Posts for: August, 2019
It’s time for back to school shopping, and at Connecticut Foot Care Centers we believe that one of the most important items on your list should be your child’s shoes. Well-made shoes that fit properly can prevent common foot injuries like ankle sprains and help keep your child’s feet healthy. Here’s a “cheat sheet” to help you score high marks on the shoe shopping test.
Study Up—be prepared for your shopping excursion. If your child is experiencing any foot discomfort, has a chronic podiatric condition (like Sever’s disease or overpronation) or recently sustained a foot injury, it’s best to get a checkup with one of our podiatrists Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M. or Raffaella R. Pascarella, D.P.M. The foot doctor will assess the current condition of your child’s lower extremities and may suggest particular styles or features that will be safest and most comfortable.
Come Prepared—bring the type of socks that your child will wear with their new shoes to the store. Oftentimes the socks the store provides are thin and the shoe may appear roomier than it will be with the actual socks. Allow enough time to get your child’s foot professionally measured and then to try on several pairs of shoes to find the best ones. Make sure your child spends time walking around the store wearing both shoes before finalizing the sale. New shoes should feel comfortable from the moment you leave the store—no “breaking in” period should be necessary.
Know the Material—shoes should be made of natural materials that allow the foot to breathe. Be aware of the features of quality shoes:
- Roomy toe boxes (there should be about ½ an inch or a thumb’s width between the longest toe and the end of the shoe)
- Firm heel counter
- Padded insole or foot bed for shock absorption
- Non-slip tread
Don’t Lose Points—don’t hand shoes down to younger siblings. Each shoe wears according to the unique foot structure and gait of its wearer. Passing them on can lead to discomfort and foot problems.
If you have a toe, foot or ankle surgery coming up, we at Connecticut Foot Care Centers believe in the Boy Scout motto, “Be prepared.” There are many podiatric conditions where a surgical procedure may provide the best or the only relief to foot pain and disability. Some of the more common ones include:
- Tumors and neuromas
- Arthritis/joint disease
- Heel or toe spurs
- Ingrown toenails
If one of our podiatrists Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M. or Raffaella R. Pascarella, D.P.M. has recommended a surgical solution for a foot problem, discussing the following areas will help you plan appropriately and be more confident about the surgery.
The Procedure—the foot doctor will explain the surgical procedure to you. If there is any part that you don’t understand, ask questions. Some things you’ll want to know include:
- Will the surgery be done in one of our six Hartford and Middlesex County offices? Today, many podiatric surgeries can be done on an outpatient basis.
- Is there any pre-op testing needed?
- What type of anesthesia will be used?
- How long will the procedure take, and will I need someone to drive me home when it is over?
Post-Op Care—a big question on most patients’ minds is how much pain will I be in after the surgery? The podiatrist can address this with you as well as what pain management options will be available. You’ll also want to know if the foot that’s been operated on will be immobilized and if you will need assistive devices such as crutches, a motor scooter or surgical shoes.
Recovery—it’s important to have a realistic understanding of the recovery period from your surgery. How long will it be before you can bear weight on the affected foot? Drive? Resume work and regular activities? This will help you arrange for enough time off from work and enlist any help you might need from family and friends.
Follow Up—even after you’re able to return to work and normal activities, there may be physical therapy or other additional treatment necessary to complete the rehabilitation of your foot.
We want to ease any fears or anxiety that you may be feeling if you have an upcoming surgery. If you have unanswered questions, don’t hesitate to contact us for answers.
At Connecticut Foot Care Centers, we find that many patients don’t think much about their feet until they’re not working properly. We want to encourage our patients to be proactive in the care of their feet and not wait until something goes wrong. One simple way to ensure good podiatric health is by regularly examining your feet to detect potential problems. Below are five checkpoints:
- Skin and toenails—look for any signs of skin irritation such as blisters, redness, calluses or corns. Bruises, lumps, discoloration or changes in existing moles or freckles are all possible indicators of a foot condition. Toenails that appear to be getting thicker or have a yellowish, brownish discoloration or any crumbling at the edges might be a sign of a fungal infection.
- Circulation—good blood flow is essential for healthy feet and wound healing. Try this simple test: press down on the nail of your big toe until it looks white. Let go and see how long it takes for the blood flow to come back to your toe and it returns to normal color. On average this should take about two to five seconds. A blue, red or purple tinge to toes may also be a sign of poor circulation.
- Sensation—using a pencil eraser, lightly run it around the top, bottom and sides of both of your feet. You should be able to feel it equally on all parts of your feet. Neuropathy or nerve damage is associated with diabetes and can result in loss of feeing in your feet. Pain is never a “normal” sensation in your feet.
- Flexibility—you should be able to flex your feet without pain or discomfort. Try picking up a marble or dish towel with your toes. Test ankle flexibility by hanging your heel off a stair and allowing it to drop below the level of the stair. Flexibility can be improved with exercises and regular physical activity.
- Balance—good balance is a key factor in preventing fall injuries. Balance may decrease with age. To assess your balance, stand on one foot with your arms out to the side and your eyes closed. You should be able to hold this stance for 15 seconds if you are under 30, 12 seconds between 30 and 40, 10 seconds between 40 and 50 and 7 seconds if you are over 50.
If you find anything concerning or abnormal when conducting a self-exam, contact one of our six Hartford and Middlesex County offices to make an appointment. Our podiatrists Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M. or Raffaella R. Pascarella, D.P.M. will examine your feet and determine if there is a problem that needs treatment.
August is Psoriasis Action Month, and at Connecticut Foot Care Centers we find that many patients are unfamiliar with this condition and the effect it can have on the feet and legs. Below is some important information about this disease.
WHAT: Psoriasis is a chronic disease whose root cause is an immune system gone awry. In patients with this condition, the immune system is overactive and sends out signals that speed up the growth and surfacing of new skin cells. This causes abnormal lesions on the skin that can take the form of thickened patches of skin that are red, white or gray and scaly in appearance. In some cases, small blisters or pustules may form as well. The affected areas may feel itchy, burning and painful. Patients with psoriasis may also develop psoriatic arthritis which results in pain and inflammation of the joints. Psoriasis on your feet, toes, and legs can be particularly disabling because of the constant use of these parts of your body for daily life.
WHO: Psoriasis often begins between the ages of 15 and 25, but it can affect a person at any age. Currently, over 8 million Americans have this disease.
HOW: Researcher believe that the defect in the immune system that is responsible for psoriasis may be genetic, but environmental triggers are what cause the disease to become active. Triggers differ by individual, but some known ones include stress, infection, skin injury and taking certain medications.
TAKE ACTION: The first step is getting any unusual skin symptoms evaluated promptly by one of our podiatrists Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M. or Raffaella R. Pascarella, D.P.M. Many times, psoriasis can be mistaken for athlete’s foot or another fungal infection. The foot doctor will diagnose your skin condition. If psoriasis is suspected, the foot doctor may refer you to another physician specializing in this disease. There are a variety of topical and oral medications used to treat psoriasis. The podiatrist will help manage this condition on your hands and feet. Contact one of our six Hartford and Middlesex County offices to make an appointment.