John T. Fitzgerald: Oregon Podiatrist
John T. Fitzgerald is a skilled podiatrist who has nearly two decades’ worth of experience in the field. As a graduate from the California College of Podiatric Medicine located in San Francisco, Dr. Fitzgerald has gone on to serve patients residing in the Lake Oswego and Portland areas of Oregon. Today, this board-certified (by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery) practitioner is able to help resolve and treat a diverse array of problems that affect patients’ feet. As a practicing podiatrist at the Ankle & Foot Clinic of Oregon, Fitzgerald and his colleagues can offer services pertaining to many areas of the field.
Many times, the concept of reconstructive surgery may seem to apply to popular cosmetic areas, such as in facial reconstruction. However, a patient may seek to reestablish a proper shape and form of a foot for reasons pertaining to comfort, appearance and function. Some popular reconstructive surgeries offered by the Ankle & Foot Clinic of Oregon and Dr. John T. Fitzgerald, include:
A bunion is when a big toe becomes misaligned and points uncomfortably towards the second toe. Although many may associate bunions as a condition only experienced by older women, it is actually often a genetically predisposed podiatric problem that can occur at any age. There are many reasons why a bunion may develop, but most of the time it is brought on by wearing high heels and pointed shoes—making the problem even more common among females.
Those who experience bunion pain may want to consider reconstructive surgery options. There are many ways that a patient and podiatrist can pursue correction of a bunion, all of which will depend on the needs and condition of the patient. As such, there is no “best” option for bunion correction, and therefore it is suggested that those experiencing this problems discuss the issue more thoroughly with a skilled podiatrist, such as John T. Fitzgerald.
Some bunion surgeries may include a bunionectomy—the removal of part of the metatarsal head. Others may involve the removal of bone, realignment of tissue, fusion of a joint or implant of an artificial joint.
- Morton’s Neuroma
Morton’s neuroma refers to a condition in which nerves in the foot in between toes, become thickened or enlarged to create discomfort. Although neuromas are often met by considerable sharp pain in the foot, the condition is easily corrected by many treatment options. Depending on the severity of the neuroma, a patient may find that changing to a more comfortable footwear option helps. Others may benefit from a cortisone or alcohol injection to help reduce the size of the nerve or chemically destroy it. Those who do not find these options helpful should consider a more extensive surgical procedure, in which a trained professional removes the nerve or severs the affected intermetatarsal ligament.
- Flat Feet
Flat feet refer to a condition in which a person does not properly develop arches in his or her feet after infancy. In some cases, a person may develop flat feet after an illness even after developing arches. Many people who experience flat feet find the condition minimally painful, if not painless altogether. Sometimes, older patients will find that physical activity on flat feet can lead to other painful problems such as shin splints, back problems and heel spurs.
While many individuals can treat this condition with suitable footwear—or even a cast—some may require surgery under the care of a skilled podiatrist. Dr. John T. Fitzgerald highly recommends that any person experiencing flat feet and subsequent pain should consult a certified professional. If the doctor can attest to the severity of the situation, some patients may have the option of surgery to clean or repair tendons, as well as to fuse foot joints into an appropriate position.
Hammertoes are an uncomfortable foot condition, in which muscle and ligament imbalances around toe joints cause it to bend and remain in an uncomfortable position. This condition is common among women—brought on by footwear choices—and those who suffer from poor circulation, such as diabetics. Others may find that they have developed hammertoes as a result of genetics, injury or arthritis.
If the condition is not too far developed, a podiatrist may recommend foot pads and physical therapy exercises to help correct the problem. However, in extensive hammertoe cases, surgery may prove necessary in order to remove bone and realign the toe joint.
John T. Fitzgerald Discusses Preventative Foot Care
While the above reconstructive surgeries are designed to help correct foot-related problems that have already developed, Dr. John T. Fitzgerald encourages all individuals to take the proper precautions to avoid such issues. Preventative foot care is essential for all individuals, but is especially important among diabetics and older patients who are more prone to complications, such as neuropathy.
Diabetics who want to avoid common foot health problems—such as neuropathy, poor nail health and, in severe cases, amputation—should make the best effort to maintain proper glucose levels. In addition, there are many types of shoes and orthopedic products that can help stave off any injuries or health problems associated with the food. Vascular health is incredibly important when maintaining proper foot care, so it is recommended that those who smoke cigarettes strive to quit the habit.
In the general sense, foot hygiene applies to all individuals as a major part of maintaining foot health. Although our feet stay hidden in shoes for a majority of the time, it is important for all individuals to keep nails trimmed and to thoroughly wash each foot on a daily basis. If a person notices a problem, such as a blister or wart, it is imperative that he or she treats the injury appropriately as to avoid further complication.
Seeking Medical Opinion
Those who have concerns about their foot health should seek out further assistance and insight from a trusted professional. Patients residing in the Lake Oswego and Portland communities of Oregon are invited to consult Dr. John T. Fitzgerald through the Ankle & Foot Clinic of Oregon. It is important for all individuals to maintain proper foot health care and to have thorough examinations by a reliable physician or podiatrist. John T. Fitzgerald urges all citizens to take care of their feet, as patients who exercise caution are less likely to experience major foot health conditions that require surgery or other types of extensive treatments.
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