Tuesday, 11 January 2022 00:00

What Is a Nutcracker Fracture?

The Nutcracker is a famous and challenging ballet. It’s name has also been used to refer to a type of foot fracture involving the cuboid bone (located near the center of the foot) that can be seen in ballet dancers. A nutcracker fracture is characterized by a cuboid bone that is crushed in between the heel bone (calcaneus) and the third and fourth toe bones (metatarsals). This injury causes pain and swelling, particularly along the outside of the foot. Bearing any weight on the foot may be difficult or impossible. More severe fractures can also cause pain along the inside of the foot and visible deformity. Treatment for a nutcracker fracture may include resting, icing, and immobilizing the foot and managing pain. Surgery may be needed in severe cases. If you have injured your foot, it is strongly suggested that you seek the care of a podiatrist. 

Cuboid syndrome, also known as cuboid subluxation, occurs when the joints and ligaments near the cuboid bone in the foot become torn. If you have cuboid syndrome, consult with one of our podiatrists from PA Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Cuboid syndrome is a common cause of lateral foot pain, which is pain on the outside of the foot. The condition may happen suddenly due to an ankle sprain, or it may develop slowly overtime from repetitive tension through the bone and surrounding structures.

Causes

The most common causes of cuboid syndrome include:

  • Injury – The most common cause of this ailment is an ankle sprain.
  • Repetitive Strain – Tension placed through the peroneus longus muscle from repetitive activities such as jumping and running may cause excessive traction on the bone causing it to sublux.
  • Altered Foot Biomechanics – Most people suffering from cuboid subluxation have flat feet.

Symptoms

A common symptom of cuboid syndrome is pain along the outside of the foot which can be felt in the ankle and toes. This pain may create walking difficulties and may cause those with the condition to walk with a limp.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of cuboid syndrome is often difficult, and it is often misdiagnosed. X-rays, MRIs and CT scans often fail to properly show the cuboid subluxation. Although there isn’t a specific test used to diagnose cuboid syndrome, your podiatrist will usually check if pain is felt while pressing firmly on the cuboid bone of your foot.

Treatment

Just as the range of causes varies widely, so do treatments. Some more common treatments are ice therapy, rest, exercise, taping, and orthotics.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Allentown, Easton, Northampton, and Chew Street in Allentown, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

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Tuesday, 04 January 2022 00:00

What Triggers Gout?

Gout is a painful type of arthritis that occurs due to high levels of uric acid in the bloodstream. It frequently affects the joints of the feet, particularly in the big toe. A gout flareup can be extremely painful, swollen, red, and warm. Gout is thought to be at least partially hereditary, but co-occurring medical conditions and certain lifestyle factors can also trigger a gout attack. People who have a history of heart failure, kidney disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes are at an increased risk of gout. People who are obese, take diuretic medications, drink alcohol, consume sugary foods and beverages, or eat foods rich in purines, such as red meat and certain types of seafood, are also at risk. If you have suffered a gout attack, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist for treatment and prevention strategies. 

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from PA Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Allentown, Easton, Northampton, and Chew Street in Allentown, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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When someone engages in regular physical activity, such as running, jumping, or other repetitive movements, this can stress the bones in the feet and lower legs. Over time, these repetitive movements and stress can lead to the development of tiny hairline cracks in the bones. These stress fractures can also develop when the type, duration, intensity, or frequency of physical activity occurs. Unlike more severe breaks due to acute trauma, which can cause immediate and intense pain, the pain from stress fractures can be duller and develop more gradually. Ballet dancers and athletes engaging in high impact sports such as basketball, tennis, track and field, soccer, and hockey are at greater risk of developing these microscopic fissures in their foot or lower leg bones. Along with a dull pain which intensifies during physical activity, there may be swelling, tenderness and bruising in the affected area. A podiatrist should be consulted if there is any pain in the feet or lower legs. They will perform an exam, test sensitivity to pressure in the affected area, and may use X-rays or bone scans to properly diagnose the issue. This professional assessment and care will not only help heal the stress fracture, but also prevent it from becoming a more severe break.

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, contact one of our podiatrists from PA Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain free and on your feet.

How Are They Caused?

Stress fractures are the result of repetitive force being placed on the bone. Since the lower leg and feet often carry most of the body’s weight, stress fractures are likely to occur in these areas. If you rush into a new exercise, you are more likely to develop a stress fracture since you are starting too much, too soon.  Pain resulting from stress fractures may go unnoticed at first, however it may start to worsen over time.

Risk Factors

  • Gender – They are more commonly found in women compared to men.
  • Foot Problems – People with unusual arches in their feet are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Certain Sports – Dancers, gymnasts, tennis players, runners, and basketball players are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Lack of Nutrients – A lack of vitamin D and calcium may weaken the bones and make you more prone to stress fractures
  • Weak Bones – Osteoporosis can weaken the bones therefore resulting in stress fractures

Stress fractures do not always heal properly, so it is important that you seek help from a podiatrist if you suspect you may have one. Ignoring your stress fracture may cause it to worsen, and you may develop chronic pain as well as additional fractures.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Allentown, Easton, Northampton, and Chew Street in Allentown, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
Monday, 27 December 2021 00:00

Are Bunions Affecting Your Everyday Life?

Have you noticed a bony protrusion on the side of your big toe? If so, you may have developed the foot condition known as a bunion. Don't let bunions interfere with your daily activities.

Tuesday, 21 December 2021 00:00

Are Your Shoes Right for You?

There are many issues and injuries that can impact the foot. Therefore, it is important to make sure that you are wearing shoes that fit correctly. Shoes should be comfortable and supportive, while also cushioning the foot. One way to ensure this is to purchase shoes that are specifically made for the physical activity you are doing. Another thing that can be done to ensure that shoes fit correctly is by purchasing them at the end of the day, when our feet are the largest. The toes should be able to comfortably wiggle in the shoes, and the heel should comfortably be gripped. Patients who have more questions about making sure they’re wearing the right shoes should consult with a podiatrist.  

Getting the right shoe size is an important part of proper foot health. Seek the assistance of one of our podiatrists from PA Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors will provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Getting the Right Shoe Size

There are many people who wear shoes that are the incorrect size, negatively affecting their feet and posture. Selecting the right shoes is not a difficult process, so long as you keep several things in mind when it comes to choosing the right pair.

  • When visiting the shoe store, use the tools available to measure your foot.
  • Be sure there is ‘wiggle room’. There should be about an inch between your toes and the tip of your shoes.
  • Do not always assume you are the same size, as manufacturers run differently.
  • Purchase shoes later in the day, as your feet swell as the day progresses.
  • If a shoe is not comfortable, it is not suitable. Most shoes can’t be ‘broken in’, and comfort should be the ultimate goal when it comes to choosing the right pair of shoes

As our feet hold our body weight and keep us moving, it is important to treat them right. Picking the right pair of shoes can provide your feet comfort and mobility without pain.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Allentown, Easton, Northampton, and Chew Street in Allentown, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Tuesday, 14 December 2021 00:00

How Bunions Form

Bunions are a common foot deformity known as a small, bony lump on the side of the big toe. This bony protrusion usually forms due to the big toe bending towards the smaller toes when it should be straight, thus pushing the bones out of alignment. Bunions gradually form over time and typically get worse without treatment. The angle of the bunion gets sharper, and the bump can grow larger. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary. Bunions may be the result of an inherited mechanical structure, or they may form from wearing shoes that are too tight. Common symptoms of a bunion include pain in the affected area, inflammation, a burning sensation, and possible numbness. It is suggested that larger shoes, or shoes with a wide toe box be worn when you are afflicted with a bunion. Patients who are struggling with this ailment should consult with a podiatrist as soon as possible to determine the best course of treatment.

If you are suffering from bunion pain, contact one of our podiatrists of PA Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.

Causes

  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development

Symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Allentown, Easton, Northampton, and Chew Street in Allentown, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Bunions
Tuesday, 07 December 2021 00:00

Types of Corns and Calluses

Corns and calluses are thickened areas of skin that form as a means of protection on the feet. These thick areas primarily form where the skin has rubbed against something like a shoe. Thickened areas of skin that are larger and irregularly shaped are known as calluses. They usually indicate issues such as bone deformity, improper footwear, or a poor walking style. Hardened areas of skin that are smaller with a central core are known as corns. A variety of corns can form, including soft corns, which usually develop in areas that are moist from sweat or inadequate drying between the toes. Corns that contain nerve fibers and blood vessels are known as vascular corns, which can be very painful. Other types of corns include hard corns, fibrous corns, and seed corns. Patients with corns or calluses that persistently irritate their foot should consult with a podiatrist for treatment.  

If you have any concerns regarding your feet and ankles, contact one of our podiatrists of PA Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Corns: What Are They? and How Do You Get Rid of Them?
Corns can be described as areas of the skin that have thickened to the point of becoming painful or irritating. They are often layers and layers of the skin that have become dry and rough, and are normally smaller than calluses.

Ways to Prevent Corns
There are many ways to get rid of painful corns such as wearing:

  • Well-fitting socks
  • Comfortable shoes that are not tight around your foot
  • Shoes that offer support

Treating Corns
Treatment of corns involves removing the dead skin that has built up in the specific area of the foot. Consult with Our doctors to determine the best treatment option for your case of corns.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Allentown, Easton, Northampton, and Chew Street in Allentown, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Corns: What Are They, and How Do You Get Rid of Them
Monday, 06 December 2021 00:00

Are You Suffering From Ingrown Toenails?

If left untreated, an ingrown toenail can lead to more serious concerns, such as an infection. Knowing proper nail care can help in the prevention of an ingrown toenail. Give us a call, and get treated!

Thursday, 02 December 2021 00:00

What Leads to the Most Common Type of Heel Pain

If you have pain on the bottom of your foot in the heel/arch area, you may be experiencing plantar fasciitis. This is a condition where the connective tissue spanning the bottom of your foot (plantar fascia) becomes irritated and inflamed, and sometimes even torn. Plantar fasciitis can occur for a variety of reasons. Being obese, working on your feet all day, or wearing shoes with inadequate heel support can all put undue stress on the plantar fascia tissue. Also, with older age, both the plantar fascia tissue and fat heel pads wear down and may lead to plantar fasciitis. Other contributing factors such as wearing high heels, having flat feet, high arches, or problems with posture or gait may contribute to this painful condition developing. Podiatrists treat plantar fasciitis patients frequently and very successfully, as it is the most common form of heel pain. Treatments may include resting, icing, shoe modifications and custom orthotics, pain relievers, and possibly even night splints to keep the Achilles heel and plantar fasciitis stretched and the arch supported. A podiatrist may treat pain and help heal damaged tissue in more severe cases of plantar fasciitis with corticosteroid injections, sound wave or ultrasound therapy, or in worst case scenarios, surgical intervention.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact one of our podiatrists  from PA Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Non-supportive shoes
  • Overpronation
  • Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

  • Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices
  • Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis
  • Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Allentown, Easton, Northampton, and Chew Street in Allentown, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis
Tuesday, 23 November 2021 00:00

Cryotherapy for Plantar Warts

A wart on the sole of your foot, also known as a plantar wart, is a benign, fleshy growth that is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Plantar warts are often painless and can go away on their own, however, this is not always the case. Warts can cause pain or discomfort if they are in areas that bear a lot of weight, grow inward due to pressure, or rub against your shoes and socks. Without treatment, plantar warts can also take years to disappear. One potential treatment option is cryotherapy. This is a fairly simple procedure in which the doctor applies a liquid nitrogen solution on the wart, freezing it. A blister then forms around the wart within 24 hours and can be removed after about one week. Two cryotherapy sessions may be needed to fully remove the wart. For more information about this and other treatments for plantar warts, please consult with a podiatrist. 

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists from PA Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

About Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus, getting into open wounds on the feet. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.

While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain or those suffering from diabetes or a compromised immune system require immediate medical care. Plantar warts are easily diagnosed, usually through scraping off a bit of rough skin or by getting a biopsy.

Symptoms

  • Lesions on the bottom of your feet, usually rough and grainy
  • Hard or thick callused spots
  • Wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots
  • Pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing

Treatment

  • Freezing
  • Electric tool removal
  • Laser Treatment
  • Topical Creams (prescription only)
  • Over-the-counter medications

To help prevent developing plantar warts, avoid walking barefoot over abrasive surfaces that can cause cuts or wounds for HPV to get into. Avoiding direct contact with other warts, as well as not picking or rubbing existing warts, can help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. However, if you think you have developed plantar warts, speak to your podiatrist. He or she can diagnose the warts on your feet and recommend the appropriate treatment options.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Allentown, Easton, Northampton, and Chew Street in Allentown, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Plantar Warts
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