By Foot and Ankle Wellness Center of Western Pennsylvania
July 03, 2017

Sprained Ankle

Have you ever twisted your ankle while participating in a sport? Or maybe you simply slipped while walking? Either way, ankle sprains, and fractures should not be ignored. Ankle sprains are common injuries that occur when ligaments are stretched or torn, with nearly 85% occurring laterally or on the outside of the ankle joints. By visiting your podiatrist, you can receive the care you need to get back on your feet.

Symptoms of a Sprained or Fractured Ankle

Your symptoms upon spraining your ankle may vary depending on the severity of your pain and how it occurred. The symptoms of an ankle sprain may include:

  • Pain or soreness
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Difficulty walking
  • Stiffness in the joint

All ankle sprains will produce some level of pain at the time of your injury and the joint will also feel tender, beginning to swell. If your sprain is mild, you may experience a slight loss in the function of your joint.

With a more serious sprain, you will most likely fall during the initial impact of the injury. It will often be difficult to move or put weight on your injured ankle, producing bruising and swelling from the ankle to the foot. Once you have had ankle sprains or other ankle injuries before, you may have a weakened joint that creates more of a chance for future injuries to take place.

Common symptoms of an ankle fracture are similar to ankle sprains, and include:

  • Pain to touch
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Inability to walk on the leg
  • Deformity around the ankle

Treatment and Prevention

Treatment for your ankle sprain begins with self-care. The RICE evaluation is highly recommended upon the initial onset of your injury:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevation

When your podiatrist feels you are ready to begin participating in sports and exercising, you can help prevent further sprains and fractures by wearing an ankle brace during the first initial months of being back on your ankle. Special wraps are also available to protect your ankle. 

If your symptoms still persist after taking the initial step of at-home-care, or if you suspect you might have a fracture, a visit to your podiatrist may be in order. With a consultation at our practice, your ankle sprain or fracture can be treated and further prevented. There is no need to put an end to your athletic lifestyle with recurring ankle injuries.

By Foot and Ankle Wellness Center of Western Pennsylvania
June 30, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Plantar Fasciitis  

What your podiatrists in Butler and Monaca, Pennsylvania want you to knowplantar fasciitis

You don’t have to be an athlete to experience the pain of plantar fasciitis. This common foot condition results in inflammation of the thick band of tissue running across your heel called the plantar fascia. The condition causes pain in your heel and around the side of your foot and can result in difficulty walking or standing.

Fortunately, there are effective treatments for plantar fasciitis and your podiatrists at The Foot and Ankle Wellness Center of Western Pennsylvania want to share their knowledge of plantar fasciitis treatment. They have offices in Butler, and Monaca, Pennsylvania to serve your needs.

You may have plantar fasciitis if you experience:

  • Stabbing pain around your heel
  • Pain that increases after waking up
  • Pain that gets worse while rising or standing from being seated
  • Pain that increases after you exercise

There are many causes of plantar fasciitis. You are at increased risk of plantar fasciitis if you:

  • Are 40 to 60 years old
  • Carry extra weight
  • Have flat feet
  • Are a runner or jogger
  • Wear old, unsupportive shoes
  • Stand or walk on hard surfaces for long periods of time
  • Overpronate or roll your foot when you walk

Sometimes plantar fasciitis pain can resolve on its own by following a few simple tips. You can try:

  • Stretching your arches daily
  • Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory and pain medications
  • Wearing supportive shoes and avoiding going barefoot
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Switching to low-impact sports like swimming

If your plantar fasciitis pain doesn’t resolve on its own, it’s time to call the experts at The Foot and Ankle Wellness Center of Western Pennsylvania. They offer several effective treatments to relieve your pain, including:

  • Physical therapy and stretching exercises
  • Custom orthotics and night splints
  • Steroid injections and prescription strength medications
  • For severe cases, extracorporeal shock wave therapy or ESWT is also used

Don’t let the pain of plantar fasciitis keep you from enjoying your life. For more information about plantar fasciitis and other foot conditions, call your foot doctors at The Foot and Ankle Wellness Center of Western Pennsylvania, with offices in Butler, and Monaca, Pennsylvania. Get some relief by calling today!

By Foot and Ankle Wellness Center of Western Pennsylvania
June 05, 2017
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Gout  

How many times have you found yourself yelling, “Oh, my aching feet,” but then shrugged it off, figuring that "aching feet" are a natural part of life? You don’t have to put up with aching feet. Your podiatrist urges you to not ignore that ache in your feet.  When pain occurs, it is the first sign that something isn’t right, so a trip to our practice is in order.

Gout is a form of arthritis, and it can often cause extreme pain to your feet. Approximately one million Americans suffer from gout, and although its source is a systemic problem within the body, there are some suggestions for how to treat gout that may help reduce your chance of having a gout flare-up. 

Diagnosis and Treatment

Because the joint inflammation of gout can resemble that of a joint infection or other forms of arthritis, diagnosing gout requires removing a small amount of fluid from the joint and examining it for uric acid crystals. Once a diagnosis has been made, your podiatrist can recommend a gout treatment plan to help:

  • Stop acute attacks
  • Rapidly relieve pain and inflammation
  • Avert future attacks
  • Prevent the development of tophi, kidney stones and kidney disease   

Gout treatment will most likely involve anti-inflammatory medications to relieve acute pain and inflammation, as well as urate-lowering drugs to control urate levels and prevent future attacks.

Other gout treatment strategies might include the following:

  • Avoid foods with high purines, such as organ meats, anchovies, shellfish, bacon and gravies, and increasing intake of dairy foods.
  • Avoid alcohol, which increases the production of urate and impairs excretion
  • Lose weight to reduce blood urate levels
  • Avoid medications that contribute to hyperuricemia, including diuretics

With proper treatment by your podiatrist, gout is one of the most controllable forms of arthritis. So when pain occurs, don’t just deal with it, seek treatment immediately. 

By Foot and Ankle Wellness Center of Western Pennsylvania
May 23, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: heel pain  

How your podiatrists in Butler and Monaca, Pennsylvania can help your feetheel pain

Heel pain isn’t just annoying; it can be debilitating. It can greatly impair your ability to walk around and enjoy the activities of your life. It’s not a good idea to ignore your heel pain because it could be a sign of a more serious condition, like plantar fasciitis.

Fortunately, there are effective treatments to help with your heel pain. Your podiatrists at The Foot and Ankle Wellness Center of Western Pennsylvania want to help ease your heel pain. They have convenient office locations in Butler, and Monaca, Pennsylvania to serve you.

There are a few issues that can put you at higher risk for heel pain, including:

  • Having flat feet
  • Being diabetic
  • Having excess weight
  • Wearing poorly fitting shoes or high heels
  • Doing high-impact sports like aerobics or running

You can develop heel pain for a number of reasons, but one of the most common causes is plantar fasciitis. This condition is caused by inflammation of the thick band of tissue which runs across your heel. Plantar fasciitis can cause a sharp, stabbing pain on the side of your foot, your arch, and your heel.

Other causes of heel pain include stone bruises, caused by stepping on sharp stones or objects, and bone spurs which can be caused by ligament and muscle strain or excess calcium deposits.

You can try to treat heel pain yourself, using a few simple home remedies, including:

  • Resting and taking the weight off of your feet
  • Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory and pain medications

Heel pain can be stubborn and doesn’t always respond to home treatment. Fortunately, your podiatrists at The Foot and Ankle Wellness Center of Western Pennsylvania have several effective treatments for heel pain. They may recommend:

  • Custom fit orthotics, wedges or supports
  • Prescription medications
  • Physical therapy and stretching exercises
  • Extracorporeal Shock Wave Treatment (ESWT)
  • Surgical treatment

Don’t ignore your heel pain, especially when help is just a phone call away. Call your podiatrists at The Foot and Ankle Wellness Center of Western Pennsylvania. They have offices in Butler, and Monaca, Pennsylvania to help you end your heel pain, so call today!

By Foot and Ankle Wellness Center of Western Pennsylvania
May 02, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Osteoporosis   Foot Fracture  
Broken LegWhen people think of osteoporosis, they may think of it in relation to the spine and hips—quite possibly the wrists and ribs, as well. However, osteoporosis can also affect your feet. In fact, seemingly unexplained foot fractures may be an early indication that you have osteoporosis.  
Osteoporosis means “porous bones," and that your bones are losing their density, making them thinner and easily breakable. Foot fractures from osteoporosis can come in the form of stress fractures, which are tiny fractures that cause small cracks in your feet. Because of the lack of structure to the bones, they become weak, which can lead to fractures.  
In their advanced stages, fractures can happen from something as simple as getting out of bed in the morning. These fractures can occur anywhere, but most commonly occur in the neck, low back, hip, wrists and feet. In the feet, these fractures often occur with repetitive trauma due to wearing unsupportive shoes, such as flip-flops. With this loss of structure comes the collapse of joints in the feet, which can cause arthritis and pain. Fractures in the feet from osteoporosis can range from small stresses in the bone to large displaced breaks that require surgery. However, surgery for osteoporotic patients can be a challenge.  
The sooner you deal with stress fractures the better. If you have pain in your feet that seems beyond any normal soreness, you should visit your podiatrist  for further diagnosis and treatment.

What do I do?

The general advice for aging people is to make sure you have enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet.  Exercise is also vital for increasing bone strength and protecting you against these painful fractures. Any type of activity in which you move is good—walking, running, swimming, dancing and even bowling can be just what you need to strengthen your bones. If you have foot issues and are unsure of how much your feet can take, talk to your podiatrist. 
Be sure to choose shoes that offer proper support to your feet and ankles as well. Your podiatrist might recommend orthotics to give you that extra support to your arches.  Even if your bones are not affected by osteoporosis, orthotics can still help you by providing extra stability that may save you from a fall that could break other bones.  
Your feet play an important role in making aging easy and less painful. Avoid the dangers of osteoporosis by taking care of your overall health and paying attention to your feet! If you have any foot problems or pain, contact our office for proper diagnosis and treatment. 

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