Monday, 12 April 2021 00:00

Is Bunion Surgery an Option?

Patients who are afflicted with a bunion may choose to have surgery that can permanently repair this foot condition. A bunion is defined as a large, bony protrusion that develops on the bottom of the big toe. Common causes for a bunion to form can include genetic factors, or from wearing shoes that do not fit correctly. For severe bunions, many patients consider having surgery repair the affected joint. Additionally, bunion surgery may be successful in correcting the ligaments and tendons that may have shifted from the growing bunion. If you have a bunion, and are considering having surgery performed, it is strongly suggested that a podiatrist be consulted for an in depth discussion about the risks and rewards of bunion surgery.

If you are suffering from bunion pain, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.

Causes

  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development

Symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.

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

Read more about Bunions
Monday, 05 April 2021 00:00

Sesamoid Bone Injuries

The sesamoids are small, round bones found in several parts of the body, including the feet. The sesamoids of the feet are roughly pea-sized and are located under the big toe. The sesamoid bones in your feet give you extra leverage and power when pushing your foot off the ground. When repetitive impacts from running or other activities become too much for these bones to bear, they may become inflamed or fracture. A sudden onset of sharp pain in the toe area can be a sign of a sesamoid fracture, while nerve pain or a burning sensation in the toe can indicate nerve damage. Sesamoiditis may cause symptoms such as swelling, tenderness, and difficulty bearing weight. If you are experiencing the symptoms of a sesamoid injury, please seek the care of a podiatrist.

Sesamoiditis is an unpleasant foot condition characterized by pain in the balls of the feet. If you think you’re struggling with sesamoiditis, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor will treat your condition thoroughly and effectively.

Sesamoiditis

Sesamoiditis is a condition of the foot that affects the ball of the foot. It is more common in younger people than it is in older people. It can also occur with people who have begun a new exercise program, since their bodies are adjusting to the new physical regimen. Pain may also be caused by the inflammation of tendons surrounding the bones. It is important to seek treatment in its early stages because if you ignore the pain, this condition can lead to more serious problems such as severe irritation and bone fractures.

Causes of Sesamoiditis

  • Sudden increase in activity
  • Increase in physically strenuous movement without a proper warm up or build up
  • Foot structure: those who have smaller, bonier feet or those with a high arch may be more susceptible

Treatment for sesamoiditis is non-invasive and simple. Doctors may recommend a strict rest period where the patient forgoes most physical activity. This will help give the patient time to heal their feet through limited activity. For serious cases, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine a treatment option that will help your specific needs.

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

Read more about Sesamoiditis
Monday, 29 March 2021 00:00

What Is Hammertoe Correction?

Hammertoe correction is a surgical procedure used to straighten hammertoes, which are toes that are bent abnormally at the middle joint. The type of surgery you have will depend on how much your toe bends. In general, during this operation the surgeon makes one or more incisions in the area where your toe attaches to your foot. They will then loosen the tendons or ligaments that are causing the abnormal bending in the affected toe. Sometimes, joint or bone tissue needs to be removed to straighten the toe. You may also need wires, screws, or pins placed through your toe bones to keep the toe straight. When the operation is over, the incisions that the surgeon made will be closed with stitches. While full recovery time varies, hammertoe correction is an outpatient procedure and you will usually be able to go home the same day. For more information about hammertoe correction, and to find out if surgery is the right option for your hammertoes, please consult with a podiatrist. 

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

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

Read more about What Are Hammertoes?
Monday, 22 March 2021 00:00

Reminder: When Was the Last Time...?

Custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, should be periodically replaced. Orthotics must fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles!

Monday, 22 March 2021 00:00

Grade 2 Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains occur when the ligaments of the ankle are overstretched or torn during an injury. Sprains vary in severity, from mild Grade 1 sprains to severe Grade 3 sprains. A Grade 2 sprain is considered to be moderate and is characterized by some, but not all, of the ligament fibers being torn. The affected ankle and foot are often painful and moderately bruised or swollen, but the stability of the ankle joint is generally not affected. Grade 2 ankle sprains may require four to six weeks to heal fully. It is typically suggested that you avoid any activities that put extra strain on the injured ligaments for at least a month following the initial injury. If you have sprained your ankle, please see a podiatrist for treatment. 

Ankle sprains are common but need immediate attention. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart from Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

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

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 Bethlehem, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Ankle Sprains

People with diabetes often suffer from diabetic neuropathy, which is nerve damage causing numbness, tingling, sensitivity, and the inability to feel pain. This condition, along with circulatory problems also prevalent in diabetes sufferers, can lead to diabetic ulcers. Diabetic, or neurotrophic, ulcers are typically found at the bottom of the foot where pressure is applied. A loss of sensitivity and feeling in the feet can make people with diabetes unaware that calluses, cracks, or an infection is occurring—making it vitally important for them to inspect their feet daily. If you have numbness, pain, or a wound on your foot that will not heal, make an appointment right away with a podiatrist to have the situation properly diagnosed and treated.

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with Dr. Edwin S. Hart from Pennsylvania. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

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

Read more about Wound Care
Monday, 08 March 2021 00:00

Treating Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a condition in which the plantar fascia, a ligament that runs along the bottom of the foot, becomes injured, inflamed, and painful. Plantar fasciitis has a variety of causes, including spending too much time on your feet, engaging in high-impact repetitive activities like running, and wearing improper shoes that do not adequately support the foot. Plantar fasciitis can be treated conservatively by taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications to manage pain, stretching the feet each day, resting the feet regularly, massaging the feet, and wearing comfortable, supportive shoes. If you have plantar fasciitis, it is recommended that you see a podiatrist for treatment.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart  from Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of 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 feel free to contact our office located in Bethlehem, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis
Monday, 01 March 2021 00:00

Symptoms of Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Chronic venous insufficiency is a condition that affects the circulatory system that is characterized by the leg veins not functioning properly.  This leads to blood pooling in the legs instead of being pumped back up to the heart. While it is not a serious threat to your overall health, chronic venous insufficiency can be painful and interfere with your daily life. Symptoms of this condition can include swelling in the legs and ankles, a tight feeling in the calves, leg pain, skin discoloration near the ankles, varicose veins, leg ulcers, and painful muscle cramps or spasms. Chronic venous insufficiency is more likely to occur in those who are overweight, pregnant, have a family history of this condition, or have a history of previous leg damage due to injuries, surgery, or blood clots. If you believe that you are suffering from Chronic Venous Insufficiency or you want to learn more about chronic venous insufficiency, please consult with a podiatrist.

Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is can be 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. This can restrict 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, stiffness, or weakness   
  • Numbness or cramping in the legs 
  • Skin discoloration
  • Slower nail & hair growth
  • Erectile dysfunction

Those who have diabetes or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, as are those 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 podiatrist as he or she will assist in finding a regimen that suits you. A podiatrist can also prescribe you any needed medication. 

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

Read more about Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Poor Blood Circulation in the Feet
Monday, 22 February 2021 00:00

Relieving Foot Pain From Standing All Day

For many people, being on your feet all day is a job requirement. Unfortunately, this can have a negative impact on the health of your feet. While periodically sitting down is one of the best things that you can do to relieve foot pain associated with standing for prolonged periods of time, this is not always an option. In those cases, exercising and massaging the feet and legs, soaking your feet after a long day of work, taking anti-inflammatory medications, improving your posture, and wearing compression stockings and shoe insoles may help. For more information about how to relieve foot pain, please consult with a podiatrist.

While working on the feet, it is important to take the proper care of them. For more information about working on your feet, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart from Pennsylvania. Our doctor 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 type 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 all hours of the day. Try to periodically expose your feet to air.

Eliminate Pain

Foot Exercises – Performing simple exercises, incorporating yoga and doing stretches are 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.

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

Read more about Working on Your Feet
Saturday, 20 February 2021 00:00

Plantar Warts Can Be Treated!

Plantar warts are small growths that develop on parts of the feet that bear weight. They're typically found on the bottom of the foot. Don't live with plantar warts, and call us today!

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