Blog
Thursday, 21 September 2017 00:00

Osteoarthritis and Your Feet

Learning More About Osteoarthritis

 

As we age, wear and tear on the joints can lead to osteoarthritis. Many people develop this common degenerative joint disease after age 50 and it worsens slowly over a period of several years. Inflammation and injury cause cartilage to break down, which can lead to swelling, discomfort, difficulty standing and walking, and even a change in the shape of the toes and foot.

Osteoarthritis in the Feet and Ankles

Did you know that there are 26 bones and more than 30 joints in your foot? That makes them especially prone to osteoarthritis.  Symptoms of foot and ankle osteoarthritis often include pain, stiffness, or swelling in the joints. Difficulty walking, moving, or bearing weight are also common indications that the disease has developed or progressed.

It’s not always easy to identify osteoarthritis. Some symptoms mimic those of other illnesses. For example, if you find yourself with sharp pain in the big toe, that could be arthritis but it could also be an attack of gout. Only your podiatrist can properly diagnose the source of your discomfort.

Treating Podiatric Osteoarthritis

Foot and ankle osteoarthritis can be treated in many ways. You’ll need to begin with a visit to your foot doctor. He or she will examine your feet and determine if your problem is actually osteoarthritis. The first methods of treatment might include over-the-counter and prescription medications including NSAIDS such as ibuprofen, custom orthotics prescribed by your podiatrist, steroid injections or a newer, more comfortable pair of shoes. Usually, surgery is only required in extreme cases.

 

Are your feet swollen or painful? Is it getting harder to stand or walk? You might be dealing with a case of osteoarthritis. Help is available! Click here or call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care’s friendly staff at 443-872-7052 today. We’ll schedule an appointment for you to see Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova in our comfortable and convenient Pikesville office.

The doctors will draw on their decades of education and experience and will use state of the art equipment and technology to examine your feet and determine whether you’re dealing with arthritis or another condition. They’ll work with you to create an effective treatment plan that will have you feeling better soon.

Thursday, 14 September 2017 00:00

Learning More About Corns and Calluses

Did you know that corns and calluses affect more people than any other kind of foot issue? Both corns and calluses can make walking painful and should be treated by a podiatrist upon first appearance.

Corns are hard, thickened areas of skin on your feet. There are three different common kinds of corns:

$1·      A hard corn is a small patch of thickened, dead skin with a small, dense plug of skin in the center. Hard corns generally occur on the tops and sides of the toes.

$1·      A soft corn has a much thinner surface and smooth center, appears whitish and rubbery, and usually occurs between the toes.

$1·      Seed corns are clusters of tiny corns that tend to occur on the bottom of the feet. They can be very tender if they are on a weight-bearing part of the foot. Seed corns may the result of blocked sweat glands.

Other corns, including fibrous corns, Durlacher’s corns, neurovascular corns, and subungual corns are rarer.

Like a corn, a callus is a patch of compact, dead skin that is subject to repeated friction over an extended period of time. Calluses can develop anywhere on your body. The most common podiatric callus is called a plantar callus and is found on the bottom of the foot.

Preventing Corns and Calluses

Corns and calluses are preventable. Here are some tips from Boris Abramov, DPM and Tatyana Abramova, DPM to keep your feet looking and feeling their best:

$1·      Always have both feet professionally measured when buying shoes, and only wear properly fitting shoes.  If you can't wiggle your toes in your shoes, they are too tight.

$1·      Avoid shoes with sharply pointed toes and high heels. If you need to wear them for work, commute in well-fitting flat shoes and then change them at the office.

$1·      Replace worn shoes – especially worn out athletic shoes – often. Sneakers should be replaced after 6 months or 500 miles.

$1·      Worn heels increase any uneven pressure on your heel bone. If the soles or heels of your shoes tend to wear unevenly, talk to your podiatrist.

$1·      If you have hammertoes, make sure that the shape of your shoes offers plenty of room to accommodate the affected toes.

Treatment for Corns and Calluses

The best way to treat your corn or callus is with a visit to your foot doctor. Your podiatrist will diagnose the source of your discomfort, and then painlessly remove the corn or callus using state of the art technology. Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova discourage the use of at-home remedies or over-the-counter corn removal pads containing any sort of acid. These can be dangerous for all patients, and especially so if you have diabetes, peripheral vascular disease or other chronic health conditions.

After your corn or callus is removed, follow up treatment is recommended. Your podiatrist will work with you to prevent recurrence. Preventative measures may include new footwear or custom orthotics to relieve pressure and irritation.

Are you dealing with uncomfortable corns or calluses on your feet? Click here or call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care today at 443-872-7052 to make an appointment. Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova will see you in our comfortable and convenient Pikesville office. You’ll be back on your feet in no time.

Friday, 08 September 2017 00:00

How to Identify and Manage Toenail Fungus

When a fungus enters and reproduces in a fingernail, a toenail, or the nail bed, an infection occurs. Fungal nail infections are common reasons for visits to the podiatrist’s office and should be treated promptly and thoroughly to prevent lasting damage from occurring. While for most patients such infections are unattractive but relatively harmless, for patients with compromised immune systems or chronic illnesses including diabetes they can be more serious.

Causes

A wide range of yeasts, molds, and fungi can lead to infections of the toenails and nail beds. Many are caused by t. mentagrophytes, the same type of fungus that causes athlete's foot. Others are caused by t. rubrum and other strains.  Small cuts and tears in the skin near your nails create pathways for the fungus to enter your system.

Symptoms

An infected nail may turn yellow or white, become thicker than usual, separate from the skin, and/or crumble and split. You may notice the fungus spread to other nails or your skin.  If you have a fungal infection, it may become uncomfortable to walk or stand for long periods of time, or even to wear shoes.

  

Prevention

Fungi grow best in warm, moist places, and are highly contagious. Here are some tips from Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova to keep infections at bay:

$1·      Always wear shoes in public places such as showers, locker rooms, and pools.

$1·      Never share personal items such as razors, towels, and nail clippers.

$1·      Be sure to bring your own tools to the nail salon.

$1·      Get treatment for athlete’s foot promptly and completely, as the fungus can quickly and easily spread from your skin to your nails.

 

Diagnosis and Treatment

Seek diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible if you suspect that you have a fungal nail infection. Left unaddressed over time, the infection can cause permanent damage to your nail or nail bed. With years of specialized training and experience, your podiatrist is the most qualified medical professional for the job. He or she can determine whether you in fact have a fungal infection and then work with you to decide on an effective course of treatment.

Boris Abramov, DPM and Tatyana Abramova, DPM  treat patients with fungal nail infections every week. They can help you too. If you are concerned about fungal nail infection or anything else related to the health of your feet, ankles, or lower legs, call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care at 443-872-7052 or click here to make an appointment at our convenient and comfortable Pikesville office.

Thursday, 31 August 2017 00:00

Learning More About Morton’s Neuroma

A neuroma is a thickening of nerve tissue. Neuromas can occur anywhere in the body. In the feet, the most common type of neuroma is a Morton’s neuroma, which develops between the third and fourth toes. Neuromas may also occur in other locations in the foot.

A neuroma is the result of compression and irritation of the nerve tissue. This compression creates swelling and enlargement of the nerve. If left untreated, it can lead to permanent nerve damage.

Anything that compresses or irritates the nerve can lead to the development of a neuroma. Common causes of neuromas include:

$1·      Repeated, frequent wearing of high heeled shoes with pointed toe boxes

$1·      Pre-existing foot deformities such as bunions, hammertoes, and flat arches

$1·      Long-term engagement in activities involving repetitive irritation to the ball of the foot, such as running or court sports

$1·      Injury or other trauma

If you are developing a Morton’s neuroma, you may notice one or more of these symptoms, especially in the area between your third and fourth toes:

$1      Tingling, burning or numbness

$1      Persistent discomfort

$1      A feeling like there is something inside the ball of your foot

$1      A sensation like there is something in your shoe or a sock is bunched up under your foot

The symptoms of a Morton’s neuroma typically begin gradually. At first, you may notice them only occasionally when wearing certain shoes or engaging in particular activities. They get better when you take off your shoes or massage your foot. In time, the symptoms worsen and may persist for days or even weeks at a time. The symptoms will become more intense as the neuroma enlarges and the temporary irritation to the nerve becomes permanent damage.

The treatment for your Morton’s neuroma will depend on the severity of the problem. The sooner your neuroma is diagnosed, the more like it is that non-surgical options – including icing, orthotics, activity restrictions, practical shoes, over the counter or prescription medications, and injection therapy – will be effective.  Surgery is sometimes necessary for patients whose neuromas have not responded to nonsurgical treatments.

If you notice Morton’s neuroma symptoms, or any other changes in the look and feel of your feet, it’s best to visit the podiatrist’s office as soon as possible. With years of specialized training and experience, your podiatrist is the best-qualified professional to diagnose and treat issues of the feet, ankles, and lower legs.

Is foot pain interfering with your ability to stand or walk? Click here or call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care at 443-872-7052 to schedule an appointment in our comfortable and convenient Pikesville office. Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova will examine your feet, diagnose your issue, and work with you to create an effective plan for treatment.

Thursday, 24 August 2017 00:00

Oh, Baby! How Pregnancy Affects Your Feet

Pregnancy is a pleasant, joyful experience for most women, but there can be uncomfortable changes in the legs, ankles, and feet. Even modest weight gain due to pregnancy can add pressure, alter your center of gravity, create a new stance and produce a new gait, leading to a variety of common problems.

Leg and Foot Cramps

Muscle cramps are harmless but painful. They can occur at any time of the day or night, even sometimes waking you from a sound sleep. Here are some tips from podiatrists Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova to prevent and stop cramps:

$1·      Extend your leg while gently pulling your toes back toward your body.

$1·      Be careful to flex, not point your toes while stretching; pointing can contract the muscle and make your cramp more severe. 

$1·      Massage the muscle and walk around for a few minutes after stretching to let the muscle relax.

$1·       One folk cure for leg or foot cramps is to eat a banana every day. This is because bananas are high in potassium, and cramps can be a symptom of low potassium levels.

Varicose Veins

Your blood volume will increase by 50% during pregnancy, stressing the blood vessels in your legs. Further, the entire lower body is under pressure from the increased weight of the uterus. These factors can lead many women to experience unattractive and uncomfortable varicose veins -- large, swollen blood vessels that present as distinctive purplish lumps – in their third trimesters. Varicose veins occur most often in the legs, although they do occasionally appear in the rectum or vulva. Varicose veins may itch or ache, but they are typically a cosmetic issue. They usually shrink or vanish within a few months after birth. 

Edema

Edema is the medical term for swelling. Some women experience edema, especially in the legs and feet, during the later stages of pregnancy. This is a result of the extra blood accumulated and/or water retained by the body. Edema is also caused by the enlarged uterus, which puts pressure on the blood vessels in the pelvis and legs and decreases circulation in the lower body.

Be sure to stay hydrated, eat a balanced diet, and get off your feet as often as possible to minimize edema.

Boris Abramov, DPM and Tatyana Abramova, DPM are well-versed and highly experienced in treating the unique needs that women experience during pregnancy. Call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care at 443-872-7052 or click here today to schedule a convenient appointment in our Pikesville office. Our doctors will examine your feet to diagnose any current or potential issues and then work with you to determine the best course of treatment. They’ll make sure that you’re feeling great both before and after your baby is born.

Saturday, 19 August 2017 00:00

Are Your Shoes the Right Size for Your Feet?

You know that your body changes as you get older but have you considered that your feet do too? The average American will walk over two hundred million steps – more than 100,000 miles! – in a lifetime. The majority of those miles will be logged before you turn 50.  Each step creates wear and tear on the bones, muscles, and ligaments of the feet. Combined with natural changes that occur as you get older, that stress can lead to a change in shoe size. Some people will experience a slight change; others will notice as much as a half size increase every 10 years after their 40th birthday.

Time and gravity cause the ligaments and tendons to become loose as we age. This is especially prominent in the plantar fascia, which runs along the bottom of your foot. As it becomes stretched, it causes the arch to become lower, leading to lengthening and widening of the foot.

Motherhood is another cause for increased shoe size. The hormones released during pregnancy cause ligaments to relax. Most women will experience foot growth only temporarily. For a few, the change will be permanent.

Weight gain and obesity exacerbate the natural flattening of the feet that occurs due to age. A healthy diet containing plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean meats is essential for foot health.  Avoid junk food and highly processed items at the grocery store.

Most people are still buying shoes in the same size that they wore in high school. New shoes in a different size can be especially important for patients with hammertoes, corns, or deformities caused by diabetesor arthritis. A 2006 study looked at the footwear choices of 440 patients at a U.S. veterans' affairs hospital and found that only 25% of them were wearing the right size shoe. When foot size changes, it becomes necessary to purchase shoes that accommodate feet as they are, not at they were.  It’s essential to get your feet professionally measured and assessed every few years.

Are your shoes uncomfortable? Click here or call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care at 443-872-7052 for an appointment in our convenient Pikesville office. Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova will thoroughly examine your feet, diagnose any existing or potential issues, and work with you to create a treatment plan that just might include some new footwear in a bigger size.

What Are Orthotics?

Custom-made just for you, orthotics are medical devices that slip into your shoes to improve your foot movement and lead to increased comfort, stability, and mobility. Clinical research has demonstrated that podiatrist-prescribed orthotics decrease foot pain and improve function.

Orthotics are divided into two categories:

$1·       Functional orthotics help control abnormal motion. They may be used to treat foot pain caused by an atypical gait and can also be used to treat injuries such as shin splints or tendinitis. Functional orthotics are usually crafted of a firm material such as plastic or graphite.

$1·       Accommodative orthotics are softer and provide additional cushioning and support. They can be used to treat side effects of diabetes, painful calluses on the bottom of the foot, and other uncomfortable conditions.

At Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care, Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramovause orthotics to treat a wide range of issues, including:

$1·      Plantar fasciitis

$1·      Bursitis

$1·      Tendonitis

$1·      Diabetic foot ulcers

$1·      Foot, ankle, and heel pain

Shoe Inserts vs. Custom Orthotics

Shoe inserts sold in drug stores can provide some relief for foot pain, but they’re no match for custom orthotics provided by your podiatrist. Those over-the-counter inserts add a bit of cushioning and support to your shoes, but they’re not made for just for you. A prescription orthotic will do a better job of accommodating your unique foot structure. When prescribing orthotics, Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramovadraw not only on what they see when they examine your feet, but also on decades of experience to customize relief based on your specific needs.

Investing in Orthotics

Many insurance plans offer coverage for orthotics. A quick call can help you understand your policy.  Even if you have to pay some or all of the cost for your orthotics out of pocket, they will be a worthwhile investment. You can be confident that orthotics prescribed by Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramovawill be made of high quality materials, fit properly, work effectively, and last for years.

If foot pain is making it hard for you to be comfortable standing or walking, orthotics may provide relief. Click here or call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care at 443-872-7052 today to schedule an appointment with Boris Abramov, DPM and Tatyana Abramova, DPM. They will examine your feet to determine the source of your pain and, if needed, will design and create custom orthotics for you, using state of the art technology. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel, and at how quickly the change will come.

Tuesday, 01 August 2017 00:00

Learning More About Painful Foot Cramps

Have you every experienced a foot or leg cramp? Also called a “charley horse,” these painful cramps occur when a muscle gets involuntarily stiff and can’t relax. We see them more frequently in older patients, but everyone is susceptible. While cramps are rarely harmful or indicative of a more serious problem, they are very uncomfortable! Read on to learn how to prevent and stop them.

The Causes of Cramps

Your foot and calf muscles – or any other muscle in your body – can spasm or cramp at any time of the day or night.  These cramps can be caused by a range of factors, including:

  • Poor circulation: If you have diabetes or another medical issue that causes poor circulation in your feet, you are at increased risk for cramps.
  • Medication side effects: Some medications can also cause muscle cramps. Talk to your health care professionals if you notice cramps that begin at the same time as a new prescription.
  • Inadequate stretching: Take time to stretch each day to keep muscles strong and supple. Consider adding a gentle yoga or tai chi class to your exercise regimen.

$1·      Dehydration: Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Increase your consumption during exercise or very hot weather.

  • Poor nutrition: Eat a healthy diet including a variety of foods with plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables daily.
  • Inappropriate shoe choices: Choose practical shoes with a low, wide heel and plenty of arch support for everyday wear. Save those gorgeous high heels for special occasions.

Managing Painful Foot and Leg Cramps

Foot and leg cramps hurt. Here are some are some simple tips from Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova that can help you manage cramps as they occur:

  • Try to stand up and move around the room. Sometimes just a change in position will relax cramping muscles.
  • Turn up the heat! Cramps are sometimes caused by poor circulation. Use a hot water bottle or electric heating pad to increase blood flow and relax the affected muscles. A warm bath can also help.
  • An over the counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen is an effective treatment for lingering discomfort.

Are muscle spasms in your legs and feet cramping your style? Boris Abramov, DPM and Tatyana Abramova, DPM can help. Call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care at 443-872-7052 or click here today to schedule an appointment in our comfortable and convenient Pikesville office. 

Wednesday, 26 July 2017 00:00

Identifying Heel Spurs

A collection of tiny, irregularly shaped growths on the bone at the underside of the heel is called a heel spur. Although they can be asymptomatic, heel spurs are often very painful.

Heel spurs are most often seen in middle-aged men and women, but anyone can get them. They are especially common in people who have previously been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis. 70% of those patients are found to also have heel spurs when observed with X-ray.

Spurs form when the heel is subjected to constant wear and tear. Strains tear the membrane that covers the heel bone, which is then exposed.  Over a period of several months, bone-forming cells migrate to the site and deposit calcium, causing the formation of heel spurs.

Heal Spur Discomfort

The site of the heel spur and the surrounding tissue can get inflamed, leading to chronic pain that occurs when jogging or walking. The pain caused by heel spurs is most often described as a sharp, stabbing pain when using the foot after a long period of rest, similar to the discomfort caused by plantar fasciitis. That initial sensation typically reduces to a dull throb, but worsens again during physical activity.

What Causes a Heel Spur?

There are many possible causes for heel spurs, including:

$1·      Long-term impact from running, jogging, jumping, or walking, especially on hard surfaces.

$1·      An unusual stance or atypical gait when walking.

$1·      Poorly fitted or worn out shoes, especially those without appropriate arch support.

$1·      Obesity and excess weight.

Contrary to popular belief, heel spurs aren’t pointy or sharp pieces of bone and they don’t always present with symptoms. You might have a heel spur and not feel any pain, but it’s more likely that it will be uncomfortable. The best place to find relief is at the podiatrist’s office.  Your podiatrist is an expert with years of training and is the best, qualified medical professional to treat issues in your feet, ankles, and lower legs.

Are you experiencing morning heel pain? It might be a bone spur, or it could be plantar fasciitis, a thickening and shortening of a tendon in the foot. It’s important to have the source of your discomfort properly diagnosed in order to undertake an appropriate course of treatment.

Call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care at 443-872-7052 or click here today to schedule a convenient appointment with Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova in our Pikesville office. They’ll help you understand why you’ve been uncomfortable and get you back up on your feet!

We all need to get on a ladder once in a while, perhaps to change a light bulb or reach something stored on a high shelf. Fractured feet and ankles from falls off ladders are common accidents. Stay safe this summer by learning a few simple recommendations from Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova to ensure safe ladder use.

Invest in a New Ladder

Ladder safety regulations have changed over the past 20 years. If your ladder is older than that, please consider purchasing a new one with more modern safety features such as slip resistant rungs and mechanisms that keep it locked in place when open.

Read the Label

Government safety regulations ensure that all ladders come with information on their sides, providing information about their specifications, warnings, and directions for use.  Before you place your foot on the first rung, become familiar with these ladder-safety basics.

Use the Right Ladder for the Job

If you need a 10-foot ladder to get the job one, don’t stand on top of an 8-foot ladder and stretch! You’re risking a fall. Similarly, stepladders should never be propped against a wall. They're designed for use only with the spreaders open and locked in place.

Watch Your Weight

Ladders are rated for weight capacity, but that weight capacity doesn’t just mean you. It includes your tool belt, safety gear, tools, and more. Err on the side of caution.  A 250-pound person should not use a ladder rated for 250 pounds.

Look Before You Climb

Before each use, look for damage or cracks on the rungs and side rails, and check for missing safety feet—the rubber attachments that help keep the ladder from slipping.

On extension ladders, also inspect the dogs—the latches that secure the extension when it's fed out to full length. Take the ladder out of service if it has any damage.

Set Up Properly

Always place your ladder on a secure, solid surface. Follow the 4-to-1 rule for stability: for every 4 feet of elevation, the ladder's base should be set 1 foot out.

Climb Safely

Only one person should be on a ladder at any time. Follow the three-point contact rule for climbing: only one foot or hand should be out of contact with the ladder at any time. Never stand on the top three steps of a straight ladder or the top two steps of a stepladder.

Are you worried that you’ve sprained or fractured your foot or ankle in a fall off a ladder? Call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care at 443-872-7052 or click here to make an appointment to see Boris Abramov, DPM and Tatyana Abramova, DPM as soon as possible. They will diagnose the problem with state of the art technology and determine the most appropriate course of treatment to help you heal quickly and recover completely.

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