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July 2015

broken-foot4 Matt 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 University Foot and Ankle Center, LLC. 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 East Brunswick and Monroe Township, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Achilles tendon injuries.

fungal-toenail2Corey Dickerson of the Colorado Rockies left his most recent game against the Dodgers in three innings due to plantar fasciitis pain. The heel pain has been bothering Dickerson’s left foot since spring training and the pain increased as he chased a ball in the outfield. The left fielder has been a key player for the team, but has been struggling in recent months due to his foot pain and has not participated in at least three of the ten Rockies’ games this season.                                                                                                        

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, visit one of our podiatrists of University Foot and Ankle Center, LLC. Our doctors can treat your heel pain as well as any other foot or ankle condition.

 

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of a the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

 

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

·     Excessive running

·     Non-supportive shoes

·     Overpronation

·     Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

 

How Can It Be Treated?

·     Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices

·     Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis

·     Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

 

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

If you have any questions, please contact our offices in East Brunswick and Monroe Township, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle injuries.

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis

A new treatment option which combines ultrasound waves and steroid injections was found to be effective in patients suffering from plantar fasciitis, according to a groundbreaking study from the University of Genoa in Italy.

The plantar fascia is a connective tissue in the heel that stretches the bottom length of your foot. Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of this connective band, causing heel pain and overall discomfort while walking or standing. Although the condition is completely treatable, traditional methods can take up to a year to start being effective.

These conventional treatments include arch support, night splints, certain exercises, and overall rest and staying off your feet. The previous effective method for curing plantar fasciitis was shockwave therapy, in which sound waves are directed to the area where the pain is being experienced, often the heel. Despite the success of shockwave therapy, it could be considered somewhat slow, requires several sessions before any results are noticed, and is comparably expensive. However, even shockwave therapy does not cure the pain caused by plantar fasciitis in every patient.

The study, conducted by Luca M. Sconfienza, M.D., examined the effects of a new technique that combined ultrasound-guided methods, similar to shockwave therapy, with a steroid injection directly the plantar fascia. Because of the added steroid injection, the method becomes a one-time outpatient procedure involving a small amount of local anesthesia, in which a needle punctures the affected area and causes a small amount of bleeding that aids in the heeling of the fascia. This technique is referred to as dry-needling.

Dr. Sconfienza determined that 42 of the 44 patients involved in the new procedure had their symptoms, including pain, disappear entirely within three weeks. “This therapy is quicker, easier, less painful, and less expensive than shockwave therapy,” Dr. Sconfienza stated. “In cases of mild plantar fasciitis, patients should first try non-invasive solutions before any other treatments. But when pain becomes annoying and affects the activities of daily living, dry-needling with steroid injection is a viable option.”

stretching2Australian surgeons are now practicing minimally invasive surgery for bunions to reduce the amount of pain and recovery time for patients. Michelle Thacker of North South Wales experienced both minimally invasive surgery and traditional bunion surgery for the bunions on her left and right feet. The difference between the two are that minimally invasive surgeries include a bunch of smaller 3mm incisions with the bunion drilled and realigned with screws; traditional surgeries include one large incision. After the second bunion surgery using minimally invasive surgery, Thacker stated, “the recovery time was much quicker - a lot less pain post op, I can barely see a scar and I was able to run after three months.”

Bunion surgery usually occurs after non-surgical methods have proved to be ineffective. If you have any concerns contact one of our podiatrists of University Foot and Ankle Center, LLC. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

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 by 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 concerns please feel free to contact our offices located in East Brunswick and Monroe Township, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about bunions.

 

Monday, 06 July 2015 00:00

Effect of High-Heels on the Feet

For hundreds of years, women have been wearing various kinds of high-heels for mostly aesthetic reasons. Women who wear high-heels appear to be taller and to have longer and thinner legs, and the wearer’s gait and posture changes. Though high-heels have had an association with femininity and have kept them popular over the years, there are definite health problems caused by wearing them too frequently.

The motion of the ankle joints is limited when heels are worn. The ankle joint is very important to the body when it comes to walking. Because of their location, these joints have a great deal of weight put on them. Thus, it is very important to keep them as healthy as possible. The Achilles tendon is the main tendon in the ankle. Wearing high-heels too often, studies have shown, can cause the calf muscle and Achilles tendon to shorten and stiffen, which can cause problems when shoes without heels are worn.

By putting a great deal of pressure on the ball of the foot, by forcing the toes into a small toe box, high-heels can cause or may worsen many foot problems, such as corns, hammertoe, bunions, Morton’s neuroma and plantar fasciitis.

Not only does wearing very high-heels regularly have negative effects on the feet, the rest of the body can suffer as well. The knees, one of the most important joints in the entire body, can be affected by wearing high-heels. High-heels causes the knees to stay bent all the time. Also, it can cause them to bend slightly inward as well. Doctors believe that women can suffer from osteoarthritis later in life because of constantly walking like this. By limiting the natural motion of the foot during walking, high-heels also cause an increased in stress on the knees.

Similarly, the back may also be affected by high-heels because it causes the back to go out of alignment. If high-heels are worn constantly, the spine’s ability to absorb shock can cause continued back pain. They can compress the vertebrae of the lower back, and can overuse the back muscles.

However, this is not to say that high-heels can never be worn. If worn occasionally, they will not cause serious problems. They should not be worn every day in order to avoid the long-term physical health problems of the feet, knees, ankles, and back like mentioned above.

runningThe “best shoe” when it comes to running shoes may not necessarily be the best running shoe for everyone. When purchasing new running shoes, it may be best to shop at specialty running stores where employees are trained to find the right shoe for each customer. Running stores will typically measure your feet, gait, and type of running to determine if you are a neutral runner or a runner that needs stability. Each runner has pronation in their feet, the inward roll of the foot as it hits the ground in the running cycle. Different shoes are created to help those that over pronate or under pronate while running.

The right running shoe is essentially different for every person. If you have any concerns contact one of our podiatrists of University Foot and Ankle Center, LLC. 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

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 East Brunswick and Monroe Township, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about choosing the right running shoe

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