“You’re going to need surgery,” is a very disconcerting phrase that most people dread hearing from a medical professional, but when it comes to surgeries prescribed by your podiatrist, you can put your mind at rest. Foot and ankle procedures generally have a recovery period that is much shorter than that of many other types of surgery. A patient can resume regular everyday activities in relatively little time.
A ganglion cyst is a fluid filled lesion that tends to be seen around joints and tendons in the body. It is especially common in the foot and ankle where it is commonly seen on the top of the foot and ankle. Although ganglion cysts are not cancerous, they can cause pain and discomfort in the affected areas.
Although the wrist is the most common location in the body for ganglion cysts, they are also commonly seen in the lower extremities. Most people only notice a visible lump in the affected area. Commonly people describe it as a fluid filled sac underneath the skin. Pain is sometimes seen associated with ganglion cysts as well.
Many times a podiatrist can have a good idea that a soft tissue mass is a ganglion cyst just by evaluating the area. Sometimes a light is used to look at the area to see if there is trans-illumination around the cyst. Commonly your podiatrist will numb the area around the cyst and aspirate the fluid and send to the lab for evaluation. Ganglion cyst fluid tends to be yellow in color and thick. Once a diagnosis is made, steroid can be injected into the cyst to help reduce recurrence. Unfortunately, ganglion cysts have a high recurrence rate with just aspiration and injection of steroid into the area. Surgical intervention can also be completed to remove the cyst and its walls in their entirety which leads to a lower recurrence rate.
If you have any concerns about the above, make an appointment with the doctors at Quality Foot Care in Doylestown at 215-230-9707.
Now that the holidays and New Years are upon us and we are indulging in food and drinks at parties with co-workers, family and friends, the incidence of gout increased. Gout is a type of arthritis that is seen when there is too much uric acid in the blood. It is commonly seen after eating seafood, meats, spinach as well as after drinking beers and other alcohols (all high in purines). Symptoms consist of severe pain in a joint (in the foot most commonly in the big toe joint), redness and swelling of the joint. Some people describe severe pain with something as basic as the sheets touching the affected body part. It is important to know that the above symptoms can be seen in many other disorders including infection and should be evaluated immediately. It is also important to know that you aren’t only affected with a flare up if you have had gout as a child. Many adults will have their first flare up in there 50’s or 60’s.
After infection and other diagnoses are ruled out (sometimes by x-ray and/or joint fluid sample), the most common treatment is an anti-inflammatory such as Indomethacin. Colchicine is another medication that can be used during an acute flare. Injection of steroid into the affected joint can also be used as initial treatment. It is important to start taking long term medications as well to decrease the likelihood of flare-ups. Some of these medications include Allopurinol, Febuxostat or Probenecid. It is also important to focus on avoiding foods high in purines and meeting with a dietician can help you determine this.
If you have any concerns regarding gout or any other foot and ankle condition, call Quality Foot Care at 215-230-9707 to make an appointment with Doylestown’s local podiatrists!
We all hear about how sitting too much at work is bad for our health. But, what about those who have to stand for many hours at their jobs? Are there health risks associated with standing too long while working?
The answer is yes, standing too long without breaks at your job can cause health problems. In a recent study published in Human Factors, prolonged standing can lead to a myriad of health problems including back problems and joint pain.
The first author Maria Garcia, notes that long-term muscle aches and fatigue resulting from prolonged standing has not received very much research. In the study, it is also proven that both young and old are affected. Those participating in the study were 12 women and 14 men. The age groups were broken into two groups and participants were simulating standing work for 5 hours at an interval.
According to the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), working in a standing position on a regular basis can lead not only to fatigue and lower back pain but can also cause other health problems such as sore feet, swollen legs, varicose veins and stiffness in the neck and shoulders.
So, what should employers do in a situation where employees have to stand for long periods of time? When the work requires employees to be standing for long periods of time high chairs can be provided to allow the worker to sit for a bit.
In a work place that is trying to be well-balanced, the workers are allowed to be in a number of positions including sitting down and standing. Unfortunately, not all work places are so accommodating and the standing can begin to takes its toll.
Saving Your Feet
For those who have no choice but to stand while working there are things that you can do to help alleviate the foot and muscle aches and pains.
Put your feet up while on breaks and this includes your lunch breaks.
Wear shoes with good support.
Watch your weight as extra weight puts strain on your legs and feet.
Exercise regularly to maintain good circulation.
Eat a low salt diet to avoid excess swelling.
Do not wear tight hosiery or high heels.
Change your standing position regularly.
You are not going to last too long as a great employee if you are having issues with your feet. It is very important to take care of yourself and your feet. Long periods of standing do take a toll on your body but following the simple tips above will help alleviate problems that may arise.
When you get home after work and have been standing on your feet for hours, treat them kindly. Put your feet up or give them a nice warm soak in warm water and Epsom salt. Not only will your feet thank you, your whole body will. Taking even just a few minutes to take care of your feet will make a big difference.
For foot problems that just do not seem to get better, be sure to make an appointment with your foot specialist.
Summer is great and warm and this is why many people head for the lakes, oceans and ponds. The thing that many forget is to be careful when exposing the skin to direct sunlight for numerous hours. Yes, there is sunscreen but many people do not think to put it on their feet. It’s easy to remember to put it on your face, arms and legs. Just the thought of having to dress for work with a sunburn is enough to make us remember. The problem is that when the feet get a sunburn we have to learn the hard way how uncomfortable it is to put shoes on over a sunburn. Not only is the sunburn painful you now get to add the agony of being in shoes at work for hours on end.
Sunburn on Top of Feet
When you have a sunburn on the top of your feet it can be super painful. No matter what type of shoe you decide to wear it hurts. Sandals and flip-flops have straps and other shoes have ties. Trying to be comfortable with sunburnt feet seems impossible.
Sunburn on Feet Treatment
If your feet are severely swollen and blistered it is time to see your foot doctor. A foot doctor can give you a prescription for medication to help alleviate the pain. If your feet are sunburnt and just uncomfortable there are a few things you can do at home to try to stay as comfortable as possible.
Soak your feet in cool water.
Apply Aloe Vera gel. This gel can be purchased over the counter at any pharmacy.
When you are home limit sock use. By limiting the time you wear socks it will allow your feet to breathe.
Avoid soap on the sunburn.
Witch Hazel works on many people’s sunburns.
Adding one cup of vinegar in a foot soak also helps.
Do not rub or scratch the areas that have the sunburn. Rubbing will increase the damage to the skin.
Watch for signs of infection. If you suspect that you may have an infection starting be sure to get in touch with your podiatrist ASAP.
Be Wise and No Sunburnt Feet
Of course, it is wise to remember to put sunscreen on your feet. Another thing to remember is to put sunscreen on your feet even when wearing sandals or flip-flops. For the best protection from the sun begin putting your sunscreen on 30 minutes before going out into the sun.
When choosing sunscreen, look for SPF 30 so that your feet will be safe. Do you know it can take up to 6 months for your skin to return to normal after a sunburn? The new skin under where the burned skin peels is super sensitive, so treat it kindly.
One of the best things about the summer and warm weather is that you can have your feet out of the boots and feeling the warm air. Shoe-free time with your feet in the sand and grass gives us a feeling of freedom and contentment. But, one must take care of the feet while they are out enjoying the warmth and fresh air.
Taking care of your feet in the summer is very important. Even if you are just out soaking in the sun, your feet can become severely burned. That fancy hotel you may be staying at for summer break? The shower may be great, but the athlete’s foot that is lurking will not be kind to your feet. As a matter of fact, athlete’s foot can be hanging out in all kinds of public places.
Wouldn’t you rather be outside enjoying the beautiful weather instead of having to visit the foot doctor? Here are a few basic tips to remember when you and your feet are enjoying the weather.
Remember to apply sunscreen to your feet. Be sure to apply the sunscreen to the top and sides of your feet. If you have been in the water make sure that you reapply the sunscreen.
Where flip flops or other protective footwear when you are walking around in public areas. Wear flip flops in the showers and the bathroom areas. Protecting your feet from athlete’s foot, plantar warts, ringworm and other infections is important.
Different activities, while you are out, may require different footwear. Make sure you are wearing the appropriate shoes for the activity that you are doing.
Drink plenty of water when you are out in the hot weather. Water is great for overall health and will help minimize any swelling in your legs and feet.
If you injure your foot while you are out, then you will need to contact your podiatric physician. Do not let foot injuries go for too long without having it looked at by the physician.
Warm Weather Foot Gear
Always have flip flops available for visits to the pool, hotel rooms, and the spa.
Antibiotic Cream- for minor skin injuries
Band-Aids and Sterile Bandages- For scrapes and cuts
Emollient Creams- to keep feet hydrated
Advil or Motrin- to reduce pain and swelling of feet
Sunscreen- to protect feet from painful sunburn
Aloe Vera- for sunburned feet
Blister Pads- to protect against blisters
Clippers- to keep toenails trimmed
Emery Boards- to file the sharp edges of the toenails
Pumice Stone- to help with callused skin
If you have injured your foot and thought, you may have a sprain or worse a break you will need to see your foot doctor. Most people will call their regular doctor or go to the local emergency room. By contacting your foot doctor, you will be treated by the foot professional. Never let a foot injury go unchecked. If you break a bone in your foot and do not get it checked by the physician, you will have more problems later on. A simple x-ray will let you and your doctor know if you have a broken bone in your foot.
Have questions concerning your foot health? Contact Quality Foot Care by calling (215) 230-9707.
If you have decided to take up running or jogging in this beautiful weather than you are not alone. Running is one of those sports where you do not need a lot of equipment. The thing to remember is that you need to have a good fitting pair of running shoes.
When walking into a running store one quickly learns that there are a lot of brands. If you are new to running do not let all the different brands confuse you. There are a few things to keep in mind when you are looking for a good pair of running shoes.
To keep your feet and legs injury free, you will have to have happy feet. When entering a running store, you need to remember that the shoes have to fit perfect from the heel to toe. Your heel should fit snug but not too tight. Lace up the shoe but do not tie it. Once the shoe is laced up and not tied you should be able to slide your foot out of the shoe.
The running shoe’s upper should hug your instep. If you are feeling areas that are too tight or pinching then the shoe does not fit well. If you are having pain while trying them on, just think how much more pain you would have after running with them for about a mile?
Your foot should be able to move from side to side in the forefoot area of the shoe. Next, you should make sure that you can grasp a ¼ inch of the upper materials down the widest part of the foot. Remember that feet lengthen and swell over the duration of your run. You always want to make sure there is about an inch of extra room between your longest toe and the end of the shoe. A friend or the person doing the fitting can check the width while you are standing up with the shoe laced.
How does the arch feel? If the arch feels like it is slightly supported than these shoes should be good. The pros suggest the shoes for a short run. A run can be in the store, a treadmill or the hallway of a mall.
5 Things not to do When Looking for Running Shoes
Never buy running shoes because they are “cute”. It is important that they fit well.
Buying shoes that are too small can lead to a number of things including black toenails and blisters.
Never buy your running shoes in the morning. Your feet begin to swell as soon as you get up in the morning. Always purchase running shoes in the late afternoon or early evening.
Do not guess at the size of your foot. When looking to purchase running shoes have your feet measured by a professional.
Never buy walking shoes, tennis shoes, basketball sneakers in place of running shoes. Wearing other types of shoes can cause injury.
Running and jogging are quite enjoyable. If you have been jogging and had pain that will not go away contact Quality Foot Care and make an appointment with Dr. Kenneth Lefkowitz.
Do you have pain on the side of your toe and it looks like the nail has grown into the skin? Although common, ingrown toenails can be extremely painful. Trying to put a shoe on or even walk barefoot can cause pain. If the ingrown toenail is not taken care of it can actually lead to an infection. What can be done to take care of the toenail? Do you need to call your podiatrist?
Known as onychocryptosis in the medical world, this painful condition can become chronic. Repeated episodes can lead to infections, redness, and swelling. There are a number of reasons as to why a person can suffer from an ingrown toenail. Some people have this problem because it is congenital. A great example of congenial would be those whose toenails are just too large. People who have toes that curl tend to have more episodes of ingrown toenails. Stubbing your toe or any other type of trauma can also cause ingrown toenails. Having your foot stepped on or dropping something heavy on the foot can cause the nail to become jammed or stuck in the skin. Runners often have problems with ingrown toenails due to the constant pounding on the feet on long runs.
Ingrown Toenail- Most Common Cause
The most common cause of ingrown toenails is cutting them wrong. If the toenails are cut wrong they can grow into the skin. Tight socks and shoes can also make matters worse because the toenail is being pushed in. If you are suffering from an ingrown toenail and your toe is painful, swollen and red where the nail meets the skin, you may have an infection. Once the nail punctures the skin, it is the perfect port or entryway for germs that can cause infection. If the ingrown toenail is not treated the nail grows further under the skin and the infection can become much worse. The infection needs to be treated by your podiatrist and antibiotics. As soon as you notice that you have an ingrown toenail you should contact your foot doctor.
Until you can see your doctor the following tips will help to provide some relief:
Soak the foot in warm water with Epsom salt added.
Thoroughly dry your foot and make sure to get the area where it is painful.
Cover painful area with a mild antiseptic.
Put a bandage over the area.
Wear socks and shoes that give the toes extra room.
It is important that you learn to cut your toenails properly. Holding your nail clippers, cut the nails straight across and make sure the corners of the nails are visible. If the nail is cut too short or the edges are rounded the nail will want to grow into the skin. Once the nail begins puncturing the skin you are on your way to an ingrown toenail and possible infection.
If you go to the salon to have a pedicure be sure your toenails are cut as described above. Another great tip when visiting the salon for your pedicure is to bring your own pedicure kit. Using your own kit will also reduce the risk of infection.
Spring is here and after the long winter we are ready to shake off the heavy socks and boots. Now that we are going to be showing off the feet it is time for a pedicure. Are pedicures safe? Is there the danger of getting an infection? There are precautions that you can take to keep your feet safe and looking great.
Disinfection Techniques at Nail Spas
Most nail salons will use a disinfecting solution, and there should be about 10 minutes in between each person in the chair. Some salons may be using UV lights to sanitize the tools, the problem with using UV lights to sanitize is that it is supposed to be a six-hour process. Unfortunately, there are nail salons that will pop the tools into the machine for a few minutes and then pull them back out. Do not be shy about asking about the sanitation techniques used, your health depends on it.
Do Not Shave Your Legs Before Pedicure
Although this seems a bit backwards because we are going to have nice feet and prickly legs but shaving your legs before a pedicure is a no-no. The reason for not shaving your legs right before a pedicure is to protect yourself from getting an infection. If you accidently nick your leg, you are opening up the pathway for the germs to enter your body. It is best to hold off on the shaving until after the pedicure.
Bring Your Pedicure Tools
The trend of bringing your own pedicure tools is finally catching on. You are able to clean and disinfect your tools and know for sure they have only been used on your feet. The pedicure tools that you will want to be bringing should include nail files, orange sticks, nail buffers and foot files. Be sure to watch and make sure that the only tools being used on your feet are yours. Once your pedicure is finished, you can take your tools home and disinfect them.
Cutting Straight is Great
Let the pedicurist know that you want your toenails cut straight across. Toenails that are cut with the edges rounded can lead to ingrown nails. Ingrown nails can be very painful and will earn you a visit with your foot specialist. Before the pedicure even begins let the technician know exactly how you want your nails cut. If you are already having issues with ingrown toenails, it is best to see your podiatrist and not get the pedicure.
Cuticles- To Push Back or Not?
The cuticle is what protects the nail and should not be pushed back. By having the cuticles clipped and pushed back the risk of infection increases. It is important to not harm the cuticles in any way including buffing the nails too hard.
Not Sure of the Salon? See Your Podiatrist
If you are uneasy about going to the salon for a pedicure, you are not alone. Remember, you can always see your podiatrist. The podiatrist office may not feel like a salon, but you will have less worries.
Athlete’s foot will usually begin as a rash that can cause intense itching. Athlete’s foot is also known as tinea pedis and usually starts between the toes. Athlete’s foot will usually strike those people who wear tight-fitting shoes and have feet that sweat. The more your feet sweat the worse the symptoms seem to be.
Signs of Athlete’s Foot
Most common signs of athlete’s foot are itching, burning and stinging. Athlete’s foot is also very contagious and can be picked up from floors, towels and showers. Anywhere that a person has walked barefoot that has athlete’s foot will be contaminated.
Athlete’s foot is related to a few other fungal infections including jock itch and ringworm. Athlete’s foot can be treated with over-the-counter antifungal medications. If you find that the over-the-counter antifungal medications are not working it is time to see your foot specialist. There are medications available that can be prescribed and will reduce the discomfort quickly. Athlete’s foot can cause your feet to hurt and bleed if it is not taken care of.
You may notice that athlete’s foot can become worse at night after taking your shoes and socks off. Some forms of athlete’s foot can become so severe that it will cause blisters and open sores. If you have blisters try not to scratch them and open them up. If you do touch your blisters or feet be sure to wash your hands right away. Athlete’s foot can spread to your hands.
Time to see your Foot Specialist
If you suspect you have athlete’s foot and you have diabetes then you need to see your foot specialist right away. If you notice swelling, redness and have a fever then put a call into your podiatrist. There is no need having to suffer when your doctor is a phone call away.
What Causes Athlete’s Foot
Caused by the same organisms as jock itch and ringworm, athlete’s foot thrives in damp places that are warm. Try to wear shoes that allow the feet to breath at all times. Try to wear white cotton socks over those that are heavier and do not allow your feet to breath.
Avoiding Athlete’s Foot
Wear shoes that allow your feet to breath.
Do not share mats, bed linens, towels, socks or shoes with someone who has athlete’s foot.
Do not walk barefoot in public areas including public showers. Wear flip-flops to protect your feet when in public areas.
Athlete’s foot that is not taken care of can spread to other parts of your body including your nails, your hands and your groin area.
What to Expect From Your Foot Doctor
Your foot doctor will examine your feet. You will be asked when this rash started. Does any other family member have athlete’s foot? Have you been in public showers, swimming pools or other areas where athlete’s foot may have spread?
If you have questions about athlete’s foot be sure to ask your doctor. The better informed you are the less chance of contracting this type of rash again.