Thursday, July 29, 2021

Making Sure Your Shoes Stay Put!

We all love shoes!  Heels, platforms, mules and wedges - it doesn't matter as long as they make our legs look great and make the outfit!  But it's important to make sure they fit properly.

I was walking down Oak Street the other day and spotted this very fashionable young woman and while I was admiring her outfit, I happened to notice that her heels were flying off her shoes!

If you look at her right heel, you will see that her shoe is not supporting her right leg - the heel is falling toward the inside of the shoe!  The 4" platform creates a dangerous ledge that can easily cause significant damage if she were to slide even slightly off that shoe.

Given she is almost 50% off the shoe, this woman is at great risk to literally falling off her shoe (especially if she hits the sidewalk crack wrong).    She is at risk for not only injuring her ankle bones and ligaments, but also for tearing the main tendon that is responsible for supporting her arch.  Injury of this tendon could cause chronic pathology and the damage could it impossible for her to wear her shoes of choice later in life.

Please make sure you test your shoes fully before you purchase any new shoes.  Get off the carpeted area and really walk a test run before committing to that really great pair of shoes.  Unless they are what Oprah once called "dinner shoes" and aren't meant for walking.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Wishing Tiger Woods a Recovery With the Very Best Biomechanical Function to Return to Golf

Both as a golfer, and a podiatric physician, immediately, I have had Tiger Woods on my mind these past several days.  I started to think specifically as a podiatric physician who has been exploring the role of lower extremity biomechanics. Tiger’s injuries will, of course, impact his ability to play; but a golfer of his level may certainly return to his beloved sport with accommodations to his eventual residual injuries.

Foot deformities, arthritis and muscle or tendon conditions all play a role in one’s ability to maximize your golf game. However, the lower extremity biomechanics of both bone and soft tissue pathologies as well as foot type has lagged in research in the golf arena when compared to conditions of the upper extremities. Despite the recognition that the swing “starts from the foot” and continues upward, very few have studied the limitations and conditions of the feet on the swing.

As a fairly new golfer and podiatric physician, I have been lecturing across the county on considerations for both podiatrists and golf instructors. Foot deformities, tendon problems, previous surgery and joint limitations all have influence on the golf swing. I have been working with golf professionals to consider what types of accommodations may be helpful for golfers. A recent lecture.

Along with the rest of the world, I wish Tiger a speedy recovery and a return to the best possible outcome for his foot function in both walking and in golf. To quote Tiger himself, I hope he is able to “stay patient, stay in the moment, and keep grinding”. If anyone can overcome the severity of this injury, it is Tiger Woods.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Wishes for a Foot Healthy New Year! New Concerns That Have Made the News....


It may now be 2021 but the lingering affects of 2020 are still upon us.  Covid 19 has made its mark in so many ways that continue to effect foot health for the start of 2021.  While  Covid Toes is the most obvious way that the pandemic effects the feet, there are many other considerations for maintaining healthy feet and ankles as we begin the new year.  Recent articles in the Chicago Tribune have addressed some of these concerns.

Covid Determines Who is Willing to Provide Treatment

Many pediatricians, including those in suburban Chicago, are avoiding seeing their pediatric patients in person and sending them to urgent care centers if a virtual visit is not enough.  While this may be adequate for some minor illnesses, this is not acceptable for injuries of the foot. Unless an obvious broken bone is present, the emergency room is the wrong place to go even in non-Covid times.  Foot and ankle injuries are often mismanaged by urgent care centers or undermanaged by emergency rooms.  While these facilities may be able to rule out fractures, the immediate treatment of foot injuries may not be adequate based on the limited knowledge and resources of these emergency room or internal medicine physicians. In either case, your child will likely be referred to a podiatric physician for follow-up. 

Covid Footwear:  The Return of Crocs and Resurgence of Slippers

Many retailers, both online and brick and mortar, will tell you that the sale of dress shoes has been way down since the beginning of the pandemic.  With people working from home, casual slip-on shoes, slippers and even Crocs Crocs have made a comeback.  The problem with all of these shoes is that the lack of heel and arch support lead to heel pain for many people.  Commonly known as plantar fasciitis  heel pain begins when band like structure on the bottom of the foot (the plantar fascia) is unsupported and becomes strained at its attachment at the bottom of the heel.   This condition is both easily controlled if treated early on and extremely debilitating if it is not. 

 Croc’s were all the rage not too long ago.  In fact, at Family Podiatry Center, we used to sell the medical version of these slip-on shoes which had a deeper heel cup for some heel stability.  The rubber absorbs shock and the wide toe box makes them perfect for accommodating bunions. 


Have a Foot Healthy New Year!  Make one of your foot care resolutions  to have your heel pain or other foot and ankle problems evaluated and treated by a podiatric physician!

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

What Actually is a "hairline fracture" Mr. President-Elect?

President-Elect Biden suffered a foot injury while playing with his dog “Major” over the recent holiday weekend.  Mr. Biden was diagnosed with a hairline fracture of the middle and lateral cuneiforms which are located in the center region of the foot.  While this type of fracture is not usually associated with tripping over one’s dog, he will likely be in a walking boot or shoe for several weeks.

What is a “hairline fracture”?

Hairline fractures are actually “stress fractures” where the bone fractures or cracks under excessive stress and are common in the weight bearing bones of the foot.  They are usually caused by constant and repetitive stress and strain to the bone.  Stress fractures may occur from overuse, repetitive athletic activities and even due to bone alignment and foot deformities. High impact sports such as basketball, running and even ballet place someone at risk for a stress fracture.  

The treatment for stress fractures is to rest the bone and control the abnormal forces on the bone.  This may mean a cast, a walking boot or surgical shoe.  Healing will be monitored with x-rays and by the improvement of clinical symptoms.  It often takes a bone four to six weeks to heal enough to withstand forces placed on it.  If a bone were to be subjected to similar stress too early, it could easily refracture.  Generally, we tell patients to plan on at least 8 weeks without athletic activities after a stress fracture.  There are ways to speed up healing of bones as well as soft tissues but immobilization is always necessary to some degree.

While President-Elect Biden was transported presidential style to his doctor for a foot injury, all YOU have to do is contact Family Podiatry Center to be seen for an urgent same day or next day appointment.  And while Mr. Biden needed to go to a second facility, the physicians at Family Podiatry Center are the MOST qualified to evaluate, diagnose and treat all your foot and ankle injuries!  Podiatric physicians are specifically trained in all thing’s feet – giving you the best and most appropriate care rather than first seeing a general or even a general orthopedic physician or physician assistant first.  At Family Podiatry Center, we have in-office x-ray and diagnostic capacity so you will most likely get an accurate diagnosis on your first visit!

Monday, August 10, 2020

Regenerative Medicine for Heel Pain has Become the Standard of Care!

Regenerative medicine involves techniques to replace, engineer or regenerate cells and tissue to restore or establish normal function.  Techniques include injections of stem cells, bone marrow aspirate and amniotic tissue which all supply needed hormones and substances that enable non-healing tissue to heal.  Heel pain due to plantar fasciitis or plantar fasciosis is the perfect indication for regenerative medicine.

Many practices, including my own, now use some type of placental tissue as an in-office injection.  

Placental tissues may include the placental disc, umbilical cord and the amniotic membrane. These tissues do contain stem cells but in smaller concentrations; however they have the same advantages of controlling inflammation and preventing scar formation which is common in chronic heel pain.    These "amnio injections" contain all the good stuff such as extracellular matrix, growth factors, cytokines and collagen.  They function as a foundation for the regenerative process and support restoration of tissue.    

So next time your podiatrist recommends an injection for your heel pain, don't be surprised if it's not a cortisone injection!