San Francisco Podiatry Video

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Monday, February 22, 2010

San Francisco Podiatrist: Out-Run Your Fat Cells!

An article in the San Francisco Chronice discusses some alarming statistics.

Ten years from now, 80% of men and 70% of women will be obese. In addition, there will be a 98% increase in obesity related diabetes. The problem of couse isn't just that all those fat people will have a tough time fitting in an airplane seat when getting on the plane in San Franciso heading to Hawaii.

The problem is that essentially preventable conditions like heart disease, stroke and diabetic foot amputations will follow those plump Americans like the dust cloud following Pigpen in the Charlie Brown cartoons.

The truth of course is that the bigger the waist size, the shorter the life. Many of the ultimately fatal complications of obesity and diabetes are lifestyle related. A little prevention can go a long way.

Given that I am a podiatrist and runner, I of course am biased toward exercise and preventing the complications that lead to foot amputations. Not just because I like to run, but because people who have diabetic amputations don't live very long.

We know that a "pre-diabetic" (sometimes also referred to as a "borderline diabetic") can often reduce their blood sugar and reduce the chances of developing diabetes just through regular exercise. A diabetic who is taking insuling who begins a walking or moderate running routine can go from taking insulin shots, to just taking some pills to keep the blood sugar under control.

And we all know that exercise is a more reliable way to fight obesity than diets.

So maybe just by adding a 30 minute running routine in Golden Gate Park, along the Embarcadero, or through Marin, San Francisco Bay Area residents could actually outrun the ability of their fat cells to pack on the pounds. San Francisco is easily one of the most scenic and runner friendly cities in the world.

As a Podiatrist who has done lots of diabetic foot sugery, I can honestly say that I would rather meet you on a Saturday morning run in San Francisco than see in the hospital because you need me to amputate a part of your diabetic foot. Every run in San Francisco I go on feels like a success. Every diabetic foot amputation feels like a failure.


Christopher Segler is a Foot Doctor in San Francisco who practices Podiatry. He is also a multiple Ironman Finisher. For more info about foot pain or running injuries see www.DocOnTheRun.com or www.AnkleCenter.com

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Runner's Pedicure???

Question: "What in the world is a runners pedicure!!! What I am looking for is someone who knows what happens sometimes when you run a half or full marathon. Yes the dreaded black toenail. My toes have mostly recovered but my girlfreind is insisting I get them in shape or keep my shoes on!" - Rick J.




Answer:As a Bay Area podiatrist and active runner (marathons and Ironman) I can tell you that you don't necessarily have a fungal infection just because the toenail is getting thicker and uglier. There is a very common condition among distance runners and triathletes. It is often referred to as "Runners Toenail." Podatriss call it "traumatic onychauxis." If you run a marathon or half marathon and get the black toenail, you have caused enough trauma to the nail bed (under the nail) to bleed. It is basically a bruise or bllod blister under the nail. Repeatedly beating up your toes in this way leads to the root of the nail getting smashed, deformed and becoming missahpen. Then the toenail grows out thicker. It may be greyish, or yellowis in color and often looks like a fungal nail, but it may not have any fungal infection. A pedicure can often thin the nail and return more of a normal appearance to it. Podiatrists can also prescribe topical solutions that decrease the buildup of keratin on the nail that makes it look like a fungal toenial. The bad news is that there is no "cure" for runners toenail. But you can keep your toenail looking presentable with a pedicure. If it gets worse over time (and you haven't had any more episodes of black toneails) it might be a fungal toenail infection. The only way to know for sure is to see a podiatrist. Your foot doctor with then take a sample of the toenail and send it off to a lab for anlaysis. A test called a PAS reaction will determine whether or not there is any fungus living within the nail plate. If there is no fungus, then you have "traumatic onychauxis" (runner's toenail, in plain English. You can also visit http://www.MyRunningDo... for more info. Best of luck! - Dr. Christopher Segler, San Franciso Podiatry House Calls

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Can I Run After Ankle Ligament Surgery?

Question from Mike in Corte Madera:
For years I had unstable ankles and repeated ankle sprains. It seemed like every time I would walk on any sort of uneven ground, my ankle would roll under. Although it wasn't always painful, it was bothersome. My doctor said this unstable ankle (continually giving way) was porbably caused by a bad ankle sprain I had back when I was playing high school basketball. I had surgery about a year ago to repair the torn ankle ligaments. The ankle ligament surgery was called a Brostrum repair. Now the ankle seems fine, but I want to know if I can run in a marathon. Ultimately I would like to participate in a triathlon this year as well. Is this possible?

Answer from My Running Doc:
Ankle sprains are very common. Some estimates show that there are nearly 25,000 ankle injuries in the U.S. every day. The vast majority of these ankle injuries (about 85%) are ankle sprains. Many people try to treat ankle sprains at home with ice, rest, elevation, and maybe an over-the-counter brace or ACE wrap to keep the swelling down. But many more will seek treatment at the Emergency Room or from an ankle expert like a podiatrist.

When doctors try to determine how severe the sprain is, they base it on a grading system from 1 to 3. A grade 1 ankle sprain means that you have sort of stretched the ligaments a little. A grade 2 ankle sprain means that you have partially torn one of the ligaments supporting the ankle. Although this is more severe, the ankle ligaments are still mostly intact. A grade 3 ankle sprain means that you have completely torn at least one of the ankle ligaments.

It is often difficult for a patient to tell the severity of the ankle sprain, but there are some indicators that it might be severe and needs to be treated by an ankle specialist. Bruising and swelling are clues that you have had some level of tissue damage. With severe bruising, your ankle doctor should also be suspicious of a fracture. But even if there is no fracture and the ankle isn't broken, that doesn't mean you don't still need serious treatment.

In your case it sounds like you had one of the classic ankle sprains that resulted in Grade 3 ankle injury. Because the ankle ligaments never healed, you were left with an unstable, wobbly ankle. By performing a Brostrum ankle ligament repair, your ankle surgeon has attempted to rebuild and repair the torn ankle ligaments. If the ankle surgery has been successful, you should gain full mobility and use of the ankle. If I were to have performed your ankle surgery, the goal would be to have a much stronger ankle after the surgery than before. This of course means that you should be better able to run and bike once the ankle surgery is all healed.

In short, anyone who has ankle surgery to repair the torn ligaments should be able to run or ride a bicycle without any trouble. Marathon training and triathlon training are reasonable goals, once you have healed. Having said all of that, you should check with your current treating ankle surgeon and make sure your ankle surgery has healed before you start running, cycling or any new training routine.

Best of luck in your 2010 season!

My Running Doc - Dr. Chistopher Segler is a San Francisco based foot & ankle surgeon with a unique perspective on foot and ankle injuries.  He is a rock climber, skier, marathon runner, and Ironman triathlete.  Because of this, he understands when someone has an injury, they want to get better, just to get back to activity.  He understands that the common doctor's notion of "just stop running" or "find another hobby," or "take up Scrabble" are all unacceptable to the athletically minded.  He believes that any active athlete can suffer an injury yet return to sport stronger than ever.