Posts for: December, 2015

According to a recent global study on Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), North America has the biggest market for rheumatoid arthritis therapeutics. Europe follows at second. An increasing number of patients with rheumatoid arthritis are emerging in North America, causing a rise in research and development, in awareness among people of the condition, and in improved healthcare in the region. Drugs that treat RA include pain relieving drugs, corticosteroids, disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), biologics, and non-biologic drugs.

Because RA affects more than just your joints, including the joints in your feet and ankles, it is important to seek early diagnosis from your podiatrist if you feel like the pain in your feet might be caused by RA. For more information about Rheumatoid Arthritis and its symptoms, consult with one of our podiatrists of New England Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the membranes surrounding the joints. Inflammation of the lining and eventually the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone occur, causing severe pain and immobility.

Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Feet

Although RA usually attacks multiple bones and joints throughout the entire body, almost 90 percent of cases result in pain in the foot or ankle area.

Symptoms

- Swelling & pain in the feet
- Stiffness in the feet
- Pain on the ball or sole of feet
- Joint shift and deformation

Diagnosis

Quick diagnosis of RA in the feet is important so that the podiatrist can treat the area effectively. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, occupation, and lifestyle to determine the origin of the condition. Rheumatoid Factor tests help to determine if someone is affected by the disease.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Reading, MA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technologies to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more on Rheumatoid Arthritis  


By New England Foot & Ankle Specialists
December 22, 2015
Tags: ankle sprains  

It’s winter in New England and we all know what that means for the Boston area: freezing temperatures and icy steps and pavement—the perfect conditions for slipping and twisting your ankle. The ligaments in your ankle are like giant rubber bands. Those bands connect bones and joints. When they are suddenly and severely twisted out of place it causes excessive stretching and sometimes even tearing of these ligaments.

Sprain Treatment is Important

Ankle sprains can be of varying degrees of severity but all sprains should be evaluated by a foot and ankle surgeon. The tell tale symptoms of an ankle sprain are pain, along with swelling and bruising of the ankle. However, for people who have sprained ankles repeatedly, the symptoms may be less noticeable. Delayed or inappropriate treatment of an ankle sprain can lead to serious long-term problems. Prompt treatment is necessary for the following reasons:

  • Oftentimes at New England Foot & Ankle Specialists we find that another, more severe injury, such as a bone fracture has occurred at the same time as the sprain, which would result in serious damage and disability if the patient had not come in
  • The appropriate treatment and rehabilitation of a sprained ankle needs to begin immediately after the sprain to ensure complete and proper healing
  • Ankle sprains that do not receive treatment often do not heal fully and this leads to chronic ankle instability and repeated sprains which further weakens the ankle

Our podiatrists, Dr. George A. Abboud, Dr. Brian D. Tedesco, Dr. Carl Conui, or Dr. Kimberly Thurmond will first conduct a thorough examination of your ankle and foot and also get a medical history from you, including the circumstances of the sprain. X-rays or other imaging studies may also be ordered to determine how bad the sprain is and to check for fractures or other injuries. Once the foot doctor has determined the severity of the sprain, the proper treatment will be prescribed. It will most likely include the RICE regimen: rest, ice, compression, and elevation and physical therapy as soon as possible. If the sprain is very bad or you have had multiple sprains in the past, surgery may be required.

If you’ve twisted your ankle, don’t delay. Contact our Reading office at (781) 944-4044 and make an appointment to be seen by one of our foot and ankle surgeons.


December 21, 2015
Category: Foot Care
Tags: foot pain   Orthotics   Shoes  

It’s important to make sure you have orthotic support in your footwear, especially as you transition to boots for the winter. Having supportive footwear can help ease pain in your heel, arch, and the ball of your foot. This can prevent further pain and discomfort in your knees, hips, and lower back. Look for shoes that have sufficient arch support or customize your own orthotics.

If you have any concerns about your feet contact one of our podiatrists of New England Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What are Orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain, but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.

Over-the-Counter Inserts

Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct over arched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.

Prescription Orthotics

If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you, or if you have a more severe foot issue, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and more severe heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses, and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.

If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist on the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain free.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Reading, MA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technologies to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Orthotics


By New England Foot & Ankle Specialists
December 17, 2015

A common, yet often untreated foot condition are fungal toenails. Fungal nail infections (also known as onychomycosis) are often painless and can go unrecognized for a long time. The biggest symptom of a fungal toenail is a change in the nail’s color to a yellowish-brown or dark color. If you have a fungal toenail infection, you may also notice your nail getting thick and brittle and even crumbling around the edges.

Who is Prone to Toenail Infections?

A group of fungi known as dermophytes, which devour keratin, the protein in nails, are the cause of fungal toenails. People who suffer chronic disease, especially those that compromise the immune or circulatory systems, such as diabetes, have an increased likelihood of getting a fungal infection. Any injury to the nail bed can also be an entry point for the fungi. People who perspire excessively or have chronic Athlete’s Foot are also at a higher risk for fungal toenail infections.

Treatment Options

Many people put off medical treatment for fungal toenails because they are not causing any pain or discomfort. Left untreated, however, fungal toenails can lead to complications. A secondary bacterial or yeast infection often accompanies a fungal infection, which can cause debris to collect under the nail plate and pain when running or walking if it progresses too far.

At New England Foot & Ankle Specialists, we believe in being proactive in your foot care. If you notice symptoms of a fungal toenail infection, don’t wait until it’s painful. Contact our Reading office for an appointment with one of our podiatrists, Dr. George A. Abboud, Dr. Brian D. Tedesco, Dr. Carl Conui, or Dr. Kimberly Thurmond.  We offer a new laser procedure that clears nail infections quickly and comfortably. Other treatment options include: topical and oral medications, debridement, and, in severe cases, partial nail removal.

If you have a fungal toenail, make an appointment by calling: (781) 944-4044 and stop fungal nails before they become a serious medical issue.


While cold feet are often known as poor blood circulation, the symptom may also be confused for other things. Some say cold feet can actually be signs for peripheral neuropathy, when the nerves have trouble transmitting impulses to and from the brain. Pain in the feet is more commonly known as poor blood circulation. In any case, both problems need immediate attention for relief.

Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns about your feet contact one of our podiatrists of New England Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries.

 Plaque buildup or atherosclerosis results from excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. It usually restricts the amount of blood which can flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.

Causes

Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development.

It can also cause:

-muscle pain      -numbness in legs

-cramps               -skin discoloration

-weakness          -slower nail & hair growth

-stiffness             -erectile dysfunction

Those who have diabetes and or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, or who are over 50.

If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD, and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions.

As always see a doctor as they will help try and fit a regime that suits you. A doctor will also prescribe you medication which will help for PAD.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Reading, MA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technologies to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about poor circulation in the feet.




Contact Us

New England & Ankle Specialists

(781) 944-4044
30 New Crossing Road Suite 311 Reading, MA 01876