Monthly Archives: November 2015

Give Your Feet a Check-Up

When people have diabetes, they often think of problems with their feet. The problem is that they might not think enough about them. A simple foot check every day should be an important morning routine. The problem is that many people think their issue is not a big deal. Not a big deal yet, I say.

Let a doctor determine if your problem is not a big deal. Chances are if you’re diabetic and have a foot question, it’s a big deal. Check your feet each day and look for cuts or sores, temperature or color changes, nail changes, or unexplained swelling. If you see anything new or different, get it looked at. Yearly diabetic foot exams are important, but so are visits when you have new problems.

I urge all diabetic patients this holiday season to keep a good eye on your feet. Spending time with your family at home is lot more pleasant then a stay in the hospital when a little problem progressed because it was either ignored or not noticed. If you have not had a diabetic foot exam this year or have new questions or problems, call Raleigh Foot & Ankle Center today at (919) 850-9111 and schedule an appointment. You can also request an appointment online by filling out our form on our website.

From all of the doctors and staff at Raleigh Foot & Ankle Center, we hope you have a great Thanksgiving Holiday!

Cold Weather Foot Care

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and we’re already feeling the chill in the air. You probably noticed the recent cold snap we just had. It’s always important to take good care of your feet, but it’s especially important in the winter. We put our feet at risk in the rain, snow, and ice; we wear the wrong kinds of shoes when we exercise or go outside to play with our kids.

People suffering from diabetes need to be especially careful with their feet in the cold weather. Don’t ever go outside barefoot! Doing so puts you at risk for cuts and bruises and even frostbite if exposure is prolonged. Always wear shoes that are supportive and fit properly. In bad weather, wear boots or shoes that won’t allow water in, and limit the amount of time you spend outdoors. And wear shoes that are close-toed whenever possible. Late fall and winter is no time for sandals.

Don’t forget your socks! Socks should be snug – not loose and not too tight, either. They should never bunch up around the toes. And if your shoes and socks get wet, take them off and dry your feet and toes thoroughly before putting on a dry pair.

When you do remove your socks and shoes, take some time to inspect your feet for any cuts or bruises. You can even use a small mirror to check the bottoms of your feet. This is important for diabetics because you may have injuries that you don’t feel because of damaged nerves in your feet, or neuropathy. Neuropathy is a complication of diabetes that is dangerous because it can lead to a wound that becomes infected, and if left untreated, could even result in amputation.

If you have diabetes and are concerned about the health of your feet, make an appointment with one of the podiatrists at Raleigh Foot & Ankle Center. You can call  us at (919) 850-9111 or request an appointment online. Our doctors have decades of experience caring for people with diabetes, and they’ve seen everything from neuropathy to painful diabetic foot ulcers. Make an appointment with us today. We’ll get you back on your feet.

In the News: Celebs Have Foot Problems, Too

Last week was a bad one for famous feet. You may have seen that pop singer Taylor Swift was recently photographed at a concert on the Asian leg of her 1989 tour wearing an ankle brace – and she was still wearing her high heels on stage! Swift officially has Achilles tendinitis, also known as inflammation of the Achilles tendon.

If you have Achilles tendinitis you’re probably feeling pain where the tendon attaches to the heel bone, or along the back of your ankle. The injury usually occurs due to chronic, repetitive strain. In Swift’s case, wearing sky-high heels every night on stage for the duration of her world tour probably did the trick.

It wasn’t a good weekend for feet in the world of sports, either. Among the casualties is Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, who left the game on Sunday with a foot injury that turned out to be plantar fasciitis. Manning actually has a partial tear in the plantar fascia of his left foot. The Broncos will not start him in their next game against the Chicago Bears.

Plantar fasciitis is also inflammation of a ligament, but the plantar fascia is on the bottom of your foot. If you have it, you probably describe it as heel pain, but you may also feel pain along the arch of your foot. Sometimes the pain improves with activity, but over-use of the foot can make it worse. It can be very, very painful!

So what can you do if you think you’re suffering from Achilles tendinitis or plantar fasciitis? You can always call Raleigh Foot & Ankle Center at (919) 850-9111 and ask to see one of our board-certified podiatrists. You can also request an appointment online. Our doctors will give you a thorough exam and then discuss possible treatments with you. Rest is almost always part of the answer – in Swift’s case, they would probably recommend she stop wearing those high heels.

Remember – you don’t have to suffer from foot and ankle pain. The doctors at Raleigh Foot & Ankle Center are happy to help you with any problems you have with your feet. Call us today at (919) 850-9111 to make an appointment.

Foot Care Tips for Diabetic Feet

November is Diabetes Awareness Month!

We always encourage our patients to do their part for happy, healthy feet. This is even further stressed for our diabetic patients! Diabetes can significantly affect lower extremity health. Sometimes impacts can be devastating and irreversible, like amputation.

We ask that all diabetic patients and their family and friends be involved in ensuring they have proper foot hygiene. Diabetic feet can have nerve damage, skin changes, ulceration, poor circulation, and other problems. Here are some important tips to remember:

  • Good glycemic control is key! Without this, you will constantly be fighting an uphill battle from a healing perspective as well as advancement of the many negative side effects that can happen to feet. Work with your primary care physician to determine a diet and exercise plan that works for you.
  • Check your feet daily! Always look for any cuts, scrapes, lesions, blisters, swelling, etc. If you can’t easily see the bottom of your feet, use a mirror to evaluate or ask a family member to help.
  • Wash your feet daily and make sure you dry well between your toes. Keep your feet well moisturized, except between the toes, and make sure that your feet are always covered.
  • It is very important to never go barefoot. Also, don’t expose your feet to any hot or cold environments! If you lost some sensation to your feet, you won’t be able to tell if the environment is beyond what your skin can handle. With winter approaching this means there is a risk of developing frostbite.

Don’t forget, diabetes is the leading cause of non-traumatic lower-limb amputations! For more information about diabetes and how it affects your feet, please visit our website.

At Raleigh Foot & Ankle Center we leave some flexibility and availability for our diabetic patients to schedule same day appointments. Call us at (919) 850-9111 or request an appointment online.

For more information about diabetes and how it affects your feet, please check out the following resources:

The American Diabetes Association

American Podiatric Medical Association

We Will Walk You!

This past weekend I joined our doctors and staff at the annual Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes. The walk is an annual event hosted by the American Diabetes Association each November, which is Diabetes Awareness Month. This year’s walk was a doozy! Total downpour. Rain runoff ran over the tops of my shoes during the entire walk, literally. But! It was still fun to be part of the group committed to a goal: stopping diabetes!

So, my message today is simple: make your little goal part of a bigger goal, and reap the benefits! For me, last weekend, my goal was to get a little exercise, help some nice people with diabetes, and see the natural beauty of the Dorothea Dix Campus. But I got more! I got to help motivate others to get out and walk, rain or shine! I also got to bond with people that all said, “It’s raining a lot but I want to do this.” We all bonded over a common goal: making this lemon into lemonade. And it made it better!

I guess this means that in our daily lives we can all get more out of every plan if we make that plan to bring people together. Make it more than just a plan, make it an event! Do your morning walk with a couple friends, or walk with man’s best friend, or walk with music – or do all three! It’s no secret: committed goals shared with others are better. Go big! And don’t be afraid to get soaking wet.

And remember: the doctors and staff at Raleigh Foot & Ankle Center are here to help with your goals! Whether you have diabetes and are worried about your feet, or if you’re an athlete with heel pain, or you have a pesky ingrown toenail, remember: we can help you with that. Call our office at (919) 850-9111 to make an appointment with one of our podiatrists, or click to request an appointment online. We’ll work together with you and come up with the best plan for the health of your feet.

Dr. Boehm, Dr. Woelffer, Russ, Colleen, and Kinsey at the 2015 Step Out Walk to Stop DIabetes.

Dr. Boehm, Dr. Woelffer, Russ, Colleen, and Kinsey at the 2015 Step Out Walk to Stop DIabetes.

In the News: Achilles Tendon Rupture


If you watch football, you might have seen that former Carolina Panthers wide receiver (and current Baltimore Raven) Steve Smith tore his Achilles tendon in a football game against the San Diego Chargers. After catching a pass, Smith went to the ground and clutched his lower leg. He had to be helped off the field by Ravens athletic trainers. It was later announced that the torn Achilles tendon has brought Smith’s season to an end.

The podiatrists at Raleigh Foot & Ankle Center frequently treat sports-related injuries like these. Here are some common questions we answer about this injury:

What is the Achilles tendon?

The Achilles is the major tendon located at the back of the ankle. It connects the ankle to the muscles in your lower leg.

What causes the Achilles tendon to tear?

Excessive strain. It’s usually seen in athletes (like Steve Smith) who are very active and put a lot of strain on their lower leg and ankle.

How do you treat a torn Achilles tendon?

Usually surgery, sometimes putting a cast on the leg can help, too.

How is this different from Achilles tendinitis? Are they related?

Tendinitis is an irritation of tendon fibers but the tendon is still intact, not torn or ruptured. A rupture is when the tendon completely tears and is usually a lot more painful. Click here for more information on Achilles tendinitis and possible treatments.

How can I prevent my Achilles tendon from tearing?

It can be difficult to predict. In general, remember to warm-up and stretch before exercise.

How do I know if I need to see a podiatrist for my Achilles tendon?

One word: pain! If you ever experience pain in your Achilles tendon, or any other part of your feet and ankles, call Raleigh Foot & Ankle Center at (919) 850-9111 or request an appointment online and make an appointment today. We frequently have same-day appointments available, and we now have a second location on Blue Ridge Road which may be more convenient for you.