Friday, March 30, 2012

Dustin McGowan Has Plantar Fasiitis

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Dustin McGowan has plantar fasciitis in his right foot. McGowan was just recently given a 2 year $3 million extension to stay with the Jays. His condition is listed as day to day and the team hopes he will recover in time for the season opener.
The right hander was forced to leave a Minor League game during the second inning with pain in his foot. McGowan was the clear favorite to win the final spot in the Jay's starting rotation, but he may initially lose that to Aaron Laffey or Kyle Drabek.
As recently blogged, plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the band of tissue (the plantar fascia) that extends from the heel to the toes. In this condition, the fascia first becomes irritated and then inflamed, resulting in heel pain.
The most common cause of plantar fasciitis relates to faulty structure of the foot. For example, people who have problems with their arches, either overly flat or high-arched feet, are more prone to developing plantar fasciitis.
Wearing non-supportive footwear on hard, flat surfaces puts abnormal strain on the plantar fascia and can also lead to plantar fasciitis. This is particularly evident when one's job requires long hours on the feet. Obesity may also contribute to plantar fasciitis.
Jeffrey S. Kahn, DPM
Craig M. Kaufman, DPM
Connecticut Foot Care Centers
Heel Pain Doctor in CT
Sports Podiatrist in CT
Podiatrists in Rocky Hill, Newington, Middletown, and Kensington, CT
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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Flyer's Ilya Bryzgalov Out With Foot Fracture

Seems like everyone in the sports world is suffering from a foot fracture these days. Philadelphia Flyer's goalie Ilya Bryzgalov joins Joba Chamberlain of the New York Yankees as the latest casualties.
The Flyer's goalie Bryzgalov's foot injury is a chip fracture in his right foot. He injured his foot Monday during pregame warmups. He limped into the locker rooms after the warmup and limped out even worse. The MRI taken shows the injury is to a weight bearing bone but is not considered a serious injury.
General manager Paul Holmgren said "We're hoping he will be back on the ice Friday and play this weekend. It's just a little bit of pain management for Ilya. He feels a little better today."
Bryzgalov will not play in today's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Bone chips like Bryzgalov's will usually get absorbed back into the system and surgery is not typically needed.
Craig M. Kaufman, DPM
Connecticut Foot Care Centers
Sports Podiatrist in CT
Podiatrist in Newington, Kensington, and Middletown, CT
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Joba Chamberlain Ankle Injury

Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain was playing with his son on a trampoline when he dislocated his right ankle last Thursday. It is unknown if Chamberlain was on the trampoline when the injury happened. New York's bullpen is looking like the walking wounded after David Robertson got a bone bruise tripping up stairs while moving boxes. 
There is no timetable for Chamberlain's return to the game. The 6 foot 2, 240 pound righty pitcher had been recooperating from elbow ligament replacement surgery and wasn't expected to return until June or July anyway. Bone broke through the skin during the dislocation. 
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said that Chamberlain had surgery and would be in the hospital for several days. When asked if this injury would threaten Chamberlain's career, Cashman replied: I'm not in a position to say. Right now it's too early for that. He's in very good hands. He's a healer. He's a tough guy." 
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said about the injury, "My guess is he landed funny." He went to see Chamberlain at the hospital on Friday morning and both of them got "a little emotional. I wanted to see how he was doing. You know it's crushing. I just told him, we're going to be here for him, we're going to get you through this and we're going to get you back on the mound. But you're going to go through some difficult times. You can only look forward. You've got to look forward. You can't look at 'what if?' You can see the disappointment, there's no doubting that." 
Foot injuries can happen at anytime, off the mound and on the mound. Being proactive and cautious about your surroundings is key. 
Craig M. Kaufman, DPM
Connecticut Foot Care Centers
Sports Podiatrist in CT
Podiatrist in Newington, Kensington, and Middletown CT
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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Brook Lopez's Fractured Foot

New Jersey Net's basketball player Brook Lopez has had yet another setback in his season. A CT Scan showed that the center for the Nets has another crack in the fractured foot that has kept his off the courts for most of the season.
"Brook had another CT scan and in looking at it, the doctors noticed a little line that's healing, but hasn't completely healed, and so we're going to keep him out for two more weeks and re-evaluate then," General manager Billy King told the New York Post. "It just hasn't completely healed. He has no pain whatsoever."
The new fracture was not a result of the original break on December 21, but rather a complication of the ankle sprain on March 4.
Nearly one-fourth of all the bones in your body are in your feet. A broken (fractured) bone in your forefoot or in one of your toes is often painful, but rarely disabling. Most of the time, these injuries heal without operative treatment.
There are two types of foot fractures: stress fractures and general bone fractures. Stress fractures usually occur in the bones of the forefoot extending from the toes to the middle of the foot. Stress fractures are like tiny cracks in the bone surface. They can happen with sudden increases in exercise (such as running or walking for longer distances or times), improper training techniques, or a change in surfaces.
Most other types of fractures extend through the bone, and are called bone fractures. They may be stable, in which there is no shift in bone alignment, or displaced, in which the bone ends no longer line up properly. Bone fractures usually result from trauma, such as dropping a heavy object on your foot, or from a twisting injury. If the fracture does break through the skin, it is called an open fracture.
Because of the complex structures in the foot, there are some other, more specific types of fractures that can occur. For example, the fifth metatarsal, known as the little or pinky toe, is susceptible to a variety of different fractures. The relationship between the ankle and the foot can be compromised by an ankle-twisting injury, which may tear the tendon that attaches to this bone and pull a small piece of the bone away. A more serious injury in the same area is known as a Jones fracture, which occurs near the base of the bone and disrupts its blood supply. This injury may take longer to heal or require surgery.
Common symptoms for any type of foot fracture includes pain, swelling, and sometimes bruising. Be sure to seek medical attention for any suspected foot fracture.
Craig M. Kaufman, DPM
Connecticut Foot Care Centers
Sports Podiatrist in Newington, CT
Podiatrist in CT
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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tiger Woods Achilles Tendon Injury

Tiger Woods had to withdraw from the Cadillac Championship on Sunday after 11 holes because of pain in his left Achilles tendon. This is the same Achilles tendon he injured last year at the Augusta National, which caused Woods to miss two majors. This is the third time in three years that Woods has had to leave a game because of injuries. 
"I felt tightness in my left Achilles warming up this morning, and it continued to get progressively worse," Woods said in a statement. "After hitting my tee shot at 12, I decided it was necessary to withdraw. In the past, I may have tried to continue to play, but this time, I decided to do what I thought was necessary." He had been changing shoes through the game, and was lifting his left leg, flexing the ankle. Woods was walking with a noticeable limp. 
Woods' next engagement is in two weeks at Bay Hill, his last tournament before the Masters. 
Achilles tendonitis is a fairly common foot injury. A tendon is a band of tissue that connects a muscle to a bone. The Achilles tendon runs down the back of the lower leg and connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. Also called the "heel cord", the Achilles tendon facilitates walking by helping raise the heel off the ground. 
Two common disorders that occur in the heel cord are Achilles tendonitis and Achilles tendonosis
Achilles tendonitis is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon. This inflammation is typically short-lived. Over time, if not resolved, the condition may progress to a degeneration of the tendon (Achilles tendonosis), in which the tendon loses its organized structure and is likely to develop microscopic tears. Sometimes the degeneration involves the site where the Achilles tendon attaches the the heel bone. In rare cases, chronic degeneration with our without pain may result in rupture of the tendon. 
achilles tendon
As "overuse" disorders, Achilles tendonitis and tendonosis are usually caused by a sudden increase of a repetitive activity involving the Achilles tendon. Such activity puts too much stress on the tendon too quickly, leading to micro-injury of the tendon fibers. Due to this ongoing stress on the tendon, the body is unable to repair the injured tissue. The structure of the tendon is then altered, resulting in continued pain. 
Athletes are at high risk for developing disorders of the Achilles tendon. Achilles tendonitis and tendonosis are also common in individuals whose work puts stress on their ankles and feet, such as laborers, as well as in "weekend warriors"- those who are less conditioned and participate in athletic only on weekends or infrequently. 
In addition, people with excessive pronation (flattening of the arch) have a tendency to develop Achilles tendonitis and tendonosis due to the greater demands placed on the tendon when walking. If these individuals wear shoes without adequate stability, their over-pronation could  further aggravate the Achilles tendon.  
The symptoms associated with Achilles tendonitis and tendonosis include:
  • Pain- aching, stiffness, soreness, or tenderness- within the tendon. This may occur anywhere along the tendon's path, beginning with the tendon's attachment directly above the heel upward to the region just below the calf muscle. Often pain appears upon rising in the morning or after periods of rest, then improves somewhat with motion but later worsens with increased activity.
  • Tenderness, or sometimes intense pain, when the sides of the tendon are squeezed. There is less tenderness, however, when pressing directly on the back of the tendon.
  • When the disorder progresses to degeneration, the tendon may become enlarged and may develop nodules in the area where the tissue is damaged. 
In diagnosis Achilles tendonitis or tendonosis, the surgeon will examine the patient's foot and ankle and evaluate the range of motion and condition of the tendon. The extent of the condition can be further assessed with x-rays or other imaging modalities.
Treatment approaches for Achilles tendonitis or tendonosis are selected on the basis of how long the injury has been present and the degree of damage to the tendon. In the early stage, when there is sudden (acute) inflammation, one or more of the following options may be recommended:
  • Immobilization. Immobilization may involve the use of a cast or removable walking boot to reduce forces through the Achilles tendon and promote healing.
  • Ice. To reduce swelling due to inflammation, apply a bag of ice over a thin towel to the affected area for 20 minutes of each waking hour. Do not put ice directly against the skin.
  • Oral medications. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibruprofen, may be helpful in reducing the pain and inflammation in the early stage of the condition.
  • Orthotics. For those with over-pronation or gait abnormalities, custom orthotic devices may be prescribed.
  • Night splints. Night splints help to maintain a stretch in the Achilles tendon during sleep.
  • Physical therapy. Physical therapy may include strengthening exercises, soft-tissue massage/mobilization, gait and running re-education, stretching, and ultrasound therapy.
If non-surgical approaches fail to restore the tendon to its normal condition, surgery may be necessary. The foot and ankle surgeon will select the best procedure to repair the tendon, based upon the extent of the injury, the patient's age and activity level, and other factors. 
To prevent Achilles tendonitis or tendonosis from recurring after surgical or non-surgical treatment, the foot and ankle surgeon may recommend strengthening and stretching of the calf muscles through daily activities. Wearing proper shoes for the foot type and activity is also important in preventing recurrence of the condition. 
Craig M. Kaufman, DPM
Connecticut Foot Care Centers
Sports Podiatrist in Newington CT
Foot Doctor in Newington and Kensington CT
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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Baseball and Your Feet

Baseball is the national pastime in America. From kids to adults, playing baseball is one of the most enjoyable team sports. But as with other sports, it's important that you keep yourself in good condition and have the right equipment to play safely and enjoy the health benefits of the game. Baseball players are advised to condition their entire bodies and be sure to stretch the leg, ankle, and foot muscles before, during, and after play to avoid injuries. 
Baseball can be characterized by lots of stops and starts, lots of running, and, of course sliding. Practice and technique can enhance your competency and enjoyment of the game, but they are also crucial for building up the muscles needed in baseball. The rapid and changing movements associated with the sport place many pressures on your feet and ankles. Inadequate stretching, improper shoes, and repeated motions lead to the most common foot problems that occur among baseball players, such as Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, shin splints, stress fractures, ankle sprains, and bone fractures.
Baseball Shoes and Cleats
As with most athletic shoes, comfort is the most important element in choosing the right baseball shoe for you. Look for shoes with a roomy toe box that give your toes enough room to wiggle. The widest part of your foot should fit comfortably into the shoe without stretching the upper. Look for a snug heel to help keep your foot stable. Most importantly, remember to replace your baseball shoes after 70 to 75 hours of active wear.
For league play, cleats may be recommended to give you the traction needed for the surface in the diamond. Baseball cleats come in a variety of materials ranging from leather and synthetic materials (plastics) to rubber and metal. Be sure to follow the regulations of your league regarding the material allowed; many leagues no longer permit the use of metal spikes or cleats, particularly on artificial turf. Be sure to give yourself time to adjust to cleats by wearing them on the designated surface.
Craig M Kaufman, DPM
Connecticut Foot Care Centers
Sports Podiatrist in Newington, CT
Podiatrist in CT
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