Congratulations Dr. Shirley Visser!

Shirley Visser, DPMMid-West Podiatry & Associates would like to congratulate Dr. Shirley C. Visser,D.P.M. on becoming Board Certified with the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery. The certification for podiatrists is a long and difficult process requiring completion of a Doctorate in Podiatric Medicine (D.P.M.) from a school accredited by the Council on Podiatric Medical Education (CPME), completion of a residency program (also accredited by the CPME), passing a rigorous exam to reach Board Qualified status, and building an extensive case history over the course of several years to submit for review before taking the final examination. We congratulate Dr. Shirley C. Visser, D.P.M. on this tremendous achievement.

To read a more detailed description of the process of becoming Board Certified, see the following article

Diabetic Shoes for Fashion-Forward Folks: Ugly, Expensive Footwear Be Gone!

Arthritic Foot Care: Is it Time to Ask the Doc about Joint Injections?Did you know that diabetic shoes don’t have to be ugly and expensive? There are actually a surprising number of attractive, diabetic shoes to choose from nowadays and the majority of them are covered by Medicare, Medicaid and other insurance. There’s just one twist to contend with. Many insurance companies won’t cover the cost of diabetic shoes unless they were ordered by a licensed podiatrist and purchased through a durable medical equipment company. In some cases, the footwear must meet certain guidelines and be professionally fitted too.

So, which diabetic shoes do podiatrists order for their patients? It largely depends on the condition of the patient’s feet and how they live their lives. However, the majority of diabetic footwear has what’s known as extra depth. The extra depth is there to cushion the feet, thereby preventing pressure ulcers. Most of the shoes also feature wide widths, Velcro closures, removable orthotics, custom inserts and smooth surfaces to help relieve pressure on all areas of the person’s feet. The diabetic shoes may be worn with therapeutic stockings or socks designed to improve circulation and reduce incidents of pitting edema, both of which are common symptoms in diabetic populations.

As far as the styles go, don’t expect podiatrists to order their patients pairs of stiletto heels or cheap flip-flops. Dress shoes are available but they generally take the form of flats or boots with thick soles. Modified wedge shoes, sneakers, running shoes and other sporty footwear are available. In some instances, it may be possible to purchase modified sandals. The modified sandals are typically attached to the feet using Velcro closures. The toe areas are open and you won’t find Y-shaped toe straps on any of them. Why? The Y-shaped straps have a tendency to cut into the toe and cause pressure ulcers or chafing. To learn more about diabetic shoes and find the right pairs for your feet, please speak with a Farmington podiatrist.

Image courtesy of Praisaeng/

Celebrities with Foot Problems: Stop and Drop Those Awful Habits Now!

Celebrities with Foot ProblemsWhat do Sarah Jessica Parker, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, Kim Kardashian, Christina Hendricks, Meg Ryan and Kate Moss have in common? They’re all celebrities with foot problems and they have a lot of company. Over the years, a large number of female celebs have either been called out or spoken out about the damage footwear has done to their well manicured feet.

Some of the lovely ladies have caused their feet to develop everything from bunions, calluses, hammertoes and plantar fasciitis to ankle sprains and fractures all in the name of high fashion headlines. There have even been incidents of footwear allegedly causing sacroiliac joint pain, back problems and knee osteoarthritis.

So what can non-celebrities learn from their glamorous idols? For one, wearing shoes that are too tight and don’t provide enough support are bound to create problems in the long-term.

As Sarah Jessica Parker pointed out in a Spring 2013 Weekly US article, her years of poor shoe choices have left her feet in pretty bad shape. Does anyone really want to suffer the same fate? We don’t think so. With that said, it is vital to make fashion choices with a healthy dose of common sense and an eye towards the future. In addition, getting into the habit of taking care of one’s feet at an early age is also advised.

Like many parts of our bodies, the feet continue to grow well into puberty and often beyond. So the shoes we wear during those critical growth periods can heavily influence what our feet eventually look like. In addition, our feet can change size and shape once we’ve reached adulthood. The changes that happen to our feet in adulthood are generally caused by age, hormone and weight fluctuations.

They tend to make our feet get wider, longer and flatter. However, they can be caused by our footwear choices too, much like what happens when we wear the wrong shoes during our growth spurts. To learn more about celebrities with foot problems and how you can avoid their fate, please contact us.

Image courtesy of Patrisyu/

Podiatrists Warn, Don’t Let Winter Activities Cause Ankle Sprains and More

Broken Ankle & Foot InjuriesAlthough ankle sprains can happen anytime, the tail end of the year tends to send more people rushing to the podiatrist than any other. They aren’t the only injuries that may occur either. It’s also not uncommon for podiatrists to see a rise in cases of FHL tenosynovitis, plantar fascittis, hallux rigidus, metatarsalgia, athlete’s feet and frost bite. Most podiatry offices attribute those increases to poorly maintained surfaces, winter sports, badly chosen footwear, snow blowing and snow shoveling activities. They can all really wreak havoc on the ankle joint and the foot in general. With that said, local podiatrists are urging everyone to remember the following:

Do ditch the smooth-soled dress shoes, ultra thin pantyhose and high heel boots. Instead, opt for insulated, waterproof footwear that will provide sufficient traction, warmth and support for the weather at hand. If you’re prone to athlete’s feet, consider choosing a pair that features removable, washable inserts. And if you just have to keep your high heels and dress shoes around, only wear them inside where it’s dry.

Don’t go walking around after dark in poorly lit areas either. Doing so will only increase your risk of slipping on ice and snow. For those early mornings and nights when you need to pass through such areas, keep a small, LED flashlight or reusable, emergency glow stick on your person. They may help provide enough light to detect potential sidewalk, curbside or parking lot hazards.

Do think about wearing insulated socks and checking your feet regularly for signs of frost nip or frost bite. If your toes and feet look pale and feel somewhat numb, get off of them straightaway. Then take the necessary first aid measures to bring them back to normal. Should blood filled blisters, black scabs, extensive numbness and severe discoloration be present, head to the nearest Farmington doctor’s office for emergency assistance.

Get Rid of Foot Corns and Calluses Before Warm Weather Arrives

Treatment for Corns and CallusesWarm weather is coming and your tootsies need to be in excellent condition to pull off the hottest looks. Unfortunately right now, they’re literally a train wreck waiting to happen. You’ve got foot corns and calluses, not to mention ratty cuticles and discolored nails.

What to do, what to do? We know, try these great podiatrist approved tips and get rid of those problems before the sun shines:

Soak your feet for 30 minutes then rub those softened calluses away with a sanitized pumice stone. Skip the callus shaver, metal rasp and acidic pads, especially if you have peripheral neuropathy. In the wrong hands, they have a tendency to be harsh on the skin and can cause nasty cuts as well as serious foot infections.

Before going to bed each night, treat your feet to a moisturizer. Slather one on and then cover your tootsies with clean, cotton socks. Otherwise, the moisturizer is apt to end up all over the bed sheets and your bedroom slippers not to mention the bathroom floor. Good choices are creams that contain vitamin E or non-acidic, prescription corn medications.

Reduce the amount of pressure on your feet as often as possible, even if it means buying some new things. After all, having healthy feet and feeling comfort are well worth the investment. Put gel floor pads down at work and change your footwear. Ask your podiatrist about shoes with built-in dells as well as moleskin, felt pads and orthotics.

Check yourself in the mirror and watch how you walk. Take steps to improve your posture and keep the weight placed onto your feet during everyday activities on an even keel. If necessary, see a specialist and ask about therapy that may improve your body’s mechanics overall.

Finally, consider having a licensed podiatrist remove the remaining foot corns and calluses for you. In 99.9% of the cases, this type of work is performed in podiatry offices and won’t keep people from resuming their normal activities. For information about making an appointment, please click here.

Morton’s Neuroma is Capable of Sidelining Tennis Pros and Amateurs Alike

NeuromaMany international tennis fans were saddened to learn about Milos Raonic. In the week before Memorial Day 2015, the 24-year-old, Canadian tennis player found himself in an unfortunate situation. The source of his consternation was an ongoing foot injury.

For those that may have missed the sports headlines, he had Morton’s neuroma. The tennis pro tried surgical intervention to correct the problem but has yet to fully recover.

For many people who undergo a neurectomy, the post-surgery recovery period typically takes six weeks. By all media accounts, the tennis pro opted to have his surgery in early May. So, it is no wonder that he was unable to resume his frenetic pace in time for the start of Roland Garros tournament. At this point, he’s shooting for a return to the courts in late June and we hope that he makes it.

Morton’s neuroma is a common ailment that befalls pro tennis players and amateurs alike. It is brought about by a number of things, including playing on tennis courts for extended periods of time in athletic shoes that have certain types of toe boxes and little padding. The toe boxes compress the tennis player’s foot and a lack of padding doesn’t help matters either. As a result, one of the nerves in the foot becomes pinched.

Once pinched, the nerve becomes grossly irritated and misshapen. It also worsens over time if not treated effectively with one or more of the following:

  • Cortisone Injections and Oral Non-Steroidal Drugs
  • Modified Athletic Shoes and Supplemental Padding
  • Custom Orthotics for Tennis Players
  • Ice Pack Therapy and Activity Restrictions

Raonic allegedly began showing signs of his discomfort as early as April 2015. So he clearly wasted no time in receiving expert care from a podiatrist. Unfortunately for him, his case required surgical intervention. To learn more about the surgical methods used to treat professional athletes who have Morton’s neuromas, please contact a podiatrist or licensed foot surgeon.

Managing A Problematic Intramedullary Screw In A Patient With A Jones Fracture

H. John Visser, DPM has recently published an article along with third-year surgical resident, Shawar Malik, DPM. It is entitled Managing A Problematic Intramedullary Screw In A Patient With A Jones Fracture.”

“Fifth metatarsal base fractures are the most common metatarsal fractures of the foot… When surgical intervention of a fifth metatarsal base fracture is required, authors have described numerous techniques including the use of intramedullary screw fixation, tension band wiring, plating and crossed Kirschner wires.3,5-8 A concern with utilizing the intramedullary screw technique is the presence of painful hardware once the individual has resumed full activity…”

In the full article, these doctors describe a cortical window technique for extracting a failed intramedullary screw.

To read the full article, click here.

Podiatry Education Requirements

DoctorThe field of podiatry involves diagnosing, treating and helping to prevent foot and ankle conditions. Podiatrists provide medical care and can treat a wide range of problems including arthritis, hammertoes, bunions, arch problems, corns and heel spurs. Podiatrists study and train in order to become medical professionals.

Details about the education requirements are below.

Undergraduate Education: Most podiatrists start their education by earning a BS in one of the sciences. While many students choose to major in science-related fields, it is not required. If you hold an unrelated bachelor’s degree, you may have to complete certain science courses before applying to podiatry school.

A Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree is a requirement if you want to practice as a podiatrist.

Doctoral Programs: A Doctor of Podiatric Medicine is a 4-year, specialized medical degree program. The first two years of study are very similar to those of Medical Doctor Degree programs, and in your third and fourth years you take podiatry-specific courses.

Some of the courses are lower-extremity biomechanics, lower-limb anatomy and podiatric trauma. You will also have to complete clinical rotations in areas like radiology and podiatric surgery.

The job outlook in the field, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is bright. Employment of podiatrists will grow 23 percent from 2015 to 2022. This rate is faster than the average for all occupations. The reason is growth and a high demand for medical and surgical care of feet and ankles within an aging population.

Podiatrists will also be helpful for treating patients with problems caused by chronic conditions, such as obesity and diabetes. The average annual salary for podiatrists is around $120,000.