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Drexel Hill (484) 521-0233
West Chester (610) 436-5883

June 2019

Vascular diseases are complications that take place in lower extremity wounds such as in the foot and ankle. They are also leading factors in the occasional amputation of these lower extremities. Vascular screenings have shown to be an efficient option in identifying any potential lower limb vascular diseases. When giving a vascular exam, there are a couple of things to look for. First, a visual inspection is done of the wound to note the presence or absence of any tissue loss, as well as the color of the foot and any sign of soft tissue atrophy. Comparing any present color changes in the extremities is a key indicator to the severity of the lesion. It is also vital to check skin temperature for the blood flow rate, as this is another reliable marker to the severity of the wound. This is assessed by lightly palpating the skin with the back of the hand and comparing sites from one extremity to another. There are a couple of different vascular exams that a podiatrist can perform to determine the severity of these ailments. These include blood pressure testing, recording the volume of the pulse and non-invasive testing to determine pressure in the limbs and toes.  If you feel that you exhibit any signs of vascular disease in your feet or ankles, it is vital that you see a podiatrist as soon as possible.

Vascular testing plays an important part in diagnosing disease like peripheral artery disease. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, or diabetes, consult with Julie Siegerman, DPM from Dr. Siegerman & Associates. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Vascular Testing?

Vascular testing checks for how well blood circulation is in the veins and arteries. This is most often done to determine and treat a patient for peripheral artery disease (PAD), stroke, and aneurysms. Podiatrists utilize vascular testing when a patient has symptoms of PAD or if they believe they might. If a patient has diabetes, a podiatrist may determine a vascular test to be prudent to check for poor blood circulation.

How Is it Conducted?

Most forms of vascular testing are non-invasive. Podiatrists will first conduct a visual inspection for any wounds, discoloration, and any abnormal signs prior to a vascular test.

 The most common tests include:

  • Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) examination
  • Doppler examination
  • Pedal pulses

These tests are safe, painless, and easy to do. Once finished, the podiatrist can then provide a diagnosis and the best course for treatment.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Drexel Hill and West Chester, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

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Monday, 24 June 2019 00:00

Vascular Testing in Podiatry

In foot care, vascular testing may be required in the diagnosing and treatment of certain podiatric conditions. Vascular testing is particularly relevant for patients with high-risk diabetes, poor circulation, peripheral artery disease (PAD), and chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). Procedures typically involve the examination of blood vessels throughout the body for blockages or buildup.

Vascular testing is very important for the diagnosis of various conditions, including peripheral artery disease and chronic venous insufficiency, as these conditions can greatly affect one’s quality of life and cause pain in the lower limbs. Circulatory problems in the feet and ankles can reflect issues throughout the body, making testing of the blood vessels pertinent.

Testing methods vary between practitioners and can be specific to certain foot and ankle problems. Modern technology has brought about the ability to perform vascular testing using non-invasive methods, such as the cuff-based PADnet testing device. This device records the Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI)/Toe-Brachial Index (TBI) values and Pulse Volume Recording (PVR) waveforms. Contact your podiatrist to determine what vascular testing is available for your needs.

Monday, 17 June 2019 00:00

What to Know About a Broken Toe

The forefoot is composed of five metatarsal bones and fourteen phalanges. Each toe has three phalanges except for the big toe which only has two. Our toes play an essential role to the walking process, which is why a broken toe could seriously disrupt one’s ability to move around. Toe fractures are common and can be very painful. Fortunately, these injuries rarely require surgery and usually heal with rest and a change in activity.

Broken toes typically result from a traumatic event such as falling, stubbing the toe, or dropping something on the toe. Traumatic toe fractures may be categorized as either minor or severe fractures. At times, one may hear a “pop” or “crack” sound when the bone breaks. Common symptoms of a traumatic toe fracture include pain, throbbing, bruising, swelling, and redness.

Another type of toe fractures is a stress fracture. These injuries usually appear in the form of small hairline breaks on the bone. Stress fractures develop after repetitive activity instead of a single injury. Stress fractures occur when the muscles in the bone become too weak to absorb impact. Consequently, the toe bone becomes vulnerable to any pressure and impact it endures. Symptoms for a stress fracture in the toe include swelling without bruising, tenderness to the touch, pain that goes away with rest, and pain after walking or running.

If you suspect that you have a broken toe, you should make an appointment with your podiatrist. He or she will likely diagnose you by performing a physical exam and an X-ray. Treatment for a broken toe may include the R.I.C.E. method, buddy taping, surgery, or antibiotics. The R.I.C.E. method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) is a common treatment method for many injuries because it decreases pain. Buddy tapping involves wrapping the injured toe next to an adjacent toe to keep it supported and protected. These two methods have proven to be effective in the healing process for toe fractures. The estimated healing time for a broken toe is approximately four to six weeks. If the injury becomes infected or requires surgery, the estimated healing time may take eight weeks or more. 

Monday, 17 June 2019 00:00

Have I Broken My Toe?

Many patients will experience a broken toe after a heavy object has fallen on it, or if it bangs into a piece of furniture. Consistent movements over an extended period of time can also weaken the bones in the toe, and this may result in a hairline fracture. Some of the symptoms that are associated with a broken toe often include pain, swelling, and bruising. Toes that are severely broken often bleed, and can point in the wrong direction. Many patients find comfort when the toe is elevated, as this may help to control any existing swelling. Additionally, the healing process can begin when the affected toe is taped to the toe next to it, which is referred to as buddy taping. If you feel you have broken your toe, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can perform an X-ray which confirms this condition, followed by beginning the correct treatment for you.

Broken toes may cause a lot of pain and should be treated as soon as possible. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Julie Siegerman, DPM from Dr. Siegerman & Associates. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is a Broken Toe?

A broken toe occurs when one or more of the toe bones of the foot are broken after an injury. Injuries such as stubbing your toe or dropping a heavy object on it may cause a toe fracture.

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • Swelling
  • Pain (with/without wearing shoes)
  • Stiffness
  • Nail Injury

Although the injured toe should be monitored daily, it is especially important to have a podiatrist look at your toe if you have severe symptoms. Some of these symptoms include worsening or new pain that is not relieved with medication, sores, redness, or open wounds near the toe.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Drexel Hill and West Chester, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Shockwave therapy is a non-surgical therapy that treats intense pain, speeds up recovery time and avoids the stigma that a surgical procedure would present. It is a heavily utilized tool in the fields of physiotherapy, urology, and sports and veterinary medicine.  A shockwave is an acoustic wave that brings high energy to painful spots and tissues in the body that exhibit subacute, subchronic and chronic conditions. This energy induces regenerative and reparative processes onto these ailing soft tissues, tendons and bones. The shockwave in this therapy repairs tissue and initiates cell growth at an accelerated rate. Shockwave therapy is a three step process. First, the afflicted area is located by using palpation. Then, gel is applied to the area in order to ensure that the waves are efficiently transferred to that spot. Lastly, once the applicator that administers the shockwave is lightly pushed against the injury, the start button is pressed and the procedure begins. If you are experiencing any intense foot and ankle pain and would be interested in additional information regarding shockwave therapy, it is advised that you make an appointment to talk to your podiatrist.

Shockwave therapy is a treatment commonly used to treat various injuries and conditions, particularly plantar fasciitis in the feet. To learn more, consult with Julie Siegerman, DPM from Dr. Siegerman & Associates. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave therapy is a new treatment option designed to treat bone conditions such as tennis elbow, shoulder pain, and others. Shockwave therapy uses high intensity sound waves that are directed to the affected tissues of the body with pinpoint accuracy. The effects are very beneficial, leading to a production of collagen fibers, eliminating inflammation.

Who Benefits from Shockwave?

Shockwave is recommended for patients suffering from heel pain and associated problems. Heel pain is a common condition which can be caused by obesity, overexertion, and spending a substantial amount of time on hard floors with your feet exposed and unsupported.

Fast and Easy

The therapy is actually a simple process that can leave patients feeling better the very next day. Shockwave therapy is not as dramatic as it sounds. It enables more blood flow to effected areas, addressing the source of the problem and allowing treatment to last for a long time.

Treatment & Recovery Time

Shockwave treatment will enable your feet to recover quickly. This is especially important since surgery is not required. It is cost effective and does not require the use of anesthesia. This treatment is a better option to surgery, since it is proven safe.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Drexel Hill and West Chester, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 10 June 2019 00:00

Shockwave Therapy

Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) is an alternative treatment method that is used for bone and soft tissue disorders in the foot and ankle. EWST is a noninvasive option for pain relief and it was originally created to help dissolve kidney stones. This therapy works by focusing impulses to target the area in pain. This method has been proven to show a reduction in the amount of nerve fibers that transmit painful impulses, which leads to a reduction in pain. Shockwave therapy can also expedite the tissue which would, in turn, increase the amount of new blood vessels that are formed.

Conditions that can be treated with shockwave therapy include Achilles pain and heel pain. People with plantar fasciitis may opt for this therapy and the results are usually great after 18 months. Additionally, this method can also be used to treat fractures that have failed to heal correctly. Anesthesia is not required to perform this treatment. It usually is not painful, but it can be uncomfortable.

The duration of treatment sessions usually lasts 5-15 minutes each. This procedure is safe since there is no risk of infection from wound complications, if you are looking to try shockwave therapy to heal plantar fasciitis, it may take 3-4 sessions to start working. After treatment, patients typically notice a dull pain in the area which was treated. However, this pain rarely lasts more than 24 hours.

Nevertheless, there are pros and cons that come along with Shockwave Therapy. The most obvious pro is that this treatment is noninvasive, meaning surgery will not be required. Another upside is that there have been very little complications that have been found with this procedure. On the other hand, those who opt for surgery are at risk for continued pain, wound problems, and infections. The biggest con for ESWT is that it is very expensive; it typically costs around $1,000 before insurance. Another con is that the effectiveness of the treatment is questionable. Usually, if this treatment is helpful, the difference is small.

If you are curious about Shockwave Therapy, you should talk to your podiatrist to see if this treatment method is right for you. At times, patients will find that there are other treatment options that are more efficient for their individual cases.

Monday, 03 June 2019 00:00

Blisters

Blisters are small pockets of fluid that occur on the top layers of the skin for several reasons. Friction, burns, and diseases are all known causes of blisters.  Smaller blisters are known as vesicles, while larger blisters are referred to as bulla. The fluid inside the bubble can be blood, pus, or serum; which is a clear liquid that protects the skin. In most cases, blisters are not a major health issue, but they can be an indicator of a more serious condition.  

Causes of blisters vary. Blisters are commonly caused by wearing poorly fitted shoes that rub against the foot. However, there are many other causes besides from friction; including burns, sunburn, insect bites, frostbite, poison ivy/oak, chemical exposure, impetigo, eczema, viral infections, and more.

Most blisters heal by themselves and do not require immediate medical care. If you have a blister, do not pop it since this may cause infection; it is advised to put a bandage over the blister to protect it. If the blister is large, causes pain, or if you have a fever, it is recommended that you see a doctor who can provide proper care. Blisters are easy to diagnose, and if considered prudent by the doctor, can easily be drained of fluid with a sterile needle as well.

To prevent blisters on the feet, wear shoes that fit properly and don’t cause rubbing. Socks can help prevent friction and it is recommended that you wear them if you are wearing shoes. Hand blisters can be avoided by wearing gloves during activities that cause friction against the hand. If you have a blister that pops, do not remove the dead skin, wash the area, apply antibiotic ointment, and cover with a bandage. It is okay in most cases to not seek immediate medical care for a blister if it was just caused by friction. However, if the blister causes pain or does not go away, it is suggested that you see a doctor for a diagnosis.

Monday, 03 June 2019 00:00

What Is a Blister?

Many runners are familiar with the pain and discomfort that blisters on the feet can bring. They are typically caused by friction as a result of wearing poorly fitting shoes, or non-absorbent socks. When the skin becomes raw and damaged, a blister will form to protect the skin. It is filled with fluid that will naturally drain when new skin has formed over the affected area. If the blister should rupture before the healing process is completed, the possibility of getting an infection may increase. There are methods that can be implemented to possibly prevent blisters. These include choosing shoes that fit correctly and covering the area with a bandage where blisters are most likely to develop. Additionally, it is beneficial to use a foot powder that helps to absorb moisture. If you have a blister on your foot that is not healing correctly, please consult with a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.

Blisters are prone to making everyday activities extremely uncomfortable. If your feet are hurting, contact Julie Siegerman, DPM of Dr. Siegerman & Associates. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Foot Blisters

Foot blisters develop as a result of constantly wearing tight or ill-fitting footwear. This happens due to the constant rubbing from the shoe, which can often lead to pain.

What Are Foot Blisters?

A foot blister is a small fluid-filled pocket that forms on the upper-most layer of the skin. Blisters are filled with clear fluid and can lead to blood drainage or pus if the area becomes infected.

How Do Blisters Form?

Blisters on the feet are often the result of constant friction of skin and material, usually by shoe rubbing. Walking in sandals, boots, or shoes that don’t fit properly for long periods of time can result in a blister. Having consistent foot moisture and humidity can easily lead to blister formation.

Prevention & Treatment

It is important to properly care for the affected area in order to prevent infection and ease the pain. Do not lance the blister and use a Band-Aid to provide pain relief. Also, be sure to keep your feet dry and wear proper fitting shoes. If you see blood or pus in a blister, seek assistance from a podiatrist.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Drexel Hill and West Chester, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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