When Can I Start Driving Again After Foot and Ankle Surgery?

Study Finds that immobilization devices significantly reduce braking response time

Patients recovering from a right foot injury or surgery should think twice about how soon they want to begin driving again. According to a new study from the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS), it takes much longer to brake when the driver is wearing an immobilization device, like a splint or brace, than it does when wearing normal footwear.

Driving is important to many people’s social and professional lives, so when a person’s right ankle or foot must be immobilized after an injury or surgery, one of the first questions an orthopedic surgeon hears is, “When can I start driving again?” To answer this question, researchers measured emergency braking time in people using a brake adapted for use by the left foot, or wearing a short leg cast, a controlled ankle-motion boot, or normal footwear. The results showed that all of the devices, except for normal footwear, impaired the drivers’ ability to brake quickly. Study details and findings:

  • Compared to an individual wearing normal footwear, an individual traveling at a highway speed of 60 miles per hour (mph) (96.6 km/hr) would travel an additional 9.2 feet (2.8 m) during emergency braking when wearing a right lower-extremity controlled-ankle-motion boot.
  • A driver wearing a right lower-extremity short leg cast would travel an additional 6.1 feet (1.9 m) before coming to an emergency stop.
  • A driver using a left-foot braking adapter would travel an additional 6.0 feet (1.8 m).

If you are suffering from foot or ankle pain, the podiatrists’ at North Eastern Ohio Podiatry Group, LLC (Dr. Atta Asef and Dr. Vadim Glukh) can help provide the best treatment options for your condition.

Arthritis Of The Foot And Ankle

There are three types of arthritis that may affect your foot and ankle.

Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative or “wear and tear” arthritis, is a common problem for many people after they reach middle age. Over the years, the smooth, gliding surface covering the ends of bones (cartilage) becomes worn and frayed. This results in inflammation, swelling, and pain in the joint. Osteoarthritis progresses slowly and the pain and stiffness it causes worsens over time. Many factors increase your risk for developing osteoarthritis. Because the ability of cartilage to heal itself decreases as we age, older people are more likely to develop the disease. Other risk factors include obesity and family history of the disease.

Unlike osteoarthritis which follows a predictable pattern in certain joints, rheumatoid arthritis is a system-wide disease. It is an inflammatory disease where the patient’s own immune system attacks and destroys cartilage. The exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis is not known. Although it is not an inherited disease, researchers believe that some people have genes that make them more susceptible. There is usually a “trigger,” such as an infection or environmental factor, which activates the genes. When the body is exposed to this trigger, the immune system begins to produce substances that attack the joint.

Post-traumatic arthritis can develop after an injury to the foot or ankle. This type of arthritis is similar to osteoarthritis and may develop years after a fracture, severe sprain, or ligament injury. Fractures—particularly those that damage the joint surface—and dislocations are the most common injuries that lead to this type of arthritis. An injured joint is about seven times more likely to become arthritic, even if the injury is properly treated. In fact, following injury, your body can secrete hormones that stimulate the death of your cartilage cells.

If you are suffering from foot or ankle pain, the podiatrists’ at North Eastern Ohio Podiatry Group, LLC (Dr. Atta Asef and Dr. Vadim Glukh) can help provide the best treatment options for your condition.

Helpful Tips On Protecting Your Feet While On Vacation

One perk of a beach-bound vacation is knowing that instead of snow soaking through your shoes or having your feet feeling toasty in sweaty Uggs, you can lounge happily with your toes dangling in the warm weather, shoe-free with the sand at your feet. But alas, the dream does come with its own set of tootsie troubles. Even if you are just lying still on your back soaking up the rays, your feet are still vulnerable. You can seriously sunburn your feet and no matter how upscale your hotel, athlete’s foot can lurk in all public pool areas.

Wouldn’t you rather spend time collecting sea shells than doctor’s bills? No worries. There are ways to prevent these future foot predicaments so you can go back to your sun-kissed dreams and enjoy a liberated foot experience.

  • Limit walking barefoot as it exposes feet to sunburn, as well as plantar warts, athlete’s foot, ringworm, and other infections and also increases risk of injury to your feet.
  • Wear shoes or flip-flops around the pool, to the beach, in the locker room and even on the carpeting or in the bathroom of your hotel room to prevent injuries and limit the likelihood of contracting any bacterial infections.
  • Remember to apply sunscreen all over your feet, especially the tops and fronts of ankles, and don’t forget to reapply after you’ve been in the water.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. This will not only help with overall health, but will also minimize any foot swelling caused by the heat.
  • Keep blood flowing with periodic ankle flexes, toe wiggles, and calf stretches.

If you are suffering from foot pain, the podiatrists’ at North Eastern Ohio Podiatry Group, LLC (Dr. Atta Asef and Dr. Vadim Glukh) can help provide the best treatment options for your condition.

Study Links High-Heels To Heel and Ankle Pain

Women should think twice before buying their next pair of high-heels or pumps, according to researchers at the Institute for Aging Research of Hebrew SeniorLife in a new study of older adults and foot problems. The researchers found that the types of shoes women wear, specifically high-heels, pumps and sandals, may cause future hind-foot (heel and ankle) pain. Nearly 64 percent of women who reported hind-foot pain regularly wore these types of shoes at some point in their life.

While foot pain is a common complaint in the U.S. adult population — foot and toe symptoms are among the top 20 reasons for physician visits among those 65 to 74 years of age—relatively little is known about the causes of foot pain in older adults.

From a list of 11 shoe types, study participants were asked about the one style of shoe they currently wear on a regular basis, what they regularly wore during five age periods in the past, and if they experience pain, aching or stiffness in either foot on most days. Nearly 30 percent of women and 20 percent of men reported generalized foot pain, which is in line with other foot-pain studies. There was a significant association in women who reported hind-foot pain and past shoe wear that included high-heels and pumps.

The shoe types were classified as “poor” (high-heels, pumps, sandals and slippers), “average” (hard- or rubber-soled shoes and work boots), and “good” (athletic and casual sneakers). More than 60 percent of women reported wearing “poor” shoes in the past, compared to only 2 percent of men (13 percent of women said they currently wear “poor” shoes).

If you are suffering from heel or ankle pain, the podiatrists’ at North Eastern Ohio Podiatry Group, LLC (Dr. Atta Asef and Dr. Vadim Glukh) can help provide the best treatment options for your condition.

Runners’ Foot Injuries Could Be Due To Ill-fitting Shoes

Loyola University Medical Center researchers conducted a first-of-its-kind study of marathon runners to determine if there is a link between foot injuries and ill-fitting shoes. Researchers surveyed runners in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon who sought treatment for foot and ankle injuries in the podiatry tent. Researchers asked runners their chief complaint for entering the podiatry tent, and measured the runners’ feet and shoe sizes. Researchers recorded how many marathons each runner had completed and the brand and style of the runner’s shoes and socks.

Runners also were asked to estimate how many miles they have put on their shoes. (Experts generally recommend replacing shoes after about 500 miles, but some runners keep their shoes much longer.) Runners who use minimalist shoes that mimic barefoot running were not included in the study. Previous studies have examined shoe fit and foot injuries in special populations such as in diabetic patients and the elderly. The Loyola study is the first to examine the association between shoe fit and foot injuries in marathon runners.

Usually, between 200 and 400 runners seek treatment in the podiatry tent for such injuries as blisters, toenail injuries, plantar fasciitis (heel pain), foot stress fractures and sprained ankles. Most of these injuries are related to improper shoes, socks or training.

Shoes that are either too small or too large can cause injuries. Many runners buy shoes that are half-a-size or a full size too large, to allow for foot swelling during running and to make room for their orthotics. When buying running shoes, wear your normal running socks and orthotics, and buy late in the day after your feet have become swollen from walking around all day.

If you are suffering from foot pain, the podiatrists’ at North Eastern Ohio Podiatry Group, LLC (Dr. Atta Asef and Dr. Vadim Glukh) can help provide the best treatment options for your condition.

Unexplained Foot Fractures May Be First Sign Of Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a bone-thinning disease that affects over 28 million Americans and accounts for 1.5 million bone fractures a year. It often progresses without any symptoms or isn’t diagnosed until a person experiences pain from a bone fracture. The porous nature of bones in people with osteoporosis makes them more susceptible to bone fractures, especially in the feet. Because the bones are in a weakened state, normal weight-bearing actions like walking can cause the bones in the foot to break. In fact, many patients visit their podiatrist suffering from foot pain only to find out they actually have a stress fracture, without having experienced an injury.

While osteoporosis is most commonly seen in women over age 50, younger people and men are also affected. Early symptoms can include increased pain with walking accompanied by redness and swelling on the top of the foot. oftentimes patients don’t seek treatment for their symptoms for weeks or even months, thinking the pain will pass. The best advice is, don’t ignore foot pain of any type. Early intervention can make all the difference in your treatment and recovery.

Podiatrists are able to diagnose osteoporosis through bone densitometry tests, which measure calcium and mineral levels in the bones through low dose radiation x-ray, or possibly through a routine x-ray. This is why prevention and early intervention are key; women should make sure bone densitometry tests are part of their wellness examinations when indicated by their physicians.

If you are suffering from foot pain, the podiatrists’ at North Eastern Ohio Podiatry Group, LLC (Dr. Atta Asef and Dr. Vadim Glukh) can help provide the best treatment options for your condition.

For Foot, Ankle, and Heel Injuries Follow Up With A Podiatrist

Parents of kids with foot, ankle, and heel injuries often bring their kids to the pediatrician or the emergency room first, but they still need to follow up with a podiatrist. With extensive experience in foot and ankle therapies, podiatrists are uniquely qualified to diagnose and treat foot problems in young people through examination and imaging beyond basic x-rays, which don’t always reveal the cause of the pain.
Preparation and recognition of warning signs can help prevent or reduce the severity of the foot, ankle or heel pain. Supportive shoes are a must, but it’s not always obvious when to switch shoes or adapt them for the best fit. Consider these guidelines:

  • For heel pain, use inserts to raise the heel, especially in flat-footed cleats.
  • Discard shoes that caused pain. Don’t use them for another sport.
  • Wear well constructed shoes designed for specific sports.
  • Replace cleats often because they are not supportive shoes.
  • Don’t skip warm-up or cool-down exercises. Stretching helps prevent heel pain, especially when sports call for explosive sprints that pull suddenly on tendons.

Several things should tip parents off that their child needs attention, including limping, complaining, walking on toes, and pain the morning after a game. Parents should never push their children to play when their feet hurt, even if it is “the big game.” Foot pain is never normal and you should never play when you are in pain.

If you interested in a foot examination, the podiatrists’ at North Eastern Ohio Podiatry Group, LLC can help provide the best advice and options.

Treating Stress Fractures In The Foot

Stress fractures can occur anywhere in the foot and can eventually lead to a complete break of the bone if left untreated. Early diagnosis and treatment are important to ensure proper healing.

If a break is suspected, runners should immediately follow the RICE protocol: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. If pain and swelling last longer than a few days, a visit to a podiatrist for an x-ray and diagnosis is in order.

In most cases, treatment includes rest and immobilization with casting of the foot. Surgery may be required in certain instances to repair and stabilize a stress fracture that has progressed into a full fracture.

Runners can take action to prevent repetitive stress injuries in their feet by wearing supportive athletic shoes and slowly building up their activity levels according to their abilities.

If a runner suffers from abnormal mechanics in the foot, such as overpronation or hypermobility, custom orthotics can also be helpful to prevent these injuries.

If you are suffering from stress fractures in the foot, the podiatrists’ at North Eastern Ohio Podiatry Group, LLC can help provide the best advice and options.

Perform The 1,2,3 Test Before Buying Shoes For Your Children

Shopping for healthy shoes can be a daunting task without knowing what to look for—but the following tips can make any shoe purchase an easy, smart, and safe one:

  • Before buying a shoe, perform the “1,2,3 Test.” First, squeeze the back of a shoe’s heel and ensure that it does not collapse. Second, grab the front (toe box) of the shoe and make sure that the shoe bends where the child’s toes would naturally bend in the shoe. Third, grab the shoe at both ends and try to gently twist. Shoes should never twist in the middle and should be rigid. If a shoe fails any of these three steps, it should not be purchased.
  • Never hand down footwear. Sharing shoes can spread fungus such as athlete’s foot, and regardless of shoe size, shoes that are previously worn can cause problems.
  • Have a child’s foot measured regularly. Most shoe stores will be happy to measure a child’s foot. Children should also receive a foot health check-up from a podiatrist that includes foot measurement to ensure proper fit. Since shoe sizes may not be consistent from one manufacturer to the next, use size only as a guide, making sure the shoe is comfortable on the child’s foot.
  • No “break-in” period required. Your child’s shoes should be comfortable to wear immediately and should not require a break-in period for comfort.

If you interested in a foot examiniation, the podiatrists’ at North Eastern Ohio Podiatry Group, LLC can help provide the best advice and options.

Diabetes Patients Should See A Podiatrist For Regular Foot Examinations

The number of Americans diagnosed with diabetes continues to rise toward record levels, with an estimated one in three adults predicted to have the disease by the year 2050, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Because many serious complications from diabetes present in the lower limbs, proper foot care for those with the disease is a vital step to keeping the disease in check. In fact, a new study on foot care for people with diabetes conducted by Thomson Reuters confirms that care by a podiatrist can drastically reduce the incidence of diabetes-related hospitalizations and amputations.

It’s important to realize that simple lifestyle changes can go a long way toward staying healthy with diabetes. These include eating right, being active, monitoring blood glucose, and checking your feet daily. Diabetic foot complications are the leading cause of non-traumatic, lower-limb amputations in the U.S .

According to preliminary results from the Thomson Reuters study, those with diabetes who received care from a podiatrist had a nearly 29 percent lower risk of lower limb amputation, and 24 percent lower risk of hospitalization, than those who did not. Everyone with diabetes and those at risk for the disease should remove their shoes and socks and inspect their feet and visit a podiatrist for a foot exam. Symptoms in the feet such as redness, tingling, and cuts that are not healing can lead to diabetic ulcers and even possible amputation without prompt medical care.
If you interested in a foot examiniation, the podiatrists’ at North Eastern Ohio Podiatry Group, LLC can help provide the best advice and options.