What’s with the MLS laser?

What’s with the MLS laser?

What’s with the MLS laser?

MLS Laser Therapy

MLS Laser

Here at New Mexico Foot & Ankle Institute we continuously deal with painful conditions.  We see arthritis, tendonitis, nerve pain, sprained ankles, broken bones and lots and lots of deformities that limit activity levels for various reasons, but the #1 reason is pain.  With the 100’s of different problems we see there are still only a limited number of solutions.

Personally, I struggle occasionally with a pinched nerve in my left foot.  Despite my good orthotics and great collection of good shoes sometimes it still bothers me.  It came down to getting a steroid injection or using the MLS Laser on it.  I chose the MLS laser and it worked great for me.  So why chose the MLS laser over a steroid injection?  For me, the answer was as simple as the shot hurts and the laser doesn’t.

Low level lasers have been around for many years and studied extensively and shown to be effective in increasing blood flow to an injured area which in turned helped the healing.  Our MLS laser is short for a class IV multiwave locked system laser.  Additonally, te new MLS laser that we are now using is a high energy laser and overcomes the limitations that the older lasers had of not being able to treat conditions that were deeper down from the skin.  High energy lasers like the MLS laser have been shown to have analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-edema effects.  There is a lot of science behind how this works which is well beyond the scope of this discussion today.

The take home message is that the laser can be used to treat almost all of the painful conditions I see in clinic.  Similarly, it opens another door for us to offer more treatment options to patients who are looking for immediate relief of their pain and for safe and pain free ways to achieve that goal.  The laser worked well for my inflamed nerve and we’ve seen tremendous results with the laser on postoperative patients, slow healing wounds, tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, sprained ankles and many other conditions.  In brief, we are always striving to enhance our services to our patients by offering the best available treatments on the market and this is just another way we do this.

Don’t live life in pain, we now have another fantastic option for returning you to enjoy a pain free active lifestyle.

Call us today for an appointment at 505.880.1000. We take care of your feet…so that they’ll take care of you!

Nathan Ivey, DPM

#topdoctors   #bestABQfootdoctors   #nmfai   #wesavesoles #footdoctors   #podiatrist

 

Total Ankle Replacement: Who’s a Candidate?

Total Ankle Replacement: Who’s a Candidate?

Total Ankle Replacement: Who’s a Candidate?

I see a lot of new patients that struggle with arthritis.  One of the most common places is the ankle joint.  We usually start simple with x-rays, bracing, anti-inflammatories, injection therapy, and minimally invasive procedures like an ankle scope.  What happens if all of those things fail?  In the past, the ankle fusion was the only viable alternative.  That may sound aggressive and limiting but, truth be told, most people do very well with the procedure.  I admit that it does sound scary to no longer be able to move the ankle joint.  Many patients then ask, “Are there any other options?  Surgeons can replace hips and knees.  Can they replace ankles?”  The answer is YES.

The first total ankle replacements came out decades ago with more complications than success.  Over the years, things have slowly improved.  Companies are now on 3rd generation implants which have been very successful.  In the past year, I have started doing them at Presbyterian and they are now approved at Lovelace.  Patients have been very happy with these implants and do quite well with them.  The replacements are followed by 2-3 days in the hospital but most patients get to go home.  Most patients are walking 4-6 weeks after surgery as opposed to 8-12 weeks with an ankle fusion.

The most important thing to recognize is that not everyone is a good candidate.  I look at age, severity, deformity, activity level, weight, and of course, medical history before I perform these surgeries.  So, if you’ve been suffering with ankle pain and avoiding surgery because of limited options, I would be happy to meet with you and see if you are a candidate for a total joint implant.

Don’t  Live Life In Pain!  Call us at 505.880.1000 today to make an appointment.

Jonathan Williamson, DPM

Achilles Tendon Injuries

Achilles Tendon Injuries

Achilles Tendon Injuries

If you watch basketball you probably saw or heard about DeMarcus Cousins recent injury to his achilles tendon.  He was diagnosed after the game with an MRI confirming a complete rupture of his achilles tendon which means he will not be returning to play this season.  In my practice we see a lot of achilles injuries ranging from minor tendonitis problems to partial and complete tears.  The interesting thing about DeMarcus Cousins injury is that it was not an obvious traumatic injury.  He was just playing the game like usual, got in a small scuffle and then couldn’t walk on his leg anymore.  It is not unusual for me to see patients who are wondering how they have such a horrible problem with no good story of an injury to tell.  It would be great if we could all talk about how we injured our leg or foot after falling from the back of a car racing down the freeway or sprained our ankle while lifting a car off a fallen friend but unfortunately sometimes we are just going about our normal activities and suffer an injury that takes us out of our normal ability to get around.  Many people feel that since there wasn’t a good cause to the pain that they should just ignore it or hope that it goes away with a little home remedy.  Don’t let the injury get worse by ignoring it.  Most injuries will heal much faster with aggressive treatment.  If you are limping even a little bit you need to be seen and evaluated.  Despite the fact, that you didn’t fall off the roof, you may still have a serious injury that will do better with appropriate treatment by a podiatrist.  Unfortunately, sometimes as in the case of DeMarcus Cousins it may even require surgery to correct appropriately.  Fortunately though, almost all injuries get back to normal function and hopefully if all goes well we’ll see DeMarcus Cousins back on the court next season.

Don’t Live Life in Pain! Call us today for an appointment at 505.880.1000. We take care of your feet…so that they’ll take care of you!

Nathan Ivey, DPM

#topdoctors #bestABQfootdoctors #nmfai #wesavesoles

Childhood Development: What’s normal and what’s not

Childhood Development: What’s normal and what’s not

Childhood Development: What’s normal and what’s not

Ever wonder why your child looks like they are flatfooted or pigeon-toed?  It all could be part of normal development.  I have a 5 year old and an infant so I have been watching feet grow and can sympathize with the concerned parent.  Most have heard that flat feet are bad and can cause problems in the future.  We all want what’s best for our children and many of us make huge sacrifices to achieve those goals.

Normal development:

Bowed legs are normal through the toddler years (2-4) and sometimes it is very pronounced earlier in that time frame and will slowly improve. Flat feet are common in early walkers and can stay flat through 6-8 years of age.  At this time the knee/leg relationship becomes more like an adult and children usually don’t grow out of a foot condition after about 8 years old.

When to see a podiatrist?

Total Ankle Replacement: Who’s a Candidate?

Ankle Replacement Surgery: How long will recovery take?

Ankle Replacement Surgery: How long will recovery take?

I’ve been doing total ankle replacements for a couple of years now.  My implant of choice is the Wright Medical Ankle Implant because of its full, staged, revision system should revision ever be necessary.  One of the most commonly asked questions is concerning the length of recovery after the replacement.  There is a lot of different information out there regarding this subject.   Some information suggests up to a year for recovery.  I think that some of the information is implant specific so keep that in mind.  So what has my experience been?

The surgery generally takes a couple of hours.  After the surgery, most patients spend 2-3 days in the hospital.  While in the hospital, they work with the physical therapy team to ensure that they can remain non weight-bearing on the surgical extremity.  Assuming they have a good support system, they get to go home.  For people who live alone or who need further therapy, they sometimes need to go to a rehab facility prior to going home.

My patients are generally non weight-bearing on the affected ankle for 2 weeks.  After that, I let them start putting some weight on the ankle.  That does not mean that they are walking.  They are in a hard cast from week 3-4 so walking is not really possible.  However, they can put weight on the extremity to stand and to transfer.  Once the cast comes off at 4 weeks, the patient is placed in a surgical boot.  At that point, they can start walking but this is most likely going to be a transition.  Most patients start with the boot and crutches and slowly wean off of the crutches.  That can take a couple of weeks.  Most patients are returning to a regular shoe, sometimes with an ankle brace, somewhere between 6-8 weeks.

So, when are you “back to normal?”  My response is…that depends on what “normal” is for you!  Even after walking in a regular shoe, your ankle and leg can be weak and stiff.  Sometimes, further physical therapy is required.  If you had a fairly modest activity level prior to surgery, you’re going to be back to normal faster.  If you had a higher level of activity prior to the surgery, it is going to take a little longer.  And remember, low impact activity is the way to go with these implants as they will last longer.

I follow my total ankle patients very close for the first 3 months.  I then see them back at 6, 9, and 12 months.   By 6 months, most of my patients are pretty much back to what they would consider to be normal.  And while there are exceptions, this seems to be the trend.

Don’t Live Life in Pain! Call us today for an appointment at 505.880.1000. We take care of your feet…so that they’ll take care of you!

Jonathan Williamson, DPM

#topdoctors #bestABQfootdoctors #nmfai #wesavesoles

Tendonitis Basics

Tendonitis Basics

Tendonitis Basics

Tendonitis is any inflammation of a tendon. Tendons are strong bands of tissue that connect muscles to bones. Inflammation is pain, swelling, and irritation due to injury, overuse, infection or disease. Tendons, unlike ligaments that attach bones to other bones, go through a lot more motion and movement. This increased amount of movement frequently makes them the first to be injured and sadly the last to heal.

There are a lot of tendons in the foot and ankle. Nine major tendons pass the ankle joint alone. Thankfully, we at the New Mexico Foot and Ankle Institute understand these and can customize treatments for each individual tendon or problem. Not every tendonitis can be treated with simple ice and rest. There are many treatments that can be used to not only manage the tendonitis, but to decrease pain and increase strength. Our huge variety of braces, shoes, orthotics and specialized pads can offer dramatic relief despite being simple additions to treatment plans. Our goal is to get patients back into 100% activity as fast as possible and to prevent tendonitis from ever happening again.

Don’t Live Life in Pain! Call us today for an appointment at 505.880.1000. We take care of your feet…so that they’ll take care of you!

Justin Ward, DPM

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