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David E. Samuel, DPM

December 2021

Tuesday, 28 December 2021 00:00

When the Wound on Your Foot Becomes an Ulcer

Wounds can occur on the feet from an injury, poor circulation, prolonged pressure from improperly fitted shoes, or complications from diseases like diabetes, neuropathy, and vascular disease. Over time, if these wounds do not close and the underlying tissue becomes affected, they are considered ulcers. These types of wounds are potentially dangerous – particularly in people with diabetes. Ulcers can lead to infections in the bone and skin. You can sometimes tell if the wound on your foot has become an ulcer if it is draining, emits a foul odor, or the tissue has become thickened, inflamed, or red. It is important to seek the professional wound care that a podiatrist can provide to help heal the wound and prevent more serious complications from developing. Podiatrists typically begin by cleaning the wound and removing any unhealthy tissue, termed debridement. Antibiotics may be prescribed if an infection is present. They may also suggest certain shoes and orthotics that will keep pressure off the wound and, in severe cases, perform surgery and other methods of wound care.

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with David E. Samuel, DPM from Foot & Ankle Specialists of Delaware County. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Springfield, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Wound Care
Tuesday, 21 December 2021 00:00

Risk Factors and Treatment of Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are unsightly and can be painful. These small, hardened growths that form on the bottom of the foot are typically benign, but highly contagious. The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which is usually the primary cause, enters the body through a sore or crack in the skin. It generally affects the heels and the fleshy area at the base of the toes. The virus is found in moist places like communal pools, public showers, and gym locker rooms. It’s recommended to wear protective foot coverings in such areas to help prevent contact with the virus. It’s also important to avoid touching the warts, as the virus can be easily spread. Treatment options include over-the-counter medications, liquid nitrogen, which burns the callus off the foot, or cryotherapy which freezes the wart. If plantar warts are a recurring problem, it is strongly suggested to visit a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact David E. Samuel, DPM from Foot & Ankle Specialists of Delaware County. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

About Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus, getting into open wounds on the feet. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.

While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain or those suffering from diabetes or a compromised immune system require immediate medical care. Plantar warts are easily diagnosed, usually through scraping off a bit of rough skin or by getting a biopsy.

Symptoms

  • Lesions on the bottom of your feet, usually rough and grainy
  • Hard or thick callused spots
  • Wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots
  • Pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing

Treatment

  • Freezing
  • Electric tool removal
  • Laser Treatment
  • Topical Creams (prescription only)
  • Over-the-counter medications

To help prevent developing plantar warts, avoid walking barefoot over abrasive surfaces that can cause cuts or wounds for HPV to get into. Avoiding direct contact with other warts, as well as not picking or rubbing existing warts, can help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. However, if you think you have developed plantar warts, speak to your podiatrist. He or she can diagnose the warts on your feet and recommend the appropriate treatment options.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Springfield, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What Are Plantar Warts?
Tuesday, 14 December 2021 00:00

How to Reduce Foot Swelling During Pregnancy

Many women experience swelling in the feet and ankles during pregnancy. This common condition is known as edema, where fluids are trapped in the tissues of the body causing puffiness and swelling under the skin. Edema is more likely to occur in the late afternoon and evening after you have spent the day on your feet. Swollen feet and ankles may be more likely after the fifth month of pregnancy as weight gain continues and water retention increases. There are a few things that can help to alleviate swelling during your pregnancy. Try to avoid standing for long periods and keep your feet elevated while resting. Further, you can opt for comfortable shoes rather than high heels, and wear compression socks or tights. In addition, try to drink more water and cut back on salty foods. While resting, apply a cold compress to the swollen areas. If the swelling becomes serious, please make an appointment with a podiatrist for further examination and information on various treatment methods.

Pregnant women with swollen feet can be treated with a variety of different methods that are readily available. For more information about other cures for swollen feet during pregnancy, consult with David E. Samuel, DPM from Foot & Ankle Specialists of Delaware County. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What Foot Problems Can Arise During Pregnancy?

One problem that can occur is overpronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens and tends to roll inward.  This can cause pain and discomfort in your heels while you’re walking or even just standing up, trying to support your baby.  

Another problem is edema, or swelling in the extremities. This often affects the feet during pregnancy but tends to occur in the later stages. 

How Can I Keep My Feet Healthy During Pregnancy?

  • Wearing orthotics can provide extra support for the feet and help distribute weight evenly
  • Minimize the amount of time spent walking barefoot
  • Wear shoes with good arch support
  • Wear shoes that allow for good circulation to the feet
  • Elevate feet if you experience swelling
  • Massage your feet
  • Get regular, light exercise, such as walking, to promote blood circulation to the feet

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Springfield, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Foot Care for Pregnant Women
Sunday, 12 December 2021 00:00

Wounds That Don't Heal Need to Be Checked

Your feet are covered most of the day. If you're diabetic, periodic screening is important for good health. Numbness is often a sign of diabetic foot and can mask a sore or wound.

Tuesday, 07 December 2021 00:00

How Often Should Orthotics Be Replaced?

Orthotics are inserts placed in your shoes to add cushioning that are often prescribed for people who have plantar fasciitis or other painful foot conditions. They can improve your gait and posture as well as help reduce pain. Orthotics can be made specifically to fit your foot, which increases their efficacy, and are either soft, semi-rigid, or rigid depending on the foot condition being treated. They last different durations based on materials, your weight, and the amount of activity you do. Replacement of orthotics can range from three-to-six months to several years. To help orthotics last longer wipe them with a damp – not wet – cloth, or use spray shoe cleaners. Wearing shoes that fit properly will also add to the lifespan of your orthotics. If you notice that your orthotics are fraying, smell bad, or are worn, they may be doing you more harm than good and probably need to be replaced. Please visit a podiatrist before deciding on which orthotics, inserts, or insoles are best for your feet. And check back with your podiatrist periodically to see if they need to be replaced.

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, contact David E. Samuel, DPM from Foot & Ankle Specialists of Delaware County. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Are Orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.

Over-the-Counter Inserts

Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct overarched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.

Prescription Orthotics

If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you or if you have a more severe foot concern, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high-quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and severe forms of heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.

If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist about the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain-free.

If you have any questions please contact our office located in Springfield, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Ankle Foot Orthotics for Athletes
Thursday, 02 December 2021 00:00

Do I Need Surgery for a Broken Ankle?

A broken ankle may require surgery if the ankle is unstable and the bone that is broken is displaced. During the procedure, the surgeon realigns the affected bones and fixes them in the proper position using a fixation device, such as a screw, steel pins, or stabilizing rods. Recovery from this surgery can take up to 12 weeks and requires wearing a cast or boot. While not everyone is a good candidate for surgery, leaving a fractured ankle untreated can lead to ankle arthritis and pain. If you have broken your ankle, please consult with a podiatrist to find the right treatment for you. 

Broken ankles need immediate treatment. If you are seeking treatment, contact David E. Samuel, DPM from Foot & Ankle Specialists of Delaware County. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet. 

Broken Ankles
A broken ankle is experienced when a person fractures their tibia or fibula in the lower leg and ankle area. Both of these bones are attached at the bottom of the leg and combine to form what we know to be our ankle.

When a physician is referring to a break of the ankle, he or she is usually referring to a break in the area where the tibia and fibula are joined to create our ankle joint. Ankles are more prone to fractures because the ankle is an area that suffers a lot of pressure and stress. There are some obvious signs when a person experiences a fractured ankle, and the following symptoms may be present.

Symptoms of a Fractured Ankle

  • Excessive pain when the area is touched or when any pressure is placed on the ankle
  •  Swelling around the area
  •  Bruising of the area
  • Area appears to be deformed

If you suspect an ankle fracture, it is recommended to seek treatment as soon as possible. The sooner you have your podiatrist diagnose the fracture, the quicker you’ll be on the way towards recovery.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Springfield, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about All About Broken Ankles
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