Special Care We Provide
Athlete’s Foot (Tinea Pedis): A fungal or yeast infection of the skin presenting with an appearance that can vary from simple scaling of the skin, with minimal itching, to macerated raw areas with spread of the infection to the undersurface of the toes or to the dorsum of the foot with blistering and inflammation.
Fungal Nails (Onychomycosis): A fungal or yeast infection of the nail that may present with an appearance that can vary from white discoloration at edges of nail to thickened, crumbly, yellowish discoloration that may involve the entire nail plate.
Ingrown Nails (Onychocryptosis): A condition where a spike, shoulder or serrated edge of the nail has grown into the skin, usually at the nail edges. It produces significant pain and may become inflamed, red, shiny and tense (Paronychia) with swelling of the toe. This may be from nail injury, shoe gear or from curving of the nail.
Corns & Calluses: Thickening of skin in areas of increased pressure. Often a symptom of abnormal ambulation pressures, poor fitting shoes or bony prominences that increase pressure to areas of the foot. These can be problematic and often become very painful, especially with increasing thickness.
Plantar Verruca (Warts): Thickened, yellow lesions with small pinpoint areas of bleeding or black specks (from clotted capillaries). These may present as single lesions or multiple lesions that come together as one large lesion (Mosaic Wart). They can be transmitted by contact with individuals, in swimming pools, locker rooms or other areas of public traffic.
Plantar Fasciitis: A common problem encountered by physicians described as sharp pain, aching or stiffness on the bottom of one or both heels. The pain is usually localized to the bottom of the foot where the heel comes in contact with the arch. The pain is usually worst on the first step in the morning, after long periods of rest/sitting or after long periods of standing and ambulation. Metatarsalgia: Pain localized to the “ball of the foot” that is often produced by ambulating barefoot, high heeled shoes, tight achilles tendon (Equinus), or loss of plantar fat pad (with increasing age). This is often exacerbated by ambulation on hard floors, change of flooring in house or changing of shoe gear.
Neuromas: Pain, numbness, tingling, cramping or burning localized to “ball of foot” that may start gradually and progress over time. Symptoms usually present after ambulating or standing for a period of time. It might feel like standing on a ball or rope. It usually presents in the area between the third and fourth toes, but may also affect other areas of the foot.
Neuropathy: Pain, burning, numbness, tingling or loss of feeling to feet usually progressing from toes to the heel and then the ankle and knee (as if pulling a sock on). Often associated with Diabetes Mellitus, but may be associated with alcohol abuse, leprosy, nerve injury and multiple other causes (including an unknown etiology). This is particularly problematic as it may lead to other serious problems of the foot and leg.
Tendonitis: Inflammation or pain to a tendon from traumatic injury, increased stress or abnormal ambulation. Over time this may lead to scaring of the tendon, increasing pain or limitation of ability to ambulate normally. Arthritis: Pain to foot in the area of joints that may initiate as stiffness and progress to increasing pain as bone rubs on bone. This is produced by break down of joint surfaces (cartilage) and production of irregular joint surfaces.
Gout: An arthritic condition usually presenting in the great toe joint (Podagra) secondary to sodium urate crystal deposition in that joint. This is due to excess uric acid in the circulation leading to crystal deposition in the tissues.
Bunions: A bunion is a protuberance or enlargement of bone or tissue at the base of the great toe. This occurs when the great toe begins to migrate towards the lesser toes and may be exacerbated by abnormal ambulation patterns, tight/pointed shoe gear. As such, it often is seen in families and is more common in women. Bunions may be without symptoms or may progress to severe pain that interferes with shoe wear, ambulation and standing.
Tailor’s Bunions (Bunionette): Similar to the bunion deformity of the great toe, this protuberance or enlargement of bone or tissue is localized to the base of the little toe. These are also often seen in families. These may present with or without painful symptoms.
Hammer Toes: Hammer toes are little toes that buckle or curl under. These may develop in any of the toe joints: joint at end of toe (Mallet Toe), joint in middle of toe (Hammer Toe), joint at ball of foot (Hammer Toe), or combination of all joints (Claw Toe). Over time, these toes may hurt, may produce corns or calluses on the toes or may limit ambulation and shoe gear.
Foot or Ankle Fractures: All 28 bones of the foot and 2 bones of the ankle can be fractured or dislocated. Proper healing and return to function requires knowledge of normal anatomic alignment.
Foot or Ankle Sprain/Strain: A sudden sideways motion, a twist, a misstep, or a foot landing off balance combined with muscles giving way may produce stretching of tendons or ligaments (Strain) or rupture/tear of ligaments (Sprain). These injuries are often painful at time of injury and throughout the healing process. Correct treatment can increase speed of recovery and limit reinjury.
High Arch (Pes Cavus) or Flat Feet (Pes Planus): Shoe gear is usually designed for average foot types. This causes increased difficulty for those that have genetically high arches or flat feet. This foot type also has a higher risk for ankle sprains and foot injury. Although this foot type may be without pain, accommodation with custom or semi-custom orthotics/inserts can produce greater comfort and decreased foot pain or difficulty long-term.
Lacerations: With the 107 ligaments, 19 muscles and tendons, and intricate web of nerves and blood vessels, any laceration can be problematic in the foot.
Ulcerations: Due to pressure that is constantly on the foot and leg during regular ambulation, ulcerations are particularly difficult in the lower extremity. Causes can vary from diabetic peripheral neuropathy, vascular abnormalities, high blood pressure, pressure sores or multiple other causes. All require careful management and an understanding of the available advanced wound care modalities, to produce the desired results in a reasonably shorter time.
Although foot pain is never normal, it is very common and can often limit your ability to continue to function in normal living and normal life. Due to the complexity of the foot structures(including 28 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles and tendons, and an intricate web of nerves and blood vessels), there can be a large number of causes for foot pain. Careful evaluation of your foot or ankles may be required to determine the cause of your aching feet. One aspect of this evaluation will include determining what foot type and walking pattern you have. Most individuals can typed into one of 6 foot types as discussed below:
Do you suffer from numbness, burning or tingling in your feet? Neuropathy (nerve damage) is most commonly associated with diabetes, but there are nearly 250 other possible causes, including:
- a simple vitamin deficiency
- exposure to toxins
- complications from a kidney, liver or thyroid disorder
- an infection caused by another disease
- a traumatic injury
All of these can cause the nerves in your feet to become overly sensitive to pain or to become completely numb. The good news is that many of those aches and pains you thought you had to live with are treatable.
At Mountain West Foot & Ankle Institute, we will start by treating the symptoms to give you immediate pain relief. Then, we will work with you to diagnose the root cause and cure it as quickly as possible.
Diabetes is a disease in which the body doesn't produce or properly utilize insulin. Insulin is a hormone utilized by the body to stimulate cells to use sugars, starches and other foods as energy for regular bodily functions. If insulin is poorly produced or poorly utilized, these foods are not converted into the necessary energy, and the sugars continue to circulate in the blood stream. This leads to high blood sugar.
Diabetes is caused by a culmination of many different factors, although insulin abnormalities (either production or use) cause the diabetic symptoms. Of the causes being studied, genetics (family influence) and environmental factors such as obesity and lack of exercise play important roles. Since the exact cause of diabetes is still poorly understood, health professionals continue to research how to prevent and possibly cure diabetes.
As a recreational soccer player, a soccer coach, a marathon runner and a father of very active children (soccer, lacrosse, swimming, biking, running, dance, etc.), Dr Gibson understands that as an athlete you need to stay active. Our goal, therefore, is to allow you to continue participation in your sport if possible. When an injury requires limiting activities, often you will be given aggressive treatments that will help you return to your activities as quickly as possible.
Few moments are as precious to a parent as their child's first steps. As a father of 11, Dr. Gibson knows that proud moment well. But what do you do when your child can't walk, has problems walking or seems to be in pain on his or her feet?
"Pain is never normal," notes Dr. Gibson. Even so-called "growing pains" usually have a cause and can often be treated. If you have a question about your child's foot development or pain, give us a call. Your child's feet will be in the best hands - a father's hands.
Dr. Gibson also recommends checking your newborn's feet for five signs:
- Flat feet: Approximately 97 percent of Utah newborns appear to have flat feet. This is normal and should not concern parents.
- Flexible feet: Since their bones are still developing, a newborn's feet should be flexible. You should call a foot specialist if you notice a foot that is tilted oddly on the leg, stiff and inflexible or contorted.
- Baby shape: Most baby feet look like a "V," with a narrow heel. Any shape abnormalities can be fixed if caught early.
- Reflexes: Run your finger from the bottom of the heel up to the big toe. Adults tend to curve their toes down while infants spread their toes apart. You only need to be concerned if there is no response at all.
- Toes: Count them - There should be 10. Other abnormalities could include an unusually large toe or webbed toes. A Utah foot specialist can tell you if treatment is required for a specific abnormality.
An ingrown toenail is easily diagnosed by curving of the edge of the nail into the skin and causing inflammation, redness and significant pain. Ingrown toenails are primarily caused by an inherited tendency for the nails to curve, but may be aggravated by tight shoes, tight socks and incorrect nail trimming (nails should be trimmed straight across as opposed to curved like fingernails). In fact many people without an inherited tendency for nails to curve, will never have ingrowing even with tight shoes, poor nail trimming and other causative actions.
Our world consists of multiple small organisms that can cause an infection. In fact, we are constantly being bombarded with information about infection risks, or lifestyle changes that are important to minimize infection. Whether the infection comes from fungus, bacteria or even viruses, symptoms are usually similar and can be evaluated to determine if you have an infection.
Clinical Signs of Infection
The most common signs of infection include:
- Erythema: Increased redness to the area (usually a bright red color)
- Edema: Increased swelling or retained water to area. Severe edema can lead to "shiny skin"
- Calor: Increased heat to area
- Dolor: Increased pain, which may even be debilitating pain
Other signs may include fever, chills, nausea or vomitting.
As you look for these signs, you may have a better idea if you have an infection.
A bunion is an enlargement or prominence of the bone or tissue at the base of the great toe. This usually causes a bump to the inside of the foot that can rub on shoes, or interfere with walking (ambulation) or standing. This occurs when the great toe begins to migrate towards the other toes. Although it is not commonly caused by shoes, it may be exacerbated by abnormal ambulation patterns, tight/pointed shoe gear or injury to the feet. It is also commonly seen in families, as it may be an inherited trait and is more common in women. Bunions may be without symptoms or may progress to severe pain that requires some form of treatment.
You woke up one morning and stepped down on the floor and began to experience significant pain. This pain resolves slowly with walking, but then returns as you go throughout the day. The pain is most severe after a good night's rest. You can't hardly even walk after sleeping. What is this pain? Is it a normal part of getting older? Do you have a heel spur that is causing your pain?
Curling toes, usually called hammertoes, are common. Here at Mountain West Foot & Ankle Institute, we see them on a regular basis. But this is your feet, so we want to help you understand what this condition is and how it can be treated. You do have options. Hammer toes are little toes that buckle or curl under. The curling can develop in any toe joint and may cause pain.
Gait by definition is this process of motion. If any structure functions in a less than optimal fashion, the process may be accompanied by pain, deformity or even injury, That makes the analysis of the process of walking or running imperative for optimizing your own unique instruments of locomotion.
You looked at your feet and found a lesions, a sore or a new area of thick skin on your feet. Maybe you have thickening, or swelling under the skin. Many different lesions, tumors or growths can be found on the feet and all can be treated.
What are your treatment options?
Is this cancer or otherwise dangerous?
These are important questions that must be evaluated carefully. Although dangerous lesions are uncommon on the feet, painful lesions, tumors or growths are very common. To get your the appropriate treatment, it is important that you understand what is there...
Mountain West Foot & Ankle Institute is always in search of the newest and best treatments for our patients. We therefore were excited to find a relatively new technology in our new MLS Laser, considered to be the medical technology forefront. This Class IV Laser Therapy has quickly become a powerful secret weapon in treating foot and ankle pain, even pain that has been present and poorly treated for years. In fact, Laser Therapy has been cleared by the FDA and proven successful through extensive and credible studies conducted in our country's finest institutions including Harvard University.
Known Benefits of Laser Therapy
- Anti-Inflammatory (Decreased Swelling)
- Analgesic (Decreased Pain)
- Improved Cellular Healing & Growth
- Improved Circulation To Area
- Improving Cellular Metabolism (Cells function better)
- Reduction of Scar Tissue and Improved Wound Healing
- Improved Nerve Function
- Improved Immune System to Area
An orthotic is a specialized appliance, even a type of shoe insert, that is designed to improve the foot functioning. The foot is a complex structure that is designed to function in a complex coordination of muscles, joints, tendons and bones to produce walking (a combination of supination and pronation). When an orthotic (designed for your foot) is placed inside your shoe with full contact to the foot, it aligns the foot with the leg and causes optimum motion of the foot. Usually this improves the functioning of the foot and often eliminates pain from overuse of the tendons, muscles or joints.
With the new trends of barefoot running, shoes designed to simulate being barefoot and new shoes to exercise your feet and legs, the question about what shoes to buy has become more common. How do you find a quality shoe?
As you look for quality shoes, whether for you or a family member, it is recommended that you follow some key recommendations. Although shoes don't usually cause foot or ankle problems, they can aggrevate a problem or a good shoe can reduce associated problems and even discomfort.
As your feet carry your through life, a shoe (if chosen correctly) can greatly improve your comfort and your ability to continue to function. Get a good shoe, you deserve it!
Since we can help you with almost any foot or ankle pain or problem, you can come in for any reason. Not all foot or ankle concerns require an appointment, however. Dr Gibson has provided some key reasons that people should come for an appointment.
Nobody wants to live on crutches for weeks following foot surgery. And much as we like to kick off our shoes, prop up our feet and relax, even that gets old. After all, there's work to be done, games to be played and places to go.
Our goal is to get you back on your feet faster than you'd expect.
So if you've been putting off that bunion surgery, for example, for a "less busy" period of your life, don't. Instead, opt for Dr. Gibson's self-proclaimed "walking bunions" surgery, so nicknamed because patients can walk the same day.
If you've struggled with foot pain that never left after that bad sprain, ask us about our new surgery for Lisfranc injuries, a rare but painful condition in which a sprain has not fully healed.
Also, a new no-incision surgery can help your heel pain and get you back to normal shoes within days. Usually, plantar fasciitis or heel spur surgeries would take you off your feet for weeks, but not with this new revolutionary procedure for heel pain.
The foot is a complex biological masterpiece consisting of 28 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles and tendons and an intricate web of nerves and blood vessels.
The "practice of podiatry" is defined by Utah State Podiatry Las as "The diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the human foot and ankle and their manifestations of systemic conditions by all appropriate and lawful means." Treatment of various conditions may include palliative care, biomechanical modalities, physical therapy, surgical intervention, and the prescription of both systemis and topical medications.
Podiatry is a unique medical profession that provides care for all people from the very young to the very old, from the inactive to the highly active, and can usually help all overcome problems with the foot or ankle.