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Did Punxsutawney Phil See His Shadow?

I know that we are in the middle of winter, albeit a warm winter, but I thought today would be a great day to discuss malignant melanoma and the feet as the groundhog did not see his shadow meaning an early spring/summer. In our office, we have posters that show pictures of skin cancers of the feet and multiple times a day patients say to us “Wow, I didn’t know you can develop skin cancer on the feet.” I am here today to tell you, YES, you can develop skin cancer on the feet.

Bunions!

  • gout

One of the most common foot conditions seen in the world are bunions. Bunions are best defined as bony prominence’s that occur at the joint at the base of the big toe. As a bunion develops, the toe deviates towards the outside of the foot and pain can develop. There are multiple causes of bunions but the most common cause is a flat foot type which tends to be inherited from your parents. Trauma and other systemic diseases can cause bunions although less commonly.

Knots in Your Feet

FOOT FACTS

Recently, I have been seeing quite a few patients that present to the office with a complaint of “a knot in the bottom of my foot.” Most of the time, they say that they just get occasional discomfort associated with the area. Many of these “knots” on the bottom of patients feet are plantar fibromas. A plantar fibroma is a fibrous lump that occurs on the bottom of the feet and is typically embedded in the plantar fascia (ligament that runs from the heel out to the ball of the foot) The cause of these knots are not always known but some thoughts include trauma, genetics (can be associated with certain diseases) as well as certain medications. (B-Blockers, Dilantin, glucosamine/ chondroitin)

Hammertoes- How to Treat! Lonnie Kaplan DPM

  • Hammertoe Deformity

As you can see from the above picture, even celebrities have foot and ankle abnormalities. One example of this is a hammertoe. A hammertoe is most easily described as a contracture of the toe causing the top of the toe to be prominent. (usually due to abnormal muscle pull) There are many causes of hammertoes such as flat feet and high arch feet. They can also be seen after trauma. Symptoms can include pain in the top of the toes where they rub against the top of the shoe. Commonly calluses can be formed in the area on the top of the toes which become painful. Hammertoes can also lead to pain in the ball of the feet due to extra pressure in this area from the contracture. Depending on what caused the hammertoes, they tend to progress over time.

Foot & Ankle Surgery; What To Expect

Victoria Beckham

“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.

New Years Resolution for Weight Loss? Lonnie Kaplan DPM

  • feet weight

It’s that time of the year where everyone is trying to shed a few pounds from their holiday over eating. I tend to be a regular at the gym and in the last few days, as there are at the beginning of every year, there have been a lot of unfamiliar faces. What needs to be realized is that when you go from inactive to working out a lot, there is a high probability of injury to the foot and ankle.

Common injuries include stress fractures, sprains, and strains. A stress fracture is a type of fracture which cannot always be seen on x-ray that tends to occur in people that increase their activity level too quickly. Symptoms of this injury can include pin point tenderness over an area of bone (particularly seen in the metatarsals which are the long bones of the forefoot). Treatment can include special shoe gear as well as immobilization.

Sprains and strains of the foot and ankle are also seen in people who hit the gym after being sedentary for a long time. There are tons of muscles, tendons and ligaments in the foot and ankle that can easily be injured. Stretching before, during and after exercises is a great way to try and decrease the occurrence of these sprains and strains. Common symptoms of these include pain in the foot especially with range of motion (ie moving the toes/ ankle etc) Treatment of these include ice, elevation and possible immobilization of the affected body part. It is always important to have x-rays completed of the affected foot or ankle to rule out fracture or other causes of foot/ankle pain.

If you or anyone you know has any foot or ankle pain, contact Quality Foot Care at 215-230-9707 to schedule an appointment with your local podiatrists today!

What Is That Moving Bump On My Foot?

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.

Symptoms:

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.

Diagnosis/Treatment

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.

What Is The Rich Mans Disease?

iStock_000017138718_FullNow 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!

Foot Pain after your Holiday Party? Lonnie Kaplan DPM

Now that the holidays are upon us and we are indulging in food and drinks at parties with co-workers, family and friends, the incidence of gout tends to be on the increase. 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 gout flare up if you  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 dietitian can help you determine this.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding gout or any other foot and ankle condition, call Quality Foot Care today at 215-230-9707 to make an appointment with Doylestown’s local podiatrists!

Should I try Barefoot Running?! Lonnie Kaplan DPM

I am sure that everyone has heard about barefoot/ minimalist running as I am constantly asked about this when my runners come and see me in the office. One important thing to remember is that barefoot running is running without any shoes and minimalist running is running with shoes designed not to change your gait pattern. (5 finger shoes) When running most people strike the ground with their heel and then transfer weight to the their forefoot and then toes. Most people are not natural forefoot strikers as barefoot runners frequently talk about. A forefoot striker is a person that when running, has the ball of the foot strike the ground first and then the calf muscles contract to prevent the heel from slamming into the ground. Since you are hitting the ground with the ball of the foot, which does not have as much cushioning as the heel, there is an increased risk of forefoot injuries such as stress fractures, neuromas, as well as Achilles tendon strains and sprains because the Achilles is working hard to prevent the heel from slamming into the ground with every stride.

In the past when most running was done on grassy or soft surfaces, this may have been an okay form of running. Unfortunately, in today’s society, most running is done on pavement or sidewalks and rarely on grassy surfaces that offer more cushioning to the feet. Constantly running on pavement as a barefoot runner, has a negative effect on the entire front of the foot. Combining this with the increasing BMI’s in the United States does not lend itself well to most people running barefoot.

If barefoot running is something that you are interested in trying or have further questions about it, call Quality Foot Care  today at 215-230-9707 to make an appointment with Doylestown’s local podiatrists!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture from: Rochestermedia.com