Dr. Theall's Blog

Posts for tag: flat feet

            In many cases, if you need to reconstructive foot or ankle surgery, you’ll know it pretty quickly. Reconstructive surgery is often need after severe breaks or sprains in your feet and ankles, and your podiatrist will always inform you of your options in those scenarios. Other times, reconstructive surgery will come as a last-resort decision in healing a more longstanding condition. In this blog, we’ll talk about the types of reconstructive foot and ankle surgeries we offer at Gentle Touch Foot Care and help you prepare for them.

Ankle Fractures

    An ankle fracture may affect one or more of the bones in your ankle. Ankle fractures can sometimes be healed through conservative methods, but in more severe cases, they will require reconstructive surgery to restore stability to the joint. More mild fractures can be treated with a realignment surgery that involves repositioning the broken bones, sometimes with a metal plate or screw. More complex fractures that involve an indentation on the bone will require bone grafting, which results in a longer recovery time.

Flat Feet

   Some people are born with flat feet, but others develop them later in life as the result of a fallen arch. If your arch collapse, it could completely change the way you walk, which could cause further problems in your hips and back. Typically, in this reconstructive surgery, the surgeon would recreate a natural arch by grafting the bone to the foot. Afterwards, physical therapy may be necessary to regain complete function of the foot.

Soft Tissue Masses

            Tumors in the feet are not often talked about but are still not completely uncommon. They take the form of soft lumps on the bottom of your feet and might cause you some pain. The relieving news is that most tumors found on the feet are benign, meaning they will likely not develop into cancer. Still, it’s best to have them removed as soon as possible. If your foot doctor confirms that the lump on your foot is a tumor, they’ll work with you to determine the best way to surgically remove it without limiting any of your foot’s function.

            Surgery can be scary, but our doctors Bruce Theall, DPM, and Emad Yousef, DPM, are ready to work with you from diagnosis to recovery. If you’re in Essex County or East Orange, NJ, and are in need of an evaluation, make an appointment online today or call Gentle Touch Foot Care at (973) 673-3668.

By Dr. Bruce Theall
April 18, 2016
Category: Achilles Tendon

During the spring months you may start walking, running, and getting your summer body in shape and picking up some workout routines.  One of the most important factors to keep in mind when beginning to exercise regularly is proper foot wear.  Many people are unfamiliar with the best kind of shoe for a certain activity.  Whether it is walking, running, hiking, or weight lifting, you need to properly support your feet. 

Most people chose shoes according to fashion and comfort but this often not the ideal way to choose the best shoes for your feet.  You should see your podiatrist for the proper evaluation of your specific foot type, and remember that not all feet nor shoe is created equally.  It is important that when wearing walking shoes, they are comfortable and fit your feet.  Proper fitting and sizing can help prevent injuries such as abrasions, blisters, and calluses.  A walking shoe should also be fairly lightweight and provide good shock absorption.

There are so many different shoes to choose from and it is important for you to know your foot type as well as an evaluation by your podiatrist when deciding to purchase a new shoe.  Barefoot or minimalist shoes are only made for a certain foot type and not for people with pes planus or ‘flat feet’, most running shoes have extra heel cushioning and a low cut around the ankle to allow for proper ankle motion and stability.  Running shoes should be replaced every 200 – 400 miles, depending on usage.  However, the average runner will sustain an average of one injury per year which is not dependent on the amount of miles you have on your shoes but is due to training errors, such as over usage, and are responsible for at least 50 % of all injuries.  Any type of very flexible shoe, flats, sandals, and flip flops, can cause more problems when doing any kind of walking activity in them for long periods of time.  They offer no heel support, no ankle support, and no arch support which can lead to painful foot problems such as metatarsalgia, Achilles tendonitis, or plantar fasciitis

A podiatrist is the only person that is trained in a specialized field in medicine for anything concerning the lower extremity, foot and ankle, that’s why it is vital for you to visit your podiatrist if there are any problems concerning your feet.  If there are any other questions feel free to contact Dr. Theall’s Gentle Touch Foot Care office for all your foot and ankle needs and concerns at 973 673-3668.

By Dr. Bruce Theall
October 09, 2015
Category: Foot Care

Pain in the feet can be very general statement, but once your podiatrist does a proper evaluation, you can have all the answers to the questions regarding your foot pains.  The can easily be separated into three areas to help you and your doctor determine where most of the pain is and how it relates to you.  The heel, arch, and ball of the foot are the main three areas that present with pain, some are related to one another when diagnosing however, each area of the foot can have its own factors for causing the discomfort or pain.

                If there is pain in your heel, plantar fasciitis is the term commonly used and traced to an inflammation on the bottom of the foot. More specifically, plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the connective tissue, called plantar fascia that stretches from the base of the toes, across the arch of the foot, to the point at which it inserts into the heel bone.  Over-pronation is the most common cause of plantar fasciitis. As the foot rolls inward excessively when walking, it flattens the foot, lengthens the arch, and puts added tension on the plantar fascia. Over time, this causes inflammation.

                If there is pain in your arch, you may have painful flat feet, or pes planus, which is a very common postural deformity in which the arches of the foot collapse, and the  entire sole of the foot coming into contact with the ground.  Flat feet are a common condition of the foot structure.  In infants and toddlers, prior to walking, the longitudinal arch is not developed, and flat feet are normal.  Most feet are flexible and an arch appears when children begin standing on their toes.  Throughout the development from childhood to adulthood, there is constant growth and strengthening that occurs in the body and most people develop normal arches by full adulthood.  Some individuals have an arch that simply never develops in one foot or both feet.

                If you have pain in the ball of your foot, metatarsalgia is localized pain below and between the metatarsal bones, that is with or without bruising and inflammation.  Often times seen in conjunction with a neuroma/foot which is metatarsalgia caused by compression of a branch of plantar nerves between the heads of metatarsal bones.  The pain is often described as sharp and shooting pain in the toes especially upon flexion and can be localized to 2nd, 3rd, and 4th metatarsal heads or seen just in the 1st metatarsal head.  The pain is sometimes described as “walking over pebbles”. 

                Several treatments that can help if not cure most of these foot pains, are custom orthotics.  Orthotics are devices that are placed into shoes in order to correct abnormal walking patterns and to improve foot function.  Many times orthotics are confused with arch supports, which are over-the-counter devices available in pharmacies and retail stores. These arch supports claim to improve foot pain, but they fall short in helping most people, because of the poor quality of materials used, and the fact that they are not individualized to a particular person or that person's problems.

Another important, sometimes over looked aspect of decreasing foot pain the shoes we wear.  Most people chose shoes according to fashion and comfort, but this often is not the ideal way to choose the best shoes.  You should see your podiatrist for the proper evaluation of your specific foot type, and then a proper and specific recommendation will be given to you to purchase certain foot wear.  The correct shoe purchase is vital and you must consider the right shoe for the right level of your daily activity or sport.  Your biomechanics should be evaluated and are reflected in the shoe design.  Many additional pains in the feet are secondary to an inappropriate shoe types. 

A podiatrist is the only person that is trained in a specialized field in medicine for anything concerning the lower extremity, foot and ankle, that’s why it is vital for you to visit your podiatrist if there are any problems concerning your feet.  If there are any other questions feel free to contact Dr. Theall’s Gentle Touch Footcare office for all your foot and ankle needs and concerns at 973 673 – 3668.  Remember to always support your feet and they will carry you everywhere!!!

By Dr. Bruce Theall
September 17, 2015
Category: Shoes
Tags: flat feet   shoes   childrens feet  

It is the start of ‘that time of year again’ when all the children will be rushing back to school. However, it is best that they run in a brand new pair of shoes that are comfortable for them.  Just as adults like a comfortable supportive sneaker/shoe, more importantly children need to have the same as well.  As children grow, the same problems they have adults can have and vice versa.  Some of the most common podopediatric issues are pes planus (flat feet), rotational abnormalities (eg. intoed gait), digital deformities (curly, webbed toes), dermatological disorders (eg. tinea pedis, verucae, ingrown nails), and apophysitis / growth-related disorders (eg. Sever’s disease) most of the time found in children that are very active in sports

                              Children grow at an alarming rate and their feet area always changing sizes with increasing age.  Shoes and socks may change in size every few months as your child’s feet begin to grow and develop.  You should always monitor your child’s growth and gait or “how they walk”, to ensure they are not in any pain when walking and that they are growing at a normal rate.  If you do notice any odd walking pattern, contact your podiatrist immediately for a proper evaluation.  It is also very important that each child gets his or her own brand new shoe.  Old shoes, or “hand-me-down” footwear can cause problems and may not fit comfortable to your child’s foot, also this is a very easy way to spread different bacteria and nail fungus to a sibling. 

Most parents choose shoes according to fashion and comfort for themselves and for their children, but this often is not the ideal way to choose the best shoes for your child’s feet.  You should see your podiatrist for the proper evaluation of your child’s specific foot type, and then a proper and specific recommendation will be given to your child to purchase certain foot wear.  The shoe purchase is vital and you must consider the right shoe for the right level of your child’s daily activity or sport.  Your biomechanics should be evaluated and are reflected in the shoe design.  Many injuries are secondary to an inappropriate shoe types. 

If there are any other questions feel free to contact Dr. Theall’s Gentle Touch Foot Care office for all your foot and ankle needs and concerns at 973  673- 3668.  

By Dr. Bruce Theall
December 11, 2014
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Heel pain   orthotics   flat feet  

Flat Feet are another common concern that many parents have about their children's  feet. Flat feet in children after age 4 is cause for significant concern,  There is also a high chance that flat feet in childhood may lead to foot problems later in life due to a child's developing body using other muscles, tendons, and bones to compensate for the lack of support in the structure of the foot. It is recommended that your flat-footed child wear arch supports, orthotics and supportive shoes to ensure that the foot develops in a way that is consistent with proper weight bearing later in life.

Most importantly if one or both parents have flat feet it is likely their children will too. The flatfoot deformity in children causes a number of changes to the structure of the foot which is easily recognizable by the trained podiatrist. Flatfoot deformity causes the inside arch to be flattened, causes the heel bone to be turned outward, and causes the inside aspect of the foot to appear more bowed outward than normal. children with flatfoot deformity may have complaints in the foot such as arch, heel or ankle pain which is generally associated with increased standing, walking or running activities. However, since the excessive rolling inward of the arches of the foot also make the leg and knee more turned inwards, children with flat feet may also complain of pain in the low back, hip, knee, or legs.  

During the examination of the child, the podiatrist is looking for abnormal structure or function of the foot.  X-rays may be taken of the foot if a significant pathology is noted or suspected. The more severe the flatfoot deformity and the more significant the complaints  in the foot or lower extremity, then the more likely the podiatrist will recommend specific treatment for the flatfoot deformity. If the child has a mild flatfoot deformity and no symptoms, then generally no treatment is recommended other than possibly yearly check-ups by the podiatrist. If, however, the child has a moderate to severe flatfoot deformity and does have significant symptoms in the foot or lower extremity, treatment generally starts with both supportive shoes, such as high tops, and some form of in-shoe insert such as arch padding for the milder cases of flatfoot deformity.

More significant cases of flatfoot deformity may require more exacting control of the abnormal motion of the foot such as custom orthotics. If the child has a severe flatfoot deformity and disabling symptoms which does not respond to foot orthotics, shoes and/or stretching, then foot surgery to correct the flatfoot deformity may be indicated. Flatfoot surgery is done only for those children with the most severe deformities. Of course, the benefits of the surgery should be considered along with the risks associated with the surgery and a second surgical opinion is always recommended when considering flatfoot surgery on your child. Call Gentle Touch Foot Care at 973 673-3668 for an appoitment for a full consultation.