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Kevin F Gallagher, DPM
Board Certified in Foot and Ankle Surgery
(724) 941-4330


Blog

Monday, 28 January 2019 00:00

Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis affects about 1.5 million people in the United States and is a very serious disease. It is an autoimmune disease that causes the body’s immune system to mistakenly attack joints. This attack creates inflammation that causes the tissue lining on the joints to thicken, which causes pain and swelling. It is important to catch this inflammation early, because over time it can damage cartilage, elastic tissue that covers bones in the joint, and the bones themselves. This damage can lead to the joint spacing between bones to shrink, which causes joints to become loose, unstable and painful. Joint deformity is also a possibility, and this cannot be reversed. Rheumatoid arthritis usually occurs symmetrically, so if one foot or ankle is affected then the other one most likely will be too. If you feel that you have any symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis, it is highly recommended that you speak with a podiatrist to start treatment as soon as possible.

Because RA affects more than just your joints, including the joints in your feet and ankles, it is important to seek early diagnosis from your podiatrist if you feel like the pain in your feet might be caused by RA. For more information, contact Dr. Kevin F. Gallagher of Gallagher Podiatry. Our doctor will assist you with all of your podiatric concerns.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the membranes surrounding the joints. Inflammation of the lining and eventually the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone occur, causing severe pain and immobility.

Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Feet

Although RA usually attacks multiple bones and joints throughout the entire body, almost 90 percent of cases result in pain in the foot or ankle area.

Symptoms

  • Swelling and pain in the feet
  • Stiffness in the feet
  • Pain on the ball or sole of feet
  • Joint shift and deformation

Diagnosis

Quick diagnosis of RA in the feet is important so that the podiatrist can treat the area effectively. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, occupation, and lifestyle to determine the origin of the condition. Rheumatoid Factor tests help to determine if someone is affected by the disease.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in McMurray, Hickory, Mt. Oliver, and Dormont, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Feet
Wednesday, 23 January 2019 00:00

Reminder - When was the last time...

Custom orthotics (shoe inserts) should be replaced periodically. They need to fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles.

Monday, 21 January 2019 00:00

Helping Your Child with Sever’s Disease

Sever’s disease is a common ailment that many younger children face. It affects open growth plates in the heel of the foot and usually strikes between the ages of 8 and 14, but the development can vary depending on the child. Some symptoms to look for are foot or heel pain and difficulty in walking. Some children only feel slight discomfort while others may develop a limp due to intense pain. Sports are one of the main causes for this disease, because frequent physical activity irritates the growth plate. Oftentimes, participating in sports year-round will trigger this discomfort, because the growing bones don’t have time to fully recover. Sometimes all the foot needs is a break from physical activity to heal itself. If you think your child may be suffering from Sever’s disease, it is strongly recommended that you consult with a podiatrist in order to properly treat their pain.

Sever's disease often occurs in children and teens. If your child is experiencing foot or ankle pain, see Dr. Kevin F. Gallagher at Gallagher Podiatry. Our doctor can treat your child’s foot and ankle needs.

Sever’s Disease

Sever’s disease is also known as calcaneal apophysitis, which is a medical condition that causes heel pain I none or both feet. The disease is known to affect children between the ages of 8 and 14.

Sever’s disease occurs when part of the child’s heel known as the growth plate (calcaneal epiphysis) is attached to the Achilles tendon. This area can suffer injury when the muscles and tendons of the growing foot do not keep pace with bone growth. Therefore, the constant pain which one experiences at the back of the heel will make the child unable to put any weight on the heel. The child is then forced to walk on their toes.

Symptoms

Acute pain – Pain associated with Sever’s disease is usually felt in the heel when the child engages in physical activity such as walking, jumping and or running.

Highly active – Children who are very active are among the most susceptible in experiencing Sever’s disease, because of the stress and tension placed on their feet.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in McMurray, Hickory, Mt. Oliver, and Dormont, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle injuries.

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Monday, 14 January 2019 00:00

Causes and Symptoms of Bunions

The medical term that is referred to as hallux valgus is commonly known as a bunion. This foot condition occurs when the big toe leans toward the toe next to it, and the result may be a bony protrusion that extends on the side of the big toe. There are additional symptoms that may be associated with this ailment, which may include swelling in the affected joint, the skin becoming callused and red, which may be a result of the two toes overlapping, or possibly changes in the foot structure. Many patients notice pain may derive from wearing shoes that no longer fit comfortably. There may be several causes of bunions, and these may include an inherited trait, wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in, or possibly a medical condition such as gout or rheumatoid arthritis. If you feel you have developed a bunion, it is strongly suggested that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can begin the correct treatment for you.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact Dr. Kevin F. Gallagher of Gallagher Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why Do Bunions Form?

Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions

How Are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How Are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in McMurray, Hickory, Mt. Oliver, and Dormont, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Bunions
Monday, 07 January 2019 00:00

Ankle Sprains May Cause Ankle Pain

Many people will experience some type of ankle pain at some point in their lives. If you have fallen and have injured the ligaments, you may have what is referred to as an ankle sprain. These ligaments aid in connecting the leg bones to the foot and may often become injured as a result of a fall that has occurred. There may be noticeable symptoms appearing, which may include bruising, the inability to walk on the ankle, pain and discomfort, or swelling. To determine if the ankle is sprained or broken, a proper diagnosis is performed, which will typically include having an X-ray taken. If the injury appears to be severe, an MRI may be taken, which may be helpful in observing detailed images of the ankle. There are several ways to treat an ankle sprain, and it is suggested to speak with a podiatrist who can properly guide you toward choosing the correct treatment option.

Ankle pain can be caused by a number of problems and may be potentially serious. If you have ankle pain, consult with Dr. Kevin F. Gallagher from Gallagher Podiatry. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Ankle pain is any condition that causes pain in the ankle. Due to the fact that the ankle consists of tendons, muscles, bones, and ligaments, ankle pain can come from a number of different conditions.

Causes

The most common causes of ankle pain include:

  • Types of arthritis (rheumatoid, osteoarthritis, and gout)
  • Ankle sprains
  • Broken ankles
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Achilles tendon rupture
  • Stress fractures
  • Bursitis
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Plantar fasciitis

Symptoms

Symptoms of ankle injury vary based upon the condition. Pain may include general pain and discomfort, swelling, aching, redness, bruising, burning or stabbing sensations, and/or loss of sensation.

Diagnosis

Due to the wide variety of potential causes of ankle pain, podiatrists will utilize a number of different methods to properly diagnose ankle pain. This can include asking for personal and family medical histories and of any recent injuries. Further diagnosis may include sensation tests, a physical examination, and potentially x-rays or other imaging tests.

Treatment

Just as the range of causes varies widely, so do treatments. Some more common treatments are rest, ice packs, keeping pressure off the foot, orthotics and braces, medication for inflammation and pain, and surgery.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in McMurray, Hickory, Mt. Oliver, and Dormont, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

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