Blog
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
Monday, 06 November 2017 00:00

Preventing Blisters on the Feet When Hiking

Blisters are no fun, especially when you’re hiking and they develop on the feet. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to help prevent them in the first place. Make sure your shoes properly fit and provide cushioning, support, and toe space. If you know of areas where you are likely to get blisters, such as on the back of the heel, cover these spots with medical tape or bandages. Doubling up on socks, or wearing liner socks under your regular socks, can help prevent friction, which is the cause of blisters. Furthermore, changing your socks daily is necessary to help prevent moisture buildup and keep them dry; this is especially true if your feet get wet. When you are finished hiking for the day, take your shoes and socks off to let your feet air out.

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, 31 October 2017 00:00

What to Look for in Walking Shoes

When it comes to looking for a pair of walking shoes, there are many different options out there, and it could be easy to feel overwhelmed. Here are a couple of shoe features that you should be on the lookout for. A toe box that provides enough wiggle room for your toes is important. The shoes shouldn't be too tight or too loose. A good pair of shoes should conform to the shape of your foot. Knowing what type of arches you have can also help, as they will allow you to pick a pair that accommodates your foot type. Finally, walking shoes should be comfortable to wear. If a pair of shoes you want does not provide enough cushion, see if the insoles can be swapped out for more comfortable ones or custom-made orthotics. If you would like to know more about your foot type and which show would be best suited for you, a podiatrist can analyze your foot and provide you with personalized recommendations. 
 

Finding a properly-fitting shoe is important in reducing injuries and preventing foot problems. For more information about treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors  will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Proper Shoe Fitting

A common concern when it comes to foot health, having properly fitted shoes can help prevent injuries to the foot. Out feet affect our posture and gait, which in turn affects the biomechanics and overall bodily structure. With 33 joints, 26 bones, and over 100 ligaments, the potential for serious injury is much greater than one realizes. Although the feet cease growth in adulthood, they still change shape as they mature. Here are some factors to consider when it comes to investing in proper fitting shoes:

  • Be sure the shoes fit correctly right away
  • Ensure the ball of your foot fits comfortably in the widest portion of the shoes
  • Even though they may look fashionable, improper fitting shoes can either create adverse conditions or exacerbate existing ones you may already have
  • Walk along a carpeted surface to ensure the shoes comfortably fit during normal activity

Keeping in mind how shoes fit the biomechanics of your body, properly-fitting shoes are vitally important. Fortunately, it is not difficult to acquire footwear that fits correctly. Be sure to wear shoes that support the overall structure of your body. Do your feet a favor and invest in several pairs of well-fitted shoes today.

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 Proper Shoe Fitting
Monday, 23 October 2017 00:00

Bunions and Surgery

Bunions, if left untreated, can start to throb and become very painful. Does this mean that you should have surgery to treat your bunions before they start hurting? Not necessarily; there are plenty of nonsurgical options available to treat bunions and the associated pain. It is best to see a podiatrist first, however, as they can discuss the options available to you. Common conservative options include trying new pairs of shoes that offer more room and keep pressure off the bunion. Bunions pads are another readily available option that also help ease pressure on the bunion. Anti-inflammatory medication can provide temporary relief from pain and inflammation, and cortisone shots can help with that too. If conservative measures such as these do not ease pain, then surgery may be recommended by a podiatrist.

If you are suffering from bunions, 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.

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 cause bunions to form

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

Read more about Bunions
Monday, 16 October 2017 00:00

What to Look for When Getting a Pedicure

Pedicures can be fun and relaxing when proper caution is taken. While it may not seem obvious at first, a nail salon can be covered with fungi and bacteria that could infect your feet and toenails. Consider the following tips to help prevent infections. Before going, check online to see what others have said about the salon. Once at the salon, look to see if it is clean,giving extra attention to the nail tools; these should be cleaned and disinfected after each customer. It's not a bad idea to avoid shaving before you go, as shaving can cause tiny cuts on the skin through which bacteria can enter. If you are having your nails painted or the polish removed, inquire if there are any harsh chemicals, like acetone, in the paint or polish remover. Harsh chemicals can damage nails and make infections more likely. Ultimately, having a pedicure can be very safe; just be aware of  your surroundings and what is going on.

Everyday foot care is very important to prevent infection and other foot ailments. If you need your feet checked, 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.

Everyday Foot Care

Often, people take care of their bodies, face and hair more so than they do for their feet. But the feet are a very important aspect of our bodies, and one that we should pay more attention to. Without our feet, we would not be able to perform most daily tasks.

It is best to check your feet regularly to make sure there are no new bruises or cuts that you may not have noticed before. For dry feet, moisturizer can easily be a remedy and can be applied as often as necessary to the affected areas. Wearing shoes that fit well can also help you maintain good foot health, as well as making it easier to walk and do daily activities without the stress or pain of ill-fitting shoes, high heels, or even flip flops. Wearing clean socks with closed shoes is important to ensure that sweat and bacteria do not accumulate within the shoe. Clean socks help to prevent Athlete’s foot, fungi problems, bad odors, and can absorb sweat.

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 Every Day Foot Care
Monday, 09 October 2017 00:00

The Elderly and Foot Health

Taking good care of your feet becomes more important as you get older. Age tends to exacerbate foot issues, with many people over the age of 65 reportedly suffering from foot pain. Another common issue among the elderly is diabetes. Diabetes causes neuropathy, or nerve loss, in the lower body, especially in the feet. Diabetics suffer from poor blood circulation in the legs and feet as well. This means that if a diabetic sustains a wound, they may not realize it due to loss of sensation, and the wound may not heal properly. In severe cases, amputation may be necessary if the infection significantly worsens. Because of this, elderly diabetics need to take extra care of their feet, though most elderly people will also benefit from practicing good foot health. Good foot health strategies include daily foot inspections for any abnormalities, washing and drying the feet, keeping one's diabetes in check, and wearing quality socks and footwear that will protect the feet and provide ample foot support. Finally, performing a check-up with a podiatrist yearly is also recommended.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and 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.

The Elderly and their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet, and can hide many life threating medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

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 Elderly and their Feet
Page 1 of 14