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


November 2019

The part of the body that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone is called the Achilles tendon. This tendon allows the foot to point and flex, and it is necessary for it to function properly in order to walk. It is susceptible to normal wear and tear, and may gradually rupture. This condition is called Achilles tendinosis, and can cause severe pain and discomfort. The noticeable signs that an Achilles tendon injury may have occurred is immediate pain in the calf and surrounding areas, limited mobility, and a popping sound may be heard at the time of the injury. This ailment may happen for a variety of reasons. These can include wearing incorrect shoes for a particular sport, exercising on uneven surfaces, or from medical conditions such as flat feet. Treatment may consist of performing specific stretches that can heal and strengthen the Achilles tendon, in addition to elevating the affected foot, which may reduce existing swelling. It is strongly advised that you consult with a podiatrist if you have endured this type of injury.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, 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 the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What Are the Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in McMurray and Hickory, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 18 November 2019 00:00

How Do Bunions Develop?

A bunion typically develops gradually, and is considered to be a deformity. It is defined as a bony protrusion that forms on the side of the big toe. This condition can occur as a result of genetic factors, or from wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in. Symptoms that many patients may experience are redness and swelling surrounding the affected area, a burning sensation, or the feeling of numbness. In severe cases, an X-ray may be necessary to perform to help determine how large the bunion is, in addition to observing any existing arthritis. Moderate relief may be found if orthotics are worn, as well as resting the foot. If the bunion is causing extreme pain, surgery may be a viable option for treatment. This can be successful in permanently straightening and realigning the joints and bones. If you have developed a bunion, it is advised that you schedule a consultation with a podiatrist who can offer treatment options that are correct 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 and Hickory, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Wednesday, 13 November 2019 00:00

Heel Pain Can Be Treated!

Do you suffer from heel pain when you get up in the morning?

Tuesday, 12 November 2019 00:00

Fungus and Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is a common condition that affects the bottom of the feet or in between the toes. It can be uncomfortable as a result of consistent itching, and in severe cases, blisters may form. It is caused by a fungus that typically lives and thrives in moist environments. These types of areas often include public swimming pools, shower room floors, and surrounding areas. It is considered to be contagious, and an effective prevention method may consist of wearing appropriate shoes while in these places. Some patients may find mild relief if an anti-fungal spray is applied. If you are noticing symptoms of athlete's foot, it is suggested that you speak to a podiatrist who can properly diagnosis this condition, and prescribe medication if this ailment is severe.

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is often an uncomfortable condition to experience. Thankfully, podiatrists specialize in treating athlete’s foot and offer the best treatment options. If you have any questions about athlete’s foot, consult with Dr. Kevin F. Gallagher from Gallagher Podiatry. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality treatment.

What Is Athlete’s Foot?

Tinea pedis, more commonly known as athlete’s foot, is a non-serious and common fungal infection of the foot. Athlete’s foot is contagious and can be contracted by touching someone who has it or infected surfaces. The most common places contaminated by it are public showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools. Once contracted, it grows on feet that are left inside moist, dark, and warm shoes and socks.

Prevention

The most effective ways to prevent athlete’s foot include:

  • Thoroughly washing and drying feet
  • Avoid going barefoot in locker rooms and public showers
  • Using shower shoes in public showers
  • Wearing socks that allow the feet to breathe
  • Changing socks and shoes frequently if you sweat a lot

Symptoms

Athlete’s foot initially occurs as a rash between the toes. However, if left undiagnosed, it can spread to the sides and bottom of the feet, toenails, and if touched by hand, the hands themselves. Symptoms include:

  • Redness
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Scaly and peeling skin

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis is quick and easy. Skin samples will be taken and either viewed under a microscope or sent to a lab for testing. Sometimes, a podiatrist can diagnose it based on simply looking at it. Once confirmed, treatment options include oral and topical antifungal medications.

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

 

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Hammertoe is a medical condition that most commonly affects the second, third, or fourth toe. The condition is referred to as such due to the abnormal downward bend in the affected toe that creates a hammer-like appearance. Hammertoe may form when there is an imbalance present in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that are meant to keep the toe straight. Many factors influence the causes of hammertoe, including: footwear which constraint the toes such as heels, previous toe injuries, toe length, aging, genetics, and the presence of certain diseases such as arthritis or diabetes. Along with the bending of the toe, those affected may also experience pain, swelling, redness, and the formation of corns or calluses on top of the hammertoe’s middle joint. To help prevent such from happening, one can practice the following: wearing low heels, making sure footwear is accommodating to the room needed for your toes, wearing adjustable laces and straps, and having proper arch support. Lifestyle changes and exercise may aid in nursing this condition as well. Because hammertoe is likely to worsen overtime, it is advised you speak with a podiatrist early on to discuss the proper treatment.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Kevin F. Gallagher from Gallagher Podiatry. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

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

Read more about What Are Hammertoes?
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