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12 10, 2020

Hunters and Hikers: Long, vigorous hikes take toll on feet, ankles


As brightly colored leaves dazzle the fall landscape, hikers and hunters nationwide will migrate to mountains, woods and fields, but many, unfortunately, are ill prepared for the beating their feet will take, warns Dr. Gillroy.

“Hikers, hunters and others who love the outdoors often don’t realize how strenuous it can be to withstand constant, vigorous walking on uneven terrain,” said Dr. Gillroy, a member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) located in Olympia, Washington.   “Lax physical conditioning and inappropriate footwear bring scores of outdoor enthusiasts into our office each fall for treatment of foot and ankle problems such as chronic heel pain, ankle sprains, Achilles tendonitis, fungal infections and severe blisters.”

“Walking up and down steep hillsides and tramping through wet, slippery fields and wooded areas puts stress on the muscles and tendons in the feet and ankles, especially if you haven’t conditioned properly before hitting the trail,” said Gillroy.  “Also, many don’t realize that cross-training athletic shoes aren’t the best choice for extended hiking and hunting. Had some of my patients worn sturdy, well-constructed hiking boots, they wouldn’t have suffered sprained ankles or strained Achilles tendons.”

Gillroy advises hikers and hunters to make the investment in top-quality hiking boots. She said strong, well-insulated and moisture-proof boots with steel or graphite shanks offer excellent ankle and foot support that helps lessen stress and muscle fatigue to reduce injury risk. “The supportive shank decreases strain on the arch by allowing the boot to distribute impact as the foot moves forward. So if a boot bends in the middle, don’t buy it.”

In wet and cold weather, wearing the right socks can help prevent blisters, fungal infections and frostbite. Gillroy recommends synthetic socks as the first layer to keep the feet dry and reduce blister-causing friction. For the second layer, wool socks add warmth, absorb moisture away from the skin, and help make the hiking boot more comfortable. “Wool lets moisture evaporate more readily than cotton, so fewer blisters develop,” she added.

What happens if your feet or ankles hurt during a hike or hunt? Gillroy said pain usually occurs from overuse, even from just walking. “If you’re not accustomed to walking on sloped or uneven ground, your legs and feet will get tired and cause muscles and tendons to ache,” she explained. “To avoid a serious injury, such as a severe ankle sprain or an Achilles tendon rupture, rest for a while if you start hurting.”

According to the ACFAS consumer website, FootHealthFacts.org, pain is a warning sign that something is wrong. “Serious injury risk escalates significantly if you continue hiking in pain.” She likened hiking to skiing, in that beginners should take on less difficult trails until they become better conditioned and more confident.

Evaluation by a foot and ankle surgeon is recommended if there is persistent pain following a hiking or hunting outing. “I’m most concerned about ankle instability and strained Achilles tendons. Inattention to these problems at their early stages may lead to a serious injury that will keep you off the trails for a long time,” Gillroy said.

Hikers and hunters seeking further information about ankle sprains, Achilles tendon injuries and other foot and ankle problems may contact Dr. Gillroy at (360)438-9092

Hunters and Hikers: Long, vigorous hikes take toll on feet, ankles2020-10-12T23:20:15+00:00
2 06, 2020

Foot Pain Relief through Custom Orthotics


Do you experience foot pain? Did you know that custom orthotics can help? Footmaxx has provided a brilliant document to describe some of the conditions that their products are able to support. Please review and call our office to schedule an appointment if one of these solutions looks right for you.

Download PDF Here
Foot Pain Relief through Custom Orthotics2020-06-02T16:05:56+00:00
21 05, 2020

Sunscreen on Your Feet?


Doctor urges sunscreen use and exams to prevent skin cancer on feet                       

When at the pool or lake we all lather up with sun screen to protect our skin from the harmful rays of the sun. But do we remember to apply sunscreen to our feet?

Many don’t realize skin cancer can occur on the feet from unprotected sun exposure, and overlook applying sunscreen to the area. But, Kelley Gillroy DPM, FACFAS warns skin cancer of the foot is prevalent and can even be fatal if not caught early.

While all types of skin cancer, including squamous cell and basal cell carcinoma, can be found on the foot, the most common is the most serious form, melanoma. Symptoms can be as subtle as an abnormal-looking mole or freckle found anywhere on the foot, and often go unnoticed without routine foot exams.

According to foot and ankle surgeon Dr. Gillroy, early diagnosis is key to effective treatment for the condition. But because people aren’t looking for the early warning signs or taking the same precautions they do for other areas of the body, often times skin cancer in this region is not diagnosed until later stages.

“I advise my patients to regularly inspect their feet, including the soles, in between their toes and even under their toenails, for any changing moles or spots and to have any suspicious areas promptly examined by a foot and ankle specialist,” Dr. Gillroy explains.

For more information on skin cancer of the foot contact Dr. Gillroy at (360)438-9092 or visit the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons’ Web site, FootHealthFacts.org.

Sunscreen on Your Feet?2020-05-07T17:50:53+00:00
7 05, 2020

Spring is ankle sprain season in Olympia Washington


Spring is sports season for many amateur athletes and weekend warriors in the Olympia Washington area. It’s also ankle sprain season for one area foot and ankle surgeon.

Kelley Gillroy DPM, FACFAS, a foot and ankle surgeon at Cascade Foot and Ankle Clinic says ankle sprains are one of the most common sports injuries she treats this time of year.

“As people emerge from their winter hibernation and start to get active again, they can injure their ankles playing sports such as basketball, baseball, tennis and soccer,” she says.

Anyone who injures an ankle requires prompt medical treatment, whether it’s their first sprain or their fifth. Rest, ice, compression and elevation (R.I.C.E.) can reduce swelling and pain until the ankle can be evaluated and treated by a foot and ankle surgeon. A sprain may not always be a sprain; the ankle could be fractured.

Gillroy notes that many athletes develop chronic ankle instability from repeated ankle sprains, causing their ankle to frequently “give way.” In some cases these players may require surgery. Proper rehabilitation of an ankle sprain reduces the likelihood of developing chronic ankle instability.

Gillroy shares three spring ankle sprain prevention tips from FootHealthFacts.org:

  1. Perform warm-up stretches and exercises before playing sports.
  2. Wear the right shoes for the sport. For example, don’t wear running shoes for sports that involve a lot of side-to-side movement, such as tennis and basketball.
  3. Wear an ankle brace if you’re recovering from an injury or have repeatedly sprained your ankle.

FootHealthFacts.org is the consumer Web site of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS). Kelley Gillroy is a member of the ACFAS and board Certified in foot surgery and rear foot reconstruction and ankle surgery.  She earned her podiatric medical degree from Des Moines University College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery and has been practicing for 12 years. Call for an appointment (360)438-9092

Spring is ankle sprain season in Olympia Washington2020-05-07T17:48:02+00:00
25 09, 2018

Thurston County women’s feet hurt more in autumn


Autumn is a painful time of year for many Pacific Northwest women.

As they transition from open-toed sandals to closed-in boots and shoes, foot and ankle surgeon Kelley Gillroy DPM, FACFAS says she notices more women seeking relief for painful bunions. Dr. Gillroy says this trend plays out in the examining rooms of many foot and ankle surgeons every autumn.

“Some of my female bunion patients are in agony,” says Gillroy. “They describe a constant, throbbing pain, even when they take their shoes off.”

While the changing weather brings more bunion patients into her office, Gillroy says some women inquire about surgery in the fall because they’re less busy than in summer months. Many are also closer to meeting their insurance deductibles.

Dr. Gillroy emphasizes that surgery is a last-resort treatment for women with painful bunions.

“For many women, simple changes like wearing shoes with wider toe boxes can significantly reduce bunion pain,” she says. “Custom shoe inserts, gel- or foam-filled padding and anti-inflammatory medications may also provide pain relief.”

When the pain of a bunion interferes with a woman’s daily activities, it’s time to discuss surgical options, according to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.

The College provides answers to frequently asked questions about bunion surgery on its Web site, FootHealthFacts.org.

Dr. Gillroy can be contacted at (360) 438-9092.

Thurston County women’s feet hurt more in autumn2018-09-25T22:32:47+00:00