Dr. Theall's Blog

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When you suffer from a serious and sudden injury to your foot or ankle your automatic reaction may be to go directly to the emergency room. There are situations when this is obviously appropriate. Your hospital's emergency department is equipped to deal with all types of traumatic injuries, and they are available 24/7. 

Many sudden podiatric injuries, however, while they may be excruciatingly painful and make it difficult to walk, are not truly emergent. You could be in a for a long, uncomfortable wait at the emergency room where you'll also be exposing yourself to a host of potentially contagious illnesses. An ER physician will likely stabilize your injury and tell you to follow up with a podiatrist. A better choice may be to get treated at our office by a podiatrist that specializes in the structure and function of the foot and has extensive experience evaluating and treating foot and ankle injuries. 

Benefits of an Office Visit Over an ER Visit

If you're unsure whether or not to go to the emergency room for a foot or ankle injury, call us first. One of our podiatrists will talk to you on the phone and ask questions about the condition of your foot to determine if an emergency room visit is necessary. If it's decided that your best option would be getting treated in our office, you'll usually be able to get an appointment the same day. You'll receive comprehensive diagnosis and treatment with some additional advantages:

  • Faster treatment in a safe and comfortable environment
  • One stop service for your injury: our offices offer digital x-rays and other imaging studies on site as well as a full range of bandages, braces and other treatment materials
  • Most current diagnostic and treatment technologies available because we specialize in podiatric care
  • Avoid expensive emergency room charges on top of podiatrist cost

After Hours? No Problem

Even if your injury takes place when the office is closed we still recommend you call us first. We have a podiatrist on call round the clock who can assess your injury over the phone. If your injury requires attention, we can then schedule you the following morning for treatment.

When a podiatrist treats your foot or ankle injury you also get the assurance that your diagnosis and treatment is being done by an experienced professional doctor who is fully focused on podiatric medicine and trained in the most current treatment methods. 

Disclaimer: Use your best judgment when assessing any injury (foot, ankle or otherwise). If you are unable to call us first for a sudden traumatic injury and are unsure which is the best route for treatment, err on the side of caution and go directly to the ER.

 

310 Central Avenue Suite 301 East Orange, NJ. 07018
Phone 973-673-3668. Fax. 862-252-9542

January 12, 2021
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Toenail fungus (onychomycosis) is an infection that lives underneath the nail, in the skin of the nail bed. It is an infection of the nail caused by fungi such as dermatophytes, non-dermatophyte molds and yeasts.

Some contributing factors that can increase the risk of developing toenail fungus include: Wearing closed-toe shoes. Getting pedicures with improperly sanitized tool. Having a chronic illness, such as diabetes or HIV. 

It is important to be evaluated by a podiatrist to appropriately diagnose nail changes. A piece of the nail is usually sent to a lab for evaluation of organisms for proper treatment. If the nail comes back fungal, the following options are available:

  1. Topical preparations in the form of a lacquer or solution applied to the nail plate. However, success is limited with this option. This option is best for a nail that is not completely affected by a fungus.
  2. Oral Lamisil. This is the most effective systemic therapy. This treatment is reserved for certain patients, which can be determined by your podiatrist if you are a candidate.
  3. Laser therapy. This usually improves effectiveness of topical preparations and can have a similar outcome to oral medication. Talk to your podiatrist for your options

Treatments will help your nail grow in healthy. Toenails, on average, require about 9-12 months for full re-growth. If you think you have a fungal infection in your nails, come get them evaluated at Gentle Touch Foot Care! Call today to make your appointment at 973-673-3668. Get your nails looking healthy again!

December 07, 2020
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Joe Biden was playing with his dog, Major, last week when he slipped and fell and injured his foot. When he went to get it checked out, x-ray showed no fractures. However with the severity and location of the pain, getting further imaging was not a bad idea. His CT scan, which shows the bones in great detail, proved to show that he did in fact have stress fractures in the foot. Luckily, a simple treatment of wearing a walking boot for a few weeks will do the trick!

Stress fractures are not always visible on x-ray depending on when the injury occurred.  Sometimes a fracture is only visualized in more advanced imaging such as CT scan or MRI. In order to see a stress fracture on x-ray, the bone will have had to start healing already, which takes 2-3 weeks to show up. At this point, a bone callus around the affected bone will be visible as clouded fuzzy area. However, if someone is in enough pain, getting advanced imaging to prove a stress fracture sooner will help with treatment.

Usually, stress fractures do not need surgical intervention. They require a stiff soled shoe or walking boot with weight bearing as tolerated for 6-8 weeks. In the event that a stress fracture gets worse and becomes a displaced fracture, it may then require surgical intervention to realign the bones. So, when in doubt, it is important to have your podiatrist examine any injury you endure to prevent any further complications!

Give us a call at Gentle Touch Foot Care to make an appointment!

November is National Diabetes Month. As we come to the end of the month, I think it is important to have a quick discussion regarding diabetes and the feet. Problems with the feet are very common, but diabetics have a higher likelihood of complications, especially if blood flow and sensation has been affected. A concerning complication of diabetes is limb loss. This is a real concern being that 50-70% of all non-traumatic amputations in the US are performed on diabetics. However, there are steps that can be taken to prevent this from occurring.

  • Do NOT walk barefoot.
  • Wear properly fitting shoes and break them in slowly to prevent blisters/sores.
  • Always thoroughly dry your feet, especially between the toes.
  • Do not pull loose pieces of skin off.
  • Wear clean socks daily and throw them away when they get old.
  • Keep toenails trimmed, but visit your podiatrist for evaluation and trimming as to avoid any problems.
  • Do NOT attempt to trim/cut your corns and calluses on your own. Avoid commercial wart/corn removers as they may be dangerous with the chemicals included.
  • Avoid smoking. This further constricts and negatively impacts blood flow to the feet.
  • Avoid extreme heat or cold as diabetics are not as sensitive to the temperatures and this can be dangerous.
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY, examine your feet daily, including between your toes. If you cannot do it yourself, have someone help you. Always call your podiatrist immediately with anything concerning, especially openings in the skin, EVEN IF YOU HAVE NO PAIN.

If you have any questions regarding diabetes or would like to make an appointment with the office for a Diabetic Foot Check, please do not hesitate to call. Call Gentle Touch Foot Care at 973-673-3668 to make your appointment today!

By Bruce Theall, DPM
July 22, 2020
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If you just can’t seem to mirror the exercise routine from your gym, we have a suggestion: dance. That’s right. Turn on some music and find your groove. You’re not only burning calories but also having fun. If you’re at the house with your family members, bring them in on the fun, too. While dancing — and practicing social distancing, the Gentle Touch Footcare team is here to remind you of a few injuries to avoid.

Ankle sprain

An ankle sprain is a very common injury, and it can also be painful. Most sprains occur when a person overstretches or tears an ankle ligament. If you were grooving to the music a little too much, take it easy. Follow the PRICE method: protection, rest, ice, compression, and elevation. If you experience swelling, pain or tingling, contact our office.

Fracture

We recommend that you clear a space before dancing to your favorite tunes. Move furniture with sharp corners. Also, rearrange slippery rugs and other accessories. If you still happen to bump into something and experience pain, stop immediately. You may not realize that you have a toe fracture. Many people have a broken toe, but the initial pain can be dismissed if it is on and off.

Broken ankle

A more serious ankle injury is a broken ankle. With an ankle sprain, ligaments may have been torn or broken. With a broken ankle, which is more severe, a patient has broken bones. If you’re unable to put your weight on your ankle, it’s best to get an X-ray to determine if multiple bones have been broken. You probably won’t be dancing much if you experience this injury but stop your activity immediately.

We’ve taken serious precautions to protect our staff and patients. We kindly ask that you reschedule your appointment if you are experiencing any coronavirus symptoms. Make an appointment with Bruce Theall, DPM if you are concerned about an injury you may have experienced. Call us today at 973-673-3668. Our office is located at 310 Central Avenue East, Orange, NJ, 07018.