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Featured Articles - Canonsburg, PA and McMurray, PA Foot Doctor

Stress fractures are small breaks in the bone that are caused by repetitive stress. They typically occur due to overuse, forcing the bones of the foot or ankle to continually absorb the full impact of each step someone takes. Stress fractures can also be caused by abnormal foot structure, osteoporosis, bone deformities, or wearing improper footwear during exercise.

Stress fractures are common for individuals whose daily activities cause high levels of impact on their feet and ankles. Individuals who run, play tennis or basketball, or practice gymnastics tend to experience these fractures more frequently. Anyone is susceptible to this problem, though. Individuals who are normally sedentary and suddenly begin an intense, high impact workout may sustain stress fractures. This is because their muscles are not yet strong enough to handle and cushion the intensity of their activity. Osteoporosis may also cause someone to get stress fractures, because the disease weakens an afflicted person's bones and makes it easier for them to break down.

Pain from stress fractures typically occurs in the general area of the fracture. Pain can also manifest as “pinpoint pain” or pain that is felt when the site of the injury is touched, and can be accompanied by swelling. It may occur during or after activity, and it may disappear while resting and return when standing or moving. Engaging in any kind of activity, high impact or otherwise, will aggravate the pain. If the intensity of the activity increases before the stress fracture has properly healed, it can cause a full fracture.

Treatment can vary depending on the individual and the degree of injury. The primary way to treat a stress fracture is to rest the hurt foot. Some fractures will heal quickly with only a little bit of rest, while others may require a long rest period and the use of crutches, immobilization, or physical therapy. Under certain circumstances, surgery may be required to install support pins around the fracture to assist in healing.

If you are undergoing a new exercise regimen in running or some other kind of high impact activity, set incremental goals on a weekly basis so you can build up muscle strength. Make sure to wear supportive shoes to better protect you feet.

If you begin to experience any symptoms of stress fractures, you should stop exercising and rest. If the symptoms persist, consult with your podiatrist. Remembering these tips can help you prevent stress fractures to your foot and ankle, and allow you to continue living normally.

Published in Featured

foot surgery3Cassi Brunow is working toward getting back to regular workouts after suffering a stress fracture in her left foot. As a result of the injury, she has to put the foot in a boot for a few weeks. The injury occurred when she was running sprint drills in the water with her daughter. She ran the drills barefoot and suspects that may be the reason she sustained the injury. When she finished the workout, she said she couldn’t put any weight on her foot.

Activities where too much pressure is put on the feet can cause stress fractures. To learn more, contact one of our podiatrists of Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

The Stress Fractures occur on the foot and ankle when muscles in these areas weaken from too much or too little use. Then the feet and ankles 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. The stress on the feet causes cracks to form in the bones, thus called 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

-play tennis or basketball

-gymnastics

-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 in high impact will aggravate pain.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office in Canonsburg and McMurray, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle..

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diabetic foot care11September was Fall Prevention Awareness Month. Fall prevention is extremely vital in ensuring the health of elderly family members. Podiatrists can not only assist with fall prevention, but they can help assess the conditions that may lead to fall incidents. Some tips to consider for taking care of your elderly feet include wearing comfortable shoes that are safe, avoiding ill-fitting shoes such as high heels or flip-flops, improving your balance through methods such as custom orthotics, strength training exercises, proper care of your other senses such as hearing and vision, removing hazards in the home, maintaining an active lifestyle, and using a cane or walker to help steady your gait.

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 of Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctor 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 our office located in Canonsburg and McMurray, PA.. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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toenail fungus7As you age, you may experience a complexity of problems with your feet, leading to pain or sudden injury. Podiatrists are doctors who can assist with foot or ankle problems, especially if your problems persist for long periods of time. Prevention is essential for ensuring the long-term health of your feet, and podiatrists can help properly diagnose and treat problems such as flat feet, foot injuries, inflammation of the foot muscles, plantar fasciitis, bunions, ingrown toenails, and more.

Among the group who sought podiatric help, 88% reported a quick diagnosis and 76% received treatment that eliminated the problem. A third of the group said that their visits to the podiatrist exposed other health concerns, such as diabetes, circulatory issues, and nerve issues.

"It's not surprising to see how many people are affected by foot pain, when survey results show that we view our feet as the least important body part in terms of our overall health and wellbeing," said AMPA President Frank Spinosa. "Our feet are literally and figuratively the furthest things from our minds."

If you are experiencing pain in the feet or ankles, don’t join the stubborn majority refusing treatment. Feel free to contact one of our podiatrists of Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is a Podiatrist?

Someone would seek care of a podiatrist when they have suffered a foot injury or have common foot ailments such as: heal spurs, bunions, arch problems, deformities, ingrown toenails, corns, foot and ankle problems etc.

Podiatric Treatment

A podiatrist will treat the problematic areas of the feet, ankle or lower leg by prescribing the following:

  • physical therapy
  • drugs
  • perform surgery on lower extremity fractures
  • orthotic inserts or soles

A common podiatric procedure a podiatrist will use is a scanner or force plate which will allow the podiatrist to know the designs of orthotics. Patients are then told to follow a series of tasks to complete the treatment. The computer will scan the foot a see which areas show weight distribution and pressure points. The podiatrist will read the analysis and then determine which treatment plans are available.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Canonsburg and McMurray, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about What is a Podiatrist.

Published in Blog
Monday, 17 October 2016

What is a Podiatrist

The branch of medicine that is focused on the treatment, diagnosis, and study of disorders of the lower leg, ankle and foot is referred to as podiatry. Because people often spend a great deal of their time on their feet, many problems in this area can occur. A person seeks help from the field of podiatry when they need treatment for heel spurs, bunions, arch problems, deformities, ingrown toenails, corns, foot and ankle problems, infections, and problems with the foot that are related to diabetes and additional diseases.

To treat problems of the foot, ankle or lower leg, a podiatrist may prescribe physical therapy, drugs, perform surgery, or set fractures. Individuals may also be recommended to wear corrective shoe inserts, custom-made shoes, plaster casts and strappings in order to correct deformities.

When trying to gather information on a patient problem, a scanner or force plate may be used in order to design orthotics. During this procedure, patients are told to walk across a plate that is connected to a computer; the computer then takes a scan of the foot and indicates weight distribution and pressure points. The computer readouts will give the podiatrist information to help them determine the correct treatment plans.

Diagnosis is also provided through laboratory tests and x-rays. Through the foot, the first signs of serious problems such as heart disease, diabetes and arthritis can show up. For example, individuals that have diabetes may frequently have problems such as infections and foot ulcers because they experience poor circulation in the foot area. A podiatrist can then have consultations with patients when symptoms arise. Referrals will then be made to specialists that handle the greater health problems.

Some podiatrists have their own independent, private practices or clinics where they have a small staff and administrative personnel. Many podiatrists work within group practices. They usually spend time performing surgery in ambulatory surgical centers or hospitals, or visit patients in nursing homes. Podiatrists typically spend between 30 to 60 hours of week working. Some podiatrists specialize in public health, orthopedics, surgery, or primary care. Other fields include specialties in geriatrics, dermatology, pediatrics, diabetic foot care and sports medicine.

Some podiatrist specialists complete extra training in the area of foot and ankle reconstruction that results from the effects of physical trauma or diabetes. There are also surgeons that perform surgery of a cosmetic nature to correct bunions and hammertoes.

Published in Featured

foot injuryQuarterback Russell Wilson suffered a right ankle sprain during the third quarter of the Seahawks’ Week 1, during the game against the Miami Dolphins. According to Wilson, “he hasn’t had any swelling in the ankle and will be ‘ready to roll.” Wilson has been examined by doctors and his trainers, spotted in a walking boot in early September.

Ankle sprains are common, but need immediate attention. If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists of Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains take place when the ligaments in your ankle are torn or stretched beyond their limits. There are multiple ways that the ankle can become injured, including twisting or rolling over onto your ankle, putting undue stress on it, or causing trauma to the ankle itself.

What are the Symptoms?

  • Mild to moderate bruising
  • Limited mobility
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration of the skin (depending on severity)

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits can aid in prevention

Treatment of a Sprain

Treatment of a sprain depends on the severity. Many times, people are told to rest and remain off their feet completely, while others are given an air cast. If the sprain is very severe, surgery may be required.

If you have suffered an ankle sprain previously, you may want to consider additional support such as a brace and regular exercises to strengthen the ankle.

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

Read more about ankle sprains.

Published in Blog
Monday, 10 October 2016

Ankle Sprains

Although ankle sprains may not be as serious as a broken ankle, they should be given immediate attention and care. An ankle sprain can lead to a significant amount of pain, as well as limited mobility. They are often characterized by the swelling and discoloration of the skin. This occurs when the ligaments are stretched beyond their limits.

The simple act of walking can sometimes cause a sprain, which makes ankle sprains a very common injury that can happen to anyone. They occur when the ankle twists in an awkward way or rolls over itself, causing a pop or snap in the tendons around the ankle. Some people are more at risk than others. These include athletes who continually push their bodies to the limits and also people who have previously suffered accidents to the feet, ankles, or lower legs.

Most of the time, an ankle sprain is not severe enough for hospital attention. There are many at-home treatment options available, including propping the leg up above your head to reduce blood flow and inflammation, applying ice packs to the affected area as needed, taking over the counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medication, using an ACE bandage to wrap and support the injured ankle, and most importantly, remaining off your feet until the ankle has fully healed.

Despite this, an ankle sprain can turn into a severe injury that might require hospitalization. If the ankle ligaments or muscles are damaged from a tear or rip, that is one sign that the sprain is severe enough for hospital attention and possibly for surgery. Even after the surgery, the recovery process can be long. You may need to have rehabilitation sessions administered by your podiatrist to get your ankle back to full health.

The severity of your sprain might become apparent if you are unable to stand or walk, consistent pain is occurring over a prolonged period of time, swelling is much more severe than initially present, or if you start to experience tingling or numbness. These signs may indicate that your ankle sprain might actually be a broken ankle, an injury that requires immediate medical attention.

Although they are not completely avoidable, ankle sprains can be curbed with some preventative treatment measures. These include wearing appropriate fitting shoes that not only provide a comfortable fit, but also ankle support. It is also recommended to stretch before doing any kind of physical activity, as this will help lower your body’s chance for an injury.

Published in Featured
Monday, 03 October 2016

Tres Tinkle Recovers from Surgery

ankle sprain3Tres Tinkle was spotted in late August stretching his leg with a resistance band, a workout meant to help rebuild the calf muscle strength he had lost from the past 4 months from recovery. The Oregon State forward was expected to return to court by mid-September, after one more appointment with foot specialist Donald Jones. Tinkle was wearing a walking boot and participating in physical therapy to rehabilitate and strengthen his leg muscles.

A broken foot requires immediate medical attention and treatment. If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists of Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep your pain free and on your feet.

Broken Foot Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

A broken foot is caused by one of the bones in the foot typically breaking when bended, crushed, or stretched beyond its natural capabilities. Usually the location of the fracture indicates how the break occurred, whether it was through an object, fall, or any other type of injury.

Common Symptoms of Broken Feet:

  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Blue (foot)
  • Numbness
  • Cold
  • Misshapen
  • Cuts
  • Deformities

Those that suspect they have a broken foot shoot seek urgent medical attention where a medical professional could diagnose the severity.

Treatment for broken bones varies depending on the cause, severity and location. Some will require the use of splints, casts or crutches while others could even involve surgery to repair the broken bones. Personal care includes the use of ice and keeping the foot stabilized and elevated.

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

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One out of ten broken bones is reported to be in the feet. When an object crushes, bends, or stretches the bone beyond acceptable ranges, bones break. A break in the foot is either a fracture or a straight break.

The location of any break can tell you how the break happened. Toes, for instance, break typically as a result of something being kicked hard and with great force. Heel breaks almost always are a result of an improper landing from a tall height. Twists or sprains are the other two frequent occurrences. As with all usual breaks, they result from unexpected accident or sudden injury. As with stress fractures, breaks form as a process over time from repeated stress on already present cracks. Runners, dancers, and gymnasts are the usual athletes who receive this type of break. Stress fractures result from incredible pressure on the feet. It is no surprise these athletes bear the majority of reported fractures.

Pain, swelling, bruising, and redness are all indicative of the typical symptoms from a broken foot. Severe pain—to the point of not being able to walk—usually depends on the location of the break in the foot. Toes are on the lower scale of pain threshold, but heels are high, as are a few other particular bones. As the severity of the broken foot increases, symptoms like blueness, numbness, misshaping of the foot, cuts, or deformities will become apparent. These symptoms indicate the need to see a medical professional with access to an x-ray facility.

Prior to seeing a specialist, precautions should be taken to reduce pain and swelling. Elevate and stabilize the foot, and refrain from moving it. Immobilization of the foot is the next priority, so creating a homemade splint is acceptable. Keep in mind that while creating a splint, any increase of pain or cutting off blood circulation means that the splint should be removed immediately. Use ice to decrease swelling and relieve pain symptoms.

When dealing with a medical center, the patient should note that the treatment can vary. The treatment will depend on the severity of the fracture and the cause of the break. Crutches, splits, or casts are common treatments while surgery has been known to be used in more severe cases in order to repair the break in the bones.

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