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Foot And Ankle News

Causes and Symptoms of Gout

If the joint in the big toe becomes red, inflamed, and painful, you may be suffering from a condition referred to as gout. It typically affects men over the age of 40 and can lead to serious health issues, such as kidney disease, if left untreated. There are numerous factors for people to suffer from gout, which may include a predisposed inherited gene, extreme amounts of alcohol being ingested on a regular basis, or taking certain medications. Gout is not easily overlooked, because the symptoms develop rapidly and may be severe. The joint will be tender and swollen, and the skin may feel hot and inflamed. Treatment options will include taking medicine to reduce the inflammation. Additionally, it may be beneficial to consider certain lifestyle changes to prevent further attacks from occurring. Please consider a consultation with a podiatrist for a proper evaluation and the treatment options for you.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from the Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctors will treat 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 office located in Marrero, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Everything You Need to Know About Gout

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Everything You Need to Know About Gout

Gout, typically found in diabetic patients, is an unusually painful form of arthritis caused by elevated levels of uric acid in the bloodstream. The condition typically strikes the big joint on the big toe. It has also been known to strike the knees, elbows, fingers, ankles and wrists—generally anywhere that has a functioning, moving joint.

The high level of uric acid in a person’s bloodstream creates the condition known as hyperuricema—the main cause of gout. Genetic predisposition occurs in nine out of ten sufferers. The children of parents who suffer gout will have a two in ten chance of developing the condition as well. 

This form of arthritis, being particularly painful, is the leftover uric acid crystallizing in the blood stream. The crystallized uric acid then travels to the space between joints where they rub, causing friction when the patient moves. Symptoms include: pain, redness, swelling, and inflammation. Additional side effects may include fatigue and fever, although reports of these effects are very rare. Some patients have reported that pain may intensify when the temperature drops, such as when you sleep.

Most cases of gout are easily diagnosed by a podiatrist’s assessment of the various symptoms. Defined tests can also be performed. A blood test to detect elevated levels of uric acid is often used as well as an x-ray to diagnose visible and chronic gout.

Treatment for gout simply means eliminating symptoms. Non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs (Colchicine and other corticosteroid drugs, etc.) will quell the redness, the swelling, and the inflammation. However, managing your diet, lifestyle changes, and using preventative drugs are all helpful toward fully combating the most severe cases.

 Those that lead an inactive lifestyle are at a higher risk for gout. Any amount of exercise decreases the probability of repeat encounters with the condition. Reducing your consumption of red meat, sea food, and fructose-sweetened drinks also reduces the likelihood of chronic gout as well.

Ingesting Vitamin C, coffee, and particular dairy products can help with maintaining a healthy lifestyle. There are new drugs out on the market that inhibit the body’s production of uric acid-producing enzymes. However, reducing or eliminating your overall levels of uric acid is the best remedy to ensuring you lead a gout-free life.

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The Right Shoes For Sports

Shoes for Sports

Avoid Pain & Raise Your Game

Sport-specific shoes can really affect the way you play. Make sure to have your feet professionally measured by today’s podiatrist to find a correctly sized shoe. If you participate in a certain sport at least two to three times a week, you should wear a sport-specific shoe.

Avoid some serious pain and raise your game by checking out the best shoes for several sports below:


Common foot injuries: sprains, tendinitis, stress fractures

The perfect basketball shoe should:
• Have a thick, stiff sole that gives support while running and landing jumps.
• Have high ankle construction that supports the ankle during quick changes in direction.


Common foot injuries: ankle sprains, turf toe, ingrown toenails

The perfect soccer cleat should:
• Not have more than a half inch of space between the big toe and the end of the shoe.
• Feature the stud type for the ground that will be played on most often: soft, hard, or firm.

Football & Lacrosse

Common foot injuries: turf toe, Achilles tendinitis

The perfect football cleat should:
• Have a good amount of high ankle support. This is especially important for linemen and other players who make frequent sideways movements during play.
• Allow for proper traction on a grassy field, in both wet and dry conditions. This will largely help to prevent injury.


Common foot injuries: plantar fasciitis, shin splints, Morton’s neuroma

The perfect running shoe should:
• Provide maximum shock absorption, to help runners avoid ailments.
• Match your foot’s arch type (high, medium, low).

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Man with Diabetes checking his feet

Diabetic Foot Care Tips


Foot problems associated with diabetes are a signifcant portion of the health risk and cost. Here are 12 steps to healthier, happier feet!

Take care of your diabetes

Make healthy lifestyle choices to keep your blood glucose (sugar), blood pressure and cholesterol close to normal. Doing so may help prevent or delay diabetes-related foot problems.

Check your feet every day

You may have serious foot problems without feeling pain. Check your feet for cuts, sores, swelling and infected toenails every day.

Wash your feet every day

Wash your feet in warm water. Do not soak your feet because your skin will get dry. When you’re done, dry well, especially between your toes. Use talcum powder or cornstarch to keep the skin between your toes dry.

Keep your skin soft & smooth

Rub a thin coat of skin lotion or cream on the tops and bottoms of your feet. Do not moisturize between your toes, as this could trap moisture and lead to further skin problems.

Smooth corns & calluses gently

If you have corns or calluses, check with your doctor or podiatrist about the best way to care for them. If they tell you to, use a pumice stone to smooth corns and calluses after bathing. Rub gently in only one direction to avoid tearing the skin.

Trim your toenails each week

Trim your toenails with clippers after you wash and dry your feet. Trim toenails straight across and smooth them with an emery board or nail file. Don’t cut the corners of the toenails. You may ask your podiatrist to trim your toenails.

Wear shoes & socks at all times

Do not walk barefoot, even indoors, because it’s easy to step on something and hurt your feet. Always wear socks, stockings or nylons with your shoes to help avoid blisters and sores. Choose clean, lightly padded socks that fit well.

Protect your feet from hot & cold

Wear shoes at the beach or on hot pavement, and put sunscreen on the top of your feet to prevent sunburn. Wear socks at night if your feet are cold. Be sure to wear warm shoes or boots in cold weather

Keep the blood flowing to your feet

• Put your feet up when you’re sitting
• Wiggle your toes for five minutes two or three times per day
• Don’t cross your legs for long periods of time
• Don’t smoke. Smoking reduces blood flow to your feet
• Work with your health care team to control your diabetes

Be more active

Ask your doctor to help you plan a daily activity program that’s right for you. Walking, dancing, swimming and bicycling are good forms of exercise that are easy on the feet. Always include a warm-up and cool-down period, and wear athletic shoes that fit well and provide good support.

Be sure to ask your doctor

• Check the sense of feeling and pulses in your feet annually
• Tell you if you’re likely to have foot problems
• Show you how to care for your feet
• Refer you to a good podiatrist
• Decide if special shoes would help your feet stay healthy

Get started now

Begin taking good care of your feet today. Set a time every day to check your feet. Note the date of your next visit to the doctor. Most importantly, stick to your foot care program.

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Kids Foot Problems

Children’s Feet Need Attention

Children are always on their feet.

Those tootsies can take a beating and little problems often arise. It’s important to attend to any issues and that often means a trip to the podiatrist.

When to go

There are many reasons why children visit a podiatrist. The most common would be an ingrown toenail, warts or a foreign body. All of these can be easily resolved with a simple office visit. We also see more complicated conditions such as ankle trauma or pediatric flat foot. A flat foot is when people either have no arch or a very low one.


The best footwear for children, and really everyone, is a good supportive shoe that does not bend easily such as sneakers. Most importantly, parents should monitor the size of their children’s foot as to ensure their footwear is not fitting too snugly.

Read the rest at Florida Today

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elderly couple walking

Balance-Boosting Footwear Tips for Older People

Balance in all aspects of life is a good thing. We work hard but make time for fun, love our children while setting boundaries, and eat healthy to enjoy a sundae on Friday night. But mental equilibrium isn’t the only kind of balance that’s important in life. Good physical balance can help older people avoid the debilitating and potentially life-threatening complications of a fall.

Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries among older people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 2010, 2.3 million fall injuries sent older folks to emergency rooms; 662,000 required hospitalizations; and falls cost $30 billion in direct medical costs, the CDC says.

“Preventing falls among older Americans is a top health priority, and improved balance can help reduce the risk of a fall,” says Dr. Matthew Garoufalis, a podiatrist and past-president of APMA. “Proper footwear can help improve balance, especially in older people who may struggle with mobility and balance issues.”

When selecting a shoe to improve balance, keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Put shoes to the 1-2-3 test.
    Step 1: Press on both sides of the heel area to ensure the heel is stiff and won’t collapse.
    Step 2: Bend the shoe to check for toe flexibility. The shoe shouldn’t bend too much in the toe box area, but it shouldn’t be too stiff and inflexible either.
    Step 3: Try twisting the shoe; it shouldn’t twist in the middle.
  • Have your feet professionally measured every time you shoe shop. Natural aging and health changes can cause the size of your feet to change. Measure both feet—late in the day—and shop for the larger foot.
  • Bring the type of socks you plan to wear with the shoes and walk around the store in the shoes before you purchase them.
  • If you don’t feel comfortable or steady in the store, don’t buy them. Shoes should feel comfortable and supportive right away; if they don’t feel good right away, breaking them in won’t improve things.
  • If you have specific health challenges or foot issues, talk to a podiatrist about the best footwear for your needs. If your podiatrist has prescribed orthotics—biomechanical inserts that go into your shoes—take them with you when you shop and try them out in the shoes you’re considering.
  • Quality shoes can be an investment. Before you buy, check to see if the brand and style you’re considering have earned the APMA Seal of Acceptance. APMA grants the seals to products found to promote good foot health.
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What are Bunions?

What Are Bunions? What To Look For And When To Call A Podiatrist

A bunion is caused from a bone in your foot that slowly migrates out to the side creating the bump you see by your big toe. There is a nerve that runs along the side of your foot over the bone so as the bone becomes more prominent, the nerve is being compressed between the bone and your shoe. That’s why tighter fitting shoes are more painful to wear.

You inherit bunions from your family, but certain shoes- both flats and heels can cause the bunion to grow at a faster rate.

Treatment options are wearing wider shoes- round or square toe shoes rather than pointy ones. Wearing shoes with arch supports to slow the progression, avoiding flats and heels. Anti-inflammatory medications can help reduce some of the swelling and pain caused from the bunion, but shouldn’t be taken frequently. You can also try splints and pads to relieve the pressure along the joint, but they will not correct the bunion deformity, that can only be done with surgery.

More from APMA.Org:


The symptoms of a bunion include the following:

  • Development of a swelling, callus or firm bump on the outside edge of the foot, at the base of the big toe
  • Redness, swelling, or pain at or near the MTP joint
  • Development of hammertoes or calluses under the ball of the foot
  • Corns or other irritations caused by the overlap of the first and second toes
  • Restricted or painful motion of the big toe

Home Treatment

What can you do for relief?

  • Apply a commercial, non-medicated bunion pad around the bony prominence
  • Apply a spacer between the big toe and second digit
  • Wear shoes with a wide and deep toe box
  • If your bunion becomes inflamed and painful, apply ice packs several times a day to reduce swelling
  • Avoid high-heeled shoes over two inches tall

When to Visit a Podiatrist
If pain persists, podiatric medical attention should be sought. Bunions tend to get larger and more painful if left untreated, making non-surgical treatment less of an option.

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Vascular Disease Foot

Podiatrists: First Responders for Vascular Disease

Many are aware of the risk factors of heart disease. However, fewer are aware that the blockages that can cause heart disease affect more than coronary arteries—they can also affect other arteries throughout your body. This condition is called vascular disease. Signs and symptoms for vascular disease often first appear in your feet.

Luckily, today’s podiatrists are uniquely qualified among medical professionals to diagnose vascular disease based on their education, training, and experience.

Learn more about your risk for vascular disease by reading the latest Footprints Newsletter from the American Podiatric Medical Association.

If you have a suspicious spot on your foot or ankle and are at risk for vascular disease, schedule an appointment with Dr. Denise Elliott or Dr. Catherine Hudson of the Foot And Ankle Center!

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Diabetic Foot Care

Foot Care Tips For Diabetics

If you have diabetes, follow these foot care tips:

  • Inspect feet daily. Check your feet and toes every day for cuts, bruises, sores, or changes to the toenails, such as thickening or discoloration.
  • Wear thick, soft socks. Avoid socks with seams, which could rub and cause blisters or other skin injuries.
  • Exercise. Walking can keep weight down and improve circulation. Be sure to wear appropriate athletic shoes when exercising.
  • Have new shoes properly measured and fitted. Foot size and shape may change over time. Shoes that fit properly are important to those with diabetes.
  • Don’t go barefoot. Don’t go without shoes, even in your own home. The risk of cuts and infection is too great for those with diabetes.
  • Never try to remove calluses, corns, or warts by yourself. Over-the-counter products can burn the skin and cause irreparable damage to the foot for people with diabetes.
  • See one of the doctors at The Foot And Ankle Center. Regular checkups by a podiatrist—at least annually—are the best way to ensure that your feet remain healthy.
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Bunion Treatment New Orleans Podiatrist

What is a Bunion?

A bunion is an enlargement of the joint at the base of the big toe—the metatarsophalangeal (MP) joint—that forms when the bone or tissue at the big toe joint moves out of place. This movement forces the toe to bend toward the others, causing an often-painful lump of bone on the foot. Because this joint carries a lot of the body’s weight while walking, bunions can cause extreme pain if left untreated.


  • Bunions form when the normal balance of forces exerted on the joints and tendons of the foot is disrupted. This disruption can lead to instability in the joint and cause the deformity.
  • They are brought about by years of abnormal motion and pressure over the MTP joint.
  • They are usually caused by the way we walk and our inherited foot type.
  • Neuromuscular disorders or congenital deformities can cause bunions.
  • An unsupported shoe can contribute to further hypermobility. Narrow-toed shoes can aggravate symptoms


  • Development of a fi rm bump on the outside edge of the foot, at the base of the big toe.
  • Redness, swelling, or pain at or near the MTP joint.
  • Corns or other irritations caused by the overlap of the fi rst and second toes.
  • Restricted or painful motion of the big toe.


What can YOU do?

  • Use commercial, nonmedicated bunion pads.
  • Wear wide shoes. Avoid high-heeled shoes.
  • Apply ice packs to reduce swelling.
  • If pain and other symptoms of inflammation persist, see your podiatric physician.

Conservative Treatments:

  1. Padding and taping: minimize pain and help keep the foot in a normal position.
  2. Anti-infl ammatory drugs and cortisone injections: help ease acute pain and infl ammation.
  3. 3. Physical Therapy: provides relief from pain and associated soft tissue involvement.
  4. Orthotics: prevent worsening of the deformity.

Surgical Options:
Surgical options are used when early treatments fail or the bunion progresses past the threshold for conservative treatment. Surgery will remove the bony enlargement, restore the normal alignment of the toe joint, and relieve pain.

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