It’s Only an Ankle Sprain

Ankle injuries are some of the most common injuries in the body. Often, these injuries are sprains, or damage to the ligaments that hold the ankle joint together on either side.

Ankle sprains account for 45% of all sports injuries and 16% of all hospital emergency department visits. Although many of these injuries are relatively minor, 19-72% of patients with ankle sprains will have another sprain on the same ankle, and 70% will develop chronic ankle instability (CAI).

Because ankle injuries are often insufficiently diagnosed and treated, the incidence of later complications remains excessively high. Unfortunately, patients are told that “It’s only an ankle sprain”, and the treatment, if any, is minimal.

To understand the reasons for complications of ankle injuries, one must understand the anatomy of the ankle. The outside or lateral portion of the ankle joint is held together by 3 ligaments, while the inside or medial portion of the ankle joint itself together by 4 ligaments. The lateral ligaments are weaker than the medial ligaments, so most (85%) of ankle injuries involve the lateral side.

Ligaments have poor blood supplies, so they take a long time to heal. Some studies have found that it takes up to 6 months for an ankle ligament to regain full strength. Protection of healing ligaments with bracing during the healing phase can help to prevent reinjury and CAI.

In addition to ligament damage, ankle injuries can involve tendons and bones. Sometimes, these injuries are subtle and difficult to diagnose. Special diagnostic testing and special imaging techniques are sometimes necessary. Failure to properly diagnose and treat these injuries can lead to arthritis and other problems.

The physicians at Melbourne Podiatry Associates are experts in all injuries of the foot and ankle. If you have any ankle injury, no matter how seemingly minor, call ouroffices for an appointment.


While the joy of motherhood may be one of life’s most precious gifts, expectant mothers have to endure the rigors of pregnancy before they can experience baby bliss. As a woman’s waistline expands, healthy weight gain during pregnancy can alter one’s center of gravity causing a sway -back posture called lordosis. This new posture, coupled with weight gain, can create pressure on the knees, legs and feet. Some of the most common lower extremity elements that pregnant women experience are swollen feet, overpronation (flattening of the arch), and cramps in the legs and feet.

Swelling, or edema, of the foot and ankles results from increased pressure on leg veins and hormonal factors. This can result in feelings of heaviness and pain, and enlarged or varicose veins can develop. Elevation of the legs, frequent stretching while sitting, and waist high maternity support stockings can be helpful.
Flattening of the arch (pronation) occurs during to increased weight on the foot and hormonal influences. The foot may actually permanently increase in size. The plantar fascia tendon of the arch can become chronically inflamed, causing heel or arch pain (plantar fasciitis). These symptoms can be improved with the use of well -cushioned supportive shoes, and with insoles that your podiatrist can provide.
Falls are another frequent problem in pregnancy, affecting 27% of pregnant women, 10% of whom have recurrent or continued falls. These are due to imbalances caused by increased pelvic tilt, wider stance, and increased joint laxity. Because falls can lead to risk of injury to the mother and/or baby, they should be aggressively prevented. This is accomplished with proper shoe gear, insoles, and ankle bracing.
Many conditions described in pregnancy continue after delivery. These include enlarged feet, plantar fasciitis, edema, varicose veins, balance problems. These postnatal problems require evaluation and treatment as well.
Many gynecologists and obstetricians are knowledgeable about the services that podiatrists can provide to their pregnant and postpartum patients and refer them. However, you do not need a referral to visit us. If you are pregnant or postpartum and have any problems related to the foot, leg or ankle, please call for an appointment.


“Flatfoot” in children is a very controversial and misunderstood topic.  It can range from a very mild, insignificant variation of gait to a severely deforming condition.  It can have several causes, and treatment can vary in each case.  For these reasons, it is essential that children with flatfoot be evaluated by a podiatrist.

Flatfoot, also called “pronation”, and “pes planus”, is the flattening of the arch with weightbearing.  Because this produces an imbalance in gait, the feet must  externally rotate to gain balance.

A recent European study found that flatfoot accounted for 19% of all childhood visits to podiatrists.  This percentage is higher than previously suspected.

Due to looseness (laxity) of foot ligaments,98% of  18-month-old toddlers have flexible flatfoot.  These figures decrease to 24% of children of age 6 years, due to development of the medial arch in early childhood.  However, 7% of children of this age have more severe, rigid flat feet.

The majority of flexible flatfoot cases are asymptomatic.  However, some children do become symptomatic .  Common symptoms can include pain along the inside of the foot, pain along the outer foot beneath the ankle, diminished walking endurance, pain along shins, knee pain, back pain, and abnormal or clumsy gait.

All cases of flatfoot should be evaluated by a podiatrist.  Although many do not require any treatment, only an expert in the foot and ankle can properly evaluate this.  If the case is severe enough to require treatment, early treatment is crucial to prevent progression of symptoms and compensation and degenerative changes while aging.  Unfortunately, too many parents are told that the child will “grow out of it” and do not seek treatment, often leading to later problems.

Fortunately, the vast majority of cases needing treatment are treated nonsurgically, usually with some type of in-shoe insole device or orthotic.

If your child has flatfoot or any other gait disorder such as intoeing, out toeing,  or toe walking, call our offices for an appointment.

Exercise as Medicine

“Walking in man’s best medicine.” –Hippocrates (Father of Medicine, 466-370 BC)
“Exercise is the best preserver of health”. –Nicolas Andry (Father of Orthopedics, 1743)
“Football (Soccer) is medicine!” — Title of recent article in British Journal of Sports Medicine

The health benefits of exercise have been known and promoted since ancient times, as evidenced by the previous quotes. In our time, the number of people who enjoy all types of exercise is great. However, many others have sedentary lifestyles, causing an epidemic of obesity and other conditions of inactivity and deconditioning. These conditions include heart disease, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and osteoporosis.
A physically active lifestyle has numerous health benefits. Exercise keeps blood pressure at more healthy levels. Heart function is improved. Blood sugar and blood lipids, which lead to diabetes and cardiovascular disease, respectively, are lowered by exercise. Joint mobility is improved by exercise, preventing or improving osteoarthritis. Muscle strength, flexibility, and function are maintained by exercise. Exercise increases calcification of bones, preventing osteoporosis. Lung function and better breathing are improved by aerobic activity.
In addition to these physical benefits of exercise, there are psychological benefits. Maintaining proper weight and an attractive physique enhances self-esteem. Also, exercise causes the brain to release endorphins and other “feel-good” chemicals, which improve mood and prevent depression.
The most important decision in developing or maintaining an active lifestyle is choosing of activity that you enjoy, and that your body can comfortably do. The doctors at Melbourne Podiatry Associates can provide guidance on beginning or changing an exercise program. Information on shoe gear, stretches, and injury prevention can be provided. Call for your appointment and get healthy!

Lower extremity injuries in tennis, racquetball, and pickleball

The 3 most popular racquet sports are tennis, racquetball, and pickleball. Each sport has specific injuries, but they share common injuries as well.

Because all of these sports require side-to-side motion and quick stops, ankle sprains are very common. Achilles tendinitis and even Achilles tendon ruptures also occur commonly and these sports. The motions of these sports can also lead to strain of the quadriceps and hamstring muscles, and of muscles of the hip and groin areas.

Increasing activity level too quickly can lead to stress fractures of the bones of the lower extremities, as well as to delayed-onset muscle soreness, a condition that occurs 1-2 days after the activity.

Most racquet sport injuries can be prevented. Most importantly, a player should properly stretch before playing, and cool down with stretching after playing. Proper shoes are also important. Playing courts should be cleaned and dried prior to playing to prevent slipping. Proper technique will maximize performance and prevent sprains of muscles. Good hydration is important all sports, and applies to racquet sports also. Finally, adequate recovery after playing is important.

The doctors at Melbourne Podiatry Associates are experts in all sports injuries. Call our offices for your appointment.

Your one-stop place for the foot and ankle

Melbourne Podiatry Associates is your “one-stop place” for all of your foot and ankle problems.  You don’t have to go anywhere else!

We offered the advantages of CONVENIENCE, QUALITY, and VALUE!

Convenience means that you can get an appointment the same day you call.  We have four doctors at 3  convenient locations to serve you, with convenient hours.  All 3 locations (Melbourne, Eau Gallie, and Palm Bay) are well located, easy to find, and offer ample free parking.

Convenience also includes the fact that all of our offices are handicap friendly.  Our  helpful staff is trained to assist all patients, including those with disabilities.  All of our offices follow all government required safety and cleanliness guidelines.  One of our physicians (Dr. Jessica Wilson) is bilingual, as are staff members at our Eau Gallie office.  This allows better communication with our Spanish-speaking patients.

We offer all types of braces, splints, and boots (most of which are covered by insurance) in our offices.  There is no need to go anywhere else.  We also offer all types of over-the-counter and prescription orthotics, as well as Vionic shoes.  Additionally, we offer symptomatic and cosmetic treatment of varicose veins.

If your doctor  decides that you need x-rays or other diagnostic tests, there is no need to run around town.  We take x-rays of the foot, ankle and leg right in our office, with results available for discussion  immediately.  We also have in-office diagnostic ultrasound, a painless, simple, safe diagnostic test that is useful for the evaluation of many conditions.

Regarding quality, the services  provided at our offices are unsurpassed.  Our doctors have all the professional qualifications and credentialing to diagnose and treat all conditions of the foot, leg and ankle.  Similarly,our staff members are well-trained, courteous, and professional.

Regarding value, you can’t  do better than Melbourne Podiatry Associates.  We accept most insurance plans.  We offer special discounts for uninsured patients.  We accept credit cards.  Our prices for noncovered items and services are competitive.

If you want the highest quality service, at a convenient time in a convenient location, at a great value, visit Melbourne Podiatry Associates!

Dermatology of the lower extremity

What is the largest organ of the body?  This is a famous medical school trivia question.  The answer, surprisingly, is the skin!  The skin, also known as the integument, includes hair and nails, known as skin appendages.

Changes of the skin can be suggestive of underlying medical conditions, as well as of vascular problems.  Recognition of these signs can lead to further evaluation, treatment, and proper referrals.

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Sports-Specific Footwear Gives Kids a Boost

In this day  and age, sports are more popular than ever in children of all ages.  But did you know that picking the right shoe goes above and beyond just heading to the “athletics” section of the store?  Buying a “sports-specific” shoe– a shoe designed for the exact sport that your child will be participating in–not only improve her child’s performance in the sport, but also keeps them free from serious foot and ankle injuries.

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El calzado especifico para un deporte determinado ayuda enormemente a los ninos

En la actualidad, los deportes son mas populares que nunca entre los ninos de todas las edades. Pero, ?sabia usted que elegir el calzado adecuado es mucho mas que solo dirigirse hacia la seccion “deportes” de la tienda de calzado? Comprar calzado especifico para un deporte determinado—un calzado disenado especificamente para el deporte que practicara su hijo—no solo mejora el desempeno de su hijo en la cancha o enel campo, sino quetambien le evita lesiones serias de los pies y los tobillos.


Regateos y anotaciones—Para muchos ninos, baloncesto es el primer deporte organizado que eligen; por eso, es importante brindarles un calzado que les ayude a perfeccionar sus habilidades para jugar baloncesto y evitar lesiones.

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Consejos para la compra de calzado infantile

Todos los padres que hacer: corer a la zapateria mas cercana para que sus hijos usen los zapatos de ultima moda para la escuela, para jugar o para ambas cosas. Pero antes de que los padres inviertan en par nuevo de calzado infantil, deben considerarse algunos factores relacionados con los pies.

Los pies de los ninos cambian con los anos. Puede ser necessario cambiar de talla de zapatos y medias pocos meses a medida que les crecen los pies.

Los zapatos que no calzan en forma adecuada pueden ser perjudiciales para los pies. Mida siempre los pies de los ninos antes de comprar zapatos.

Nunce pase el calzado a otros ninos. El hecho de que una talla de zapato sea comoda para un nino no significa que le calzara a otro de la misma manera. Ademas, si se comparte el calzado, pueden transmitirse hongos, como el pie de atleta y hongos en las unas.

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