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November 2021

Tuesday, 23 November 2021 00:00

Peripheral Artery Disease Explained

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a medical condition that can cause poor circulation in the lower limbs. This occurs due to a buildup of fatty plaques in the arteries that supply the lower limbs. The plaque causes arteries to narrow and harden, making it more difficult for blood to travel through them and bring oxygen and nutrients to the feet and ankles. In its early stages, PAD may be asymptomatic. As it progresses, symptoms can include foot and leg cramps, numbness, weakness, coldness, skin discoloration, hair loss, and slow-healing sores and wounds on the lower limbs. Your podiatrist can screen you for PAD through a variety of simple, noninvasive tests. If you suspect that you may have PAD, or if you are an older adult or have a family history of vascular disease, it is suggested that you visit a podiatrist for a PAD screening. 

Peripheral artery disease can pose a serious risk to your health. It can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, consult with Julie Jurd-Sadler, DPM from Progressive Podiatry. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is when arteries are constricted due to plaque (fatty deposits) build-up. This results in less blood flow to the legs and other extremities. The main cause of PAD is atherosclerosis, in which plaque builds up in the arteries.

Symptoms

Symptoms of PAD include:

  • Claudication (leg pain from walking)
  • Numbness in legs
  • Decrease in growth of leg hair and toenails
  • Paleness of the skin
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Sores and wounds on legs and feet that won’t heal
  • Coldness in one leg

It is important to note that a majority of individuals never show any symptoms of PAD.

Diagnosis

While PAD occurs in the legs and arteries, Podiatrists can diagnose PAD. Podiatrists utilize a test called an ankle-brachial index (ABI). An ABI test compares blood pressure in your arm to you ankle to see if any abnormality occurs. Ultrasound and imaging devices may also be used.

Treatment

Fortunately, lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, managing cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and quitting smoking, can all treat PAD. Medications that prevent clots from occurring can be prescribed. Finally, in some cases, surgery may be recommended.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Ijamsville and Mouth Airy, MD . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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The tarsal tunnel is a narrow passageway on the inside of the ankle that is made of a thick band of fibrous tissue (flexor retinaculum) and ankle bones. Veins, arteries, muscles, tendons, and the tibial nerve pass through the tarsal tunnel. Certain conditions such as a ganglion cyst, nerve sheath tumors, fibrosis, and even injuries can tighten the already-narrow space within the tunnel and compress the tibial nerve. This can cause burning pain or tingling (paresthesias) along the tibial nerve, the inside of the ankle, or bottom (plantar) part of the foot. If you are experiencing this type of discomfort, contact a podiatrist. They will perform a physical examination and may suggest that an MRI be performed to visualize lesions that may be present within the tunnel. Both conservative and surgical treatments will be considered depending on the cause and severity of the condition and will focus on reducing pressure on the nerve and relieving pain.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact Julie Jurd-Sadler, DPM of Progressive Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can also be called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon condition of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is the peripheral nerve in the leg responsible for sensation and movement of the foot and calf muscles. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the tibial nerve is damaged, causing problems with movement and feeling in the foot of the affected leg.

Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Involves pressure or an injury, direct pressure on the tibial nerve for an extended period of time, sometimes caused by other body structures close by or near the knee.
  • Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
  • At times, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.

The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Different sensations, an afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of the affected leg.
  • The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling your toes or flexing your foot can become difficult.
  • If condition worsens, infections and ulcers may develop on the foot that is experiencing the syndrome.

A physical exam of the leg can help identify the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Medical tests, such as a nerve biopsy, are also used to diagnose the condition. Patients may receive physical therapy and prescriptive medication. In extreme cases, some may require surgery.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Ijamsville and Mouth Airy, MD . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Friday, 12 November 2021 00:00

Heel Pain Can Be Treated!

Do you suffer from heel pain when you get up in the morning? If so, you should seek the professional help of your podiatrist and have a proper diagnosis performed. Heel pain can be caused by several different foot-related conditions.

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Fractures in the toes and metatarsals (long bones in the midfoot that connect to the toe bones) can be quite painful and should not be taken lightly. Breaks can either be traumatic (acute) that occur instantly due to an injury, or can be stress fractures which develop over time. Traumatic fractures can cause a bone to become misaligned in certain cases. You may hear a snap at the moment of impact and you may even notice that the toe is crooked or misshapen in some way. Pain may be felt at the site of the injury, and bruising and swelling may occur the following day. With a stress fracture, any pain felt while using the affected foot may subside when you rest, and although you may notice swelling there should be no apparent bruising. It is important to see a podiatrist for any broken bone in your toe or metatarsal, even if you have been treated initially at an emergency room. Proper treatment and rehabilitation will help avoid future complications like an improperly healed bone, mobility issues, difficulty wearing shoes, deformities, chronic pain, or arthritis in the joint.

A broken toe can be very painful and lead to complications if not properly fixed. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Julie Jurd-Sadler, DPM from Progressive Podiatry. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What to Know About a Broken Toe

Although most people try to avoid foot trauma such as banging, stubbing, or dropping heavy objects on their feet, the unfortunate fact is that it is a common occurrence. Given the fact that toes are positioned in front of the feet, they typically sustain the brunt of such trauma. When trauma occurs to a toe, the result can be a painful break (fracture).

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • Throbbing pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising on the skin and toenail
  • The inability to move the toe
  • Toe appears crooked or disfigured
  • Tingling or numbness in the toe

Generally, it is best to stay off of the injured toe with the affected foot elevated.

Severe toe fractures may be treated with a splint, cast, and in some cases, minor surgery. Due to its position and the pressure it endures with daily activity, future complications can occur if the big toe is not properly treated.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Ijamsville and Mouth Airy, MD . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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When you apply weight to your foot, the skin on your heels expands. If this skin is dry and lacking elasticity, cracks in the skin may eventually form. Dry, cold weather, obesity, open-back shoes, standing on hard floors for an extended period of time, and conditions that cause dry skin can all contribute to heels becoming stiff and cracked. To avoid getting cracked heels, keep them moisturized. The best way to seal in moisture is to apply ointment or cream—containing hyaluronic or lactic acid, mineral oil, lanolin or petrolatum—right after a shower or bath. If your heels are already thickened and cracked, you can try to thin them down by gently rubbing them with a pumice stone or applying a keratolytic agent, unless you have diabetes, nerve damage, or poor circulation. If cracked heels are allowed to deepen, they may become painful and bleed, and possibly even become infected. If your cracked heels have progressed to this point, or you need help getting them smooth and supple again, make an appointment with your local podiatrist.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact Julie Jurd-Sadler, DPM from Progressive Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.

How Do You Get Them?

Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.

Promote Healing

Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief or who suffer from chronic dry feet.

Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.

Moisturizers – Applying both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.

Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin. 

Change in Diet

Eating healthy with a well-balanced diet will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to the kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements can also revitalize skin tissue.

Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Ijamsville and Mouth Airy, MD . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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