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runningNow 10 months old, Sylas Stutz was born with a shorter fibular bone in his right leg and without two toes. When Sylas was diagnosed with fibular hemimelia, doctors originally suggested amputation. Sylas’s mother Krysta Gillen did not see that as an option. After consulting with doctors from the Rubin Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, it was determined that Sylas would only need some of his leg lengthened; surgery would mostly involve construction on his ankle and foot to achieve proper foot support. After Sylas’s birthday in December, Krysta intends to take him to Baltimore to receive a detailed medical plan of his treatments.

Proper foot support is of utmost importance in foot health. To learn more, consult with one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctor will provide you with the foot and ankle information you seek.

The Importance of Proper Foot Support

Walking is an everyday function for both men and women, and in order to keep your body’s balance in order, you are going to need shoes that provide the proper kinds of support.

Poor foot support can cause pain and discomfort in the lower back, hips, knees, neck and shoulder. It also can lead to emotional stress, and physiological changes in the body. In order to avoid these problems, you must have proper foot support.

The arch is the most important part of the foot, which is where most of the support and balance of your feet lies. The arch of your foot varies in height, and as you age, this height can change. Proper foot support will help musculoskeletal issues, which causes inactivity or disability.

When looking for shoes that give proper support to your feet, you should refrain from wearing ill-fitting shoes. If footwear is too tight, this can affect the body’s posture, stress, bone deformities, and other foot and back pain. Therefore, it is important that shoes fit well in order to avoid these complications.

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

Read more about Proper Foot Support

corns2Hammertoe is a common foot condition that can develop over time, often occurring due to the extended wear of high-heeled shoes or shoes that are too small or narrow at the front of the foot. For comfort, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends that shoes be a half-inch longer than the longest toe. Placing cushioned stick-on pads over hammertoes may help prevent sores, corns, or calluses from forming. Orthotic straps and splints can also help keep a hammertoe in place and help reduce discomfort.

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
  • 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

Treatment

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

Read More about Hammertoes

toenail-fungus7According to a study published in PLOS ONE, diabetic patients living in rural areas have a higher chance of a more problematic experience with diabetic foot ulcers. This includes an increase in hospital admittance and risk of major amputation. Research shows that those in rural areas with diabetic foot complications make up 1.9% of 55 million diabetic emergency visits and areas with lower incomes also had a higher risk of amputation.

Diabetic foot care is important in preventing foot complications such as ulcers or amputation. If you are suffering from diabetes or have any other concerns about your feet contact one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctor will diagnose and treat your foot and ankle needs.

Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes affects millions of people every year. Diabetes can damage blood vessels in many parts of the body, including the feet. Because of this, taking care of your feet is essential if you have diabetes, and having a podiatrist help monitor your foot health is highly recommended.

The Importance of Caring for Your Feet

  • Routinely inspect your feet for bruises or sores.
  • Wear socks that fit your feet comfortably.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that provide adequate support.

Patients with diabetes should have their doctor monitor their blood levels because blood sugar levels play such a huge role in diabetic care. Monitoring these levels on a regular basis is highly advised.

It is always best to inform your healthcare professional of any concerns you may have regarding your feet, especially for diabetic patients. Early treatment and routine foot examinations are keys to maintaining proper health, especially because severe complications can arise if proper treatment is not applied.

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

Read more about diabetic foot care

plantar-fasciitis6Potential GOP candidate for President of the United States and business mogul Donald Trump is known for making out of the ordinary statements including a few statements about his medical deferment from serving in the military. Donald Trump, often criticized for not having served in the military, has stated, “My [draft number] was so incredible and it was a very high draft number. Anyway I never had to do that, but I felt that I was in the military in the true sense because I dealt with those people.” Trump also cited his lack of military experience due to heel spurs on both of his feet.

Heel spurs can be incredibly painful, and sometimes might make you unable to participate in physical activities. To get medical care for your heel spurs, call one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will do everything possible to treat your condition.

Heels Spurs

Heel spurs are formed by calcium deposits on the back of the foot where the heel is. This can also be a cause from small fragments of bone breaking off one section of the foot, attaching it to the back of the foot. Heel spurs can also be bone growth on the back of the foot. Bone may grow in the direction of the arch of the foot.

Older individuals usually suffer from heel spurs. Pain sometimes intensifies with age. Heel spurs are known to cause a substantial amount of pain. One of the main associations spurs are related to is plantar fasciitis.

Pain

The pain associated with spurs is often times because of weight placed on the feet. When someone is walking their entire weight is concentrated on the feet. Bone spurs then have the tendency to poke and affect other boners and tissues around the foot. As the pain continues the feet will become tender and sensitive over time.

Treatments

There are many ways to treat heel spurs. If one is suffering from heel spurs in conjunction with pain there are several methods for healing. Medicines, surgery, and herbal care are some options.

For more information about Heel Spurs, follow the link below.

If you have any questions feel free to contact our offices in Shillington and Hamburg, PA. We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

Read more about Heel Spurs

toenail-fungus7While toenail fungus is estimated to have an effect on nearly 35 million people worldwide, laser treatment for the condition has become increasingly popular. The treatment works by sending wavelengths of light through the nail bed to eliminate fungal spores. Since this occurs by delivering heat into the nail, patients often find warming or pinprick sensations in the area. According to Dr. Alap Shah, “The reason more people are going to it is because it’s preventing people from having to take some of these medications that can be toxic to the liver.”

While toenail fungus is troublesome to eradicate, it is not impossible. For more information about treatment, consult with one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will attend to all of your podiatric needs.

Toenail Fungus Treatment

Toenail fungus is a problem which affects many people and is hard to get rid of. Fortunately, there are several methods to go about treating toenail fungus.

Antibiotics & Treatments

Lamisil – is the most commonly effective treatment for toenail fungus. It is available as an antibiotic Terbinafine tablet and cream. Terbinafine is a chemical component which kills fungal growth on the body. Applying regular doses will gradually kill the fungal growth. It is important to keep the area clean and air free.

Talcum powder – applying powder on the feet and shoes helps keep the feet free of moisture and sweat.

Sandals or open toed shoes – wearing these will allow air movement and help keep feet dry. They also expose your feet to light, which fungus cannot tolerate. Socks with moisture wicking material also help as well

Alternative Treatments

There are always surgical procedures that are available for toenail fungus. Some people would like immediate quick removal of toenail fungus. Surgeons will be able to cut through and remove the growth using laser surgery. It is important not to try and remove it yourself. Once removed, your old shoes will need to be replaced to avoid reinfection.  

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 Toenail Fungus

toenail-fungus7Louisville, KY is asking their residents to help homeless veterans take better care of their feet as they recognize the vast population of former service members that are currently homeless. On October 7, the city is participating in the Retired & Senior Volunteer Program, a federally funded event that offers foot washing for homeless veterans. While the city estimated nearly 260 homeless veterans last year, they understand that many of which are suffering from diabetes and other foot ailments may not have the proper care, resources, or understanding to care for their feet. The event will have volunteers use a clean washcloth and towel in addition to providing new socks for the volunteers.

Every day foot care is very important, especially for those that are lacking the proper foot care resources. For more information about everyday foot care, consult with one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctorswill provide you with the foot- and ankle information you seek.

Every Day 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. After all, 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 example.

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.

Also, 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 our offices located in Shillington and Hamburg, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle injuries.

Read more about Everyday Foot Care

feet3With New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week coming to an end, designers will be seen attending and presenting their shows with their hair pulled back and heels left in their closet for a more comfortable foot wear. One Designer, Anya Hindmarch attempted to comfortable revive her guests with bright and familiar objects, logos, but her models were also kept in sneakers and more comfortable shoes. Models walking down the runway in what resembled gymnastics leotards gave way to a more comfortable outlook of the week, one without blisters and calluses and other issues caused by the effects of high heels.

High heels have a history for causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet contact one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because they are associated with femininity. Despite their appeal, they can cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

What parts 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. Also, 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; you can buy either full inserts or metatarsal pads.

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 the effects of high heels.

ingrown-toenail3Spring and summer weather is a sure indication of sandals, bare feet, and painted toes. Some women, however, have to contend with foot conditions such as ingrown toenails that developed over the winter months. Experts provide women with4 tips for ingrown toenail prevention and treatment. Be careful while cutting toenails and be careful to not cut the cuticles. Wear shoes that do not squish toes or force the big toe inward. Clip toenails straight across. Finally, soak the feet in a solution of ½ cup iodine and 1 gallon of warm water for 15 to 20 minutes a day.

Ingrown toenails are very painful and could lead to other complications. If you have any concerns about your ingrown toenails contact one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition

Prevention

Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.

Treatment

Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right 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 ingrown toenails.

corns2Women’s golfer, Katrina Bradford, suffered a broken toe yet still participated in the team golf event with teammates Fiona Cummins and Helen Stewart. Despite the broken toe, Bradford's team still won by the smallest margin. With the Walker Cup and Solheim Cup coming, this win was exactly what the team was waiting for. Although Bradford did not let her broken toe hold the team back, Fiona was the real star of the event, making moves that made the competition very easy for her team members.

A broken toe can be very painful and lead to complications if not properly fixed. 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 to Know About a Broken Toe

Although most people try to avoid foot trauma such as banging, stubbing, or dropping heavy objects on their feet, the unfortunate fact is that it is a common occurrence. Given the fact that toes are positioned in front of the feet, they typically sustain the brunt of such trauma. When trauma occurs to a toe, the result can be a painful break (fracture).

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • throbbing pain
  • swelling
  • bruising on the skin and toenail
  • the inability to move the toe
  • toe appears crooked or disfigured
  • tingling or numbness in the toe

Generally, it is best to stay off of the injured toe with the affected foot elevated.

Severe toe fractures may be treated with a splint, cast, and in some cases, minor surgery. Due to its position and the pressure it endures with daily activity, future complications can occur if the big toe is not properly treated.

If you have any concerns 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 a broken toe.

foot-care6In a China of the past, women with bound feet were stereotypical and quite common. The practice was popular due to the belief that small feet were a sign of beauty and attraction. The practice was eventually outlawed in the country following strong opposition from 19th-century Christian missionaries. Despite its outlaw, elderly women with bound feet can still be found, particularly in China’s rural areas. Relatives of women with bound feet can recall the practice’s negative effects; bound feet caused poor circulation, which often brought along severely unpleasant headaches.

Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our podiatrists will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Plaque buildup or atherosclerosis results from excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. It usually restricts the amount of blood which can flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.

Causes

Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development.

It can also cause:

-muscle pain        -numbness in legs

-cramps              -skin discoloration

-weakness          -slower nail & hair growth

-stiffness            -erectile dysfunction

Those who have diabetes and or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, or who are over 50.

If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD, and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions.

As always see a doctor as they will help try and fit a regime that suits you. A doctor will also prescribe you medication which will help for PAD.  

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 poor circulation in the feet.

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