podiatry

A Podiatrist Can Do That?

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This weather today makes me look forward to summer and kayaking- picture of Dr. Kaplan and his dog Barley!

As a practicing podiatrist, a week does not go by without a patient coming in for one issue and during the course of exam I find another issue that the patient did not know we treated. Commonly it’s a patient that comes in for foot pain and I notice a skin condition on their foot and right away they say they are going to make an appointment with their dermatologist. I am here today to tell you that podiatrists treat ALL conditions related to the feet whether it be pain or not.

Going Skiing this Weekend?

skiing

I am sure that everyone reading this had their parents tell them when they were younger to cover their feet, hands, and chins when going out in the cold to prevent frost bite just as my parents always did. My answer growing up was always “it’s not that cold.” It turns out that frost bite is more common than you probably think. Most people think that it is only seen in the homeless but I am here to tell you this in not the case.

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

Diabetes Awareness- Lonnie Kaplan DPM

As you may or may not know, November is national diabetes month. Unfortunately national diabetes month is not as well known as breast cancer awareness month or heart health awareness month. Diabetes affects millions of people in the United States and unfortunately the lower extremities are greatly affected by this condition.

Advice for Diabetic Patients:

  1. Check feet daily: Many diabetics cannot feel their feet due to neuropathy (nerve damage) It is common for a patient with diabetes to step on something (a tac, needle, etc.) and not even know they stepped on it. Be sure to use your eyes to inspect feet daily. If unable to do this easily, you can use a mirror or a mirror on a pole to see the bottom of feet. Report any abnormalities to your podiatrist immediately.
  2. Don’t walk barefoot: Diabetic patients should never walk barefoot (even going from the bed to the bathroom at night)
  3. Soaking feet: Don’t soak your feet in hot water. Diabetic patients cannot feel the temperature of the water as well as the general population. If you are going to soak your feet, have someone feel the water before you put your feet into it in order to make sure its not too hot.
  4. Check the inside of shoes before putting them on: It is common for diabetic patients to have pebbles, tooth picks etc. in their shoes that they do not feel due to neuropathy. Check your shoes with your eyes before putting them on and remove any foreign objects.
  5. Don’t remove corns or calluses on own: If you have corns or calluses, see a podiatrist for evaluation and treatment. Removing on own predisposes you to cutting yourself leading to infection. Also NEVER use over the counter medicated corn/callus remover as this can burn the skin and cause ulceration

All diabetic patients should establish care with a podiatrist. It is recommended that a diabetic patient without any complications should see a podiatrist yearly. A diabetic with neuropathy or other complications should see a podiatrist more frequently.

If you are a diabetic or know someone who is a diabetic, the doctors at Quality Foot Care of Doylestown would be happy to evaluate you. Call 215-230-9707 to make an appointment with Doylestown’s community podiatrists.

 

Should I hand down Sneakers from one Child to the Next?! Lonnie Kaplan DPM

Now that the fall is here, many parents will be bringing their children to the store to buy new sneakers. When buying new sneakers for children, there are many things that should be taken into account. It is important to remember that children’s feet grow and you will most likely have to buy a new pair for your child every 3-4 months. You should always bring your child with you to the store so that he/she can be properly sized as every shoe fits a bit differently. If you purchase sneakers for your child that are too big or too small it can cause discomfort and irritation leading to your children complaining about the shoes.

Handing down sneakers between siblings is a big NO, NO! Although a younger sibling may grow into the same size sneaker as an older sibling, over time sneakers lose stability. This lack of stability can lead to injuries of the foot and ankle. It is also very important to check your child sneakers for wear. If you notice that one side of the sneaker wears down a lot quicker than the other side, you should bring your child to a podiatrist for evaluation as there may be a foot abnormality present. It is also important that a sneaker feels good when the child first puts it on. You should not need a break in period and it is also important to have your child try on new sneakers with the type of socks they will be wearing with them.

If you have any questions about the above or have children that wear down their shoes more on one side than the other, contact Quality Foot Care today at 215-230-9707 to make an appointment in our podopediatric center of excellence!

 

 

Photo From Striderite

Does your Child Walk Like a Pigeon?! Lonnie Kaplan DPM

In toeing, more commonly known as pigeon toes, is a disorder that is commonly seen in infants and children. The easiest way to describe this condition is that the child’s feet point in while walking. This can lead to many complications such as falling frequently and inability to keep up with friends at school. It is true that sometimes this can resolve on its own especially in infants but it is important to determine the cause of in-toe deformity because not all in-toes will resolve on their own. There are a few main causes of in-toe. The deformity can be in the foot itself when the long bones of the foot are pointing inwards but commonly the deformity is not located in the foot (although the in-toe presents in the foot) but actually occurs higher up in the leg or hip. If the child’s leg bones are turned inwards while walking, this can lead to a presentation of in toeing in the feet. The same can be seen if the child’s knees or hips are facing inward.

Treatment of in-toe deformity cannot begin until a clear understanding of where the in-toe is coming from is determined by your podiatrist. If it is occurring in an infant it can sometimes be controlled by serial casting to hold the foot out of the in toe position. If it is occurring or first noticed after the child begins to walk at around 18 months, certain orthotics for the child’s shoes can be used to allow the child to hold there foot out of internal position when walking. If it is occurring in the knee or hips, certain bracing may be needed and sometimes if ineffective, surgical intervention can be discussed.

Call Quality Foot Care today at 215-230-9707 for an appointment with Doylestown’s community podiatrists. We would be happy to discuss the above or any other foot and ankle concerns you many have!

 

Keeping your Children Active! Lonnie Kaplan DPM

When most people think of a podiatrist, they think of someone who elderly people go and see to have their nails and calluses trimmed and diabetic shoes ordered. Most people do not realize how important it is for children to see a podiatrist as well. Children tend to be on their feet and are always running around the playground and chasing after friends. A lot of foot and ankle conditions start in childhood and progress through life. What is important to understand is that catching/ treating common foot conditions early in life will make for a world of difference in children as they get older. A lot of times people think that children will just out-grow their foot/ ankle issues and that there is no need for treatment. I have seen so many teens who come in with their parents having foot and ankle conditions (flat foot, in-toes) that could have been avoided or progression slowed down by having treatment earlier in life.

My next set of blogs will discuss lower extremity conditions that children tend to develop and discuss treatment options and when to see a podiatrist. Conditions will include flat feet, Severs Disease, warts, ingrown nails, in toes/out toes amongst many other conditions. It is my hope that after this set of blogs over the next few weeks, you will be better educated on when to bring your children to see a podiatrist to give them the best chance to live a healthy pain free life when it comes to the lower extremities!

Call Quality Foot Care Today at 215-230-9707 to visit with Doylestown’s community podiatrists. We will be happy to discuss the above in detail and help your family stay on their feet!

Heel Pain?

The adult foot is a complicated part of the body with many tendons, ligaments and bones. One of the most common foot complaints is heel pain. The most common cause of heel pain in adults is plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of the plantar fascia (a ligament connecting the heel to the toes that fans out under the bottom of the foot). This condition can be seen in people with either flattened or high arches and risk factors include obesity, standing for long periods of time, and certain exercises.

Most people with plantar fasciitis complain of pain when taking the first step in the morning as well as pain when standing, after sitting for long periods of time. Sometimes the pain is restricted to the heel area and sometimes it can fan out along the bottom of the foot. Luckily, treatment is typically non-surgical. Your podiatrist may recommend rest and ice to help with pain, stretching, custom orthotics, physical therapy, or corticosteroid injections. If none of the above relieve pain, surgery can be a last resort. This may entail cutting a small part of the plantar fascia and sometimes can even be done utilizing a minimally invasive technique with a small camera. Don’t let heel pain slow you down.

Call Quality Foot Care today at 215-230-9707 to Visit with Doylestown’s community podiatrists. We will be happy to discuss the condition in detail with you and get you back on your feet!

 

Foot Care 101: A Guide to Home Care

By Dr Ken Lefkowitz

Executing proper home care is the best thing you can do for your feet in the time between your visits to a #podiatrist. It is important that you take the time every day to pay special attention to your feet. Many people forget how necessary the feet are to everything we do, and they won’t become any healthier as we age. Home care can prevent the years of wear and tear on your feet from affecting the quality of life in your later years.

One beneficial routine that is easy to begin including every day is washing your feet with mild soap and warm water. Following this, you should always completely dry your feet with a soft towel. Make sure you dry in between the toes, because many people forget to do this, opening the door to a fungal infection. You should remember to moisturize the heel, top, sides, and bottoms of your feet, but never in between the toes. After washing and moisturizing your feet, you should put on clean socks that wick away moisture.

You should inspect your feet every single day to monitor for things such as swelling, redness, cracks, red streaks, pale or blue skin, open sores, or sensations that you don’t normally experience. These could be the tell-tale signs of infection, nerve damage, and/or poor circulation. If you notice any of these things, you must see a podiatrist at once (especially if you are diabetic). Also look out for ingrown toenails, corns, calluses, and fungus to have them treated by your podiatrist. Seeking treatment can avoid permanent damage to your feet.

If you have home care questions or would like to receive the area’s top treatment for some of the aforementioned concerns and conditions, visit us at our Doylestown office, Quality Foot Care. Call 215-230-9707 to make an appointment and learn the daily foot care routines that can ensure the lifelong health of your feet.