Podiatrist Blog

By Hartford Podiatry Group
September 21, 2017
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More patients visit the podiatrist’s office with corns and calluses than with any other issue. Corn are hard, thickened areas of skin on the foot. There are three different kinds of corns, each typically presenting uniquely and generally appearing in a different spot:

  • Hard corns usually appear on the tops and sides of the toes as small patches of thickened, dead skin with dense plugs of skin in the center of each. They are the result of friction.
  • Soft corns have thinner surfaces and more smooth centers than hard corns. They are usually whitish and rubbery in appearance and are found between the toes. Like hard corns, they are also the result of friction.
  • Seed corns are tender clusters of tiny corns on the bottom of the feet. Many podiatrists believe that they are the result of blocked sweat glands.

When examining your feet, your podiatrist can diagnose other, more rare corns that you might miss on your own, including Durlacher’s corns, subungual corns, neurovascular corns, and fibrous corns.

A callus is a patch of hard, dead skin that develops as a result of long-term, repeated friction anywhere on your body. You might have a callus on your finger where you hold your pen or pencil. On your feet, the most common callus is a plantar callus. These are typically found on the sole, on or near the ball of your foot.

Preventing Corns and Calluses

With just a little bit of care, corns and calluses can be minimized and even prevented. Issues related to footwear are common. Dr. Eric Kosofsky and Dr. Robert Rutstein encourage you to keep your feet comfortable and free from corns and calluses with the following tips:

  • Changes in foot size are not unusual, especially after age 40. Always have both feet professionally measured when buying new shoes.
  • If you have bunions or hammertoes, select footwear that accommodates the unique shape of your foot.
  • Stiletto heels and pointy shoes look great but they squeeze the toes and cause friction. Save them for special occasions. Shoes with a broad toe box and wide, low heels are more sensible and better for your feet.
  • Are your running shoes, hiking boots, or other athletic footwear worn out? If so, it’s time for a replacement that offers adequate support.
  • Talk to your foot doctor if you notice the soles or heels of your shoes wearing unevenly. This can be the sign of an atypical gait that might lead to a corn or callus.

Treating Corns and Calluses

See your podiatrist at the first sign of a corn or callus. The sooner you seek treatment, the simpler the process will be. Attempting to remove your corn or callus on your own can be tempting, but you’re risking infection and complications. Stay away from at-home remedies and over-the-counter corn and callus removal pads containing acid of any kind. These can cause complications, especially for children, the elderly, and patients with diabetes, compromised immune systems, or other chronic health conditions.

Do you have a hard, painful spot of skin on your foot? Is it making standing or walking uncomfortable? Click here or call Hartford Podiatry Group today at 860-523-8026 to schedule an appointment in our convenient and comfortable Hartford or Rocky Hill offices. Eric Kosofsky, DPM and Robert Rutstein, DPM will draw on years of education and experience to determine the source of your discomfort, use state of the art technology to remove your corn or callus as painlessly as possible, and work with you to follow up and prevent recurrence.

By Hartford Podiatry Group
September 14, 2017
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A neuroma is a thickening of nerve tissue that can occur anywhere in the body. All neuromas are the result of compression and irritation of the nerve tissue. This compression creates swelling and enlargement of the nerve. If left untreated, this can lead to permanent nerve damage.

The most common type of podiatric neuroma is a Morton’s neuroma. These commonly develop between the third and fourth toes, but they may also occur in other locations.

What Are the Symptoms of a Morton’s Neuroma?

The symptoms of a Morton’s neuroma typically begin gradually. At first, you may notice them only occasionally when wearing certain shoes or engaging in particular activities. The symptoms may get better when you take off your shoes or massage your foot. In time, they will probably worsen and may persist for days or even weeks at a time. As the neuroma enlarges and the temporary irritation to the nerve becomes permanent damage, your symptoms will become more intense.

If you are developing a Morton’s neuroma, you may notice one or more of these symptoms:

  • Persistent discomfort
  • Tingling, burning or numbness
  • A feeling like there is something inside the ball of your foot or in your shoe, or like a sock is bunched up under your foot

What Causes a Neuroma?

Anything that compresses or irritates the nerve can lead to the development of a neuroma. Common causes of neuromas include:

  • Long-term involvement in activities involving repetitive irritation to the ball of the foot, such as long-distance running or court sports including basketball and tennis
  • Pre-existing foot deformities such as bunions, hammertoes, and flat arches
  • Injury or other trauma
  • Long-term preference for shoes with high heels and/or pointed toe boxes

How is Morton’s Neuroma Treated?

Your podiatrist will help determine the best treatment for your Morton’s neuroma. Your options will depend on the severity of the problem. The sooner your neuroma is diagnosed, the more likely it is that non-surgical intervention – including icing, orthotics, activity restrictions, practical shoes, over the counter or prescription medications, and injection therapy – will be effective.  Surgery can be the best course of treatment for patients whose neuromas have not responded to less invasive options.

If you suspect that you have a Morton’s neuroma, it’s best to visit the podiatrist’s office as soon as possible. With years of specialized training and experience, your foot doctor is the best-qualified professional to diagnose and treat issues of the feet, ankles, and lower legs.  Click here or call Hartford Podiatry Group at 860-523-8026 to schedule an appointment in our comfortable and convenient Hartford or Rocky Hill offices. Dr. Eric Kosofsky and Dr. Robert Rutstein will examine your feet, diagnose your issue, and work with you to create an effective plan for treatment.

By Hartford Podiatry Group
September 07, 2017
Category: Proper Footwear
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As you age, your body will change. Nowhere will this be more noticeable than in your feet. If you’re like the average American, you will walk over two hundred million steps in your lifetime, most of them before you turn 50. This represents more than 200,000 miles!  Every step creates wear and tear on the bones, muscles, and ligaments of the feet and you may require a larger shoe size as you get older. For some who experience this change, it may be slight; others may notice as much as a half size of growth every 10 years after their 40th birthday.

 

Time and gravity cause the ligaments and tendons in the feet to loosen as you age. This is especially noticeable in the plantar fascia, which runs along the bottom of the foot. As it stretches, the arch of the foot lowers and the foot becomes wider and longer. It must be noted that this natural flattening is complicated by weight gain and exacerbated by obesity. A healthy diet is essential for lifelong well-being, including foot health.  Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean sources of protein; avoid highly processed items and sugary drinks as much as possible.

 

Many people are surprised to learn that, because the hormones released during pregnancy cause ligaments to relax, motherhood can also lead to increased foot size. Most women experience foot growth only temporarily but the change can be permanent for a small minority.

 

It’s important to get your feet professionally measured and assessed every few years, rather than simply assuming your shoe size is the same today as it was in high school. It is necessary to purchase shoes that accommodate feet as they are, not at they once were. A 2006 study found that only 25% of 440 participants were wearing the right size shoe. New shoes in a different size can be especially important for patients with hammertoes, bunions, corns, or deformities caused by diabetes or arthritis.

 

Are your shoes uncomfortable? Is it hard to stand or walk for long? Call Hartford Podiatry Group at 860-523-8026 or click here for an appointment in our convenient Hartford or Rocky Hill offices. Our podiatrists Eric Kosofsky, DPM and Robert Rutstein, DPM will thoroughly examine your feet, diagnose any existing or potential issues, and work with you to create a treatment plan that might include some new footwear in a bigger size.

By Hartford Podiatry Group
August 31, 2017
Category: Orthotics
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Orthotics are custom-made medical devices that slip into your shoes. They can improve foot movement and lead to increased comfort, stability, and mobility. Clinical research has proven that, when prescribed and provided by a podiatrist, orthotics can decrease foot pain and improve function.

Functional orthotics modify abnormal motion. They may be used to treat foot pain caused by an atypical gait as well as injuries such as shin splints or tendinitis. Functional orthotics are usually crafted of a firm material such as plastic or graphite. Accommodative orthotics are softer and provide additional cushioning and support. They can be used to treat side effects of diabetes, painful calluses on the bottom of the foot, and other uncomfortable conditions.

Dr. Eric Kosofsky and Dr. Robert Rutstein use orthotics to treat a wide range of issues, including:

Orthotics Are a Good Investment

Shoe inserts sold on racks in drug stores can provide some relief for foot pain, but they’re no match for custom orthotics provided by your podiatrist. Those over-the-counter products add a bit of cushioning or support, but they’re not made for just for you. A prescription orthotic will do a better job of accommodating your unique foot structure and meeting your individual needs. When prescribing orthotics, Dr. Eric Kosofsky and Dr. Robert Rutstein customize relief for your specific needs and what they see during an initial examination of your feet, as well as based on their decades of experience.

Your insurance plan may offer coverage for orthotics. A quick call can help you understand your policy. You can be confident that orthotics prescribed by Eric Kosofsky, DPM and Robert Rutstein, DPM will be properly custom fit and made of high quality materials, and will work effectively and last for years. Even if you have to pay some or all of the cost out of pocket, your new orthotics will be a worthwhile investment.

If foot pain is making you uncomfortable, orthotics may be the answer you’re looking for. Click here or call Hartford Podiatry Group at 860-523-8026 today to schedule an appointment in our Rocky Hill or Hartford offices. Our doctors will examine your feet to determine the source of your pain and, if needed, will design and create custom orthotics for you, using state of the art technology. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel and at how quickly the change will come.

By Hartford Podiatry Group
August 24, 2017
Tags: Toenail Fungus  

Many podiatrist visits are the result of fungal toenail infections that occur when a fungus begins to grow in a toenail or the nail bed. Although they can leave lasting damage if left untreated, these infections are unsightly but harmless for most patients. For people with compromised immune systems or chronic illnesses including diabetes, they can be more serious.

Causes of Fungal Infections

A wide range of yeasts, molds, and fungi can infect toenails and nail beds. Many are caused by t. mentagrophytes, the same fungus that causes athlete's foot. Others are caused by t. rubrum and other strains.  Most commonly, the fungus enters your body through tiny cuts in the skin near your nails. Sometimes these points of entry are too small to be seen.

Symptoms of Fungal Infections

An infected nail may turn yellow or white, become thicker than usual, crumble and split, or separate from the skin. A fungal infection can make it uncomfortable to wear shoes. You may notice that you have difficulty walking or standing for long periods of time. The fungus may also spread to other nails or your skin.

Preventing Fungal Nail Infections

Fungi grow best in warm, moist places and are highly contagious. Here are some effective prevention tips from Dr. Eric Kosofsky and Dr. Robert Rutstein:

  • Wear shoes in public places such as showers, locker rooms, and pools.
  • Don’t share personal items such as razors, towels, and nail clippers.
  • Bring your own tools to the nail salon.
  • Treat athlete’s foot promptly and completely. The fungus can quickly and easily spread from your skin to your nails.

Diagnosing and Treating Fungal Nail Infections

Seek treatment as soon as possible if you suspect that you have a fungal nail infection. An infection can cause permanent damage to your nail or nail bed over time. With years of specialized training and experience, your podiatrist is the most qualified medical professional to treat your infection. He or she can diagnose the problem and then work with you to decide on an effective course of treatment.

Eric Kosofsky, DPM and Robert Rutstein, DPM treat patients with toenail fungus nearly every day. They can help you too.  Click here or call Hartford Podiatry Group at 860-523-8026 to make an appointment at our convenient and comfortable Rocky Hill or Hartford offices.





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