Perform The 1,2,3 Test Before Buying Shoes For Your Children

Shopping for healthy shoes can be a daunting task without knowing what to look for—but the following tips can make any shoe purchase an easy, smart, and safe one:

  • Before buying a shoe, perform the “1,2,3 Test.” First, squeeze the back of a shoe’s heel and ensure that it does not collapse. Second, grab the front (toe box) of the shoe and make sure that the shoe bends where the child’s toes would naturally bend in the shoe. Third, grab the shoe at both ends and try to gently twist. Shoes should never twist in the middle and should be rigid. If a shoe fails any of these three steps, it should not be purchased.
  • Never hand down footwear. Sharing shoes can spread fungus such as athlete’s foot, and regardless of shoe size, shoes that are previously worn can cause problems.
  • Have a child’s foot measured regularly. Most shoe stores will be happy to measure a child’s foot. Children should also receive a foot health check-up from a podiatrist that includes foot measurement to ensure proper fit. Since shoe sizes may not be consistent from one manufacturer to the next, use size only as a guide, making sure the shoe is comfortable on the child’s foot.
  • No “break-in” period required. Your child’s shoes should be comfortable to wear immediately and should not require a break-in period for comfort.

If you interested in a foot examiniation, the podiatrists’ at North Eastern Ohio Podiatry Group, LLC can help provide the best advice and options.

Posted in Foot Care | Comments Off

Diabetes Patients Should See A Podiatrist For Regular Foot Examinations

The number of Americans diagnosed with diabetes continues to rise toward record levels, with an estimated one in three adults predicted to have the disease by the year 2050, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Because many serious complications from diabetes present in the lower limbs, proper foot care for those with the disease is a vital step to keeping the disease in check. In fact, a new study on foot care for people with diabetes conducted by Thomson Reuters confirms that care by a podiatrist can drastically reduce the incidence of diabetes-related hospitalizations and amputations.

It’s important to realize that simple lifestyle changes can go a long way toward staying healthy with diabetes. These include eating right, being active, monitoring blood glucose, and checking your feet daily. Diabetic foot complications are the leading cause of non-traumatic, lower-limb amputations in the U.S .

According to preliminary results from the Thomson Reuters study, those with diabetes who received care from a podiatrist had a nearly 29 percent lower risk of lower limb amputation, and 24 percent lower risk of hospitalization, than those who did not. Everyone with diabetes and those at risk for the disease should remove their shoes and socks and inspect their feet and visit a podiatrist for a foot exam. Symptoms in the feet such as redness, tingling, and cuts that are not healing can lead to diabetic ulcers and even possible amputation without prompt medical care.
If you interested in a foot examiniation, the podiatrists’ at North Eastern Ohio Podiatry Group, LLC can help provide the best advice and options.
Posted in Diabetic Foot Problems, Foot Care, Foot Conditions | Comments Off

Pediatric Flatfoot: Cause For Alarm?

Parents keep a close eye on their growing children, watching for proper development and alert for any sign of a problem because small problems can have big implications. Pediatric flatfoot is a childhood condition that, if left untreated, can result in permanent deformity in adulthood. Flatfoot deformity makes mobility and exercise painful, increasing the risk of reduced cardiovascular health and obesity.

Parents never want their child to undergo a surgical procedure. But uncorrected symptomatic flatfoot can lead to chronic pain and instability as the child ages into adulthood. Children will be on their feet for a long time to come. It’s vital to keep those feet healthy. A podiatrist can help parents understand the options—surgical and non-surgical—for treating pediatric flatfoot.

Not all children have symptoms, but others will complain of pain, tenderness or cramping in the foot, leg, and knee. Parents may notice an outward tilting of the heel, awkwardness or clumsiness in walking and difficulty with shoes. Pediatric flatfoot makes participating in activities more difficult, so parents should take note if their child is unable to keep up with playmates, tires easily or voluntarily withdraws from physical activities.

To diagnose a pediatric flatfoot, a podiatrist examines the child’s foot in weight-bearing and non-weight-bearing positions, both in and out of shoes. The physician also notes how the child walks and evaluates the foot’s range of motion. In some cases, flat feet are associated with issues of the hip and knee, so the physician may examine those as well.

If you are concerned about your child developing Flatfoot, the podiatrists’ at North Eastern Ohio Podiatry Group, LLC can help provide the best advice and options.

Posted in Flafoot, Foot Conditions | Comments Off

What is Hammer Toe?

Hammer toe is a deformity of the toe, in which the end of the toe is bent downward. It usually affects the second toe. However, it may also affect the other toes. The toe moves into a claw-like position.

The most common cause of hammer toe is wearing short, narrow shoes that are too tight. The toe is forced into a bent position. Muscles and tendons in the toe tighten and become shorter. Hammer toe is more likely to occur in women who wear shoes that do not fit well or have high heels, and children who keep wearing shoes they have outgrown. The condition may be present at birth (congenital) or develop over time. In rare cases, all of the toes are affected. This may be caused by a problem with the nerves or spinal cord.

Following are common symptoms: The middle joint of the toe is bent. The end part of the toe bends down into a claw-like deformity. At first, you may be able to move and straighten the toe. Over time, you will no longer be able to move the toe. A corn often forms on the top of the toe. A callus is found on the sole of the foot. Walking or wearing shoes can be painful.

Mild hammer toe in children can be treated by manipulating and splinting the affected toe. The following changes in footwear may help relieve symptoms: Wear the right size shoes or shoes with wide toe boxes for comfort, and to avoid making hammer toe worse. Avoid high heels as much as possible. Wear soft insoles to relieve pressure on the toe. Protect the joint that is sticking out with corn pads or felt pads.

For severe hammer toe, you will need an operation to straighten the joint. The surgery often involves cutting or moving tendons and ligaments. Sometimes the bones on each side of the joint need to be connected (fused) together. Most of the time, you will go home on the same day as the surgery. The toe may still be stiff afterward, and it may be shorter.

If you are suffering from Hammer Toe, the podiatrists’ at North Eastern Ohio Podiatry Group, LLC can help provide the best treatment options for your condition.

Posted in Foot Conditions, Hammertoes | Comments Off

Researchers Examine Causes Of Chronic Heel Pain

A doctoral student in the kinesiology department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has begun an in-depth study of a foot disorder that affects more than 2 million Americans.   Ryan Chang’s research on the biomechanics of foot muscles and connective tissue will help scientists to understand the mechanisms that cause chronic heel pain and may lead to more specialized treatment of the disorder.

Chang’s preliminary results give the first experimental evidence to confirm the theory behind the disorder plantar fasciitis, or chronic heel pain.  People with the disorder have more flexible arches than those that do not, and the from and back portions of affected feet often move out of sync.

Chronic heel pain most often affects people whose jobs require them to work on their feet, such as service workers, hospital workers, flight attendants, postal workers and construction workers.

Many people affected by the disorder describe the symptoms as a sharp, knife-like pain in their heel.  The disorder gets its name from the portion of the foot that it is believed to affect:  the plantar fascia, which is a strip of connective tissue that attaches to the bottom of the heel and runs along the arch of the foot, fanning out to attach to all five toes.   Clinicians have traditional associated the painful symptoms with over-stretching and inflammation of the connective tissue, but this correlation has never been proven.

If you are suffering from a chronic heel pain?  The podiatrists’ at North Eastern Ohio Podiatry Group, LLC can help provide the best treatment options for your condition.

Posted in Foot Care, Heel Pain | Comments Off

Obese Children More Likely To Experience Foot, Knee and Hip Pain

Pain in the lower extremities – feet, ankle, knees and hips – contributes to both poor physical function and a reduced quality of life in obese children, according to a new study.   Obese children with lower extremity pain have worse physical function an poorer psychological health than obese children lower extremity pain.

Obese children show diminished function, reduced psychosocial health (emotion, social and school functioning), and lower physical fitness compared with healthy-weight peers.  For these children, pain in the lower extremities is more common than pain in the upper extremities and back.  However, it remains unclear whether pain interferes with physical fitness or physical activity levels in obese children.

The researchers examined the medical charts of 175 obese children; of those, 51 reported lower extremity pain while 124 had no pain.  The medical records included data on age, sex, race, puberty stage, lower extremity pain, physical functions, psychosocial health and physical fitness.

Although poor physical fitness was not related to having pain, children who reported lower extremity pain scored lower on physical function and psychosocial health than those who felt no pain.   In addition, as the severity of obesity increased, there was a progressive decline in physical function, psychosocial health and fitness scores among those who reported lower extremity pain.

The authors conclude: “Our findings support the importance of investigating lower extremity pain as part of the evaluation and management of obese children.   Lower extremity pain may play a role in reduced compliance with weight management programs, exercise regimes, or physical activity recommendations for obese children.”

If you are suffering from a foot problems, the podiatrists’ at North Eastern Ohio Podiatry Group, LLC can help provide the best treatment options for your condition.

Posted in Foot Care, Foot and Ankle Injuries | Comments Off

Is Your Foot Fracture An Early Sign of Osteoporosis?

Unexplained foot fractures may be the first sign of osteoporosis, a bone thinning disease which affects over 28 million Americans and  accounts for 1.5 million bone fractures a year.

Osteoporosis is frequently referred to as the “Silent crippler” since it often progresses without any symptoms or isn’t diagnosed until a person experiences pain from a bone fracture.   The porous nature of bones in people with osteoporosis make them more susceptible to bone fractures, especially in the feet.   Because the bones are in a weakened state, normal weight-bearing actions like walking can cause the bones in the foot to break.   In fact, many patients visit their podiatrist suffering from foot pain only to find out they actually have a stress fracture, without having experienced an injury.

Podiatrists are able to diagnose osteoporosis through bone densitometry tests, which measure calcium and mineral levels in the bones through low-dose radiation x-ray, or possible through a routine x-ray.  This is why prevention and early intervention are key; women should make sure bone densitometry tests are part of their wellness examinations when indicated by their physicians.

If you are diagnosed with osteoporosis, it’s important to protect your feet from stress fractures.   Wear shoes that provide support and cushioning, such as athletic running shoes, to provide extra shock absorption and protection.   Custom orthotics may also be recommended to protect the foot from pressure and provide shock absorption, particularly during exercise.

If you are suffering from a foot fracture, the podiatrists’ at North Eastern Ohio Podiatry Group, LLC can help provide the best treatment options for your condition.

Posted in Foot Conditions, Foot and Ankle Injuries | Comments Off

Common Runners’ Injury: Stress Fractures of the Foot

Repetitive impact on feet can increase risk of damage

Stress fractures of the foot are becoming more common in runners, especially first-time marathoners, according to Willoughby hills,Ohio foot and ankle surgeon Atta, Asef, DPM, FACFAS.

The growing popularity of marathons among beginning runners has contributed to the increase in repetitive stress injuries, including stress fractures of the foot, seen by Dr. Asef, a member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. Often, first-time marathoners enter a race with little or improper long-distance training. The lack of experience coupled with the repetitive impact placed on the feet during the run can produce enough stress to cause hairline breaks in the bones of the foot.

“Runners who increase their mileage too quickly or change to a more intense phase of training may be more susceptible to a stress fracture due to the increased force placed on the bones,” says Dr. Asef. “A general rule of thumb for runners is to increase the mileage by no more than 10 percent each week. Runners who are training also need to have adequate rest time in between runs to help decrease the risk of a fracture.”

Runners at all levels of experience are also at higher risk for stress fractures if they wear improper shoes while running or training, suffer from flatfoot or other foot deformities, or have osteoporosis. Signs of a stress fracture can include pain, swelling, redness and possibly bruising of the area.

“Stress fractures can occur anywhere in the foot and can eventually lead to a complete break of the bone if left untreated,” Dr. (LAST NAME) explained.  “Early diagnosis and treatment are important to ensure proper healing.”

If a break is suspected, Dr. Asef advises runners to immediately follow the RICE protocol—Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. If pain and swelling last longer than a few days, an appointment for an x-ray and diagnosis is in order.

In most cases, treatment includes rest and immobilization with casting of the foot. Surgery may be required in certain instances to repair and stabilize a stress fracture that has progressed into a full fracture.

Runners can take action to prevent repetitive stress injuries in their feet by wearing supportive athletic shoes and slowly building up their activity levels according to their abilities. “If a runner suffers from abnormal mechanics in the foot, such as overpronation or hypermobility, custom orthotics can also be helpful to prevent these injuries,” Dr. Asef, adds:

If you suspect you have a foot injury or fracture, call Dr. Asef’s office at 440-953-3668 for an evaluation.

If you are suffering from stress fractures, the podiatrists’ at North Eastern Ohio Podiatry Group, LLC can help provide the best treatment options for your condition.

Posted in Ankle Sprains, Foot Conditions, Foot and Ankle Injuries | Comments Off

Old Ankle Sprains Come Back to Haunt Baby Boomers

A Willoughby Hills, Ohio foot and ankle surgeon has a message for Baby Boomers getting back into fitness and sports: Get your ankles checked for chronic instability caused by injuries that might not have healed properly years ago.

Atta J. Asef, DPM, FACFAS, says many Boomers who have suffered ankle sprains in their younger years could be at risk for more serious damage as they age and try to stay active. It is estimated that one in four sports injuries involves the foot or ankle, and a majority of them occur from incomplete rehabilitation of earlier injuries.

“Pain isn’t normal in the ankle, even if you’re just getting back into shape,” says Dr. Asef.

HE says swelling is another symptom these previously-injured Boomers may experience. Both amateur and professional athletes often misunderstand how serious a sprain can be, and they rush back into action without taking time to rehabilitate the injury properly.

“A sprain that happened years ago can leave residual weakness that isn’t noticed in normal daily activity, but subjecting the ankle to rigorous physical activity can further damage improperly healed ligaments, and cause persistent pain and swelling,” He said.  “For anyone hoping to regain past athletic fitness, it’s recommended that you have that old ankle injury checked out before becoming active again.”

Some sprains are severe enough to strain or tear the tendons on the outside of the ankle, called the peroneal tendons.  Research shows that more than 85 percent of athletes who had surgery to repair a torn peroneal tendon were able to return to full sporting activity within three months after the procedure.

“Peroneal tendon tears are an overlooked cause of lateral ankle pain,” said Dr. Asef. “Although surgery for athletically active patients shouldn’t be taken lightly, surgical repair of the peroneal tendons is proving to be very successful in helping athletes with serious ankle problems return to full activity.”

Dr. Asef added that persistent pain and tenderness after a sprain, especially if the individual felt a ‘pop’ on the outside of the ankle and couldn’t stand tiptoe, might be a warning sign that the tendon is torn or split.  The injury is best diagnosed with an MRI exam.

If you are suffering from ankle issues, the podiatrists’ at North Eastern Ohio Podiatry Group, LLC can help provide the best treatment options for your condition.

Posted in Ankle Sprains, Foot and Ankle Injuries | Comments Off

Children’s Soccer Linked To Ingrown Toenails

Foot and ankle surgeon Atta J. Asef, DPM, FACFAS, says He treats many soccer-playing children for ingrown toenails. He blames improper toenail trimming, snug soccer cleats and repetitive kicking for creating this painful problem.

“Many kids wear hand-me-down cleats that don’t fit,” says Dr. Asef. “Older children like tighter cleats. They believe it gives them a better feel for the ball and the field.”

Dr. Asef has offices in Willoughby Hills Ohio and Euclid, Ohio and is a member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. He says there are steps soccer moms and dads can take to prevent their children from suffering a painful ingrown toenail. First, teach children how to trim their toenails properly. Trim toenails in a fairly straight line, and don’t cut them too short. Second, make sure cleats fit properly.

“A child’s shoe size can change within a single soccer season,” Dr. Asef reminds parents.

If a child develops a painful ingrown toenail, soaking their foot in room-temperature water and gently massaging the side of the nail fold can reduce the inflammation. But Dr. Asef warns parents against home treatments, which can be dangerous. The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons lists myths about ingrown toenail home treatments on its Web site, FootHealthFacts.org.

“If your son’s or daughter’s ingrown toenails show signs of infection, it’s definitely time to seek medical care,” says Dr. Asef.

A foot and ankle surgeon like Dr. Asef can remove a child’s ingrown toenail, and prevent it from returning, with a simple, 10-minute surgical procedure. During the short procedure, the doctor numbs the toe and removes the ingrown portion of the nail. Various techniques can permanently remove part of a nail’s root too, preventing it from growing back.

“Most children experience very little pain afterwards,” says Dr. Asef, “and can resume normal activity the next day.”

For more information on ingrown toenails and other pediatric foot problems, contact Dr. Asef’s office at 440-953-3668 or MySolePerfection.com.

Posted in Foot Care, Toenail Care | Comments Off