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Check Pain Management Off Your List of Foot Surgery Worries    
Foot and ankle surgeons share reassuring insight on managing pain after surgery

With any surgery comes reasonable concerns. Depending on the person, your mind could start racing anywhere from the seriousness of your condition, to the procedure itself, to out-of-pocket costs or the required downtime. However, when it comes to foot and ankle surgery, there is the inevitable question: How bad will it hurt afterward?

Even if you have a high tolerance for pain, the unfortunate truth is that pain can accompany the healing process following any surgery. But, with the proper care, healing after foot and ankle surgery can be more comfortable than people might expect.

With the availability of such a large variety of highly effective pain medications, fear of pain should be the last deterrent keeping patients from having foot or ankle surgery. Patients can take comfort in knowing that as surgeons, we have an equally vested interest in keeping them comfortable so their surgical experience is positive and they have a speedy recovery.

Patients can receive a local, long-lasting anesthetic immediately following surgery, which significantly decreases pain. Also, in today’s healthcare climate where efforts to reduce prescription drug addiction are at an all-time high, there are stronger anti-inflammatory medications available, which can eliminate the need for pain relievers containing narcotics.

Of course, not all pain being created equal, there are other options for patients to manage their comfort levels following surgery. Depending on the expected degree of pain, patients can take home a pain pump, which allows them to self-administer pain medication intravenously, allowing for a faster and more potent delivery. 

Ultimately, if a patient needs to undergo surgery, it clearly means something is wrong and requires medical correction or extraction. That in mind, we want to help patients feel good about their surgery and think about how better they will feel afterward, versus the pain during healing.  

Pain Management After Foot Surgery

In addition to medication, a tried and true method in controlling pain following foot or ankle surgery is to apply rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE). Using the RICE method reduces swelling in the surgical area. By reducing the swelling, inflammation is minimized, which in large part lowers 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.

Is Your Foot Fracture an Early Sign of Osteoporosis?

Unexplained foot fractures may be the first sign of osteoporosis, a bone thinning disease which affects over 28 million Americans and accounts for 1.5 million bone fractures a year.

Osteoporosis is frequently referred to as the “silent crippler” since it often progresses without any symptoms or isn’t diagnosed until a person experiences pain from a bone fracture.  The porous nature of bones in people with osteoporosis makes them more susceptible to bone fractures, especially in the feet. Because the bones are in a weakened state, normal weight-bearing actions like walking can cause the bones in the foot to break.  In fact, many patients visit their foot and ankle surgeon suffering from foot pain only to find out they actually have a stress fracture, without having experienced an injury.

While osteoporosis is most commonly seen in women over age 50, younger people and men are also affected. Early symptoms can include increased pain with walking accompanied by redness and swelling on the top of the foot. Oftentimes patients don’t seek treatment for their symptoms for weeks or even months, thinking the pain will pass. The best advice is, don’t ignore foot pain of any type. Early intervention can make all the difference in your treatment and recovery.

Foot and ankle surgeons are able to diagnose osteoporosis through bone densitometry tests, which measure calcium and mineral levels in the bones through low-dose radiation x-ray, or possibly through a routine x-ray. This is why prevention and early intervention are key; women should make sure bone densitometry tests are part of their wellness examinations when indicated by their physicians.

If you are diagnosed with osteoporosis, it’s important to protect your feet from stress fractures. Wear shoes that provide support and cushioning, such as athletic running shoes, to provide extra shock absorption and protection. Custom orthotics may also be recommended to protect the foot from pressure and provide shock absorption, particularly during exercise. 

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.

Hikers and hunters: Long, vigorous hikes take toll on feet, ankles

As brightly colored leaves dazzle the fall landscape, hikers and hunters nationwide will migrate to mountains, woods and fields, but many, unfortunately, are ill prepared for the beating their feet will take.

Hikers, hunters and others who love the outdoors often don’t realize how strenuous it can be to withstand constant, vigorous walking on uneven terrain. Lax physical conditioning and inappropriate footwear bring scores of outdoor enthusiasts into our office each fall for treatment of foot and ankle problems such as chronic heel pain, ankle sprains, Achilles tendonitis, fungal infections and severe blisters.

Walking up and down steep hillsides and tramping through wet, slippery fields and wooded areas puts stress on the muscles and tendons in the feet and ankles, especially if you haven’t conditioned properly before hitting the trail. Also, many don’t realize that cross-training athletic shoes aren’t the best choice for extended hiking and hunting.  Sturdy, well-constructed hiking boots are a better choice.

Hikers and hunters should invest in top-quality hiking boots. Strong, well-insulated and moisture-proof boots with steel or graphite shanks offer excellent ankle and foot support that helps lessen stress and muscle fatigue to reduce injury risk. The supportive shank decreases strain on the arch by allowing the boot to distribute impact as the foot moves forward. So if a boot bends in the middle, don’t buy it.

In wet and cold weather, wearing the right socks can help prevent blisters, fungal infections and frostbite. Synthetic socks are recommended as the first layer to keep the feet dry and reduce blister-causing friction. For the second layer, wool socks add warmth, absorb moisture away from the skin, and help make the hiking boot more comfortable. Wool lets moisture evaporate more readily than cotton, so fewer blisters develop.

 What happens if your feet or ankles hurt during a hike or hunt? Pain usually occurs from overuse, even from just walking. If you’re not accustomed to walking on sloped or uneven ground, your legs and feet will get tired and cause muscles and tendons to ache.  To avoid a serious injury, such as a severe ankle sprain or an Achilles tendon rupture, rest for a while if you start hurting.

Serious injury risk escalates significantly if you continue hiking in pain. Hiking is like skiing, in that beginners should take on less difficult trails until they become better conditioned and more confident.

Evaluation by a foot and ankle surgeon is recommended if there is persistent pain following a hiking or hunting outing. The main concern is about ankle instability and strained Achilles tendons. Inattention to these problems at their early stages may lead to a serious injury that will keep you off the trails for a long time.

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
September 26, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Bunions  

Bunions are a common foot condition, but many people don't realize what they are. You might be surprised to learn that you have them! Dr. bunionsCherrie Cendric and Dr. Todd Cendric, the podiatrists at Westmoreland Foot & Ankle Care in Greensburg and Irwin, PA, are here to explain what bunions are and how they might affect your feet in this article.

Bunions in brief

Bunions, also known as hallux valgus, sound worse than what most of them are: a hard lump or protrusion on the inside of the foot, just below the big toe. Contrary to what you might think, they're not made from extra bone, tissue, or fluid buildup. A bunion happens when the joint in that area of the foot begins to push itself out of alignment. Although some people do not experience any problems, many people with bunions visit their Greensburg and Irwin podiatrist with joint pain or friction-related injuries.

Basis of bunions

About 40 percent of people over 65 have bunions, making them a condition that tends to happen to older people, women especially. This is thought to be a result of the shape and construction of women's footwear, in particular high heels. The narrow toe box crowds the foot, putting pressure on the big toe and causing the joint to push outwards. Research has also indicated that bunions are an inherited problem, meaning if your mother or father dealt with bunions as they aged, you may be likely to experience the same thing.

Toe joint treatment

As your Greensburg and Irwin podiatrist mentioned above, bunions may not cause any problems for some people. For others, extra cushioning or shoe inserts may help to take some of the pressure off. Others may find that upgrading their shoes to a larger size or a roomier width can make a big difference. For those who are still experiencing problems after these treatments have been tried, surgery to remove the bunion and realign the joint can be helpful.

If you have an uncomfortable bunion, Dr. Cherrie Cendric and Dr. Todd Cendric want to hear from you! Contact Westmoreland Foot & Ankle Care in Greensburg and Irwin, PA to schedule an appointment today!

September 18, 2017
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

Are fallen arches a real foot problem?

Are fallen arches a real foot problem, or just a label for chronically sore feet? Fallen arches --or flat feet-- are a legitimate medical condition affecting five percent of Americans.  Flat feet can be present at birth, or develop over decades of walking, running and overall time spent on the feet, especially on hard surfaces in the workplace.

There are several types of flatfoot conditions that occur in adults. The most common type is adult-acquired flatfoot. It is caused by overstretching a tendon that supports the arch. Another common type is flexible flatfoot, in which the foot is flat when standing, but returns to a normal arch in non-weight-bearing positions.

Flat feet can be very painful and make people avoid walking, running and exercise.  But if you seek medical attention early, a foot and ankle surgeon may be able to prevent it from becoming a more serious foot problem.

Treatments may include modifying of limiting activities, stretching exercises, custom shoe inserts and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. If those techniques don't work, a variety of surgical procedures may be considered to relieve pain and improve foot function.

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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