Posts for: September, 2016

By New England Foot & Ankle Specialists
September 28, 2016
Category: Foot Health

The beautiful changing leaves and crisp air here in New England are a real incentive to hit one or more of the many hiking trails our area has to offer. While this can be an enjoyable activity and a good way to stay fit, it can also result in pain and suffering for your feet. At New England Foot & Ankle Specialists we want to offer patients a few tips to help protect your feet when hiking:

  • Wear the right shoes. Hiking boots are designed specifically for the type of terrain and activity you’ll experience on the trail. Good quality boots will be water resistant and have a graphite or steel shank and offer strong ankle support while at the same time reducing muscle and tendon fatigue. A well molded sole with deep treads will help avoid slipping on loose rocks and make falls and ankle sprains less likely.

  • Don’t settle when it comes to socks. Believe it or not, your socks play a big part in your comfort when hiking. Consider wearing two pairs for maximum protection. Start with a synthetic sock which will fit snuggly and minimize friction which causes blisters. This type of sock will also keep your foot dry. Wool socks over top of these will keep moisture away from your feet and toes (an important part of preventing fungal infections) and also add a layer of cushioning and warmth.

  • Start slow and work your way up. Literally! Climbing steep mountains up long trails the first day out is a good way to end up with very sore muscles, injuries and inflammatory conditions such as Achilles tendonitis. Warm up before and after your hike and start with short hikes that have relatively easy terrain. Gradually increase the distance and difficulty level of your hikes.

If it hurts, stop. Listen to your body. When you start to feel muscle soreness or more serious pain, head back. If pain is sharp or severe or continues for more than a couple of days, contact our Somers or Reading office for an appointment. Our podiatrists: Dr. George A. Abboud, Dr. Brian D. Tedesco, Dr. Carl Conui and Dr. Kimberly Thurmond will examine the area in pain and find the problem. Prompt diagnosis and treatment will help prevent a more debilitating injury down the line.

By New England Foot & Ankle Specialists
September 22, 2016
Tags: fungal nails   laser therapy  

At New England Foot & Ankle Specialists one of the more frequent conditions we see in patients is fungal toenails. Symptoms of fungal toenail include: discoloration and thickening of the nail and brittleness, sometimes accompanied by peeling or flaking. Direct contact with the fungi is usually how fungal toenails develop. This can occur in a number of different ways:

  • Going barefoot in a gym, communal shower, public pool

  • Getting a pedicure at a salon that does not follow proper sanitizing procedures

  • Sharing socks or shoes with others

  • Injury

  • Too much time in tight, closed in footwear and/or sweaty socks

Diagnosis and Treatment

Although fungal nails may not initially be painful, they can worsen to the point where the nail becomes separated from the bed and a bacterial infection may occur then as well. Fungal infection can also spread from your toenails to other areas on your foot or body. One of our podiatrists: Dr. George A. Abboud, Dr. Brian D. Tedesco, Dr. Carl Conui or Dr. Kimberly Thurmond will examine your foot and nails to diagnose a fungal toenail. Typical treatments of fungal toenails include prescription of oral or topical medications. These, however, can take several months to show results, may have side effects and are not effective in many patients. Laser therapy is another treatment option we offer that has several advantages:

  • You can see clear nail growth and improved appearance after 1 or 2 treatments

  • The laser works by gently heating the skin under the nail and effectively killing the fungus

  • There are no side affects

  • Laser treatment is generally not painful, although you will feel warmth and heat

  • It in no way restricts your normal activities

If you have a fungal toenail and would like to learn more about laser therapy, contact our Reading office for an appointment by calling: (781) 944-4044.

By New England Foot & Ankle Specialists
September 15, 2016
Category: Foot Health
Tags: Childhood Obesity  

Your weight and the health of your feet—there’s an undeniable connection. At New England Foot & Ankle Specialists, we see the incidence and severity of many medical disorders and conditions that affect feet and ankles has increased in patients who are overweight. A startling trend is that more children are obese now than ever before—23 million in our country between the ages of 2-19 are overweight. This greatly increases their risk of injury and chronic foot problems into adulthood.

What’s the Problem?

It’s fairly obvious that since your feet bear the weight of your entire body, the heavier the load the more strain on your feet. Studies show that patients who are overweight report a much higher rate of foot and ankle pain. They are more likely to have a foot or ankle fracture and being overweight also increases many foot conditions including plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, gout and osteoarthritis. In addition, diseases that can have a major impact on foot health such as diabetes and peripheral artery disease are more likely to occur in people who are overweight.

Put Your Child on a Healthy Path

Whether your child is overweight or you just want to make sure he or she continues to maintain a healthy weight, there are steps you can take to help:

  • Start with a checkup with one of our podiatrists: Dr. George A. Abboud, Dr. Brian D. Tedesco, Dr. Carl Conui, or Dr. Kimberly Thurmond. The foot doctor will examine your child’s foot and gait and take a medical history to look for possible inherited foot defects. The information provided by the exam can help you determine if there are any physical activities your child should avoid or if specific footwear or inserts are necessary to protect foot health.

  • Make physical fitness a fun, family affair: participate with your children in hikes, bike rides and walks. Encourage some type of activity on a daily basis.

  • Swap fruits and vegetables for some of the less healthy snacks your child may be eating.

  • Get your child in the habit of drinking water instead of soda, fruit drinks and even fruit juice which is high in sugar and calories.

Small changes can bring big results! If you have questions about your child’s foot health, contact our Reading office.

By New England Foot & Ankle Specialists
September 08, 2016
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: muscle spasms  

Sometimes patients are hesitant to come to New England Foot & Ankle Specialists with a complaint of muscle spasms. After all, even though they are annoying and mildly painful, spasms don’t seem like a major problem requiring medical attention. However, muscle spasms (known as carpopedal spasms when they occur in the feet and toes) can be a first sign of a more serious medical problem. If you find them happening repeatedly, you should schedule an appointment to see one of our podiatrists: Dr. George A. Abboud, Dr. Brian D. Tedesco, Dr. Carl Conui, or Dr. Kimberly Thurmond for an evaluation.

Many Possible Causes

Part of the difficulty in determining what’s behind muscle spasms is that there are many possibilities. Some of them are fairly innocuous. One of the more common reasons is working out or participating in a sport and overdoing it or not stretching properly before or after the activity. Being dehydrated or having an electrolyte imbalance can bring them on. Muscle spasms in the feet are fairly common during the third trimester of pregnancy. They can also be caused by a Vitamin D deficiency or a side effect of taking certain medications.  In these cases, the remedies are fairly straightforward.

Muscle spasms in the feet can also be the result of several medical conditions:

  • Parkinson’s disease

  • Multiple Sclerosis

  • Kidney disease

  • Huntington disease

  • Nerve damage to one or a group of nerves

  • Thyroid disorders


The foot doctor will examine your foot and also get a complete medical history from you. Certain lab tests, such as blood and urine analysis, can provide additional clues to the cause of muscle spasms. Once the podiatrist has traced the cause of your spasms the correct treatment can be prescribed. If the foot doctor suspects one of the neuromuscular or other medical conditions listed above you may be referred to a physician that specializes in that area of medicine.

So don’t put off dealing with muscle spasms. If these are a recurrent problem for you, contact our Reading office for an appointment by calling: (781) 944-4044.

By New England Foot & Ankle Specialists
September 01, 2016
Category: Foot Injuries

Have you ever heard of a Lisfranc joint or ligament? They are located in the middle of your foot at the point where your metatarsal bones meet up with the bones in the arch of your foot. At New England Foot & Ankle Specialists, patients with an injury to this area report difficulty bearing weight on the foot as well as pain, swelling, blistering and bruising to the arch of the foot.

Tricky to Diagnose

The symptoms of a Lisfranc injury can mimic those of ankle sprain and so diagnosis can be challenging. Our podiatrists: Dr. George A. Abboud, Dr. Brian D. Tedesco, Dr. Carl Conui, or Dr. Kimberly Thurmond will want a detailed medical history from you if you have midfoot symptoms and will conduct a complete examination of your foot. Imaging studies, including x-rays may also be utilized to confirm the diagnosis and in some cases an examination while the patient is under anesthesia may also be ordered.

Lisfranc injuries fall into three categories: fractures, sprains and dislocations. Once the podiatrist determines the exact nature of your Lisfranc injury and its severity, the proper treatment plan can be determined. Options for treatment may include:

  • Icing and elevation—keeping the leg at or a little above hip level and applying ice for 20 minutes every hour to help reduce swelling

  • Immobilizing the foot—patients often need to avoid putting weight on the foot and therefore it may be placed in a cast and crutches may be needed

  • Medication—the foot doctor may prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (Ibuprofen) to help relieve inflammation and pain

  • Physical therapy—once the initial symptoms have gone away, physical therapy may be recommended to strengthen the muscles and ligaments surrounding the Lisfranc joint

  • Surgery—in some cases surgery may be necessary to repair a Lisfranc injury

Prompt treatment of a Lisfranc injury is important in order to prevent serious disability. If you have recently been injured or are just noticing pain and swelling in the middle of your foot, make an appointment at our Reading office as soon as possible.

Contact Us

New England & Ankle Specialists

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