AARA understands foot and ankle conditions can affect your quality of life. Dr. James Schmidt, treats many conditions affecting these areas of the body. To schedule an appointment for podiatry services, email podiatry@azarthritis.com or contact us at 480.443.8400.

On-site Exam and Services

Detailed Physical Exams

We listen to you about your foot or ankle concerns while completing a full examination with possible neurological, vascular, dermatologic, and musculoskeletal testing to determine any problems contributed to your concerns and symptoms.

Ordering and Performing Diagnostic Testing

  • X-rays
  • Ultrasounds
  • Blood Labs
  • EMG or Nerve Conduction Studies
  • Advanced Lower Extremity Imaging
  • CT Scans
  • MRI’s

Diagnosis and Treatment Plans

We will discuss the diagnosis and provide a detailed treatment plan to address both short-term and long-term solutions to provide you with immediate symptomatic relief.

Minor procedures for toe, foot, or ankle problems such as an ingrown toenail removal or injections, or small skin abnormalities removals can be performed in the office with injections of a local anesthetic to remain comfortable during the procedures.

More-complex Foot and Ankle problems may need to be performed at hospital or surgery center. Dr. Schmidt is well-trained in surgical management of all foot and ankle problems.

Ankle Sprains

What are Ankle Sprains?
An unnatural twisting or force causes ankle sprains on the ankle bones of the foot, which may result in excessive stretching or tearing of one or more ligaments on the outside of the ankle. If not properly treated, ankle sprains may develop into long-term problems.

What is the treatment for Ankle Sprains?

  • Resting and elevating the ankle and applying ice to reduce swelling.
  • Compressive bandages also may be used to immobilize and support the injury during healing.
  • Severe ankle sprains may require surgery to repair and tighten the damaged ligaments.

Can Ankle Sprains be prevented?

To prevent ankle sprains, try to maintain strength, balance, and flexibility in the foot and ankle through exercising, stretching, and wearing well-fitted shoes.

To schedule an appointment for podiatry services, email podiatry@azarthritis.com or contact us at 480.443.8400


What are Bunions?

Bunions are painful bony enlargements of the joint that occurs on the outside edge of your foot by your big toe. Bunions form when the bones in your foot move the big toe out of place, which causes friction and pressure as your toes rub up against footwear. These enlargements are painful and cause constant irritation, inflammation, and redness.

What are the symptoms of Bunions?

Symptoms of bunions include an enlarged bump alongside your big toe with swelling, redness, and frequent pain. Corns and calluses can also develop from bunions.

What is the treatment for Bunions?

Treatment for bunions depends on the size and severity of the bunion. The goal of the treatment is first to relieve the symptoms and second to prevent progressive growth of the bunion.

Treatment Options:

  • Wearing more comfortable shoes and protective padding, to eliminate the friction against shoes and help alleviate inflammation and skin problems.
  • Removing any corns or calluses on the foot.
  • Orthotic devices—both over-the-counter and custom made—to help stabilize the joint and place the foot in the correct position for walking and standing.
  • Exercises to maintain joint mobility and prevent stiffness or arthritis that can occur over time.
  • Splints for nighttime wear to help the toes and joints align properly.
  • Surgical treatment to remove the bunion and realign the toe, depending on the size of the bunion.

Can Bunions be prevented?

There’s no way to prevent bunions ultimately. Wearing orthotics can help slow the progression. Bunions can run in families, usually because of a faulty foot structure. Foot injuries, neuromuscular problems, flat feet, and pronated feet can contribute to their formation. It is estimated that bunions occur in 33 percent of the population in Western countries.

To schedule an appointment for podiatry services, contact us at 480.443.8400.

Flat Feet

What are Flat Feet?

Flat feet are a common and usually painless condition of the foot structure. Flat feet can occur when arches aren’t fully developed during childhood or from the arch falling because of aging.

Are there symptoms for Flat Feet?

Many people with flat feet do not experience any symptoms. However, some can have painful foot pain in the heel or arch area, known as Posterior tibial tendonitis or adult-acquired flatfoot. This condition arises when the tendon becomes inflamed, stretched, or torn. Left untreated, it may lead to severe disability and chronic pain. People are predisposed to tibialis posterior tendonitis if they have flat feet or an abnormal attachment of the tendon to the bones in the midfoot. Pronation is also common in flat feet, which causes the ankle bones to lean inward toward the centerline.

What is the treatment for Flat Feet?

Treatment options:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, icing, physical therapy, supportive taping, bracing, and orthotics can be prescribed.
  • In some cases, surgery repairing a torn or damaged tendon to restore normal function.
  • In the most severe cases, surgery on the bones may needed to treat the associated flatfoot condition.

To schedule an appointment for podiatry services, email podiatry@azarthritis.com or contact us at 480.443.8400.


What is a Hammertoe?

Hammertoe is a deformity of the second, third, or fourth toes. In this condition, the toe is bent at the middle joint, causing it to resemble a hammer. Left untreated, hammertoes can become inflexible and require surgery. People with hammertoe may have corns or calluses on the top of the middle joint of the toe or on the tip of the toe. They may also feel pain in their toes or feet and have difficulty finding comfortable shoes.

What is the treatment for a Hammertoe?

Hammertoes are a deformity of the toes. Treatment for the condition typically involves wearing shoes with soft, roomy toe boxes and toe exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles. Commercially available straps, cushions, or non medicated corn pads may also relieve symptoms. In severe cases, hammertoe surgery may be recommended to correct the deformity.

Causes of hammertoe include improperly fitting shoes and muscle imbalance.

To schedule an appointment for podiatry services, email podiatry@azarthritis.com or contact us at 480.443.8400.

Diabetes and Your Feet

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a lifelong chronic disease that is caused by high levels of sugar in the blood. It can also decrease your body’s ability to fight off infections, which is especially harmful in your feet. When Diabetes is not adequately controlled, damage can occur to the organs, and impairment of the immune system can occur.

Diabetic foot care diagnoses and treats foot conditions related to Diabetes. Specialized care can help prevent your chances of developing foot problems and diabetic infections in the legs and feet. Having poor circulation and numbness in the feet can put you at an increased risk for infection or even amputation.

What are the common problems with associated Diabetes and Your Feet?

Diabetic neuropathy causes the numbness in your feet over time from nerve damage as well as a lessened sense of your feet and toes position while walking. With Diabetes, you may not be able to accurately sense minor injuries, such as cuts, scrapes, and blisters-all signs of abnormal wear, tear, and foot strain. It is important to inspect your feet daily and to visit your podiatrist if any abnormalities develop.

The following can also compromise the health of your feet:

  • Poor circulation
  • Trauma to the foot
  • Infections
  • Smoking

Additionally, common diabetic complications usually result from poorly fitting shoes, which can cause red and sore spots, blisters, corns and calluses, and consistent pain while wearing shoes. If you have common foot abnormalities such as flat feet, bunions, or hammertoes, prescription shoes or orthotics may be necessary to protect your feet from further damage.

Diabetes can be extremely dangerous to your feet, so take precautions now. You can avoid serious problems such as losing a toe, foot, or leg by following proper prevention techniques. Remember, prevention is the key to saving your feet and eliminating pain.

To schedule an appointment for podiatry services, email podiatry@azarthritis.com or contact us at 480.443.8400.

Heel Spurs/Plantar Fasciitis

What are Heel Spurs?

Plantar fasciitis, commonly known as heel spurs is the term commonly used to refer to heel and arch pain traced to an inflammation on the bottom of the foot. More specifically, plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the connective tissue, called plantar fascia, that stretches from the base of the toes, across the arch of the foot, to the point at which it inserts into the heel bone.

Overpronation is the most common cause of plantar fasciitis. As the foot rolls inward excessively when walking, it flattens the foot, lengthens the arch, and puts added tension on the plantar fascia. Over time, this causes inflammation. Play sports or exercises that put stress on the feet can also cause plantar fasciitis.

What is the treatment for Heel Spurs?

Treatment commonly involves the use of anti-inflammatory medications, ice packs, stretching exercises, orthotic devices, injections, and physical therapy. Note: Please consult your physician before taking any medications. In persistent cases, endoscopic surgery may be needed to treat heel pain.

To schedule an appointment for podiatry services, email podiatry@azarthritis.com or contact us at 480.443.8400.

Corns and Calluses

What are Corns and Calluses?

Corns and calluses are protective layers of compacted, dead skin cells. They are caused by repeated friction from skin rubbing against bony areas or an irregularity in a shoe. Corns ordinarily form on the toes and calluses on the soles of the feet. The friction and pressure can burn or otherwise be painful and may be relieved by moleskin or padding on the affected areas.

Never cut corns or calluses with any instrument, and never apply home remedies, except under a podiatrist’s instructions.

To schedule an appointment for podiatry services, email podiatry@azarthritis.com or contact us at 480.443.8400.

Athlete's Foot

What is Athlete’s Foot?

A chronic infection caused by various types of fungus, Athlete’s foot is often spread in places where people go barefoot, such as public showers or swimming pools.

What are the symptoms of Athlete’s Foot?

The symptoms involve mild scaling and itching to painful inflammation and blisters. The scaling and itching usually start between the toes or arch and may spread to the bottom and sides of the foot.

What is the treatment for Athlete’s Foot?

Depending on the type of infection you have, various kinds of medication may be used in treating your fungal problem. Successful treatment usually involves a combination of medication and self-care.

If your condition is not serious, over-the-counter and prescription powders, lotions, or ointments can often help treat the symptoms. Foot soaks may also help dry excessive perspiration, but you should contact our office first. If symptoms do not improve, Dr. Schmidt may prescribe a stronger medication.

To schedule an appointment for podiatry services, email podiatry@azarthritis.com or contact us at 480.443.8400.

Toenail Fungus

What is Toenail Fungus?

Toenail fungus, or onychomycosis, is an infection underneath the nail caused by fungi. Fungi live in warm, moist environments such as swimming pools, locker rooms, and showers.

What are the symptoms of Toenail Fungus?

Typically, there are no painful symptoms. However, the toenail might change in appearance or shape. The nail may become brittle and appear gray, yellow, brown, or black. When a person has a cut or separated areas of the toenail, fungi can enter the skin and cause toenail infections. If ignored, the infection can spread to the skin of your feet and possibly impair your ability to work and walk.

What is the Treatment for Toenail Fungus?

Treatment Options:

  • Topical medication
  • Oral antifungal medication
  • Laser Treatment

Can Toenail Fungus be prevented?

To prevent reinfection, practice good foot hygiene by keeping your nails short and keep your feet dry. Wear synthetic socks – synthetic socks wick away moisture and keep feet dryer than cotton or wool socks. Consider changing your socks more than once daily and also wear breathable shoes as much as possible. Avoid going barefoot in public. Wear shoes around public pools and locker rooms.

To schedule an appointment for podiatry services, email podiatry@azarthritis.com or contact us at 480.443.8400.

Morton’s neuroma

What is Morton’s neuroma?

Morton’s neuroma is a painful condition that affects the ball of your foot, most commonly the area between your third and fourth toes. Morton’s neuroma may feel as if you are standing on a pebble in your shoe or on a fold in your sock. A neuroma is a nerve that is being traumatized by a poorly functioning foot. Morton’s neuroma is caused by an irritated or damaged nerve between the toe bones. It’s often linked to: wearing tight, pointy or high-heeled shoes.

What is the best treatment for Morton’s neuroma?

Treating the cause of Morton’s neuroma is paramount and options include changing shoe type, using insoles or metatarsal pads, taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), giving corticosteroid or sclerosing alcohol injections, and surgically excising or transposing the offending nerve.

To schedule an appointment for podiatry services, email podiatry@azarthritis.com or contact us at 480.443.8400.

Fractures or Broken Bones in the Foot

Fractures can range from tiny cracks in your bones to breaks that pierce your skin. Fractures of the foot may include toe fractures and fractures of the middle bones of the foot (metatarsal fractures), the two small round bones at the base of the big toe (sesamoid fractures), or the bones around the heel or ankle, including fractures of the heel bone (calcaneus) and the Ankle (tibia and/or Fibula). Treatments for fractures depends on the exact site and severity of the bone that is broken. Often broken bones require surgery to restore alignment and function and prevent future problems and arthritis from developing. Surgical screws or plates may be used to maintain proper position during healing. Surgery can help the fractures heal faster.

To schedule an appointment for podiatry services, email podiatry@azarthritis.com or contact us at 480.443.8400.

Ingrown Toenails

What are Ingrown Nails?

Ingrown toenails occur when the edges or corners of a nail grow into the skin next to it, causing tenderness, redness, and even bleeding. The condition usually affects the big toe. People who have diabetes are at greater risk of complications.

What causes an ingrown toenail?

Ingrown nails are most frequently caused by cutting the toenails too short or rounding the nail edges or by wearing ill-fitting shoes or tight hosiery that press the nail into your toe. You can also develop an ingrown nail after an injury, such as stubbing or jamming your toe.

What is the best treatment for an ingrown toenail?

If home remedies haven’t helped your ingrown toenail, depending on the severity your podiatrist may suggest removing a portion of the nail along with the underlying tissue (nail bed). This procedure may prevent that part of your nail from growing back.

To schedule an appointment for podiatry services, email podiatry@azarthritis.com or contact us at 480.443.8400.

Other Services


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Bone Densitometry

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MRI for Extremities

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Electrodiagnostic Studies

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