There are two kinds of fractures – bone breaks – that occur in the feet, ankles, and lower legs. The first is a traumatic fracture. This results when sudden and significant force is applied to the bone and is commonly caused by accident or injury. The other is a stress fracture and is the result of low or moderate amounts of force applied to the same area over a protracted period of time. This weakens or fatigues the bone, which eventually breaks. Symptoms of a stress fracture include deep, aching pain that doesn’t improve with rest or dissipate with time.
As with so many things, it is easier to prevent a stress fracture than it is to heal one. Here are some top prevention tips from Dr. Eric Kosofsky and Dr. Robert Rutstein:
- Vary your exercise: Change up the types of exercise that you do to help avoid repetitive stresses on the same part of your feet. If you’re a runner, be sure to add strength training and stretching – perhaps through yoga – to your routine.
- Ease into new exercise programs: Be gentle and mindful of your body when starting new activities or ramping up training schedules. Increase the intensity or duration of exercise by no more than 10% per week. This will allow your body to adapt to increased stress on bones and soft tissue.
- Wear proper footwear: It’s essential that you wear comfortable, supportive footwear that fits properly. Running shoes should be replaced every six months or 500 miles, whichever comes first. If you have high arches or flat feet, or any other atypical foot anatomy, talk to your podiatrist about whether custom orthotics would make your footwear more appropriate for your feet.
- Always warm up before exercise: Be sure to stretch before beginning your workout.
- Do your foot and ankle exercises: Strengthening your muscles can help reduce fatigue and improve bone density, reducing the risk of stress fracture.
- Improve your diet: Aim for a diet rich in lean protein and colorful fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens, which contain plenty of calcium and vitamin D to promote strong, healthy bones.
If you are concerned about stress fractures or anything else related to the health or wellness of your feet, ankles, or lower legs, click here or call Hartford Podiatry Group at 860-523-8026 to schedule an appointment with Eric Kosofsky, DPM and Robert Rutstein, DPM in our comfortable and convenient Hartford or Rocky Hill offices. Our doctors will provide you with a thorough examination and accurate diagnosis, and then work with you to create an individualized and effective treatment plan including appropriate follow-up.
Sever’s disease is an injury to the growth plate in the heel that commonly occurs in active children ages 8-12. It’s important for parents to be aware of the symptoms of this painful condition. Prompt treatment is essential to ensure full recovery and prevent long-term damage.
Have you ever noticed how young adolescents often seem to have feet that are strangely large in relation to the rest of their bodies? That’s because, during early puberty, the foot is one of the first body parts to grow to full size and the rest of the body needs a few years to catch up. During this period of intense growth, it’s not unusual for bones to grow faster than muscles and other soft tissue. Tendons can become tight and inflexible. When standing or engaging in a weight-bearing activity, these tight tendons can stress the back of the heel, causing injury and leading to Sever’s disease.
Sever’s disease is most commonly seen in athletic or physically active girls ages 8-10 and in similar boys ages 10-12. Children who participate in gymnastics and/or soccer have been observed to be at particular risk, but children who regularly engage in any activity involving running or jumping are susceptible. Typically, the period of risk ends at the end of puberty, around age 15, when the heel has completed its growth.
Spotting Sever’s disease isn’t easy. Stay alert to pain in one or both heels, limping, walking on the toes, and discomfort that increases with activity. You can do an at-home test to see if Sever’s disease might be the cause: squeeze both sides of the heel toward the back. If your child tells you that it’s painful, it’s time to visit the podiatrist. With decades of specialized education and experience, your foot doctor is the best-qualified medical professional to diagnose and treat Sever’s disease.
If after examination, your podiatrist determines that your child is suffering from Sever’s disease, treatment options can include:
- limited activity, rest, and ice
- stretching exercises
- physical therapy
- over the counter or prescription pain-relieving medications
- custom orthotics to provide cushioning and support
- immobilization with a cast or boot
Are you concerned about Sever’s disease or anything else related to the health and well-being of your child’s 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. Our board-certified podiatrists will conduct a thorough examination culminating in an accurate diagnosis, then work with you to create an individualized plan for treatment and follow up.
Your sesamoids are two small bones near the big toe in the underside of your foot. They are roughly the size of corn kernels and provide a smooth surface over which your toe flexor tendons slide. They help your tendons transfer force from your lower leg muscles to the bones of your big toe and assist in the distribution of your body weight, reducing the stress on other bones and soft tissues in your foot. When the sesamoids become irritated or even broken, a painful condition called sesamoiditis occurs.
Who Is At Risk of Sesamoiditis?
Sesamoiditis is most commonly seen in runners, baseball catchers, and ballet dancers. Patients who have foot deformities such as bunions, flat feet or unusually high arches are also at increased risk. Finally, your choice of footwear can put you at risk of sesamoiditis: pumps with tapered toe boxes or fashionable athletic shoes with excessive lift at the toe area can cause problems.
Symptoms of Sesamoiditis
The most common symptom of sesamoiditis is a gradually increasing or intermittent dull pain under your big toe joint that doesn’t get better on its own. Other symptoms include swelling, bruising, or restricted movement in the big toe area.
While surgery to remove the sesamoid bones is called for in rare cases, your foot doctor will have numerous conservative treatment options for your sesamoiditis, including:
- immobilization with taping, strapping, or a boot
- crutches to reduce pressure on the area when walking
- cushioning with custom orthotics
- physical therapy
- shoe therapy with a recommendation for new shoes that allow for proper toe spread
- prescription or over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications
If you are concerned about sesamoiditis or anything else related to the well-being of your feet, ankles, or lower legs, a visit to the podiatrist is in order. Click here or call Hartford Podiatry Group at 860-523-8026 to schedule an appointment with Eric Kosofsky, DPM and Robert Rutstein, DPM in our comfortable and convenient Hartford and Rocky Hill offices. Our doctors will draw on their decades of specialized experience to provide you with a thorough
A recent study demonstrated that one in three children live with growing pains, issues related to the feet, ankles, and lower legs. These growing pains are characterized and easily recognizable by:
- occurrence late in the day or overnight that may even wake the child from sleep, but is gone by morning, leaving no residual cramping or limping
- discomfort related to muscles, rather than joints
- typical appearance in both legs, not only one, and usually in the front of the thighs, the calf area, or behind the knee
- a correlation with increased activity levels that may actually lead to an avoidance of sport and play
There is no medical consensus as to what causes growing pains, but it is known that some children are more likely to develop them than others. Risk factors include:
- high levels of activity during the day that leave the muscles fatigued at night
- limited flexibility
- poor posture
- flat feet
- feet that turn out to the side
- tight muscles, especially at the calves, hamstrings, or external hip rotators
The good news is that if your child is experiencing growing pains, after diagnosis your podiatrist will have a range of treatment options available. Some recommendations are lifestyle changes, plans for at-home assistance that you can provide, physical therapy, and custom orthotics designed to go into your son or daughter’s shoes and provide additional cushioning and support.
If you are concerned about growing pains or anything else related to the health and well-being of your child’s feet, ankles, or lower legs, Eric Kosofsky, DPM and Robert Rutstein, DPM can help. With decades of specialized training and experience working with young people, Dr. Eric Kosofsky and Dr. Robert Rutstein will begin with a careful examination and accurate diagnosis to rule out any serious issues and determine the cause of your child’s discomfort. The doctors will then work with you to create an individualized treatment plan for your son or daughter and provide ongoing care as appropriate. Click here or call Hartford Podiatry Group at 860-523-8026 today to schedule a convenient appointment in our comfortable Hartford or Rocky Hill offices.
Have you ever heard of a ganglion cyst? It’s a fluid-filled sac that grows under the skin on top of a joint, ligament, or tendon, often on the feet or ankles. While ganglion cysts are generally more of a nuisance than an urgent medical condition, they can be very uncomfortable and should be treated promptly.
Of course, it can be rather unsettling to spot a lump on your body, but don’t panic - these cysts are almost always entirely benign. If you notice something that you think might be a ganglion cyst, the first thing to do is to call your podiatrist to schedule an examination. Your foot doctor will begin with an examination to diagnose your lump. This may or may not include ultrasound imaging to determine whether the sac is fluid-filled. If it’s not, further tests will be necessary.
If your foot doctor determines that your lump is a fluid-filled ganglion cyst, the most likely course of action will be to drain fluid from the cyst in a procedure called a needle aspiration. Anesthetic is used to numb the site, so this is typically minimally painful. The aspiration is often followed by a steroid injection to encourage healing and prevent recurrence. Over the counter or prescription anti-inflammatory medications are often prescribed after these procedures, and the affected area is often immobilized for a period of time.
If your cyst is very painful, or if it reappears after aspiration, your doctor may recommend excision, a surgical procedure in which the cyst is removed completely. While this procedure is more invasive than aspiration, it also has greater long-term success.
Have you noticed a soft, malleable lump on your foot or ankle? It’s time to see the podiatrist. Click here or call Hartford Podiatry Group at 860-523-8026 today to schedule a visit with Eric Kosofsky, DPM and Robert Rutstein, DPM in our comfortable and convenient Hartford or Rocky Hill offices. Dr. Eric Kosofsky and Dr. Robert Rutstein will bring their decades of specialized experience and education to your appointment, providing you with a thorough examination, accurate diagnosis, individualized treatment plan, and ongoing follow up care.
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