Local Podiatrist Serving Pensacola & Navarre, FL, & Mobile, AL
Gulf Coast Podiatry is dedicated to providing all of the foot care and podiatric services that you need. We provide everything from in-house X-rays to orthotic fittings and diabetic wound care. Our services are designed for people of all ages to get the experienced foot care treatment options that they need.
Dr. Kiefer and his staff are happy to set up a consultation with you to discuss your specific condition or situation. From there, we will get right to work diagnosing the condition and helping you find the proper treatment solution. Call today to set up your consultation! We provide services for Pensacola, FL; Navarre, FL; Mobile, AL and the surrounding area.
- Heel Pain
- Ankle Injuries
- Athletes Foot
- Foot Arch Disorders
- Fungus Toenails
- Diabetic Ulcers and Chronic Wounds
- Walking Problems
- Foot Trauma
- Corns & Calluses
- Burning/Neuropathic Pain
- Athletic Injuries
- Vascular Conditions
- Diabetic Foot Issues
- Skin Conditions
- And more
Contact Our Foot Doctor Today!
It is important that you see a foot doctor if your foot is bothering you. We can help you if you have injured your foot in a sporting event. Below are some of the services that we offer. Please contact us if you have any questions.
- Diabetic Foot Care
- Foot and ankle surgery
- Injuries to the ankle or foot
- Minor surgical procedures
- In-office X-rays
- Comprehensive care of foot and ankle disorders
- Regular foot care services
- Non-surgical treatment of athletic injuries
When Do You Need A Podiatrist?
An ankle fracture, sprain, or break could be caused by any type of trauma to the area. Fractures are apparent if the patient is in pain and is unable or struggles to walk. Ankle injuries can also be caused by a bad fall, twisted ankle, or a heavy blow.
Another common injury that occurs in the ankle is called Peroneal Tendon Dysfunction. This condition occurs when the peroneal retinaculum, a band of tissue which holds the tendons in place, is injured in some way. This causes the peroneal retinaculum to stretch and sometimes tear, causing the tendons around it to function abnormally. This is a very common injury for most athletes.
Athletes foot is a fungal infection of the foot. The fungus that causes the condition is called Dermatophytes which can cause the infection to show symptoms such as moist scaling between the toes with occasional small blisters and fissures. Athletes foot is one of the most common fungal infections of the skin and can be acute or chronic.
In some cases, the patient suffering from athlete’s foot will experience burning and itching that accompany the blisters and cause significant discomfort. Your podiatrist will assess the infection, determine the cause, and may need to treat any secondary conditions using oral antibiotics and other anti-bacterial treatments.
Foot Arch Disorders
Flatfoot is a common condition in adults that refers to a painful, progressive flatfoot deformity. Other names for flatfoot include posterior tibial tendon insufficiency and adult acquired flatfoot. There are many causes for this kind of foot arch disorder, which can cause severe pain for the patient as it progresses. Aging and weight gain have shown to speed up the progression of this condition, therefore it is important to see a podiatrist as soon as possible for treatment.
A fungal infection of the toenails is apparent with a yellow, thick, and/or deformed toenail. Most often, the fungus that affects the toenail is the same as the fungus that causes athletes foot. A toenail infection gradually progresses over time and can significantly damage the nail and cause the nail to feel and look thickened, fragile, and/or distorted.
If found early on, a fungal infection of the toenail can be treated with over-the-counter medication. If the infection has progressed for some time, a prescription may be necessary.
Hammertoes refer to the contracture of the toes due to a muscle imbalance of the top and bottom tendons of the toes. Hammertoes vary in nature and can be flexible or more rigid depending on the amount of contracture occurring. If the hammertoes are more rigid, this can mean that the toes are unable to be straightened out through manipulation. Hammertoes may also cause corns and calluses to develop on various parts of the foot. Hammertoes also tend to progress over time and are best treated early on.
Diabetic Foot Issues
Two of the most common diabetic foot issues are Diabetic Neuropathy and Peripheral Vascular Disease. Both conditions can affect a patient’s day-to-day life and result in possible infections.
Peripheral Vascular Disease refers to the lack of blood flow from the heart to the rest of the body, particularly the feet. This makes it difficult for cuts and sores to heal properly, which increases the risk for ulcers and gangrene.
Diabetic Neuropathy causes a loss or alteration in the ability to perceive pain related to excessive pressure, heat or cold, sharp or dull, vibration, or position sense. This means that the calluses and corns on the feet, which would normally be painful, are not. Over time, the calluses and corns begin to break down and cause a skin ulceration, which could also lead to a bone infection or deep tissue infection. If the patient has poor circulation, developing gangrene is also possible.
Ulcerations are commonly caused by diabetes, ischemia (poor circulation), and venous stasis (varicose veins). The ulcerations tend to arise in the areas on the feet that are agitated the most, such as the heel and toes. The skin on these areas develop into corns and calluses from the excessive pressure or irritation.
Walking issues can arise early in a child’s life and they may never sense the pain that comes with it. Children may have pain in their feet, heels, and knees and never complain about it. Children may experience what we call “growing pains” and aching in the legs (restless legs), however, signs of growth should not be painful in any way. Pain is a clear warning sign that must be addressed.
In infants, toddlers, and young children, it is especially important to pay attention to their walk. Some of the most common walking problems among children are bowed legs, curved feet, in-toeing or out-toeing, excessive tripping or stumbling, or excessive toe walking. If your child consistently asked to be picked up or carried, they could be experiencing leg or foot pain. If your child experiences rare hip and back pain, you should address the issue right away.
Plantar warts are caused by a viral infection of the skin. Typically, warts occur because of direct contact with the virus, although they do not spread through the blood stream like most viruses. Plantar warts are more common in children than adults and typically appear on the bottom of the foot. Plantar warts are only able to live within the tissue of the skin.
Plantar warts are not spread easily, but in the right conditions they can be transmitted. Moist and sweaty feet could help increase the chances of developing the virus. Avoiding contact with the virus is a must, so make sure to clean your floors and discourage your child from sharing shoes.
There are three types of foot and ankle fractures: simple, compound (open), and stress fractures. To properly diagnose these traumas, an imaging test such as an X-ray, CT scan, or an MRI are recommended.
To help avoid stress fractures in the foot or ankle, it is recommended that you wear the proper footwear, cross-train, eat well, and take general care of your body. However, treatment is determined on a case-by-case basis.
The Achilles tendon is located on the back of the ankle joint and is one of the largest tendons in the body. Foot and Ankle Tendonitis is due to the overuse or injury of the Achilles and the extensor tendon over time, leading to inflammation and irritation. Tendonitis causes pain in the foot and ankle and can affect your day-to-day life.
Gout is an accumulation of uric acid in the blood stream caused by an abnormal metabolism. When the excretion of uric acid is hindered, the accumulated uric acid in the blood causes crystalline deposits to form in the joints and/or soft tissues. This can cause sudden, extreme pain, which also leads to swelling, redness, and heat in the affected areas.
Typically, gout affects the big toe joint, knee joint, top of the foot, heel, and ankle joint. Gout appearing in other soft tissues and joints is possible but uncommon. It is essential that you see a doctor before your condition possibly turns into an infection.
Corns & Calluses
Corns and calluses are a result of excessive pressure and friction near areas where bones are close to the surface of your skin. The pressure and friction causes the skin to thicken; these thick areas are known as corns and calluses. However, not all thickened skin is considered to be corns or calluses. Plantar warts, inclusion cysts, and parakeratoses also cause thickening of the skin, which can resemble corns or calluses.
Calluses typically form on the ball of the foot, where the irritation is the greatest. These areas can become painful as the skin continues to thicken and people with diabetes may be at a greater risk for developing sores or ulcerations, which could become infected.
Corns are also areas of thick skin that tend to occur more on the top of the foot or side of the little toe. Bone spurs may also cause corns between the toes. There is typically a hammertoe deformity associated with corns because it causes the toes to rub together excessively.
Soft corns are areas of white, moist skin between the toes. They most frequently arise between the fourth and fifth toes. They can be painful and if not treated, they can form ulcerations or sinus tracts, which may become infected.
A Neuroma refers to the swelling of a nerve on the ball of the foot and base of the toes due to compression or trauma, also known as nerve tumor. The swelling of the nerve may result in permanent nerve damage.
The most common cause of neuroma in the ball of the foot is the abnormal movement of the long bones behind the toes called metatarsal bones. Symptoms include burning pain, tingling, and numbness in one or two of the toes. As the nerve swells, the patient may feel a popping type of pain while walking. Neuromas may need to be treated with surgery upon consulting with your podiatrist.
Bunions are one of the most common podiatric conditions to be treated. A bunion is a bump which commonly occurs on the side of the foot and they are often painful. This bump represents an actual deviation of the 1st metatarsal and often an overgrowth of bone on the metatarsal head. Patients with bunions may feel discomfort when putting on shoes, exercising, walking, or running.
Most bunions can be easily treated through shoe gear modification, padding, and orthoses. If these treatments fail, surgery is an option as well.
Ankle sprains and other trauma to the foot are common among athletes, in both contact sports and non-contact sports. Ankle sprains are common joint injuries for runners and should be treated by a doctor. Most ankle sprains involving the ligaments are weight bearing injuries. In order to accurately diagnose the issue and determine whether it is a sprain or something else, an x-ray may be necessary. Treatment includes aggressive rehabilitation, which can help treat the acute symptoms associated with a sprain.
Arterial Insufficiency, Venous Insufficiency, and Varicose Veins are the most common vascular conditions which happen in the foot, ankle, and leg. Arterial Insufficiency refers to a disorder in which one of the main arteries in the thigh or behind the knee becomes blocked which can lead to painful atherosclerosis. This blockage will make it difficult for the necessary amount of blood to be brought to the foot.
Venous Insufficiency refers to the issues related to getting the blood from one area to the next. In terms of podiatry, this means that the veins have trouble getting blood from the heart to the foot and vice versa.
Varicose veins are an enlargement of the veins which can make it difficult for blood to properly flow back toward the heart. Varicose veins can cause blood to pool in the affected areas. In superficial varicose veins (close to the surface of the skin), varicose veins typically stick out due to the enlargement of the veins. With deeper veins, varicose veins may not be visible.
Common skin conditions of the foot include actinic keratosis, contact dermatitis, athletes foot, blisters, corns and calluses, diabetic skin disease, dry scaling skin, gangrene, gout, heel fissures, infections, Kaposi’s sarcoma, malignant melanoma, osteomyelitis, plantar warts, psoriasis, red painful areas of the foot, spider veins, sweaty feet and ulcerations. For more information about any of these conditions, contact us.