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3705 NW 63rd, Suite 200
Oklahoma City, OK 73116

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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  

Are 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.

By Dr. Darren Elenburg
May 04, 2017
Category: Foot Deformities

Treating bunionsBunions are an exceedingly common foot deformity. By some estimates, around 3 in 10 adults have a bunion on at least one foot; women are especially vulnerable, and the risk increases steadily with age.

If you begin to notice that distinctive, bulging bump at the base of your big toe, you might be wondering what your treatment options are. After all, the bump doesn’t seem to be getting better on its own. Are you going to need surgery?

We’ll start with the bad news: if you were hoping that some combination of stretching, medicine, strapping, or other conservative treatments can take your feet back to the way they used to be, we must sadly inform you that isn’t possible. Bunions are bony deformities, and the only way to make them disappear is through surgery.

However, that does NOT meant that surgery is your only option! As a matter of fact, many people are able to manage their bunions effectively entirely through conservative means. As long as you are living without pain and can accomplish your daily activities and hobbies without problems, there is no need for surgical correction.

Conservative treatment options include:

  • Switching shoes. Sometimes all you need is a little more space so that your bunions aren’t pressed against the inside of your footwear.
  • Padding. Over-the-counter, non-medicated bunion pads reduce stress and friction, helping you prevent complications like blisters and corns.
  • Splinting or taping. If your big toe is still flexible, we can provide a splint or “buddy tape” the toe to its neighbor in order to keep it in a more normal alignment.
  • Shoe inserts. Either over-the-counter prefabricated supports or custom orthotics may be prescribed to reduce pressure on the bunion bump.
  • Pain relief medications. This could include over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, stronger oral medications, or injections of cortisone. Icing may also help.

One very important thing to remember: bunions are progressive, meaning they gradually get worse over time. If you step in early with conservative care, you have a much better chance of eliminating your pain and slowing the rate of development.

That’s why, at the first sign of trouble, you should call the Foot & Ankle Center of Oklahoma. Don’t wait until pain is imposing on your lifestyle! Take corrective action now. You can reach us at (405) 463-6700, or complete our contact form online.

By Dr. Darren Elenburg
April 26, 2017
Category: Diabetic Foot Care
Tags: diabetic shoes  

Diabetic foot careIf you have diabetes, you don’t want to let it get to your feet. High blood sugar narrows blood vessels and poisons nerves, and your lower limbs are often the most vulnerable location for damage. That can mean recurring problems with wounds that don’t heal—and without prompt treatment, those wounds can get infected and even lead to a necessary amputation.

One of the best ways that people can protect their feet is with diabetic shoes. Still not sure about them? Here’s what you need to know:

There are plenty of great styles to choose from. No, you won’t look ridiculous in your “special shoes.” Diabetic shoes come in a wide range of fashions, from cute to sophisticated and everything in between. We’re sure you can find a pair that looks great and suits your style.

They offer smart features that help you prevent diabetic foot complications. Diabetic shoes feature increased depth, so that you can fit in an orthotic insert while still giving your toes plenty of room to wiggle about without being crushed or constrained. They often provide extra support and cushioning in the insole to shield your feet from hard impacts. They can accommodate deformities such as bunions and hammertoes with ease. You even can get seam-free interiors to prevent scratching and snagging.

They’re podiatrist-approved. Diabetic shoes are prescribed by your podiatrist. That means a real foot expert is there to help ensure you get the perfect fit with the perfect combination of foot-healthy features you need.

You can probably get them for free. Medicare and most insurance plans will often fully pay the cost of your diabetic shoes, or at least cover most of it. It’s a great investment for you and them, since they provide high quality preventative care and help you prevent nasty skin breakdowns, wounds, and even amputations.

Designed with the unique needs and concerns created by diabetes in mind, diabetic footwear offers features such as extra depth, additional cushioning and support, and even seamless interiors that don’t scratch or snag.

Whether you need new diabetic shoes or not, we strongly recommend that you get a comprehensive diabetic foot checkup at least once per year. (It’s not just us, either—the NIH, ADA, ACFAS, APMA, and just about every other organization of diabetes, podiatry, or general medical professionals agree.) This helps us catch the warning signs of neuropathy, circulatory issues, or skin breakdown early and take the necessary preventative or corrective actions. It may just save your feet!

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Elenburg, please give us a call at (405) 463-6700. You can also fill out our contact form online, and we’ll get in touch.

By Dr. Elenburg
April 06, 2017
Category: Diabetic Foot Care
Tags: diabetic foot care  

Living with diabetesAlthough it’s very possible to live a full, healthy life with diabetes, the daily routines, dietary restrictions, and battery of medications, tests, and appointments can be overwhelming—especially for the recently diagnosed. Unfortunately, that means essential care, especially preventative care, may be shrugged off or missed.

If you have diabetes, foot checkups are a crucial part of staying healthy for the long term. We strongly recommend a daily in-home self-exam, as well as full diabetic foot checks at our office at least once per year.

That discipline is important because, if you have diabetes, you can’t always rely on your senses to report injuries to your brain, and you can’t always rely on your immune system to repair the damage and shut out infecting intruders like bacteria and viruses.

Depending on the extent of nerve damage in your feet, everything from small cuts and bruises to blisters, gashes, and even broken bones may not cause any pain or distress. If you aren’t checking your feet every day, those problems fester and grow more complicated, producing infected wounds and even bony deformities. At this stage, immediate wound care or reconstructive surgery may be necessary to prevent an amputation.

Now, if you’ve kept up with your daily checks and don’t seem to have any obvious foot problems, that’s great news! That said, it’s still essential to see a professional once a year. That’s because diabetes can bring about many complications and issues that you can’t see or feel into much later in the development cycle. Testing for these complications—nerve damage, circulatory issues, etc.—allows you to take treatment action before the symptoms begin in earnest. Since many of these conditions can really only be managed rather than cured, managing them before they become troublesome can save you years or even decades of discomfort.

It’s probably obvious, but it bears repeating—you need to keep your feet healthy and pain-free if you want to maintain your active lifestyle and personal independence. The risk of losing these things—permanently—is why diabetic foot care and regular checkups are so critical. If you’re due (or overdue) for your in-office checkup with Dr. Darren Elenburg, give us a call at (405) 4673-6700 and request an appointment.

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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