Foot and Ankle Center of Northern ColoradoMake and Appointment with Foot and Ankle Center

The doctors and staff at the Foot and Ankle Center of Northern Colorado wish all of you a safe and healthy fall season!

Dr. Stacy Atherton is in our Longmont office. She is a superb teacher and educator of surgery. Our surgical residents benefit greatly from her expertise. Dr Atherton also leads the wound center at McKee Medical Center in Loveland.

Dr Vaardahl is busy not only as residency director of the training program at North Colorado, but in the local community as well. He manages to find time to participate in his sons' school and scouting activities along with a very busy practice. He is on the school board for University Schools in Greeley. He also is director of the diabetic foot wound center at North Colorado Medical Center

Dr Hatch enjoys lecturing on foot and ankle surgery throughout the US and internationally. He lectures and conducts surgical skills workshops for the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. He also speaks at conferences for the Podiatry Institute and the International Foot and Ankle foundation. He went on his bi-annual mission trip to Mexico this past July to help perform reconstructive surgery on underprivileged children.
Make the Switch from Sandals to Shoes Safely
As you transition from summer sandals and bare feet to shoes and socks for the fall, keep in mind that this change can cause foot problems. Contact our office if you experience any of the following issues after you switch to fall shoes.

Ingrown Toenails
Wearing enclosed or improperly sized shoes can lead to ingrown toenails. Trim your toenails straight across and wear shoes that are not tight in the toe box.

Irritated Bunions, Bone Spurs & Hammertoes
Constant rubbing on your feet from shoes can irritate any existing hammertoes, bunions or bone spurs. Wear socks and properly fitting shoes and consider having your shoe stretched in the areas of irritation to provide some relief.

Neuroma Flare-Ups
Tight-fitting, enclosed shoes can trigger neuromas, or nerve pain. Make sure your shoes provide enough room in the toe area so your toes are not squeezed or irritated.

Toenail Fungus
Fungus thrives in dark, moist and warm environments, such as your shoes. To prevent fungal growth, disinfect your shoes and wear different pairs to allow them to air out. Also remove any leftover summer nail polish from your toes. Nail polish seals the nail and traps moisture, which can create a breeding ground for fungus.

Regular Foot Exams Help Keep Diabetic Feet Healthy
If you have diabetes, make time to schedule regular foot exams to help keep your feet healthy. Diabetic feet are vulnerable to ulcerations and other serious foot conditions, such as Charcot foot, caused by poor circulation in the lower limbs and reduced nerve sensation. If left untreated, these conditions can lead to infection, deformity or foot amputation.

During your foot exam, we will assess your feet for nerve sensation, skin irregularities (corns, calluses, punctures and redness), swelling, drainage and any unnatural pressure points prone to ulceration. Should we find any pre-ulcerative conditions, we will begin prompt treatment to prevent any wounds from occurring.

In between exams, be sure to:
  • inspect your feet daily for cuts, blisters, redness, swelling or nail problems;

  • gently cleanse your feet each day with soap and lukewarm water;

  • regularly moisturize your feet to avoid itching or cracking.

If your foot changes shape or if you notice any increased warmth, redness, pain, blisters or bleeding, stay off your foot and visit our office as soon as possible to be evaluated. Walking on an injured foot or delaying treatment may lead to further irreparable damage, loss of leg or more serious consequences.
Caring for your diabetic feet is essential to healthy living. Make routine foot care appointments with our office to help ward off ulcerations and more serious issues.

Wear the Right Shoe to Avoid Achilles Tendon Injuries

Do your athletic shoes bend in the middle? If so, they can put pressure on your heel and achilles tendon and cause injury, especially when playing any sport that requires running or jumping.

The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body and connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. When the middle of the sole in an athletic shoe collapses, pressure is transferred from the midfoot area to the heel, which can stretch the Achilles tendon excessively. This can lead to inflammation, also known as Achilles tendonitis.

Warning signs of Achilles tendonitis include pain and swelling in the tendon area following exercise. The leg may also feel stiff or tired. Rest, ice and anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, can relieve Achilles tendonitis, but if symptoms persist, schedule an appointment with our office so we can determine the extent of the problem and the potential risk for a ruptured or torn tendon. A torn or ruptured Achilles tendon requires surgery, and recovery is often slow and involves extensive rehabilitation.
To avoid Achilles tendon injuries:
  • replace your shoes every 400 miles;

  • always stretch and walk before beginning any strenuous exercise;

  • increase the difficulty of any new exercise programs gradually to allow your calf muscles to adjust and become more flexible.

Don't forget, our office is always here to help you select the proper shoe for your favorite athletic activity.

This information was developed by the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons