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January 23, 2018
Category: Uncategorized
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Surgical procedure can correct crossover toe, keep seniors active

What is crossover toe and how might it affect you?

Crossover toe is a common foot problem that can inhibit physical activity for older Americans, but outpatient surgery can correct the deformity and keep senior citizens active and on their feet.

It’s a common problem among older people in which the second toe gradually moves across the big toe. Individuals with hammertoes, bunions or a second toe that extends beyond the big toe are most susceptible to developing crossover toe. It can be painful and, therefore, difficult to walk comfortably or pursue an active lifestyle.

The first symptom of crossover toe is pain in the ball of the foot. A tear in the joint makes the second toe unstable. It falls out of alignment and eventually drifts.

Doctors normally check the ball of the foot for a possible plantar-plate tear when an older patient complains of pain in the area. Pre-existing forefoot problems combined with normal wear and tear or possible trauma can cause the plate to tear over time.

If the pain persists and the toe starts to drift, surgery is recommended to suture the plantar plate or replace it through a tendon-transfer.

Surgery to correct crossover toe is an outpatient procedure performed with a local anesthesia. Patients with bunions or hammertoes are advised to have those deformities corrected during the surgery. Recovery time is about six weeks.

If you're an older adult with persistent pain in the ball of your foot, it's in your best interest to see a doctor.

How can we help you?

The professional staff at Westmoreland Foot & Ankle Care find caring for your podiatric health exceptionally rewarding. If you are experiencing pain, please don't wait. Contact the office right away for an appointment at one of our two offices. In Irwin, call (724) 863-0996. For the Greensburg location, call (724) 832-1000.

By Westmoreland Foot & Ankle Care, LLC
January 23, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: ankle sprain  

Ankle sprains are extremely common, with an estimated 25,000 people experiencing these injuries every day. (That's 9 million sprains each sprained ankleyear!) The podiatrists at Westmoreland Foot & Ankle Care, Dr. Cherrie Cindric and Dr. Todd Cindric, see many patients in Irwin and Greensburg, PA who are part of these statistics. More information about sprains and their signs and symptoms is included in this post.

What is a sprained ankle?

The bones that make up your ankle joint are held together with ligaments, tough bands of tissue that allow for movement and flexibility. A sprain happens when these ligaments are stretched beyond their normal capacity, such as when you twist your ankle playing sports or slipping on ice. Sprains are classified by grades 1, 2, and 3. Grade 1 is a mild sprain, with some damage to the ligaments but no lasting effects on the joint. Grade 2 means that the ligament has sustained a partial tear. Grade 3 indicates a total tear to the ligament, which causes instability to the joint and makes walking difficult or impossible. An evaluation from your Irwin and Greensburg podiatrist will determine the grade of your sprain.

What are some signs of a sprained ankle?

  • Pain. This is the most obvious symptom of a sprain, and its severity can help you and your podiatrist figure out the degree of the injury. For example, if your ankle aches but you are able to put weight on it, it's probably a grade 1 sprain. However, if you cannot put any weight on it and the pain is intense, you may have sustained a grade 3 sprain.
  • Bruising. A sprain will often cause the body to respond with increased blood flow to the area, resulting in large bruises on the foot and ankle. As with pain, the degree of bruising often helps indicate the sprain's severity.
  • Swelling. The body's immune system also sends other fluids to the sprained area to aid in cushioning and healing, so swelling is a common sign of a sprain as well.

A sprain that is improperly treated can put you at risk for chronic ankle instability, or CAI, and can increase the likelihood that you'll sprain your ankle again. That's why, regardless of symptoms, it's important to contact Westmoreland Foot & Ankle Care if you think you've sprained your ankle. A professional evaluation at one of our offices in Greensburg or Irwin, PA can help you return to normal safely!

Many of the estimated 70 million obese Americans are trapped in a life-threatening vicious cycle: Obesity aggravates foot problems, like heel pain and flat feet; sore feet make it hard to exercise and lose weight; and without exercise, obesity worsens and exacerbates progression of diabetes, heart disease and other serious health threats. If you or someone you know is facing chronic, activity-limiting foot and ankle problems, it’s time to seek immediate treatment to foster compliance with physician-directed exercise programs.

Cardiovascular disease and other life-threatening conditions may worsen as a result of getting caught up in the vicious cycle of avoiding physical activity due to foot or ankle pain.  In many cases, chronic heel pain occurs from carrying too much weight. Left untreated, it becomes an impediment to physical activity and meaningful weight loss.

There’s no reason foot or ankle pain should stop obese patients from exercising. The first step toward breaking that vicious cycle is an evaluation by a foot and ankle surgeon.

According to the ACFAS, many causes of foot pain can be relieved without surgery through stretching exercises, orthotics and athletic shoes with good shock absorption and support. If a bunion, heel pain or other condition requires surgery, patients can participate during their recovery in non-weight-bearing activities, such as riding a stationary bike, swimming or weight training.

For those moderately to severely overweight, a thorough physical examination is mandatory before beginning an exercise program.

Once cleared by your physician to begin exercising, don’t try to do too much too soon. Follow a gradual routine until your body adjusts to the stress of regular physical activity – avoid working out on treadmills or elliptical machines to minimize pounding and stress on their joints. 

How can we help you?

The professional staff at Westmoreland Foot & Ankle Care find caring for your podiatric health exceptionally rewarding. If you are experiencing pain, please don't wait. Contact the office right away for an appointment at one of our two offices. In Irwin, call (724) 863-0996. For the Greensburg location, call (724) 832-1000.

December 26, 2017
Category: Uncategorized
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For many, winter is fall season--Icy conditions cause falls and broken ankles

With the hectic pace of the holidays, serious injuries from ice-related falls inevitably occur. Falls on icy surfaces are a major cause of ankle sprains and fractures, and it’s critical to seek prompt treatment to prevent further damage that can prolong recovery.

The ankle joint is vulnerable to serious injury from hard falls on ice. Ice accelerates the fall and often causes more severe trauma because the foot can go in any direction after slipping. In cases of less severe fractures and sprains, it’s possible to walk and mistakenly believe the injury doesn’t require medical treatment. Never assume the ability to walk means your ankle isn’t broken or badly sprained. Putting weight on the injured joint can worsen the problem and lead to chronic instability, joint pain and arthritis later in life.

Some people may fracture and sprain an ankle at the same time, and a bad sprain can mask the fracture.  It’s best to have an injured ankle evaluated as soon as possible for proper diagnosis and treatment. If you can’t see a foot and ankle surgeon or visit the emergency room right away, follow the RICE technique – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation – until medical care is available.

According to the ACFAS, even though symptoms of ankle sprains and fractures are similar, fractures are associated with:

  • Pain at the site of the fracture that can extend from the foot to the knee
  • Significant swelling
  • Blisters over the fracture site
  • Bruising soon after the injury
  • Bone protruding through the skin—a compound fracture, which requires immediate attention!

Most ankle fractures and some sprains are treated by immobilizing the joint in a cast or splint to foster union and healing. However, surgery may be needed to repair fractures with significant malalignment to unite bone fragments and realign them properly. Newly designed surgical plates and screws allow repair of these injuries with less surgical trauma. With newer bone-fixation methods, there are smaller incisions to minimize tissue damage and bleeding and accelerate the healing process.

If you fall on an icy spot and hurt your ankle, the best advice is to seek medical attention immediately.  This aids in early diagnosis and proper treatment of the ankle injury and reduces the risk of further damage. Be sure to schedule an appointment at one of our two locations if you have injured your ankle in any way

How can we help you?

If you are experiencing pain, please don't wait. Contact us! In Irwin, call (724) 863-0996. For the Greensburg location, call (724) 832-1000.

Don’t let foot injuries keep you from your fitness resolutions!

In the New Year, don’t forget to keep your feet in tip-top shape while following through with your resolutions to get fit. Read more to learn some safety tips for your feet while at the gym.  

Start new workouts gradually— Increase your stamina and the length of your workouts gradually to avoid overuse injuries such as stress fractures or tendon strains and sprains. Stretching your muscles before and after workouts also helps prevent these types of injuries. If you do feel you’ve sprained your ankle, be sure to seek treatment right away. Untreated or repeated ankle sprains may lead to chronic ankle instability, a condition that causes persistent pain and a ‘giving way’ of the ankle.

Wear the right shoe and sock—Wear well-fitting athletic shoes designed for the exercise or sport.  Shoes that don’t support the arch of the foot and provide cushion for the heel can cause heel pain (plantar fasciitis). Shoes that are too small can also cause a neuroma or a thickening of the nerve tissue, in the foot and may require injections, medication or physical therapy. Wearing cotton or non-slip socks are also key to help avoid painful blisters, which can become infected and cause more serious issues.

Use good technique— Improper exercise techniques can result in injury to the tendons or ligaments in your feet and ankles. Incorrect posture or misuse of exercise equipment can cause decreased stabilization in the foot and ankle, leading to joint sprains and muscle strains.

Gym Safety

Protect yourself from bacteria—Sweaty shoes, public showers, exercise equipment and the pool deck at the gym are breeding grounds for fungus, viruses and bacteria, including drug-resistant strains like MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) which has become increasingly more common. Never go barefoot while in public areas; water shoes can provide a great barrier between your feet and the wet surfaces. It’s also best to cover cuts and cracks in the skin or ingrown toenails since these minor tears in the skin’s surface can act as entry points for bacteria. If you have a cut or scrape that becomes red or swollen and is not healing in a timely manner, don’t hesitate to see a foot and ankle surgeon for an examination.

Above all, it’s important to listen to your body if you experience an injury or pain.

How can we help you?

The professional staff at Westmoreland Foot & Ankle Care find caring for your podiatric health exceptionally rewarding. If you are experiencing pain, please don't wait. Contact the office right away for an appointment at one of our two offices. In Irwin, call (724) 863-0996. For the Greensburg location, call (724) 832-1000.

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