Posts for: December, 2017
Injuries from falls in the elderly population are unfortunately extremely common and often result in debilitating and life changing injuries. Nearly three million senior citizens are treated in emergency rooms for falls every year, with over 300,000 of those being for hip fractures. But injuries to the feet and ankles are also very common. These can range from minor ankle sprains and strains and muscle pulls, to more severe injuries including fractures, a torn Achilles tendon, and ligament damage.
Why do older folks fall so much?
A variety of factors including balance issues, poor vision, and lower body weakness can contribute to the risk of falls. Older individuals also are more prone to developing systemic diseases like diabetes that can cause nerve damage in the extremities resulting in numbness and loss of feeling which can make it more difficult to walk without risking a fall. Balance problems are also often a side effect of many of the medications taken by elderly patients. Consuming too much alcohol can also increase the risk of falling.
How to reduce falling risk
Some steps you can take to reduce falling risk include staying in good shape through exercising to help increase your strength and balance. Getting regular eye exams, new glasses, and wearing supportive shoes with extra ankle support are essential to mitigating the risk. Small, slippery throw rugs should be donated or tossed. Installing grab bars in bathrooms and showers can greatly decrease bathroom fall accidents. Make sure you have good lighting in hallways and stairwells, where many falls occur. Keep wires and extension cords tied up and out of the way of walking areas.
If you have experienced a foot or ankle injury from falling, consult with our board certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!
One of the most common problems to affect children as they are growing up is a condition called in-toeing, where the toes point inwards when walking. This is also referred to as being “pigeon-toed”. While this abnormal walking style may be of concern to parents, in most instances the child will outgrow the condition by age 8 without the need for any special intervention. Another condition called out-toeing, where the toes point away from each other, is much less common. Both of these abnormalities can be caused by genetics, and also by the position the baby takes in the womb before birth.
The three types of in-toeing are:
- Twisted shin (tibial torsion)—This twisting of the shin bone actually begins in the womb, and often by the time children reach school age, the tibia will correct itself and appear more normal. If the twisting remains after age 8-10, surgery may be necessary.
- Curved foot (metatarsus adductus)—This is a bend that occurs in the middle of the foot. The foot is often flexible with this condition, but if rigidity becomes prevalent in 6-9 month olds, it may be necessary to wear special shoes or a cast for correction.
- Twisted thigh bone (femoral anteversion)—In this version, the thigh bone turns inward causing both the knees and the feet to point inwards. This will usually correct itself, but if by age 10 there are still problems with walking, surgery may be necessary to straighten out the femur.
While both in-toeing and out-toeing will often correct by age 10 or earlier, having your child’s feet checked by your foot doctor can help alleviate your concerns.
For more expert advice on pediatric foot treatment, consult with our board certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!
If you have ever ruptured your Achilles tendon, then you know it is not a pleasant experience! You may even hear a popping or snapping sound as the tendon is ripped or even completely severed, making it impossible to stand on your toes or to push off your injured leg. Those who participate in sports like tennis, soccer, and basketball, where a high degree of running and jumping and a lot of quick stops and starts are necessary, are more susceptible to an Achilles tendon tear. It has also been shown that certain antibiotic medications may increase the risk of a tendon injury.
Treating an Achilles tendon injury will depend upon the severity of the damage. Conservative measures include wearing a walking boot or cast to immobilize the area while the tendon heals. Specially made orthotic inserts can help to cushion and elevate the heel area and promote a faster recovery.
For severe injuries, you may wish to discuss surgical reattachment or repair with your podiatrist. A surgical repair has less susceptibility to re-rupture, and is often the preferred course of treatment for athletes.
Achilles tendons can take a long time to properly heal and it is important to avoid re-injury after the initial recovery period. Be certain to ease into activity slowly and deliberately to build up strength and endurance. Always warm up and stretch prior to exercising, and try adding lower impact activities like cycling and swimming to your workout routine since they are more gentle on your joints and muscles.
For more expert advice on Achilles tendon tear treatment, consult with our board certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!
Are you having considerably difficulty bending your large toe? A stiff big toe, or hallux rigidus, can be caused when degenerative arthritis settles into the big toe joint. This condition generally occurs in older folks, since the wear and tear of time on your feet can be largely responsible. Having flat feet, gout, and rheumatoid arthritis can make you more likely to develop a stiff big toe. You don’t really notice how important your big toes are for walking, climbing stairs, or just standing up until you have a problem bending them.
Diagnosis of hallux rigidus can be complicated since the symptoms can be similar to those caused by a bunion. Since the arthritis of hallux rigidus occurs gradually, the initial stages may only limit the movement of the toe and complete stiffness may not occur until later. This initial stage is called hallux limitus. Getting treatment as early as possible will help avoid further complications, so see your foot specialist for proper identification and treatment.
Once the diagnosis of hallux rigidus is confirmed, conservative treatments may include:
- Corticosteroid injection—This may restore normal movement and require several injections spread over time.
- Custom orthotic inserts and proper shoes—These devices are specially made and strategically placed in your footwear to redistribute the pressure and stress on the toes and improve the overall functioning of the foot. They are used in conjunction with properly fitted shoes that have stiffer soles to help relieve pressure on the big toe joint.
- Ibuprofen—Or other recommended anti-inflammatory medications can help relieve pain and inflammation.
For more expert advice on hallux rigidus treatment, consult with our board certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!