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North Andover (978) 686-7623
Tewksbury (978) 640-1010

August 2022

Tuesday, 30 August 2022 00:00

Clubfoot May Affect One or Both Feet

A rare foot condition that is generally identified after birth is known as clubfoot. Typically, one foot is affected in babies that are born with this condition, and in some cases, both feet have been afflicted. It is defined as an ailment that turns the foot sharply inward while the toes point towards the other foot. Children who have clubfoot try to maintain balance and can wobble as they walk. This condition often develops from genetic reasons, and it may be more prevalent among children whose mothers smoke or drink during their pregnancy. Many patients choose to manipulate the foot by performing specific stretches, as this may help to guide the foot into alignment. An effective treatment method is known as the Ponseti technique, and this involves putting the affected foot in a cast after it has been stretched into a normal position. This can be helpful in keeping the foot in the correct position until it is fully healed. If the clubfoot is severe or corrective treatment does not yield the desired results, surgery may be necessary. This can be beneficial in putting the bones, tendons, joints, and ligaments into their normal positions. If you would like additional information about clubfoot, it is strongly suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can answer any questions you may have.

Congenital foot problems require immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot Health Center of Merrimack Valley. 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 North Andover, and Tewksbury, MA . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Congenital Foot Problems
Tuesday, 23 August 2022 00:00

The Ankle Joint

A common injury to the bones surrounding the ankle joint is a broken ankle. This is a complex joint because it is the point where three bones are joined. There are two bones above the joint that are called the tibia and the fibula, and below the joint is where the talus is located. When patients have a broken ankle, it is generally the tibia or fibula that becomes fractured. This type of break may be treated without surgery if the ankle joints remain stable. Symptoms that many people can experience with a broken ankle include swelling and bruising, and it is often difficult to walk. An X-ray is typically performed to provide an accurate diagnosis, and this is preceded by having the correct treatment begin. A cast or a boot is often recommended to provide accurate stability as the healing process occurs. If you have broken your ankle, please confer with a podiatrist who can guide you toward the correct treatment options. 

Broken ankles need immediate treatment. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot Health Center of Merrimack Valley. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet. 

Broken Ankles
A broken ankle is experienced when a person fractures their tibia or fibula in the lower leg and ankle area. Both of these bones are attached at the bottom of the leg and combine to form what we know to be our ankle.

When a physician is referring to a break of the ankle, he or she is usually referring to a break in the area where the tibia and fibula are joined to create our ankle joint. Ankles are more prone to fractures because the ankle is an area that suffers a lot of pressure and stress. There are some obvious signs when a person experiences a fractured ankle, and the following symptoms may be present.

Symptoms of a Fractured Ankle

  • Excessive pain when the area is touched or when any pressure is placed on the ankle
  •  Swelling around the area
  •  Bruising of the area
  • Area appears to be deformed

If you suspect an ankle fracture, it is recommended to seek treatment as soon as possible. The sooner you have your podiatrist diagnose the fracture, the quicker you’ll be on the way towards recovery.

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

Read more about All About Broken Ankles
Tuesday, 16 August 2022 00:00

There Are Many Causes for Heel Pain

The heel of the foot may be affected when there are abnormalities of the skin, nerves, and bones. The foot condition that is known as plantar fasciitis is common, and can cause severe pain and discomfort. Existing medical conditions that include peripheral vascular disease or arthritis can produce heel pain, in addition to Sever’s disease which affects children and young teenagers. Additionally, many people have heel spurs that are diagnosed as small bones that grow under the heel. These can develop from obesity or from wearing shoes that do not fit properly. Patients who have Achilles tendonitis may have heel pain. The Achilles tendon is found in the calf, and connects the heel to the calf muscles. If it becomes inflamed from an injury, it may result in severe heel pain. Frequently practicing high-impact physical exercise may lead to heel pain, and relief may be found when the activity is temporarily stopped. There are various ways to treat heel pain, and it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can offer you correct treatment options.

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot Health Center of Merrimack Valley. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Causes of Heel Pain

Heel pain is often associated with plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissues that extends along the bottom of the foot. A rip or tear in this ligament can cause inflammation of the tissue.

Achilles tendonitis is another cause of heel pain. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon will cause pain from fractures and muscle tearing. Lack of flexibility is also another symptom.

Heel spurs are another cause of pain. When the tissues of the plantar fascia undergo a great deal of stress, it can lead to ligament separation from the heel bone, causing heel spurs.

Why Might Heel Pain Occur?

  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes                  
  • Wearing non-supportive shoes
  • Weight change           
  • Excessive running

Treatments

Heel pain should be treated as soon as possible for immediate results. Keeping your feet in a stress-free environment will help. If you suffer from Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis, applying ice will reduce the swelling. Stretching before an exercise like running will help the muscles. Using all these tips will help make heel pain a condition of the past.

If you have any questions please contact one of our offices located in North Andover, and Tewksbury, MA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Heel Pain

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

Tuesday, 09 August 2022 00:00

Larger Feet During Pregnancy

Pregnant women will notice that as their body undergoes a series of changes throughout their pregnancy, their feet might feel different as well. One change that pregnant women may notice in their feet is that the size of their feet may increase anywhere from half a shoe size to a full shoe size. There are several potential explanations for increasing foot size. First, swelling of the feet and legs is typical for pregnant women. Second, as a woman carries her baby to term she may gain a significant amount of weight. This dramatic increase in weight can exert pressure on the woman’s feet, causing them to spread wider when she stands. Pregnant women might also notice their arches becoming flattened and longer. Third, a pregnant women may experience a larger foot size because she produces the hormone relaxin, which can loosen ligaments in the foot causing them to expand. Consequently, the foot expands as well. Although it is unclear whether you can prevent your feet from expanding during your pregnancy there are steps that you can take to mitigate swelling in your feet and legs. For example, drinking large quantities of water and elevating your feet while sitting can help to improve blood circulation in your feet. If you are pregnant or plan to be, it may be a good idea to contact a podiatrist who can help you maintain proper foot health.


 

Pregnant women with swollen feet can be treated with a variety of different methods that are readily available. For more information about other cures for swollen feet during pregnancy, consult with one of our podiatrists from Foot Health Center of Merrimack Valley. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What Foot Problems Can Arise During Pregnancy?

One problem that can occur is overpronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens and tends to roll inward.  This can cause pain and discomfort in your heels while you’re walking or even just standing up, trying to support your baby.  

Another problem is edema, or swelling in the extremities. This often affects the feet during pregnancy but tends to occur in the later stages. 

How Can I Keep My Feet Healthy During Pregnancy?

  • Wearing orthotics can provide extra support for the feet and help distribute weight evenly
  • Minimize the amount of time spent walking barefoot
  • Wear shoes with good arch support
  • Wear shoes that allow for good circulation to the feet
  • Elevate feet if you experience swelling
  • Massage your feet
  • Get regular, light exercise, such as walking, to promote blood circulation to the feet

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

Read more about Pregnancy and Foot Health

There is a strong band of ligament, known as the plantar fascia, on the bottom of the feet. It attaches to the heel bone and stretches forward, fanning out and dividing into 5 digital bands which connect with the base of the toes. The plantar fascia is integral to the foot’s biomechanics, helping to form and support the arch and absorb shock. Because the plantar fascia is constantly being stretched while walking, running, jumping, standing, dancing, etc., it can become damaged from overuse. This damage can include micro-tears in the tissue, causing inflammation and pain. This is known as plantar fasciitis. Long distance runners, people who are obese, or who have a tight Achilles tendon are more prone to developing plantar fasciitis. People who wear shoes or sneakers with insufficient arch support are also more prone to developing this condition. If you have pain in your heel that seems to be at its worst first thing in the morning, have your feet examined by a podiatrist.


 

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that is often caused by a strain injury. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot Health Center of Merrimack Valley. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot. When this ligament becomes inflamed, plantar fasciitis is the result. If you have plantar fasciitis you will have a stabbing pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. As the day progresses and you walk around more, this pain will start to disappear, but it will return after long periods of standing or sitting.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Having high arches in your feet
  • Other foot issues such as flat feet
  • Pregnancy (due to the sudden weight gain)
  • Being on your feet very often

There are some risk factors that may make you more likely to develop plantar fasciitis compared to others. The condition most commonly affects adults between the ages of 40 and 60. It also tends to affect people who are obese because the extra pounds result in extra stress being placed on the plantar fascia.

Prevention

  • Take good care of your feet – Wear shoes that have good arch support and heel cushioning.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • If you are a runner, alternate running with other sports that won’t cause heel pain

There are a variety of treatment options available for plantar fasciitis along with the pain that accompanies it. Additionally, physical therapy is a very important component in the treatment process. It is important that you meet with your podiatrist to determine which treatment option is best for you.

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

 

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis
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