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Thursday, 21 December 2017 19:09

Flat Feet Do Not Arch Well

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Flat Feet can cause pain and complications because it takes away the arch in your feet. Our podiatrists Dr. Jeffrey Idol, DPM, Dr. Judith Olkaba, DPM, or Dr. Ruth P. Devadas, DPM, can help to treat this condition at the Family Foot Care of Southern Maryland, located in (Owings (410) 257-2242, Lexington Park (301) 863-6601, LaPlata (301) 934-3345 and Huntingtown (410) 535-1719).

Flat feet happen when there is a problem with the tendons in the foot. Since tendons are supposed to tighten and allow arches to develop with age, when they don’t form as children from 2 or 3 years old or as an adult, there can be lasting complications such as frequent lethargy. The foot hits the ground without any tendon support and the full surface area of the sole is exposed to pressures that can cause significant pain. Tight or narrowly fitting shoes can cause this condition if it’s not genetic since they may cause the arch to respond in an unnatural manner. In fact, this condition may occur late in life even if the arch initially formed correctly. Treatment options include medicines to reduce inflammation or custom orthotics. Children can have foot or ankle pain when they have flat feet and should therefore be checked by a doctor if this occurs. Symptoms of this condition during adulthood can include tired feet after standing or playing sports for extended periods of time. Those with this condition may experience a sluggish or painful feeling in their feet after high intensity activities for long periods of time due to looseness in their arches.

This condition can occur because of aging, obesity, diabetes or severe traumas. Methods of prevention include properly fitting shoes, physical therapy, rest, walking barefoot and weight loss. When not treated timely, pain can travel up to the legs and into the back. This condition can eventually lead to severe pain in surrounding muscles, joints or tendons. Since this condition can cause severe pain if not treated timely, please contact us to help your feet develop an arch and put an end to the flatness in you step!

Friday, 15 December 2017 14:49

Achilles Tendonitis Inflames Your Tendons

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Achilles Tendonitis can cause pain and swelling, leading to an uncomfortable situation. Our podiatrists Dr. Jeffrey Idol, DPM, Dr. Judith Olkaba, DPM, or Dr. Ruth P. Devadas, DPM, will assist you with alleviating your pain from this condition at the Family Foot Care of Southern Maryland, located in (Owings (410) 257-2242, Lexington Park (301) 863-6601, LaPlata (301) 934-3345 and Huntingtown (410) 535-1719).

The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscles to the heel bone and is important when jumping, walking or standing on the ball of the foot. The two types of Achilles tendonitis are insertional and non-insertional. Insertional irritates the lower tendon portion and non-insertional implicates the middle portion of the tendon. This condition is generally brought about by constant, high intensity activities that result in swelling. Although this can happen frequently in athletes, it can also be caused by arthritis or infections. Additional causes include:

  • Exercising without warming up, damaging the calf muscles.
  • Wearing poorly fitting foot wear such as high heels.
  • Bone spurs on the back of the heel.

When experiencing this condition, there will be pain and inflammation at the back of the heel, tight calf muscles, hindered mobility and a warm feeling when pressure is applied. Treatments for this condition include getting plenty of rest or using anti-inflammatories to reduce swelling.

When these methods aren’t successful, especially because of a failure to provide timely treatment, surgery may be necessary. Tendon rupture surgery may be used to cut open the leg above the heel bone to sew the ruptured tendon back together. Another method involves cutting the leg open again and using needles to stitch through the tendon and back out. These procedures can have significant benefits as far as repairing the tendon. Recovery for these procedures could take up to 3 months.

Since surgery should be avoided unless necessary, it is highly important that you get prompt treatment to prevent complications from arising. Therefore, please contact us now so that we can strive to reduce your pain and provide you with a long-term treatment plan to help ensure that you don’t experience this condition again!

Friday, 08 December 2017 18:41

Hammertoes Mean Business

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Hammertoes can really hammer into your feet due to the deformities and long term hinderance to routines that they can cause. Our podiatrists Dr. Jeffrey Idol, DPM, Dr. Judith Olkaba, DPM, or Dr. Ruth P. Devadas, DPM, can help to provide quality treatment so that you can overcome your hammertoes at the Family Foot Care of Southern Maryland, located in (Owings (410) 257-2242, Lexington Park (301) 863-6601, LaPlata (301) 934-3345 and Huntingtown (410) 535-1719).

A hammertoe is a toe that’s been misshaped because it has bent upwards at the middle of the joint. When a muscle in the toe does not work correctly, it can cause pressure on the tendons and toe joints. Therefore, a hammertoe forms as the toe stays bent.

This condition can form from the following:

  • Poorly fitting shoes
  • Arthritis
  • Genetics
  • Trauma

Methods of preventing this condition involve wearing properly fitting and comfortable shoes with extra room for toes (preventing them from being bent from narrow fitting shoes), refraining from wearing high heels (making use of low heel shoes helps to lower the amount of stress placed on toes as they are no longer being pushed against the front of the shoe or stretching toes to keep tendons relaxed. When surgery is required:

-          A flexible hammertoe can be straightened with a tendon transfer which is comprised of rerouting tendons from the bottom to the top of a toe which forces the bent joint straight.

-          A fixed hammertoe is stiff and surgery would favor cutting ligaments and tendons to straighten the toe, removing the end of a bone to straighten it and utilizing pins to keep the toe in a straightened position, which can be removed later on after it heals. Fusion may also be another form of surgical procedure by cutting the ligaments, tendons and bone to strengthen the toe and the use of implants to keep it in that position until it heals.

Hammertoes can cause your toes to get severely deformed if not treated in a timely manner, causing deformities and significant pain. Please contact us as it is imperative that you take proactive steps to ensure your toes stay straight!

Friday, 01 December 2017 16:12

Bone Spurs in the Heel are Serious Business

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Bone spurs can affect many areas of the body, including the heel. Our podiatrists Dr. Jeffrey Idol, DPM, Dr. Judith Olkaba, DPM, or Dr. Ruth P. Devadas, DPM, have the requisite experience in treating this condition and can help if you take the opportunity to visit us at the Family Foot Care of Southern Maryland, located in (Owings (410) 257-2242, Lexington Park (301) 863-6601, LaPlata (301) 934-3345 and Huntingtown (410) 535-1719).

A Bone Spur is actually a bone growing outwards along the edges of a bone. They occur in joints (where bones join), muscles, ligaments or tendons. This condition happens because of constant friction of the bone for a long period of time and can be caused by plantar fasciitis which is an inflammation of the fascia on the foot’s bottom where it attaches to the heel. Generally, cartilage lines the edges of bones at the joint, but with this condition, the cartilage layer is worn down or damaged and new bones form in response to the resulting swelling to try and stabilize it.

This condition may occur more readily for those who sustained severe trauma, such as in an accident, by overusing the joint or by genetics due to family hereditary traits. Treatment for this condition involves:

-          The use of anti-inflammatories to ease pain and to decrease swelling.

-          Physical therapy to reduce and strengthen muscles to increase mobility.

-          Steroid injections into the joint to reduce pain.

-          Appropriate shoe inserts or custom orthotics that can be of great use redistributing. pressure away from the heel where the bone spurs are present.

When these methods are not successful in satisfactorily treating this condition, a surgical procedure may become necessary to remove the bone spurs. This will ensure a more ordinary joint mechanism and will help alleviate pressure on the surrounding tendons, ligaments and nerves. When this condition has not been timely treated, a much larger procedure replacing the joint may become required.

So, please contact us when you have a chance to help get your bone spurs under control and to let your heel hit the ground with confidence!

Monday, 20 November 2017 17:28

Ankle Sprains Cause Sudden Pain

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Ankle sprains unfortunately occur in a sudden manner. Our podiatrists Dr. Jeffrey Idol, DPM, Dr. Judith Olkaba, DPM, or Dr. Ruth P. Devadas, DPM, can help to ensure you have a great chance of overcoming the pain of this condition and getting back to your routine. Please visit us at the Family Foot Care of Southern Maryland, located in Owings (410) 257-2242, Lexington Park (301) 863-6601, LaPlata (301) 934-3345 and Huntingtown (410) 535-1719.

Ankle Sprains are tears in the ligaments that hold a portion of the ankle together or that also attach it to other bones. This condition is painful and can result inflammation almost immediately after the sprain occurs. When ankles sprain, walking motions may be impacted and could be uneven which then results in extra weight being placed on the uninjured and healthy ankle, thereby increasing the chances of spraining that other ankle. Symptoms include not being able to move the ankle as normal or putting normal weight on it when walking.

The two types of ankle sprains are:

  • Eversion - the most common and occur when the ankle rolls outwards.
  • Inversion - that happen when the foot twists and the ankle rolls inwards.

The lateral, medial and high sections of the ankle experience sprains:

  • Lateral sprains are the most common and cause injury to the ligaments that prevent feet from rolling inwards.
  • Medial sprains cause injury to the ligaments that prevent feet from rolling outwards.
  • High sprains cause injury to the ligaments that hold the leg bones together above the ankle.

Factors that increase the likelihood of ankle sprains include wearing improper footwear that increase the chances of twisting the ankle in an unnatural manner, walking or jogging on uneven surfaces and participating in high intensity sports that involve a great amount of jumping, climbing or running.

It’s important to get quality care early on for ankle sprains to prevent it from interfering with mobility and other necessary activities. Please contact us when you have a chance and get your ankle back to its normal position sooner than later!

Friday, 17 November 2017 15:02

Redistribute Pressure with Orthotics

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Orthotics are invaluable in their ability to redistribute pressure in the feet and reduce pain in the process. Our podiatrists Dr. Jeffrey Idol, DPM, Dr. Judith Olkaba, DPM, or Dr. Ruth P. Devadas, DPM, can help to provide orthotics that may give your feet the best chance of being able to experience reduced pain, at the Family Foot Care of Southern Maryland, located in (Owings (410) 257-2242, Lexington Park (301) 863-6601, LaPlata (301) 934-3345 and Huntingtown (410) 535-1719).

Orthotics can involve shoe inserts for the heel that may have been bought over the counter or they can be custom designed devices that fit the specific contours of your feet. Orthotics are very useful in alleviating pain in the feet due to their ability to redistribute where pressure is applied on the foot, as it hits the surface of the ground by manipulating which parts initially absorb forces. Moreover, they are particularly helpful for the following:

  • Aligning the foot and ankle.
  • Preventing or reworking foot deformities.
  • Improving the overall function of the foot or ankle.
  • Supporting those with flat feet.
  • Decreasing a variety of pain in the feet.
  • Reallocating pressures applied to feet.

These devices work by using a wedge-shaped shoe insert that is placed onto side of the sole of the shoe. Heel cushions are a form of orthotics that can help to absorb forces when the foot hits the ground and relieve stress placed on the heel when performing routine activities. Generally, the particular category of orthotics that may be recommended will vary on the type of symptoms exhibited and whether there are any present deformities in the feet. Custom orthotics are generally more expensive; yet, they have greater longevity than those purchased over the counter. Currently, technology allows for custom orthotics to be developed using computerized techniques that map out the contours of the foot.

It’s important to remember that orthotics are very helpful for many foot complications from Plantar Fasciitis to high arches and are well worth the cost when considering the many benefits they provide. So, please contact us today and start removing pressure from your feet!

Friday, 10 November 2017 14:50

Athlete’s Foot Can Run Marathons Around You

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Athlete’s foot is not a fun condition and can cause other complications due its resilient nature. Our podiatrists Dr. Jeffrey Idol, DPM, Dr. Judith Olkaba, DPM, or Dr. Ruth P. Devadas, DPM, have the know-how and experience to diagnose and treat this condition at the Family Foot Care of Southern Maryland, located in (Owings (410) 257-2242, Lexington Park (301) 863-6601, LaPlata (301) 934-3345 and Huntingtown (410) 535-1719).

Athlete’s Foot is caused by an infection that is the result of fungus. The infection invades the skin on the foot and is most frequently the fungus known as dermatophytes. Moreover, this infection is the most common type of the skin! This infection persists with humid conditions and occurs in between the toes. Although this condition does not usually cause the proliferation of blisters, they can form, and as the blisters rupture, can cause the infection to spread to all parts of the foot. It may even spread to the bottom of the foot. This condition is accompanied by burning and irritation and the lingering pain of this condition is not produced by swelling as it is with other complications of the foot and ankle, but rather, is characterized by a scaling of the skin of the foot that takes on a red color. This infection can also cause other complications such as a secondary bacterial infection or toenail fungal infection due to the characteristics of this fungus to spread readily the moment it has the opportunity to do so.

Treatment may involve:

  • Utilizing ice packs to alleviate the burning sensation, oral antibiotics (in case a secondary bacterial infection develops)
  • Soaking feet in warm water mixed with salt
  • Using sandals so that moisture does not build up around toes
  • Topical ointments and creams with antifungal compounds

 Due to the profound impact that athlete’s foot can have on the feet, it is imperative that you contact us when you can, so that we can have the opportunity to diagnose your condition and provide preventive treatment and thereby giving you the best chance of winning the marathon against this condition!

Thursday, 02 November 2017 14:51

Neuromas Are Not Unusual

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Neuromas are a sensitive subject, especially because they involve the nerves. Our podiatrists Dr. Jeffrey Idol, DPM, Dr. Judith Olkaba, DPM, or Dr. Ruth P. Devadas, DPM, have experience with neuromas and can help treat them at the Family Foot Care of Southern Maryland, located in (Owings (410) 257-2242, Lexington Park (301) 863-6601, LaPlata (301) 934-3345 and Huntingtown (410) 535-1719). 

A Neuroma is a painful condition that is actually a pinched nerve and is a benign growth of nerves generally located between the third and fourth toes. They cause pain between toes or the ball of the foot. They occur more often in women and cause severe pain. Because pain increases during activities such as walking, this condition tends to put a damper on routine activities. Those with neuromas experience aching in the front of the foot, numbness at the ball of the foot or inflammation between toes. Conditions that promote this condition include deformities like high arches or flat feet, severe traumas leading to inflammation of nerves, poorly fitting shoes with an inadequate toe box size or frequent pressures.

As far as treatment goes, they are usually treated conservatively but can become serious enough to warrant removal via a surgical procedure. They must be treated early on to avoid surgery. Precautions to take include the use of padding, orthotics to help reduce pain and anti-inflammatories to reduce swelling and pain. If surgery is ultimately required due to the lack of success from the methods discussed above, the procedure will involve the removing of the enflamed nerve. Recovery time is generally a month post surgery. 

Neuromas have the ability to cause abnormal pain at first and thereafter significantly disrupt mobility. Because this condition is effects nerves in the foot, it may lead to the foot being constantly numb. This can prevent an individual from realizing the formation of another complication because of the fact that they can’t feel cuts or injuries occurring to their numb feet. Therefore, please contact us today to receive proper guidance on how to prevent and treat neuromas that may be having a huge impact on your daily routines. 

 

Friday, 27 October 2017 13:09

It’s Hard to Ignore Heel Pain

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Heel pain can be debilitating and hard to ignore because it can arise during routine activities. Our podiatrists Dr. Jeffrey Idol, DPM, Dr. Judith Olkaba, DPM, or Dr. Ruth P. Devadas, DPM, can provide you with quality treatment for your heel pain before it becomes unbearable at the Family Foot Care of Southern Maryland, located in (Owings (410) 257-2242, Lexington Park (301) 863-6601, LaPlata (301) 934-3345 and Huntingtown (410) 535-1719).

Heel Pain generally results from plantar fasciitis, which involves swelling of tissue that extends from the bottom of the foot to the heel bone. This condition results in the ligament on the bottom of the foot stretching irregularly, causing tiny tears in the ligament. Constant heel pain is associated with plantar fasciitis when it’s not treated early on. Heel pain produces bruising, swelling, burning while resting at night or sores that do not heal as usual because of peripheral vascular disease. Contributing causes to heel pain include arthritis because it produces inflammation of the joints or deformities in the heel, diabetes, poor foot wear or standing for extended amounts of time.

Heel Spurs are another usual cause of pain in the heel as they are pointed bone fragments that form on the heel bone. They form at the same time as plantar fasciitis and pain is felt the most when first walking after long periods of relaxation. Although pain does go away as the foot is returned to normal activity, it unfortunately returns after returning to rest.

Treatments to alleviate pain from the pain discussed above include getting plenty of rest, exercise, cold treatment through ice packs, anti-inflammatories or heel inserts. Other methods include stretching and massaging the calf muscle, wearing properly fitted shoes or weight loss. Preventing surgery by reducing inflammation can be successful in stopping pain and can actually reverse damage without the need for invasive surgical treatments. However, early treatment through the methods discussed above are a necessity to avoiding surgery. For these reasons, please contact us today for a comprehensive diagnosis and thoughtful treatment plan that can help you avoid serious complications from heel pain.

Friday, 20 October 2017 16:40

Don’t Get Lazy with Calluses

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Calluses can be painful or a nagging annoyance. Either way, knowing what they are and how to treat them could save you from a painful situation. Our podiatrists Dr. Jeffrey Idol, DPM, Dr. Judith Olkaba, DPM, or Dr. Ruth P. Devadas, DPM, can provide you with preventive information and/or treatment depending on how advanced your calluses have become, all at the Family Foot Care of Southern Maryland, located in (Owings (410) 257-2242, Lexington Park (301) 863-6601, LaPlata (301) 934-3345 and Huntingtown (410) 535-1719).

Calluses are areas of thickened skin on feet and are a protective mechanism to protect the skin underneath it from extra forces exerted for extended periods of time. They are basically made of dead skin cells in reaction to friction or pressure. Calluses can form over several weeks and can fade away if the excess pressure that caused it is reduced. They can develop from an unnatural stride, bad-fitting shoes, high-heeled shoes (which put extreme amounts of pressure on the toes - causing women to develop this condition more frequently), foot deformities or wearing shoes without socks which leads to increased amounts of friction forces on the feet. Rubbing or pressure applied on the foot can cause this condition. Since feet are constantly in a closed and damp setting, there are increased chances of fungal and bacterial infections since they thrive in such an environment. Bacterial infections in particular can start when they insert themselves through calluses when there is a breakdown in the skin.

However, when they get too thick and interfere with day to day routines, they may need to be sheared before they become painful and potentially develop blisters underneath. Severe pain can result from the calluses cracking and subsequently expose the skin underneath. To treat this condition on a daily basis, you can soak them in warm water and thereafter rub them with a pumice stone to remove the dead skin layers that have been softened. This can help to stop extra layers of thickened skin from developing. Please contact us today if you are suffering from calluses to get treatment proactively and effectively.