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Monday, 25 June 2018 00:00

What Causes Gout?

Gout is commonly known to be a very painful condition that affects the big toe and the surrounding areas. It is considered to be a form of arthritis and may often occur as an acute attack. The specific cause of gout is the formation of excess crystals, which collect in the blood stream and commonly develop in the joints of the feet. This may often be the result of ingesting foods that have excess purines, which are often responsible for the production of uric crystals. These types of foods may include indulging in an overabundance of alcohol, red meat, and shellfish. The pain that is associated with this ailment is typically a result of stiff joints, and is often accompanied by tenderness, swelling, and redness. Gout attacks may be avoided by implementing dietary and lifestyle changes, which may lower the level of uric acid in the blood. If you are experiencing a gout attack, it’s suggested to schedule a consultation with a podiatrist for additional information and a proper diagnosis.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Westfield Foot & Ankle Specialists. 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 offices located in Westfield and Newark, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Monday, 18 June 2018 00:00

Causes of Flat Feet

Flat feet or fallen arches is the name given to a condition where the arch is absent from the foot. This is evident when the foot lies completely flat while standing. The foot may roll inward, which is often referred to as over-pronation. In addition to the 26 bones that comprise the foot, there are muscles, ligaments and tendons which work together to allow movement to occur. Daily activities such as standing and walking are easily achieved when a normal arch is present. There are several reasons that contribute in the development of flat feet including damaged tendons, arthritis, or from the additional weight the feet endure from being obese. Pain may often be experienced in patients who have flat feet, and this may occur in any part of the foot. If you feel you may have flat feet, it’s advised to consult with a podiatrist who can perform a proper diagnosis.

Flatfoot is a condition many people suffer from. If you have flat feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Westfield Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What are Flat Feet?

Flatfoot is a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arches never formed during growth.

Conditions & Problems:

Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.

Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.

Knees – If you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.  

Symptoms:

  • Pain around the heel or arch area
  • Trouble standing on the tip toe
  • Swelling around the inside of the ankle
  • Flat look to one or both feet
  • Having your shoes feel uneven when worn

Treatment:

If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle. 

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

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Wednesday, 13 June 2018 00:00

Reminder - When was the last time...

Custom orthotics (shoe inserts) should be replaced periodically. They need to fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles.

Monday, 11 June 2018 00:00

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

If you have the experience of something heavy falling on your foot, you may have what is referred to as a broken toe. Common signs from this occurring will be swelling and bruising affecting the toe and surrounding area, accompanied by severe pain. If the bone protrudes from the skin, this is typically known as an extreme fracture, and medical attention should be sought as soon as possible for treatment. If the break is not severe, the toe will benefit from being elevated, which may aid in reducing any obvious swelling. A common treatment technique involves bandaging the injured toe to the toe next to it, and this may promote stability and proper healing. It may be suggested to wear comfortable shoes with adequate room for the toes, and the use of crutches may be beneficial in keeping weight off the foot. If you feel you may have broken your toe, see a podiatrist immediately for a proper diagnosis and additional information.

A broken toe can be very painful and lead to complications if not properly fixed. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Westfield Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What to Know About a Broken Toe

Although most people try to avoid foot trauma such as banging, stubbing, or dropping heavy objects on their feet, the unfortunate fact is that it is a common occurrence. Given the fact that toes are positioned in front of the feet, they typically sustain the brunt of such trauma. When trauma occurs to a toe, the result can be a painful break (fracture).

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • Throbbing pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising on the skin and toenail
  • The inability to move the toe
  • Toe appears crooked or disfigured
  • Tingling or numbness in the toe

Generally, it is best to stay off of the injured toe with the affected foot elevated.

Severe toe fractures may be treated with a splint, cast, and in some cases, minor surgery. Due to its position and the pressure it endures with daily activity, future complications can occur if the big toe is not properly treated.

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

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Monday, 04 June 2018 00:00

How Can Hammertoes Be Treated?

A condition referred to as hammertoe is a deformity of the toes that is typically a result of wearing narrow shoes that have inadequate room for the toes to move about. The middle joint becomes bent, and the toe will bend downward to resemble a hammer. The toes become imbalanced, causing possible weakness in the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. There may be additional causes of hammertoe, including medical conditions such as arthritis or diabetes and any injuries that the toes may have endured. Corns and calluses may accompany hammertoes as a result of the toe frequently rubbing against a portion of the shoe. Pain is often experienced with this condition in addition to swelling and feeling a burning sensation. It may be difficult to straighten the toe, and this may result in buying shoes that can accommodate the hammertoe. This is often an ailment that is permanent and may require surgery for removal. Please consult with a podiatrist to learn about hammertoes and to discuss proper treatment options.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists from Westfield Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

If you have any questions please contact our offices located in Westfield and Newark, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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