Author: salus

These feet are made for walking –
Bushwalking Part 1

Salus Foot Surgeon - Bush Walking

Today we are going to talk more about walking. 
Yes, walking. 
That movement you perform on a daily basis.

Walking is very underestimated. Whether it is a means of exercise, a form of transport or a social outing, walking is great exercise, and can have a positive impact on our general and mental wellbeing. Walking is a low impact exercise which is easier on joints which have degenerative changes, allowing reduced impact when compared to activities such as running. Weightbearing exercise helps to maintain bone mineral density. It can also assist you with weight management and we all know that those extra kilograms place more stress on the lower limb joints with every step. There are many health benefits to walking!

Now is a great time to get out and walk, ensuring we maintain social distancing requirements.
However, not all walking is the same.

Bush walking and foot and ankle problems

Walking in the Australian bush is one of life’s simple pleasures and we are fortunate enough to be surrounded by many beautiful State and National Parks.
However, bush walking can play havoc on vulnerable feet or ankles.
The bush tracks can be hard packed, or very soft and uneven with lots of loose gravel or rocks. 
Particularly if there are hills and large steps with many small rocks thrown in, this creates a challenging scenario, particularly for those dealing with foot, knee and ankle issues.

Easy does it

If you have an acutely inflamed painful foot or ankle, for example very painful plantar fasciitis or insertional Achilles tendinopathy, then limited walking is for you. 
If you are recently recovering from injury or surgery, then this is also your category. 
This includes a recent ankle sprain.
It is best to:

  • Concentrate initially on your rehabilitation exercises first.
  • Then slowly reintroduce other forms of low impact exercise.
  • Examples are stationary bike or walking in a pool.

Remember, we don’t want to make the pain worse, or risk re-injury.

A great place to start walking in Byron is at the Boggy Creek walk an easy, short walk that allows you to meander through the rainforest at your leisure between Minyon falls and Rummery Park campground in Whian Whian State Conservation Area.

For those on the Gold Coast, the Coombabah Lake Conservation Park is a great place to start. The Melaleuca boardwalk is good if you need something flat, at Schuster Park Peninsula. Coombabah doubles as a conservation park, but both may provide opportunites, so keep your eyes out for the local wildlife!

Swing it sister

If your pain is less intense, or you are further along your recovery period after surgery or recent injury, then you should be managing to slowly introduce and increase more walking into your exercise regime. It is best to start with a flat, easy track or longer boardwalk.

  • Ensure you wear supportive footwear. A good example are the Hoka One One shoes, which are well cushioned and have a rocker sole.
  • Begin with flat walking, then gradually increase inclines and stairs.
  • Gradually increase duration and distance each week.
  • Often it is better to go for shorter walks more frequently.

A suitable walk for this group in the Byron region is the Big scrub loop walking track, a 1.5km loop leads through superb subtropical rainforest within Nightcap National Park, near Lismore.

Gold Coast walkers can try
Tallebudgera Creek Conservation walk, a 1.6km walk. Suitable for moderate fitness levels, the walk includes bitumen, a 250-metre boardwalk over the water, a mix of flat and uneven level tracks and some stairs.

If you are experiencing foot or ankle problems, please contact the rooms on
1300 10 54 64 or 07 5645 6913
info@salusfootsurgeon.com.au
Stay tuned for Part 2 coming out soon!

These feet are made for walking – Beach Part 2

Beach Walking

Welcome back to the Salus Foot Surgeon Blog!

By now you are in the swing of things. You will be experiencing the many benefits of regular walking. Don’t stop there! Read on, and move on to the next level.

Now you’re walking
Once you have recovered out of the acute stage of inflammation or injury and you have participated in adequate rehabilitation, short walks on the sand, or longer walks with many stairs or hills, can then be reintroduced.

  • Initially start on hard packed sand with shoes on
  • Work up to short periods in the softer sand
  • Remember: walk before you run!

Beach WalkingA suitable walk for this group is Tallow Beach . The six and half kilometre stretch of beach between the Cape Byron Conservation Area and Broken Head Nature Reserve is perfect for mixing it up between hard and soft sand, and walking and running

Try out the Federation Coastal walk or Burleigh Head National Park, for spectacular water views, and in the right season, whale watching. This walk is about 2.5km with some hills included.

Walk toward the light!

Once you are well recovered, you have minimal or no pain and your strength and endurance are improving, it’s time to increase the length and difficulty. At this stage, depending on your overall fitness, any persisting foot problems or enjoyment level, you could:

  • Increase to longer walks including combination of pathway and beach
  • Then longer walks on the beach
  • Eventually you will be ready for bush hiking again


A suitable walk for this group is The Cape Byron Walking Track. It’s a 3.7km loop but be accessed at numerous points and walked in shorter sections. It has a lot of steps and some steep sections. Starting points including Captain Cook lookout, The Pass, Wategos Beach and Cape Byron Lighthouse.

If you need to increase the length without hills, try any stretch of the Gold Coast Oceanway, 36kms to choose from!

If you are experiencing foot or ankle problems, please contact the rooms on
1300 10 54 64 or 07 5645 6913
info@salusfootsurgeon.com.au

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series, walking in the bush.

These feet are made for walking – Beach Part 1

Beach Walking

Today we are going to talk about walking. 
Yes, walking. 
That movement you perform on a daily basis.

Whether it is a means of exercise, a form of transport, a social outing, walking is great exercise, and can have a positive impact on our general and mental wellbeing.

Now is a great time to get out and walk, ensuring we maintain social distancing requirements.
However, not all walking is the same.

Beach walking and foot and ankle problems

Walking along the beach is one of life’s simple pleasures and we are fortunate enough to be living along some of the world’s most beautiful stretches of coastline.

However, beach walking can play havoc on vulnerable feet ankles.
The sand can be hard packed, or very soft and uneven. 
Particularly when swimming in the surf, the beach can be unpredictable. The combination of waves crashing into shore with great force, and the uneven surface underneath the water, which is frequently changing, creates a challenging scenario, particularly for those dealing with foot, knee and ankle issues.

Easy does it

If you have an acutely inflamed painful foot or ankle, for example very painful plantar fasciitis or insertional Achilles tendinopathy, then limited walking is for you. 
If you are recently recovering from injury or surgery, then this is also your category. 
This includes a recent ankle sprain.
It is best to:

  • Concentrate initially on your rehabilitation exercises first.
  • Then slowly reintroduce other forms of low impact exercise.
  • Examples are stationary bike or walking in a pool.
  • Remember, we don’t want to make the pain worse, or risk re-injury.

A great place to start walking in Byron is at the Byron Bay pool, right by the beach. You can then take a short walk along the beach front on the pathway.

For those on the Gold Coast, the Broadwater Parklands is the perfect start. Take a swim in the beautiful pool then walk along the pathway, taking in the beautiful views across to the Marina and Surfer’s Paradise. Other options include Broadbeach and Mermaid beach walkways.

Swing it sister

If your pain is less intense, or you are further along your recovery period after surgery or recent injury, then you should be managing to slowly introduce and increase more walking into your exercise regime. It is best to start with a pathway along the beach.

  • Ensure you wear supportive footwear. A good example are the Hoka One One shoes, which are well cushioned and have a rocker sole.
  • Begin with flat walking, then gradually increase inclines and stairs.
  • Gradually increase duration and distance each week.
  • Often it is better to go for shorter walks more frequently.

A suitable walk for this group is the Three Sisters Walk . Starting at Broken Head car park, this beautiful walk is 1.6km return (you can do a smaller section if needed), and features a well-formed track and occasional steps.

Gold Coast walkers can try
Tallebudgera Creek Conservation walk, a 1.6km walk. Suitable for moderate fitness levels, the walk includes bitumen, a 250-metre boardwalk over the water, a mix of flat and uneven level tracks and some stairs. Another great option is Coolangatta to Point Danger, a 2km stretch. Perhaps catch the sunset and a cold drink on this one.

If you have any concerns, please contact us –

Make an appointment

The path to becoming a Foot and Ankle Surgeon

Foot and Ankle Surgeon

You may have wondered how I became a Foot and Ankle Surgeon? Or, what does it take to become a Foot and Ankle Surgeon? Perhaps, why someone would treat feet all day?

A surgeon begins their journey as a medical student. I undertook an undergraduate medical degree before becoming a qualified doctor. To gain full registration as a doctor, we must satisfy requirements during our internship year. Although at the time it felt like the hard yards had finally finished, they were really only just beginning. In general, junior doctors work for several more years as a pre-trainee, gaining additional experience in areas of acute medicine and trauma, the Intensive Care Unit and often other surgical specialities such as vascular surgery. If fortunate to be selected on the extremely competitive Orthopaedic Surgery training program, undertake speciality training for five years. Finally, after years of hard work, study, exams, late nights and many hours in the operating theatre, become qualified as an orthopaedic surgeon and a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and the Australian Orthopaedic Association. Many of us undertake further study in subspecialties, mine being in Foot and Ankle Surgery. I completed my fellowship training in Calgary, Canada, an experience rich in education and learning, mentorship, travel , great friends and immersion into the Canadian culture.

A surgeon is someone who has been trained through an accredited program. You will see my qualifications hanging on the wall in my office at John Flynn Hospital and by the post nominal letters.

21st Annual combined AAOS/AOSSM/AANA course

Danielle Wadley Blog

Welcome back to the Salus Foot Surgeon news update.

What I learned from my conference – the 21st Annual combined AAOS/AOSSM/AANA course

This course was all things Sports Medicine – AOSSM is the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. I am a member of AANA – the Arthroscopy Association of North America. These two highly regarded associations hold the combined meeting with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. In other words, a power house of sports minded orthopaedic surgeons and physiotherapists together in one room to discuss, debate and educate.

As is the case in many meetings, there was spirited debate about best management of many different injuries and variations of typical injury patterns. This included the particular sport the person played, age, level of sport participation and underlying factors to be considered such as limb malalignment.

The hot topic in the orthopaedic world is Orthobiologics. That is, how can we use biology to help improve patient outcomes. As always, there was much discussion on surgical techniques.

Danielle Wadley

Don’t forget the all important rehabilitation. Many people underestimate the huge importance of strong muscle tone, well controlled balance and proprioception, and assisted techniques. This includes taping and braces. As it turns out, the Russian single leg balance exercise with a kettle bell is extremely useful exercise. This, in combination with bridges, will specifically improve gluteus medius, one of the large gluteal muscles, extremely important for lower limb control. Even in foot and ankle problems, it is important to have excellent gluteal strength in combination with core stability. This is of course in addition to the specific foot and ankle exercises I will recommend for your individual condition. The physiotherapist will work closely with each patient to individualise treatment.

We were fortunate enough to have the Mahre twin brothers attend the course. American legends in downhill skiing, both Olympic medallists and World Cup Champions. They provided a rare insight into both the physical and mental preparation for a big race. Even gave us a few tips on running the Nastar race course! A humble and down to earth philosophy, they spoke of their immense passion for the sport of skiing and were not driven by fame or fortune.

I hope you have been out for some fresh air and exercise today. Have fun and be safe.

The team at Salus Foot Surgeon look forward to assisting you manage your foot and ankle sporting injury. Please contact us for assistance.

Motivation

motivation

Here at the Salus Foot Surgeon office, we promote good health and well being. I found that having an event coming up that was going to challenge my fitness, helped me to maintain motivation to train.

Here are a few ways to help you keep motivated:

  • Have a fitness buddy
  • Be accountable: tell your friends and family about your goals, post your achievements regularly on social media, ask your partner to help you monitor your progress
  • Celebrate small achievements and the large ones. This helps you to keep on track.
  • Have a plan. Write it out. Hang it somewhere where you will see it on a daily basis.
  • Remind yourself why you are doing this, for example are you losing weight to reduce the stress on your joints to ease pain related to arthritis?
  • Don’t forget to occasionally treat yourself
  • Have an activity that you enjoy
  • Mix it up so you don’t get bored.

What is your motivation to remain fit, lightweight and active?

Beat the Blisters

Many of you will know that here at the Salus Foot Surgeon office, we promote and encourage a healthy, active lifestyle. Spending time outside and in nature, has been shown to improve health and well being. I have just completed the Adelaide Coastrek, a hike to raise money and awareness for the Beyond Blue organisation. My feet were in good shape at the end.

Here are a few top tips to help you with foot care and blister management during your hikes outside.

Prevention is the best cure.

  • Try to keep your feet clean and dry as much as possible. Damp socks and shoes will cause the skin to macerate – what it looks like when you have spent too much time in the water, all wrinkled. With that, the skin is soft and is easy to break down causing wounds.
  • Avoid sand in your shoes as much as possible. Sand is abrasive to the skin and will irritate and cause skin breakdown and wounds.
  • Try out your equipment on shorter walks before you go on a long hike.
  • Ensure your boots or shoes are properly fitted.
  • Wear boots or shoes that are appropriate for the environment you are planning to walk or hike in. For example, “flip flops” or “thongs” are a poor choice of hiking shoe with no protection against rocks or stones, a thin sole, no protection against heat or cold and will contribute to muscle pain given the lack of support.
  • Treat the skin “hot spots” as soon as you start to feel them. Dress the area with a blister dressing, or cover the area with tape such as leucoplast to prevent further skin breakdown. Remember that leucoplast or similar tapes may peel off the top layer of a newly forming blister, so best to cover the skin with a dressing first if this is the case. Comfeel dressings or similar, are also a great way to reduce further skin breakdown or use to cover new blisters.
  • Socks are very important. Choose a natural material such as wool. These will help to wick moisture away from the skin. They also help to reduce skin irritation and blister formation.
  • You may find wearing a thin undersock is comfortable for you such as a thin silk sock. Advantages include the natural fibre, they are smooth and slippery to help reduce skin friction and may provide increased warmth.
  • Layering is an important principle in dressing for the outdoors and the feet are no exception.
  • Don’t forget to clean your feet and change into clean, dry shoes and socks once you are finished your hike. You may need spare socks for the hike.
  • Practice daily foot care in between exercising to reduce problems.

Enjoy your walk!

Coastrek 2019

Coastrek 2019

Welcome back to the Salus news.

I have just completed the much anticipated 2019 Adelaide Coastrek. If you have been to the Salus Foot Surgeon office at John Flynn Hospital recently, you would have noticed my fundraising efforts. I have been baking triple chocolate brownies! My staff and families, patients and hospital staff have been enjoying my brownies on a regular basis. The fundraising arm of Coastrek was to support Beyond Blue, to raise awareness and money to help those with mental health disorders. Overall the Adelaide Coastrek raised almost $1 million dollars for the Beyond Blue organisation. An amazing effort! Our team raised over $3500, which exceeded our fundraising goal. I hope that during the lead up to this hike, I have encouraged people to go outside as much as possible. To go for a walk, a run, a bike ride, whatever you find enjoyable and no matter how short. It will improve your own health and well being. Time spent in nature, combined with exercise, is a great way to keep you feeling good, and improve your own mental and physical health. I hope you take the time to be in the outdoors and go for a walk!

Here are a few snapshots to remind you of how beautiful the Australian coastline is. Here on the Gold Coast there are many beautiful beaches so take advantage of the sunny weather and go for a hike!


 

Crazy Socks for Docs Day!

Here at Salus, my team is here to assist you with your foot and ankle problems. But it doesn’t stop there! We promote a healthy active lifestyle, adequate general foot care and strong bones. Yet we are community minded. I would like to highlight a few things that we are involved in and encourage you too, to support the local community and promote healthy living.

On June 7th it was CrazySocksforDocs Day! This day was instigated by a doctor from Melbourne to promote and support awareness for the mental health of doctors. If we are not feeling good, we can’t support, help and operate on you, our patients! Don’t forget to appreciate your doctor, as we have all spent years of hard training and continue lifelong education to provide you with the best health care we can. Australia has an amazing health care system, better than most in the world and it wouldn’t be possible without the dedication of the doctors.
#crazysoxksfordocs

Coastrek South Australia & Chocolate Ball Sydney

I am participating in the Coastrek in South Australia this year. I will be hiking the beautiful Fleurieu Peninsula along with many other women, to raise awareness and money for “Beyond Blue” Foundation. Bushwalking helps to make me feel happy, so this will double as a great cause to help others with mental health issues.

I was fortunate enough to attend the glamorous Chocolate Ball in Sydney last year. My good friend, also a doctor, is on the Board and she works hard to support the efforts of the Foundation which raises research funds for FHSD (FacioScapuloHumeral Dystrophy), a debilitating disease.