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July 2022

Tuesday, 26 July 2022 00:00

How Maffucci Syndrome Affects the Feet

There are several troublesome rare diseases that can negatively impact the health of your feet. Although these conditions can be extremely rare, it is important for you to familiarize yourself with these afflictions in case you ever have to identify one of these conditions in yourself or a loved one. One rare condition that negatively impacts the feet is known as Maffucci syndrome, which has only impacted a total of 200 reported patients since its discovery. This syndrome produces a number of abnormalities in the skeleton that can manifest themselves in the feet. For example, people with Maffucci syndrome can experience enchondromas, which are cartilage tumors throughout the bones in their feet. Endochromas caused by Maffucci syndrome can also appear in the hands, ribs, and skull. Individuals suffering from Maffucci syndrome usually also experience some kind of abnormality in the skin. Namely, it is common for individuals to see hemangiomas, or clumps of blood vessels, throughout the skin and possibly on the feet. Maffucci syndrome undoubtedly is a rare condition, but you should be on the lookout for these symptoms. If you are experiencing the above symptoms, or would like to gather more information, it is suggested to speak to a podiatrist.

Some foot conditions may require additional professional care. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Marylou Paulo-Francisco of Delray Beach. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Rare Foot Conditions

The majority of foot conditions are common and can be treated by a podiatrist.  Standard diagnostic procedures are generally used to identify specific conditions and treatment can be rendered. A podiatrist also treats rare foot conditions which can be difficult to diagnose and may need extra attention and care. 

There are many rare foot conditions that can affect children. Some of these can include:

  • Freiberg’s disease
  • Kohler’s disease
  • Maffucci syndrome

Freiberg’s disease - This can be seen as a deterioration and flattening of a metatarsal bone that exists in the ball of the foot. It typically affects pre-teen and teenage girls, but can affect anyone at any age. Symptoms that can accompany this can be swelling, stiffness, and the patient may limp. 

Kohler’s disease - This often targets the bone in the arch of the foot and affects younger boys. It can lead to an interruption of the blood supply which ultimately can lead to bone deterioration. The patient may limp or experience tenderness, swelling, and redness.

Maffucci syndrome - This affects the long bones in a child’s foot leading to the development of abnormal bone lesions. They are benign growths and typically develop in early childhood and the bones may be susceptible to breaking. 

A podiatrist can properly diagnose and treat all types of rare foot conditions. If your child is affected by any of these symptoms or conditions, please don’t hesitate to call our office so the correct treatment method can begin.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Delray Beach and Hallandale Beach, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.
 

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Tuesday, 26 July 2022 00:00

Rare Foot Conditions

A podiatrist will be able to address a variety of rare foot conditions, particularly the ones that affect children. The most common are Kohler’s disease, Maffucci syndrome, and Freiberg’s disease. They can be properly diagnosed by having an X-ray taken, but in more serious cases an MRI may be needed. Kohler’s disease generally affects younger boys and bone deterioration may result from an interruption of blood supply. Children who have Kohler’s disease may find relief when the affected foot is rested, and a special boot is worn. Benign growths in the long bones of a child’s foot may lead to the development of bone lesions, and this is known as Maffucci syndrome. People who have this condition find mild relief when custom-made orthotics are worn. Freiberg’s disease targets the ball of the foot and can typically affect pre-teen and teenage girls. The metatarsal bone becomes deteriorated and flattened, and common symptoms include swelling and stiffness. A cast is often necessary to wear with this disease as it can help to reduce existing pain. Erythromelalgia is a rare foot condition, and its cause is unknown. Symptoms of this disease can include intense burning pain and the feet may appear red or feel warm. Relief may be found when the affected foot is immersed in ice water. It can also be beneficial to elevate the foot frequently. If your child complains of foot pain, it is strongly suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can diagnose and treat rare foot conditions. 

If you are among the elderly, you are at an increased risk of falling. Improving your balance and becoming more aware of your body and how it is moving through exercise can help you prevent falls. If your podiatrist approves, you can try simple balance exercises at home such as the single leg stance with variations. These exercises all have a resting position where you stand with your legs slightly apart while supporting yourself behind a chair or table. First, lift one leg up to the side about 6 inches and hold for 10 seconds. Do 5-10 reps on each leg. Now, go back to the resting position, but this time bend your right knee and lift your leg about 6 inches off of the floor and hold for 10 seconds before switching to the other leg. Once again, return to the resting position keeping your knee straight. Lift one leg behind you and hold for 10 seconds, and repeat on the other leg. These single-leg stance exercises can be done up to three times daily and once you feel ready with your podiatrist's approval, you can try them with your eyes closed to improve your balance even more. Consult with your podiatrist for more balance exercises and to receive a fall risk assessment. 

Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with Dr. Marylou Paulo-Francisco from Delray Beach. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.

Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.

How to Prevent Falls

Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:

  • Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
  • Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
  • Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
  • Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
  • Utilizing a walker or cane
  • Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
  • Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness

Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Delray Beach and Hallandale Beach, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Tuesday, 19 July 2022 00:00

Falls Prevention

Elderly Americans are very susceptible to falls as they get older. Everyone experiences decreases in flexibility, balance, strength, and the senses as they age. This correlates to some eye-opening statistics. 1 in 4 Americans aged 65 and older fall each year. An elderly American is being treated for a fall in an emergency room every 11 seconds, and every 19 minutes, an older person dies from falling. In light of these striking statistics, one can see the importance of taking steps to prevent falls.

Finding an exercise program for the elderly is an excellent way to reduce the likelihood of falls. Look for an exercise program that improves strength and balance. Elderly people who live a more sedentary lifestyle, with little physical activity, are at an increased risk of falling. Wearing well-fitted footwear that provides good foot support and cushion will help prevent falls from poorly fitted shoes. Talking to a podiatrist about your susceptibility to falls and about inspecting your prescriptions will help to avoid any medication that could make falls more likely. Due to a decline in the senses among the elderly, having your eyes and hearing checked is recommended.

Around half of all falls occur in the household. Removing tripping hazards in the home and making it more accommodating to older persons can significantly reduce falls. Some notable household changes include increasing lighting around the house, installing grab bars in the shower and bathroom, and making sure the floor is clear of clutter. Other smart options include installing a shower chair, using rubber-bottomed rugs, and placing railings on both sides of stairwells.  

Finally, discuss with a doctor and your family about your fear of falling. This will help to increase awareness among the population on the need for fall prevention. A lack of awareness on the matter, and a downplaying of importance are what increase the risks of falling. Following these tips can help to reduce the risk for yourself and your loved ones.

 

Suffering from this type of pain? You may have the foot condition known as Morton's neuroma. Morton's neuroma may develop as a result of ill-fitting footwear and existing foot deformities. We can help.

Tuesday, 12 July 2022 00:00

Foot Pain

The feet, being the foundation of the body, carry all of the body’s weight and are therefore prone to experiencing pain and discomfort. If you are experiencing foot pain, it is important to determine where in the foot you are experiencing this pain to help discover the cause of it. While pain can be experienced virtually anywhere in the foot, the most common sites of foot pain are in the heel and ankle.   

Heel pain can be due to a multitude of conditions including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, and heel spurs. Pain experienced in the ankle can be a sign of an ankle sprain, arthritis, gout, ankle instability, ankle fracture, or nerve compression. In more serious cases, pain in the foot can be a sign of improper alignment or an infection.

Foot pain can be accompanied by symptoms including redness, swelling, stiffness and warmth in the affected area. Whether the pain can be described as sharp or dull depends on the foot condition behind it. It is important to visit your local podiatrist if your foot pain and its accompanying symptoms persist and do not improve over time.

Depending on the location and condition of your foot pain, your podiatrist may prescribe certain treatments. These treatments can include but are not limited to prescription or over-the-counter drugs and medications, certain therapies, cortisone injections, or surgery.

If you are experiencing persistent foot pain, it is important to consult with your foot and ankle doctor to determine the cause and location. He or she will then prescribe the best treatment for you. While milder cases of foot pain may respond well to rest and at-home treatments, more serious cases may take some time to fully recover.

Tuesday, 12 July 2022 00:00

Some Foot Pain Can Increase at Night

There are several foot maladies that tend to be more painful in the evening. For instance, foot pain from fibromyalgia can increase at night because of a decrease in the anti-inflammatory hormone cortisol. Pain from pinched nerves in the feet and ankles can also worsen in the evening because the pressure placed on these nerves increases at night. Examples of these conditions are tarsal tunnel syndrome in the ankle, and pain in the foot caused by a compressed sciatic nerve in the lower back or leg. Bunions, which are bony protrusions on the joint of the big toe, can become very sore and throb with pain at night as well. Peripheral neuropathy symptoms can worsen at night too due to changes in body temperature and other factors. People experiencing heightened levels of foot pain during the evening may try hydrating, exercising, stretching, massaging, and consulting with a podiatrist for professional treatment.  

Foot Pain

Foot pain can be extremely painful and debilitating. If you have a foot pain, consult with Dr. Marylou Paulo-Francisco from Delray Beach. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Causes

Foot pain is a very broad condition that could be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:

  • Bunions
  • Hammertoes
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Bone Spurs
  • Corns
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Ingrown Toenails
  • Arthritis (such as Gout, Rheumatoid, and Osteoarthritis)
  • Flat Feet
  • Injury (from stress fractures, broken toe, foot, ankle, Achilles tendon ruptures, and sprains)
  • And more

Diagnosis

To figure out the cause of foot pain, podiatrists utilize several different methods. This can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.

Treatment

Treatment depends upon the cause of the foot pain. Whether it is resting, staying off the foot, or having surgery; podiatrists have a number of treatment options available for foot pain.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Delray Beach and Hallandale Beach, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Foot Pain
Tuesday, 05 July 2022 00:00

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.

Tuesday, 05 July 2022 00:00

Truck Driving and Plantar Fasciitis

One of the most common causes of heel pain is a condition known as plantar fasciitis. This condition is caused by the straining of the ligament that runs between the toes and the heel. The straining of this ligament can produce sharp and shooting pains in the bottom of the feet that are most prominent when taking your first step after a prolonged period of rest. Many individuals are at a higher risk of suffering from plantar fasciitis. Namely, women who often wear high-heeled shoes are more prone to experiencing plantar fasciitis because of the extra strain that such footwear causes on the heel. However, it may come as a surprise to some that truck drivers are also at a greater risk of experiencing this condition. This can be explained by the fact that truck drivers spend most of their day sitting while driving, but often must suddenly and sporadically engage in physical activity during rest stops before they can properly stretch and re-engage ligaments in their feet. Truck drivers may be able to stave off the effects of plantar fasciitis by regularly stretching foot ligaments and muscles, especially before beginning to walk after a long drive. Truck drivers may also consider opting for more supportive footwear or wearing a heel cup for extra protection. Although some occupations may put individuals at a greater risk of developing plantar fasciitis, a podiatrist may be able to help create a plan to remedy and prevent this condition.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Dr. Marylou Paulo-Francisco  from Delray Beach. Our doctor 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 our offices located in Delray Beach and Hallandale Beach, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis
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