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If you’re suffering from an urgent foot or ankle condition that requires immediate care, please contact our office to schedule an appointment. Avoid your local hospital or urgent care facility, and reduce the stress on your local emergency healthcare workers. Our practice is here to care for your urgent foot or ankle condition.

Reisterstown | Columbia

March 2021

Monday, 29 March 2021 00:00

Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Feet

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks healthy joints and surrounding tissues. This leads to joint stiffness, inflammation, swelling, and pain. Rheumatoid arthritis often affects the joints of the feet and ankles. Although this is a chronic condition and does not have a cure, rheumatoid arthritis can be treated, and its symptoms can be managed. If your arthritis affects your feet and ankles, your podiatrist can help by prescribing custom orthotics, recommending exercises, and suggesting lifestyle modifications that may reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

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, contact Dr. Mark Spier of Maryland. Our doctor will assist you with all of your podiatric concerns.

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 and 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.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Columbia and Reisterstown, MD . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 22 March 2021 00:00

Where Is the Tarsal Tunnel?

The tarsal tunnel is a narrow space located along the inside of the ankle, next to the ankle bones. This space contains many important structures, including the posterior tibial nerve. When this nerve is squeezed or compressed, it leads to symptoms that can affect the ankle and foot. These symptoms include numbness, tingling, burning, or electrical shock sensations, and shooting pain. Symptoms can appear suddenly or gradually over time, and tend to worsen with physical activity such as walking or prolonged standing. If you are experiencing the symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome, it is strongly suggested that you see a podiatrist for diagnosis and treatment.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact Dr. Mark Spier of Maryland. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can also be called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon condition of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is the peripheral nerve in the leg responsible for sensation and movement of the foot and calf muscles. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the tibial nerve is damaged, causing problems with movement and feeling in the foot of the affected leg.

Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Involves pressure or an injury, direct pressure on the tibial nerve for an extended period of time, sometimes caused by other body structures close by or near the knee.
  • Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
  • At times, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.

The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Different sensations, an afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of the affected leg.
  • The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling your toes or flexing your foot can become difficult.
  • If condition worsens, infections and ulcers may develop on the foot that is experiencing the syndrome.

A physical exam of the leg can help identify the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Medical tests, such as a nerve biopsy, are also used to diagnose the condition. Patients may receive physical therapy and prescriptive medication. In extreme cases, some may require surgery.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Columbia and Reisterstown, MD . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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An ingrown toenail can be quite painful and uncomfortable. It is a foot condition defined as a toenail that grows into the sides of the nail bed. This can occur for a variety of reasons including genetics, trimming the toenails incorrectly, or from an injury to the affected toe. Additionally, this condition may also arise due to wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in. A common symptom is extreme tenderness surrounding the affected nail, and pus may drain from the area if it becomes infected. Many patients have found mild relief when the foot is frequently soaked in warm water, and this can be helpful in softening the skin to gently lift the corners of the nail. If you have developed an ingrown toenail it is suggested that you seek professional advice from a podiatrist who can effectively treat this condition.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. Mark Spier of Maryland. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition

Prevention

Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.

Treatment

Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Columbia and Reisterstown, MD . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Your feet are covered most of the day. If you're diabetic, periodic screening is important for good health. Numbness is often a sign of diabetic foot and can mask a sore or wound.

Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia, the band that runs along the bottom of the foot from the heel to the toes, becomes inflamed. Plantar fasciitis usually causes pain in the heel, which is often worse in the morning, after prolonged standing, or after an intense workout. Usually, the pain that comes from plantar fasciitis gradually worsens over time. Plantar fasciitis is an overuse injury that comes from an activity that puts stress on the plantar fascia, like running, but it can also be caused by other medical conditions, such as flat feet or obesity. Because plantar fasciitis can negatively impact your daily activities, patients who are suffering from heel pain should be under the care of a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Dr. Mark Spier  from Maryland. 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 one of our offices located in Columbia and Reisterstown, MD . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 01 March 2021 00:00

Types of Achilles Tendon Injuries

The Achilles tendon is a thick band connecting the calf muscle to the heel bone on the back of the ankle. One common injury, Achilles tendonitis, is the result of the tendon becoming inflamed near its connection to the heel bone. This injury is often a result of overuse. Achilles tendinosis occurs when the tendon degenerates, often as a result of not treating Achilles tendonitis. One of the most severe Achilles tendon injuries is a rupture. This occurs when the fibers in the tendon are partially or completely torn. This requires immediate medical attention. Most Achilles tendon injuries result in pain in the calf and heel while moving, and a rupture will produce a sudden sharp pain in the calf and heel. If you are noticing pain or stiffness in the area of your Achilles tendon, please consult with a podiatrist as soon as possible.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Mark Spier of Maryland. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What Are the Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Columbia and Reisterstown, MD . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Achilles Tendon Injuries
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