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Dr. W. Grant Braly

Orthopedist

Dr. W. Grant Braly M.D. is a top Orthopedist in , . With a passion for the field and an unwavering commitment to their specialty, Dr. W. Grant Braly M.D. is an expert in changing the lives of their patients for the better. Through their designated cause and expertise in the field, Dr. W. Grant Braly M.D. is a prime example of a true leader in healthcare. As a leader and expert in their field, Dr. W. Grant Braly M.D. is passionate about enhancing patient quality of life. They embody the values of communication, safety, and trust when dealing directly with patients. In , , Dr. W. Grant Braly M.D. is a true asset to their field and dedicated to the profession of medicine.
Dr. W. Grant Braly
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I feel slight numbness in my left foot. What could be the reason for this?

Unilateral (on just one foot) “slight numbness” could be a tarsal tunnel syndrome where the tibial nerve, or more precisely, the medial plantar nerve is compressed within the tarsal READ MORE
Unilateral (on just one foot) “slight numbness” could be a tarsal tunnel syndrome where the tibial nerve, or more precisely, the medial plantar nerve is compressed within the tarsal tunnel. (Although considerably more rare, it is analogous the the carpal tunnel syndrome of the hand.The very existence of this diagnosis is controversial.)
The various causes of the compression are pes plano valgus (flat foot) whereby whereby it is theorized that the nerve is stretched as the foot turns out with weight bearing, venous insufficiency with congestion or varicosities (enlarged veins) within the tarsal tunnel, and/or scar tissue in the area from perhaps a previous injury. Lumbo-sacral (lower spine) nerve root compression, although unusual given this presentation may be responsible and should be investigated.

An early peripheral neuropathy from most commonly diabetes, perhaps alcoholism, or other more rare neuropathies can initially present with the symptom described. However, given the unilaterally
presentation, this would be atypical.

In terms of treatment, arch supports may be appropriate for the flat footed patient as well as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication assuming the patient has no pre-existing allergy to this type of medication, peptic ulcer or gastro-esophageal disease, and/or is taking an anti-coagulation (blood thinner) medication.
However, prior to any treatment, I would recommend an evaluation by a neurologist, or perhaps a primary care physician, to investigate a systemic cause.

Can heel spurs be treated?

Given the rather acute, sudden onset of your heel pain after playing tennis, I suspect you sustained partial plantar fascia ruptures. The plantar fascia is a ligament on the bottom READ MORE
Given the rather acute, sudden onset of your heel pain after playing tennis, I suspect you sustained partial plantar fascia ruptures. The plantar fascia is a ligament on the bottom (sole) of feet that helps support the arch. It runs from the base of the toes to the heel bone (called the calcaneus) where it is quite thick. Most ruptures, which are rarely complete occur on the plantar (sole) and medial (inside) aspect of the heel. In its more chronic form, it is known as plantar fasciitis. “Heel spurs” are rarely the cause of pain in this aspect of the heel unless they are broken (fractured) or are unusually large. “Heel spurs” are where muscles on the bottom or sole (plantar) of the foot attach to the heel bone (calcaneus). X-rays of the foot taken for another reason besides heel pain, often reveal “heel spurs” and X-rays taken for heel pain often fail to reveal “heel spurs”. Initial treatment is temporary avoidance of the activity or sport that precipitated it and conversion to one that is not of a repetitive impact loading nature. For example, swimming, walking (versus running), bicycling, etc. Over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), such as Aspirin, Advil, Alleve, etc. are often helpful. However, these should be avoided if you are allergic to them, are taking a blood thinning (anti-coagulant) medication, including Aspirin, and/or have a history of gastrointestinal reflux or stomach ulcers. As tolerated, heel cord (Achilles tendon) stretching actively and/or passively in the form of night splinting is helpful. For more recalcitrant, chronic heel pain (plantar fasciitis), steroid injections, physical therapy, and arch supports are may be beneficial. Finally, as a last resort treatment, a surgical partial plantar fascia release can be done. For reasons previously described, the “heel spur” is usually not resected.