What Does Amputation Mean to a Diabetic Patient?

Recent research has shown that 60% of amputations that are not related to an injury occur in diabetic patients. The percentage rises to 80% when preceded by a foot ulcer. Infections due to diabetic foot are said to be the number one cause of leg amputations. The feet and nerves may become damaged from the high glucose levels that typically occur in diabetic patients, and this may cause a condition to occur that is referred to as neuropathy. Consequently, this may cause an inability to feel minor injuries and pain, and may ultimately lead to infections or gangrene. Many diabetics have learned that education about this condition may prevent the risk of foot ulcers and amputations. Additionally, learning how to properly care for the feet may play an essential role in possibly preventing painful foot ulcers.

Limb salvage can be an effective way in preventing the need for limb amputation. If you have diabetes, cancer, or any other condition that could lead to foot amputation if left unchecked, consult with one of our podiatrists from Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Limb Salvage?

Limb salvage is the attempt of saving a limb, such as the foot from amputation. Podiatrists also try to make sure that there is enough function in the foot after the salvage that it is still usable. Diabetes is the number one cause of non-traumatic amputations in the United States. Those with diabetes experience poor blood circulation, which prevents proper healing of an ulcer. If the ulcer is left uncheck, it could become infected, which could result in the need for amputation.

However, there are other causes as well, such as cancer and traumatic injury. Links between higher mortality rates and amputation have been found. This translates into higher healthcare costs, and a reduced quality of life and mobility for amputees. Podiatrists have attempted to increase the prevalence of limb salvage in an attempt to solve these issues.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Limb salvage teams have grown in recent years that utilize a number of different treatments to save the infected limb. This includes podiatrists that specialize in wound care, rehabilitation, orthotics, and surgery. Through a combination of these methods, limb salvage has been found to be an effective treatment for infected limbs, and as an alternative to amputation. Podiatrists will first evaluate the potential for limb salvage and determine if the limb can be saved or must be amputated. 

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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How to Properly Care for Elderly Feet

An important task that caregivers perform is to properly care for their elderly patients’ feet. This includes checking the feet daily for any cuts or cracks in the skin, in addition to trimming the toenails correctly. Infections may be common in older people, and this may generally be indicated by bleeding sores, discolored toenails, or blisters that are found on the feet. When the toenails are kept short by being trimmed properly, the risk of scratching the skin and breaking any nails may diminish. This can be achieved by using sterile nail clippers that are only used by one person. A warm foot bath or massage may provide relief from tired and achy feet and circulation may improve. Additionally, it’s beneficial to purchase shoes that fit correctly. This can be accomplished by trying both shoes on to confirm there is adequate room for the toes to move freely in. Consulting a podiatrist is strongly recommended to learn about how infections can be prevented in elders feet.

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 from Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctors 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-threatening 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 and ankle needs.

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Why Do Bunions Develop?

A bunion is an abnormal growth that forms on the bottom of the big toe. Typical symptoms include swelling, pain, and redness surrounding the area of the big toe, and the entire foot may change shape as a result of the bunion. Choosing to wear poorly fitting shoes may cause this condition to develop, in addition to having a family history of bunions. This ailment may be prevented by wearing shoes that have adequate room for the toes to move freely, and shoes with a lower heel are preferred. If you enjoy running or jogging, your feet should be properly supported in running shoes that fit correctly. It’s suggested to schedule a consultation with a podiatrist who is skilled in properly diagnosing this condition. Treatment options can be discussed, which may include custom-made orthotics for temporary relief or surgery for removal of the bunion.

If you are suffering from bunion pain, contact one of our podiatrists of Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctors 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 Canonsburg and McMurray, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Myths Associated with Gout

Gout is the result of crystals that form in the joints because of excess uric acid in the blood. Over the years, this type of arthritis has had many myths associated with it. It was often thought to be a condition that wealthy people who can afford to overindulge in rich foods may be afflicted with. This has been proven to be untrue because this condition may affect people of different income levels. Recent research has shown that it may be related to genetics in addition to elevated blood pressure or contending with weight issues which may raise cholesterol. An additional myth is gout only affects the big toe. While this is the toe that is typically afflicted, the crystals may form in other parts of the body. Many people are under the assumption that once you have gout, you’ll always be susceptible to this ailment. It has been proven that with proper dietary and lifestyle changes, gout attacks may considerably diminish and may even cease completely. If you are experiencing any symptoms related to gout, or have any questions, a consultation with a podiatrist is advised.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Canonsburg Podiatry 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 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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Mariners’ Dee Gordon Suffers Broken Toe

Mariners’ second baseman Dee Gordon was seen fielding ground balls before the team’s series opener with the Twins. This is major news for the Mariners, a team who was without Gordon after he suffered a broken toe injury.  In regards to the injury, team manager Scott Servais mentioned, “He won't do any hard running or anything for a few days. But he's feeling better.” Gordon has been wearing a walking boot recently in order to keep pressure off of his right foot. He initially suffered the injury after being hit by a foul ball; the injury was aggravated when he attempted to make a diving catch of a bloop single in shallow right field.

Broken toes may cause a lot of pain and should be treated as soon as possible. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is a Broken Toe?

A broken toe occurs when one or more of the toe bones of the foot are broken after an injury. Injuries such as stubbing your toe or dropping a heavy object on it may cause a toe fracture.

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • Swelling
  • Pain (with/without wearing shoes)
  • Stiffness
  • Nail Injury

Although the injured toe should be monitored daily, it is especially important to have a podiatrist look at your toe if you have severe symptoms. Some of these symptoms include worsening or new pain that is not relieved with medication, sores, redness, or open wounds near the toe.

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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Why Do Corns Develop?

There are several different reasons for why corns on the feet to develop. These may include being on your feet for long stretches of time and wearing poorly fitting shoes that may cause friction. A corn typically resembles a round area of hardened skin that develops on the toes, and generally may cause pain and discomfort. Additionally, corns may form in between the toes, and this is commonly caused by wearing non-absorbent socks that allow moisture to develop. Some patients are able to file the corn, preceded by soaking the foot in warm water. This may enable the corn to soften, making it easier to file. It may be beneficial to use corn pads that will provide a protective layer that can possibly diminish the pressure. It’s advised to consult with a podiatrist for additional information and treatment options about corns.

Corns can make walking very painful and should be treated immediately. If you have questions regarding your feet and ankles, contact one of our podiatrists of Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Corns: What Are They? And How Do You Get Rid of Them?
Corns are thickened areas on the skin that can become painful. They are caused by excessive pressure and friction on the skin. Corns press into the deeper layers of the skin and are usually round in shape.

Ways to Prevent Corns
There are many ways to get rid of painful corns such as:

  • Wearing properly fitting shoes that have been measured by a professional
  • Wearing shoes that are not sharply pointed or have high heels
  • Wearing only shoes that offer support

Treating Corns

Although most corns slowly disappear when the friction or pressure stops, this isn’t always the case. Consult with your podiatrist to determine the best treatment option for your case of corns.

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.

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How to Treat Toenail Fungus

Onychomycosis, more commonly known as Toenail fungus, affects approximately half of all Americans by the age of 70. This fungal infection occurs when microscopic fungi gains entry through a small trauma in the nail, and the growth process arises due to moisture from the patient’s socks and shoes. Common symptoms of toenail fungus include swelling, crumbling, thickening, and yellowing of the nail. In certain cases, some may even experience a complete loss of the nail itself. Toenail fungus can be caused by walking around in damp areas such as gym locker rooms, shower stalls, or swimming pools. The condition can easily spread from one person to another or even to other parts of the body. Those with diabetes should be especially careful when it comes to toenail fungus, because they are at an increased risk of contracting it. This may be due to the fact that diabetics have a compromised immune system.

 

If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact one of our podiatrists of Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Symptoms

  • Warped or oddly shaped nails
  • Yellowish nails
  • Loose/separated nail
  • Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
  • Brittle, broken, thickened nail

Treatment

If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.

Prevention

In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.

In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.  

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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Is Athlete's Foot Contagious?

If you experience itchy feet and toes, you may have what is referred to as athlete’s foot. This condition is caused by a fungus, and it thrives in moist environments, such as the inside of shoes and socks. Common places for this contagious condition to spread include public pools and showers, and it’s suggested to wear appropriate shoes while in these areas. Affected skin may appear to be dry, red, and cracked, which can lead to severe itching and may potentially cause discharge to ooze from affected areas. Proper treatment can consist of using an anti-fungal powder after thoroughly washing and drying the feet, especially between the toes. Consult with a podiatrist for additional information about athlete’s foot.

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is often an uncomfortable condition to experience. Thankfully, podiatrists specialize in treating athlete’s foot and offer the best treatment options. If you have any questions about athlete’s foot, consult with one of our podiatrists from Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality treatment.

What Is Athlete’s Foot?

Tinea pedis, more commonly known as athlete’s foot, is a non-serious and common fungal infection of the foot. Athlete’s foot is contagious and can be contracted by touching someone who has it or infected surfaces. The most common places contaminated by it are public showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools. Once contracted, it grows on feet that are left inside moist, dark, and warm shoes and socks.

Prevention

The most effective ways to prevent athlete’s foot include:

  • Thoroughly washing and drying feet
  • Avoid going barefoot in locker rooms and public showers
  • Using shower shoes in public showers
  • Wearing socks that allow the feet to breathe
  • Changing socks and shoes frequently if you sweat a lot

Symptoms

Athlete’s foot initially occurs as a rash between the toes. However, if left undiagnosed, it can spread to the sides and bottom of the feet, toenails, and if touched by hand, the hands themselves. Symptoms include:

  • Redness
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Scaly and peeling skin

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis is quick and easy. Skin samples will be taken and either viewed under a microscope or sent to a lab for testing. Sometimes, a podiatrist can diagnose it based on simply looking at it. Once confirmed, treatment options include oral and topical antifungal medications.

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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Can Being Obese Hurt My Feet?

The feet are considered to be the foundation of the body, and when the body endures pressure from being overweight, the feet bear the brunt of these abnormal stresses. Certain conditions may develop in the feet of an obese person, such as fallen arches and chronic heel pain. If children become obese, their ability to participate in sporting activities may be greatly diminished, potentially due to any pain the feet and arches may encounter. Custom-made insoles may be suggested for an overweight child to wear, and this may provide the support needed to aid in the formation of the arch. Individuals who have this condition may suffer from frequent falls, which is often as a result of a compromised gait. The feet will generally become larger and will benefit from being measured for correct sizing to avoid corns and calluses from developing. If you suffer from foot pain due to obesity, please consider a consultation with a podiatrist for dietary and lifestyle changes.

The more you weigh, the harder your feet must work to support your body. If you’re an obese individual and are concerned about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Obesity and Your Feet

People who are overweight are putting more pressure on their ankles, knees, and hips as well as their feet. This unfortunately can lead to variety of different issues.

Problems & Complications Stemming from Obesity

  • When the body is overweight, it tries to compensate by changing the way that it moves. An obese person may lean forward and put extra weight on the wrong part of the foot. This puts unnecessary stress on the feet.
  • Obese people are also more likely to develop type II diabetes which is a condition that causes a lot of foot problems. People with diabetes often don’t feel the cuts and sores that they may have on their feet, which can lead to more complicated and severe issues.
  • Plantar fasciitis is another foot condition that can be caused by obesity. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the tissue along the bottom of the foot, which causes pain and stiffness while walking and climbing stairs.

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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Symptoms of Sever’s Disease

If your pre-teen child experiences heel pain, it may be a condition known as Sever’s disease. This condition typically affects children between eight and fourteen years of age, and recent research has shown that it occurs in males slightly more than females. You may notice your child limping especially after a running activity, and heel pain may be noticed if a sports game is participated in. This ailment is typically related to physically active teens. It’s beneficial to rest between physical activities, which may enable the heel to obtain adequate comfort. If your child is hindered by this condition, please schedule a consultation with a podiatrist for additional information and proper treatment options.

Sever's disease often occurs in children and teens. If your child is experiencing foot or ankle pain, see one of our podiatrists from Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctors can treat your child’s foot and ankle needs.

Sever’s Disease

Sever’s disease is also known as calcaneal apophysitis, which is a medical condition that causes heel pain I none or both feet. The disease is known to affect children between the ages of 8 and 14.

Sever’s disease occurs when part of the child’s heel known as the growth plate (calcaneal epiphysis) is attached to the Achilles tendon. This area can suffer injury when the muscles and tendons of the growing foot do not keep pace with bone growth. Therefore, the constant pain which one experiences at the back of the heel will make the child unable to put any weight on the heel. The child is then forced to walk on their toes.

Symptoms

Acute pain – Pain associated with Sever’s disease is usually felt in the heel when the child engages in physical activity such as walking, jumping and or running.

Highly active – Children who are very active are among the most susceptible in experiencing Sever’s disease, because of the stress and tension placed on their feet.

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 injuries.

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