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

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 and the International Foot and Ankle Foundation. He also lectures at conferences for the Podiatry Institute. He attends his bi annual mission trip to Mexico in February and July to help perform reconstructive surgery on underprivileged children. He will be lecturing internationally on foot and ankle surgery this fall in Italy.
Keep Kids' Feet & Ankles Safe During Fall Sports Season
Foot and ankle injuries among young athletes tend to increase during the fall sports season. Football, soccer and basketball are the sports most likely to lead to sprains, broken bones and other problems.

Follow these six tips to help protect your children from serious foot and ankle injuries this fall:

1. Treat foot and ankle injuries right away. What seems like a sprain is not always a sprain. In addition to cartilage injuries, your child might have injured other bones in the foot without knowing it. Schedule an appointment with our office if you suspect your child has a foot or ankle injury. The sooner treatment starts, the sooner long-term instability or arthritis can be prevented and the sooner your child can get back into the game.

2. Have a foot and ankle surgeon check old sprains before the season starts. A checkup at our office can reveal whether your child's previously injured foot or ankle might be vulnerable to sprains and could possibly benefit from wearing a supportive brace during competition.

3. Buy the right shoe for the sport. Different sports require different shoe gear. Players should not mix baseball cleats with football shoes.

4. Children should start the season with new shoes. Old shoes can wear down and become uneven on the bottom, causing the ankle to tilt because the foot cannot lie flat.
5. Check playing fields for dips, divots and holes. Most sports-related foot and ankle sprains are caused by jumping and running on uneven surfaces. This is why some surgeons recommend parents walk the field, especially when children compete in nonprofessional settings like public parks, for spots that could catch a player's foot. Alert coaching officials to any irregularities.

6. Encourage stretching and warmup exercises. Calf stretches and light jogging before competition help warm up ligaments and blood vessels, reducing the risk for foot and ankle injuries.
If you would like a foot and ankle surgeon to evaluate your child's feet, ankles or athletic shoes before fall sports season begins, contact our office to schedule an appointment.

Fall Sports

Have You Heard of a Lisfranc Injury?
Lisfrank Injury Few have heard of a Lisfranc injury, but if it is not detected early on, it can result in severe long-term complications to the foot, such as chronic pain, osteoarthritis and foot deformities.

The Lisfranc joint is where the long bones leading up to the toes connect to the bones in the arch. It helps move your foot forward when you walk or run. Injuries to the Lisfranc joint most often result from high-impact force during car accidents, running or contact sports.

Diagnosis can be difficult because the signs, even during examination and imaging, can be subtle. Symptoms of a Lisfranc injury may include swelling of the foot, pain throughout the midfoot upon standing or during examination, inability to bear weight, bruising on the bottom of the foot in the arch area and an abnormal widening of the foot, possibly signaling dislocation.

The good news is Lisfranc injuries can heal successfully when properly diagnosed and treated in a timely manner.
If you have experienced any sort of foot trauma and the above symptoms appear, come to our office as soon as possible for an evaluation.

Bunion Surgery FAQs

Bunion Surgery

If you are considering bunion surgery now or after the new year, here are answers to some of the most common questions our patients ask before their surgery:

Is the surgery painful? The level of pain experienced after bunion surgery differs from patient to patient. Most patients will experience discomfort for three to five days. However, if you closely follow the postoperative care instructions, you can help minimize pain and swelling after your bunion surgery.

What type of anesthesia is used? Most bunion surgeries involve local anesthesia with intravenous sedation. This means your foot will be numb, and you will receive medications to relax you during the procedure.
How soon can I walk after surgery? It depends on your bunion and the surgical procedure selected for you. You may be able to walk just a few days after surgery, but if a more involved surgical procedure is required, it could be several weeks or months before you can fully bear weight on your foot.

How soon can I drive after surgery? You may be asked to avoid driving for three to six weeks depending on the procedure selected for you, which foot you use to drive, how fast you heal and other factors.

Can the bunion come back? Yes, some cases have a risk of bunion recurrence. You can help prevent this by following any instructions to wear arch supports or orthotics in your shoe. If screws or plates are implanted in my foot to correct my bunion, will they set off metal detectors? Not usually. It depends on the device chosen for your procedure as well as how sensitive the metal detectors are.

To learn more about what to expect during bunion surgery, call our office to make an appointment with a foot and ankle surgeon for a consultation.

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