Find Foot, Ankle & Heel Pain Relief With Our Lackawanna, NY Podiatrist
HEEL PAIN | HEEL SPURS | PLANTAR FASCIITIS
What are the symptoms of heel pain?
The most common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis. The main sign of plantar fasciitis is pain or stiffness on the bottom of the heel when first standing. The pain is often in the bottom inside edge of the heel, but can occur anywhere. The plantar fascia attaches to the heel. Patients often report that the pain moves around to different areas and can range from a dull ache to a debilitating sharp pain. The condition may come and go or be persistent for months to years.
What is the plantar fascia?
The plantar fascia is a thick fibrous band that supports the arch of the foot. It extends as a bowstring from the heel to the ball of the foot.
Why does plantar fasciitis develop?
The plantar fascia is relatively inelastic and does not stretch very well. Increased tension and overuse causes pulling and irritation at its attachment to the heel. This will occur most often in people who have structural problems with their feet, such as high arches or flat feet. Overuse of you feet, such as with those who are required to work long hours walking or standing on hard surfaces, are more likely to suffer from heel pain. Overuse associated with sports such as running, racquet sports and golf may increase your chance of developing heel pain. Weight gain and tight muscles contribute to the tension in the plantar fascia and make you more prone to its irritation. As well, improper shoe gear can encourage poor foot alignment and contribute to heel pain.
What are heel spurs?
Long standing irritation can cause formation of calcium deposits at the point where the plantar fascia inserts into the heel bone. The result is the appearance of a heel spur on x- ray. The spur itself is not the cause of pain. The terms heel spur syndrome and plantar fasciitis are often used interchangeably in medicine, and the cause and treatment for the conditions are the same.
How can our Podiatrist & Foot Pain Specialist help you with heel pain?
Dr. Penn is a medically trained specialist who focuses specifically on the medical and surgical disorders of the foot and ankle. He will review your medical history, activities, shoes and any prior treatments, including orthotics, and will also conduct an examination of your joints, muscles, legs, feet and gait. Evaluation of x-rays will demonstrate the alignment of the joints and ensure that there are no stress fractures, tumors or other pathology present in the foot. Diagnostic musculoskeletal ultrasound will demonstrate the integrity of the plantar fascia and ensure that there are no ruptures, tumors or other pathology. A computerized postural and dynamic gait analysis will be performed to assess the way you stand and walk and assist to identify pressure areas, leg length difference and the effectiveness of previous orthotic therapy.
What treatments are available for heel pain?
The majority of patients who develop heel pain will improve significantly in a short time with combination of the following conservative treatments:
Controlling the position of the foot through:
Proper shoe gear
Taping the foot
Reducing inflammation through:
Injection of corticosteroid medication
Achieving and Maintaining flexibility with
Range of motion exercises
What if I still experience heel pain after several months of following the above-recommended treatments?
In the past, for those patients who failed the benefit from the above-mentioned treatments, surgery was the only approach left to treat this condition. However, with the availability of the new Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) technology, there is now an effective non-surgical method to reduce heel pain.
If you're suffering with heel pain, don't wait for it to become a chronic problem. Book an appointment now, and Advanced Podiatry Services will help you get back to the activities you love in no-time.
ACHILLES TENDINITIS | TENDON INJURY
What is Achilles tendonitis?
The Achilles tendon is the major tendon that attaches the large calf muscle to the heel bone. The back of the heel is the second most common location for heel pain. Achilles tendonitis occurs as pain and inflammation at the insertion of the Achilles tendon. It may also occur as a bursitis often associated with a "pump bump", or Haglund's deformity.
A palpable soreness or bump may be present on either side of the insertion of the tendon. X-rays will often show spurring and calcification in the tendon. Treatment is aimed at reducing the pressure and inflammation to the area with heel cups, orthotics, padding, medication and physiotherapy. Corticosteroid injections are not recommended.
ESWT (Shockwave Therapy) has been shown to be a highly effective surgical alternative in the treatment of insertional Achilles tendonitis.
FOOT, ANKLE & TOE FRACTURES
A broken bone is also known as a fracture. There is a common misconception that a broken bone is worse than a fracture. In reality they are the same. There are many different types of fractures or breaks.
A bone can be broken and the fragments can be out of position. We call this a displaced fracture. Conversely, if they are in good alignment it's called a non-displaced fracture. If a bone is broken and you can barely see it on an x-ray, it is a hairline fracture. Finally, if a bone is broken and one of the fragments has punctured the skin, we call this an open or compound fracture. Since open fractures can easily become infected immediate surgical management is required.
Broken bones are usually splinted initially to prevent bone movement and further damage to the soft tissues that surround them. If the fracture is displaced it may need to be set. In certain fractures, setting them can be difficult. In these types of fractures, surgery is also indicated. This will provide the best opportunity for healing.
Even though all of this sounds very scary, most fractures can be managed in a cast without going to the OR. Even simple fractures of the toes respond very well to this treatment. And yes, we do put casts on toes. Not the plaster or fiberglass most people think of. Instead, we use a mesh tape which holds the toe in place.
Ankle sprains are an extremely common injury. They involve possible joint damage resulting in swelling, instability and pain, to more severe damage, such as torn ligaments, bruised cartilage and broken bones. Immediate treatment includes rest, ice, compression and anti-inflammatories.
Unfortunately of untreated sprained ankles result in prolonged symptoms. These can include chronic pain or ankle instability, that makes a person prone to repetitive injury later in life and arthritic changes.
Advanced Podiatry Services utilizes cutting edge technology to determine if there is a fracture, dislocation or torn ligaments. If you've sprained your ankle or have a history of ankle sprains, early evaluation and aggressive treatment is the best way to avoid chronic pain, instability and arthritis of the involved joints.