Philadelphia Tri-state Area Podiatrists Answer Foot Health Questions

We believe that every question deserves a good answer. Healthmark Foot and Ankle provides you the best up-to date information for your concerns.
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  • Why are bunions painful?

    Bunions are painful because they are caused by the big toe turning outward, which causes a bump of tissue and bone. As the base of the toe becomes more pronounced, the bunion starts to progress and become painful. The new angle of the toe, combined with the swelling, can cause painful bunions. 

    Painful bunions can also be caused by the development of a hammer toe. The big toe eventually starts to lie under or over the second toe. This results in a hammer toe, which can cause pain and swelling. A Phoenixville podiatrist can assess your bunions and determine the right course of treatment. 

    Bunions are caused by compression of the toes, which can result in a physical deformity. Bunions are often caused by too-small or narrow-fitting shoes, such as high heels, which is why women are nine times more likely to develop bunions than men. Heredity, polio and arthritis can cause painful bunions, but these factors are rare. If you delay fixing the problem, the bunions progress and start to hurt. 

    Painful bunions can prevent you from performing everyday activities. You may unable to walk more than a few steps without severe pain. You may notice toe swelling and stiffness. If pain relievers and better-fitting footwear don’t do the trick, then you have a severe case of painful bunions that requires surgical treatment from a Phoenixville podiatrist. 

    If you have bunions and would like an opinion from an expert in the field, contact Healthmark Foot and Ankle. Healthmark can connect you with a Phoenixville podiatrist who provides excellent care not only for bunions, but also many other foot and ankle conditions. Contact them today for a consultation at 1-610-933-8644.

  • What happens during a Phoenixville podiatrist visit?

    Whether your podiatrist visit is for a specific concern or just a general checkup, it’s important to know what may take place during your consultation. Typically, you’ll need to fill out paperwork. This includes your medical history, so it’s best to bring lists of your medications, dates of surgeries and medical conditions that you are aware of. 

    Once you meet with your Phoenixville podiatrist, you’ll discuss the purpose of your podiatrist visit as he or she conducts your initial exam. A visual look at your feet, ankles and legs can give your doctor an immediate clue to some conditions that may be present. Blood tests may be necessary to check for certain conditions such as diabetes, which can cause poor circulation and neuropathy in the feet. 

    Make sure that you tell your podiatrist about any unusual symptoms or changes you’ve noticed in your feet. Sometimes a general examination is not enough to detect nerve damage or circulation issues. When you tell your doctor you are experiencing numbness, tingling, pain or loss of temperature, he or she may discuss additional tests to determine the cause of these conditions. 

    After your initial exam, your podiatrist will review your medical history and address any concerns you have with in-house test results and findings. If further review is needed, you'll schedule the proper tests, or the podiatrist may be able to make a diagnosis and create a treatment plan immediately. 

    A Phoenixville podiatrist visit should be a priority when you experience any unusual symptoms or changes in your feet. It’s also a good measure to have regular podiatrist care when you are prone to foot conditions, such as diabetes or metabolic syndrome. 

    Take the Anxiety out of a Phoenixville Podiatrist Visit 

    Don’t let the fear of a medical diagnosis and treatment prevent you from seeking care for your feet when you need it. Leaving foot problems unchecked because you keep putting off a podiatrist visit may only make matters worse. 

    The Phoenixville podiatrist team at HealthMark Foot & Ankle Associates is dedicated to caring for more than just your feet; we take the time to provide comprehensive care for your entire lifestyle. Our 3-doctor team can give you the personal attention and specialized care you need to get back on your feet and enjoy life again. Contact us at 1-610-565-3668 for a consultation at our Media office or 1-610-933-8644 for our Phoenixville office.

  • Is there a medical solution for flat feet?

    There are medical solutions to flat feet, depending on your age and the severity of your case. However, treatment is not used very often except in severe cases. Doctors typically will not perform any treatment on children with flat feet because they are still growing; however, a doctor may treat the condition if the child is having pain or problems walking. Even as adults, flat feet typically do not require treatment unless there is pain involved. 

    If you have painful flat feet, you should contact a Phoenixville podiatrist for a consultation. Your doctor may recommend orthotic arch support inserts for your shoes or even custom shoes. The treatment will depend on the cause. A condition called tarsal coalition may require surgery if rest and a cast do not improve the condition. Surgery also may be required to repair tendons and fuse joints. 

    Although surgery is an option, it should be used only as a last resort. Surgery carries risks such as: 

    • deformities;
    • infection;
    • pain;
    • loss of movement; and
    • failure of the bones to heal. 

     

    Although surgery does carry risks, most patients report better function and reduced pain. However, pain relievers and orthotics should be tried first before resorting to surgery. Talk to a Phoenixville podiatrist about your options. 

    If you have flat feet and would like an opinion from an expert in the field, contact Healthmark Foot and Ankle. Healthmark can connect you with a Phoenixville podiatrist who provides excellent care for not only flat feet, but also many other foot and ankle conditions. Contact them today for a consultation at 1-610-933-8644.

  • How long does it take for a sprain to heal?

    Sprains or ligament tears can take from a few weeks to several months to heal. These injuries have relatively low blood supply compared to bone or muscle and thus can take longer to heal.

  • What is a stress fracture?

    A stress fracture is a fatigue failure of bone. It is usually caused by repetitive stress placed on the bone in areas where pressure is not accustomed to handling. Some stress fractures initially show up in x-rays, but many do not appear until later on when signs of healing are present in second or third x-rays photos. Having an MRI also helps to locate stress fractures as well.

  • What the most effective treatment for fungal nails?

    The most effective treatment for fungal nails is multi-functional. It includes oral medication coupled with topical treatments and controlling the dark, warm, wet environment favored by fungus.

  • How do I know if I need an orthotic?

    Not everyone needs orthotics. Orthotics are tailored  to specifically control abnormal forces or to redistribute weight over the whole foot and remove it from focal hotspots. The orthotics are are specifically designed and fabricated to address a particular problem and are not “one size fits all.”

  • What is the best running sneaker?

    The best running sneaker is one that has been selected and correctly fitted to your foot to address your foot type, mechanics, and activity level. Many shoe manufacturers make decent shoes, but you want to be in the appropriate shoe for you. What's good for your friend may not be good for you. It is best to be professionally fitted for sneakers.

  • What is the difference between a podiatrist and an orthopedist?

    The reality is, it depends on the doctor. There are exceptional and mediocre doctors in both professions. Podiatrists attend a four year medical school and earn a D.P.M. degree. Orthopedists earn an M.D. degree after four years of medical school. Both professions fulfill a surgical residency. The post-graduate podiatric residency is a multi-year program tailored to the medical and surgical aspects of the foot and the ankle, and related structures. A foot and ankle orthopedist will have obtained a post-residency fellowship for at least six months to one year specifically focusing on the foot and ankle.
              General training in medicine, detecting, and treating medical conditions occurs in both professions. Orthopedists will treat musculo-skeletal conditions only. In addition to musculo-skeletal problems, podiatrists will treat medical conditions and other systemic diseases of the skin, the vascular system, nerves, and joints. These conditions include diabetic related problems, heel spurs, ingrown toenails, calluses, and fallen arches, to name a few. Both a podiatrist and a foot and ankle orthopedist can and will perform surgical procedures including arthroscopy.

  • Should I have my children's feet checked?

    It is a good idea to have your child's feet checked. Most pediatricians don't look at a child's foot and children don't grow out of most of their foot deformities, they only grow out of their pediatrician.