Items filtered by date: October 2019

Tuesday, 29 October 2019 00:00

Foot and Ankle Surgery

When conservative, noninvasive methods prove ineffective, surgery may be selected as the next course of action for the treatment of your foot or ankle condition.  A wide number of foot and ankle surgical procedures exist, and it is up to your podiatrist to determine which intervention will be most appropriate and helpful for your case.  Some surgical procedures include bunion surgery, fusion, hammertoe surgery, heel spur surgery, metatarsal surgery, nail surgery, neuroma surgery, reconstructive surgery, skin surgery, and tendon surgery.  Typically, surgery is turned to as a definitive way to alleviate excessive pain or discomfort and to return your foot to full mobility.

Regardless of the location on the body, all surgical procedures require preoperative testing and examination to ensure the surgery’s success and preferred outcome.  A review of your medical history and medical conditions will take place, as will an evaluation of any current diseases, illnesses, allergies, and medications.  Tests such as blood studies, urinalyses, EKG, X-rays, and blood flow studies may be ordered.  Because the procedure involves the foot and/or ankle, the structures of your feet while walking may also be observed by your podiatrist.

Care post-surgery will depend on the type of surgical procedure performed.  Typically, all postoperative care involves rest, ice, compression, and elevation.  To improve and ensure a safe recovery, your foot and ankle surgeon may also employ the use of bandages, splints, surgical shoes, casts, crutches, or canes.  He will also determine if and when you can bear weight.  A timely and thorough recovery is a priority for both you and your podiatrist, and carefully following postoperative instructions can help achieve this.  

Tuesday, 29 October 2019 00:00

What Is a Bunionectomy?

Patients who suffer from bunions may want to consider a type of surgery that is known as a bunionectomy. This is done to remove a portion of bone that is typically caused by a deformity. The reasons these can develop can include genetic factors, or wearing shoes that do not have ample room for the toes to move freely in. The procedure is performed by having incisions made near the affected joints in the big toe and extracting pieces of the protruding bone. There are benefits from having this type of foot surgery done. These can consist of experiencing reduced stiffness, pain levels may be significantly reduced, and walking may become easier. Many patients find it may take several weeks for the swelling to disappear.  If you have a bunion, and are considering a bunionectomy, it is advised that you schedule a consultation with a podiatrist. 

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to treat a foot ailment. To learn more, contact Dr. Steven Hartung of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

When Is Surgery Necessary?

Foot and ankle surgery is generally reserved for cases in which less invasive, conservative procedures have failed to alleviate the problem. Some of the cases in which surgery may be necessary include:

  • Removing foot deformities like bunions and bone spurs
  • Severe arthritis that has caused bone issues
  • Cosmetic reconstruction

What Types of Surgery Are There?

The type of surgery you receive will depend on the nature of the problem you have. Some of the possible surgeries include:

  • Bunionectomy for painful bunions
  • Surgical fusion for realignment of bones
  • Neuropathy decompression surgery to treat nerve damage

Benefits of Surgery

Although surgery is usually a last resort, it can provide more complete pain relief compared to non-surgical methods and may allow you to finally resume full activity.

Surgical techniques have also become increasingly sophisticated. Techniques like endoscopic surgery allow for smaller incisions and faster recovery times.

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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Suffering from this type of pain? You may have the foot condition known as Morton's neuroma. Morton's neuroma may develop as a result of ill-fitting footwear and existing foot deformities. We can help.

Suffering from this type of pain? You may have the foot condition known as Morton's neuroma. Morton's neuroma may develop as a result of ill-fitting footwear and existing foot deformities. We can help.

Monday, 21 October 2019 00:00

Hyperhidrosis of the Feet

Each foot, on average, has about 250,000 eccrine sweat glands that produce half a pint of sweat each day. Sweating is a natural and important bodily function. It regulates the body’s temperature by cooling the skin so that it does not overheat.  In individuals with hyperhidrosis, the sympathetic nervous system works in "overdrive", producing far more sweat than what is required. People with plantar hyperhidrosis experience an excess amount of sweat on their feet. It is estimated that 2% to 3% of all Americans suffer from some form of hyperhidrosis. This condition is often caused by neurologic, endocrine, infectious, and other systemic disease. Other factors that may trigger the condition are heat and emotions.

People with hyperhidrosis may notice an overabundance of sweat on their feet, along with a strong odor. The feet may also have a wet appearance coupled with infections such as athlete’s foot or toenail fungus. The sweat may even appear in low temperatures, such as during the winter months. People with plantar hyperhidrosis often need to change their socks several times throughout the day.

The specific cause of hyperhidrosis is unknown, and many believe it may be caused by over-activity. However, others believe the condition is genetic.  Caffeine and nicotine are known to cause excitement and nervousness which are two emotions that may make the condition worse.

If you are looking to treat your hyperhidrosis the most important thing you should do is wash your feet every day.  You may even need to wash your feet twice a day, if necessary.  You should also make sure you are wearing the right socks. Wool and cotton socks are both known to be good for ventilation, meaning they allow the feet to breathe. You should avoid socks made from nylon which trap moisture and lead to sogginess. Other common treatment options are over-the-counter antiperspirants that contain a low dose of metal salt.  In some cases, prescription strength antiperspirants that contain aluminum chloride hexahydrate may be necessary. In severe cases, surgery may be required.

Untreated hyperhidrosis can easily lead to complications.  Some complications that may arise from the disorder include nail infections, warts, and bacterial infections.  Consequently, it is important that you seek treatment from your podiatrist if you suspect that you may have plantar hyperhidrosis.

Monday, 21 October 2019 00:00

Feet That Excessively Sweat

The medical term that is known as plantar hyperhidrosis is more commonly known as feet that sweat excessively. Patients who have this condition sweat without any exertion, and it may soak through their socks and shoes. Research has indicated it may be caused by overactive sweat glands, and can worsen under stressful situations. Relief may be found if specific medications are taken, and anxiety may be controlled by psychotherapy techniques. If you suffer from this ailment, it is important that you wear shoes and socks that are made of breathable materials, in addition to airing the feet out as frequently as possible. Please consult with a podiatrist if you are afflicted with plantar hyperhidrosis, so you can learn about possible treatment options.

If you are suffering from hyperhidrosis contact Dr. Steven Hartung of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

Hyperhidrosis of the Feet

Hyperhidrosis is a rare disorder that can cause people to have excessive sweating of their feet. This can usually occur all on its own without rigorous activity involved. People who suffer from hyperhidrosis may also experience sweaty palms.

Although it is said that sweating is a healthy process meant to cool down the body temperature and to maintain a proper internal temperature, hyperhidrosis may prove to be a huge hindrance on a person’s everyday life.

Plantar hyperhidrosis is considered to be the main form of hyperhidrosis. Secondary hyperhidrosis can refer to sweating that occurs in areas other than the feet or hands and armpits. Often this may be a sign of it being related to another medical condition such as menopause, hyperthyroidism and even Parkinson’s disease.

In order to alleviate this condition, it is important to see your doctor so that they may prescribe the necessary medications so that you can begin to live a normal life again. If this is left untreated, it is said that it will persist throughout an individual’s life.

A last resort approach would be surgery, but it is best to speak with your doctor to find out what may be the best treatment 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 and ankle needs.

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Monday, 14 October 2019 00:00

Everything You Need to Know About Gout

Gout, typically found in diabetic patients, is an unusually painful form of arthritis caused by elevated levels of uric acid in the bloodstream. The condition typically strikes the big joint on the big toe. It has also been known to strike the knees, elbows, fingers, ankles and wrists—generally anywhere that has a functioning, moving joint.

The high level of uric acid in a person’s bloodstream creates the condition known as hyperuricema—the main cause of gout. Genetic predisposition occurs in nine out of ten sufferers. The children of parents who suffer gout will have a two in ten chance of developing the condition as well. 

This form of arthritis, being particularly painful, is the leftover uric acid crystallizing in the blood stream. The crystallized uric acid then travels to the space between joints where they rub, causing friction when the patient moves. Symptoms include: pain, redness, swelling, and inflammation. Additional side effects may include fatigue and fever, although reports of these effects are very rare. Some patients have reported that pain may intensify when the temperature drops, such as when you sleep.

Most cases of gout are easily diagnosed by a podiatrist’s assessment of the various symptoms. Defined tests can also be performed. A blood test to detect elevated levels of uric acid is often used as well as an x-ray to diagnose visible and chronic gout.

Treatment for gout simply means eliminating symptoms. Non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs (Colchicine and other corticosteroid drugs, etc.) will quell the redness, the swelling, and the inflammation. However, managing your diet, lifestyle changes, and using preventative drugs are all helpful toward fully combating the most severe cases.

 Those that lead an inactive lifestyle are at a higher risk for gout. Any amount of exercise decreases the probability of repeat encounters with the condition. Reducing your consumption of red meat, sea food, and fructose-sweetened drinks also reduces the likelihood of chronic gout as well.

Ingesting Vitamin C, coffee, and particular dairy products can help with maintaining a healthy lifestyle. There are new drugs out on the market that inhibit the body’s production of uric acid-producing enzymes. However, reducing or eliminating your overall levels of uric acid is the best remedy to ensuring you lead a gout-free life.

Monday, 14 October 2019 00:00

Possible Causes of Gout

Patients who are afflicted with gout are aware of the intense pain that accompanies this condition. The part of the foot that is most often affected is the side of the big toe. When a gout attack occurs, the joints in the big toe become inflamed and produce severe pain and discomfort. A common reason why gout attacks occur can be a result of foods that are eaten that have elevated purine levels. These types of foods can include red meat, shellfish, and drinks that have high sugar levels. This may play a significant role in causing crystals to form in the joints of the big toe, and it may become red and swollen. Genetic factors may contribute to the onset of gout, in addition to existing medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Preventive measures can be implemented that may help reduce gout attacks from occurring. These can consist of eating healthy foods that have low purine levels, and incorporating a gentle exercise program into your daily routine. If you are prone to experiencing gout attacks, it is strongly advised that you consult with a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Steven Hartung from Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment 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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Monday, 07 October 2019 00:00

How to Deal with Athlete's Foot

Athlete’s foot is a type of fungal infection that affects the skin on the feet. It is caused when the tinea fungus grows on the foot. It is possible to catch the fungus through direct contact with someone who has it or by touching a surface that is contaminated with it. This type of fungus thrives in warm, moist environments such as showers, locker room floors, and swimming pools. Your risk of getting it may also increase by wearing tight-fitting, closed-toe shoes, or by having sweaty feet.

Symptoms of athlete’s foot include itching, stinging or burning sensations between the toes. You may also experience toenails that are discolored, thick, crumbly, or toenails that pull away from the nail bed.

Your podiatrist may diagnose athlete’s foot by detecting these symptoms or by doing a skin test to see if there is a fungal infection present. The most common exam used to detect Athlete’s foot is a skin lesion potassium hydroxide exam. To use this method, your doctor will scrape off a small area of the infected skin and place it into potassium hydroxide. The potassium hydroxide will destroy the normal cells and leave the fungal cells untouched so that they are visible under a microscope.

There are a variety of treatment options for athlete’s foot. Some medications are miconazole (Desenex), terbinafine (Lamisil AT), clotrimazole (Lotrimin AF), butenafine (Lotrimin Ultra), and tolnaftate (Tinactin). While these options may be able to treat your fungus, it is best that you consult with a podiatrist in order to see which treatment option may work best for you.

In some cases, Athlete’s foot may lead to complications. A severe complication would be a secondary bacterial infection which may cause your foot to become swollen, painful, and hot.

There are ways that you can prevent athlete’s foot. Washing your feet with soap and water each day and drying them thoroughly is an effective way to prevent infections. You also shouldn’t share socks, shoes, or towels with other people. It is crucial that you wear shower sandals in public showers, around swimming pools, and in other public places. Additionally, you should make sure you wear shoes that can breathe and change your socks when your feet become sweaty. If you suspect that you have Athlete’s foot, you should seek help from a podiatrist as soon as possible.

Monday, 07 October 2019 00:00

Common Symptoms of Athlete’s Foot

The medical term that is known as tinea pedis is commonly referred to as athlete's foot.  It is a fungal infection of the feet, and is generally contagious. It typically affects the skin in between the toes, on the soles of the feet, and it may spread to the toenails. The fungus that causes this condition, lives and thrives in warm and moist environments. These can include public swimming pools, locker room floors, and similar surrounding areas. It is beneficial to wear appropriate shoes while frequenting these places, and this may reduce the risk of contracting this ailment. Common symptoms can include itchy, cracked, and peeling skin on different areas of your foot, and many patients may notice a burning sensation. For specific medication to be prescribed for relief, it is strongly suggested that you speak to a podiatrist if you have athlete’s foot.

Athlete’s foot is an inconvenient condition that can be easily reduced with the proper treatment. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Steven Hartung from Williamsport, Pennsylvania.  Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Athlete’s Foot: The Sole Story

Athlete's foot, also known as tinea pedis, can be an extremely contagious foot infection. It is commonly contracted in public changing areas and bathrooms, dormitory style living quarters, around locker rooms and public swimming pools, or anywhere your feet often come into contact with other people.

Solutions to Combat Athlete’s Foot

  • Hydrate your feet by using lotion
  • Exfoliate
  • Buff off nails
  • Use of anti-fungal products
  • Examine your feet and visit your doctor if any suspicious blisters or cuts develop

Athlete’s foot can cause many irritating symptoms such as dry and flaking skin, itching, and redness. Some more severe symptoms can include bleeding and cracked skin, intense itching and burning, and even pain when walking. In the worst cases, Athlete’s foot can cause blistering as well. Speak to your podiatrist for a better understanding of the different causes of Athlete’s foot, as well as help in determining which treatment options are 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 and ankle needs.

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