Patient Education

The Goal:

The ultimate goal for the Golden Gate Foot and Ankle staff is to ensure all our patients understand the status and implications of their diagnosis. This includes potential progression, mitigation measures, treatment options, and adverse reactions. This allows for each patient to understand, and prepare for any mitigation measures regarding their issue.


The Result:

This typically results in patients who heal faster with less complications, and have confidence when determining treatment options.


Foot Structure:

The foot is made up of 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles and a plethora of tendons. Complex biomechanics keep all these parts in the right position and moving in synchronicity.

  • Seven short tarsal bones make up the heel and back of the instep.
  • Five metatarsal bones spread from the back of the foot toward front and make up the structure for the ball of the foot. Each metatarsal is associated with one of the toes.
  • Fourteen phalanges, small bones, form the toe structure.
  • Bands of ligaments connect and hold all the bones in place.
  • A thick layer of fatty tissue under the sole helps absorb the pressure and shock that comes from walking and everyday movements.

Given these intricacies, it is not surprising that most people will experience some problem with their feet at some time in their lives.


Foot Care Tips:

  • Inspect your feet regularly. Pay attention to changes in color, temperature, thick or discolored nails, or cracks/cuts in the skin.
  • Thoroughly and regularly clean your feet, including between the toes. Be sure to dry them completely before wearing socks or shoes.
  • Trim toenails straight across, at a safe and short length. Do not cut nails at the corner or the sides, as it can lead to ingrown toenails.
  • Wear well-fitting shoes. When purchasing shoes, do so later in the day, wehn feet to be at the peak of their swelling.
  • Select and wear the appropriate shoes for the various activities you engage in throughout the day (ex. Running shoes for running)
  • Avoid walking barefoot, as it puts you at a higher risk of injury and infections.
  • Use sunblock on your feet.


When to See a Doctor:

  • Contact your podiatrist if you find any of the following conditions on your feet:
    ○ Growth or warts
    ○ Thick, discolored nails
    ○ Pain in any area of the foot
  • Don’t ignore foot pain, as it is not normal. Contact our office if you are experiencing persistent pain.
  • If you are diabetic, have poor circulation, or heart problems, you should see a podiatrist for routine care. (These populations of people are more prone to infection)
  • If your home remedies are not working to mitigate the issue, contact your podiatrist ASAP, to prevent any delays in intervention