Podiatrist Blog

By Hartford Podiatry Group
February 21, 2018

Cavus foot or pes cavus is the medical term for atypically high foot arches. These unusually high insteps mean that the foot does not distribute the body’s weight as it should. The ball and heel of the foot bear an excessive amount of weight when walking or standing, potentially leading to a variety of symptoms including pain and instability.

 

Who Is at Risk of Pes Cavus?

High arches can develop at any age and can occur in one or both feet. Both men and women are susceptible. Risk factors include:

 

  • Family history and tendency
  • Congenital conditions including cerebral palsy or clubfoot
  • Neuromuscular disease such as polio
  • Trauma to the nerves from foot or ankle injury

Symptoms of Pes Cavus

High arches may not be a problem at first, but they do often grow increasingly symptomatic with age. Feet with higher arches are less able to absorb the shock of heel strike during walking or running than those with more typical anatomy, causing stress on the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the foot, ankle and lower leg. The stress causes pain which may even be referred to the knees, hips, or back, or shoulders. Painful corns may develop as the toes claw at the ground to compensate for high arches, and calluses can form under the ball of the foot. 

Patients with high arches often find it challenging to find comfortable shoes for everyday or special occasions. Custom orthotics prescribed by a podiatrist can help by evenly distributing weight and taking pressure off the heel and ball of the foot.

Diagnosis and Treating Pes Cavus

Any time you experience pain in your foot, ankle, or lower leg, you should see your foot doctor. With years of specialized training and experience, your podiatrist is the most qualified medical professional to determine the source of your discomfort and create a plan to treat it. If your doctor determines that the source of your pain is high arches, he or she may offer treatment including custom orthotics, removal of corns and calluses, and physical therapy.

If you are worried about high arches, or if you have any other concerns about the health of your feet, ankles, and lower legs, it’s time to see the podiatrist. Click here or call Hartford Podiatry Group at 860-523-8026 today to schedule a convenient appointment with Dr. Eric Kosofsky and Dr. Robert Rutstein in our comfortable Hartford or Rocky Hill offices.

By Hartford Podiatry Group
February 14, 2018

The Centers for Disease Control report that childhood obesity has more than doubled in in the past 30 years. Nearly one-third of American children under 18 have a Body Mass Index (BMI) that medically classifies them as obese. This excess weight puts kids at risk of chronic health issues including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and bone and joint conditions. Further, studies prove that obesity often negatively impacts self-esteem and contributes to depression, anxiety, and isolation.

Obesity even causes a problem for children’s feet. Studies in the United States and Great Britain have all come to the same conclusion: overweight and obese children experience numerous problems related to the feet.  Their feet are flatter, longer and wider than their peers’, creating stress and injury to the bones, tendons, and ligaments of the feet, ankles, and lower legs. Further, obese children more frequently experience issues related to the development of their bones and muscles than children of lower weights do and suffer from a higher rate of neck, back, and hip pain than average-weight children do.

When seeing obese and overweight children, podiatrists frequently find themselves diagnosing the same issues in numerous patients:

  • Because of the extra weight that the feet have to carry, arches can fall or not form properly and flat feet are common.
  • Blount’s Disease is caused by stress on the growth plate, which causes bowing of the legs and improper development of the ankles. The stress of the extra weight can cause this to occur starting from when children are young.
  • When children are eating poorly and failing to exercise, bones can become brittle. The constant stress on the bones makes it more likely for them to crack or break over time.  Fractures are a greater risk for overweight children than for their non-sedentary peers.
  • The heel bone isn’t fully developed until age the teen years. As your child grows, stress and muscle strain from extra weight can cause inflammation of the heel’s growth plate. This condition is called Sever’s Disease, and it can cause walking to become painful.

If your child is overweight or obese, and if excess weight is causing discomfort, restricted mobility, or limited use of his or her feet, ankles, or lower legs, it’s time to visit the podiatrist. Call Hartford Podiatry Group at 860-523-8026 or click here today to schedule a convenient appointment in our Hartford or Rocky Hill offices. With years of specialized training and experience, Dr. Eric Kosofsky and Dr. Robert Rutstein can help your child.

By Hartford Podiatry Group
February 08, 2018
Category: Proper Foot Care
Tags: frostbite  

Frostbite sounds like something that only people in the Arctic need to worry about, doesn’t it? But that’s not the case. In the cold winter months, residents of the northeast need to be aware of their risk and take steps to keep safe as well.

Because they are farthest from the heart and receive the last and lowest supplies of blood, the toes and feet are most at risk of frostbite, along with the fingers and hands, nose, and ears. When a body part is exposed to extreme cold for a prolonged period of time, the water that exists in the cells of the flesh can freeze and form ice crystals, leading to soft tissue injury and death.

Frostbite is the last stop on a path that begins with short exposure to mild cold, causing discomfort and irritation to the skin. You may notice flesh appearing red or feeling tingly. If you remain in the cold air, burning and numbness may occur, as well as blistering and reversible damage to the skin. This is called “frostnip.” Eventually, if you don’t warm up, frostbite will set in. There will be a complete loss of sensation and permanent damage to all layers of the skin, arteries, muscles, and tendons.

You can prevent frostbite by limiting your exposure to the cold. Stay home if you don’t have to go to work or appointments on a particularly frigid day. Dress in layers. Wear wool socks and insulated boots. If you have to go outside, limit the length of your exposure. For example, if you must spend time shoveling snow after a storm, do a little bit, go inside to warm up and dry off, and head back out for more. If you like to ski, enjoy a couple of runs, and take a break in the lodge.

If you notice the initial signs of frostnip or frostbite, head inside immediately. Warm your feet by immersing them in warm water. Never use water that is very hot or rub feet vigorously. Your sense of heat will be diminished and burns can result.

If your toes have been frostbitten, or if you have any other concerns about the health of your feet, ankles, or lower legs, click here or call Hartford Podiatry Group at 860-523-8026 to schedule a convenient appointment with Eric Kosofsky, DPM and Robert Rutstein, DPM in our comfortable Hartford or Rocky Hill offices. With decades of experience and specialized training, Dr. Eric Kosofsky and Dr. Robert Rutstein can thoroughly examine your feet, accurately diagnose any existing or potential problems, create an effective treatment plan, and provide careful follow-up.

By Hartford Podiatry Group
January 31, 2018
Tags: clubfoot  

Has your doctor told you that you’ve just had, or are about to have, a baby with clubfoot? Also called talipes equinovarus by doctors, clubfoot is a general term used to describe a range of unusual positions of the foot.

Causes of Clubfoot

While illness or injury can occasionally cause the onset of clubfoot in adolescence or adulthood, most types of clubfoot are present at birth. There is no clear answer as to what causes clubfoot, but family history and in-utero positioning are both believed to be contributing factors.

What Does Clubfoot Look Like?

Clubfoot can happen in one foot or in both feet. In almost half of affected infants, both feet are involved. If your child is born with clubfoot, you may notice any or all of the following, to one degree or another:

  • The foot is usually smaller than normal. This is often especially prominent at the heel.
  • The foot may point downward.
  • The front of the foot may be turned inward. In extreme cases, the bottom of the foot can point up.

Treating Clubfoot

Although the appearance of clubfoot may be disconcerting to parents, you can take comfort in knowing that it is painless to babies. Nonetheless, intervention should begin as soon as possible. With early treatment, most children born with clubfoot are able to lead a normal life, participating in sports and active play with peers. Without treatment, clubfoot can cause significant mobility and agility problems as your child grows.

Typically clubfoot is treated with taping and stretching to reshape the foot. The most widely used treatment is called the Ponseti method. Occasionally, when this method does not produce desired results in a reasonable period of time, surgery may be necessary.

Are you helping your child through a clubfoot diagnosis? With decades of specialized education and experience, Eric Kosofsky, DPM and Robert Rutstein, DPM can provide state of the art examination, diagnosis, treatment, and follow up. Click here or call Hartford Podiatry Group at 860-523-8026 for an appointment in our comfortable and convenient Hartford or Rocky Hill offices today. 

By Hartford Podiatry Group
January 25, 2018
Tags: Orthotics   diabetes   fallen arch  

A typical adult foot has an upward curve along the inner edge. This is called the arch. It’s formed when tendons, tight bands that secure muscles to bones, work together to create that lift.  When those tendons all pull with the proper amount of force, a moderate arch is created. Too much force creates unusually high arches. When tendons do not pull together properly, there is little or no arch. This is called flatfoot or fallen arch, known medically as pes planus.

In cases of pes planus, the foot loses its supportive arch and body weight is carried abnormally, causing stress on the bones and soft tissues of the foot. If the arch flattens only when standing and returns when the foot is lifted off the ground, the condition is called flexible pes planus or flexible flatfoot. If the arch disappears both when standing and when elevated, podiatrists call the condition rigid pes planus or rigid flatfoot.

In adults, flat feet can have a variety of causes, including anatomical abnormality present from birth, damaged tendons, bone fracture or dislocation, nerve problems, and health conditions including rheumatoid arthritis. Other contributing factors include pregnancy, obesity, age, and diabetes.

If you have fallen arches, you may notice any or all of the following:

  • feet may become uncomfortable or tire easily
  • swelling of the feet
  • flexibility is limited
  • standing or walking is painful
  • you feel pain in other joints, including knees, hips, or spine

Treatment for flat feet and fallen arches varies, depending on the severity and cause of the problem. Custom orthotics prescribed and fashioned by a podiatrist are almost always recommended. Other approaches include icing, stretching, over the counter or prescription anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, or physical therapy.

If you’re concerned that you have fallen arches, the first thing to do is see the foot doctor. With decades of specialized education and experience, your podiatrist is the best-qualified professional to diagnose and treat any problem related to your feet, ankles, and lower legs. Whatever the issue, Dr. Eric Kosofsky and Dr. Robert Rutstein will thoroughly examine your feet, accurately diagnose the source of your discomfort, create an individualized treatment plan and provide comprehensive aftercare. Click here or call Hartford Podiatry Group at 860-523-8026 to schedule a convenient appointment in our comfortable Hartford or Rocky Hill offices.

 





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