My Blog
By Dr. Robert B. Kierstein
October 17, 2017
Category: Foot Care

When your Achilles tendon is injured, walking, running, jumping or even standing on your toes becomes painful and difficult. Our Kirkland, achilles tendonWA, podiatrist, Dr. Robert Kierstein, treats a variety of conditions that cause foot and ankle pain, including Achilles tendon problem. He discusses common conditions and treatment options.

Achilles tendinitis

Achilles tendinitis occurs when the Achilles tendon, the long tendon that connects your calf muscles to your heel bone, becomes inflamed. If you have the condition, you may notice pain and swelling at the back of your heel that feels worse after you've been active. Other symptoms can include difficulty moving your foot and tight calf muscles. The condition often occurs in people who run for exercise, but other factors can increase your risk, such as flat feet, jobs that require lots of standing, poorly fitting shoes and tight calf muscles.

Achilles tendonosis

Small tears and scar tissue can develop in your tendon if you have Achilles tendonosis. The condition may be more likely to occur if you continue to participate in your normal activities despite experiencing Achilles tendinitis symptoms, or return to running or other activities before healing completely. If you've experienced ankle pain for weeks or months, Achilles tendonosis may be to blame.

Ruptured Achilles tendon

Ruptures occur when your tendon partially or fully tears. They're common during a fall or accident, but can also occur if you participate in sports that involve jumping or running. Achilles tendon ruptures cause sudden, severe pain and are often accompanied by a popping sound. If your Achilles tendon is ruptured, you won't be able to put your weight on your leg.

How are Achilles tendon problems treated?

When you visit our Kirkland office, we'll ask you to describe your symptoms and perform an examination that will allow us to diagnose and treat your Achilles tendon problem. Achilles tendinitis often improves if you rest your leg for a week or two, apply ice, take anti-inflammatories, wear a compression bandage and keep the leg elevated. Exercises that help stretch your calf muscles can also be helpful.

If you're diagnosed with Achilles tendonitis, physical therapy to break apart scar tissue, orthotics and walking boots can be helpful. You may also benefit from shockwave therapy and other therapies that facilitate healing.

Achilles tendon ruptures often improve with rest. Anti-inflammatories and ice can reduce pain and swelling, while a walking boot and heel wedge will reduce stress on the tendon as it heals. If the rupture is severe or doesn't respond to more conservative treatments, you may need surgery.

Are you concerned about Achilles tendon pain or foot pain? Call our Kirkland, WA podiatrist, Dr. Kierstein, at (425) 899-5331 to schedule an appointment.

By Dr. Robert B. Kierstein
August 17, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: ankle sprain  

Experienced an ankle injury? Find out if you could be dealing with a sprainankle sprain

Whether you were just recently in a car accident or you just love playing sports with your friends, there are so many scenarios in which foot and ankle injuries can happen. Our Kirkland, WA, podiatrist Dr. Robert Kierstein is here to share the telltale symptoms of a sprained ankle and when you should come in for professional care.

You may have a sprained ankle if you are noticing:

  • Pain and tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Stiffness
  • Limited range of motion or flexibility
  • Pain when putting weight on the affected foot

Since there are a variety of ankle injuries that can present with these symptoms it’s important that you visit our Kirkland, WA, foot doctor if you are experiencing any of the symptoms above.

We will be able to diagnose the condition by examining the foot and asking you questions about your symptoms. We may also need to run imaging tests (X-rays) to determine the extent of the injury and to see whether you are dealing with a serious injury.

How is a sprained ankle treated?

The treatment plan we create for you will really depend on the severity of your sprain. In most cases, simple self-care measures can be taken to reduce symptoms while the ankle heals. Common treatment options include:

  • Icing
  • Rest
  • Elevation
  • Compression
  • Ankle braces or supportive footwear
  • Crutches (for more extensive sprains)

The best piece of advice is to rest your foot as much as possible and to stay off of it. Avoid certain activities that could exacerbate your condition. If you have a mild sprain, symptoms usually go away within a week to 10 days; however, if you are dealing with a more severe sprain than it could take six weeks or more for the injury to fully heal. When you come in for treatment we will be able to provide you with the information you need to get your ankle health back on track.

If you ever have any concerns about the health of your feet or ankles don’t hesitate to call our Kirkland, WA, podiatry office to find out how we can help you. When in doubt, pick up the phone and give us a call. We are here for you.

By Dr. Robert B. Kierstein
June 23, 2017
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Bunion  

Everyone is likely to suffer from some type of foot pain from time to time. But when pain becomes chronic and affects your ability to walk orBunion wear your favorite shoes, it could be a sign of an injury. Bunions are a common podiatry problem caused by a deformity of the Metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint at the base of the big toe. Dr. Robert Kierstein, a foot doctor in Kirkland, WA, offers treatment for bunions and foot and ankle pain and injuries.

Bunion Treatment in Kirkland, WA

Also known as a hallux valgus, a bunion causes the first metatarsal bone in the foot to turn outward, and the big toe to turn inward towards the other toes. Like every joint, the MTP contains small fluid-filled sacs (bursae) which help to protect the joint by cushioning the bones during movement. When a bursa sac becomes inflamed from prolonged pressure or an injury, it can lead to pain and deformities in the joint. Anyone can develop a bunion, but they tend to be more common in women. According to Harvard Health, wearing narrow, tight fitting shoes that crowd the toes can trigger the formation of a bunion, but they are hereditary and more likely to develop in people with certain foot types.

What Causes a Bunion?

The most common underlying cause for bunions are:

  • Family history
  • Low arches/flat feet
  • Joint instability

Wearing shoes that put additional pressure on the joint and lack adequate arch support act as a catalyst, but they are not the direct cause of a bunion.

Bunion Signs and Symptoms

Bunions are visible as a bump at the base of the affected toe. They also tend to be painful and can make it difficult to put pressure on the foot or wear certain shoes over time. They can also cause corns and calluses from friction between the skin and your shoes. A foot doctor can treat a bunion in several ways. The most common treatment usually involves assistive devices like padding and orthotics to help lift the arches and relieve pressure on the joint, as well as exercise and physical therapy to prevent joint stiffness. In rare and extreme cases, a bunion may be removed through surgery.

Find a Foot Doctor in Kirkland, WA

Foot and ankle pain can interfere with your daily routine and overall quality of life. For more information about bunion prevention and treatment, contact our office by calling (425) 899-5331 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kierstein today.

By Dr. Robert B. Kierstein
April 17, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: foot pain  

Thanks to their location and hundreds of tiny, moving parts, your feet are a complex and an important part of your body which carries the foot painbrunt of your body’s weight. While some foot injuries may seem like a simple ache or pain, many can quickly escalate into serious pain, swelling, or irritation. Find out more about different types of foot pain and when you should see your podiatrist Dr. Robert Kierstein in Kirkland, WA.

Heel Pain
Like all foot pain, heel pain, localized around the back area of the foot, can be caused by several things. Some common causes of heel pain include:

  • Achilles tendonitis
  • plantar fasciitis
  • stress fracture
  • heel spur
  • arthritis
  • bursitis

Toe Pain
Toe pain often comes from more specific causes. Some of the most common reasons for toe pain include:

  • ingrown toenail
  • hammertoe
  • dislocation
  • blisters
  • corns
  • calluses
  • arthritis
  • neuroma

Arch Pain 
The arch, located on the bottom in the middle of the foot where it rises up from the ground, is a common location for pain and discomfort. Many cases of arch pain come from underlying conditions, though injuries to the foot can also cause this type of pain. Some common causes of arch pain are:

  • plantar fasciitis
  • flatfeet
  • trauma to the foot
  • poor gait (the way one walks)
  • overuse
  • sprains
  • bruises

Foot Pain Treatments in Kirkland, WA 
Treating foot pain varies from case to case. The best way to pinpoint the source of your pain and narrow down the best treatment for you is to consult with your podiatrist. As an expert in conditions of the feet, your podiatrist will use a physical examination alongside testing and imagining techniques like x-rays to get to the bottom of your foot pain. The best treatment for you will depend on the final diagnosis made by your doctor. Treatments may begin conservatively with at-home care and build into more advanced treatments. These treatments may include physical therapy, injection therapy, wearing a brace or a cast, or even surgery.

For more information on foot pain and how your foot doctor can help you, please contact Dr. Robert Kierstein at his practice in Kirkland, WA. Call 425-899-5331 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Kierstein today!

By Dr. Robert B. Kierstein
February 24, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: heel pain   foot pain   ankle pain  

You probably know that a podiatrist is another name for a foot doctor. But do you know what sorts of problems a foot doctor treats? The foot problems\foot is a complicated structure that requires expert knowledge in order to provide the best treatment. Dr. Robert Kierstein, a foot doctor for over 30 years in the Kirkland, WA, area, sees many patients with a variety of foot ailments. A few of the most commonly-seen foot problems are listed below:

Diabetic and geriatric foot care

As people age, their blood circulation diminishes. This is also a problem that develops for people with diabetes. In these cases, complications can arise with foot injuries, as the lack of blood flow makes healing more difficult. This can lead to uncontrolled infections which can enter the bloodstream and lead to hospitalization or amputation. Elderly and diabetic patients should maintain a relationship with their foot doctor to learn the best practices for foot care and contact him immediately after any injury occurs.

Foot fungus

Fungal infections are one of the most common foot-related problems seen by your Kirkland foot doctor and other podiatrists around the world. It often affects diabetics and elderly people, due to the afore-mentioned issues with circulation, and those who frequent locker rooms or public pools or consistently wear shoes and socks that do not provide adequate ventilation. Your Kirkland foot doctor, Dr. Kierstein, can treat fungal toenail infections through a round of medication or by removing the affected part of the nail.

Plantar fasciitis

If you experience heel pain upon getting out of bed in the morning or after long periods of sitting, you may have plantar fasciitis. This is an overuse injury of a ligament at the bottom of the foot that affects many people, including those who run frequently or have jobs that require a lot of standing or walking. Rest, pain relievers, shoe inserts and physical therapy are all ways of treating plantar fasciitis, although surgery may be needed in a few instances.

If you're having a toe, foot or ankle related problem, the staff at Dr. Kierstein's podiatry practice in Kirkland, WA, want to hear from you! Contact us for an appointment today!

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