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Items filtered by date: July 2015

fungal toenail2In the past, gout was known as the King’s disease that would typically affect the rich because of its association with the consumption of alcohol, red meat, and seafood. While this is less true today, the incidence of gout has doubled over the past two decades. Approximately 5 million people in the U.S. are diagnosed with the gout. In modern times, the reason for gout’s increase can be linked to dietary changes, longer lives, organ transplants, and the increase in hypertension along with the use of diuretics for its treatment, end-stage kidney disease, rapid increase in the incidence of the metabolic syndrome, and the common use of low-dose aspirin.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you have any concerns regarding gout, consult with Dr. Gregory Birch and Dr. Andrew J. Birch of New York. Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

What is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.

People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.

Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Staten Island and Brooklyn, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and holistic treatment protocols for all your individual foot and ankle needs.

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stretching2During Kim Kardashian’s first pregnancy, she was known for wearing high heels despite suffering from extreme edema, or swollen feet. However, it seems she has learned her lesson and will opt for more comfortable shoes during her current pregnancy.  The reality star recently posted to photo sharing app Instagram featuring her husband’s new sneaker line stating, “So happy I ran back inside to grab these! Lifesaver on these long flights! Most comfy shoes in the world!”  

A supportive and comfortable shoe is the best choice for feet during pregnancy. If you have any concerns contact Dr. Gregory Birch and Dr. Andrew J. of New York. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What foot problems can arise during pregnancy?

One problem that can occur is over-pronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens and tends to roll inward. This can cause pain and discomfort in your heels while you’re walking or even just standing up, trying to support your baby.  

Another problem is edema, or swelling in the extremities. This often affects the feet during pregnancy, but tends to occur in the later stages.

How can I keep my feet healthy during pregnancy?

  • Wearing orthotics can provide extra support for the feet and help distribute weight evenly
  • Minimize the amount of time spent walking barefoot
  • Wear shoes with good arch support
  • Wear shoes that allow for good circulation to the feet
  • Elevate feet if you experience swelling
  • Massage your feet
  • Get regular, light exercise, such as walking, to promote blood circulation to the feet

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in New York. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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stretching3Dr. Braxton Littles appeared on Good Morning America to discuss the negative impacts flip-flops have on the feet. In addition to causing many trips and falls among the shoe wears Dr. Littles states that flops are the cause of many heel and arch problems due to their lack of support. Without providing the foot with the support that it needs problems such as plantar fasciitis, muscle fatigue, and pain within the rest of the body may arise. Littles states that if you must wear flip-flops, it is best not to wear them regularly to avoid foot pain.

Flip-flops can cause a lot of damage to the feet and rest of the body. If you have any concerns about your foot and ankle needs contact Dr. Gregory Birch and Dr. Andrew J. Birch of New York. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Flip-Flops and Feet

Flip-flops are not only very popular, but very convenient, especially in the warmer weather. They allow your feet to breathe and let you move your toes freely. They also go with most attire and can be worn with many different clothing styles. Unfortunately, these type of shoes also have a disadvantage, as they can cause harm to your feet in more ways than you think. These symptoms include:

  • Ball and arch problems in the foot
  • Changes to the body’s natural gait
  • Blisters
  • Ankle Sprains
  • Higher risk of infection
  • Higher risk of scrapes and cuts to the feet
  • Issues in the lower back, legs and ankles

To avoid these symptoms (and minimize your risks), select a pair of flip-flops made of high quality materials that can offer protection. Purchase flip-flops from a reliable manufacturer and be sure to replace them every three to four months. Be sure the soles are firm and not ‘floppy’, or that they don’t bend or wiggle a lot when lifted from the floor.

You can still wear your favorite pair of flip-flops if you so choose, just don’t wear them for extended periods of time, and especially not every day. However, it would be far wiser to purchase a more expensive pair of flip-flops or to refrain from wearing the shoe at all for the sake of your foot health. While these shoes are comfortable, the risks included with wearing them are not.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Brooklyn and Staten Island, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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feet3Jarryd Hayne, returner/running back of the San Francisco 49ers, recently shared that he would be undergoing surgery after the team’s mandatory minicamp. On the morning following his surgery Hayne posted a picture of his bandaged foot onto Instagram, sharing his desire to once again be active. Hayne reportedly had surgery for a cyst on the arch of his foot. Even with the cyst present on his foot, Hayne was a full participant in the 49ers’ minicamp. Recovering from the surgery means that Hayne will be facing an uphill climb for a roster spot as he heads into training camp.

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to fix a foot ailment. If you have any concerns about your foot and ankle needs contact Dr. Gregory Birch and Dr. Andrew Birch of New York. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

When Is Surgery Necessary?

Foot and ankle surgery is generally reserved for cases in which less invasive, conservative procedures have failed to help with the problem. Some of the cases in which surgery may be necessary are:

  • Removing foot deformities like bone spurs and bunions
  • Severe arthritis that has caused bone issues
  • Cosmetic reconstruction

What Types of Surgery Are There?

The type of surgery you receive will depend on the nature of the problem you have. Some of the possible surgeries include:

  • Bunionectomy for painful bunions
  • Surgical fusion for realignment of bones
  • Neuropathy decompression surgery to treat nerve damage

Benefits of Surgery

Although surgery is usually a last resort, it can provide more complete pain relief compared to non-surgical methods and may allow you to finally resume full activity.

Surgical techniques have also become increasingly sophisticated. Techniques like endoscopic surgery allow for smaller incisions and faster recovery times.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Staten Island and Brooklyn, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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