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 spring 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 will be on his bi annual mission trip to Mexico this July.
Don't Let an Old Ankle Injury Spring Up
You've just emerged from a long winter spent hibernating indoors and are excited to enjoy the many outdoor activities that warm spring weather often brings. Before you begin playing your favorite sports again or resume your daily neighborhood walks, keep in mind that the past few months of inactivity may have weakened the muscles, tendons and ligaments in your ankles. And if you've suffered an ankle injury in the past, residual weakness and pain could surface once you become active again this spring.

Schedule an appointment with our office before you decide to start an athletic or fitness program this season. We can examine your ankles for any damage caused by improperly healed ligaments, which can lead to pain and swelling. Remember, ankle pain is never normal no matter how light or rigorous the activity!

Bunionettes Not as Cute as They Sound

Bunionettes, otherwise known as Tailor's Bunion, occur when the joint behind the little toe becomes enlarged. Most common in women, bunionettes can cause pain, inflammation, ulceration and infection.

When the enlarged joint worsens due to arthritis, joint instability or wearing of high heels or narrow-fitting shoes, you can often find relief by wearing wider shoes or taking anti-inflammatory medications.

However, if your symptoms continue, a simple outpatient procedure can allow you to resume your everyday activities without pain.

Surgical treatment for bunionettes can help correct the deformity. When you come to our office for an evaluation, we'll select from several different procedures based on your foot type, activity level, age and other factors. The surgery is an outpatient procedure performed with a local anesthesia and requires a short recuperative time in a surgical shoe.

There's no reason to endure persistent pain from bunionettes when help is just a phone call away. Contact our office today to make an appointment.

Common Foot Care Myths Debunked

Healthy feet happen when you have the facts, but you'd never believe how many old wives' tales and myths exist about foot care. Now is the time to debunk the myths that stand in the way of you and healthy feet.

Myth: Cutting a notch in an ingrown toenail relieves the pain.

Fact: This doesn't relieve the pain and may actually cause more problems and discomfort. If you have an ingrown toenail, don't perform bathroom surgery-call our office to schedule an appointment. In many cases, a simple surgical procedure will fix the ingrown toenail.

Myth: Walking on an injured foot means it isn't broken.

Fact: Depending on the injury and your threshold for pain, it's possible to walk on a broken foot or ankle. This can make the injury worse and can also lead to serious complications. Stay off an injured foot until you can come to our office for an evaluation.

Myth: Shoes cause bunions.

Fact: Bunions are most often caused by an inherited faulty mechanical structure of the foot, which only surgery can correct.

Myth: A doctor can't fix a broken toe.

Fact: Untreated broken toes may develop arthritis or become deformed. Schedule an appointment with our office immediately if you think your toe is broken. Treatment options may include:

• Rest - Sometimes rest is all that is needed to heal a traumatic fracture of the toe.

• Splinting - The toe may be fitted with a splint to keep it in a fixed position.

• Rigid or stiff-soled shoe - Wearing a stiff-soled shoe protects the toe and helps keep it properly positioned.

• "Buddy taping" the fractured toe to another toe is sometimes appropriate, but in other cases, it may be harmful.

• Surgery - If the break is badly displaced or if the joint is affected, surgery may be necessary.
Myth: Foot pain is normal as you get older.

Fact: Foot pain is not normal at any age. Our office can provide relief for many painful conditions, such as arthritis, bunions or hammertoes. Visit to learn more about these conditions and how to recognize their symptoms so you can get a head start on treatment.

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