Blog
Monday, 10 December 2018 00:00

What Are Flat Feet?

The condition that is referred to as flat feet occurs when the arch of the foot is lower than normal. It may also be known as fallen arches and is typically noticeable when the middle of the foot lies flat on the ground. Most babies are born with flat feet, and normal arches will gradually develop as the child ages. There may be specific medical conditions as to why flat feet may occur in adults and these may include having diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, or cerebral palsy. There may be noticeable symptoms that patients may notice, including pain in the heel and other parts of the foot, which may be a result of the feet adapting to this condition. Treatment methods may include wearing custom-made orthotics, wearing supportive shoes, and performing specific exercises that may improve overall flexibility in the feet. If you have flat feet, it is suggested to speak with a podiatrist who can advise on proper treatment options that are correct for you.

Flatfoot is a condition many people suffer from. If you have flat feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What are Flat Feet?

Flatfoot is 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. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arches 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 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 What is Flexible Flat Foot?
Monday, 03 December 2018 00:00

Different Types of Foot Surgery

There are several painful and uncomfortable foot conditions that may improve if foot surgery can be performed. If a severe fracture in the foot is experienced and the bone protrudes from the skin, surgery can be an effective way to position the bone back into its correct position. A surgical procedure referred to as joint fusion may be performed to correct bunions or damage that has occurred, which may be a result of arthritis. Additionally, arthroscopic surgery may be useful in removing tissues that have become inflamed in the early stages of arthritis. If you are afflicted with the condition that is known as hammertoe, surgery may be a necessary step in straightening the toes that are bent. If you have uncomfortable heel pain and other treatment methods have been exhausted, surgery may be successful in eliminating or reducing this type of pain. It is advised to consult with a podiatrist if you have foot conditions and may be considering surgery for relief.

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to treat a foot ailment. To learn more, contact one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

When Is Surgery Necessary?

Foot and ankle surgery is generally reserved for cases in which less invasive, conservative procedures have failed to alleviate the problem. Some of the cases in which surgery may be necessary include:

  • Removing foot deformities like bunions and bone spurs
  • Severe arthritis that has caused bone issues
  • Cosmetic reconstruction

What Types of Surgery Are There?

The type of surgery you receive will depend on the nature of the problem you have. Some of the possible surgeries include:

  • Bunionectomy for painful bunions
  • Surgical fusion for realignment of bones
  • Neuropathy decompression surgery to treat nerve damage

Benefits of Surgery

Although surgery is usually a last resort, it can provide more complete pain relief compared to non-surgical methods and may allow you to finally resume full activity.

Surgical techniques have also become increasingly sophisticated. Techniques like endoscopic surgery allow for smaller incisions and faster recovery times.

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 Foot and Ankle Surgery
Monday, 26 November 2018 00:00

Causes of Blisters on the Feet

One of the main reasons blisters on the feet may develop is from friction that may typically come from wearing shoes and socks that are too tight. They appear as a small area filled with fluid, which is a natural protectant of the skin, and will commonly develop as a result of an injury or infection that has occurred. When a blister develops on the foot, pain and discomfort will generally accompany this ailment and can possibly be treated by placing a cover over it while wearing shoes. There may be several additional reasons why blisters may form on the feet. These may include being exposed to freezing temperatures, which may cause frostbite, or the opposite may be true when the skin endures an extreme sunburn. If you have an allergic reaction to an insect bite or to a specific chemical, unsightly blisters may form to protect the skin as the healing process occurs. If you are experiencing blisters on the feet, it is suggested to speak with a podiatrist for information about treatment options.

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

Many elderly patients may experience difficulty in properly taking care of their feet. This may be a result of the inability to bend down and reach them, in addition to the possibility of not being able to see them. The importance of proper foot care as people age is important to practice daily, which may aid in maintaining balance, keeping the feet strong to support the weight of the body, and to possibly walk with ease. Research has shown that many foot conditions may be a result of improper foot care over the course of time, and these may include the formation of bunions, corns, or fungal infections. Diabetes may be a common ailment among the elder population and may often cause unwanted foot conditions. It’s important to wear shoes and socks that fit correctly, have the toenails properly trimmed, and to observe any sores or cuts that are not healing in a timely fashion. Please consult with a podiatrist for additional information about the importance of properly taking care of elderly feet.

If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists  of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs and provide you with quality treatment.

Geriatrics and Podiatry
When people age, some common issues that may occur are bone density loss, dry skin, poor circulation, and rough brittle nails. These issues may also affect your foot health if the necessary steps are not taken to alleviate the problems.

It is important to take care of your feet because feet that are injured or diseased can affect your overall health. Having painful feet hinders your ability to do daily activities or may decrease your willingness to do the things that you need to do.

Visiting Your Geriatrician
As we age, health problems become more likely, so it is essential to visit your doctor for check-ups to ensure that you are doing the best you can to take care of your health. It is recommended to check your feet frequently for any possible cuts, bruises, swelling, corns or any other irregularities. 

Taking Care of Elderly Feet
Cracked or dry feet can be treated by applying moisturizer often. It is also important not to wear old socks because the older the sock is, the higher the possibility there will be that there is bacteria there. Wear fresh socks and make sure they fit properly.

Proper foot health means that you can have a more active lifestyle and you will not be bogged down by pain. Foot health also leads to good circulation, which is paramount for overall health.

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 tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Geriatrics and Podiatry
Monday, 12 November 2018 00:00

What Does A Plantar Wart Look Like?

Common warts are caused by the human papillomavirus, which is known as HPV. The top layer of the skin becomes thickened and grows outward and will typically appear as a small bump. A plantar wart also originates from the same virus, and the exception is that it grows inward on the heel of the foot. This is typically a result of the pressure the heels endure from consistent walking and standing for the majority of the day. This condition is commonly accompanied by severe pain and discomfort. Therefore, walking may be difficult. It may appear as a hardened area on the heel of the foot, and may have small blood vessels in the center, which appear as tiny black dots. If you feel you have a plantar wart, it’s advised to speak to a podiatrist as quickly as possible, so proper treatment techniques can commence.

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

  • Lesions 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, 05 November 2018 00:00

How to Notice Flat Feet

There are many people who experience flat feet, and a common sign is the absence of an arch at the bottom of the foot. There is an obvious way of recognizing flat feet, and this is generally observed when the foot is placed on the ground and noticing if the arch is present. Research has shown that most babies are born with flat feet and the arch will generally fully develop at approximately 6 years of age. The majority of people who have flat feet may not experience any discomfort, and this may not interfere with daily activities. Treatment may be necessary if certain symptoms are experienced, including difficulty in walking or maintaining balance, or if you feel pain or stiffness in your feet. If you are afflicted with flat feet, it’s advised to speak to a podiatrist who can offer suggestions on correct treatment options, which may include wearing supportive insoles or possible surgery.

Flatfoot is a condition many people suffer from. If you have flat feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What are Flat Feet?

Flatfoot is 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. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arches 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 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 Flatfoot

Research has shown there are several differences between shoes made for walking and shoes to run in. The typical running shoe is generally constructed with added cushioning, which aids in promoting stability. Additionally, the soles may be thicker, which may cause potential trip hazards. There may be more sizes and colors to choose from in running shoes, which may make it easier to locate a comfortable pair. For serious walkers, it’s beneficial to purchase walking shoes that are designed to move the foot through the proper motion of walking. One significant difference in the styles of walking and running include runners landing flat-footed and walkers typically landing on their heels. If you are seriously considering pursuing either activity as a hobby, please consult with a podiatrist who can offer advice on which type of shoe is best for you.

For more information about walking shoes versus running shoes, consult with one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors can measure your feet to determine what your needs are and help you find an appropriate pair of footwear.

Foot Health: The Differences between Walking & Running Shoes

There are great ways to stay in shape: running and walking are two great exercises to a healthy lifestyle. It is important to know that running shoes and walking shoes are not interchangeable. There is a key difference on how the feet hit the ground when someone is running or walking. This is why one should be aware that a shoe is designed differently for each activity.

You may be asking yourself what the real differences are between walking and running shoes and the answers may shock you.

Differences

Walking doesn’t involve as much stress or impact on the feet as running does. However, this doesn’t mean that you should be any less prepared. When you’re walking, you land on your heels and have your foot roll forward. This rolling motion requires additional support to the feet.

Flexibility – Walking shoes are designed to have soft, flexible soles. This allows the walker to push off easily with each step.

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 Differences between Walking and Running Shoes

If you notice a large bony protrusion on the side of your big toe, you may have what is referred to as a bunion. It is considered to be a deformity, and there may be several reasons why this condition may occur. Research has shown that genetics may play a significant role in the formation of bunions. If you happen to have a pre-existing case of bunions, wearing shoes that do not fit correctly could possibly make it even worse. This type of footwear may include shoes that have a narrow toe area, which does not have adequate room for the toes to move about in. This may result in the toes being forced to squeeze into an area that is too small. There is a significant reduction in the development of bunions in non-western countries and this may be a result of wearing shoes that fit correctly. If you feel you have a bunion, it’s suggested to speak with a podiatrist who can begin treatment options that are right for you.

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 worsen existing bunions

How are Bunions Diagnosed?

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

How are Bunions Treated?

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

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

Read more about Bunions
Monday, 15 October 2018 00:00

What are the Causes of an Ingrown Toenail?

A medical condition that is known as onychocryptosis, also referred to as an ingrown toenail, can cause uncomfortable pain and soreness. This is a condition that generally develops when the corner of the toenail cuts into the skin surrounding the nail. There are several causes for this ailment to occur, including wearing shoes that are pointed in the toe area, frequently wearing high heels, or choosing to wear shoes that are too tight. Additionally, if the toenails are trimmed improperly, this may also cause a toenail to become ingrown. It’s important to have this condition treated promptly, and this may possibly avoid a fungal infection from developing. If you have developed this condition, you are most likely aware of the noticeable symptoms. These may include a liquid that drains from the affected area, increased pain and swelling, and a possible fever if the infection is severe. If you have an ingrown toenail, it is strongly suggested that you speak with a podiatrist as quickly as possible to discuss treatment options.

Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. For more information about ingrown toenails, 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.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.

Causes

  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • Improper shoe fitting
  • Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • Abnormal gait
  • Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.

Treatment

Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

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 Ingrown Toenails
Monday, 08 October 2018 00:00

Causes and Symptoms of Gout

The medical condition referred to as gout is often the result of excess uric acid in the blood levels. Crystals will typically form and lodge in the joints of the big toe, and may cause severe pain and discomfort. There are several symptoms associated with this condition, and these may include swelling, redness and tenderness at the base of the big toe. The crystals generally cause inflammation and there may be extreme pain that is associated with this. Gout attacks may be the result of an inherited trait, or may occur from the foods that are ingested. Specifically, these foods may include an overindulgence of red meat, alcohol, or shellfish, and these may affect the uric acid in the blood. If you are suffering from this condition, please consult with a podiatrist as quickly as possible for correct treatment remedies.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

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 Gout
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