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Podiatrist - Washington
853 Jefferson Ave
Washington, PA 15301
(724) 225-7410
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Posts for tag: Ankle sprain

By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
July 25, 2018
Category: Ankle Pain

At Philip S. Pinsker, DPM, we see a fair number of ankle injuries. It’s important to seek medical treatment promptly for ankle issues because the type and severity of the injury is often something a patient is unable to assess. Common ankle issues include:

Sprain—there are two sets of ligaments surrounding your ankle which are responsible for holding bones together and maintaining proper alignment of the ankle. When you twist your ankle you force these ligaments to stretch beyond their normal range of motion and this results in an ankle sprain. The ligaments can be stretched, torn or completely ruptured.

Strain—a strain involves injury to muscle rather than ligaments.

Fracture—a stress fracture or hairline crack in the ankle bone may mimic symptoms of a sprain. Pain may be intermittent and most noticeable with activity but then goes away when your ankle is resting.

Symptoms for all of these conditions can include:

  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Difficulty or inability to bear weight on the affected ankle

Diagnosing the Problem

Our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker, will start by examining your ankle, checking for swelling, bruising and tenderness. He will also use imaging studies such as an x-ray, MRI or CAT scan to gain an accurate picture of your ankle internally. Once the type and severity of the injury are known, the foot doctor can prescribe the correct treatment.

Between the time of your injury and your appointment, you should follow the RICE regimen: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Once the podiatrist determines the best treatment plan for your injury, be sure to follow it and complete the full course of physical therapy prescribed. One of the biggest errors patients make is stopping treatment because the pain in their ankle is gone. Strengthening the muscles that support the ankle takes a long time. Not fully rehabilitating an ankle injury is the number one cause of chronic ankle pain and instability.

If you have hurt your ankle—even if you think the injury is minor—don’t delay. Contact our Washington office for an appointment as soon as possible by calling: (724) 225-7410.

 

By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
February 28, 2018
Category: Ankle Pain

Your ankle is an incredibly strong joint. It is able to withstand approximately one and a half times your body weight when you are walking and up to eight times your weight when running. Ankle injuries, however, can weaken the joint and lead to long-term problems like chronic ankle instability which we treat regularly at Philip S. Pinsker, DPM.

Signs of chronic ankle instability include:

  • Frequent turning of the ankle when walking on uneven surfaces, playing sports or even standing
  • A wobbly or unstable feeling in the ankle
  • Persistent discomfort
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Pain

The most common cause of chronic ankle instability is an ankle sprain or sprains that have not been fully rehabilitated. After an ankle sprain, the overstretched ligaments often affect balance. The muscles that surround the ankle and support the ligaments need to be retrained in order to restore balance and full function of the ankle. Too often patients stop physical therapy sessions when they no longer feel ankle pain but before full healing occurs. A weakened ankle is likely to give way and be sprained again. Each sprain stretches the ligaments further, creating a downward spiral of greater instability which in turn leads to more ankle sprains.

Treatment Options

Our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker, will want to examine your ankle to see if there is swelling, tenderness or any signs of instability. X-rays or other imaging studies may be ordered to get a complete picture of the ankle’s condition. There are several nonsurgical treatment methods for chronic ankle instability:

  • Medications to help relieve pain and inflammation
  • Physical therapy to strengthen the ankle muscles and increase range of motion and balance
  • Bracing to help give the ankle more support as it heals and to prevent future sprains

In some cases, surgery may be needed to repair the ligaments. If you are suffering from the symptoms of chronic ankle instability contact our Washington office for an appointment by calling: (724) 225-7410.

By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
February 21, 2018
Category: Foot Health

It’s about this time of the year that we at Paul S. Pinsker, DPM find that many of our patients are planning to escape the wintry weather and head off on a vacation to a tropical destination. In order to ensure that your vacation is a relaxing getaway and not painfully sidelined by foot or ankle problems we’d like to suggest you add the following items to your pack list:

Appropriate shoes—think through what activities you may do on your trip. If there’s a chance that you are going to do something more active than lay by the pool or ocean, make sure you pack a pair of shoes that will support your feet properly. Walking tours in flip-flops or trying to play tennis in sandals puts you on the fast track for an ankle sprain or other foot injuries.

Sunscreen—most likely this is already on your pack list but take this as a reminder to actually put in on your feet. If you will be spending the afternoon with your feet up in a lounge chair apply to the bottoms of your feet as well. While you’re putting it on, check your feet for any unusual moles or freckles. Your feet require the same protection and checking as the skin on the rest of your body for skin cancer. (Report anything unusual or changes in existing freckles to our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker.)

Flip flops—okay, this is one of the few times you’ll find us recommending this type of footwear but when you are at the beach or public pool flip-flops keep your feet from coming in contact with surfaces where others have walked barefoot. This will protect you from athlete’s foot, fungal toenails, warts and other viral and bacterial infections. On the beach flip flops can prevent cuts from sharp rocks, bottle caps and stings from jellyfish that have washed up on the shore.

First aid kit—no one plans to get hurt but it’s always best to be prepared. Pack first aid ointment and bandages for minor cuts and also moleskin to cover sore spots on feet and prevent blisters. Open wounds are an entry point for infection so avoid going in the pool with uncovered cuts.

If you have questions before your trip regarding a chronic foot problem don’t hesitate to contact our office at: (724) 225-7410.

By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
December 13, 2017
Category: Foot Safety
Tags: Ankle sprain  

As temperatures go down the number of fall related injuries that we see at Philip S. Pinsker, DPM begins to rise. Even though winter weather can make sidewalks, driveways and other walkways slippery, there are steps you can take to minimize your risk of a fall.

  • Choose the right shoes. While you might not pick high heeled boots or spiky party heels to go out and shovel snow, you might take a chance and run into a store on your way to a holiday party. Those few minutes, however, could end in a slip or fall that results in an ankle sprain or foot fracture. Always wear shoes with a good tread on the bottom to give you traction when walking in wet, slushy or icy conditions.
  • Watch where you walk. If it has snowed recently, plot a path into your office or store before getting out of the car. Look to see where the sidewalk or parking lot is most cleared of snow and preferably salted too. Be aware of shaded areas where an ice patch may be. Don’t carry so many shopping bags that you can’t see the sidewalk in front of you.
  • Check the lighting. Be sure that your front walkway as well as the way into the garage, back door or any other entrances into your home is well lit so you can avoid obstacles and slippery spots.
  • Keep a pair of gloves in your coat pocket—not your hands! Having your hands free can help you balance and brace yourself if you do slip. If you have your hands in your pockets because they are cold and you fall the injuries will likely be much worse.
  • Be sure current podiatric disorders are being properly treated. If you are experiencing foot pain or discomfort make an appointment to see our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker. Pain can cause you to alter the way you walk, creating an unsteady gait and raising your fall risk.

If you do slip or even take a tumble contact our Washington office by calling (724) 225-7410 if you are in pain or notice other symptoms such as swelling, bruising or tenderness. These could be signs of an injury that requires medical attention.

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.