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6650 Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19135

August 2022

Tuesday, 30 August 2022 00:00

Achilles Tendon Injuries

The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body; it is a tough band of fibrous tissue that stretches from the bones of the heel to the calf muscles. This tendon is what allows us to stand on our toes while running, walking, or jumping, it is common for this tendon to become injured. In severe cases, the Achilles tendon may become partially torn or completely ruptured. However, this tendon is susceptible to injury because of its limited blood supply and the high tensions it endures.

The people who are more likely to suffer from Achilles tendon injuries are athletes who partake in activities that require them to speed up, slow down, or pivot. Consequently, athletes who engage in running, gymnastics, dance, football, baseball, basketball, or tennis are more likely to suffer from Achilles tendon injuries. Additionally, there are other factors that may make you more prone to this injury. People who wear high heels, have flat feet, have tight leg muscles or tendons, or take medicines called glucocorticoids are more likely to have Achilles tendon injuries.

A common symptom of an Achilles tendon injury is pain above the heel that is felt when you stand on your toes. However, if the tendon is ruptured, the pain will be severe, and the area may become swollen and stiff. Other symptoms may be reduced strength in the lower ankle or leg area, and reduced range of motion in the ankle. When the Achilles tendon tears, there is usually a popping sound that occurs along with it. People who have acute tears or ruptures may find walking and standing to be difficult.

If you suspect you have injured your Achilles tendon, you should see your podiatrist to have a physical examination. Your podiatrist will likely conduct a series of tests to diagnose your injury including a “calf-squeeze” test. Calf squeeze tests are performed by first squeezing the calf muscle on the healthy leg. This will pull on the tendon and consequently cause the foot to move. Afterward, the same test will be performed on the injured leg. If the tendon is torn, the foot won’t move because the calf muscle won’t be connected to the foot.

Tuesday, 30 August 2022 00:00

Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Rupture

The Achilles tendon plays an integral role in the functioning of the feet. The tendon essentially connects the calf muscle to the heel bone, facilitating movement of all kinds. Since this tendon is so important, suffering an Achilles tendon injury is nothing to take lightly. An Achilles tendon rupture occurs in an individual when the tendon is stretched or torn. Typically, the tendon can stretch or tear when a person is running and they accelerate their pace too quickly. The symptoms that an individual might feel after suffering from an Achilles tendon rupture can vary. Generally speaking, however, an individual with this tendon rupture is likely to feel pain that comes in sharp, sudden bursts. This pain is typically felt in the ankle or calf. Additionally, if you are suffering from an Achilles tendon rupture, you might sense a feeling of swelling where the Achilles tendon is located, between the heel bone and the calf. Lastly, another common symptom of an Achilles tendon rupture is experiencing discomfort and difficulty when moving the feet. Specifically, walking and moving the toes can be particularly difficult. If you suspect that you have ruptured your Achilles tendon, contact your podiatrist immediately.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact John M. Fanelly, DPM of Northeast Philadelphia. 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 Philadelphia, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Achilles Tendon Injuries
Tuesday, 23 August 2022 00:00

How Obesity Affects Your Feet

Gaining weight can happen suddenly and at any time. Usually you won’t notice the extra weight until your feet start hurting at the end of the day. This happens as your feet begin adjusting to carrying more weight. Foot swelling and pain are two of the biggest side effects of having gained weight.

Many foot-related problems can occur even after just putting on a few pounds. This includes the body ‘compensating’ by changing the way it moves. You may find yourself putting extra weight on the wrong parts of your feet and even leaning forward a bit. Your feet were designed to carry a healthy, normal body weight. Extra weight places undue stress on them.

Being overweight often causes the development of Type-2 diabetes, causing leg and foot pain. Older people who do not attempt to control their condition can even lose sensation and feeling in their legs and feet. This can lead to the development of small sores that can lead to serious infection.

Extra stress placed on the joints, tendons and muscles in the feet as a result of extra body weight may also cause heel spurs, or plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the foot tissue, causing stiffness and pain when walking and climbing stairs. This can usually be relieved by foot stretches and custom made orthotic shoe-inserts.

Problems in the feet triggered by obesity can be treated by paying special attention to footwear. Proper support shoes that allow for good circulation, especially in the arch and ankle, are vital. A podiatrist can help you find what sort of shoe is most suitable for your feet. They can also measure you for special orthotics if necessary.

It could also be high time to start losing weight in order to treat and prevent diabetes as well as other life threatening diseases. Some methods include yoga and water aerobics, which benefit your entire body without placing stress on your feet. Don’t risk losing your feet by losing interest in them. Take care of your feet and your body, as they deserve the very best.

Tuesday, 23 August 2022 00:00

Obesity and Ankle Sprains

Individuals who struggle with obesity are sometimes more susceptible to experiencing problematic foot conditions. For example, some obese individuals are more likely to develop flat feet because their higher body weight makes them exert more pressure on their feet when standing. Therefore, if you suffer from obesity, it might be a good idea to take extra care of the health of your feet. Obese individuals ought to be particularly mindful of ankle sprains because not only does obesity increase your risk of spraining the ankle, it also might make recovery from such an injury more difficult and prolonged. Ankle sprains occur when the foot turns awkwardly and tears or strains the ligaments surrounding the ankle. Obesity also heightens your risk of developing a sprained ankle because the extra body weight increases your instability and reduces balance control, among other things. When recovering from an ankle sprain, obese individuals are also particularly vulnerable. The joints affected by an ankle sprain may take a longer time to heal post-injury in obese individuals because of the detrimental effects obesity has on ankle joint function. Therefore, if you are obese and are trying to recover from an ankle sprain, you might need extra help in managing your symptoms to heal the injury. Contact a podiatrist for any questions you might have about how obesity affects ankle sprains.


 

Obesity has become very problematic at this point in time and can have extremely negative effects on the feet. If you’re an obese individual and are concerned about your feet, contact John M. Fanelly, DPM from Northeast Philadelphia. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Obesity and Your Feet

Since your feet are what support your entire weight when standing, any additional weight can result in pain and swelling. Being overweight is one of the main contributors to foot complications.

Problems & Complications

Extra Weight – Even putting on just a few extra pounds could create serious complications for your feet. As your weight increases, your balance and body will shift, creating new stresses on your feet. This uneven weight distribution can cause pain, even while doing the simplest tasks, such as walking.

Diabetes – People who are overweight are at serious risk of developing type-2 diabetes, which has a drastic impact on the health of your feet. As you get older, your diabetes might worsen, which could lead to loss of feeling in your feet, sores, and bruises. You could also become more prone to various infections.

Plantar fasciitis – Pressure and stress that is placed on muscles, joints, and tendons can trigger plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of tissue that forms along the bottom of the foot. 

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

Read more about How Obesity Affects Your Feet
Tuesday, 16 August 2022 00:00

Congenital Foot Problems

A congenital foot problem is a problem affecting the feet, toes, and/or ankle that a child is born with. Several issues with a child’s feet can occur congenitally. Such problems include clubfoot, vertical talus, tarsal coalition, polydactyly, macrodactyly, and cleft foot. Some of these problems have a genetic basis, with someone in their family history having a gene causing the condition, and some are simply an anomaly.

The following are specifics about a few of these conditions:

-    Clubfoot, also called congenital talipes equinovarus or talipes equinovarus, is When the tendons of the foot shorten, the bones are of an unusual shape, and the Achilles tendon is tight, causing an inward and downward pointing of the foot. The soles of the feet might also face each other. In most cases of clubfoot, both feet are affected. If not treated, the affected child will walk on the sides of their feet or ankles.

-    Polydactyly is a condition where the child has more than five fingers or toes on either or both feet. Presentation usually consists of a nubbin or small lump of tissue without a bone, a toe that is partially formed but has no joints, or an extra toe.

-    Vertical talus is where the talus bone forms in the wrong position, other bones in the foot do not line up properly, the front of the foot points up, and the bottom of the foot is stiff, has no arch, and usually curves out. This can occur in one or both feet and if left untreated, can lead to serious disability or discomfort as the child grows.

-    Tarsal coalition is when there is an abnormal connection of two or more bones in the foot leading to severe, rigid flatfoot. The tarsal bones, located toward the back of the foot and in the heel, are the ones affected. This condition is often present at birth, but signs of the disorder usually come on in early adolescence.

-    Cleft foot is a rare condition where the foot has missing toes, a V-shaped cleft, and other anatomical differences. Surgery can often help improve the foot’s function since the heel remains normal and is what is most needed for walking. The main issues with this affliction are whether the affected foot can fit into a shoe and the shape and appearance of the foot.

-    Macrodactyly is when the toes are abnormally large due to overgrowth of the underlying bone or soft tissue. Having this condition makes it harder for the child to use the affected foot for certain activities.


 

Tuesday, 16 August 2022 00:00

Babies Born With Foot Problems

A congenital foot problem is one affecting the feet, toes, or ankles of newborns. Such problems include clubfoot, vertical talus, tarsal coalition, polydactyly, macrodactyly, and cleft foot. These afflictions can have various causes, but some are genetically based on someone in the family having a gene causing the condition. Others can simply be an anomaly. A few of these conditions are described here. Clubfoot is when the tendons of the foot shorten, the bones are of an unusual shape, and the Achilles tendon is tight, causing the foot to point inward and downward. The soles of the feet might also face each other. This condition typically affects both feet. If not treated, a child will walk on the sides of their feet and ankles. Polydactyly is when the child has more than five toes on one or both feet. Usually, a nubbin or small lump of tissue without a bone or joint will be present. Macrodactyly is when the toes are abnormally large due to the overgrowth of the underlying bone or soft tissue. Having this condition makes it harder for a child to use the affected foot in all activities. Cleft foot is rare and occurs when the foot is missing toes, a V-shaped cleft, or other anatomical differences. The main issues are whether a cleft foot can fit into a shoe, as well as the shape and appearance of the foot. If you have a child born with a congenital foot problem, consult with a podiatrist to see if any treatments or surgery is recommended to help your child continue life most comfortably.

Congenital foot problems require immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact John M. Fanelly, DPM of Northeast Philadelphia. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Congenital foot problems are deformities affecting the feet, toes, and/or ankles that children are born with. Some of these conditions have a genetic cause while others just happen. Some specific foot ailments that children may be born with include clubfeet, polydactyly/macrodactyly, and cleft foot. There are several other foot anomalies that can occur congenitally. What all of these conditions have in common is that a child may experience difficulty walking or performing everyday activities, as well as trouble finding footwear that fits their foot deformity. Some of these conditions are more serious than others. Consulting with a podiatrist as early as possible will help in properly diagnosing a child’s foot condition while getting the necessary treatment underway.

What are Causes of Congenital Foot Problem?

A congenital foot problem is one that happens to a child at birth. These conditions can be caused by a genetic predisposition, developmental or positional abnormalities during gestation, or with no known cause.

What are Symptoms of Congenital Foot Problems?

Symptoms vary by the congenital condition. Symptoms may consist of the following:

  • Clubfoot, where tendons are shortened, bones are shaped differently, and the Achilles tendon is tight, causing the foot to point in and down. It is also possible for the soles of the feet to face each other.
  • Polydactyly, which usually consists of a nubbin or small lump of tissue without a bone, a toe that is partially formed but has no joints, or an extra toe.
  • Vertical talus, where the talus bone forms in the wrong position causing other bones in the foot to line up improperly, the front of the foot to point up, and the bottom of the foot to stiffen, with no arch, and to curve out.
  • Tarsal coalition, when there is an abnormal connection of two or more bones in the foot leading to severe, rigid flatfoot.
  • Cleft foot, where there are missing toes, a V-shaped cleft, and other anatomical differences.
  • Macrodactyly, when the toes are abnormally large due to overgrowth of the underlying bone or soft tissue.

Treatment and Prevention

While there is nothing one can do to prevent congenital foot problems, raising awareness and receiving neonatal screenings are important. Early detection by taking your child to a podiatrist leads to the best outcome possible.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Philadelphia, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Congenital Foot Problems
Tuesday, 09 August 2022 00:00

How to Care for Your Arthritic Foot

Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints and it can occur at any joint in the body, especially in the foot. It generally effects those who are older, however, it can occur at any age. Although there are many different forms of arthritis, there are three main types that occur in the foot. The three types are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout.

The primary cause of osteoarthritis is aging. As you age, cartilage degenerates around the joints which causes friction and pain. Obesity can cause osteoarthritis through mechanical stress. Injuries that damage joints can increase the probability as well. Finally, a family history of osteoarthritis can also increase chances of having it.

Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the immune system attacks the joint linings and weakens them over a long time. While there is no known cause of rheumatoid arthritis, obesity and smoking can increase your chances of getting it. Women are also more likely to get it than men.

Gout is a form of arthritis that occurs when there is too much uric acid in your blood and painful crystals form in your joints. Men are more likely to have gout than women. People who are obese or drink alcohol often are also more likely to develop gout. Furthermore, having diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, gastric bypass surgery or a family history of gout may increase your likelihood of developing the condition.

Symptoms of arthritis include pain, stiffness, swelling in the joints. These symptoms can make it harder and more painful to walk. Physical activity can increase pain and discomfort. Furthermore, joint pain can worsen throughout the day for osteoarthritis. Gout attacks generally last several days with the first few being the worst.

Diagnosis of gout includes either a joint fluid test or a blood test. X-ray imaging can detect osteoarthritis but not gout. On the other hand, there is no blood test for osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is difficult to diagnosis. Doctors utilize family and personal medical history, a physical examination, and antibody blood tests to determine if you have rheumatoid arthritis.

Treatment varies for the different kinds of arthritis. Anti-inflammatory medication or steroids can help reduce pain from inflammation of the joints. Changing shoe types can help with some symptoms. Wider shoes can help with discomfort from gout and osteoarthritis. High heels should be avoided. Shoes with proper arch support and that take pressure off the ball of the foot can help with rheumatoid arthritis. Drinking lots of water can also help rid uric acid from the blood. Losing weight, improving your diet, and limiting alcohol and smoking can also help prevent or lessen the symptoms of arthritis.

If you are having trouble walking or pain in your feet, see a podiatrist to check if you have arthritis.

Tuesday, 09 August 2022 00:00

Toe Arthritis Is Common

Many people have arthritis in various joints of the body, and this often includes the toes. It can happen as a result of cartilage that has been worn away causing the bones in the toes to rub together. This can produce severe pain and discomfort and generally happens to the big toe. There are various reasons why arthritis in the toes occurs including genetic history, being overweight, and increased age. Additionally, women who frequently wear high heels may be at risk to develop this type of arthritis, so it is suggested that flat shoes are alternated with high heels. The first symptom to accompany arthritis is pain. Patients often describe it as an ache that develops gradually, or it may feel like a stabbing sensation. Additional symptoms may include stiffness or swelling, and there can be a clicking noise. As arthritis develops, it may become difficult to walk and may feel better when the affected foot is elevated. If you have arthritis in your toes, it is strongly advised that you consult with a podiatrist who can guide you toward proper treatment techniques.

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment, contact John M. Fanelly, DPM from Northeast Philadelphia. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Arthritic Foot Care  

Arthritis is a term that is commonly used to describe joint pain.  The condition itself can occur to anyone of any age, race, or gender, and there are over 100 types of it.  Nevertheless, arthritis is more commonly found in women compared to men, and it is also more prevalent in those who are overweight. The causes of arthritis vary depending on which type of arthritis you have. Osteoarthritis for example, is often caused by injury, while rheumatoid arthritis is caused by a misdirected immune system.

Symptoms

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Decreased Range of Motion

Arthritic symptoms range in severity, and they may come and go. Some symptoms stay the same for several years but could potentially get worse with time. Severe cases of arthritis can prevent its sufferers from performing daily activities and make walking difficult.

Risk Factors

  • Occupation – Occupations requiring repetitive knee movements have been linked to osteoarthritis
  • Obesity – Excess weight can contribute to osteoarthritis development
  • Infection – Microbial agents can infect the joints and trigger arthritis
  • Joint Injuries – Damage to joints may lead to osteoarthritis
  • Age – Risk increases with age
  • Gender –Most types are more common in women
  • Genetics – Arthritis can be hereditary

If you suspect your arthritis is affecting your feet, it is crucial that you see a podiatrist immediately. Your doctor will be able to address your specific case and help you decide which treatment method is best for you.

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

Read more about How to Care for Your Arthritic Foot
Saturday, 06 August 2022 00:00

Wounds That Don't Heal Need to Be Checked

Your feet are covered most of the day. If you're diabetic, periodic screening is important for good health. Numbness is often a sign of diabetic foot and can mask a sore or wound.

Tuesday, 02 August 2022 00:00

Foot Massage Therapy

Foot massage therapy, a type of massage that focuses on the feet and lower legs, is often used to relieve stress, tension, fatigue, and pain. It also can be used to improve blood circulation to help prevent injuries and alleviate symptoms of chronic conditions like arthritis. This form of massage utilizes gentle pressure to the feet and legs. Swedish or trigger point massage techniques are typically employed. Risks of foot massage therapy include infection from the spread of bacteria and injury, such as cuts and bruises from over-massage. If you have pre-existing medical conditions (like heart disease or stroke history), it is important to consult with a podiatrist before getting such therapy. A podiatrist can also provide additional information about foot massage therapy and provide additional suggestions to treat foot and ankle discomfort.

Foot therapy is often necessary for those recovering from either foot deformities or foot injuries. If you have concerns regarding therapy, John M. Fanelly, DPM of Northeast Philadelphia. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Most Common Injuries

People who are active or athletes are prone to a variety of injuries. Therefore, it is often important to take part in physical therapy in order to quickly get back on the right track. 

What to Do When Injured

Physical Therapy – This specialized treatment will focus on the affected area, speeding up recovery and the overall healing process. It is a proven method that has helped millions of people return from any injury.

During physical therapy you will undergo regimented training to get back into full form. Training is often very difficult, especially at first when the foot feels weak. Physical therapy often involves:

Basic stretching and twisting exercises – getting the feet’s mobility and flexibility up.

Massaging – the therapist will massage the injured area in order to activate the muscles and relax them.

Strengthening Exercises – this allows the muscles in the affected area to regain their full strength, a vital step towards full recovery.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Philadelphia, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Foot Therapy for Sports Injuries
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