Fall is an exciting time as children begin the new sports season, but it’s also a time of injury as players transition from a summer of play to the rigors of competitive athletics. Injuries sustained in high school sports particularly can create chronic points of weakness that become re-injured in subsequent years. The feet and ankles are two of the most common locations for youth sports injuries. Here are six ways to protect your children from trouble this autumn.
Across the country, state battles are being waged to add diabetic foot care services to Medicaid and Medicare coverage. Podiatrists say that taxpayers wind up paying huge sums of money once minor foot issues become chronic wounds in need of more invasive emergency medical treatments. Lawmakers argue that adding these services would cost too much, given the growing pool of people now eligible for the program under the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion. In Las Vegas, for instance, 160,000 new people were added.
When compared to general practitioner and emergency room doctors, diabetic foot and ankle issues “can be treated so much more cost-effectively by a podiatrist,” argued Dr. Kenneth Fatkin from Henderson, Nevada.1http://www.reviewjournal.com/life/health/failed-medicaid-foot-care-proposal-could-cost-taxpayers-more Far too often, “head-to-toe” exams by primary care physicians focus on the upper body and skim over the feet, which can be a source of great suffering for some patients. We are fortunate here in New York State to have some of the best coverage for diabetic foot care in the country.2https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Medicare-Learning-Network-MLN/MLNProducts/downloads/MedicarePodiatryServicesSE_FactSheet.pdf
Custom orthotics have withstood a lot of flack over the years. The New York Times has reported that “Shoe inserts or orthotics may be helpful as a short-term solution, preventing injuries in some athletes — but it is not clear how.”1http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/22/fashion/thursdaystyles/22Fitness.html?pagewanted=allThe Chicago Tribune reported on a study from the British Journal of Sports Medicine that implied store-bought orthotics may be just as effective as custom orthotics from the podiatrist.2http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-03-30/a-z/sc-health-0330-orthotics-20110330_1_orthotics-physical-therapist-foot-pain Barefoot running enthusiasts would go so far as to say orthotics actually “weaken the foot” and are rarely ever needed.3http://www.thebarefootrunners.org/threads/are-orthotics-really-ever-necessary-by-dr-stephen-gangemi-a-k-a-the-sock-doc.5689/
Despite what naysayers may say, The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine in NYC has seen custom orthotics work wonders for certain types of patients — particularly athletes who are recovering from an Achilles tendon injury. The importance of orthotics can be plainly seen in the recent story of a Washington Redskins player who took to Twitter to find his lost insoles.4http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/13410635/deangelo-hall-washington-redskins-getting-cleat-insert-back-search
It is estimated that 10 to 20% of Americans suffer from an embarrassing foot condition known as hammertoe. “Rather than the toes sticking straight out and lying flat, they are locked in a perpetual curl. The toe then rubs against the top of the shoe — causing pain and irritation that makes shoe shopping a challenge,” explains Dr. Josef J. Geldwert from The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine in New York City.
“In many ways, the hammertoe is like the little sister of the bunion, another common foot deformity with hereditary links,” he adds. “This time of year, we do many elective surgeries to correct these problems when quality of life diminishes for our patients.” The good news is that a new procedure can correct hammertoes more efficiently than before.
Shockwave therapy has found favor among doctors treating everything from kidney stones and erectile dysfunction to Achilles injuries and even sore backs in horses.1http://equusmagazine.com/article/sore-horse-back-29066 It seems some of the most difficult maladies miraculously respond to pressure waves that cause fresh micro-trauma and signal the body’s natural defenses. What we often see with chronic injuries is that the body initially attempts to repair the damage, but eventually becomes “desensitized” to the pain and demands for healing over time.
Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy is a relatively new technology employed by podiatrists for the treatment of plantar fasciitis heel pain which fails to respond to conventional interventions.2http://www.aofas.org/footcaremd/treatments/Pages/Extracorporeal-Shock-Wave-Therapy.aspx The latest research confirms its effectiveness in reducing pain and improving quality of life in this cohort. NYC foot pain sufferers can find this new treatment available at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine offices in Manhattan and Westchester, NY.
Unlike many of the people we write about, Kelly Ripa is not known as an athlete. She’s best known for starring in soap opera All My Children from 1990-2002 and co-hosting the syndicated morning talk show Live! With Kelly and Michael. But like all of us, Kelly enjoys a rich extracurricular life outside of work that involves physical activities to keep her fit. Dance classes are one of her passions, but the tricky thing about this sport is that one false step while dancing can be immobilizing — as Kelly found out the hard way!
The latest series of guidelines to come down the pipeline from the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society urge caution and restraint in treating a number of conditions.1http://www.aofas.org/medical-community/health-policy/Documents/Choosing_Wisely_FINAL_9.5.14.pdf Podiatrists may be too quick to offer prescriptions or therapies, telling patients what they want to hear — rather than judiciously recommending treatments based on symptoms and trying the most conservative options first. While this may be frustrating to patients — especially ones who have recently switched foot doctors — sometimes less is best in this industry. Here’s what the society recently had to say about everything from bunions and flat feet to plantar fasciitis and Morton’s neuromas.
A new study published in the journal of Arthritis Care and Researchfound that about 25% of patients with knee osteoarthritis also have foot and ankle pain.1http://www.medpagetoday.com/Rheumatology/Arthritis/52399 The investigation of 1,255 patients found that people with foot pain and knee osteoarthritis were more likely to be young and female with a higher BMI. More than half the patients (54.9%) suffered from bilateral foot pain. Researchers could not determine whether the foot pain caused the knee problems, the knee problems caused the foot pain, or if both issues arose simultaneously, but they surmised that pronation and other biomechanical conditions resulted as patients overcompensated for the knee arthritis, and that overcompensation worsened the pain.
Countries like England and Australia readily come to mind when one hears the word “cricket,” but believe it or not, there are actually quite a few cricket teams right here in New York City. In fact, there are 12 leagues in NYC alone and the nearby Staten Island Cricket Club happens to be the oldest continuous organization in the US, with roots dating back to 1872. Here at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine in Manhattan, we’re no stranger to the types of foot and ankle injuries suffered by cricket players like Aussie Glenn McGrath, who famously sustained what the press referred to as a “freak” ankle injury.
Summer is a great time for fishing, whether you frequent one of the beautiful local New York beaches or head down south for more competitive sport fishing. New York podiatrists recommend wearing thick-soled water shoes when out on the beach and taking special care to watch where you’re walking. “A foot puncture wound is a very, very nasty thing,” states Dr. Ryan Minara from The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine in NYC. “Fishing hooks don’t just hit the surface-level skin. By design, these tools are made to hang on and not let go. They often tangle up in nerves, tendons, ligaments and even bones to make for a really painful, tricky situation,” he explains. We can’t tell you the exact specifics on NY beaches, but CBS News reports retrieving 81 fishing hooks from the neighboring New Jersey shoreline.1http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/04/16/hundreds-of-condoms-thousands-of-tampon-applicators-found-among-nj-beach-trash/ That’s a lot of potential foot injuries!
“I am so grateful for having had Dr. Geldwert perform bunion surgery on both of my feet. I have complete confidence in him and continue to see him for other sports related injuries. I was cautious about having surgery for the first time, but his knowledge, patience, and skill made me completely comfortable in trusting him. And I couldn’t be any happier with the results!! When anything else feels wrong with my feet, I love that I now know to go immediately to him. He is my top choice for anyone searching for the best foot fixer/surgeon/sports doctor in NYC! Thank you, Dr. Geldwert!!!”
– J. M., Manhattan, NY
Manhattan Office 111 East 88th Street New York, NY 10128 (212) 996-1900 See map here
Westchester Office 10 Mitchell Place Suite 105 White Plains, NY 10601 (914) 328-3400 See map here
Manhattan Orthopedic and Sports Medicine 57 West 57th Street New York, NY 10019 (212) 996-1900 See map here
Dr. Josef J. Geldwert DPM, Dr. Katherine Lai DPM, Dr. Ryan Minara, DPM, and Dr. Mariola Rivera DPM serving Westchester County, White Plains, Ardsley, Bronxville, Harrison NY, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, New Rochelle, Rye, Scarsdale, Rye Brook, Chappaqua, and the surrounding area.
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