The walking boot—sure, it may look a little silly and it may feel a little bulky but that’s because it’s meant to offload pressure from a broken bone or injured tissues in the initial aftermath of foot surgery or trauma. However, a small number of patients find themselves stuck in these contraptions for months, unable to make that transition from offloading to walking in a regular shoe again. The podiatrists at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine offer tips on dealing with walking boot discomfort and inflammation.
It’s been over a month since NHL’s Ryan Suter finished his season with a fractured right ankle. Suter was averaging four more minutes of game time than any other Wild player at the time and led the team in shorthanded and power play ice time. Over the season, he amassed 51 points in 78 games, including 45 assists. Not too shabby. That put him just behind Jason Zucker, Mikael Granlund, and Eric Staal in the team standings. He proved to be one of the Wild’s hardier players, ending his 242 consecutive game streak.
Without their top defenseman and leading assistant, they were easily knocked out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs by the Winnipeg Jets, who took it to the next level after dominating the series 4-1. There were other factors, of course: some questionable calls (and lack thereof), not to mention the loss of Zach Parise mid-series and Jared Spurgeon’s less-than-100% performance following a hamstring injury.
Whether you’re a Wild fan or a fellow ankle surgery candidate, you may find yourself wondering: What happens during ankle surgery, and what’s the recovery process? The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine has foot and ankle surgeons on staff in New York City who specialize in this type of injury.
The bone in our bodies is a specialized form of connective tissue comprised of 60% mineral (mainly calcium hydroxyapatite), 35% organic material (mostly collagen), and 5% water. Like any other tissue in the body, bone responds to stress caused by weight-bearing activity. Bone remodels in response to mechanical stress, depending on the load, cycle frequency, and the amount of strain. When collagen molecules are compressed, the strain causes microscopic cracks known as stress fractures, which can be a precursor to full fractures. The muscles are a helpful ally in protecting the bone, as they absorb some of the shock that would otherwise be taken up by the bone. Therefore, a muscle-strengthening program is often part of successful stress fracture prevention and a recovery routine.
The development of a stress fracture is complex. We must take into consideration intrinsic factors like sex, race, age, bone geometry, leg length, and foot structure, as well as extrinsic factors like shoe type, training surfaces, regimen, muscle strength, medications, and smoking. We cannot overlook the importance of a healthy diet in protecting against stress fractures or in expediting bone healing.
Of the 206 bones in the average human body, more than half are located in the hands and feet. That being said, the feet, in particular, withstand a tremendous amount of force. When running, a 150-pound person can withstand 1,000 pounds of pressure. Repetitive motions, poor footwear support, diminishing bone density due to age, and weaknesses in other areas of the body all make foot fractures more likely to occur. As such, our NYC foot surgeons treat fractures frequently, and some of these fractures require the use of orthopedic hardware implants. But you may be wondering, “What exactly does that mean?” So today, we’d like to shed some light on these types of implants and whether you should consider orthopedic hardware removal.
Actress Gwyneth Paltrow was spotted in Los Angeles at the end of May, wearing a soft cast on her right foot. The Daily Mailspeculated that the cause could have been Paltrow’s assertion that “earthing”—walking without shoes to “absorb electrons from the earth and neutralize free radicals”—is the way to improve mood, inflammation, and insomnia. They also pointed to ex-husband Chris Martin’s admission that Paltrow suffers from osteopenia, a decrease in bone density and a precursor to osteoporosis. She appeared on Jimmy Kimmel a few days ago to set the record straight.
Casts are common immobilization devices used in White Plains podiatry. Unfortunately, a cast can form a very unappealing odor in a matter of days. The unpleasant odor occurs when the cast becomes wet or moist for any reason. Moisture, particularly sweat, feeds the bacteria on your skin’s surface, resulting in that awful odor. While you may be doing an excellent job keeping your cast out of water, sweating can still cause you to feel self-conscious. Our NY foot surgeons have a few tips for getting through this challenging time in your recovery.
Maintaining a positive disposition during recovery is one of the biggest challenges for our Manhattan foot fracture patients. The feet are central to everything we do — whether it’s getting out of bed in the morning, fixing a snack, ambling to the bathroom, or working. Two months is an awfully long time to “lay low,” especially for the busy professionals, athletes, and celebrities that populate New York. Perhaps we can all take a page from Kelly Osbourne, who put on a brave face for the judging of “Australia’s Got Talent” despite being in excruciating pain.
“Stress fracture” is a dreaded phrase in NYC runner circles, but it’s a fact of life for 5-K runners, marathon trainers, triathletes, and recreational weekend warriors alike. Within the foot bones, there are thousands of toothpick-like structures called spicules that support your weight. Repetitive motion through over-training, running form errors, or nutritional deficiencies can cause these “toothpicks” to snap. They’ll eventually be replaced by new ones that make the bone stronger, but you can expect a good six-week break from running activities.
Noncompliance is a big issue for medical practitioners who want to see their patients make the best recovery possible. With podiatry, it’s a particularly big challenge to stay off one’s feet for months on end. There are all sorts of products like casts, boots, wheelchairs, crutches, and orthopedic shoes to help, but patients often feel silly or find them difficult to use. Many times, the body feels better even though it has not, in fact, healed fully. Professional baller Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers learned this the hard way. After stress fracture surgery on his right foot in March 2014, he took an entire season off, spent some time in a boot, and wound up back in the operating room this past June.
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Wednesday, November 18th, 2015
We get a lot of questions at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine from active patients who want to stick with their current plans — be it a vacation or mountain climb — even though they’ve recently injured their foot or ankle. They want to know how soon is “too soon” to push it, what they can realistically accomplish given their state of injury, and whether or not we think it’d be prudent for them to go ahead and follow their hearts’ desires. These are all good questions. The recent story of a woman who climbed a mountain with a broken foot illustrates what CAN be possible, though it’s not what we’d recommend for everyone.
“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 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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