Podiatric care for seniors.
As you age, there tend to be more issues related to the foot. This can be a factor of past lifestyle or other extenuating circumstances. At Oak Street Health, our senior primary care team of podiatrists can treat a variety of foot-related issues in a doctor’s office near you, or send you to one of our trusted specialists to take care of the things that need more attention.
Studies suggest that for the best health outcomes, you should be on your feet for at least two hours a day. But for those with foot-related conditions, that number can feel like standing on pins and needles. That’s why it’s so important for your feet to be at their best.
At Oak Street Health, our team of in-center podiatrists work with patients to address problems with the foot, ankle, and lower legs that would normally keep them inactive. We treat a number of conditions and offer a variety of procedures to make sure your feet are healthy. Overall, it is important to remember that your feet should never be taken for granted.
A short list of some of the conditions we treat.
- Diabetic foot care (treatment, shoes, etc.)
- Ulcers (diabetic, circulatory, etc.)
Skin related soft tissue masses
- Tailor’s bunions
Arthritides (DJD, rheumatoid, gout, etc.)
Achilles tendon issues
Evaluation of neurological conditions for bracing (stroke, polio, etc.)
Some of our in-center procedures.
Nail debridement and trimming
Incision and drainage of infected ingrown toenails
Permanent removal of persistent non-infected ingrown toenails
Debridement of calluses
Debridement of ulcers
Steroid injections for heel pain and various conditions
The healthy foot: A step in the right direction.
Older adults have a greater risk of vascular disease that affects arteries that bring blood down to the toes.This could be caused by past health choices like smoking or a poor diet that results in high cholesterol generating pain while walking, discoloration of the feet and legs, and even ulcers or wounds — from inadequate blood flow. Vein issues can also cause swelling of the feet, ankles, and legs, as well as dry skin which can lead to pain and blisters/openings in the affected region. When this occurs, having a podiatrist at the ready is important in your healthcare journey.
Your Oak Street Health podiatrist will work with your Medicare primary care doctor to help relieve the pain, and bring common sense solutions to your problems. Our collaborative environment helps us address foot issues quickly to provide relief so you can get on with your life.
And if for some reason an outside specialist is needed to take care of things such as knee or back pain, chronic vein issues and other extenuating circumstances — we work closely with your specialist to assure your condition is being handled in a timely and effective manner.
- When should I see a podiatrist?
A good rule of thumb is to see a podiatrist once a year. If you have certain conditions including diabetes and/or fungal toenails, it may be beneficial to see a podiatrist sooner such as every three months. A detailed plan can be discussed with your podiatrist.
- What should I do to make sure I don’t run into any problems with my feet?
Examine the bottom of your feet on a regular basis for any problems such as wounds or ulcers. Cuts, calluses, splinters, pressure sores, cracks, and blisters should show signs of healing within 24 hours. If they don’t, make sure you speak to your primary care physician or see your podiatrist directly. Also check to make sure your socks aren’t too tight around your legs. This could be a problem particularly if you have poor blood flow to your legs and feet. Things like ingrown toenails can cause major problems if they are not properly handled. When clipping your toenails, remember to cut straight across the nails and file the corners. Do not cut corners with a clipper as that may lead to an ingrown toenail. Make sure the shoes you’re wearing fit properly. You don’t want to wear shoes that are sized too small or too large for your feet. Lotions and foot baths are helpful as well. Take care to not use too much artificial heat on the feet from items such as heating blankets and water bottles which can lead to burns and other problems.