Frequently Asked Questions

What is a podiatrist?

A podiatrist is a type of physician who provides medical care exclusively for the feet and ankles. As with doctors in other medical disciplines, all podiatrists must graduate from an accredited medical school (in this case a school of podiatric medicine) and complete a minimum of three years of hospital or clinic-based residency training. This earns them the title of doctor of podiatric medicine, or DPM.

Feet are often overlooked or underestimated by the general public, but they are actually incredibly complex machines that are absolutely critical for overall health and well-being. Because podiatrists receive years of rigorous training exclusively in foot and ankle treatment, they are the best qualified specialists to address any pain in this area of the body.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Darren Elenburg, podiatrist in Oklahoma City, please call (405) 418-2676.

What is a podiatrists' training after medical school?

After earning their bachelor’s degree with an appropriate pre-med program, all podiatrists must graduate from an accredited podiatric medical school to receive their doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM) degree. However, their education does not end there.

Podiatrists must also complete a surgical-based podiatric residency program lasting up to 4 years, typically at a hospital or clinic. This residency provides a young DPM with broad experience in the full breadth of foot and ankle care, along with specialized training in one or more specific focus areas.

Beyond residency, podiatrists will need to complete additional accredited and approved continuing education credit hours regularly throughout their careers in order to maintain their license. This is so podiatrists will continue to develop their knowledge and skills and stay up-to-date with the latest research and procedures.

Furthermore, some podiatrists choose to continue their education by completing board certification programs from specialty boards and organizations. Board certification demonstrates mastery of various aspects of podiatric care and is a sign of a committed, exceptional physician. Dr. Elenburg is board certified in both foot surgery and reconstructive rearfoot and ankle surgery by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery. 

Can I get tendinitis in my ankle?

The ankle is supported by various ligaments and tendons connecting bones and muscles together. Given all the connective tissues necessary to support this oft-used joint, it should come as no surprise that ankle injuries are fairly common, including cases of tendonitis.

Tendons that can be injured in the ankle joint include the extensor, peroneal, and Achilles tendons. When these become inflamed, it can often be attributed to overuse, abnormal foot structure, or a related injury, like a ligament sprain. Symptoms that indicate an injury include pain, swelling, and stiffness.

Tendonitis is a condition that is often successfully treated with the use of conservative measures, but it is important to make sure it is resolved before resuming intense physical activity. Here at Foot & Ankle Center of Oklahoma, we can provide an effective treatment plan and let you know when the time is right to go back to exercising. Contact our OKC office today by calling (405) 418-2676, or use our online form to schedule your appointment.

Why do bunions form?

Bunions develop because the bone just behind the big toe spreads out. Feet get wider and flatter as we mature, and the big toe begins to drift towards the second toe because the tendons pull it in that direction. Bunions typically happen to adults as the feet begin their natural changes of flattening and getting wider, but they can be genetic, so sometimes (very rarely) even little kids develop them.

There are various reasons why bunions develop in adults and in women more than men. Perhaps the most common is that footwear restricts the foot from spreading out more naturally—extremely rural aboriginal tribes who never wear shoes, for example, have relatively few problems with bunions. Other reasons include the fact women have more flexible joints than men and have a higher rate of bunions. Their footwear is also frequently more restrictive.

We also know from studies that women who have had three or more children develop bunions more frequently and their feet get wider and flatter more than women that do not have children. Rapid weight gain during pregnancy puts additional strain on the feet.

No matter the cause of your bunion, contact Foot and Ankle Center of Oklahoma and schedule a visit to receive the treatment and care you need. Call our Oklahoma City office today at (405) 418-2676 or use our online form to request your appointment.

Why should I check my feet if I have diabetes?

Inspecting your feet on a daily basis is one of the most important parts of diabetic foot care. Over half of the individuals who have diabetes are also affected by neuropathy. Diabetic neuropathy is a condition where glucose in the bloodstream has damaged the nerves to the point that they either send faulty signals—pain, burning, or tingling sensations that shouldn’t exist—or no information at all.

When your peripheral nervous system doesn’t send information to the brain, you remain unaware of issues that happen to your feet. Making this an even more dangerous situation is the fact that your body does not heal itself or fight off infections in an effective manner. As such, you need a new system for ensuring that minor wounds do not become major complications.

A daily foot inspection enables you to keep in touch with what is happening with your feet. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, you can seek treatment before it becomes a critical issue. This could potentially save your life.

If you need treatment or have questions about diabetic foot care, call Foot and Ankle Center of Oklahoma at (405) 418-2676 or use our online form to contact us.

Can hammertoes be corrected without surgery?

Hammertoes cannot be corrected without surgery. This is a progressive condition, which means that it will worsen without treatment, but nonsurgical care for this particular toe deformity is centered on managing existing symptoms and preventing it from becoming worse. Conservative care includes such measures as medication, padding, and custom orthotic devices.

Treating toe deformities with nonsurgical methods is more easily performed while the toe is still relatively flexible. Surgery for hammertoes is typically recommended for cases that have become painful and rigid.

Let the experts here at Foot & Ankle Center of Oklahoma show you how nonsurgical options can benefit a hammertoes condition. We will use conservative methods as part of a treatment plan to relieve pain and other associated symptoms. Of course, surgical procedures may be necessary for severe cases, but we are equipped with skilled staff and the right equipment to perform them in such instances. Call our OKC office today at (405) 418-2676 or use the online form found on our website to schedule your appointment.

What are my treatment options for plantar fasciitis?

The most common cause of heel pain is a condition known as plantar fasciitis. Most patients are able to recognize this condition by the sharp pain experienced with the first steps of the day or those following prolonged periods of rest.

Treatment options for plantar fasciitis are either conservative or surgical in nature. Fortunately, most cases can be treated with the use of nonsurgical methods, including rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain relievers. The best treatment for plantar fasciitis, though, is actually stretching and we can recommend various stretches that are particularly effective.

In rare cases where conservative options do not provide the desired results, we may need to perform a surgical procedure to release an excessively-tightened fascia. This is typically something we only would consider in cases of severe pain that cannot be treated in an alternative manner.

Whether the root cause is plantar fasciitis or another other condition, you can always receive the heel pain treatment you need here at Foot & Ankle Center of Oklahoma. Contact us today by calling (405) 418-2676 or request your appointment online and we will diagnosis the source of your pain and create an effective treatment plan for you.

Could a heel spur be the cause of my heel pain?

A heel spur absolutely could be the cause of heel pain, but it is difficult to say without providing a proper evaluation. Like other bone spurs, the growth itself may not be painful. Perhaps the best way of thinking about this is that they resemble regular bone tissue. In the same way that an unbroken tibia is not going to be painful, neither would a spur.

That said, these deposits of calcium can cause pain and inflammation in soft tissue around them. This is particularly evident when a heel spur develops in conjunction with plantar fasciitis – the most common cause of adult heel pain. In this case, the spur that has developed on the underside of the heel irritates the fascia, which responds with a sharp, stabbing pain.

Remember, whenever you experience pain in your heel, our professionals here at Foot & Ankle Center of Oklahoma are ready to help. You will receive an accurate diagnosis of the condition and an effective treatment plan to relieve the pain and allow you to return to favorite activities. Give our OKC office a call at (405) 418-2676 or schedule an appointment online today.

How are ingrown toenails treated?

Much like many foot and ankle conditions, toenails that grow into the surrounding skin can be treated with either conservative methods or surgical procedures.

Conservative treatment for an ingrown toenail typically begins by soaking the foot with the affected nail in warm water for 15-20 minutes. This serves to relieve tenderness and reduce swelling. After soaking, you can gently lift the ingrown edge of the nail and place a bit of waxed dental floss underneath to encourage it to grow above the skin. Apply antibiotic ointment to the tender area and then cover with a bandage. Taking pain relievers and wearing sandals or open-toed shoes can reduce discomfort.

For severe pain or recurring issues, ingrown nail removal may be necessary. This can be done for either a part or all of the nail. We perform this procedure in our office and will provide the information you need for both before and afterwards.

Whether your condition can be corrected with conservative treatment or you need to have a chronically-ingrown nail removed, Foot & Ankle Center of Oklahoma can help. Contact our OKC office today by calling (405) 418-2676 or use our online form to schedule your appointment.

How can I prevent my heels from cracking?

There are various approaches that can be taken to prevent heels from cracking, including moisturizing feet regularly. This practice is most effective when moisturizer is applied after showering or bathing and before bed. For increased effectiveness, socks can be put on after the moisturizer to help seal it in overnight.

Limiting the temperature and duration of baths or showers is another approach for preventing the excessive dryness that causes heels to crack.

Obesity can play a role as well, since excess weight on the heel pads cause the skin to expand further than it otherwise would. Maintaining a healthy bodyweight can help keep heels from cracking.

Individuals who live with diabetes have increased risk of dry skin, on account of uncontrolled blood sugars. Carefully managing your glucose levels can lower the risk of heel fissures.

If prevention methods do not keep skin on your heels from splitting, home remedies are often quite successful at addressing the problem. In the event you or a loved one develops a severe case, or has diabetes, our professionals at Foot & Ankle Center of Oklahoma can help. Call us at (405) 418-2676 for more information or simply request an appointment with us online today.

What kinds of conditions do podiatrists treat?

Podiatrists are medical doctors who are experts in both conservative and surgical care of the feet and ankles. Any medical condition involving this part of the body may fall under a podiatrist’s area of specialty.

Common conditions a podiatrist can treat include, but are not limited to:

  • Pain localized in the feet and ankles, such as heel pain, toe pain, forefoot pain, etc.
  • Skin and toenail problems, including ingrown toenails, toenail fungus, athlete’s foot, foot ulcers, corns, or calluses.
  • Traumatic or chronic injuries to the feet and ankles, such as ankle sprains, tendinitis, or broken bones.
  • Progressive bony deformities of the feet and ankles, such as bunions, hammertoes, flat feet, or bone spurs.
  • Systemic diseases that can affect feet in unique ways, such as diabetes, peripheral neuropathy, or arthritis.

If you’re experiencing any kind of pain or difficulty in your feet or ankles, please call us today at (405) 418-2676. 

Why choose Foot & Ankle Center of Oklahoma?

You have many options in OKC for foot care, so why should you make Foot & Ankle Center of Oklahoma your choice for podiatric services? We’re glad you asked!

Just a couple of the reasons to choose our practice include:

  • A customized approach. There might be practices that run like an assembly line and offer cookie-cutter solutions to problems, but we’re not one of them. We take the time to listen to you to fully understand what is happening – and then we create a custom plan to resolve the problem.
  • The right doctor. Dr. Elenburg is experienced and highly-trained in the field of podiatry. More than that, he truly cares about his patients and wants you to have the opportunities to do your favorite activities – without having foot pain hold you back!
  • State-of-the-art equipment. In order to provide the best possible medical care and treatment, our practice has the latest in podiatric equipment. Technological advances have led to treatments that improve healing processes, while being completely safe.
  • A comfortable office environment. Our goal is for you to always have an outstanding experience when you come in for an appointment – from the time you step foot inside all the way to the point you leave (and beyond!). Going hand-in-hand with this, we have an awesome staff who looks forward to seeing you and helping however they can.

Find out for yourself why Foot & Ankle Center of Oklahoma is the right choice for you and your family – call us today at (405) 418-2676 and request an appointment!

What stretches could help with Achilles problems?

The Achilles tendon plays a major role in the ability to stay mobile and participate in most types of physical activity. We treat many patients for Achilles tendinitis and ruptures, and the good news is that conservative treatment options, like stretches for Achilles injuries, can often be quite beneficial.

A couple of stretches we may recommend include:

Calf stretches – Face a wall, place your arms in front of you, and move one leg back. Keep it straight, while the front knee slowly bends until a gentle stretch is felt in the calf muscle of the back leg.

Heel drops (single or bilateral) – Standing on the edge of the step, allow your heel(s) to hang over the edge. Slowly raise and lower yourself with a controlled motion.

Stretches are not only useful in the treatment of Achilles tendon injuries, but also to reduce the risk of a problem from arising in the first place. For more information on this subject, or additional exercises that can help, contact Foot & Ankle Center of Oklahoma. Call our OKC podiatry office today at (405) 418-2676 or schedule an appointment with us online for professional foot or ankle care.

Should I have bunion surgery?

Bunions can be bothersome for sure, making it difficult to wear shoes and causing discomfort. In many cases symptoms can be relieved by finding more accommodating footwear, investing in orthotics, or incorporating certain stretches into your daily routine. However, if pain persists despite these attempts, it might be time to consider bunion surgery.

One way to decide if a bunionectomy is right for you is to determine how much the painful bump is interfering with your daily endeavors and the activities you enjoy doing. Other signs to look out for include excessive swelling, your big toe drifting toward the others, and stiffness in the joint.

If you’ve exhibited these symptoms and have tried conservative treatments to no avail, or if your lifestyle has been significantly altered by this deformity, come see us at Foot & Ankle Center of Oklahoma. We can determine the best course of action to fit your needs and ease your bunion pain. Just call (405) 418-2676 to make an appointment with Darren Elenburg, DPM, or visit our office in Oklahoma City, OK today.

How can I exercise with diabetic neuropathy?

Exercising can play a key role in controlling diabetic neuropathy, but it is important to be smart about it to prevent issues from arising. As is always the case, be sure to receive clearance before beginning any workout routine, but if we give you the “go ahead,” use these tips:

  • Choose low-impact exercises, like swimming, yoga, and cycling.
  • Aim for 30 minutes of physical activity (even yardwork and vacuuming count!), 5 days during the week.
  • Don’t feel as though you need to be sweating or out of breathe; keep your exercise simple.
  • Stick to your workout plan by choosing fun, social activities.

Here at Foot & Ankle Center of Oklahoma, we want you to stay safe and healthy when you have diabetes. A big part of that is ensuring that you are able to reap the benefits of physical activity, while reducing the risk of developing a foot or ankle issue from it. We can help, so contact us for more information by calling (405) 418-2676 or schedule an appointment online today with our Oklahoma City, OK office.

What could be causing my heel pain?

There are various potential causes of heel pain, but our Oklahoma City, OK office is prepared to properly diagnose any condition and then treat it so you can resume your normal activities. Common heel ailments and injuries include plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, bone spurs, and stress fractures. Other possible causes of pain in your heel are bursitis, peripheral neuropathy, and tarsal tunnel syndrome.

In order to properly diagnose your specific condition, we will need to know what part of your heel hurts and when it is greatest. If you wake in the morning with sharp, stabbing pain on the bottom of your heel, you likely have plantar fasciitis. Should the pain be in the back and worse after prolonged periods of physical activity, you may be suffering with Achilles tendinitis.

No matter what condition is behind your heel pain, Foot and Ankle Center of Oklahoma will provide an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment for you. Remember that pain is never normal or something to be ignored, so contact us today and find the relief you need. Call our Oklahoma City office at (405) 418-2676 or schedule an appointment with us online.

What is shockwave therapy?

Shockwave therapy, also known as extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT), is a non-invasive form of treatment for long-term foot or heel pain. It is most often recommended for patients who have suffered from pain though plantar fasciitis for more than 3 months and have not found relief through other forms of therapy, such as custom orthotics or a stretching regimen.

The therapy works by emitting pressure waves into the area of pain. This can stimulate the cells at the site to accelerate the repair process, as well as open up greater blood flow to provide much needed nourishment to the area. A session lasts about 15-20 minutes, and usually three sessions are conducted of the course of several weeks. Some discomfort may be experienced during and shortly following the procedure, but no injections or drugs need to be involved.

ESWT has seen results in a large percentage of patients, but not everyone may be eligible. If you have chronic foot pain, schedule an appointment with Foot & Ankle Center of Oklahoma at (405) 418-2676. We can discuss a full range of treatment options available for your specific problem.

Can I treat corns at home?

There are methods you can use to treat corns at home. Before discussing them, it is important to note that you should not attempt home remedies if you live with diabetes. Also, some techniques can be used to thin the thickened skin, but do not use a sharp object to try and cut off the corn at home. This can put you at risk for a potential infection.

Instead of trying to cut off a corn, you may be able to effectively treat it through a regimen of soaking the foot in warm, soapy water and then using a pumice stone or emery board to gently file the skin down. Another form of home care for corns is to use pads, but we recommend avoiding ones that are medicated. These often use salicylic acid, which can be damaging to the healthy skin surrounding the corn.

If home care does not eliminate the problem, simply come in and see us at Foot & Ankle Center of Oklahoma. We can provide safe, professional corn treatment for you here in our OKC office. Call us today at (405) 418-2676 or use our online form to schedule your appointment today.

How can I prevent athlete's foot?

To prevent athlete’s foot, you need to make your foot inhospitable for the fungus that causes it. The fungus really likes it warm, moist and dark, so here’s what you do to counteract that:

  • Keep your feet as cool as possible by wearing open sandals in hot weather and shoes made of breathable material in cooler weather.
  • Keep your feet as dry as possible by toweling off carefully after bathing or swimming, wearing moisture-wicking socks and breathable shoes, changing socks and shoes when feet are sweaty, and using talcum powder or antifungal powder on feet and in shoes.
  • Expose your feet to open air and light whenever possible. Even at work, you may be able to slip out of your shoes and spread your toes for a few moments.

Remember to wash your feet every day to remove contaminants, too, and wear protection in public places like pools and locker rooms. If you do get an infection, call Foot & Ankle Center of Oklahoma for treatment options. You can reach us by phone at (405) 418-2676, or request your appointment online for either our OKC office or the new satellite location in Edmond, OK.

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