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broken foot4Lower extremity stress fractures occur mostly in athletes or those that are constantly working on their feet. With the help of repetitive impacts, running or jumping, stress fractures make up eight percent of all lower extremity activities. Pain during your regular routine, sharp pain over a point on the bone, swelling without bruising, and experiencing aching pain after an activity can mean a stress fracture has occurred and immediate medical attention is necessary.

Activities where too much pressure is put on the feet can cause stress fractures. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Gregory Birch and Dr. Andrew J. Birch of New York. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs and provide you with quality treatment.

Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

The Stress Fractures occur on the foot and ankle when muscles in these areas weaken from too much or too little use. Then the feet and ankles lose support when walking or running from the impact of the ground. Since there is no protection the bones receive the full impact of each step. The stress on the feet causes cracks to form in the bones, thus called stress fractures.

What are Stress Fractures?

Stress fractures occur frequently in individuals whose daily activities cause great impact on the feet and ankles. Stress factors are most common among:

-runners                                  

-people affected with Osteoporosis

-play tennis or basketball

-gymnastics

-high impact workouts

Symptoms

Pain from the fractures occur in the area of the fractures, and can be constant or intermittent. It will often cause sharp or dull pain with swelling and tenderness. Engaging in any kind of activity which involves in high impact will aggravate pain.

For more information about Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle, follow the link below.

If you have any questions feel free to contact our offices located in Staten Island and Brooklyn, NY. We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

Read more about Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

childrens feet14With the winter months coming closer, it is important to maintain your children’s feet by finding the proper shoe concerning support, fit, and warmth. Children grow quickly, so it is important to have their feet measured every two months or so to ensure a proper fit. Wearing shoes that are too small or too big can lead to developmental problems. Since most parents are interested in buying boots for the winter months, make sure that the collar of the boot sits comfortably around the ankle bone and heel since having a collar that is too tight can cause blisters on the feet.

Taking care of your children’s feet is essential in development. If you have any concerns contact one of our podiatrists of New York. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

Having healthy feet in childhood can help prevent medical problems later in life, namely in the back and legs. As children grow, their feet require different types of care from birth to school-age.

Although babies do not walk yet, it is still very important to take care of their feet.

  • Avoid putting tight shoes or socks on his or her feet
  • Allow the baby to stretch and kick his or her feet to feel comfortable

As a toddler, kids are now on the move and begin to develop differently. At this age toddlers are getting a feel for walking, so don’t be alarmed if your toddler is unsteady or ‘walks funny’. Be sure the child wears comfortable and protective shoes so that they can grow into their feet properly.

As your child gets older, it is important to teach them how to take care of their feet

  • Show them proper hygiene to prevent infections such as fungus
  • Be watchful of any pain or injury
  • Have all injuries checked by a doctor as soon as possible
  • Comfortable, protective shoes should always be worn, especially at play

Children of all ages are constantly developing and growing, and as a parent you want to make sure that nothing is hindering their maturation.

If you have any concerns feel free 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.

Read more about keeping children’s feet healthy.

fungal toenail2Stiff and persistent heel pain that is not easily supplemented with heel pads or mild painkillers often reveals itself to be plantar fasciitis. Treatment options for plantar fasciitis can involve other anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, stretching exercises, night splints, or cortisone injections. While each of these methods are effective, it is important to see a podiatrist or foot specialist who will properly examine the foot and determine the best treatment for each individual.

Anyone can wind up suffering from heel pain. If your heel is hurting, see Dr. Gregory Birch and Dr. Andrew Birch of New York. Our doctors will treat your heel pain symptoms in addition to other podiatric-related needs.

Causes of Heel Pain

● Heel pain is often associated with plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissues that extends along the bottom of the foot. A rip or tear in this ligament can cause inflammation of the tissue.

● Achilles tendonitis is another cause of heel pain. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon will cause pain from fractures and muscle tearing. Lack of flexibility is also another symptom.

● Heel spurs are another cause of pain. When the tissues of the plantar fascia undergo a great deal of stress, it can lead to ligament separation from the heel bone, causing heel spurs.

Why Might Heel Pain Occur?

- Wearing ill-fitting shoes                  

- Wearing non-supportive shoes

- Weight change         

- Excessive running

Treatments

Heel pain should be treated as soon as possible for immediate results. Keeping your feet in a stress free environment will help. If you suffer from Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis, applying ice will reduce the swelling. Stretching before an exercise like running will help the muscles. Using all these tips will help make heel pain a thing of the past.

With the advancements in technology and greater knowledge of how muscles and joints work, physical therapists can turn things around dramatically.  

If you have any concerns 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.

Read more about Heel Pain

Arthritis5A new form of medications for rheumatoid arthritis patients called Janus kinase inhibitors (JAK inhibitors) has the potential to help patients with moderate to severe RA. The way these JAK inhibitors work is by suppressing a person’s immune system back to its basic roots, reverting the body back to its normal function instead of attacking its own joints like rheumatoid arthritis does. However, these JAK inhibitors have different side effects on different patients, so understanding more about them by doing your own research is highly recommended.

Because RA affects more than just your joints, including the joints in your feet and ankles, it is important to seek early diagnosis from your podiatrist if you feel like the pain in your feet might be caused by RA.. For more information about Rheumatoid Arthritis and its symptoms, consult with Dr. Gregory Birch and Dr. Andrew Birch of New York. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the membranes surrounding the joints. Inflammation of the lining and eventually the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone occur, causing severe pain and immobility.

Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Feet

Although RA usually attacks multiple bones and joints throughout the entire body, almost 90 percent of cases result in pain in the foot or ankle area.

Symptoms

- Swelling & pain in the feet
- Stiffness in the feet
- Pain on the ball or sole of feet
- Joint shift and deformation

Diagnosis

Quick diagnosis of RA in the feet is important so that the podiatrist can treat the area effectively. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, occupation, and lifestyle to determine the origin of the condition. Rheumatoid Factor tests help to determine if someone is affected by the disease.

For more information about rheumatoid arthritis please follow the link below.

If you have any concerns 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.

Read more on Rheumatoid Arthritis

stretching2Amal Clooney, civil rights lawyer and wife of actor George Clooney, may always be in the spotlight due to her high profile cases and fashion statements, but has made the tabloid this time due to her troubling bunions. While the lawyer may have to constantly wear impractical footwear as a part of her career wardrobe, she is not the only star to suffer from the shoe type. Victoria Beckham as well as Catherine Zeta-Jones have both suffered from the condition as well.  

Bunion surgery usually occurs after non-surgical methods have proved to be ineffective. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles contact Dr. Gregory Birch and Dr. Andrew Birch of New York. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What is a Bunion?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs by the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why do Bunions Form?

  • Genetics – susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary
  • Stress on the feet – poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can cause bunions to form

How are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

If you have any concerns 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.

Read more about bunions.

toenail fungus7The unfortunate refugee crisis taking place in Hungary has become very visible on each refugee’s feet. After walking for days on end in worn down shoes, corns and calluses have become the norm. By not having the ability to take care of their feet, massive corns and calluses and swollen and weathered soles are negatively affecting the overall health of these refugees. Fortunately, volunteer efforts are bringing positive progress in this crisis and will hopefully eventually lead to a swift resolution.

Corns can be a huge nuisance for the feet. If you have any foot or ankle concerns contact Dr. Gregory Birch and Dr. Andrew Birch of New York. Our doctors will attend to your foot and ankle needs.

Corns: What are they? And how do you get rid of them?
Corns can be described as areas of the skin that have thickened to the point of becoming painful or irritating. They are often layers and layers of the skin that have become dry and rough, and are normally smaller than calluses.

Ways to Prevent Corns
There are many ways to get rid of painful corns such as wearing:
- Well-fitting socks
- Comfortable shoes that are not tight around your foot
- Shoes that offer support

Treating Corns
Treatment of corns involves removing the dead skin that has built up in the specific area of the foot. Salicylic acid can help in getting rid of these corns because it dissolves keratin, which is the protein that makes up a good majority of corns. Podiatrists recommend that people with diabetes not use salicylic acid but should consult with their podiatrist regarding the treatment of corns.

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

Read more about Corns on the Feet

broken foot4Boston College has lost tailback Jon Hilliman due to foot surgery. According to Coach Steve Addazio, the team will have to work hard as he rushed 122 yards and 24 carries during his last game. Other tailbacks, Myles Willis and Marcus Outlow, are currently both suffering from shoulder injuries leaving junior tailback, Tyler Rouse to maintain the position. “We will be without Jon Hilliman. This was a physical game that took a toll on us from a personnel standpoint,” Addazio stated.

Sports related foot and ankle injuries need proper treatment before players can go back to their regular routines. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles contact Dr. Gregory Birch and Dr. Andrew J. Birch of New York. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Sport Related Foot and Ankle Injuries

Foot and ankle injuries are a common occurrence when it comes to athletes of any sport. While many athletes dismiss the initial aches and pains, the truth is that ignoring potential foot and ankle injuries can lead to serious problems. As athletes continue to place pressure and strain the area further, a mild injury can turn into something as serious as a rupture and may lead to a permanent disability. There are many factors that contribute to sports related foot and ankle injuries, which include failure to warm up properly, not providing support or wearing bad footwear. Common injuries and conditions athletes face, including:

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Plantar Fasciosis
  • Achilles Tendinitis
  • Achilles Tendon Rupture
  • Ankle Sprains

Sports-related injuries are commonly treated using the RICE method. This includes rest, applying ice to the injured area, compression and elevating the ankle. More serious sprains and injuries may require surgery, which could include arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery. Rehabilitation and therapy may also be required in order to get any recovering athlete to become fully functional again. Any unusual aches and pains an athlete sustains must be evaluated by a licensed, reputable medical professional.

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.

Read more about sports related injuries.

fungal toenail2South African world golfer George Coetzee broke his ankle while surfing in Bali earlier this month. The world No. 65 player had just finished at a tie for seventh place at the Whistling Straights PGA Championship and had taken some time off near Bali. Coetzee posted a photo of him in a cast captioned, “I just jumped off the board and it was shallower than I thought and I twisted around on it and it popped.” While the injury seems to be the result of a freak accident, Coetzee does see himself surfing again once he is healed stating. “There’s no point in playing golf if I’m not going to be able to do other things I enjoy.”

Broken ankles need immediate treatment. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles contact Drs. Gregory and Andrew Birch of New York. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Broken Ankles
A broken ankle is experienced when a person fractures their tibia or fibula in the lower leg and ankle area. Both of these bones are attached at the bottom of the leg and combine to form what we know to be our ankle.

When a physician is referring to a break of the ankle, he or she is usually referring to a break in the area where the tibia and fibula are joined to create our ankle joint. Ankles are more prone to fractures because the ankle is an area that suffers a lot of pressure and stress. There are some obvious signs when a person experiences a fractured ankle, and the following symptoms may be present.

Symptoms of a Fractured Ankle

  • Excessive pain when the area is touched or when any pressure is placed on the ankle
  • Swelling around the area
  • Bruising of the area
  • Area appears to be deformed

If you suspect an ankle fracture, it is recommended to seek treatment as soon as possible. The sooner you have your podiatrist diagnose the fracture, the quicker you’ll be on the way towards recovery.

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.

Read more about broken ankles.

Arthritis5Arthritis is a disease that often causes those affected to go without exercise due to the pain. Nearly 44% of those with arthritis say they don’t exercise and nearly 88% say they are not nearly active enough. According to a controlled trial published in the Journal of Rheumatology, those with arthritis that practiced yoga at least three times a week had an improvement in pain, energy, mood, and physical health. According to Dr. Clifton O. Bingham III, associate professor of John Hopkins University, “It has really been transformative for a lot of my patients.” For some of Dr. Bingham’s patients, yoga has helped them through arthritis for over five years.

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are suffering from arthritic foot pain, contact Dr. Gregory and Andrew Birch of New York. Our podiatrists can treat your foot and ankle needs.

Arthritic Foot Care

Arthritis is a joint disorder that involves inflammation of different joints in your body, such as in your feet. Arthritis is often caused by a degenerative joint disease and causes mild to severe pain in all affected areas. On top of this, swelling and stiffness in the affected joints can also be a common symptom of arthritis.

In many cases, wearing ill-fitting shoes can worsen the effects and pain of arthritis. Wearing shoes that have a lower heel and extra room can help your feet feel more comfortable. In cases of rheumatoid arthritis, the arch in your foot may become problematic. Buying shoes with proper arch support that contour to your feet can help immensely.

Alleviating Arthritic Pain

  • Exercises that stretch the foot can prevent further pain and injury and increase mobility
  • Most of the pain can be alleviated with anti-inflammatory drugs, heat, and topical medications
  • Massages can help to temporarily alleviate pain.

It is best to see your doctor for the treatment that is right for your needs and symptoms. Conditions vary, and a podiatrist can help you determine the right method of care for your feet.

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

Read more about arthritic foot care.

fungal toenail2According to a few studies conducted by the University of North Carolina Charlotte, the woes of ankle sprains can linger for the rest of your life. Tricia Hubbard-Turner, professor of kinesiology at the university states that the ankles are the base of the body, making them especially fragile and injury prone. In one study, Hubbard-Turner use 20 college student participants with ankle chronic ankle instability (CAI) and 20 student participants with no ankle problems and had them walk with a pedometer for a week. The results showed that the students with CAI walked 2,000 fewer steps. In another study, young adult mice were put into three groups and each group were given a different level of sprain. After given time to heal, 70% of mice showed symptoms of CAI after just one ankle injury. The researchers stated that CAI symptoms can persist or develop after a year of surgery.

Ankle sprains are common, but need immediate attention. If you have any concerns about your potential ankle sprain contact Dr. Gregory Birch and Dr. Andrew Birch of New York. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains take place when the ligaments in your ankle are torn or stretched beyond their limits. There are multiple ways that the ankle can become injured, including twisting or rolling over onto your ankle, putting undue stress on it, or causing trauma to the ankle itself.

What are the Symptoms?

  • Mild to moderate bruising
  • Limited mobility
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration of the skin (depending on severity)

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits can aid in prevention

Treatment of a Sprain

Treatment of a sprain depends on the severity. Many times, people are told to rest and remain off their feet completely, while others are given an air cast. If the sprain is very severe, surgery may be required.

If you have suffered an ankle sprain previously, you may want to consider additional support such as a brace and regular exercises to strengthen the ankle.

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.

Read more about ankle sprains.

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