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Followers of the NorthBay Healthcare Facebook page were treated to plenty of information on everything from arthritis to flat feet during the most recent #OurDocTalk chat.

NorthBay Podiatrist Kevin Miller, D.P.M., spent a half hour July 26, answering questions posted  in advance on the Facebook page and despite some technical problems with Facebook, managed to share tips and information on the latest in foot and ankle care.  

Asked about options for treating flat feet and plantar fasciitis, Dr. Miller recommended orthotics as “the best way to start” with treatment. “They will help hold the foot and stabilize your arch. Lots of people have flat feet, and some require more than just an orthotic. Depending on the severity, some people require surgical correction,” he noted. “Plantar fasciitis also responds to orthotics, as well as anti-inflammatory meds. If these issues are persistent, then it’s time to go see a doc.”

Drop foot, the inability to lift the front part of one’s foot off the ground when walking was the subject of another question on whether there were any new medical discoveries or treatments.

“Well ... bracing and medical orthos are the standard of care to treat drop foot,” Dr. Miller noted. “There is surgical correction for drop foot based on each individual case.”

And the doctor had advice for one Facebook fan on dealing with aching feet during long walks or other activity.

“Comfortable shoes,” he wrote. “Stay active! If things get too bad, go see your doctor.”

Managing the pain of arthritis was a question from one frustrated poster who noted that they have “tried everything from ice and elevation to physical therapy and surgery.”

Dr. Miller said anti-inflammatory medications are used to help with pain. “In regard to surgery, we have new options for ankle arthritis, including ankle replacement, which allows for continued activity without loss of mobility.”

The chat can be viewed on Facebook.com and here is an edited transcript:

Q.: I know someone who has drop foot from spinal taps done incorrectly as a infant. Is there any new medical discoveries that can strengthen their ankle and allow them to walk normal and wear non strap sandals?

Dr. Miller: Well.... bracing and medical orthoses are the standard of care to treat drop foot. There is surgical correction for drop foot based on each individual case.

Q.: What is your recommendation for flat feet and plantar fasciitis??

Dr. Miller: OTC orthotics are always the best way to start. They will help hold the foot and stabilize your arch. Lots of people have flatfeet, and some require more than just an orthotic. 

Depending on the severity, some people require surgical correction. Plantar fasciitis also responds to orthotics, as well as anti-inflammatories meds. If these issues are persistent, then it’s time to go see a doc.

Comment: Dr Miller is amazing

NorthBay Healthcare Reply: We think so!

Q.: After receiving cortisone injections and then a series of alcohol injections for treatment of a Morton's Neuroma, surgery has been suggested. Research suggests a 35% failure rate and with those that are successful needing multiple surgeries. Are there any new alternatives?

Dr. Miller: Surgical correction, or excision, of a neuroma will always form another neuroma. I usually opt to remove them, and have had very good success with this (no where near 35% failure rate).

Q.: 72 years old, feet hurt when on them to long, walking a mile, or shopping.

Dr. Miller:  Comfortable shoes. Stay active! If things get too bad, go see your doctor...

Q.: Can chemo cause foot pain as the aftermath like plantar fasciitis?

Dr. Miller: Yes. Chemo induced neuropathy is very common and occurs as a result of the toxic drugs used during chemotherapy.

Q.: What could someone do to manage pain from arthritis in their ankle? Tried everything from ice and elevation to physical therapy and surgery. Is there medication that helps arthritic pain?

Dr. Miller: Anti-inflammatory medications are utilized to help with pain. In regards to surgery, we have new options for ankle arthritis including ankle replacement which allows for continued activity without loss of mobility.

Response: NorthBay Healthcare thank you

Q.: I cracked my ankle (ligaments) hiking and it seemed to never heal correctly...ehat can I do now to help? It's weak an I seem to always sprain it.

Dr. Miller: I always tell patients if they sprain their ankle more than three times in six months it's time to see their doctor and get imaging to evaluate for ligament injury or tears.
NorthBay Healthcare: Our Chat with Dr. Miller has now ended. We want to thank him for taking time out of his hectic schedule to join us. Hopefully Facebook will cooperate and reactivate his account!! For more information on the doctor, visit: https://www.northbay.org/doctors/our-doctors/phys917.cfm

Comment: Wow this is an awesome way to get patients the correct information, very cool NorthBay.