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


July 2020

Monday, 27 July 2020 00:00

Caring for Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Foot ulcers are an unfortunately common complication of diabetes. An estimated one in every six people diagnosed with diabetes will experience a foot ulcer in their lifetime. Left untreated, foot ulcers can progress and lead to osteitis and gangrene of the foot. Fortunately, there are things you can do to treat and prevent diabetic foot ulcers, including checking the feet daily for cuts or other irregularities, washing the feet at least once per day, and trimming the toenails every week. Other prevention methods are wearing socks and shoes that give the feet room to move around, keeping pressure off of any existing wounds, and of course, visiting your podiatrist regularly. If you have diabetes, consult with a podiatrist to learn more about treating and preventing diabetic foot ulcers.

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with Dr. Kevin F. Gallagher from Gallagher Podiatry. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

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.

Read more about Wound Care
Monday, 20 July 2020 00:00

Common Reasons a Hammertoe May Develop

Hammertoes, as its name suggests, may cause the affected toe to bend downward, resembling a hammer-like shape. Typically, this condition can affect the second, third, or fourth toes. Because hammertoes can be painful and cause a great deal of discomfort, it’s important that you seek professional help if you notice your toe’s appearance has become deformed. Common causes for a hammertoe’s development include a muscle imbalance, tightly-fitted footwear, a previous injury, and certain diseases such as arthritis or diabetes. Along with the noticeable change of appearance of the affected toe, some may also experience swelling, redness, a burning sensation, and the development of corns or calluses on the top of the middle joint of the affected toe. For more advice on how to treat a hammertoe, please seek the professional guidance of a podiatrist.

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

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

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.

Read more about Hammertoe
Monday, 13 July 2020 00:00

Do I Have a Sprained Ankle?

The ligaments that support the ankle are extremely important. If they become overstretched or torn, an ankle sprain may occur. There are a few common symptoms that can indicate an ankle sprain has developed including pain, soreness, swelling, bruising, and difficulty bearing weight or walking on the affected ankle. It is possible to obtain a sprained ankle if the ankle gets twisted, or if the foot rolls onto its side. While ankle sprains are typically correlated with sporting accidents, they can occur from simply taking an awkward step or tripping. As far as treating an ankle sprain, a podiatrist may suggest the use of an ankle brace or splint to help protect the ankle. Swelling may be dealt with by elevating the ankle, as well as alternating cold and warm compresses. Rest is key, so refraining from bearing weight on the affected ankle can be beneficial to the healing process. For a proper diagnosis and an advised treatment plan, please consult with a podiatrist.

Although ankle sprains are common, they aren’t always minor injuries. If you need your ankle injury looked at, 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.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains are the result of a tear in the ligaments within the ankle. These injuries may happen when you make a rapid shifting movement while your foot is planted. A less common way to sprain your ankle is when your ankle rolls inward while your foot turns outward.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Pain at the sight of the tear
  • Bruising/Swelling
  • Ankle area is tender to touch
  • In severe cases, may hear/feel something tear
  • Skin discoloration

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

In many cases, the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevate) is used to treat ankle sprains. However, you should see a podiatrist to see which treatment option would work best with your injury. In severe cases, surgery may be required.

It is important to ask your doctor about rehab options after you receive treatment for your injury. Stretching, strength training, and balance exercises may help the ankle heal while also preventing further injury.

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.

Read more about Ankle Sprains
Friday, 10 July 2020 00:00

Gout Pain Can Be Managed

Gout is a painful, inflammatory form of arthritis. Those affected will typically feel an intense stiffness in the joints of their feet, particularly in the big toe. Schedule a visit to learn about how gout can be managed and treated.

Monday, 06 July 2020 00:00

Possible Symptoms of Poor Circulation

One symptom that is associated with poor circulation is cold feet. This can be a result of limited blood flow, and it may be indicative of serious health issues. Additional signs of this condition can include a tingling or numbing sensation, increased blood pressure, and the feet may feel heavy. There are several reasons why poor circulation may develop. These can consist of being obese, leading a sedentary lifestyle, and having medical conditions such as diabetes. Research has indicated it is beneficial to perform low-impact exercises that can consist of yoga, swimming, and walking. Patients have found relief when compression stockings are worn which may help to increase circulation. If you have symptoms of poor circulation in your feet, it is strongly advised that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can help you to manage this condition.

Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact Dr. Kevin F. Gallagher of Gallagher Podiatry. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is can be caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Plaque buildup or atherosclerosis results from excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. This can restrict the amount of blood which can flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.

Causes

Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development. It can also cause:

  • Muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness   
  • Numbness or cramping in the legs 
  • Skin discoloration
  • Slower nail & hair growth
  • Erectile dysfunction

Those who have diabetes or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, as are those who are over 50. If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions.

As always, see a podiatrist as he or she will assist in finding a regimen that suits you. A podiatrist can also prescribe you any needed medication. 

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 and ankle needs.

Read more about Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Poor Blood Circulation in the Feet
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