Blog
Tuesday, 16 January 2018 00:00

Signs of a Broken Ankle

Severe pain, swelling and bruising on the foot may be indicative of a broken ankle. This typically occurs as a result from falling or from something heavy that has been dropped on the foot. Other evidence may include hearing a snapping noise coming from the foot at the time of injury or a dislocation occurring in the ankle, producing an odd shape. Applying an ice pack may numb the pain temporarily, and keeping it elevated will help the swelling dissipate. An x-ray is commonly taken to confirm the severity and presence of a broken ankle. Treatment may include having the foot in a cast or wearing a boot for more mobility. A podiatrist will make the determination depending on the extent of fracture. Utilizing crutches may be an option if it’s determined that any weight placed on the ankle is prohibited.

Broken ankles need immediate treatment. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet. 

Broken Ankles
A broken ankle is experienced when a person fractures their tibia or fibula in the lower leg and ankle area. Both of these bones are attached at the bottom of the leg and combine to form what we know to be our ankle.

When a physician is referring to a break of the ankle, he or she is usually referring to a break in the area where the tibia and fibula are joined to create our ankle joint. Ankles are more prone to fractures because the ankle is an area that suffers a lot of pressure and stress. There are some obvious signs when a person experiences a fractured ankle, and the following symptoms may be present.

Symptoms of a Fractured Ankle

  • Excessive pain when the area is touched or when any pressure is placed on the ankle
  •  Swelling around the area
  •  Bruising of the area
  • Area appears to be deformed

If you suspect an ankle fracture, it is recommended to seek treatment as soon as possible. The sooner you have your podiatrist diagnose the fracture, the quicker you’ll be on the way towards recovery.

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

Read more about All About Broken Ankles

Most athletes at some point will sustain a foot or ankle injury which may become a chronic, ongoing condition possibly affecting different parts of the foot. Symptoms of an ankle sprain may be swelling, tenderness, and bruising in addition to experiencing intense pain. Any athlete that plays a sport that includes jumping and running may be susceptible to sprains and breaks of the ankle. It can occur as a chronic condition, possibly affecting long-distance runners, or from an incident such as falling, common among football players. Another type of injury may be shin splints, often characterized by tenderness and pain in the front of the leg. This occurs when the unconditioned leg endures repeated strain, usually happening at the beginning of a training regimen. Runners may experience sharp pains in the foot, often referred to as plantar fasciitis, as extra stress is put on the numerous bones and joints. When the band of tissue that runs across the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed, symptoms may include severe pain and difficulty in walking. A consultation with a podiatrist is advised for a diagnosis and treatment options.

Sports related foot and ankle injuries require proper treatment before players can go back to their regular routines. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Sports Related Foot and Ankle Injuries

Foot and ankle injuries are a common occurrence when it comes to athletes of any sport. While many athletes dismiss the initial aches and pains, the truth is that ignoring potential foot and ankle injuries can lead to serious problems. As athletes continue to place pressure and strain the area further, a mild injury can turn into something as serious as a rupture and may lead to a permanent disability. There are many factors that contribute to sports related foot and ankle injuries, which include failure to warm up properly, not providing support or wearing bad footwear. Common injuries and conditions athletes face, including:

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Plantar Fasciosis
  • Achilles Tendinitis
  • Achilles Tendon Rupture
  • Ankle Sprains

Sports related injuries are commonly treated using the RICE method. This includes rest, applying ice to the injured area, compression and elevating the ankle. More serious sprains and injuries may require surgery, which could include arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery. Rehabilitation and therapy may also be required in order to get any recovering athlete to become fully functional again. Any unusual aches and pains an athlete sustains must be evaluated by a licensed, reputable medical professional.

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

Read more about Sports Related Foot And Ankle Injuries
Tuesday, 02 January 2018 00:00

Why Do I Have Blisters On My Feet?

Friction is generally the leading cause of blisters occurring on the feet. The majority of them are filled with a clear fluid; however, if an infection occurs, it may appear to have a yellowish hue. Typically, wearing ill-fitting shoes may cause friction on the skin, usually developing during repetitive motions like running and walking at moderate speeds. Some other causes of blisters may originate from severe burns or tissue damage caused by frostbite, while certain medical conditions including eczema can be linked to blisters on the feet. Treatment may include wearing shoes that fit comfortably without having the toes rub together. You can also apply a gauze pad for protection. If this option is chosen, infection may be avoided by changing the dressing regularly. Relief will be desired if extreme discomfort is experienced, and the blister may need to be drained. Please consider a consultation with a podiatrist for advice and recommendations for treatments of blisters.

Blisters are prone to making everyday activities extremely uncomfortable. If your feet are hurting, contact one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Foot Blisters

Foot blisters develop as a result of constantly wearing tight or ill-fitting footwear. This happens due to the constant rubbing from the shoe, which can often lead to pain.

What are Foot Blisters?

A foot blister is a small fluid-filled pocket that forms on the upper-most layer of the skin. Blisters are filled with clear fluid and can lead to blood drainage or pus if the area becomes infected.

How do Blisters Form?

Blisters on the feet are often the result of constant friction of skin and material, usually by shoe rubbing. Walking in sandals, boots, or shoes that don’t fit properly for long periods of time can result in a blister. Having consistent foot moisture and humidity can easily lead to blister formation.

Prevention & Treatment

It is important to properly care for the affected area in order to prevent infection and ease the pain. Do not lance the blister and use a Band-Aid to provide pain relief. Also, be sure to keep your feet dry and wear proper fitting shoes. If you see blood or pus in a blister, seek assistance from a podiatrist.

 

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

Read more about Blisters on the Feet
Tuesday, 26 December 2017 00:00

How the Foot is Structured

The relationship between the foot and the lower leg in motion is called foot biomechanics. When the foot is structured correctly, routine activities such as walking and running should typically occur without pain. The foot and ankle combine flexibility with support, providing functions that include shock absorption of one's body weight. Additionally, this part of the body acts as a lever during the push-off period before taking a step. There are 26 bones located in the foot and ankle; these bones are maintained by ligaments and tendons, helping the arches “give” when weight is placed on the foot. Functions of the arches include supporting the weight of the body while standing. The structure of the foot is anatomically linked, resulting in even distribution throughout the foot during weight-bearing activities.

If you have any concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical 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 Shillington and Hamburg, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Biomechanics in Podiatry
Monday, 18 December 2017 00:00

Why Do I Have Heel Pain?

There are many different possible causes of heel pain. Heel pain may occur when constant weight is placed upon the heel. Pain is typically caused by repetitive stress, resulting in soreness and extreme discomfort. Other causes of heel pain may include wearing shoes with heels that are too low or from a worn pad in the heel area of the shoe. One common diagnosis for heel pain is plantar fasciitis, a condition which can be caused by overpronation. The plantar fascia is a band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot. When a patient overpronates, this tissue can stretch and can become inflamed, resulting in intense pain in the arch and heel of the foot. The pain may subside as the day progresses and can feel the most intense first thing in the morning. Treatment may include cushioning and elevating the heel to alleviate pressure on the foot. If the pain is the result of overpronation, a shoe with good arch support and a firm heel may prevent the inflammation. Please consult a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis if the pain persists.

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical 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 Shillington and Hamburg, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Heel Pain
Tuesday, 12 December 2017 00:00

How do Stress Fractures Happen?

Stress fractures develop when a bone that’s constantly under stress eventually weakens. It typically occurs on the outside of the bone and happens due to repetitive motion. Many professional athletes and runners develop this condition, as overuse of the bones in the foot is common. The way the foot is structured may be another cause, as having flat feet or higher arches may be a contributing factor in developing stress fractures. When overdoing a specific activity, the risk is high for developing these fractures. There may not be physical signs and symptoms from the fracture, but when the activity resumes, pain is often felt. An x-ray is used to determine exactly where the fracture is. Recovery comes from resting the foot and being careful not to put stress on the bones. Occasionally a medical boot is worn to keep the fracture from worsening, in addition to engaging in physical therapy. Please seek the advice of a podiatrist if you feel you have a stress fracture in the foot or ankle.

Activities where too much pressure is put on the feet can cause stress fractures. To learn more, contact one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep your pain free and on your feet.

Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

Stress fractures occur in the foot and ankle when muscles in these areas weaken from too much or too little use.  The feet and ankles then lose support when walking or running from the impact of the ground. Since there is no protection, the bones receive the full impact of each step. Stress on the feet can cause cracks to form in the bones, thus creating stress fractures.

What are Stress Fractures?

Stress fractures occur frequently in individuals whose daily activities cause great impact on the feet and ankles. Stress factors are most common among:

  • Runners                                  
  • People affected with Osteoporosis
  • Tennis or basketball players
  • Gymnasts
  • High impact workouts

Symptoms

Pain from the fractures occur in the area of the fractures and can be constant or intermittent. It will often cause sharp or dull pain with swelling and tenderness. Engaging in any kind of activity which involves high impact will aggravate pain.

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

Read more about Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
Tuesday, 05 December 2017 00:00

Treatment for Plantar Warts

When the human papillomavirus enters through cuts in skin on the bottom of the foot, it can cause plantar warts. The wart may cause the skin to become thick and deformed, resulting in pain; this may make it difficult to walk. The virus is commonly acquired in warm and moist places, including shower floors and indoor pools. Eating healthy foods can help boost the immune system, which may fight off the virus. While generally not a major health concern, since many warts disappear on their own, it may be desirable to have them removed. Laser surgery, injections, or freezing with liquid nitrogen may be common treatment methods. Please consult a podiatrist to explore these options.

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical 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

  • Legions 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 Shillington and Hamburg, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about All About Plantar Warts
Monday, 27 November 2017 00:00

Green Bay DT Suffers High Ankle Sprain

Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Kenny Clark suffered a high ankle sprain during the fourth quarter of the Packers and Baltimore Ravens game. Initially believed to be a broken ankle, the team’s physician reported that it was just a sprain. Several Green Bay Packers players were upset and believed that Ravens center Ryan Jensen, the one who injured Clark, had injured him in a potentially malicious and unnecessary way. Clark said that he will be fine and that Jensen reached out to him. It is unknown how long Clark will be out for.

Sports related foot and ankle injuries require proper treatment before players can go back to their regular routines. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Sports Related Foot and Ankle Injuries

Foot and ankle injuries are a common occurrence when it comes to athletes of any sport. While many athletes dismiss the initial aches and pains, the truth is that ignoring potential foot and ankle injuries can lead to serious problems. As athletes continue to place pressure and strain the area further, a mild injury can turn into something as serious as a rupture and may lead to a permanent disability. There are many factors that contribute to sports related foot and ankle injuries, which include failure to warm up properly, not providing support or wearing bad footwear. Common injuries and conditions athletes face, including:

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Plantar Fasciosis
  • Achilles Tendinitis
  • Achilles Tendon Rupture
  • Ankle Sprains

Sports related injuries are commonly treated using the RICE method. This includes rest, applying ice to the injured area, compression and elevating the ankle. More serious sprains and injuries may require surgery, which could include arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery. Rehabilitation and therapy may also be required in order to get any recovering athlete to become fully functional again. Any unusual aches and pains an athlete sustains must be evaluated by a licensed, reputable medical professional.

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

Read more about Sports Related Foot And Ankle Injuries
Monday, 20 November 2017 00:00

High Heels are Bad for Your Feet

While high heels are considered to be fashionable to many, they are known to be bad for your feet. The higher the heel, the greater the pressure on the balls of your feet. High heels also tend to not provide enough room for the toes and the forefoot. This can lead to conditions like hammertoe, Morton’s neuroma, calluses and corns, and can exacerbate bunions. They can even cause health problems for the back and legs. If you still want to wear high heels, try to wear shorter ones and only wear them for a short period of time. If possible, bring another pair of shoes that are shorter in heel height and provide support for your feet. Flats and sandals generally do not provide support for your feet, so it is also recommended to wear those for as little as possible as well.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which parts of my body will be affected by high heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What kinds of foot problems can develop from wearing high heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How can I still wear high heels and maintain foot health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

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

Read more about Effect of High Heels on the Feet
Monday, 13 November 2017 00:00

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is a disorder and form of arthritis in which the body’s immune system attacks the lining of the joints. This can cause pain and inflammation and over time can damage the joints and bone. Rheumatoid arthritis can occur in any joint in the body but often occurs in the hands, wrists, and feet. Symptoms include pain, stiffness, and inflammation. Other symptoms can include fatigue, numbness, fever, sweating, and weight loss. These symptoms can often come and go and can last for days or weeks. There is currently no cure for rheumatoid arthritis; however seeing a doctor, such as a podiatrist, if you are experiencing pain in your feet can help provide a diagnosis and treatment. Treatment options may include therapy, medication, and, in some cases, surgery.

Because RA affects more than just your joints, including the joints in your feet and ankles, it is important to seek early diagnosis from your podiatrist  if you feel like the pain in your feet might be caused by RA. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will assist you with all of your podiatric concerns.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the membranes surrounding the joints. Inflammation of the lining and eventually the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone occur, causing severe pain and immobility.

Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Feet

Although RA usually attacks multiple bones and joints throughout the entire body, almost 90 percent of cases result in pain in the foot or ankle area.

Symptoms

  • Swelling and pain in the feet
  • Stiffness in the feet
  • Pain on the ball or sole of feet
  • Joint shift and deformation

Diagnosis

Quick diagnosis of RA in the feet is important so that the podiatrist can treat the area effectively. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, occupation, and lifestyle to determine the origin of the condition. Rheumatoid Factor tests help to determine if someone is affected by the disease.

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

Read more about Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Feet
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