Monday, 06 July 2020 00:00

Boating and Broken Toes

There are many people who enjoy the sport of boating. If a broken toe occurs, it may go unattended in the midst of the many duties that are performed onboard. Common causes of broken toes consist of stubbing the toe against a piece of furniture, or from dropping a heavy object on it. Noticeable symptoms of a mild fracture may appear within the first 24 hours, whereas a severe break will show almost immediately, so it is important to begin an effective treatment method. Some of the signs of a broken toe can include pain, swelling, and it may be difficult to walk. Mild relief can be found when the affected foot is elevated. Many patients choose to tape the toe to the toe next to it, and this is referred to as buddy taping. This can be helpful in providing stability as the healing process begins. If you have broken your toe, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can properly diagnose and treat broken toes.

A broken toe can be very painful and lead to complications if not properly fixed. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Steven Hartung from Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What to Know About a Broken Toe

Although most people try to avoid foot trauma such as banging, stubbing, or dropping heavy objects on their feet, the unfortunate fact is that it is a common occurrence. Given the fact that toes are positioned in front of the feet, they typically sustain the brunt of such trauma. When trauma occurs to a toe, the result can be a painful break (fracture).

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • Throbbing pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising on the skin and toenail
  • The inability to move the toe
  • Toe appears crooked or disfigured
  • Tingling or numbness in the toe

Generally, it is best to stay off of the injured toe with the affected foot elevated.

Severe toe fractures may be treated with a splint, cast, and in some cases, minor surgery. Due to its position and the pressure it endures with daily activity, future complications can occur if the big toe is not properly treated.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Williamsport, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Diabetic patients are often at a higher risk of developing the condition known as peripheral neuropathy. This condition affects the peripheral nerves, which are the longest nerves in the body, and may develop when these nerves become damaged. Peripheral neuropathy is known to target the feet, which can cause  a great deal of discomfort. Common symptoms may include pain, as well as numbness and tingling in the feet. Since patients who are diabetic are more likely to develop this condition, typical forms of prevention may include regularly exercising and monitoring your overall diet. For more advice on how to find relief from the symptoms associated with peripheral neuropathy, it is suggested that you seek the professional advice of a podiatrist.

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 Dr. Steven Hartung from Williamsport, Pennsylvania. 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 our office located in Williamsport, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Wednesday, 24 June 2020 00:00

It's Time for Beautiful Feet.

Want to wear open toe shoes again? ...Special occasion? Vacation? ...You don't need an excuse to have beautiful nails.

Monday, 22 June 2020 00:00

Types of Achilles Tendonitis

The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscle to the heel and is the largest tendon in the body.  When this tendon gets inflamed resulting in pain, stiffness or swelling, Achilles tendonitis occurs. Achilles tendonitis can occur from excessive strain, lack of warming up before an exercise, or tight calf muscles. There are two types of Achilles tendonitis, noninsertional and insertional.  Most common in active and young people, noninsertional Achilles tendonitis occurs when fibers in the center of the tendon become inflamed and swollen. Insertional Achilles tendonitis, which can occur at any age regardless of activity level, forms in the lower part of the tendon near the heel bone and can be accompanied with heel spurs. If you are experiencing pain and swelling in the Achilles tendon area, it is important to visit a podiatrist for an accurate diagnosis and to allow your podiatrist to help prevent the tendonitis from becoming chronic.  

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Steven Hartung of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. 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 our office located in Williamsport, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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The symptoms that can occur with poor circulation often include a numbing sensation in the limbs, and the feet can tingle and feel cold. The causes of poor circulation may be medical conditions consisting of diabetes, peripheral artery disease (PAD), and obesity. Some of the symptoms that are associated with this ailment can be shortness of breath, chest pain, and many patients can feel tired for the majority of the day. It may be beneficial to begin a vitamin regime, in addition to incorporating gentle exercise and stretching techniques into your daily routine. If you are experiencing any symptoms of poor circulation, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can guide you toward proper treatment options.

Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact Dr. Steven Hartung of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is can be caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Plaque buildup or atherosclerosis results from excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. This can restrict the amount of blood which can flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.

Causes

Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development. It can also cause:

  • Muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness   
  • Numbness or cramping in the legs 
  • Skin discoloration
  • Slower nail & hair growth
  • Erectile dysfunction

Those who have diabetes or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, as are those who are over 50. If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions.

As always, see a podiatrist as he or she will assist in finding a regimen that suits you. A podiatrist can also prescribe you any needed medication. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Williamsport, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 08 June 2020 00:00

Who Does Sever’s Disease Impact?

Heel pain may be a common ailment among active children. It can be indicative of a condition that is known as Sever’s disease, which impacts the growth plate in the heel. You may notice that your child is limping, and this is a normal symptom of this condition. A proper diagnosis can consist of performing what is referred to as a squeeze test, and additional tests may be needed to confirm the results. Relief may be felt when the foot is elevated, which may reduce a portion of the swelling that can accompany this condition. As the foot gains strength, stretches and specific exercises can be performed that can increase the range of motion. If you think your child may have Sever’s disease, it is advised that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can properly treat this ailment.

Sever's disease often occurs in children and teens. If your child is experiencing foot or ankle pain, see Dr. Steven Hartung from Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Our doctor can treat your child’s foot and ankle needs.

Sever’s Disease

Sever’s disease is also known as calcaneal apophysitis, which is a medical condition that causes heel pain I none or both feet. The disease is known to affect children between the ages of 8 and 14.

Sever’s disease occurs when part of the child’s heel known as the growth plate (calcaneal epiphysis) is attached to the Achilles tendon. This area can suffer injury when the muscles and tendons of the growing foot do not keep pace with bone growth. Therefore, the constant pain which one experiences at the back of the heel will make the child unable to put any weight on the heel. The child is then forced to walk on their toes.

Symptoms

Acute pain – Pain associated with Sever’s disease is usually felt in the heel when the child engages in physical activity such as walking, jumping and or running.

Highly active – Children who are very active are among the most susceptible in experiencing Sever’s disease, because of the stress and tension placed on their feet.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Williamsport, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle injuries.

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Monday, 01 June 2020 00:00

Caring for Plantar Fasciitis

Those suffering from plantar fasciitis are often familiar to the heel pain that is associated with this condition. To help ease the discomfort of plantar fasciitis, there are a few methods you can practice. To begin, you should regularly rest and elevate the affected area. Icing your feet can also help with relieving pain as well as inflammation. Some patients have found the use of custom orthotics to be helpful. Ill-fitting footwear is often a common cause for plantar fasciitis, so using custom orthotics can be helpful in preventing this ailment from becoming worse. Lastly, regularly performing foot and calf stretches can be beneficial in reducing the pain of plantar fasciitis. For more information on how to treat this condition, please consult with a podiatrist for professional care.

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 Dr. Steven Hartung from Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Our doctor 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 our office located in Williamsport, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

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Flip flops are easy and comfortable to wear for activities that require little walking. These types of shoes are designed with inadequate support when they are worn for the majority of the day. This is a result of poor arch design, which can cause uncomfortable foot conditions to develop. Some of the signs that flip flops are being worn for long periods of time can include cracked heels, and the overall foot may feel tired. This can come from the toes constantly grasping the shoe to keep it from falling off. Additional dangers can include accidents to the feet, and it may be easier to sprain the ankle if falling occurs. Please consult with a podiatrist if you would like more information about what type of flip flops are better for the feet than others. 

Flip-flops can cause a lot of problems for your feet. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Steven Hartung from Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

Flip-Flops and Feet

Flip-flops have managed to become a summer essential for a lot of people. While the shoes may be stylish and easy to slip on and off, they can be dangerous to those who wear them too often. These shoes might protect you from fungal infections such as athlete’s foot, but they can also give you foot pain and sprained ankles if you trip while wearing them.

When Are They Okay to Wear?

Flip-flops should only be worn for very short periods of time. They can help protect your feet in places that are crawling with fungi, such as gym locker rooms. Athlete’s foot and plantar warts are two common fungi that flip-flops may help protect your feet against.

Why Are They Bad for My Feet?

These shoes do not offer any arch support, so they are not ideal for everyday use. They also do not provide shock absorption or heel cushioning which can be problematic for your feet. Additionally, you may suffer from glass cuts, puncture wounds, and stubbed toes since they offer little protection for your feet.

More Reasons Why They Are Bad for Your Feet

  • They Slow You Down
  • May Cause Blisters and Calluses
  • Expose Your Feet to Bacteria

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Williamsport, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Monday, 25 May 2020 00:00

Heel Pain Can Be Treated!

Do you suffer from heel pain when you get up in the morning?

Stress fractures primarily occur when the feet are overused. As foot muscles get tired, they are unable to absorb as much shock from impact, and the stress is transferred to the bone. Over half of all stress fractures occur in the lower leg, and athletes involved in activities such as basketball, running, and gymnastics are at a higher risk for trauma. Since stress fractures can be difficult to diagnose through an X-Ray, communicating the risk of stress fractures to doctors is key, because they may have to resort to CT scans or MRIs. If diagnosed with a stress factor, rest is key.  However, a podiatrist may be able to recommend shoe inserts or braces to help as well. For the best treatment methods, please consult with your local podiatrist. 

Activities where too much pressure is put on the feet can cause stress fractures. To learn more, contact Dr. Steven Hartung from Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep your pain free and on your feet.

Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

Stress fractures occur in the foot and ankle when muscles in these areas weaken from too much or too little use.  The feet and ankles then lose support when walking or running from the impact of the ground. Since there is no protection, the bones receive the full impact of each step. Stress on the feet can cause cracks to form in the bones, thus creating stress fractures.

What Are Stress Fractures?

Stress fractures occur frequently in individuals whose daily activities cause great impact on the feet and ankles. Stress factors are most common among:

  • Runners                                  
  • People affected with Osteoporosis
  • Tennis or basketball players
  • Gymnasts
  • High impact workouts

Symptoms

Pain from the fractures occur in the area of the fractures and can be constant or intermittent. It will often cause sharp or dull pain with swelling and tenderness. Engaging in any kind of activity which involves high impact will aggravate pain.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Williamsport, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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