Foot and Ankle Specialist to find the best solution for your child. Call us at 901-309-7700 to make an appointment today.