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Posts for: January, 2015

By drjenniferz@clevelandfootdoctors.com
January 22, 2015
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Many of the estimated 70 million obese Americans are trapped in a life-threatening vicious cycle: Obesity aggravates foot problems, like heel pain and flat feet; sore feet make it hard to exercise and lose weight; and without exercise, obesity worsens and exacerbates progression of diabetes, heart disease and other serious health threats.

It is unfortunate obese adults get caught up in the vicious cycle of avoiding physical activity due to foot or ankle pain, thereby permitting cardiovascular disease and other life-threatening conditions to worsen as a result.  For example, in many cases, chronic heel pain occurs from carrying too much weight.  Left untreated, it becomes an impediment to physical activity and meaningful weight loss.

There is no reason foot or ankle pain should stop obese patients from exercising. The first step toward breaking that vicious cycle is to be evaluated by a podiatrist.

Many causes of foot pain can be relieved without surgery through stretching exercises, orthotics and athletic shoes with good shock absorption and support. If a bunion, heel pain or other condition requires surgery, patients can participate during their recovery in non-weight-bearing activities, such as riding a stationary bike, swimming or weight training.

For those moderately to severely overweight, a thorough physical examination is mandatory by their primary care doctor and/or internist before beginning an exercise program.   Once cleared by this physician, don’t try to do too much too soon. Follow a gradual routine until your body adjusts to the stress of regular physical activity. 

Shedding excess pounds helps diabetic patients control their disease.  Every diabetic patient needs regular foot exams to check for possible sore spots and assess nerve sensation.  And with proper diabetic foot care and the right footwear, most patients can follow an exercise regimen that is safe and appropriate for them.

If you or someone you know is suffering from a condition preventing them from working out, please give one of  Our Offices a  call to schedule a consultation.  We can help you shed those unwanted pounds!


By drjenniferz@clevelandfootdoctors.com
January 15, 2015
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Winter is here, with its frigid temperatures, howling winds and snowy, icy conditions.  The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) reports that falls on icy surfaces are a major cause of ankle sprains and fractures and offers these tips to keep you safe this winter season.

  1. Wear low-heeled boots or overshoes with good traction.  High-heeled boots may be in style, but for walking on snow and ice it’s best to forego fashion in favor of safety. 
  2. Watch for ice and snow—Winter wonderlands can be beautiful but also dangerous – watch for ice or snow patches along your trail. The ankle joint can be more vulnerable to serious injury from falling on ice as it accelerates the fall and often causes more severe trauma since the foot can move in any direction after it slips.
  3. As soon as you get inside, remove your boots or dry them well. Snow and ice can remain on shoes, leading to falls indoors.  
  4. Never assume the ability to walk means your ankle isn’t broken or badly sprained. Putting weight on the injured joint can worsen the problem and lead to chronic instability, joint pain and arthritis later in life. It is also possible to have both a fractured and sprained ankle at the same time, and a bad sprain can mask a fracture. It’s best to have an injured ankle evaluated as soon as possible by a podiatrist for proper diagnosis and treatment.
  5. If you do experience a fall or injury, call our office for prompt evaluation and treatment. Use R.I.C.E. therapy (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) to help reduce the pain and control swelling around the injury in the meantime.

Falls happen quickly. On average less than two seconds elapse between the beginning and end of a fall, so be aware of what you can do to protect yourself in that time. If you fall on an icy spot and hurt your ankle, please give one of Our Offices a call for iimmediate diagnosis and proper treatment in order to reduce further damage.  We are here to help!


By drjenniferz@clevelandfootdoctors.com
January 06, 2015
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There are many issues relating to the Achilles tendon. It does not always result in the wince-inducing highlight reels from professional sports. While the tears and ruptures are the most notable and produce the best stories, there are other types of injuries that are just as common and not as severe. Many go undiagnosed as basic soreness and temporary injuries.

 

The Achilles tendon is the largest and toughest tendon in the body and it connects the heel to the calf muscles. Because it connects those two, it is responsible for moving the foot up and down, which is a motion used in just about every movement of a standing body. Because of its usage, it is very susceptible to injury, but also usually easy to diagnose and treat.

 

There are three basic types of Achilles tendon injuries:

 

 

Achilles Tendinosis:

There are many different words used to describe this condition. It has been referred to as tendinosis and tendinopathy. In this condition, the terminology which will be used is a degenerative tendinopathy. This term is used because it is a chronic condition, and is associated with gradual degeneration of the Achilles tendon.

 

There are times when the Achilles tendon does not function correctly because of multiple, minor microscopic tears of the tendon and the limited ability of the tendon to heal and repair itself. The blood circulation to the Achilles tendon in some patients is not always as good as it should be and microscopic tears begin to occur inside the tendon approximately six-centimeters from the attachment on the heel bone. Because of poor blood supply, the ability to heal these microscopic tears is limited and tearing of the tendon continues. Eventually, the tendon begins to thicken and weaken, and gets quite painful.

 

Achilles Tendonitis:

This injury is a result of continual stress on the tendon over time and can affect athletes and those not-so-athletic. Tight calf muscles, bone spurs, and increased physical exertion can lead to increased pain in the heel.

 

Achilles Tendon Rupture:

This is the Achilles injury that is often seen sidelining professional athletes. This is when the tendon tears partially or completely, and can result in inability to walk or even stand. It is often a result of Achilles tendonitis.

 

If you or someone you know has any questions and/or is seeking treatment for an Achilles tendon injury please give one of Our Offices a call.


By drjenniferz@clevelandfootdoctors.com
January 06, 2015
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What are Skin Cancers of the Feet?

Skin cancer can develop anywhere on the body, including in the lower extremities. Skin cancers of the feet have several features in common. Most are painless, and often there is a history of recurrent cracking, bleeding, or ulceration. Frequently, individuals discover their skin cancer after unrelated ailments near the affected site.

Causes

We often view the sun’s harmful rays as the primary cause of skin cancer, due to the fact that the condition is often found on parts of the body that receive the most sun exposure. While this may be true of some bodily skin cancers, it does not hold true for those that arise on the skin of the feet. Skin cancers of the feet are more often related to viruses, exposure to chemicals, chronic inflammation or irritation, or inherited traits. Unfortunately, the skin of the feet is often overlooked during routine medical examinations, and for this reason, it important that the feet are checked regularly for abnormalities which might be indicative of evolving skin cancer.

Types and Symptoms

Some of the most common cancers of the lower extremity are:

Basal Cell Carcinoma: Basal cell carcinoma frequently is seen on sun-exposed skin surfaces. With feet being significantly less exposed to the sun, it occurs there less often. This form of skin cancer is one of the least aggressive cancers in the body.  Basal cell cancers may appear as pearly white bumps or patches that may ooze or crust and are similar in appearance to an open sore. On the skin of the lower legs and feet, basal cell cancers often resemble non-cancerous skin tumors or benign ulcers.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common form of cancer on the skin of the feet. Most types of early squamous cell carcinoma are confined to the skin and do not spread. However, when advanced, some can become more aggressive and spread throughout the body. This form of cancer often begins as a small scaly bump or plaque, which may appear inflamed. Sometimes there is a history of recurrent cracking or bleeding. Occasionally, it begins as a hard, projecting, callus-like lesion. Though squamous cell cancer is painless, it may be itchy. Squamous cell cancer may resemble a plantar wart, a fungal infection, eczema, an ulcer, or other common dermatological conditions of the foot.

Malignant Melanoma: Malignant melanoma is one of the deadliest skin cancers known. Nonsurgical treatments are rarely effective and many remain experimental. This type of skin cancer must be detected very early to ensure patient survival. Melanomas may occur on the skin of the feet and on occasion beneath a toenail. They are found both on the soles and on the top of the feet. As a melanoma grows and extends deeper into the skin, it becomes more serious and may spread through the body through the lymphatics and blood vessels.

When to Visit a Podiatrist

Learn the ABCDs of cancer. If you notice a mole, bump, or patch on the skin that meets any of the following criteria, see a podiatrist immediately:

•Asymmetry - If divided in half, the sides don't match

•Borders - They look scalloped, uneven, or ragged

•Color - They may have more than one color. These colors may have an uneven distribution

•Diameter - They can appear wider than a pencil eraser (greater than 6 mm). For other types of skin cancer, look for spontaneous ulcers and non-healing sores, bumps that crack or bleed, nodules with rolled or "donut-shaped" edges, or discrete scaly areas

Diagnosis and Treatment

The investigation for skin cancer will be done through clinical examination and skin and/or punch biopsy. A skin biopsy is a simple procedure in which a small sample of the skin lesion is obtained and sent to a specialized laboratory where a skin pathologist examines the tissue in greater detail.  If a lesion is determined to be malignant, your podiatrist will recommend the best course of treatment for your condition.

If you or someone you know has a questionable lesion, please give 1 of Our Offices a call for further evalaution and treatment.

Informatoin provided above can be found at APMA and/or BAKO Labs.

 

 

 


By drjenniferz@clevelandfootdoctors.com
January 06, 2015
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Coming soon.