Crutch Use

Foot Facts

  • Each foot has 26 bones
  • There are more than 100 ligaments in each foot
  • Diabetes is the #1 cause for lower extremety amputation
  • A toenail takes 4-9 months to completely grow out
  • Pain in the feet is NOT normal

Surgery: YES OR NO????

  • Deciding whether or not to have surgery is a big decision. 
  • Our foot and ankle surgeons are skilled in both surgical and conservative options. 
  • We will present the options most suitable for you and help you with your decision.

How much pain should I be in before I make an appointment?

  • Foot pain is not normal.
  • Foot pain is a signal that something is not right.
  • Any degree of foot pain warrants an evaluation to determine the source of the pain and possible treatment options.
  • Most foot pain left untreated will get worse and become more difficult to cure.
  • If you have foot or ankle  pain, make an appointment, do not wait.

Will soaking cure my ingrown toenail?

  • Soaking an ingrown toenail will often make it feel better, but it will not cure it. 
  • The symptoms of an ingrown toenail include pain, redness, and swelling.
  • An ingrown toenail is easily cured with a simple in office surgical procedure. 
  • The toe is anesthetized so that pain is not felt during the procedure.
  • The ingrown nail, or portion of the nail, is removed.
  • Most people feel no pain afterwards and return to normal activities the next day. 

What are orthotics?

  • Custom made foot arch supports designed to hold the foot in its optimum position
  • Can alleviate the discomfort caused by a number of foot conditions such as heel pain, bunions, and flat feet. 

Happy Feet...Happy Bride

happyComfortable footwear can help make the perfect day even better. Many times foot or ankle discomfort can be alleviated with appropriate shoes. It is not unusual for people to buy shoes that are too small for their feet. If your foot problem has an easy solution, our podiatrists will gladly provide you with that information. Sometimes the right shoe is not enough and custom-made orthotics is necessary to help the feet maintain the best position. Our podiatrists can utilize a three dimensional digital scan to have custom made inserts (orthotics) fabricated for your shoes, made from the scan of your feet to correct your specific foot abnormality and fit your feet only. If your foot or ankle problem can be resolved with conservative treatment, our podiatrists will advise you of the best treatment for you. There are times when the best solution for a foot or ankle problem is surgery. If you require foot or ankle surgery, our podiatrists can provide you with the latest state of the art surgical techniques. They will take the time to explain to you what to expect before, during and after surgery and will try to answer all your questions. Whatever your foot or ankle problem may be, our podiatrists will explain the various treatment options available to you. Everyone is happier when their feet are happy!

Thoughts on Celebrating 30+ Years

anniversarySome thoughts from Dr. Jacoby:
On April 30, 1984 I took over this podiatry practice. Elgin became my professional home as well as my personal home. I am forever grateful to Dr. Roger Hess who started this practice 50 years prior. Dr. Hess was a gentleman whom I admired and emulated both professionally and personally. I am forever honored to continue caring for the patients who initially trusted Dr. Hess.

My first office was at 860 Summit on the East Side of Elgin. I remember painting the office myself. I moved twice into larger space at 860 Summit. Eventually we outgrew the space there and moved to larger space at the Sherman Hospital Medical Building and then finally here to 750 Fletcher. I am grateful to the multitude of patients we have had the privilege of treating and that have kept us growing. I am also grateful to the multitude of other physicians in the area whom I am so privileged to work with.

Not only has this practice grown in physical space, but we have grown technologically as we offer many state of the art alternatives.  My staff has been and continues to be essential.  To all my staff, both past and present, I say a most sincere Thank You.

I look back on the years with much pride and sentimentality. I look forward to the future with the same enthusiasm and joy I felt on April 30, 1984. I love what I do and every day I realize how blessed I am to be in this wonderful profession!

Crutches1Sizing Crutches
Even if you’ve already been fitted for crutches, make sure your crutch pads and handgrips are set at the proper distance, as follows:

  • Crutch pad distance from armpits: The crutch pads (tops of crutches) should be 1½" to 2" (about two finger widths) below the armpits, with the shoulders relaxed.
  • Handgrip: Place it so your elbow is slightly bent – enough so you can fully extend your elbow when you take a step.
  • Crutch length (top to bottom): The total crutch length should equal the distance from your armpit to about 6" in front of a shoe.

Begin in the “Tripod Position”
The tripod position is the position in which you stand when using crutches. It is also the position in which you begin walking. To get into the tripod position, place the crutch tips about 4" to 6" to the side and in front of each foot. Stand on your “good” foot (the one that is weight-bearing).

Walking with Crutches
(Non-weight-bearing)

If your foot and ankle surgeon has told you to avoid ALL weight-bearing, you will need sufficient upper body strength to support all your weight with just your arms and shoulders.

  1. Begin in the tripod position, remembering to keep all your weight on your “good” (weight-bearing) foot.
  2. Advance both crutches and the affected foot/leg.
  3. Move the “good” weight-bearing foot/leg forward (beyond the crutches).
  4. Advance both crutches, and then the affected foot/leg.
  5. Repeat steps #3 and #4.

Crutches2

Managing Chairs with Crutches
To get into and out of a chair safely:

  1. Make sure the chair is stable and will not roll or slide. It must have arms and back support.
  2. Stand with the backs of your legs touching the front of the seat.
  3. Place both crutches in one hand, grasping them by the handgrips.
  4. Hold on to the crutches (on one side) and the chair arm (on the other side) for balance and stability while lowering yourself to a seated position, or raising yourself from the chair to stand up.

Managing Stairs without Crutches
The safest way to go up and down stairs is to use your seat, not your crutches.

To go up stairs:

  1. Seat yourself on a low step.
  2. Move your crutches upstairs by one of these methods:
    • If distance and reach allow, place the crutches at the top of the staircase.
    • If this isn’t possible, place crutches as far up the stairs as you can, and then move them to the top as you progress up the stairs.
  3. In the seated position, reach behind you with both arms.
  4. Use your arms and weight-bearing foot/leg to lift yourself up one step.
  5. Repeat this process one step at a time. (Remember to move the crutches to the top of the staircase if you haven’t already done so.)

To go down stairs:

  1. Seat yourself on the top step.
  2. Move your crutches downstairs by sliding them to the lowest possible point on the stairway. Then continue to move them down as you progress down the stairs.
  3. In the seated position, reach behind you with both arms.
  4. Use your arms and weight-bearing foot/leg to lift yourself down one step.
  5. Repeat this process one step at a time. (Remember to move the crutches to the bottom of the staircase if you haven’t already done so.)

 

IMPORTANT!
Follow These Rules for Safety and Comfort
  • Don’t look down. Look straight ahead as you normally do when you walk.
  • Don’t use crutches if you feel dizzy or drowsy.
  • Don’t walk on slippery surfaces. Avoid snowy, icy, or rainy conditions.
  • Don’t put any weight on the affected foot if your doctor has so advised.
  • Do make sure your crutches have rubber tips.
  • Do wear well-fitting, low-heel shoes (or shoe).
  • Do position the crutch hand grips correctly (see “Sizing Your Crutches”)
  • Do keep the crutch pads 11/2" to 2" below your armpits.
  • Do call your foot and ankle surgeon if you have any questions or difficulties.