Podiatrists and Foot Surgery

A podiatrist is a doctor that specializes in treating foot conditions. The initials DPM will generally appear after their name, and are an abbreviation for Doctor of Podiatric Medicine. Foot ailments these physicians typically treat can include plantar fasciitis, bunions, and hammertoes. Mandatory schooling consists of four years of podiatry medical school, followed by three years of specialized training. Some doctors choose to perform surgery to remove tumors, bunions, and heel spurs. If you are interested in pursuing podiatry as a career choice, it is advised that you consult with a podiatrist who can provide you with the information you need that may help you to make a decision.

If you are experiencing pain in the feet or ankles, don’t join the stubborn majority refusing treatment. Feel free to contact one of our podiatrists from Princeton Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Podiatrist?

Someone would seek the care of a podiatrist if they have suffered a foot injury or have common foot ailments such as heal spurs, bunions, arch problems, deformities, ingrown toenails, corns, foot and ankle problems, etc.

Podiatric Treatment

A podiatrist will treat the problematic areas of the feet, ankle or lower leg by prescribing the following:

  • Physical therapy
  • Drugs
  • Orthotic inserts or soles
  • Surgery on lower extremity fractures

A common podiatric procedure a podiatrist will use is a scanner or force plate which will allow the podiatrist to know the designs of orthotics. Patients are then told to follow a series of tasks to complete the treatment. The computer will scan the foot a see which areas show weight distribution and pressure points. The podiatrist will read the analysis and then determine which treatment plans are available.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Princeton and West Windsor, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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What is a Podiatrist?

The branch of medicine that is focused on the treatment, diagnosis, and study of disorders of the lower leg, ankle and foot is referred to as podiatry. Because people often spend a great deal of their time on their feet, many problems in this area can occur. A person seeks help from the field of podiatry when they need treatment for heel spurs, bunions, arch problems, deformities, ingrown toenails, corns, foot and ankle problems, infections, and problems with the foot that are related to diabetes and additional diseases.

To treat problems of the foot, ankle or lower leg, a podiatrist may prescribe physical therapy, drugs, perform surgery, or set fractures. Individuals may also be recommended to wear corrective shoe inserts, custom-made shoes, plaster casts and strappings in order to correct deformities.

When trying to gather information on a patient problem, a scanner or force plate may be used in order to design orthotics. During this procedure, patients are told to walk across a plate that is connected to a computer; the computer then takes a scan of the foot and indicates weight distribution and pressure points. The computer readouts will give the podiatrist information to help them determine the correct treatment plans.

Diagnosis is also provided through laboratory tests and x-rays. Through the foot, the first signs of serious problems such as heart disease, diabetes and arthritis can show up. For example, individuals that have diabetes may frequently have problems such as infections and foot ulcers because they experience poor circulation in the foot area. A podiatrist can then have consultations with patients when symptoms arise. Referrals will then be made to specialists that handle the greater health problems.

Some podiatrists have their own independent, private practices or clinics where they have a small staff and administrative personnel. Many podiatrists work within group practices. They usually spend time performing surgery in ambulatory surgical centers or hospitals, or visit patients in nursing homes. Podiatrists typically spend between 30 to 60 hours of week working. Some podiatrists specialize in public health, orthopedics, surgery, or primary care. Other fields include specialties in geriatrics, dermatology, pediatrics, diabetic foot care and sports medicine.

Some podiatrist specialists complete extra training in the area of foot and ankle reconstruction that results from the effects of physical trauma or diabetes. There are also surgeons that perform surgery of a cosmetic nature to correct bunions and hammertoes.

Signs You May Have Plantar Fasciitis

The plantar regions of the foot include the heel, the arch, and the midfoot. If you begin to notice pain in these regions of your foot, it’s possible you may have a condition that is known as plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis can develop for a number of different reasons. When the plantar fascia, the connective tissue from the heel to the ball of your foot, has too much stress put on it, it may become inflamed, overtightened, or torn. Common causes of over stressing the plantar fascia include obesity, arthritis, a sudden increase in physical activity, and wearing improper footwear. Pain will typically be felt in the plantar region when first getting out of bed in the morning, after sitting, standing, or walking for long periods of time, and when climbing stairs. To best diagnose if you in fact have plantar fasciitis, it is suggested you have an X-ray taken. For professional care and an advised treatment plan, we recommend you consult with a podiatrist as soon as you feel pain in your foot.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact one of our podiatrists  from Princeton Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Non-supportive shoes
  • Overpronation
  • Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

  • Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices
  • Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis
  • Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Princeton and West Windsor, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Plantar Fasciitis

The plantar fascia is a connective tissue in the heel that stretches across the bottom length of your foot. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the connective tissue becomes inflamed, causing heel pain and discomfort during physical activity. Although the condition is completely treatable, traditional methods can take up to a year to start becoming effective.

Plantar fasciitis is caused by a number of everyday activities, so understanding the condition is important for managing and treating it. One of the most common causes of plantar fasciitis is excessive running, especially with improper fitting or non-supportive shoes. Too much exercise can lead to the plantar fascia being overworked and overstretched, which can cause tears in the tissue. Along with improper fitting shoes, pronation, the rolling of the feet inward, is a common cause of plantar fasciitis. If not treated properly, the plantar fascia becomes overstretched and starts to tear, causing inflammation.

Despite the common causes of plantar fasciitis, there are many different treatment options. For less severe cases, conservative home remedies include taking anti-inflammatory drugs to alleviate pain, applying ice packs to the bottom of your foot and heel, slowly stretching and exercising your feet to re-strengthen the tissue, and using orthotic devices are all ways to help manage your plantar fasciitis.

For more severe cases, shockwave therapy has become a common solution for plantar fasciitis. Shockwave therapy can effectively break up the tissue on the bottom of your foot which facilitates healing and regeneration. This fights the chronic pain caused by plantar fasciitis. Even if this doesn’t work, surgery is always a final option. Surgery on the tissue itself can be done to permanently correct the issue and stop the inflammation and pain in your heels.

No matter what the case may be, consulting your podiatrist is the first and best step to recovery. Even the slightest amount of heel pain could be the first stage of plantar fasciitis. Untreated symptoms can lead to the tearing and overstretching of tissue. Because the tearing of tissue can be compounded if it remains ignored, it can evolve into a severe case. The solution is early detection and early treatment. Talk to your podiatrist about the possibilities of plantar fasciitis if you’re experiencing heel pain.

Possible Causes of Ingrown Toenails

An ingrown toenail is a foot condition that can cause severe pain and discomfort. It occurs as a result of the nail growing into the skin instead of over it. This ailment typically happens to the big toe, and may make the area look red and swollen. A common cause for ingrown toenails to develop can include wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in. Additionally, this condition may develop from improperly trimming the toenails. Patients may find mild relief when the affected foot is soaked in warm water several times per day. This may be helpful in lifting the nail away from the skin with a small piece of cotton. For severely infected ingrown toenails, it is suggested that you schedule a consultation with a podiatrist who can provide the necessary treatment for recovery.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact one of our podiatrists of Princeton Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition

Prevention

Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.

Treatment

Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Princeton and West Windsor, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Ingrown Toenail Care

An ingrown toenail is a toenail that grows sideways into the nail bed, causing pain and swelling. Ingrown toenails can worsen and cause drainage, turning into a serious infection.

Several factors affect whether a person is at risk from an ingrown toenail. The many causes include being overweight, diabetes, participating in sports, having a fungal infection of the toe, and cutting your nails too short. Ingrown toenails also have a genetic predisposition, causing some people to be more prone to receive the condition than others. Other causes include improperly fitting shoes and shoes that keep the feet damp.

Ingrown toenails can be preventable with certain measures. For starters, allowing your toe nails to grow slightly longer in length will help prevent them from becoming ingrown. If you have already developed an ingrown toenail, soak the affected toe in warm water. This will alleviate the pain and help prevent an infection from forming. Antibiotic soap or Epsom salts may be added to further help the relieving process and avoid infection. Placing cotton beneath the affected area is also suggested, as this may help the toenail grow upwards and not into the nail bed. Swelling and redness can be reduced by resting with your feet elevated.

A podiatrist should be seen if the pain becomes so serious that it prevents you from doing your everyday activities. If a red streak running up your leg appears or if you suspect your infection has spread, contact a podiatrist immediately. Fast treatments can be undertaken to lessen your pain and have you walking comfortably.

An ingrown toenail can be easily treated with a Band-Aid. Simply wrap the affected toe with a Band-Aid to prevent infection and keep the nail from growing out at a painful angle.

In more serious cases, your podiatrist may decide to make a small incision to remove a portion of your toenail. To prevent the nail from growing back, medication will be placed directly into the nail bed. This procedure would be performed under local anesthesia and is a faster method to alleviate discomfort from an ingrown toenail. Post-procedure directions will have you stay off the affected foot for a day. Afterwards, normal activities can be resumed.  

Plasma and PRP Injections

The use of PRP injections, which is the abbreviation for platelet-rich plasma, is used to accelerate the healing process after specific types of surgery are performed. A small amount of the patient's own platelets are injected into the site, which can positively influence the healing. This is performed by separating the platelets that are found in the blood by using a centrifuge machine, and then injecting them into the site of the injury. Research has shown it has been effective in treating Achilles tendon injuries and plantar fasciitis. If you would like additional information about PRP injections, it is advised that you consult with a podiatrist who can help you to determine if this is the right treatment for you.

If you are suffering from a foot condition, contact one of our podiatrists of Princeton Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors will assist you with all of your podiatric concerns.

What Is PRP?

Platelet Rich Plasma, or PRP, is blood taken from a patient and spun in a centrifuge, concentrating the amount of platelets. The plasma is then re-injected into the site of injury or damage, assisting the body in repairing damage to muscles, tendons, ligaments, and tissue. PRP helps the body speed up its healing process.

Uses of PRP

Injuries affecting the foot sometimes don’t heal properly because of poor blood circulation. The healing time slows down, and recovery time is affected by poor blood supply. PRP injections will speed up recovery and resolve this issue.

Treatment

PRP is the first regenerative treatment for damaged muscles, tendons, and ligaments. No surgery needed. It is only applied with an insertion of a needle.

Ultrasound – An ultrasound is needed for proper placement of the platelets.

Injection – When the first injection is received, the patient will return to the doctor in about 2 to 3 weeks and monitor the recovery process.

Recovery time – Some people respond to treatments differently. Therefore, depending on your condition, the doctor will make any remaining decisions on how many more injections are needed, or if any additional ones are even required.

Benefits

One may be able to avoid major surgery, and recovery time will be cut down. PRP injections also avoid creating scar tissue and damage to the area. Risks are also very low using PRP as a treatment. There is no risk of rejection, contracting a disease from using another person’s blood, or infection.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Princeton and West Windsor, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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PRP Injections In Your Feet

Platelet rich plasma, or PRP, is blood taken from a patient and spun in a centrifuge, concentrating the amount of platelets and growth factors. This plasma, containing a very high concentration of platelets, is re-injected into the site of injury or damage, inducing the body to repair damage to muscle, tendons, ligaments, and soft tissue. Although the body does this naturally when an injury occurs, the PRP helps speed the healing process.

Many injuries to the foot, especially those affecting tendons, do not heal well because poor blood supply to the area prevents healing platelets and growth factors carried by the blood from getting to the injury site. Platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections can help fix this problem and speed recovery.

This is the first regenerative treatment ever for damaged muscles, tendons, and ligaments. It avoids the need for surgery, and as it requires only the insertion of a needle, is minimally invasive. The injection of PRP is done with the use of ultrasound to ensure the proper placement of the platelets.

Once the first injection is received, the patient will return to the doctor's approximately 2 to 3 weeks later to be checked on how well the treatment is moving along. As with most treatments, each patient's response is different. Based on a patient's condition, the doctor will make the decision about how many more injections will be needed. Acute and chronic injuries will typically require more injections than mild ones.

Common injuries of the feet such as ankle sprains, Achilles tendonitis, and plantar fasciitis, as well as acute and chronic tendon and joint diseases like arthritis, can all be treated with PRP injections. For many, this therapy has lead to greatly reduced pain and increased function of the foot. Combining exercise or physical therapy with the PRP injections will help increase the success of the treatment.

This treatment, being minimally invasive, means that surgery can be avoided, in many cases, and recovery time cut down. Other benefits of PRP injections are a decrease in scar tissue and fibrosis to the damaged area, as well as increased range of motion, flexibility, and strength. The risks from using PRP injections as a treatment is very low. As the patient is injected with his own blood, there is no risk of rejection or of getting a disease from using another person's blood. As with any injection into the body, there is a risk of infection, but this is very rare. Research is showing that PRP may have an anti-bacterial property that would further decrease the risk of infection.

Possible Causes of Painful Gout

The medical condition that is known as gout develops as a result of excess uric acid in the blood. This may cause crystals to form in the joints of the big toe, and can be quite painful and uncomfortable. Common symptoms that are typically associated with this condition can include swelling surrounding the affected area, redness, and extreme tenderness. This ailment can come from genetic factors, or from eating foods that have high levels of purines. When these types of foods are eaten, uric acid levels may increase. Foods that fall into this category can include shellfish, red meat, alcohol, and drinks that have excess sugar levels. There are measures that can be implemented which may help to prevent gout from developing. These can consist of eating healthier foods, losing weight, and drinking plenty of water daily. If you have gout, it is advised that you consult with a podiatrist who can help you to manage this condition.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Princeton Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • <!––>Intense Joint Pain – Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • <!––><!––>Lingering Discomfort – Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • <!––><!––>Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • <!––>Limited Range of Motion – May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • <!––>Genetics – If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • <!––><!––>Medications – Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • <!––>Gender/Age – Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • <!––>Diet – Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • <!––>Alcohol – Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • <!––>Obesity – Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms–including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Princeton and West Windsor, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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