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fungal-toenail2Olympic Skier Lindsey Vonn broke her ankle while training in New Zealand. Since then, Vonn has since traveled back to the United States to further evaluate the injury. The gold medalist was quick to turn to social media to display her injury, “Unfortunately I crashed today and have a small fracture in my ankle,. Headed home now but will keep u posted,” she stated adding, “See ya later New Zealand!” Last season Vonn suffered an injury that forced her to miss the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. So far it is still early enough that she can recover by the 2018 Olympics in South Korea.

Broken ankles need immediate treatment. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles contact one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

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 our offices located in Shillington and Hamburg, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about broken ankles.

flat-feet10According to a study published in the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics, young boys who practice judo were found to have higher arches and better balance compared to boys who were not as active. Flat feet rates in young boys have been higher recently due to a lack of proper diet and exercise altering foot position and gait. Since Judo is practiced barefoot and on flat surfaces, it causes stimulation in the proper receptors on the bottom of the feet.

Typically flat feet in children will develop around age six. If you suspect that your child has the condition, speak to one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will answer any of your foot and ankle related questions and attend to all of your podiatric needs.

What are Flat Feet?

Flat feet are a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. Standing about 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arch never formed during growth.

Conditions & Problems:

Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.

Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.

Knees – if you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.  

Symptoms:

Pain around the heel or arch area

Trouble standing on the tip toe.

Swelling around the inside of the ankle.

Flat look to one or both feet.

Having your shoes feel uneven when worn

Treatment:

If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle.

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

Read more about Flat Feet

runningWhen it comes to buying a new pair of running shoes, having a gait analysis is one of the best ways to find the right shoe for your foot needs. A gait analysis measures the impact running has on the body when your feet hit the ground. This is typically measured by having a professional study the movement of your feet while running. This includes positioning the angle of which your foot hits the ground. A gait analysis can be performed each time you change your running shoes, which should every 300 to 400 miles.

The right running shoe is essentially different for every person. If you have any concerns feel free to contact one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Choosing the Right Running Shoes for Your Foot Type

Running is a physical activity although fun, can put a lot of stress on the joints, bones and ligaments of the body. Injury and stress on the foot can be an important factor on which kind of shoe you’re wearing. Running shoes should be worn based on your foot type. It is important to find out what fits you based on cushioning, stability and motion.

Determining your type

Speak with a shoe specialist or retail professional to see what your foot type is. They will be able to identify and measure your arch type, stride and gait.

Running Mechanics

When you are running or walking in your shoes, every step determines how your foot is landing. Pronation is the natural rolling of your ankle from outside to inside during foot strike.

Pronation is a correct form of walking or running. It helps absorb shock and store energy from your lower extremities. Neutral runners who pronate correctly do not need specific shoes, since they have stability and control.

Over-pronators

Those who run with excessive ankle rolling. Over-pronators tend to have ankles that angle inward, flat feet, and or bowed legs. This can cause a series of injuries: of the knees, ankles and Achilles tendons.

Under-pronation

Under-pronation is less common than over-pronation. This usually happens to those who have inflexible feet and high arches. Even though there is less rotational stress on the ankles and knees, it prevents any kind of shock absorptions. Under-pronation needs shoes with increase in cushion and flexibility.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Shillington and Hamburg, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about choosing the right running shoe

fungal-toenail2Academy award nominated Hollywood Actor, Jake Gyllenhaal, is known for taking on intense roles where he needs to be extremely fit. Recently Gyllenhaal, the self-proclaimed exercise addict has taken up barefoot running and states that activity has done wonders to reduce the usual muscles soreness he feels after runs with shoes. Although the Southpaw actor particularly enjoys barefoot running, he states, “I’ve had to teach myself how to slow down a bit, because I get so into it, it becomes a real addiction.”

Barefoot running has its own share of benefits and disadvantages. To learn more about this trend, consider speaking to one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will explain the facts of barefoot running and help you decide if it’s a practice you’d like to take up.

Barefoot Running

The Impact of Barefoot Running
-Running without shoes changes the motion of your running, as most running is done by landing on the heel of the feet.
-Running barefoot requires a different way of running; the landing is done on the front part of the feet.

The Advantages of Barefoot Running
-When running and landing on the front feet, the impact on the feet and ankle is reduced, this can reduce stress injuries.
-It strengthens muscles in the feet and ankles and the lower legs.
-Balance of the body is improved and there is a greater sensory input from the feet to the rest of the body.

The Drawbacks of Barefoot Running
-No protection while running, makes it likely that runners will land on sharp objects and scrapes, bruises and cuts on the feet will result.
-Blisters may form.
-Possibility of plantar fascia problems.
-Risk of getting Achilles tendonitis.

So what can runners do to make barefoot running safe? It’s best to make a slow transition from running shoes to barefoot running. Once the feet begin to adjust, try walking, then jogging and gradually increasing the distance. Minimalist running shoes may also be an option.

If you have any questions, please contact 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 Barefoot Running

broken-foot4Matt Prior was forced to end his cricket career early due to a persistent Achilles tendon injury. Although Prior had operated on the injury, he had trouble rehabilitating the tendon and the intensity levels of training would just set him back. The injury had made playing as the Sussex wicketkeeper extremely difficult and painful. Prior is retiring at a very early age thirty-three, but has been thankful to be a part of one of the highest levels of cricket in England.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns contact one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can cause severe difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What are the symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

- Inflammation

- Dull to Severe Pain

- Increased blood flow to the tendon

- Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

- Extreme pain and swelling in the foot

- Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

- Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise

- Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Hamburg and Shillington, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Achilles tendon injuries.

 

toenail-fungus7In the season finale of HBO television series Game of Thrones, Doran Martell is in a wheelchair for what author George R.R. Martin states is a severe case of gout. While having gout present day will most likely not require a wheelchair, nearly four percent of Americans have gout and nearly 20 percent of gout sufferers have high uric acid in the blood. Having a diet full of beer, excessive high fructose corn syrup, organ meats and completely lacking in water, dairy, or vitamin C can be a huge factor in gout. Although Doran Martell is wheelchair ridden, gout is most likely to occur in the big toe or ankle, where body temperature is the coolest.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you have any concerns regarding gout, consult with one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

What is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.

People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.

Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact 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 Gout

childrens-feet15Hydrofeet uses liquid glycerin and thermoplastic polyurethane to create insoles that ease the pain of plantar warts in children. Children suffering from plantar warts experience discomfort when participating in sports since the warts typically occur on the soles of the feet making standing, walking, or running uncomfortable. The insole adjusts to support the arch of each foot and massages the foot with each step to reduce pain. Although most plantar warts will eventually go away on their own, if your child is experiencing tremendous pain it is always best to see a doctor for treatment.

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you have any concerns with plantar warts on your feet contact one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will treat 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
  • Freezing
  • Electric tool removal
  • Laser Treatment
  • Topical Creams (prescription only)
  • Over-the-counter medications

Treatment

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, will 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 our offices located in Shillington and Hamburg, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about plantar warts.

corns2Jo Wood, ex-wife of Rolling Stone’s Ronnie Wood, has suffered from hammertoes, a condition that for her was hereditary and deformed her second toe. The pain eventually had gotten so bad that wood decided to get surgery where the surgeon had to remove a portion of the bone to realign the toe. Although there are non-surgical treatments, surgery becomes a last resort of the pain does not go away. Eighteen months after her surgery, Wood was back into her regular routine.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. If you are suffering from hammertoes, contact one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Hammertoe

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 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 Hammertoes

hammertoe4According to a study conducted through Public Health England and community interest group of the UK, office employees should stand on their feet for two hours of their work day to maintain optimal health. The researchers recommend two hours of walking or light activity during work hours, regularly breaking up seated work with standing work, alterations of posture while standing so soreness does not occur during the change in office behaviors, and encouraging other healthy activities.

While working on the feet, it is important to take the proper care of them. For more information about working on your feet contact one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Working on Your Feet

Standing on your feet for long periods of time can cause stress and pain in your feet. Your whole body may experience change in terms of posture, back pain, bunions, callouses and or plantar warts. There are ways to avoid these conditions with proper foot care, smart choices and correct posture.

Positive Changes

Negative heeled shoe – choosing this shoe places the heel slightly lower than the ball of the foot. These are great for overall foot health. Find shoes that fit you correctly.

Go barefoot – our feet were not designed to be enclosed for hours, or all day. Try allowing yourself to expose your feet to air.

Eliminate Pain

Foot Exercises – performing simple exercises, incorporating yoga and stretches is beneficial. This will allow increased blood flow to the area and muscles of the foot.

Achilles tendon – stretching the foot out flat on the floor, will relax the calf muscles and tendon. These exercises can be performed almost anywhere. Make sure you add these exercises to your daily regimen.

With a little bit of this information and knowing more about foot health, you will notice changes. Foot stretches and proper footwear will help with pain and prevent further issues.

Keep your feet healthy and your body will thank you for it.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact 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 working on your feet.

fungal-toenail2Athlete’s foot has been known to rise more so in the warmer months. Luckily, the condition can be a quick fix most of the time. Athlete’s foot or any other kind of foot fungus can appear as red, scaly, or very dry, typically healed with antifungal cream. The condition is very contagious, making it important to keep your feet protected and to let anyone that may have close contact know you are suffering. If your feet go untreated for more than a week or two, secondary bacterial infections may develop and can potentially invade the nail beds.

Athlete’s foot is an inconvenient condition that can be easily reduced with the proper treatment. If you are concerned about your athlete’s foot contact one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Athlete’s Foot: The Sole Story

Athlete's foot, also known as tinea pedis, can be an extremely contagious foot infection. It is commonly contracted in public changing areas and bathrooms, dormitory style living quarters, around locker rooms and public swimming pools, or anywhere your feet often come into contact with other people.

Solutions to Combat Athlete’s Foot

  • Hydrate your feet by using lotion
  • Exfoliate
  • Buff off nails
  • Use of anti-fungal products
  • Examine your feet and visit your doctor if any suspicious blisters or cuts develop

Athlete’s foot can cause many irritating symptoms such as dry and flaking skin, itching, and redness. Some more severe symptoms can include bleeding and cracked skin, intense itching and burning and even pain when walking. In the worst cases, athlete’s foot can cause blistering as well. Speaking to your podiatrist will give you a better understanding of the different causes of athlete’s foot, as well as helping you figure out which treatment options are best for you.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Shillington and Hamburg, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about athlete’s foot.

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