Posts for: February, 2016

A recent study conducted by the Arthritis Care & Research suggests that smoking or cigarette smoke may possibly lead to lower gout risks. The research indicates, however, that this “27% lower risk” benefit was noted only in men who were lean, non-overweight smokers. Urate levels in the test subjects were “significantly lower” than those who were previous smokers or who have never smoked. Research has never before been done on the correlation between gout and smoking, and the results are new and inconclusive.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you have any concerns about gout contact one of our podiatrists of New England Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.

People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.

Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.

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 Gout

By New England Foot & Ankle Specialists
February 21, 2016

In honor of National Heart Month, we at New England Foot & Ankle Specialists would like to discuss a disease that manifests in the legs and feet but has serious ramifications for the heart and other parts of the body. Sometimes referred to as “poor circulation,” Peripheral Arterial Disease (P.A.D.) is a condition where blood flow to the legs and feet is limited because of a narrowing of the arteries due to a buildup of plaque on the artery walls. If Peripheral Arterial Disease is detected, it may be an indicator that arterial disease is present throughout the body, which can lead to heart attack or stroke.

Signs of P.A.D.

Initially, a person with P.A.D. may not have any symptoms. As the disease progresses, patients may notice the following:

  • Leg cramping when lying down
  • Leg cramping while walking
  • Weakness or numbness in the legs
  • Sores that won’t heal on legs, feet or toes
  • Legs and feet feel cold
  • Changes in skin color
  • Loss of hair on legs and feet
  • Discoloration or thickening of toenails

Unfortunately, by the time these signs are noticeable, the arteries have narrowed considerably. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is very important to make an appointment with one our podiatrists, George A. Abboud, D.P.M., Brian D. Tedesco, D.P.M., Carl Conui, D.P.M., or Kimberly Thurmond, D.P.M. The foot doctor will conduct a thorough examination of the lower extremities and also take a complete medical history. There are a number of non-invasive tests involving blood pressure and measuring your pulse that the podiatrist can use to determine if P.A.D. is present. If tests results point to P.A.D., your foot doctor may recommend that you see a vascular specialist for further evaluation and treatment.


Generally, the treatment for P.A.D. involves a combination of medication and lifestyle changes such as changing diet, increasing exercise and stopping smoking. In some instances, surgery may be a method chosen to increase blood flow. Left untreated, P.A.D. can lead to serious health issues so don’t delay in making an appointment at our Reading office if you have any symptoms of this debilitating disease.

By New England Foot & Ankle Specialists
February 17, 2016
Tags: metatarsalgia  

Metatarsalgia is basically an inflammation of a joint in one of the metatarsals, the long bones that extend from your toes to the middle of the foot. This inflammation causes pain and burning in the ball of your foot. Many of our patients at New England Foot & Ankle Specialists who have this condition say it feels as if you are walking with a rock in your shoe. Other telltale signs are:

  • Pain increases when you flex your toes
  • Swelling
  • Pain that is worse when you walk barefoot or walk on hard surfaces
  • Pain decreases when you are at rest and have your feet up
  • Skin lesions
  • Tingling or numbness in the toes
  • Aching

These symptoms may be mild or intense and they may be constant or come and go.


One of our podiatrists, George A. Abboud, D.P.M., Brian D. Tedesco, D.P.M., Carl Conui, D.P.M., or Kimberly Thurmond, D.P.M. will examine your foot and may order x-rays to rule out a fracture. The foot doctor will take a medical history and ask questions about your lifestyle and recent events because metatarsalgia can have many causes including:

  • Injury
  • Foot abnormality (such as hammertoe)
  • Disease (such as Rheumatoid arthritis or gout)
  • Activities (high impact sports increase the risk of metatarsalgia)
  • Footwear
  • Being overweight

Since the causes are so varied, the treatment will be as well. Initially, the foot doctor will want to alleviate your pain and discomfort and so rest, icing the ball of your foot and anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed. Simple changes such as alternating low impact and high impact activities or adding orthotic devices to footwear may be sufficient to treat metatarsalgia. Of course, if the underlying cause is a deformity or disease, the podiatrist will need to treat that.

Whatever the cause, prompt treatment is key to correcting the problem and eliminating pain and discomfort. Get started on the road to relief by making an appointment at our Reading office without delay.

Finding the right shoe size is pertinent to one’s foot health. Shoes that are too tight can irritate the feet and create blisters or calluses; shoes that are too loose can also cause tripping. When trying on shoes ensure that you select a pair that has solid foot support, sufficient toe room, and either laces or velcro if you intend to exercise in it.

Getting the right shoe size is an important part of proper foot health. 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.

Getting the Right Shoe Size

There are many people that wear shoes that are ill-fitting, which affects their feet and posture. Selecting the right shoes is not a difficult process so long as you keep several things in mind when it comes to selecting the right pair.

  • When visiting the shoe store, use the tools available to measure your foot
  • When measuring your foot with your shoe on, add 1-2 inches to the size
  • Be sure there is ‘wiggle room’. There should be about an inch between your toes and the tip of your shoes
  • Do not always assume you are the same size, as manufacturers run differently
  • Purchase shoes later in the day as your feet swell as the day progresses
  • If a shoe is not comfortable, it is not suitable. Most shoes can’t be ‘broken in’, and comfort should be the ultimate goal when it comes to choosing the right pair of shoes

As our feet hold our body weight and keep us moving, it is important to treat your feet right by choosing the right pair of shoes that can provide them comfort and mobility with minimal pain.

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 getting the right shoe size.

By New England Foot & Ankle Specialists
February 12, 2016
Tags: arthritis  

Arthritis is a disease that affects your joints. It is defined by inflammation and swelling of the lining of the joints, as well as excess fluid in the joints. Although arthritis can afflict any part of the body, the feet are very susceptible to this disease because there are 33 joints in each foot that can be affected. Also, the pain of arthritis in your feet is the greatest because of the fact that your feet bear the weight of your entire body.

Nearly 40 million Americans have this potentially crippling disease and although people over 50 are most prone to it, it can strike at any age from infancy on.

Recognizing the Symptoms

Arthritis manifests itself both on the inside and the outside of your foot. Stiffness of your joints (particularly first thing in the morning), along with pain and swelling are signs of arthritis, and are usually accompanied by external skin changes such as a rash or redness. The affected joints may also feel hot to the touch.

There are two kinds of arthritis:

Osteoarthritis: This is the most common form of the disease. It is also known as “wear and tear” arthritis. Osteoarthritis is degenerative joint disease that occurs as the result of the breakdown of cartilage, which happens as you age. Dull, throbbing pain at night is typical of this type of arthritis. Muscle weakness and deterioration may happen as well. The pain normally gets worse as you get older.

Rheumatoid arthritis: This is actually a complex group of chronic inflammatory diseases that tends to affect smaller joints in the ankles and toes. Rheumatoid arthritis is definitely a more serious medical condition than osteoarthritis with more complicated symptoms and treatment.


A proper diagnosis is the first step to relief. There are many other foot disorders that have joint pain and stiffness as a symptom. At New England Foot & Ankle Specialists, one of our podiatrists, George A. Abboud, D.P.M., Brian D. Tedesco, D.P.M., Carl Conui, D.P.M., or Kimberly Thurmond, D.P.M. will conduct a complete examination of your foot and ankle and will most likely order x-rays to see how far the arthritis has progressed. Your medical history will also help the foot doctor determine the type of arthritis that you are suffering from.

Early diagnosis and treatment of arthritis can slow the course of the disease and limit its damage. Your treatment plan will depend on your individual diagnosis. Common options include anti-inflammatory and steroid medications, physical therapy and custom orthotics. If you are experiencing any difficulties with the joints of your feet or ankles, make an appointment for an evaluation at either our Reading office by calling (781) 944-4044.

Contact Us

New England & Ankle Specialists

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