Items filtered by date: December 2022

Tuesday, 27 December 2022 00:00

Pay Attention to Children’s Foot Problems

Children’s foot problems often go undiagnosed because parents do not know what to pay attention to, or they believe their kids will outgrow the problems. Ankle and foot ailments can be common in children because they are so physically active, but it can be easy to overlook these things because kids are so resilient. Parents should watch for symptoms of common foot and ankle problems among children. These problems include ankles turning in more than usual, pain, the arch of the foot flattening, cramping, limping, or a change in the activity level of the child. Children who participate in sports are most apt to experience foot and ankle issues. If your child exhibits the symptoms described above, consult with a podiatrist so that the risk of problems turning into more serious or chronic conditions is mitigated. 

The health of a child’s feet is vital to their overall well-being. If you have any questions regarding foot health, contact Shawn Echard, DPM of Laurel Podiatry LLC. Our practitioner can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Tips for Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

  • Make sure their shoes fit properly
  • Look for any signs of in-toeing or out-toeing
  • Check to see if they have Clubfoot (condition that affects your child’s foot and ankle, twisting the heel and toes inward) which is one of the most common nonmajor birth defects.
  • Lightly cover your baby’s feet (Tight covers may keep your baby from moving their feet freely, and could prevent normal development)
  • Allow your toddler to go shoeless (Shoes can be restricting for a young child’s foot)
  • Cut toenails straight across to avoid ingrown toenails
  • Keep your child’s foot clean and dry
  • Cover cuts and scrapes. Wash any scratches with soap and water and cover them with a bandage until they’ve healed.

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

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Tuesday, 20 December 2022 00:00

Causes and Effects of Foot Drop

Foot drop is a condition that makes it difficult to lift the foot high enough to clear the ground when you take a step. As a result, people with foot drop may appear to be high-stepping or marching when they walk. It also may cause you to slap your foot down on the ground with each step. In some cases, the top of the foot or the toes may feel numb. Foot drop is not a disease, but is generally caused by a neurological, muscular, or anatomical problem. The symptoms indicate a weakness or paralysis in the muscles that lift the foot. There are a number of underlying conditions, such as muscular dystrophy, that may be at the root of the problem. Foot drop can be a temporary condition, but if it becomes permanent more advanced diagnostic methods may be recommended.  A podiatrist can conduct a number of imaging tests to determine the cause of foot drop. In addition, an ankle foot orthosis may be prescribed to hold the foot in place. Also, electrical nerve stimulation is sometimes helpful. Please consult a podiatrist for more information.

If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Shawn Echard, DPM from Laurel Podiatry LLC. Our practitioner can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Biomechanics in Podiatry

Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.

A History of Biomechanics

  • Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
  • In 1974, biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area.

Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.

Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot.

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

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Tuesday, 13 December 2022 00:00

Definition of Podiatry

There are many different kinds of doctors practicing across the country that specialize in one particular area of the human body. Such specialization facilitates the development of expertise and mastery in the specific kinds of afflictions that are particular to that area of the body. Podiatrists, for example, specialize in the human foot. Therefore, they have developed an expertise in the kinds of conditions that primarily impact the feet. Conditions such as plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, cuboid syndrome, athlete’s foot, and so many other foot afflictions are commonplace to podiatrists. Podiatrists, or DPMs, can not only identify these foot afflictions, but they can, more importantly, treat these conditions in patients. Therefore, the next time that you find yourself experiencing some kind of foot affliction, consult a podiatrist and schedule an appointment. This foot specialist will be able to use their expertise to help you solve your problem. 


 

If you are experiencing pain in the feet or ankles, don’t join the stubborn majority refusing treatment. Feel free to contact Shawn Echard, DPM from Laurel Podiatry LLC. Our practitioner can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Podiatrist?

Someone would seek the care of a podiatrist if they have suffered a foot injury or have common foot ailments such as heal spurs, bunions, arch problems, deformities, ingrown toenails, corns, foot and ankle problems, etc.

Podiatric Treatment

A podiatrist will treat the problematic areas of the feet, ankle or lower leg by prescribing the following:

  • Physical therapy
  • Drugs
  • Orthotic inserts or soles
  • Surgery on lower extremity fractures

A common podiatric procedure a podiatrist will use is a scanner or force plate which will allow the podiatrist to know the designs of orthotics. Patients are then told to follow a series of tasks to complete the treatment. The computer will scan the foot a see which areas show weight distribution and pressure points. The podiatrist will read the analysis and then determine which treatment plans are available.

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

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Tuesday, 06 December 2022 00:00

Serious Foot Conditions Caused By Diabetes

Having diabetes can lead to a number of foot problems, mainly as the result of nerve damage and poor circulation. Nerve damage, also known as neuropathy, is brought on by long-term high blood sugar levels and renders the feet numb. Poor circulation, resulting from constricted blood vessels to the lower extremities, lowers the feet’s ability to heal from cuts, sores, and other conditions. It also lowers the body’s ability to fight off infection. These two factors put a diabetic at risk of painful and often serious complications, such as foot ulcers, that if ignored can lead to gangrene and worse. For that reason, it is suggested that diabetics check their feet daily for sores, bruises, cuts, or cracks in the skin. Regular visits to a podiatrist are essential for those with diabetes, especially if an infection has occurred. The careful monitoring of the health of the feet by a podiatrist can help a diabetic avoid conditions that could cause the loss of a limb or even a life. 

Limb salvage can be an effective way in preventing the need for limb amputation. If you have diabetes, cancer, or any other condition that could lead to foot amputation if left unchecked, consult with Shawn Echard, DPM from Laurel Podiatry LLC. Our practitioner will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Limb Salvage?

Limb salvage is the attempt of saving a limb, such as the foot from amputation. Podiatrists also try to make sure that there is enough function in the foot after the salvage that it is still usable. Diabetes is the number one cause of non-traumatic amputations in the United States. Those with diabetes experience poor blood circulation, which prevents proper healing of an ulcer. If the ulcer is left uncheck, it could become infected, which could result in the need for amputation.

However, there are other causes as well, such as cancer and traumatic injury. Links between higher mortality rates and amputation have been found. This translates into higher healthcare costs, and a reduced quality of life and mobility for amputees. Podiatrists have attempted to increase the prevalence of limb salvage in an attempt to solve these issues.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Limb salvage teams have grown in recent years that utilize a number of different treatments to save the infected limb. This includes podiatrists that specialize in wound care, rehabilitation, orthotics, and surgery. Through a combination of these methods, limb salvage has been found to be an effective treatment for infected limbs, and as an alternative to amputation. Podiatrists will first evaluate the potential for limb salvage and determine if the limb can be saved or must be amputated. 

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

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