Have a Question About Foot Pain or Treatment? Find the Answer Here

We get asked a lot of questions about foot and ankle pain. In fact, we’ve compiled a list of frequently-asked questions (and their answers) to give our patients fast access to common podiatry issues. Use the search bar on this page or browse through our list of frequent questions for solutions to your problem.

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  • How long does it take to recover from a torn Achilles tendon?

    The recovery and rehabilitation time for a torn Achilles tendon, also called an Achilles tendon rupture, can vary based on factors such as the severity of the initial injury, the treatment procedure selected, and how well you follow your doctor’s guidelines for rehabilitation.It is important to properly recover from a torn Achilles tendon!

    For many Achilles ruptures, you have a choice to make between conservative treatment (immobilization via a cast or walking boot, allowing the tendon to heal on its own) or surgical tendon repair. The recovery time can be similar for both treatments, although full rehabilitation may be faster with surgery.

    In either case, you’ll probably need to wear a cast or walking boot for about 6-8 weeks while the tendon injury heals. After that, you’ll gradually return to more weight-bearing activity and perform rehabilitation exercises. The average time for a full return to your previous sports or level of activity is around 6 months, although it can vary quite a bit (4-12 months).

    Achilles ruptures are serious injuries that need immediate attention in order to get you the best long-term outcome. To make an appointment with Dr. Victoria Melhuish and Sierra Foot & Ankle in either Carson City or Gardnerville, please call (775) 783-8037.

  • How is Achilles tendinitis treated?

    There are multiple approaches to treating Achilles tendinitis, depending on the ultimate underlying cause of your pain and extent of tendon injury. Fortunately, the vast majority of cases will resolve with conservative care. Some common approaches include:Treating Achilles Tendinitis

    • RICE therapy. That means rest (avoiding vigorous activity while you heal), followed with ice, compression, and elevation to combat swelling and pain.
    • Physical therapy. Stretching and strengthening exercises for calves and ankles relieve tightness and pain, as well as build resistance to re-injury.
    • Supportive Taping or Bracing. Support is very important even with normal daily walking activities to allow rest and prevent further injury while the tendon is inflamed.
    • Custom orthotics. Quite often a foot structural biomechanical issue plays a role, interesting both flat feet and well arched feet develop issues because of alinement changes to the heel bone.  A custom orthotic will re aline the heel bone thus supporting and relieving strain on the Achilles tendon. Our office is unique with an onsite lab enabling precise fitting and individual customization of orthotics on site.

    Don’t let Achilles tendinitis keep you from enjoying your activities—or just getting though your day without pain. Achilles tendinitis if left untreated, not improving or getting worse can weakening the Achilles Tendon and lead to tears or rupture. If the back of your heel or lower Achilles tendon is hurting and hasn’t improved after a few days, make an appointment with Dr. Victoria Melhuish at Sierra Foot & Ankle in Carson City, NV. Reach us at (775) 783-8037. 

  • Can what you eat affect your feet?

    Yes! Just as with the rest of your body, what you eat affects your feet. A good diet promotes healthy, strong, durable feet that resist pain, disease, and injury.

    Healthy food promotes foot heathCalcium and Vitamin D are two important minerals that help maintain strong bones. Because of the high amount of weight, pressure, and stress you place on your feet every day, foot bones are often the first to crack or break due to osteoporosis (brittle bones).

    On the flipside, too much refined sugar, trans fats, saturated fats, and other less healthy substances can cause inflammation and pain in the feet, and they can also damage your peripheral nervous system. Often the first nerves to be affected are the ones in the feet, leading to tingling, burning, shooting pain, numbness, cramping, and other symptoms.

    If your feet are hurting, a healthy diet is often part of a long-term recovery and prevention program. To learn more, please schedule an appointment with Sierra Foot and Ankle in Carson City or Gardnerville, NV by calling (775) 783-8037 today.

  • Does it matter whether I go to Carson City or Gardnerville for my appointment?

    Things just got a little easier if you are looking for a podiatrist in Carson City, NV, as Sierra Foot & Ankle expands to a second location. Of course, if you are used to going to our Gardnerville office, you can gladly continue to go there, and you can still call us at (775) 783-8037, or our toll-free number at (888) 608-8406, to schedule in Carson City or Gardnerville.

    Either way, you can be assured of excellent care for your foot issues. Both locations are equipped with all the diagnostic and treatment tools we need to figure out why you are having symptoms and offer relief for them.

    Besides distance, your decision may be based on your schedule. Full services are offered Tuesday and Thursday at Gardnerville, and Wednesday and Friday at Carson City, including early Friday hours to fit your work schedule. For urgent care at any time, call us and we will determine the best place for you to be seen.

    We are happy to offer this additional location in the Douglas County area for your convenience and look forward to a long and happy relationship helping you keep your feet safe and healthy.

  • Why does it feel like I have a stone in my shoe?

    Some say it feels like a stone in your shoe, others a marble, others a bunched up sock, but all have the sensation of something that doesn’t belong there irritating your foot. There are a couple of possible causes for this.

    The first is a neuroma. This is a benign thickening of a nerve that causes feelings of numbness or pain. It usually occurs when a nerve between a couple of smaller toes is pinched by bones or tendons that have moved out of position.

    Another possibility is capsulitis or bursitis—both inflammatory conditions—in the second metatarsalphalangeal joint where the bones of the second toe and metatarsal (foot bone) meet.

    Both have similar symptoms—numbness and/or pain in the toes or ball of the foot—but a good podiatrist won’t jump to conclusions too quickly. At Sierra Foot & Ankle we take the time to ask questions and examine your foot to pinpoint the exact reason for the feelings you describe. Then we will try conservative remedies, and most of the time they will be successful.

    Next time you have these symptoms, call our office in Carson City or Gardnerville, NV, at (775) 783-8037, or toll free at (888) 608-8406, for an appointment.

  • What happens to my feet during pregnancy?

    Pregnancy FeetHormone changes and weight gain can prompt a variety of foot conditions during pregnancy. Frequently the added baby weight and loosening of your ligaments cause your feet to expand a half or whole shoe size. Swelling, called edema, is also common. Sometimes the added pressure on the feet and ankles can lead to arch or heel pain. You could also develop cracked heels if your skin is too dry. The key to avoiding all this discomfort is to take steps to relieve the pressure on your lower limbs. Try to keep your feet elevated as much as possible, and wear cushioned, supportive shoes. Make sure you use moisturizer on your skin to avoid dryness. If your feet become especially uncomfortable, don’t just suffer through it. Contact Sierra Foot & Ankle for an appointment or more information about how you can relieve your discomfort. Call (775) 783-8037 or fill out the online contact form to reach our Carson City office. 

  • What can tight shoes do to my feet?

    Many times, shoes are the main culprits of the pain you feel at the end of the day. Of course, we all know the dangers of high heels, but tight and ill-fitting shoes can also create a lot of problems.

    If your toes are constantly pushing against the front of your shoe, you might develop a condition known as hammertoes. Black toenails and ingrown toenails are also caused by your toenails suffering repetitive injury after hitting the front or side of the shoe.

    Blisters happen when a shoe—especially a tight one—rubs on a vulnerable or sensitive area of your foot. You might also develop corns, which are round, calloused bumps on the skin that form when the tops of your toes bump against the tops of your shoes too much.

    Tight shoes might also cause foot pain like plantar fasciitis and heel spurs. Make sure you get the right fit. If you need any advice, please don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment at Sierra Foot & Ankle by calling (775) 783-8037.