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


Blog

Monday, 29 April 2019 00:00

Possible Causes of Gout

Symptoms that are often associated with the form of arthritis known as gout include joints that are stiff, red, or swollen. It develops as a result of excess uric acid in the body and collects in the joints of the big toe. This build up comes from eating foods that have elevated levels of purines, which include red meat and shellfish, or it can develop from genetic traits. Additionally, people who consume large amounts of alcohol can be afflicted with gout, in addition to patients who take low-dose aspirin or diuretics. People who have gout often experience severe pain and discomfort, and it may be difficult to walk. A proper diagnosis is typically performed by extracting a small amount of fluid from the affected joint, which is effective in noticing any crystals that are present. If you have this condition, it is suggested to counsel with a podiatrist who can begin the correct treatment.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Kevin F. Gallagher from Gallagher Podiatry. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

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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Tuesday, 23 April 2019 00:00

How Do Broken Toes Heal?

The bones in the toes are delicate and small and can easily break if a heavy object drops on one of them. Some of the symptoms that are associated with broken toes include bruising that may last for one to two weeks, severe pain, stiffness, and swelling. Many broken toes can be treated without surgery, unless the fracture is severe. This includes breaks, which result in the toe becoming crooked, or causes an open wound. The healing process begins with resting and elevating the foot, and this is helpful in reducing any existing swelling. Many patients find it beneficial to tape the affected toe to the toe next to it, and this is referred to as buddy taping. If you have endured an injury to your toe, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can offer proper treatment options.

A broken toe can be very painful and lead to complications if not properly fixed. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Kevin F. Gallagher from Gallagher Podiatry. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What to Know About a Broken Toe

Although most people try to avoid foot trauma such as banging, stubbing, or dropping heavy objects on their feet, the unfortunate fact is that it is a common occurrence. Given the fact that toes are positioned in front of the feet, they typically sustain the brunt of such trauma. When trauma occurs to a toe, the result can be a painful break (fracture).

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • Throbbing pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising on the skin and toenail
  • The inability to move the toe
  • Toe appears crooked or disfigured
  • Tingling or numbness in the toe

Generally, it is best to stay off of the injured toe with the affected foot elevated.

Severe toe fractures may be treated with a splint, cast, and in some cases, minor surgery. Due to its position and the pressure it endures with daily activity, future complications can occur if the big toe is not properly treated.

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.

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Living with foot pain is hard on your body.  Give us a call and let us find out what's wrong.

Monday, 15 April 2019 00:00

Preventing Heel Pain

The heel is the largest bone in the foot, and pain occurring in either the front, back, or bottom of it can sometimes be debilitating. Foot abnormalities, wearing ill-fitting shoes, and injury are all possible causes of heel pain. Four of the most common conditions that cause heel pain are heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, excessive pronation, and Achilles tendinitis. There are ways to help prevent these conditions that can be implemented in everyday life. Wearing the right shoes for every activity is important, especially when exercising. Stretching before exercising will help prepare your feet for the strain that is caused by certain amounts of physical activity. Pacing yourself is also essential; your feet can become overworked and when put under too much stress will react poorly. If you are experiencing heel pain, make an appointment with a podiatrist who can offer proper treatment options.

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, 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.

Causes of Heel Pain

Heel pain is often associated with plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissues that extends along the bottom of the foot. A rip or tear in this ligament can cause inflammation of the tissue.

Achilles tendonitis is another cause of heel pain. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon will cause pain from fractures and muscle tearing. Lack of flexibility is also another symptom.

Heel spurs are another cause of pain. When the tissues of the plantar fascia undergo a great deal of stress, it can lead to ligament separation from the heel bone, causing heel spurs.

Why Might Heel Pain Occur?

  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes                  
  • Wearing non-supportive shoes
  • Weight change           
  • Excessive running

Treatments

Heel pain should be treated as soon as possible for immediate results. Keeping your feet in a stress-free environment will help. If you suffer from Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis, applying ice will reduce the swelling. Stretching before an exercise like running will help the muscles. Using all these tips will help make heel pain a condition of the past.

If you have any questions please 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.

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Monday, 08 April 2019 00:00

Where Are Plantar Warts Located?

A plantar wart differs from other warts because it is found on the heel of the foot. It is known to grow inward as a result of pressure that is put on the heel while walking and can cause severe pain and discomfort. This type of wart is considered to be contagious, and it is suggested to speak to your child about refraining from sharing shoes and towels. It appears as a small, hardened area of skin, and may have black dots in the center. If the wart begins to spread or causes chronic pain, it is suggested that you speak to a podiatrist who can recommend effective methods of treatments. These may include applying prescribed medication, or possibly injecting the site with specific medicine. It is strongly recommended that your child keep all follow-up appointments, which may aid in attaining a complete recovery.

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Kevin F. Gallagher from Gallagher Podiatry. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

About Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus, getting into open wounds on the feet. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.

While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain or those suffering from diabetes or a compromised immune system require immediate medical care. Plantar warts are easily diagnosed, usually through scraping off a bit of rough skin or by getting a biopsy.

Symptoms

  • Lesions on the bottom of your feet, usually rough and grainy
  • Hard or thick callused spots
  • Wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots
  • Pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing

Treatment

  • Freezing
  • Electric tool removal
  • Laser Treatment
  • Topical Creams (prescription only)
  • Over-the-counter medications

To help prevent developing plantar warts, avoid walking barefoot over abrasive surfaces that can cause cuts or wounds for HPV to get into. Avoiding direct contact with other warts, as well as not picking or rubbing existing warts, can help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. However, if you think you have developed plantar warts, speak to your podiatrist. He or she can diagnose the warts on your feet and recommend the appropriate treatment options.

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.

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Wednesday, 03 April 2019 00:00

Do your Child's Feet Hurt?

Have your child's feet been examined lately?

Monday, 01 April 2019 00:00

Are Cracked Heels Painful?

Many people enjoy wearing sandals during the summer months. This may be the time of year when cracked heels may be noticed. This condition may develop as a result of dry skin on the heels, and may become worse if not promptly treated. Walking may become painful, and severely cracked heels may cause bleeding. A common reason why cracked heels can develop may come from standing for extended periods of time during the day. Additionally, there can be medical conditions that may exist which may lead to the formation of cracked heels. These may include psoriasis, obesity, or dermatitis. Mild relief may be found by utilizing a good moisturizer several times per day. If you have this ailment, it is advised to consult with a podiatrist who can determine the severity of this condition, and offer proper treatment options.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Kevin F. Gallagher from Gallagher Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.

How Do You Get Them?

Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.

Promote Healing

Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief or who suffer from chronic dry feet.

Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.

Moisturizers – Applying both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.

Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin. 

Change in Diet

Eating healthy with a well-balanced diet will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to the kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements can also revitalize skin tissue.

Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed. 

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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