Dakota Foot & Ankle Clinic Blog

Posts for: February, 2015

By Dr. Brian Gale, DPM, FACFAS
February 17, 2015
Category: Uncategorized

Tips for Using Crutches:

Have you ever used crutches?  Will you need to use crutches in the future?  Here are a few pointers on the proper use of crutches.

  • You should be able to fit two fingers between your armpit and the pad on the crutch.
  • You should have a 15 degree bend in your elbow.
  • The tips of the crutches should start 6” in front and 6” to the side of your legs.
  • You should advance the crutches followed by the leg that is hurt and finally the other leg.
  • You should not use crutches on stairs.  It is best to use either a railing or to sit down and scoot up/down the stairs.
  • Do not place your weight on your armpits, use your hands.
  • Be cautious of the surface you are using the crutches on.
  • Remove rugs from areas where crutches will be used these are a tripping hazard.

Common mistakes people make when learning to use crutches:

  • They try to move too fast.
  • They place the crutches too far to the sides of their body.
  • They place the crutches too far ahead of their body when moving.

It is always best to know the proper use of crutches before you start using them.  If you have any questions please Contact Us a call at Dakota Foot & Ankle Clinic at 701-255-3338.


photocredit: ferobanjo via pixabay.com

By Dr. Brian Gale, DPM, FACFAS
February 11, 2015
Category: Uncategorized

How to Diagnose Peripheral Neuropathy?

Dr. Brian Gale, DPM, FACFAS can diagnose you with peripheral neuropathy.  The diagnosis is based on a physical exam, the symptoms, and the health history of the patient.  If you have Diabetes your doctor may want a blood test to check your blood sugar level.  The combination of high blood sugar and diabetes are a likely cause of peripheral neuropathy.

There is not a cure of peripheral neuropathy, but you are able to slow the progression and decrease pain.  Oral medication can help decrease the pain.  Dr. Gale will also talk to you about the importance of evaluating your feet based upon research and Medicare guidelines to spot any injuries or infections.  It is best to have your feet examined by Dr. Gale at least once a year.

If you have peripheral neuropathy and would like Dr. Brian Gale, DPM, FACFAS to examine them please Contact Us at 701-255-3338 to set up an appointment today!


photocredit: Eutonia via pixabay.com

By Dr. Brian Gale, DPM, FACFAS
February 04, 2015
Category: Uncategorized

Peripheral Neuropathy, what is it?

Peripheral neuropathy is damage to the peripheral nerves, which are in your toes and fingertips.  They are not able to function properly if they are damaged.  If a person has peripheral neuropathy they have decreased sensation in their fingers and toes and can have difficulty moving them.

Causes of peripheral neuropathy:

  • Diabetes.  60-70% of people with diabetes will develop neuropathy at some point, according to the American Diabetes Association.
  • Alcoholism.
  • Injury.
  • Heredity.
  • Arthritis.
  • Certain medications.
  • Advanced age.
  • Neurological disorders such as fibromyalgia and spina bifida.


  • Burning.
  • Shooting/stabbing pain
  • Tingling.
  • Numbness.

If you show any of these symptoms or any other abnormal sensations make an appointment with Dr. Brian Gale, DPM, FACFAS.  Even if it is not peripheral neuropathy it may be a sign of another problem.  Contact Us at 701-255-3338 or go online to  request an appointment.


photocredit: ashokorg0 via pixabay.com