Posts for: July, 2010
Common Runners' Injury: Stress Fractures of the Foot
Repetitive impact on feet can increase risk of damage
(Greensburg, PA: July 29, 2010) -- -- Stress fractures of the foot are becoming more common in runners, especially first-time marathoners, according to Greensburg foot and ankle surgeon Cherrie Cindric, DPM, FACFAS.
The growing popularity of marathons among beginning runners has contributed to the increase in repetitive stress injuries, including stress fractures of the foot, seen by Dr. Cindric, a member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons and an avid half-marathoner herself. Often, first-time marathoners enter a race with little or improper long-distance training. The lack of experience coupled with the repetitive impact placed on the feet during the run can produce enough stress to cause hairline breaks in the bones of the foot.
"Runners who increase their mileage too quickly or change to a more intense phase of training may be more susceptible to a stress fracture due to the increased force placed on the bones," says Dr. Cindric. "A general rule of thumb for runners is to increase the mileage by no more than 10 percent each week. Runners who are training also need to have adequate rest time in between runs to help decrease the risk of a fracture."
Runners at all levels of experience are also at higher risk for stress fractures if they wear improper shoes while running or training, suffer from flatfoot or other foot deformities, or have osteoporosis. Signs of a stress fracture can include pain, swelling, redness and possibly bruising of the area.
"Stress fractures can occur anywhere in the foot and can eventually lead to a complete break of the bone if left untreated," Dr. Cindric explained. "Early diagnosis and treatment are important to ensure proper healing."
If a break is suspected, Dr. Cindric advises runners to immediately follow the RICE protocol -- Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. If pain and swelling last longer than a few days, an appointment for an x-ray and diagnosis is in order.
In most cases, treatment includes rest and immobilization with casting of the foot. Surgery may be required in certain instances to repair and stabilize a stress fracture that has progressed into a full fracture.
Runners can take action to prevent repetitive stress injuries in their feet by wearing supportive athletic shoes and slowly building up their activity levels according to their abilities. "If a runner suffers from abnormal mechanics in the foot, such as overpronation or hypermobility, custom orthotics can also be helpful to prevent these injuries," Dr. Cindric, adds.
If you suspect you have a foot injury or fracture, call Dr. Cindric's office at 724-832-1000 for an evaluation.
Don't Ignore Flat Feet
Study links this condition to painful foot maladies
Greensburg, PA 7/29/2010 -- -- Treatment and prevention of adult flatfoot can reduce the incidence of additional foot problems such as bunions, hammertoes, arthritis and calluses, and improve a person's overall health, according to research published in the July/August Journal of Foot & Ankle Surgery.
Overweight males in white-collar jobs are most apt to suffer from adult flatfoot disorder, a progressive condition characterized by partial or total collapse of the arch, according to the research. FootHealthFacts.org, the consumer website of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, notes that symptoms of adult flatfoot include pain, swelling, flattening of the arch and an inward rolling of the ankle. But because flatfoot is a progressive disorder by nature, the study suggests that neglecting treatment or preventive care can lead to arthritis, loss of function of the foot and other painful foot disorders.
"Flatfoot disorder may gradually worsen to the point that many of the tendons and ligaments in the foot and ankle are simply overworking, often to the point where they tear and/or rupture," says Dr. Cherrie Cindric, FACFAS, foot and ankle surgeon
In many cases, flatfoot can be treated with non-surgical approaches including orthotic devices or bracing, immobilization, physical therapy, medication and shoe modifications. "In some patients whose pain is not adequately relieved by conservative treatments, there are a variety of surgical techniques available to correct flatfoot and improve foot function," Dr. Cindric added.
"As in most progressive foot disorders, early treatment for flatfoot disorder is also the patient's best route for optimal success in controlling symptoms and additional damage to the feet," continued Cindric. "The goal is to keep patients active, healthy and as pain free as possible."
If you suspect you have a flatfoot disorder or have foot discomfort, call Dr. Cindric's office at 724-832-1000 for an evaluation.
For additional information on adult flatfoot or other foot conditions, visit the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeon's health information website at FootHealthFacts.org., or Dr. Cindric's website, www.drcindric.com