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

April 2019

Monday, 29 April 2019 00:00

Aging and the Achilles Tendon

The Achilles tendon is known to be the largest tendon in the body. It connects the heel to the calf muscles and is responsible for allowing the foot to point and flex. There are several symptoms patients notice if this tendon should become torn. These often include extreme pain in the back of the ankle, swelling, bruising, or a popping sound as the injury happens. It is common for the Achilles tendon to become weak as the aging process occurs, or if medical conditions such as diabetes or arthritis exist . Additionally, this condition may occur if you fall unexpectedly or suddenly step off a curb. If you have ruptured your Achilles tendon, it is suggested that you meet with a podiatrist who can discuss the best treatment options for you.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, 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.

What Is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What Are the Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

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 tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What are Achilles Tendon Injuries
Monday, 29 April 2019 00:00

What are Achilles Tendon Injuries

The Achilles tendon is the strongest tendon in the human body. Its purpose is to connect the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. This tendon is responsible for facilitating all types of movement, like walking and running. This tendon provides an enormous amount of mobility for the body. Any injuries inflicted to this tissue should be immediately brought up with a physician to prevent further damage.

The most common injuries that can trouble the Achilles tendon are tendon ruptures and Achilles tendinitis. Achilles tendinitis is the milder of the two injuries. It can be recognized by the following symptoms: inflammation, dull to severe pain, an increased flow of blood to the tendon, thickening of the tendon, and slower movement time. Tendinitis can be treated via several methods and is often diagnosed by an MRI.

An Achilles tendon rupture is trickier to heal, and is by far the most painful injury. It is caused by the tendon ripping or completely snapping. The results are immediate and absolutely devastating, and will render the patient immobile. If a rupture or tear occurs, operative and non-operative methods are available. Once the treatment begins, depending on the severity of the injury, recovery time for these types of issues can take up to a year.
 

Simple preventative measures can be taken as a means to avoid both injuries. Prior to any movement, taking a few minutes to stretch out the tendon is a great way to stimulate the tissue. Calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses are all suggested ways to help strengthen the lower legs and promote Achilles tendon health.

Many problems arise among athletes and people who overexert themselves while exercising. Problems can also happen among those who do not properly warm up before beginning an activity. Proper, comfortable shoes that fit correctly can also decrease tendon injuries. Some professionals also suggest that when exercising, you should make sure that the floor you are on is cushioned or has a mat. This will relieve pressure on the heels. A healthy diet will also increase tendon health.

It is very important to seek out a podiatrist if you believe you have an injury in the Achilles region. Further damage could result in severe complications that would make being mobile difficult, if not impossible.

Tuesday, 23 April 2019 00:00

Foot Conditions May Affect the Elderly

Research has indicated that one of the reasons elderly people develop uncomfortable foot conditions can come from a loss of cushioning in the feet. Additionally, as the aging process occurs, poor circulation is a common ailment among seniors. This can make it difficult for foot sores to heal properly. This condition may be remedied by sitting frequently throughout the day, and it is helpful to periodically stretch the feet. There are some foot conditions that can be avoided when the proper shoes are worn, and these often include corns, calluses, or bunions. Many elderly people develop athlete's foot, which is a contagious foot ailment. Wearing appropriate shoes while in public swimming pools, locker rooms, and surrounding areas can help to prevent this uncomfortable foot condition. It is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist if you would like additional information about how to care for elderly feet.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Julie Siegerman, DPM from Dr. Siegerman & Associates. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

The Elderly and Their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet and can hide many life-threatening medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

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.

Read more about Taking Care of Elderly Feet
Tuesday, 23 April 2019 00:00

Taking Care of Elderly Feet

Many foot diseases and conditions become more serious and common among the elderly. Some of these conditions include diabetic ulcers, ingrown toenails, fungus, arthritis, corns, and calluses. Unfortunately, it may be harder for older adults to take care of their own feet, but there are some precautions they can take in order to avoid any serious conditions.

Dry, cracked heels tend to be a common problem for older people. In order to avoid this, you should always keep your feet clean and well moisturized. Special feet moisturizers should be used as average lotions might not provide enough moisture for dry and cracked heels. Daily foot inspections are crucial for the elderly to detect any irregularities in their earliest stages. During the aging process, blood circulation tends to slow down causing older people to not feel their feet as well as they used to. This often results in foot problems going unnoticed.

Fungal and bacterial conditions thrive on elderly feet because older adults are less likely to keep their feet clean and dry; this makes it easier for bacteria to take hold in their dry, cracked skin. Elderly people should be sure to thoroughly dry their feet, especially in between the toes, after bathing. This will help them avoid developing any fungal infections. Additionally, clean cotton socks should be worn after the feet are dried.

Cutting toenails straight across will help prevent ingrown toenails. When toenails are cut too lose, the nail might break through the skin resulting in an ingrown nail. Clippers should be used to cut the nails in order to make the cut even.

Elderly people who have diabetes are at risk of developing serious foot problems that may lead to amputation. Ulcers that are left untreated can lead to gangrene. Dry and cracked feet, fungus, and untended cuts under the nails may also lead to infections.

Fortunately, Medicare covers many different types of services for foot care. Elderly people with any of these foot conditions should seek the help of a podiatrist and perform daily foot inspections in order to ensure that they have healthy feet.

Monday, 15 April 2019 00:00

What Is Gout Caused By?

If the joint surrounding your big toe becomes inflamed and irritated, you may have a condition that is known as gout. Gout is considered to be a form of arthritis and typically causes severe pain and discomfort. Many patients experience gout attacks, which can occur suddenly and can last for extended periods of time. Some of the symptoms that are associated with gout may include heat emanating from the affected toe, redness, and swelling. Gout is generally caused by a condition that is known as hyperuricemia. This is the medical term given when there is excess uric acid in the blood levels. Uric acid comes from purines, which can be found in certain foods. If there is too much uric acid in the body, crystals may form in the joints of the big toe. This causes gout to develop. Gout can be managed when certain lifestyle changes are made, including making healthy eating choices and following a light exercise program. If you have gout, it may be considered to speak to a podiatrist.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact Julie Siegerman, DPM from Dr. Siegerman & Associates. Our doctor 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 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.

Read more about Gout
Monday, 15 April 2019 00:00

Gout

Gout is a form of arthritis that is caused by a buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints. This considered to be one of the most frequently recorded medical illnesses throughout history. Gout occurrences in the US have risen within the past twenty years and the condition now affects 8.3 million people which is 4% of all Americans. Researchers have found that gout affects men more than women and African-American men more than white men. 

Symptoms of gout are warmth, swelling, discoloration, and tenderness in the affected joint area. The small joint on the big toe is the most common place for a gout attack to occur.

People who are obese, gain weight excessively, drink alcohol heavily, have high blood pressure, or have abnormal kidney function are more likely to develop gout. Furthermore, certain drugs and diseases are likely to increase levels of uric acid in the joints which eventually leads to gout. You are also more likely to develop gout if you eat a lot of meat and fish.

Many who experience gout attacks will experience repeated attacks over the years. Some people who have gout symptoms, may never have them again, but others may experience them several times a year. If you have gout symptoms throughout the year, you may have recurrent gout. Those who have gout should also be careful about their urate crystals collecting in their urinary tract, because this may lead to kidney stones.

Diagnosis for gout is done by checking the level of uric acid in the joints and blood. Your podiatrist may also prescribe medicine to reduce uric acid buildup in the blood, which will help prevent any gout attacks.

To treat gout, your podiatrist may also prescribe you Anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDs) which will relieve the pain and swelling of a gout episode and it can also shorten a gout attack. Maintaining a healthy diet is also a proven method to prevent gout attacks. 

Monday, 08 April 2019 00:00

What is a Podiatrist?

A podiatrist is a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine who treats the foot, ankle, and related structures of the leg. If you are having any pain, injuries, or abnormalities in these areas, it is best that you seek help from a podiatrist.

Podiatrists complete four years of training in a podiatric medical school. Their training is like that of other physicians, and they may go on to complete a fellowship training after a residency training. Some podiatrists are board certified meaning they have advanced training, clinical experience, and have taken an exam to prove their skills. Certifying boards for podiatry are the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery and the American Board of Podiatric Medicine. Podiatrists may work in private practices, hospitals, clinics, or they may even become professors at colleges of podiatric medicine.

While in college, those who want to be podiatrists often take biology, chemistry, and physics classes in preparation for podiatry school. In podiatry school, students study how the bones, nerves, and muscles work together to help you move around. Additionally, they study injuries and how to properly diagnose and treat them. Admittance into podiatric medical school requires the completion of 90 semester hours of undergraduate study with a good grade point average, and acceptable scores on the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test)

Podiatrists treat many different conditions such as: aching feet, ankle pain, bunions, corns, hammertoes, fungus, ingrown toenails, plantar fasciitis, sprains and more. Common forms of treatment for these conditions are physical therapy, drugs, or surgery. Podiatrists may also recommend corrective shoe inserts, custom-made shoes, plaster casts, and strappings to correct deformities.

Even if you are someone whose feet are in generally good condition, you should still visit a podiatrist to have your feet properly exfoliated and maintained, or to make sure you are looking after your feet properly.

Monday, 08 April 2019 00:00

What Are Podiatrists?

Podiatrists are doctors of podiatric medicine (DPM) and are qualified to diagnose and treat conditions that affect the foot or ankle. Podiatrists are also specialists in preventing, diagnosing, and treating lower extremity disorders, diseases, and injuries. They are the only doctors to receive specialized medical and surgical training and board certification in caring for the lower extremities. Oftentimes, they are the first to detect conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease because the foot is one of the first places in the body to exhibit symptoms. These physicians can specialize in various areas such as surgery and public health. They can also practice specialties like sports medicine, pediatrics, geriatrics, diabetic foot care, and more. If you are interested in learning more about podiatrists and what they do, then it would be beneficial to speak to an experienced podiatrist.

If you are dealing with pain in your feet and ankles, you may want to seek help from a podiatrist. Feel free to contact Julie Siegerman, DPM from Dr. Siegerman & Associates. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Podiatrist?

A podiatrist is a doctor of podiatric medicine who diagnoses and treats conditions of the foot, ankle, and related structures of the leg. Your podiatrist may specialize in a certain field such as sports medicine, wound care, pediatrics, and diabetic care. Podiatrists have the ability to become board certified through training, clinical experience, and then taking an exam.

What Do Podiatrists Do?

On a daily basis, a podiatrist may perform the following activities:

  • Diagnose foot ailments such as ulcers, tumors, fractures, etc.
  • Use innovative methods to treat conditions
  • Use corrective orthotics, casts, and strappings to correct deformities
  • Correct walking patterns and balance
  • Provide individual consultations to patients

It is very important that you take care of your feet. It’s easy to take having healthy feet for granted, however foot problems tend to be among the most common health conditions. Podiatrists can help diagnose and treat a variety of feet related conditions, so it is crucial that you visit one if you need assistance.

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.

 

Read more about What is a Podiatrist?
Monday, 01 April 2019 00:00

Neuropathy

Neuropathy is a condition in which the nerves in the body become damaged from a number of different illnesses. Nerves from any part of the body, including the foot, can be damaged. There are several forms of neuropathy including peripheral neuropathy, cranial neuropathy, focal neuropathy, and autonomic neuropathy. Furthermore there is also mononeuropathy and polyneuropathy. Mononeuropathies affect one nerve while polyneuropathies affect several nerves. Causes of neuropathy include physical injury, diseases, cancers, infections, diabetes, toxic substances, and disorders. It is peripheral neuropathy that affects the feet.

The symptoms of neuropathy vary greatly and can be minor such as numbness, sensation loss, prickling, and tingling sensations. More painful symptoms include throbbing, burning, freezing, and sharp pains. The most severe symptoms can be muscle weakness/paralysis, problems with coordination, and falling.

Podiatrists rely upon a full medical history and a neurological examination to diagnose peripheral neuropathy in the foot. More tests that may be used include nerve function tests to test nerve damage, blood tests to detect diabetes or vitamin deficiencies. Imaging tests, such as CT or MRI scans, might be used to look for abnormalities, and finally nerve or skin biopsies could also be taken.

Treatment depends upon the causes of neuropathy. If the neuropathy was caused by vitamin deficiency, diabetes, infection, or toxic substances, addressing those conditions can lead to the nerve healing and sensation returning to the area. However if the nerve has died, then sensation may never come back to the area. Pain medication may be prescribed for less serious symptoms. Topical creams may also be tried to bring back sensation. Electrical nerve stimulation may be used for a period of time to stimulate nerves. Physical therapy can strengthen muscle and improve movement. Finally surgery might be necessary if pressure on the nerve is causing the neuropathy.

If you are experiencing sensation loss, numbness, tingling, or burning sensations in your feet, you may be experiencing neuropathy. Be sure to talk to a podiatrist to be diagnosed right away.

Monday, 01 April 2019 00:00

Different Types of Peripheral Nerves

Patients who have a type of neuropathy that is referred to as peripheral neuropathy may often notice a numbing or tingling sensation in their toes. As this condition worsens, there may be a burning pain that is felt, and this may be more noticeable at night. Additional symptoms may include weakened muscles or cramping, and balance and coordination may be affected. Research has shown there are three types of nerve groups, which may be distressed. Impulses that are sent from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles in the body are known as motor nerves. If damage to this group of nerves occurs, the result may be difficulty in walking. The function of the sensory nerves is to help people determine if an object is hot or cold, or rough or smooth. Tingling and numbness may happen if these nerves are affected by neuropathy. Additionally, the heart rate and blood pressure are controlled by autonomic nerves, and a patient who is afflicted with this type of neuropathy may experience dizziness or may have difficulty in swallowing. If you have any of these symptoms, please consult with a podiatrist who can guide you toward beginning the proper treatment.

Neuropathy

Neuropathy can be a potentially serious condition, especially if it is left undiagnosed. If you have any concerns that you may be experiencing nerve loss in your feet, consult with Julie Siegerman, DPM from Dr. Siegerman & Associates. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment for neuropathy.

What Is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy is a condition that leads to damage to the nerves in the body. Peripheral neuropathy, or neuropathy that affects your peripheral nervous system, usually occurs in the feet. Neuropathy can be triggered by a number of different causes. Such causes include diabetes, infections, cancers, disorders, and toxic substances.

Symptoms of Neuropathy Include:

  • Numbness
  • Sensation loss
  • Prickling and tingling sensations
  • Throbbing, freezing, burning pains
  • Muscle weakness

Those with diabetes are at serious risk due to being unable to feel an ulcer on their feet. Diabetics usually also suffer from poor blood circulation. This can lead to the wound not healing, infections occurring, and the limb may have to be amputated.

Treatment

To treat neuropathy in the foot, podiatrists will first diagnose the cause of the neuropathy. Figuring out the underlying cause of the neuropathy will allow the podiatrist to prescribe the best treatment, whether it be caused by diabetes, toxic substance exposure, infection, etc. If the nerve has not died, then it’s possible that sensation may be able to return to the foot.

Pain medication may be issued for pain. Electrical nerve stimulation can be used to stimulate nerves. If the neuropathy is caused from pressure on the nerves, then surgery may be necessary.

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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