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We Strive to Keep You on Your Feet

Michael E. Newman, DPM
Plymouth Meeting (610) 941-6111


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October 2023

Tuesday, 31 October 2023

An Overview of Clubfoot

Clubfoot is a congenital condition that affects infants' feet, making them appear rotated inward and downward. While it may sound intimidating, clubfoot is both a common and treatable condition. It occurs during fetal development when the tendons and ligaments in the foot are shorter than usual, pulling the foot into an abnormal position. In some cases, both feet may be affected. Clubfoot is not painful for the infant, but if left untreated, it can lead to severe mobility issues as they grow. The good news is that with early intervention, clubfoot can be effectively corrected. The Ponseti method, a non-surgical approach, is often employed. It involves gentle manipulation of the foot and the use of a series of casts to gradually move the foot into the correct position. Afterward, a brace is used to maintain the corrected position. In some cases, a minor surgical procedure may be necessary. Early detection and treatment are essential for the best outcome, and with the right care, many children with clubfoot can grow up to lead active, pain-free lives. If your child has been born with clubfoot, it is suggested that you speak with a podiatrist as quickly as possible who can begin the correct treatment method.

Congenital foot problems require immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of Pennsylvania. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Congenital foot problems are deformities affecting the feet, toes, and/or ankles that children are born with. Some of these conditions have a genetic cause while others just happen. Some specific foot ailments that children may be born with include clubfeet, polydactyly/macrodactyly, and cleft foot. There are several other foot anomalies that can occur congenitally. What all of these conditions have in common is that a child may experience difficulty walking or performing everyday activities, as well as trouble finding footwear that fits their foot deformity. Some of these conditions are more serious than others. Consulting with a podiatrist as early as possible will help in properly diagnosing a child’s foot condition while getting the necessary treatment underway.

What are Causes of Congenital Foot Problem?

A congenital foot problem is one that happens to a child at birth. These conditions can be caused by a genetic predisposition, developmental or positional abnormalities during gestation, or with no known cause.

What are Symptoms of Congenital Foot Problems?

Symptoms vary by the congenital condition. Symptoms may consist of the following:

  • Clubfoot, where tendons are shortened, bones are shaped differently, and the Achilles tendon is tight, causing the foot to point in and down. It is also possible for the soles of the feet to face each other.
  • Polydactyly, which usually consists of a nubbin or small lump of tissue without a bone, a toe that is partially formed but has no joints, or an extra toe.
  • Vertical talus, where the talus bone forms in the wrong position causing other bones in the foot to line up improperly, the front of the foot to point up, and the bottom of the foot to stiffen, with no arch, and to curve out.
  • Tarsal coalition, when there is an abnormal connection of two or more bones in the foot leading to severe, rigid flatfoot.
  • Cleft foot, where there are missing toes, a V-shaped cleft, and other anatomical differences.
  • Macrodactyly, when the toes are abnormally large due to overgrowth of the underlying bone or soft tissue.

Treatment and Prevention

While there is nothing one can do to prevent congenital foot problems, raising awareness and receiving neonatal screenings are important. Early detection by taking your child to a podiatrist leads to the best outcome possible.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Plymouth Meeting and Ambler, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Congenital Foot Problems

Flat feet, medically known as pes planus, is a common condition where the arch of the foot is abnormally low or nonexistent, causing the entire sole to touch the ground when standing. This can be due to various factors, such as genetics, obesity, pregnancy, or repetitive high-impact activities. While some people with flat feet experience no discomfort, others may develop symptoms that affect their daily lives. Flat feet can originate in childhood, where the arch has not yet developed, and may persist into adulthood. Over time, the wear and tear on the posterior tibial tendon can lead to the arch collapsing, resulting in overpronation. Ankles and knees can also be affected, as flat feet may cause the ankles to turn inward, leading to alignment issues in the legs. Symptoms can range from difficulty standing on tiptoe to knee and back pain, arch strain, and swelling along the inside of the ankle. When it comes to treatment, a range of options can help alleviate the discomfort associated with flat feet. Special shoes with strong heel counters, steel or carbon fiber shanks, and medial postings can assist in alignment. Custom-designed arch supports, molded to your foot's unique contours, are often recommended. Stretching exercises for a shortened Achilles tendon may also prove beneficial. For help in dealing with flat feet, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist to determine the best course of action for your specific needs.

Flatfoot is a condition many people suffer from. If you have flat feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Pennsylvania. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Are Flat Feet?

Flatfoot is a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arches never formed during growth.

Conditions & Problems:

Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.

Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.

Knees – If you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.  

Symptoms

  • Pain around the heel or arch area
  • Trouble standing on the tip toe
  • Swelling around the inside of the ankle
  • Flat look to one or both feet
  • Having your shoes feel uneven when worn

Treatment

If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle. 

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

Read more about What is Flexible Flat Foot?

Osteoarthritis, or OA, which is often associated with aging and wear-and-tear, isn't limited to just the knees and hips. It can also affect the ankle joint, causing pain and mobility issues. Osteoarthritis in the ankle is a chronic condition that develops when the protective cartilage that cushions the bones begins to deteriorate. OA can occur at any time of life, but it is most common in older adults. Being overweight adds stress to your ankles and fat cells produce proteins that may make the condition worse. Any ankle injury, even one that happened years ago, can lead to osteoarthritis. Symptoms include pain, stiffness, swelling, and a reduced range of motion, which can significantly affect your daily life. Even simple tasks like walking and climbing stairs can become challenging. Several factors can contribute to ankle osteoarthritis, including previous injuries, genetics, and obesity. Treatment options include medication, physical therapy, orthotic devices, and in some cases, surgery. Osteoarthritis is a progressive disease, and for that reason managing it requires a comprehensive approach to reduce pain and maintain mobility. It's suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist if you suspect osteoarthritis is affecting your ankles. 

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Pennsylvania. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Arthritic Foot Care  

Arthritis is a joint disorder that involves the inflammation of different joints in your body, such as those in your feet. Arthritis is often caused by a degenerative joint disease and causes mild to severe pain in all affected areas. In addition to this, swelling and stiffness in the affected joints can also be a common symptom of arthritis.

In many cases, wearing ill-fitting shoes can worsen the effects and pain of arthritis. Wearing shoes that have a lower heel and extra room can help your feet feel more comfortable. In cases of rheumatoid arthritis, the arch in your foot may become problematic. Buying shoes with proper arch support that contour to your feet can help immensely.

Alleviating Arthritic Pain

  • Exercises that stretch the foot can prevent further pain and injury and increase mobility
  • Most of the pain can be alleviated with anti-inflammatory drugs, heat, and topical medications
  • Massages can help temporarily alleviate pain.

It is best to see your doctor for the treatment that is right for your needs and symptoms. Conditions vary, and a podiatrist can help you determine the right method of care for your feet.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Plymouth Meeting and Ambler, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Arthritic Foot Care

If you are suffering from tenderness, pain, or stiffness in the joints of your feet or ankles, call us to schedule an appointment.

Tuesday, 10 October 2023

Diabetic Foot Ulcers

A foot ulcer is defined as any break in the skin. It is the most common type of diabetic foot wound and can lead to loss of functioning and severe complications. These foot wounds often result from factors such as poor blood sugar control, diabetic peripheral neuropathy, and abnormal foot mechanics due to deformities. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy, a side effect of diabetes, can also lead to a loss of protective sensation in the feet, making early injury detection challenging. The assessment of the diabetic foot involves a comprehensive foot and body examination. This can consist of assessing risk factors, undergoing a dermatologic and musculoskeletal evaluation, and having neurologic tests that can determine the degree of sensation. Treatment of diabetic foot ulcers includes debridement, wound culturing, and wound dressings. Additionally, it is important to monitor glycemic control and infection control. Their prevention and management are essential to improve the patient’s quality of life. If you have diabetes and have developed a foot wound or any other foot condition, it is strongly suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist who can evaluate your situation, and receive the appropriate treatment.

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with one of our podiatrists from Pennsylvania. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

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

Read more about Wound Care
Tuesday, 03 October 2023

Causes and Symptoms of Bunions

A bunion is a common foot deformity that affects the joint at the base of the big toe. This condition occurs when the big toe deviates outward, causing the joint to protrude and creating a visible bump on the side of the foot. Bunions typically develop over time due to a variety of factors. Genetics plays a significant role, as the shape and structure of your foot can predispose you to bunions. Wearing ill-fitting shoes, especially those with narrow-toe boxes or high heels, can exacerbate the condition. Additionally, inflammatory joint conditions like arthritis may contribute to bunion formation. The symptoms of a bunion can range from mild to severe. Common signs include pain, swelling, redness, and tenderness around the affected joint. Over time, the big toe may angle towards the other toes, causing discomfort and difficulty finding well-fitting shoes. The skin over the bunion may become thickened and calloused. For some individuals, bunions can restrict their daily activities and lead to further foot problems if left untreated. If you have developed a bunion, it is strongly suggested that you consult a podiatrist who can offer you relief and treatment options that are right for you.

If you are suffering from bunion pain, contact one of our podiatrists of Pennsylvania. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.

Causes

  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development

Symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.

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

Read more about Bunions
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