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Podiatrist - Washington
853 Jefferson Ave
Washington, PA 15301
(724) 225-7410
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Posts for category: Foot Conditions

By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
November 30, 2017
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Diabetes   Raynaud's   fissures  

Here at Philip S. Pinsker, DPM, we find that each season has its unique foot care concerns and winter is no exception. As the first blasts of cold weather push their way into Southwestern PA we want to remind our patients to be on the lookout for a few podiatric conditions:

Cold feet—this one may seem kind of obvious but continually cold feet that don’t warm up in a normal period of time once inside can indicate a medical condition. At this time of year these types of disorders can be harder to notice since it’s natural to have cold feet. Most often perpetually cold feet indicate a circulatory or blood flow issue. Peripheral vascular disease and diabetes are two major contenders in this arena. Other medical conditions that may have cold feet as a symptom include: chillblains, fibromyalgia, autoimmune diseases, such as lupus and hormonal conditions like hypothyroidism. In some cases your feet are a “first alert” to these diseases and that’s why an ongoing cold feet problem should be checked by our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker, to determine the cause.

Raynaud’s phenomenon—this disorder can stand alone or be part of a greater systemic autoimmune problem. Patients with Raynaud’s experience spasms in the blood vessels in response to exposure to cold. These cause the toes (and fingers) to turn bluish white and then red before warming up and returning to normal which can take up to 20 minutes. If you have been diagnosed with Raynaud’s you’ll want keep feet and fingers covered with extra layers and limit your time out in the cold.

Xerosis and heel fissures—another common issue in winter months is extremely dry skin (also known as Xerosis). When the temperature drops the heat goes on and this increases the challenge of keeping skin moisturized and hydrated. It’s important to stay ahead of dry skin by drinking plenty of water and applying a rich, emollient moisturizer daily. In worst cases skin can become flaky, itchy and cracks or fissures can develop. These can be painful and also a gateway for infection-causing bacteria to enter the body.

If the cold weather is having an adverse affect on your feet contact our Washington office for an appointment today by calling: (724) 225- 7410.

By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
August 01, 2017
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Athlete's Foot   arthritis   psoriasis  

Psoriasis is a disorder that involves the immune system and causes skin cells to grow at an abnormally fast rate, resulting in scaly patches that build up on the skin—often the skin on your feet and hands.  At Philip S. Pinsker, DPM, we sometimes see patients who think they have a case of athlete’s foot, but then discover that it is psoriasis.

According to research, at least 10 percent of people have inherited one or more genes that could predispose them to developing psoriasis. However, only 2 to 3 percent actually end up with the disease. Scientists believe that external factors, known as triggers, may be what cause certain people to develop the disease. Although not all triggers affect all people with the genes for psoriasis, the ones listed below have been shown to be definitely linked:

  • Skin injury—areas of the skin that have been traumatized by injuries, sunburn, scratches or vaccinations may be more susceptible to psoriasis. This is known as the Koebner phenomenon.
  • Stress—this can be the cause of a first time flare up or a trigger for someone who has already been diagnosed with psoriasis.
  • Medications—certain medications have been linked to psoriasis. These include some of the ones used to treat: high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis and depression.
  • Infection—anything that challenges your immune system can set off a psoriasis attack.
  • Lifestyle and Environment—many patients report that diet, weather and allergies can also play a role in triggering psoriasis flare ups, although scientists have not yet definitively confirmed these.

Keeping Psoriasis Under Control

The first step is to diagnose psoriasis. There is no blood test for the disease. Our foot doctor, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker, will examine your skin and ask about your family medical history—about 1/3 or all patients diagnosed with psoriasis have a family member who has the condition as well. In some cases, a biopsy may be done on a piece of affected skin. There are a variety of treatment options available depending on the type of psoriasis and the severity of a particular flare up.

If you are concerned about any rashes or skin irregularities contact our Washington, PA office by calling: (724) 225-7410.

By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
July 13, 2017
Category: Foot Conditions

Some injuries are more difficult to diagnose than others. At Philip S. Pinsker, DPM, one area of the foot that can mimic other conditions in its injury symptoms is the Lisfranc joint. The Lisfranc joint is located midfoot where the bones in the arch of your foot connect to the base of the metatarsal bones (the long bones that go up to your toes). Symptoms of a Lisfranc injury include:

  • Pain throughout the midfoot, particularly when standing or if pressure is applied
  • Inability to bear weight on the foot
  • Swelling
  • Abnormal widening of the foot
  • Bruising or blistering on the arch or top of the foot

Making the Correct Diagnosis

Lisfranc injuries can happen due to direct or indirect trauma to the foot. Examples of direct trauma to the foot are a heavy object falling on it or an injury that occurs from an on-field collision. An indirect trauma usually happens through a twisting injury. Sometimes Lisfranc injuries are mistaken for ankle sprains. Our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker, will need to examine your foot and ankle and will want to know specifically how the injury occurred. Imaging studies, such as x-rays may be ordered to fully evaluate the injury. 

A Lisfranc injury can take three forms:

Fractures: this can be a break through one or more of the bones in the midfoot or an avulsion fracture (where a small fragment of bone is pulled off).

Sprains: the Lisfranc ligament, along with other ligaments found on the bottom of your foot are responsible for helping to keep the Lisfranc joint stable. If one of these is overstretched or sprained, a patient will likely experience pain and instability in the foot.

Dislocations: this is when the bones of the Lisfranc joint are pushed out of their normal position from the force of a trauma.

While there are several conservative treatment measures available for Lisfranc injuries, surgery may be required depending on the specific type of injury and its severity. Once the foot doctor is able to accurately pinpoint the location and type of injury the proper treatment can begin. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, don’t wait. Contact our Washington office as soon as possible by calling: (724) 225-7410. 

 
By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
May 25, 2017
Category: Foot Conditions

For most people wearing shoes is just a part of daily life that we do without much thought. But for patients that we at Philip S. Pinsker, DPM see with Haglund’s Deformity it is a painful and dreaded experience. Also known as “pump bump,” Haglund’s Deformity refers to a bony enlargement that develops in some people at the top of the heel—right about the spot where the edge of a pump heel would hit. In many cases, a defect in foot structure or mechanics predisposes your foot to develop this bony bump. Haglund’s Deformity can also occur in patients with high arches, a tendency to underpronation (walking on the outside edge of your foot) or a tight Achilles tendon. Although you cannot change the structure of your foot, below are ways to decrease the pressure on the bony protrusion and relieve pain:

  1. Reduce pain and inflammation. With repeated pressure and friction from stiff shoes, high backed work boots or ice skates the tissue and skin around the pump bump becomes inflamed, swollen and very painful. To relieve these symptoms, our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker, may recommend rest to give the heel a chance to heal. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as Ibuprofen and icing the heel are two other pain relief methods the foot doctor can choose.
  2. Modify shoe choices. Shoes with no backs will be the easiest on your heel if you have this condition. When choosing closed back shoes, look for ones with heel cups made of soft, flexible material. You may also want to consider heel pads to place between the shoe and the bony protrusion for added comfort and protection.
  3. Correct the cause. Depending on what is responsible for your pump bump, there may be ways to help decrease the pressure such as using heel lifts to compensate for a high arch, stretching exercises to loosen up a tight Achilles tendon or custom orthotics to help correct a structural problem.

After examining your heel, the foot doctor will know the best course of treatment for your Haglund’s Deformity. If you have this conditions, contact our Washington office at your soonest convenience by calling: (724) 225-7410.

 

 

By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
April 19, 2017
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Orthotics   hammertoes   calluses   corns  

Many times at Philip S. Pinsker, DPM, we see patients with hammertoes who have waited (and suffered) a long time before coming to us because they feared surgery. Ironically, the best way to avoid surgery for a hammertoe is to come to the foot doctor as soon as you first notice the tendency of your second, third or fourth toe to bend downward into the namesake shape of a hammer. Our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker will start by examining your toe and foot and most likely getting an x-ray of the toe. Then an appropriate treatment plan can be created. There are several non-invasive ways to treat hammertoe including:

Medications—if the hammertoe is causing a good deal of pain, the podiatrist may recommend oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen to reduce pain and inflammation. Corticosteroid injections are another medication option for bringing pain relief.

Footwear Modifications—your choice of shoes can greatly aggravate or ease the pressure on a hammertoe. You will want to avoid high heels and shoes with narrow and short toe boxes that force the deformed toe up against the front of the shoe. Shoes made of soft material with a roomy toe box will be more comfortable and will lessen the irritation to the affected toe.

Padding—if corns or calluses have formed as a result of the hammertoe the foot doctor can prescribe pads to protect these areas on the toe and foot from further pressure and friction.

Splinting/strapping—the foot doctor may use splints or straps to realign the toe.

Orthotic devices—since the primary cause of hammertoe is a muscle/tendon imbalance that can be caused by a structural problem in the foot the podiatrist may suggest an orthotic device to be worn in your shoes to help control the imbalance.

What’s important to note is that hammertoe will not go away without treatment. Although it may progress slowly and not cause discomfort initially it will eventually progress to the point where the toe is rigid and surgery is the only option. If you believe you have a hammertoe or the beginnings of one, contact our Washington office for an appointment at your earliest convenience by calling: (724) 225-7410.