Items filtered by date: August 2022

Tuesday, 30 August 2022 00:00

Recovering From a Broken Ankle

Suffering from a broken ankle is an unfortunate reality that some individuals might have to face at some point in their lives. Broken, or fractured, ankles occur when a person twists or rolls their ankle joint, putting their weight on the ankle in an awkward way that leads to injury. Broken ankles can also occur after a heavy object is dropped on the ankle. If you have a broken ankle, you might experience a range of symptoms from pain and swelling at the affected joint to bruising and tenderness. In less serious instances, broken ankles may be treated with braces or casts. In more severe cases, broken ankles can be treated with surgical procedures. Recovery time for a broken ankle varies according to the specific case. Generally speaking, recovery can take anywhere from six to 12 weeks, and possibly longer. When individuals are recovering from this kind of injury, they typically can not put weight on their feet, and must therefore use a mobility device such as crutches. If you have a broken or fractured ankle, it is imperative that you contact a podiatrist who can help you address the problem.

Broken ankles need immediate treatment. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Jim Maxka from South Penn Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet. 

Broken Ankles
A broken ankle is experienced when a person fractures their tibia or fibula in the lower leg and ankle area. Both of these bones are attached at the bottom of the leg and combine to form what we know to be our ankle.

When a physician is referring to a break of the ankle, he or she is usually referring to a break in the area where the tibia and fibula are joined to create our ankle joint. Ankles are more prone to fractures because the ankle is an area that suffers a lot of pressure and stress. There are some obvious signs when a person experiences a fractured ankle, and the following symptoms may be present.

Symptoms of a Fractured Ankle

  • Excessive pain when the area is touched or when any pressure is placed on the ankle
  •  Swelling around the area
  •  Bruising of the area
  • Area appears to be deformed

If you suspect an ankle fracture, it is recommended to seek treatment as soon as possible. The sooner you have your podiatrist diagnose the fracture, the quicker you’ll be on the way towards recovery.

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

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Tuesday, 30 August 2022 00:00

All About Broken Ankles

Broken ankles are a serious injury that can lead to an inability to walk, function, and also cause a significant amount of pain. A broken ankle is a break in one of the three bones in your body that connect at the ankle joint: the tibia, the fibula, and the talus. The tibia and fibula are your two primary leg bones that connect at the knee, which sit directly upon the talus bone. This is protected by a fibrous membrane that allows for movement in the ankle joint. A broken ankle is usually caused by the foot rolling under or twisting too far, causing one of these three bones to snap.

A broken ankle is different from an ankle sprain, which occurs when the ankle ligaments are ripped or torn but no bones have been broken. A sprain can still be very severe, causing bruising in the foot and an inability to hold your own weight, much like a broken ankle would. If you’re unable to stand, and suspect that you have a broken ankle, the first thing to do would be to get an immediate X-ray to determine the severity of the break.

A common cause of broken ankles is when the ankle is rolled over with enough pressure to break the bones. This usually happens during exercise, sports, or other physical activity. Another common cause is a fall or jump from a tall height.

One immediate treatment for pain relief is elevating the foot above your head to reduce blood flow to the injured area. You can also apply ice packs to your ankle to help reduce swelling, redness, inflammation, and pain. After these initial steps, getting a cast and staying off your feet as much as possible will aid in the recovery of the broken ankle. The less movement and stress the ankle has to endure, the more complete it will heal. A doctor can determine if surgery is needed in order to heal correctly. In these cases, an operation may be the only option to ensure the ability to walk properly again, followed by physical therapy and rehabilitation.

It is highly important to determine if surgery is needed early on, because a broken ankle can become much more severe than you realize. If not professionally treated, the broken ankle will inhibit your walking, daily functioning, and produce a large amount of pain. Treating your broken ankle early on will help prevent further damage to it.

Tuesday, 23 August 2022 00:00

Gout

Gout is a form of arthritis that is caused by a buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints. This considered to be one of the most frequently recorded medical illnesses throughout history. Gout occurrences in the US have risen within the past twenty years and the condition now affects 8.3 million people which is 4% of all Americans. Researchers have found that gout affects men more than women and African-American men more than white men. 

Symptoms of gout are warmth, swelling, discoloration, and tenderness in the affected joint area. The small joint on the big toe is the most common place for a gout attack to occur.

People who are obese, gain weight excessively, drink alcohol heavily, have high blood pressure, or have abnormal kidney function are more likely to develop gout. Furthermore, certain drugs and diseases are likely to increase levels of uric acid in the joints which eventually leads to gout. You are also more likely to develop gout if you eat a lot of meat and fish.

Many who experience gout attacks will experience repeated attacks over the years. Some people who have gout symptoms, may never have them again, but others may experience them several times a year. If you have gout symptoms throughout the year, you may have recurrent gout. Those who have gout should also be careful about their urate crystals collecting in their urinary tract, because this may lead to kidney stones.

Diagnosis for gout is done by checking the level of uric acid in the joints and blood. Your podiatrist may also prescribe medicine to reduce uric acid buildup in the blood, which will help prevent any gout attacks.

To treat gout, your podiatrist may also prescribe you Anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDs) which will relieve the pain and swelling of a gout episode and it can also shorten a gout attack. Maintaining a healthy diet is also a proven method to prevent gout attacks. 

Tuesday, 23 August 2022 00:00

Why Does Gout Develop?

A form of arthritis known as gout can cause severe pain and discomfort and many people have difficulty in walking. Gout develops because of excess uric acid in the blood and may result from genetic factors or eating foods that have high levels of purines. These foods can include shellfish, red meat, alcohol, or drinks that are made with large amounts of sugar. This can cause crystals to develop in the joints of the big toe and may cause debilitating pain as well as redness and swelling. For many people, maintaining a healthy eating regimen can limit the number of gout attacks. It can help to drink plenty of fresh water daily and to engage in a gentle stretching and exercise program. It is beneficial to find out why they may be recurring and learn about methods to control them. If you have gout, it is strongly advised that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can guide you toward correct treatment options and educate you about effective preventive methods.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Jim Maxka from South Penn Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.

People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.

Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.

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

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Tuesday, 16 August 2022 00:00

Plantar Fasciitis

The plantar fascia is a connective tissue in the heel that stretches across the bottom length of your foot. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the connective tissue becomes inflamed, causing heel pain and discomfort during physical activity. Although the condition is completely treatable, traditional methods can take up to a year to start becoming effective.

Plantar fasciitis is caused by a number of everyday activities, so understanding the condition is important for managing and treating it. One of the most common causes of plantar fasciitis is excessive running, especially with improper fitting or non-supportive shoes. Too much exercise can lead to the plantar fascia being overworked and overstretched, which can cause tears in the tissue. Along with improper fitting shoes, pronation, the rolling of the feet inward, is a common cause of plantar fasciitis. If not treated properly, the plantar fascia becomes overstretched and starts to tear, causing inflammation.

Despite the common causes of plantar fasciitis, there are many different treatment options. For less severe cases, conservative home remedies include taking anti-inflammatory drugs to alleviate pain, applying ice packs to the bottom of your foot and heel, slowly stretching and exercising your feet to re-strengthen the tissue, and using orthotic devices are all ways to help manage your plantar fasciitis.

For more severe cases, shockwave therapy has become a common solution for plantar fasciitis. Shockwave therapy can effectively break up the tissue on the bottom of your foot which facilitates healing and regeneration. This fights the chronic pain caused by plantar fasciitis. Even if this doesn’t work, surgery is always a final option. Surgery on the tissue itself can be done to permanently correct the issue and stop the inflammation and pain in your heels.

No matter what the case may be, consulting your podiatrist is the first and best step to recovery. Even the slightest amount of heel pain could be the first stage of plantar fasciitis. Untreated symptoms can lead to the tearing and overstretching of tissue. Because the tearing of tissue can be compounded if it remains ignored, it can evolve into a severe case. The solution is early detection and early treatment. Talk to your podiatrist about the possibilities of plantar fasciitis if you’re experiencing heel pain.

Tuesday, 16 August 2022 00:00

Plantar Fasciitis and Basketball

Plantar fasciitis affects individuals across the country, causing them heel and foot pain. Basketball players, both professional and recreational, are no exception. There are many important ways in which playing basketball can put an individual at risk of developing a condition like plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia, the band of tissue running from the heel to the base of the toes, becomes inflamed in response to repeated pressure on the arch of the foot. Individuals with this condition might feel sharp, stabbing pains when beginning to put weight on their feet after prolonged periods of rest. What puts some basketball players at risk is the unique physical demands of the sport. Namely, throughout a game, a basketball player must constantly accelerate and decelerate rapidly. This can cause strain on the feet. Basketball players must also frequently jump to high heights, landing on hard floor surfaces. Basketball also requires a large amount of running, as players can run up and down the court a minimum of 50 times during one game. These game-specific demands on an athlete can ultimately cause them to exert a great degree of pressure on their feet, which might lead to plantar fasciitis. If you are a basketball player, consider contacting a podiatrist to learn more about this condition.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Dr. Jim Maxka  from South Penn Foot & Ankle Associates. 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 Hanover, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Sunday, 14 August 2022 00:00

Are You Suffering From Ingrown Toenails?

If left untreated, an ingrown toenail can lead to more serious concerns, such as an infection. Knowing proper nail care can help in the prevention of an ingrown toenail. Give us a call, and get treated!

Tuesday, 09 August 2022 00:00

Foot Care for Pregnant Women

The natural weight that pregnant women gain causes their center of gravity to be completely altered. This causes them to have a new weight-bearing stance which adds pressure to the knees and feet. As a result, pregnant women often experience severe foot pain. The two most common foot issues experienced by women in their pregnancies are edema and over-pronation. It is important for all pregnant women to learn more about how to take care of their feet so they are more comfortable during their pregnancy.

Over-pronation, which is commonly referred to as flat feet, is caused when a person’s arch flattens out upon weight bearing. This causes the person’s feet to roll inward while walking. Pregnant women often experience this due to the sudden weight they gain.

Edema, also referred as swelling in the feet, typically occurs in the later part of the pregnancy. It is the result of the extra blood accumulated in the pregnant woman’s body. The enlarged uterus puts more pressure on the blood vessels in the pelvis which causes leg circulation to slow down. This causes blood to pool in the lower extremities.

Fortunately, there are ways to treat both edema and over-pronation. Edema can be treated by elevating the foot as often as possible. Wearing proper fitting footwear will also be helpful for those with edema. A treatment method for over-pronation could be orthotics. Orthotic inserts should be designed with appropriate arch support and medial rear foot for your foot.

It is best for pregnant women to buy new shoes during the day, because this is the time where swelling is at its peak. Pregnant women also shouldn’t rush when buying shoes. It is always advised that you make sure your shoes fit properly but this is especially important during pregnancy.

If you are a pregnant woman, you should consult with a podiatrist in order to make sure your feet are healthy throughout the entirety of your pregnancy.

Tuesday, 09 August 2022 00:00

Larger Feet During Pregnancy

Pregnant women will notice that as their body undergoes a series of changes throughout their pregnancy, their feet might feel different as well. One change that pregnant women may notice in their feet is that the size of their feet may increase anywhere from half a shoe size to a full shoe size. There are several potential explanations for increasing foot size. First, swelling of the feet and legs is typical for pregnant women. Second, as a woman carries her baby to term she may gain a significant amount of weight. This dramatic increase in weight can exert pressure on the woman’s feet, causing them to spread wider when she stands. Pregnant women might also notice their arches becoming flattened and longer. Third, a pregnant women may experience a larger foot size because she produces the hormone relaxin, which can loosen ligaments in the foot causing them to expand. Consequently, the foot expands as well. Although it is unclear whether you can prevent your feet from expanding during your pregnancy there are steps that you can take to mitigate swelling in your feet and legs. For example, drinking large quantities of water and elevating your feet while sitting can help to improve blood circulation in your feet. If you are pregnant or plan to be, it may be a good idea to contact a podiatrist who can help you maintain proper foot health.

Pregnant women with swollen feet can be treated with a variety of different methods that are readily available. For more information about other cures for swollen feet during pregnancy, consult with Dr. Jim Maxka from South Penn Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What Foot Problems Can Arise During Pregnancy?

One problem that can occur is overpronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens and tends to roll inward.  This can cause pain and discomfort in your heels while you’re walking or even just standing up, trying to support your baby.  

Another problem is edema, or swelling in the extremities. This often affects the feet during pregnancy but tends to occur in the later stages. 

How Can I Keep My Feet Healthy During Pregnancy?

  • Wearing orthotics can provide extra support for the feet and help distribute weight evenly
  • Minimize the amount of time spent walking barefoot
  • Wear shoes with good arch support
  • Wear shoes that allow for good circulation to the feet
  • Elevate feet if you experience swelling
  • Massage your feet
  • Get regular, light exercise, such as walking, to promote blood circulation to the feet

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

Read more about Foot Care for Pregnant Women

There are several reasons why many elderly people can experience uncomfortable foot conditions. These include a loss of cushioning as the aging process occurs, and the skin and nails can become brittle. Additionally, many seniors develop foot sores, and this may be a result of poor circulation. One of the best things elderly people can do for their feet is to wear shoes that are comfortable, and to refrain from wearing high heels. Research has shown the feet can become wider in later years, and it is important to have them properly measured before purchasing shoes. The feet can feel better when specific stretching techniques are frequently performed, in addition to avoiding wearing socks that are too tight. Common foot conditions can consist of dry, cracked heels, corns and heel spurs. These may be able to be avoided when a good moisturizer is used daily, and the shoes that are worn fit properly. Additionally, many patients can develop hammertoes and ingrown toenails which often need medical treatment. If you would like more information about what foot conditions can affect seniors and how to treat and prevent them, please consult with a podiatrist.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Jim Maxka from South Penn Foot & Ankle 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-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 Hanover, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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