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Oklahoma City, OK 73116

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By Dr. Darren Elenburg
July 26, 2017
Category: Skin and Nail Care

Do you need sunscreen on your feet?

How many times have you gone out for an hour or two without sunscreen, then paid the price for it? Maybe you feel asleep a little too long by the pool, or thought you could squeeze in nine quick holes before the sun got too high in the sky.

Or how about this one: You did put on sunscreen, just not enough of it, and not in all the right places. Arms and shoulders? Totally fine. Tops of the ears though? Burnt to a crisp.

Unfortunately, for many people, the tops of feet often fall into that later category. If you’re going out in open-toed shoes (hopefully good, supportive ones instead of flip-flips!) or planning to spend some time barefoot at the pool or beach, you need to make sure your feet are protected.

Aside from avoiding a painful sunburn, the main reason that any of us use sunscreen is, of course, to reduce the risk of skin cancer. The good news is that the bottoms of your feet offer good natural protection from harmful UV rays, so you don’t really have to worry about them. But the tops of your feet—which spend most of their time directly facing the sun—are much more vulnerable.

And the truth is, the tops of your feet are one of the last places you really want to feel a sunburn—or worse, develop a form of skin cancer. There’s a very simple reason for this. In order to give you the best chance for survival and recovery, aggressive skin cancers (such as malignant melanoma) must be identified and treated as early as possible. If the signs of cancer (for example, splotchy moles that change size, color, or shape) are on your face and arms, you’ll probably notice them pretty quickly. But if they’re on your feet, it might take longer to realize a problem and seek help for it.

So the next time you’re heading out the door to relax or explore in your sandals, remember to apply the sunscreen liberally to the tops of your feet and any other spots where the sun might shine. You will keep yourself from a painful burn, and reduce your risk for much greater problems down the line.

If you have any concerns about spots on your skin, or any other issues with your feet or ankles, please make an appointment today with Dr. Darren Elenburg at the Foot & Ankle Center of Oklahoma. You can reach us at (405) 463-6700.

By Darren Elenburg, DPM, FACFAS
July 11, 2017
Category: Skin and Nail Care

Prenting warts and fungal infectionsSo, you’re getting ready to head to the pool, huh? You’ve got your sunscreen, check. Towel, check. Snacks, check. Wait – what about your shower shoes? Believe us when we tell you those are just as important to remember as your bathing suit!

The virus that causes ugly warts and the fungus responsible for athlete’s foot and fungal nails love hanging out at the pool as much as you do -- and they’re just waiting for you to arrive so they can latch onto your bare feet!

Preventing warts and other unsightly infections starts with protecting your feet when in public places, especially those that provide a damp, warm environment like pool decks, gym locker rooms and showers. These are places where fungi thrive and where others carrying the wart virus may have left their trace on a towel or floor. All it takes is a small opening in the skin of your feet for the virus or fungus to enter and wreak havoc. That’s why it’s so important you bring along and wear those shower shoes!

Other prevention tips to avoid warts and fungal infections include:

  • Keeping your feet clean and dry
  • Wearing moisture-wicking socks
  • Alternating the shoes you wear to give them time to dry out
  • Treating your feet and shoes with antimicrobial powder or spray
  • Not sharing footwear, towels, toiletries, or pedicure tools

Summer’s no time to have a painful wart, the red, itchy rash of athlete’s foot, or thick and yellow fungal toenails! Keep your feet safe from these bothersome and unsightly problems by following the tips above. If you do happen to pick up the virus or fungus that causes these issues, come see us for treatment to stop the infection and keep it from spreading! Call for an appointment at our Oklahoma City, OK office by dialing (405) 463-6700.

Okay, now you’re ready to go to the pool!Coming soon.

Running eventSummer always brings a burst of activity for kids and adults alike. Whether you’re off to soccer camp, playing some pickup basketball, or simply going for a long run or bike ride, the time couldn’t be better than now. That is, unless heel pain, an ankle sprain, or other lower extremity athletic injury brings your summer to a crashing halt.

Exercise is, of course, great for your physical and mental health. But pain and injury while exercising is one of the top reasons people quit their routines, or never get off the couch in the first place. Lowering your sports injury risk, and taking steps to minimize the pain and pressure you feel with every step, can help you get out and go.

  • It starts with your shoes. Obviously, the fit matters—don’t try to squeeze into shoes that are too tight or big. But the type of shoe matters, too. By that we mean more than “don’t run your marathon in Crocs.” If you play a lot of basketball, for example, get yourself a good pair of basketball shoes; don’t assume your runners or cross-trainers are up to the task.
  • Don’t forget to replace those shoes when it’s time, either. We all get attached, of course. But that squishy midsole flattens with time, and that means less and less arch support and shock absorption for your bones and soft tissues. For active individuals, a new pair every 3 months or 400-500 miles is a good rule of thumb, though that varies based on factors like weight, activity, shoe quality, etc.
  • You can’t go from eating Doritos on the couch to starting in the NBA in a day. If you haven’t been active for a while, you’re ramping up your activity levels, or you’re switching sports, go slow at first. Your body and muscles need time to adjust to new motions and intensity levels. If you don’t check yourself, you’re very likely to wreck yourself.
  • If you’re a runner, remember that terrain make a difference, too. Try switching to flatter, softer surfaces if your current route is working over your feet.
  • Vary your activities. You want to avoid making the same types of motions over and over every day, especially high-impact events like running and jumping. Balance your weekly routine with alternatives like weight training, trying a different sport, or lower-impact cardio like biking or swimming.
  • Warm up for 5-10 minutes before you exercise. This helps get the blood flowing and your body and mind ready for activity. Light cardio and stretching are good choices.
  • Cool down after exercise, too. It helps your core temperature and heart rate return to normal more gradually. This can help prevent fainting and dizziness and prevent waste products from building up in your muscles.

If you find that your efforts to prevent or reduce your foot and ankle pain aren’t working, it’s time to make the call and set up an appointment with Dr. Darren Elenburg at Foot & Ankle Center of Oklahoma. You may have a foot condition that needs to be diagnosed and addressed through treatment options such as custom orthotics. To set up your appointment, please dial (405) 463-6700.

By Dr. Darren Elenburg
June 14, 2017
Category: Sports Medicine
Tags: Shockwave Therapy  

Athletes, dancers, those who work on their feet, and other physically active individuals know it well: when you work hard and play hard, you sometimes get hurt. Unsurprisingly, we see a lot of people at our office with sore feet, painful heals, strained muscles, weakened tendons, and other overuse injuries. Often, an eager athlete won’t give their body enough time to recover from stresses and injuries. Over time, that repetitive strain leads to chronic pain.

Shockwave therapy for foot painThere are lots of potential remedies for chronic sports injury pain, but one of the most “shocking”—and most effective—is a tool called extracorporeal shockwave therapy, or ESWT. (It’s also sometimes known as extracorporeal pulse activation treatment, or EPAT.) We’re currently the only podiatry office in the area offering this advanced technology right in our own office—no need for an expensive check-in at the hospital OR.

Not everyone will quality for the treatment, but for athletes struggling to overcome chronic pain that isn’t responding to other care strategies it can bring long-awaited relief relatively quickly. What’s so great about shockwave?

  • It is a non-invasive alternative to surgery that is frequently effective even when other conservative treatments have failed.
  • It’s FDA-approved and far safer than either surgery or even cortisone injections or oral anti-inflammatory drugs. In fact, the risk of serious side effects or complications is almost non-existent.
  • Even though it’s not usually covered by insurance, the total cost of treatment—typically $600 or less—is a much better deal than repeated trips to the doctor, surgeon, and physical therapist.
  • It will get you back on your feet faster than almost any other potential treatment. That’s crucial for athletes looking to avoid training setbacks or rejoin their teams for the playoffs.

How does it work? We’ll spare you the technical details, but in simple terms, shockwave therapy directs pressure waves into your tissues, where the injury has occurred. These waves stimulate tissue healing. Essentially, the technology kickstarts your body’s own natural healing process, all without requiring any injections, medications, or incisions.

If you’re an athlete and heel pain has you hobbling on and off the field, make an appointment with Dr. Darren Elenburg to see if shockwave therapy is recommended for you. (We also provide a variety of other remedies, such as custom orthotics.) To schedule with us in either Oklahoma City or Edmond, please call (405) 463-6700.

By Dr. Darren Elenburg
May 31, 2017
Category: Foot Deformities
Tags: hammertoes  

HammertoesAre your toes bent out of shape? If so, you might have hammertoes, or a related condition. And chances are you’re wondering just how to fix them.

Toes can curl up for a variety of reasons: acute injuries, neurological disorders, muscle imbalances, or just years of wear and tear. And while they might not bother you too much yet, there’s a good chance they will later. At first, hammertoes are relatively flexible. The toes curl on their own, but you can push them back into place, more or less, with your fingers. In time, though, the joints lock up and refuse to budge. And as the degree of crookedness gets worse, the tips and joints of the toe begin to push up against the insides of your shoe, creating painful friction that can lead to swelling, corns, blisters, and more.

The earlier you seek treatment for your hammertoes, the more treatment options you’ll have. If you wait until joints are stuck and pain is restricting your lifestyle, an elective surgery might be your only recourse. But if you’re proactive and make an appointment while symptoms are still mild, there’s a good chance conservative treatment will be able to prevent it from worsening.

Treatment options include:

  • Padding to alleviate pain and friction and prevent corns, calluses, and other problems.
  • Splinting or buddy taping to keep the misaligned toe as straight as possible.
  • Cushioned insoles or custom orthotics to keep pressure away from the toes.
  • Switching to roomier pair of shoes with enough space to accommodate your bent toes.
  • Over-the-counter medications or icing to relieve temporary pain and swelling.

If these options fail or aren’t likely to work, then we can discuss scheduling a surgery. In some instances, we may simply be able to release a tight tendon in order to allow your toe to lie flat. However, in most cases we will need to do some reshaping and/or realigning of bones in order to straighten the hammertoe.

If you’re sick of suffering with painful bent toes—or you can see which way the wind is blowing and want to skip out on the pain entirely—give the Foot & Ankle Center of Oklahoma a call at (405) 463-6700.





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Podiatrist -Board Certified Foot and Ankle Surgeon - Oklahoma City, Darren Elenburg, DPM, FACFAS, 3705 NW 63 St, Oklahoma City OK, 73116 405-463-6700