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The Achilles tendon is defined as the tendon in the calf which connects the calf muscles to the heel. People who frequently participate in sporting activities may experience an Achilles tendon injury, and this can be common among runners. It is considered to be the strongest tendon in the body, and can become painful if an injury has occurred. Some of the symptoms that patients may have can include severe heel pain, the affected area can be tender when touched, and the back of the ankle may be swollen. If the Achilles tendon is affected during a foot injury, the patient may hear a popping sound at the time of the mishap, and there is often immediate pain. This tendon can become weakened from overuse, and this may be a result of repeated stress that happens gradually. Additionally, this type of injury may occur from wearing shoes that do not fit correctly, and increasing the intensity and speed of the chosen exercise too soon. If you have endured an Achilles tendon injury, it is strongly advised that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can diagnose it correctly, and offer prompt treatment.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Todd A. Bell, DPM of Connecticut. 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 our office located in Bloomfield, CT . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What are Achilles Tendon Injuries
Tuesday, 09 August 2022 00:00

Causes of Pain in the Second Toe

Pain in the second toe can cause a great deal of discomfort, but it is rarely discussed. One of the main causes of second toe pain is capsulitis, which is irritation or inflammation of the ligament capsule at the base of the toe. You may notice pain in the ball of the foot that feels worse when you walk barefoot, swelling in the area, and difficulty putting on or wearing shoes. Causes of capsulitis include improper foot mechanics, bunions, tight calf muscles, a weak arch, or a second toe that is longer than the big toe, which can affect the gait. Sometimes, if a person has capsulitis of the second toe, which causes it to drift toward the big toe, surgery may be required. If the pain associated with the second toe becomes debilitating or interferes with daily activities, it is wise to seek the help of a podiatrist who can diagnose the cause and provide treatment options.

Toe pain can disrupt your daily activities. If you have any concerns, contact Todd A. Bell, DPM of Connecticut. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Causes Toe Pain?

Most severe toe pain is caused due to a sports injury, trauma from dropping something heavy on the toe, or bumping into something rigid. Other problems can develop over time for various reasons.

Toe pain can be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:

  • Trauma
  • Sports injury
  • Wearing shoes that are too tight
  • Arthritis
  • Gout
  • Corns and calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Blisters
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Sprains
  • Fractures (broken bones)
  • Dislocations

When to See a Podiatrist

  • Severe pain
  • Persistent pain that lasts more than a week
  • Signs of infection
  • Continued swelling
  • Pain that prevents walking

Diagnosis

In many cases the cause of toe pain is obvious, but in others, a podiatrist may want to use more advanced methods to determine the problem. These can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.

Treatment

Treatments for toe pain and injuries vary and may include shoe inserts, padding, taping, medicines, injections, and in some cases, surgery. If you believe that you have broken a toe, please see a podiatrist as soon as possible.

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

Read more about Toe Pain
Tuesday, 02 August 2022 00:00

Different Types of Flat Feet

Flat feet is a somewhat self-explanatory foot affliction that can affect a wide variety of individuals. This condition occurs when someone has no visible arch in their foot, or it may partially or completely disappear when the foot is on the ground. In other words, people with flat feet have no gap between the ground and the middle point of the soles of their feet. When standing, people with flat feet will be able to press their entire foot flush against the ground. While this condition can occur in children, adults may also be susceptible to flat feet. There are two main kinds of flat feet that you ought to be aware of. The first kind is known as flexible flat foot. This typically occurs in children when the arch of their feet disappears when standing, but it reappears when the child is sitting down. In some cases, children with flexible flat foot will also exhibit arches in their feet when walking on their tip toes. The second kind is known as rigid flat foot. This kind of flat foot is seen in both children and adults who never exhibit any kind of arch in their feet, whether they are walking normally, walking on their tip toes, or sitting down. If you believe you might have flat feet, consider contacting a podiatrist who can provide guidance and assistance.

Flatfoot is a condition many people suffer from. If you have flat feet, contact Todd A. Bell, DPM from Connecticut. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Are Flat Feet?

Flatfoot is a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arches never formed during growth.

Conditions & Problems:

Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.

Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.

Knees – If you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.  

Symptoms

  • Pain around the heel or arch area
  • Trouble standing on the tip toe
  • Swelling around the inside of the ankle
  • Flat look to one or both feet
  • Having your shoes feel uneven when worn

Treatment

If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Bloomfield, CT . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What is Flexible Flat Foot?
Tuesday, 26 July 2022 00:00

What You Might Feel With Heel Spurs

Heel spurs can affect a variety of different individuals. The condition is characterized by the formation of a bony outgrowth made up of calcium deposits. This outgrowth begins at the heel and then grows toward the arch of the foot or the plantar fascia. It can be very helpful to learn about some of the common symptoms of heel spurs in case you ever develop this condition. It is important to note, however, that every patient is different and experiences different symptoms. For example, some patients with heel spurs experience no symptoms. These patients will only discover that they have heel spurs after undergoing an X-ray. Other patients can experience great pain with heel spurs. Specifically, some people may experience a sharp, shooting pain in the heel area at the beginning of the day when first putting weight on their feet. A muddled pain in the heel can also be felt throughout the day. Some people with heel spurs might even experience a kind of heat coming from the affected heel in some cases. If you have heel spurs, you might experience some kind of inflammation and swelling as well. Symptoms of heel spurs are highly specific to each patient, so reach out to a podiatrist who can help with your specific case. 

Heel spurs can be incredibly painful and sometimes may make you unable to participate in physical activities. To get medical care for your heel spurs, contact Todd A. Bell, DPM from Connecticut. Our doctor will do everything possible to treat your condition.

Heels Spurs

Heel spurs are formed by calcium deposits on the back of the foot where the heel is. This can also be caused by small fragments of bone breaking off one section of the foot, attaching onto the back of the foot. Heel spurs can also be bone growth on the back of the foot and may grow in the direction of the arch of the foot.

Older individuals usually suffer from heel spurs and pain sometimes intensifies with age. One of the main condition's spurs are related to is plantar fasciitis.

Pain

The pain associated with spurs is often because of weight placed on the feet. When someone is walking, their entire weight is concentrated on the feet. Bone spurs then have the tendency to affect other bones and tissues around the foot. As the pain continues, the feet will become tender and sensitive over time.

Treatments

There are many ways to treat heel spurs. If one is suffering from heel spurs in conjunction with pain, there are several methods for healing. Medication, surgery, and herbal care are some options.

If you have any questions feel free to contact our office located in Bloomfield, CT . We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

Read more about How to Treat Heel Spurs
Thursday, 21 July 2022 00:00

Reminder: When Was the Last Time...?

Custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, should be periodically replaced. Orthotics must fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles!

The majority of babies are born with 10 toes and 10 fingers, and this is what most parents look for in their newborns. There are foot deformities that babies can be born with, and the two most common are metatarsus adductus and calcaneovalgus. They both occur as a result of how a baby’s feet were positioned inside the womb. Metatarsus adductus is noticed by a curve in the middle of the foot, and flexibility is often compromised. The foot may appear to be crooked, but may be straightened out by gently pushing it into a normal position. Calcaneovalgus is characterized by a foot that is pushed up and out. The foot may be difficult to point downward. In both cases, these conditions generally improve within several months. The deformity known as clubfoot is observed when the foot is stiff, and has a high arch. It is often diagnosed before birth, and may be part of a different condition, such as spina bifida. There are many congenital foot problems, and it is suggested that you speak with a podiatrist who can answer any questions and treat these types of foot disorders.

Congenital foot problems require immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Todd A. Bell, DPM of Connecticut. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Congenital foot problems are deformities affecting the feet, toes, and/or ankles that children are born with. Some of these conditions have a genetic cause while others just happen. Some specific foot ailments that children may be born with include clubfeet, polydactyly/macrodactyly, and cleft foot. There are several other foot anomalies that can occur congenitally. What all of these conditions have in common is that a child may experience difficulty walking or performing everyday activities, as well as trouble finding footwear that fits their foot deformity. Some of these conditions are more serious than others. Consulting with a podiatrist as early as possible will help in properly diagnosing a child’s foot condition while getting the necessary treatment underway.

What are Causes of Congenital Foot Problem?

A congenital foot problem is one that happens to a child at birth. These conditions can be caused by a genetic predisposition, developmental or positional abnormalities during gestation, or with no known cause.

What are Symptoms of Congenital Foot Problems?

Symptoms vary by the congenital condition. Symptoms may consist of the following:

  • Clubfoot, where tendons are shortened, bones are shaped differently, and the Achilles tendon is tight, causing the foot to point in and down. It is also possible for the soles of the feet to face each other.
  • Polydactyly, which usually consists of a nubbin or small lump of tissue without a bone, a toe that is partially formed but has no joints, or an extra toe.
  • Vertical talus, where the talus bone forms in the wrong position causing other bones in the foot to line up improperly, the front of the foot to point up, and the bottom of the foot to stiffen, with no arch, and to curve out.
  • Tarsal coalition, when there is an abnormal connection of two or more bones in the foot leading to severe, rigid flatfoot.
  • Cleft foot, where there are missing toes, a V-shaped cleft, and other anatomical differences.
  • Macrodactyly, when the toes are abnormally large due to overgrowth of the underlying bone or soft tissue.

Treatment and Prevention

While there is nothing one can do to prevent congenital foot problems, raising awareness and receiving neonatal screenings are important. Early detection by taking your child to a podiatrist leads to the best outcome possible.

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

Read more about Congenital Foot Problems
Tuesday, 12 July 2022 00:00

Painful Foot Conditions

Foot pain is common and can arise from many causes. Injury or trauma, like a fracture, or medical conditions, like diabetes, can affect the feet and cause pain. Some painful foot conditions are presented here.  Care must be taken that the tendon does not rupture. Plantar fasciitis happens when the ligament running across the bottom of the foot tightens or tears. With this condition, one feels heel pain that is worse after rising from sleep or prolonged sitting. A Morton’s neuroma is a nerve condition that impacts the nerve that carries sensation to the toes. Persistent inflammation of the nerve will lead one to feel as if there is a marble between the third and fourth toes. It causes ball of the foot pain or numbness in the toes. Gout is a painful form of arthritis that arises from a buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints and often starts in the big toe but can also affect the ankles and heels. A foot fracture is when one of the 26 bones in the foot break. Diabetic neuropathy is a nerve disorder that can be a complication of diabetes and lead to problems in the feet. It causes numbness and tingling in the feet, as well as burning pain. If you have foot pain, it is important to see a podiatrist so that you obtain a proper diagnosis and treatment that is right for you.

Foot Pain

Foot pain can be extremely painful and debilitating. If you have a foot pain, consult with Todd A. Bell, DPM from Connecticut. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Causes

Foot pain is a very broad condition that could be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:

  • Bunions
  • Hammertoes
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Bone Spurs
  • Corns
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Ingrown Toenails
  • Arthritis (such as Gout, Rheumatoid, and Osteoarthritis)
  • Flat Feet
  • Injury (from stress fractures, broken toe, foot, ankle, Achilles tendon ruptures, and sprains)
  • And more

Diagnosis

To figure out the cause of foot pain, podiatrists utilize several different methods. This can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.

Treatment

Treatment depends upon the cause of the foot pain. Whether it is resting, staying off the foot, or having surgery; podiatrists have a number of treatment options available for foot pain.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Bloomfield, CT . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Foot Pain

As an individual ages, the extent to which they should be taking steps to care for their feet often increases. This is partly due to the fact that senior citizens become increasingly susceptible to dangerous falls as they age, and healthy feet may help prevent these incidents. A critical component of elderly foot care is choosing the right shoe. For example, certain types of footwear that offer strong backs and low heels are ideal for seniors looking to increase their stability and avert hazardous falls. Shoes that can be snugly fastened to the foot with laces or Velcro can also increase the senior’s stability when standing and walking. When shoe shopping, senior citizens might find it useful to avoid footwear with especially high heels, as these kinds of shoes can make balancing more challenging. Ultimately, the right kind of footwear for seniors will have a sturdy and steady grip on the ground. Elderly foot care is certainly multi-faceted and ever-changing, but selecting the right kind of footwear is one simple yet critical step a senior can take to improve the health of their feet. Contacting a podiatrist may help you learn more ways in which elderly foot care can help you or those you care for have a safe, healthy life.


 

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Todd A. Bell, DPM from Connecticut. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

The Elderly and Their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet and can hide many life-threatening medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Bloomfield, CT . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Elderly Foot Care
Tuesday, 28 June 2022 00:00

Different Types of Athlete’s Foot

People who have had athlete's foot are aware of the discomfort it can cause. The skin often becomes dry, red, and can itch too. It is considered to be a fungal infection and typically affects the soles of the feet and between the toes. It is a contagious infection and appropriate shoes are suggested to be worn while in public swimming areas, locker rooms, and shower room floors. This fungus lives in warm and moist environments including socks and shoes that are wet. There are three types of athlete's foot. A toe web infection can cause the skin to peel and crack between the third and fourth toes. Cracked skin on the heel can be referred to as a moccasin-type infection, and a blister on the sole of the foot is known as a vesicular type of infection. There are effective prevention techniques for athlete’s foot including keeping the feet clean and dry, refraining from sharing towels or shoes, and alternating the shoes worn daily. If you have been affected by athlete's foot, please consult with a podiatrist who can determine what the best type of treatment is for you.

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is often an uncomfortable condition to experience. Thankfully, podiatrists specialize in treating athlete’s foot and offer the best treatment options. If you have any questions about athlete’s foot, consult with Todd A. Bell, DPM from Connecticut. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality treatment.

What Is Athlete’s Foot?

Tinea pedis, more commonly known as athlete’s foot, is a non-serious and common fungal infection of the foot. Athlete’s foot is contagious and can be contracted by touching someone who has it or infected surfaces. The most common places contaminated by it are public showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools. Once contracted, it grows on feet that are left inside moist, dark, and warm shoes and socks.

Prevention

The most effective ways to prevent athlete’s foot include:

  • Thoroughly washing and drying feet
  • Avoid going barefoot in locker rooms and public showers
  • Using shower shoes in public showers
  • Wearing socks that allow the feet to breathe
  • Changing socks and shoes frequently if you sweat a lot

Symptoms

Athlete’s foot initially occurs as a rash between the toes. However, if left undiagnosed, it can spread to the sides and bottom of the feet, toenails, and if touched by hand, the hands themselves. Symptoms include:

  • Redness
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Scaly and peeling skin

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis is quick and easy. Skin samples will be taken and either viewed under a microscope or sent to a lab for testing. Sometimes, a podiatrist can diagnose it based on simply looking at it. Once confirmed, treatment options include oral and topical antifungal medications.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Bloomfield, CT . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

Read more about Athlete's Foot
Tuesday, 21 June 2022 00:00

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