Items filtered by date: January 2024

Tuesday, 30 January 2024 00:00

Overview of a Bunion

A bunion, a prevalent foot deformity, draws attention to the joint at the base of the big toe, where a bony bump forms. This condition, known as hallux valgus, gradually develops when the big toe leans inward toward the second toe, causing the metatarsal bone to protrude. Bunions can result from genetic predisposition, wearing ill-fitting shoes that squeeze the toes, or conditions such as arthritis. The gradual misalignment of the toe joint leads to inflammation, pain, and, in some cases, difficulty in finding comfortable footwear. While bunions are often associated with discomfort and aesthetic concerns, they can also impact joint function over time. Understanding the overview of bunions involves recognizing the factors contributing to their development and the potential implications on foot health. If you have a bunion, it is suggested that you visit a podiatrist who can guide you toward effective relief options.

If you are suffering from bunions, 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?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why Do Bunions Form?

Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions

How Are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How Are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

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, 23 January 2024 00:00

Assessment of Foot Wounds in Diabetics

The importance of addressing diabetic foot complications cannot be overemphasized. These issues are widespread and intricate, underscoring the need for proactive assessments by podiatrists. It is vital for all diabetic patients to undergo periodic foot evaluations to identify potential factors that may lead to ulcers or amputations, such as neuropathy, vascular problems, and deformities. Depending on their risk level, patients with abnormalities may require more frequent foot assessments. By implementing systematic examinations, risk assessments, patient education, and timely referrals, the prevalence of lower extremity complications can be reduced. If you are diabetic, it is strongly suggested that you schedule appointments with a podiatrist for ongoing evaluations of your feet. This proactive approach is essential to enhance your overall well-being and quality of life.

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 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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Monday, 22 January 2024 00:00

Plantar Warts Can Be Treated!

Plantar warts are small growths that develop on parts of the feet that bear weight. They're typically found on the bottom of the foot. Don't live with plantar warts, and call us today!

Tuesday, 16 January 2024 00:00

Treatment of Gait Disorders in Older Adults

In the journey of aging, maintaining a steady and balanced gait becomes increasingly vital for overall well-being and independence. Activities like walking and resistance training can enhance overall gait in individuals with arthritis. Nordic walking, with the aid of adjustable-length walking poles, engages the entire body and promotes better posture. This exercise involves the shoulder and arm muscles, as well as helping increase pelvic rotation, step length, and walking speed. It is a good idea to have an aid with you when starting out, ensuring the safe and effective use of walking sticks. Balance is fundamental to a stable gait. Performing balancing exercises while standing still is a safe way to begin. Then gradually introduce more dynamic balance exercises, such as simple tai chi movements or slow dance movements. Canes are particularly useful for those with arthritis or peripheral neuropathy. They offer support and transmit information about the walking surface that helps to avoid falls. Walkers, with their stability and varied designs, address factors like joint pain, balance issues, and walking efficiency. For more information on gait issues, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for a gait analysis and recommended treatment.

If you have any concerns about your feet, 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.

Biomechanics in Podiatry

Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.

A History of Biomechanics

  • Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
  • In 1974, biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area.

Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.

Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot.

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.

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Tuesday, 09 January 2024 00:00

Various Risk Factors for Foot Neuropathy

Foot neuropathy, characterized by nerve damage in the feet, can be influenced by various risk factors. Diabetes stands as a primary risk factor, as prolonged high blood sugar levels can lead to nerve damage, causing sensory disturbances in the feet. Alcohol abuse is another significant factor, as excessive alcohol consumption can harm nerves and contribute to neuropathy in the feet. Vitamin deficiencies, particularly B vitamins, may also increase the risk of foot neuropathy. Certain medications, such as chemotherapy drugs and those used to treat HIV, can have neuropathy as a side effect. Physical trauma, repetitive stress, or injuries to the feet can damage nerves and lead to neuropathy. Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus may trigger autoimmune responses that damage nerves in the feet. Hereditary factors, including a family history of neuropathy, could elevate the risk. Awareness of these diverse risk factors is vital for early detection and prevention of foot neuropathy. If you suffer from this condition, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for an examination and appropriate treatment.

Neuropathy

Neuropathy can be a potentially serious condition, especially if it is left undiagnosed. If you have any concerns that you may be experiencing nerve loss in your feet, 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 for neuropathy.

What Is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy is a condition that leads to damage to the nerves in the body. Peripheral neuropathy, or neuropathy that affects your peripheral nervous system, usually occurs in the feet. Neuropathy can be triggered by a number of different causes. Such causes include diabetes, infections, cancers, disorders, and toxic substances.

Symptoms of Neuropathy Include:

  • Numbness
  • Sensation loss
  • Prickling and tingling sensations
  • Throbbing, freezing, burning pains
  • Muscle weakness

Those with diabetes are at serious risk due to being unable to feel an ulcer on their feet. Diabetics usually also suffer from poor blood circulation. This can lead to the wound not healing, infections occurring, and the limb may have to be amputated.

Treatment

To treat neuropathy in the foot, podiatrists will first diagnose the cause of the neuropathy. Figuring out the underlying cause of the neuropathy will allow the podiatrist to prescribe the best treatment, whether it be caused by diabetes, toxic substance exposure, infection, etc. If the nerve has not died, then it’s possible that sensation may be able to return to the foot.

Pain medication may be issued for pain. Electrical nerve stimulation can be used to stimulate nerves. If the neuropathy is caused from pressure on the nerves, then 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.

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Sever's disease, a common but often misunderstood condition, is not truly a disease, but rather a growth-related heel pain that affects active children and adolescents. This condition, also known as calcaneal apophysitis, occurs when the growth plate at the back of the heel becomes inflamed due to repetitive stress and tension. Children between the ages of 8 and 15 are most susceptible to Sever's disease, as this is typically when their bones are rapidly growing. This growth spurt places extra stress on the heel's growth plate, especially in active children who participate in sports or activities that involve running and jumping. The hallmark symptom of Sever's disease is heel pain, often exacerbated by physical activity. This pain can be particularly bothersome during or after exercise. Understanding Sever's disease is essential for parents and young athletes, as it enables early recognition and appropriate management. If your active child has heel pain, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist who can effectively diagnose and treat Sever’s disease.

Sever's disease often occurs in children and teens. If your child is experiencing foot or ankle pain, see one of our podiatrists from PA Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors can treat your child’s foot and ankle needs.

Sever’s Disease

Sever’s disease is also known as calcaneal apophysitis, which is a medical condition that causes heel pain I none or both feet. The disease is known to affect children between the ages of 8 and 14.

Sever’s disease occurs when part of the child’s heel known as the growth plate (calcaneal epiphysis) is attached to the Achilles tendon. This area can suffer injury when the muscles and tendons of the growing foot do not keep pace with bone growth. Therefore, the constant pain which one experiences at the back of the heel will make the child unable to put any weight on the heel. The child is then forced to walk on their toes.

Symptoms

Acute pain – Pain associated with Sever’s disease is usually felt in the heel when the child engages in physical activity such as walking, jumping and or running.

Highly active – Children who are very active are among the most susceptible in experiencing Sever’s disease, because of the stress and tension placed on their feet.

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 injuries.

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If you are suffering from tenderness, pain, or stiffness in the joints of your feet or ankles, call us to schedule an appointment.

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