Posts for: June, 2016

By New England Foot & Ankle Specialists
June 28, 2016
Tags: athlete's foot   dermatitis   Xerosis  

Having itchy feet, particularly if you’re wearing socks and shoes and can’t get at them, can make you crazy! At New England Foot & Ankle Specialists, we treat many patients whose complaint is that their feet itch. There are, however, several different disorders that have itching as a symptom and they require different treatments.

Our podiatrists, George A. Abboud, D.P.M., Brian D. Tedesco, D.P.M., Carl Conui, D.P.M., and Kimberly Thurmond, D.P.M. will need to examine your foot and will want to ask you questions about your recent activities. Some common conditions that cause your feet to itch include:

Athlete’s foot—also known as tinea pedis, this is a fungal infection that usually starts between your toes. Initial symptoms are usually Itchy, red skin that’s dry and scaly.  Athlete’s foot can spread to the soles of your feet and even blister if left untreated.

Dermatitis—this condition has two categories. Primary irritant dermatitis is a reaction to exposure to a harsh substance. This can occur if you have excessive exposure to chemicals, oil, or even hot water. Allergic contact dermatitis is the result of an allergic reaction to something like the dye in your socks, athletic tape or other material that has come in contact with your foot.

Xerosis—this is just a fancy medical term for very dry skin. Xerosis can develop from excessive showering or exposure to water, particularly hot water or using a soap that is very drying. Usually apply an extra-emollient moisturizer several times a day for a week or so takes care of this problem.

Once the foot doctor determines the cause of your itchy skin the proper treatment can be prescribed. Although these conditions are more of a nuisance than a medical threat for most people, patients with diabetes need to be extra cautious as any of these rashes can become infected and lead to long term problems. For all patients, however, it’s best to get skin conditions diagnosed and treated in their early stages when they are usually easy to get under control. If you have an irritating skin condition on your feet, contact our Reading office for an appointment.

Swelling—or edema—in the ankles, feet and/or lower legs is a complaint that we often hear about from our patients at New England Foot & Ankle Specialists. In many cases, the swelling is caused by common situations that are easily remedied: sitting in one position or standing for too long, eating salty food, being dehydrated.

Swollen feet and ankles are also a common condition if you are pregnant, elderly or after certain medical tests, treatments or procedures.

However, swelling can also be a sign of a more serious medical issue. If swollen feet and ankles are becoming a chronic problem, make an appointment to see one of our podiatrists: Dr. George A. Abboud, D.P.M., Dr. Brian D. Tedesco, D.P.M., Dr. Carl Conui, D.P.M., or Dr. Kimberly Thurmond, D.P.M. Some possible causes of edema include:

  • Reaction to a medication

  • Kidney disease or damage

  • Liver disease

  • Allergic reaction

  • Congestive heart damage

  • Vein damage or weakness or blood clot

  • Hormone imbalance

  • Nutritional deficiency

  • Lymphatic system malfunction

  • Circulation problems

To determine the cause of chronic swelling, the foot doctor will do a complete examination of your feet and ankles and also take a medical history and ask questions about your lifestyle and recent activities. In some cases diagnostic tests, including x-rays, ultra sound, blood tests and urinalysis may also be utilized to find out why you are experiencing swelling.

Once the podiatrist determines what is causing the swelling, the appropriate treatment or a referral to treat the medical condition responsible for the swelling can be given. Some ways that you can help prevent commonplace swelling are:

  • Staying hydrated

  • Limiting the amount of salty food you eat

  • Not sitting for long periods of time (this includes in a plane or car, at work, etc.)

  • Avoiding tight elastic in socks and legging

  • Exercising

If you have questions or concerns about swelling in your feet and ankles, contact us for an appointment at either our Reading office.

By New England Foot & Ankle Specialists
June 15, 2016
Category: Foot Injuries

With nearly a quarter of all the bones of your body located in your feet, it’s not surprising that one of the more common conditions we see at New England Foot & Ankle Specialists are fractures. Symptoms of a fracture are pain, swelling and sometimes bruising. Generally speaking, fractures fall into two categories:

General Bone Fractures—these are the type people are most familiar with. General bone fractures usually occur as a result of any injury, a trauma such as dropping a very heavy object on your foot or from a twisting injury. In this type of break, the fracture goes all the way through the bone. A fracture may be stable—which means there is no shift in how the bones line up, or displaced—which means the bone alignment has been shifted and the ends no longer meet the way they should. A bone fracture may also be open—the bone breaks through the skin or closed—bone does not break through the skin.

Stress Fractures—these fractures are a little trickier to detect. With a stress fracture, the bone is not completely broken. Instead, there are very tiny cracks in the surface of the bone. The symptoms may come and go but, if untreated, will usually get worse over time. Stress fractures are usually caused by overuse or they can be the result in a sudden increase in the intensity of an exercise, poor training techniques or a change in the surface where the fitness activity takes place.

Treating Fractures

How a fracture is treated will depend on the type and severity of the break. Our podiatrists, George A. Abboud, D.P.M., Brian D. Tedesco, D.P.M., Carl Conui, D.P.M., and Kimberly Thurmond, D.P.M. will use x-rays and other imaging studies to evaluate a fracture. Treatment inevitably includes immobilizing and resting the foot with the broken bone to allow healing to occur. Icing the area and using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications may be suggested to relieve pain and swelling. In the case of a very bad fracture or one where displacement of the bone has occurred, surgery may be necessary.

Remember that being able to bear weight on your foot does not mean that it is not fractured. If you have injured your foot and are experiencing signs of a fracture, contact our Reading office for an appointment.

By New England Foot & Ankle Specialists
June 08, 2016

You don’t recall twisting or injuring your ankle recently but you are experiencing pain off and on (and sometimes it’s pretty intense) on the outside of your ankle. Your ankle feels weak, like it might give way, particularly when you are wearing high heels or walking on an uneven surface. Your ankle is often stiff and tender and sometimes it swells up. If this describes your symptoms, you may be suffering from chronic lateral ankle pain.

What Causes Chronic Lateral Ankle Pain?

The most common cause of this disorder that we see at New England Foot & Ankle Specialists is a previous ankle sprain. If the sprain did not heal properly or if you did not complete the physical therapy necessary to strengthen the surrounding muscles that support the ankle, it is likely that the ankle will twist again and chronic lateral ankle pain can result. Other possible causes are:

  • A fracture in one of the bones of the ankle joint

  • Scar tissue in the ankle from a previous sprain

  • A inflamed or torn tendon

  • Nerve injury

  • Inflammation of a joint lining

What Can be Done?

Our podiatrists: Dr. George A. Abboud, D.P.M., Dr. Brian D. Tedesco, D.P.M., Dr. Carl Conui, D.P.M., or Dr. Kimberly Thurmond, D.P.M, will need to conduct a thorough examination of your ankle and also get a complete medical history, including any information and medical records of previous sprains. An x-ray or other imaging studies may also be helpful in evaluating the ankle issues. Once the foot doctor knows the extent and cause of your chronic lateral ankle pain, there are a number of treatment options available. The foot doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications and possibly steroids to reduce pain and swelling. If a fracture is involved, some period of immobilization may be required. Physical therapy, ankle braces and supports can all help heal and protect the ankle going forward.

If you are experiencing any ankle discomfort, don’t wait. Contact our Reading office for an appointment by calling: (781) 944-4044.

Contact Us

New England & Ankle Specialists

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