Items filtered by date: August 2021

Tuesday, 31 August 2021 00:00

How to Tell if You Have a Hammertoe

If one of your toes is permanently bent at the middle joint, preventing it from laying flat like the other toes, it could be a hammertoe. Hammertoes can occur in any toe other than the big toe. This condition gets its name because your toe is bent into a shape resembling the head of a hammer. Hammertoe develops over time, and is typically caused by an imbalance in the foot’s tendons and muscles. If you have a genetic predisposition towards this condition, you may exacerbate its development by wearing pointy shoes or high heels, which place pressure on your toes and force them into a narrow space. Injuries and foot conditions such as bunions can also contribute to the formation of a hammertoe, as well as arthritis. Hammertoes are a progressive condition, meaning they worsen with time and, therefore, may become rigid. That is why it is important to get them diagnosed and treated by a podiatrist as early as possible—while they are still flexible and there is a greater chance to correct the deformity.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists from PA Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

If you have any questions please contact one of our offices located in Pennsylvania . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Tuesday, 24 August 2021 00:00

How Are Foot Ulcers Classified?

A foot ulcer is commonly known as “diabetic foot” and as its name suggests, it’s a frequent condition among diabetic patients. It is a wound on the foot that heals slowly and generally forms on the ball of the foot or the bottom of the big toe. Serious conditions can develop from an infected wound that is left untreated, including poor circulation, nerve damage, and in extreme cases risk of limb amputation. Diabetic foot ulcers can be classified into 4 groups. A wound that does not show signs of an infection is called uninfected. When the area around the wound has turned red, is warm to the touch, painful, or slightly swollen, this is known as a mild infection. If the infection involves deeper layers of skin down into the muscle, tendons, bone or joints, then a moderate infection is likely. A high body temperature or fever, accompanied with heavy breathing or a fast heartbeat can cause sepsis making this a severe infection. If you are a diabetic patient and notice a wound on your foot, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist regularly who can offer you proper wound care treatment.

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, 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.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

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

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Monday, 23 August 2021 00:00

Reminder: When Was the Last Time...?

Custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, should be periodically replaced. Orthotics must fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles!

Tuesday, 17 August 2021 00:00

The Duties of a Podiatrist

A podiatrist is a medical professional that specializes in the care of the feet and ankles. A podiatrist’s duties typically include examining patients, diagnosing various foot and ankle conditions, and providing the appropriate treatments for a variety of foot and ankle needs. Some podiatrists specialize in podiatric surgery and perform operations such as joint replacement surgeries and bunionectomies. Podiatrists are also often the first to notice signs of diabetes, neuropathy, peripheral artery disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and other systemic conditions that can affect the feet. In those cases, a podiatrist may not only treat your disease-related foot and ankle problems, but also refer you to a specialist for the suspected systemic disease. If you are experiencing any foot or ankle pain, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist near you.  

If you are dealing with pain in your feet and ankles, you may want to seek help from a podiatrist. Feel free to 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 a Podiatrist?

A podiatrist is a doctor of podiatric medicine who diagnoses and treats conditions of the foot, ankle, and related structures of the leg. Your podiatrist may specialize in a certain field such as sports medicine, wound care, pediatrics, and diabetic care. Podiatrists have the ability to become board certified through training, clinical experience, and then taking an exam.

What Do Podiatrists Do?

On a daily basis, a podiatrist may perform the following activities:

  • Diagnose foot ailments such as ulcers, tumors, fractures, etc.
  • Use innovative methods to treat conditions
  • Use corrective orthotics, casts, and strappings to correct deformities
  • Correct walking patterns and balance
  • Provide individual consultations to patients

It is very important that you take care of your feet. It’s easy to take having healthy feet for granted, however foot problems tend to be among the most common health conditions. Podiatrists can help diagnose and treat a variety of feet related conditions, so it is crucial that you visit one if you need assistance.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Pennsylvania . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

 

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Wednesday, 11 August 2021 00:00

What Is This Pain in the Ball of My Foot?

The metatarsal bones connect the toes with the mid-and-hind-foot bones. Because they are weight-bearing bones, they can become overly pressured, which can cause pain or burning in the ball of the foot, or a tingling/numb feeling in the toes. When this occurs, it is known as metatarsalgia.  It is believed that women may be more at risk for developing metatarsalgia, along with those who wear high heels extensively or have a job that requires prolonged standing. Metatarsalgia may also be preceded by bunions or other foot conditions like hammertoes or Morton’s neuroma. If you have pain in the ball of your foot, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for an exam. If you are diagnosed with metatarsalgia, custom metatarsal orthotics, shoe modifications, and other treatments may be used to help ease the pain you are experiencing.

Foot Pain

Foot pain can be extremely painful and debilitating. If you have a foot pain, 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.

Causes

Foot pain is a very broad condition that could be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:

  • Bunions
  • Hammertoes
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Bone Spurs
  • Corns
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Ingrown Toenails
  • Arthritis (such as Gout, Rheumatoid, and Osteoarthritis)
  • Flat Feet
  • Injury (from stress fractures, broken toe, foot, ankle, Achilles tendon ruptures, and sprains)
  • And more

Diagnosis

To figure out the cause of foot pain, podiatrists utilize several different methods. This can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.

Treatment

Treatment depends upon the cause of the foot pain. Whether it is resting, staying off the foot, or having surgery; podiatrists have a number of treatment options available for foot pain.

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

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Tuesday, 03 August 2021 00:00

6 Possible Causes of Heel Pain

While the most common form of heel pain occurs when the long band of tissue on the sole of the foot becomes damaged or torn (plantar fasciitis), there are other causes of heel pain. Some of them include: heel spurs—calcium deposits that develop on the heel bone after repeated strain on ligaments and muscles, bursitis—swelling of the fluid-filled sac (bursa) which cushions and lubricates the back of the heel, fractures—breaks in the heel bone from a fall or other accident, and Sever’s disease—when the Achilles tendon pulls repeatedly on a growing child’s heel bone growth plate during physical activity, causing irritation in the middle of the heel bone. If you have any kind of pain in your heel, see a podiatrist who can properly diagnose the cause, and treat it appropriately.

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, 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.

Causes of Heel Pain

Heel pain is often associated with plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissues that extends along the bottom of the foot. A rip or tear in this ligament can cause inflammation of the tissue.

Achilles tendonitis is another cause of heel pain. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon will cause pain from fractures and muscle tearing. Lack of flexibility is also another symptom.

Heel spurs are another cause of pain. When the tissues of the plantar fascia undergo a great deal of stress, it can lead to ligament separation from the heel bone, causing heel spurs.

Why Might Heel Pain Occur?

  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes                  
  • Wearing non-supportive shoes
  • Weight change           
  • Excessive running

Treatments

Heel pain should be treated as soon as possible for immediate results. Keeping your feet in a stress-free environment will help. If you suffer from Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis, applying ice will reduce the swelling. Stretching before an exercise like running will help the muscles. Using all these tips will help make heel pain a condition of the past.

If you have any questions please contact one of our offices located in Pennsylvania . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Heel Pain

Suffering from this type of pain? You may have the foot condition known as Morton's neuroma. Morton's neuroma may develop as a result of ill-fitting footwear and existing foot deformities. We can help.

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