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Thursday, 15 February 2018 00:00

Learning More About Ganglion Cysts

What Is a Ganglion Cyst?

A ganglion cyst is a fluid-filled sac that develops on top of a joint, ligament or tendon anywhere on the body. These cysts are frequently noticed on the wrists and often appear on the feet and ankles. They vary in size and can develop over a long period of time or seemingly overnight. A ganglion cyst is a non-cancerous form of cyst. They do not spread from one area of the body to another.

Causes of Ganglion Cysts

Doctors still don’t know for certain what causes ganglion cysts. However, many believe that they are caused by trauma to the affected area. The theory is that the trauma breaks tissue down into small cysts that then form larger cysts.

Symptoms of Ganglion Cysts

Ganglion cysts are typically round in shape and can be seen or felt just under the surface of the skin. The fluid in a ganglion cyst can cause pressure and create discomfort and irritation. Left untreated, a cyst can become extremely painful and can inhibit full range of motion.

Treating Ganglion Cysts

Your podiatrist may perform an ultrasound examination on the cyst to verify that it is a ganglion cyst. Once diagnosis is confirmed, many doctors take an initial wait-and-see approach to treating ganglion cysts, using the time to observe any changes. Many ganglion cysts will disappear on their own; others may recur or require intervention.

If treatment is required, a podiatrist can then use a syringe to drain fluid from the cyst. This is known as a needle aspiration, and is usually followed by a steroid injection to promote healing. This is a simple office procedure, and your doctor will numb the area to minimize pain during treatment. While this approach is minimally invasive, it does have a higher rate of recurrence than other options.

If a ganglion cyst continues to re-appear, if the cyst is especially painful, or if the cyst interferes with the function and movement of the foot or ankle, surgical removal of the cyst may be appropriate. This surgery is typically an outpatient procedure with either local or general anesthesia. After surgery, you may be required to keep your foot immobilized in a cast or boot and walk with crutches for a period of time.

If you suspect that you have a ganglion cyst, or if you have any other concern about the health of your feet, ankles, or lower legs, a visit to the foot doctor is in order. Call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care at 443-872-7052 or click here to schedule an appointment with Boris Abramov, DPM and Tatyana Abramova, DPM in our comfortable and convenient Pikesville office.

Achilles tendonitis is a common cause of foot and ankle pain, and a common reason for patient visits to the podiatrist.

Tendons are part of the soft tissue of the body. They are strong cords that connect muscles to bones. When one becomes irritated, that is known medically as tendonitis. When this inflammation occurs in the tendon at the back of the ankle and heel, that’s Achilles tendonitis.

Causes of Achilles Tendonitis

  • Atypical anatomy: Conditions such as flat feet or high arches can create unusual stress on your Achilles tendons.
  • Overuse: If you overstretch your tendon, particularly during exercise, inflammation and even tearing can occur.
  • Injury: Ankle sprainscan create inflammation and tendonitis. This is a particular risk with sudden, jarring movements such as jumping and hard landings.
  • Medical conditions: Certain health conditions that cause inflammation throughout the body can lead to tendonitis. Achilles tendonitis can be the result of illnesses including rheumatoid arthritis and gout.

Symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis

 

Achilles tendonitis is characterized by pain in the area, especially on standing, walking, or exercising. This discomfort is most pronounced at the onset of activity. Occasionally swelling and stiffness can occur.

 

 

Treating Achilles Tendonitis

 

Only your foot doctor can accurately diagnose Achilles tendonitis. After you learn that you are, in fact, dealing with tendonitis, there are things you can do to help yourself. Remember: R.I.C.E! Rest, ice, compression, and elevation will all help. Decrease your activity level, apply ice, wrap your ankle with a bandage, and get off your feet. Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen can help as well. If the situation becomes chronic, your podiatrist may prescribe custom inserts called orthotics for your shoes.

If you are dealing with discomfort at the back of your ankle, or if you have any other concern about the health and wellness of your feet, ankles, or lower legs, it’s time to visit the podiatrist. Click here or call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care  at 443-872-7052 to schedule a convenient appointment with Boris Abramov, DPM and Tatyana Abramova, DPM in our comfortable Pikesville office. Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova will thoroughly examine your feet, accurately diagnose any existing or potential issues, work with you to create an individualized treatment plan, and provide comprehensive follow up.

Friday, 02 February 2018 00:00

Learning More About Raynaud's Disease

Raynaud’s Disease, also known as Raynaud’s Phenomenon or Raynaud’s Syndrome, is a condition in which arteries to your fingers and toes spasm in response to cold or stress, narrowing the passageways through which blood can flow and temporarily limiting blood supply.

There are two variations of Raynaud’s. When no cause for the condition is apparent, this is called primary Raynaud’s.

When the Raynaud's can be attributed to a specific cause, it is called secondary Raynaud’s. Possible contributing factors include:

$1·      smoking

$1·      frostbite

$1·      another disease, such as scleroderma, lupus, or rheumatoid arthritis

$1·      prescription medication side effect

$1·      carpal tunnel syndrome

More women than men are diagnosed with Raynaud’s disease, usually between ages 15 and 30. The disorder is more prevalent in colder climates. Patients with a family history of the disease are more at risk than others.

Raynaud’s attacks tend to be brief and intense, usually lasting from a few minutes to an hour. During an attack, the body limits blood flow to the hands and feet. They feel cold and numb and turn white at first, then blue. As blood flow returns and the fingers or toes warm up, they may turn red and begin to throb and hurt.

Raynaud’s attacks are most commonly triggered by exposure to cold. Whenever the body is cold, it narrows small vessels that convey blood to the skin and extremities in order to keep the brain and organs warm enough to function. In patients with Raynaud’s, this response is exaggerated and the body restricts blood flow more than necessary or appropriate. An attack of Raynaud’s symptoms can have numerous causes beyond exposure to cold, including smoking, caffeine, and emotional stress.

There is no cure for Raynaud's, but you may be able to manage it by avoiding the things that trigger it. 

  • Stay warm. Wear wool socks and insulated boots. Change out of damp socks as promptly as possible.
  • Don't smoke. Get help cutting back or quitting today.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
  • Try not to take cold medicines with pseudoephedrine in them.
  • Ask your doctors if beta-blockers could be causing your Raynaud’s, and if an equally effective alternative medication is available.
  • Reduce your stress levels.

If you’re concerned that Raynaud’s disease may be the cause of your cold toes and feet, or if you have any other concerns about the health of your feet, ankles, or lower legs, click here or call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care at 443-872-7052 today. Our friendly staff will be happy to schedule a convenient appointment for you to see Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova in our comfortable Pikesville office. Our board-certified podiatrists will draw on their years of specialized training and experience to provide you with a thorough examination, accurate diagnosis, individualized treatment plan, and comprehensive aftercare.

Friday, 26 January 2018 00:00

Frostbite and Your Feet

What Is Frostbite?

Frostbite is a risk to anyone living in or traveling to an area currently caught in winter’s grip. It occurs when a body part is exposed to extreme cold. When flesh is exposed to air that is cold enough to cause the water within the tissues to freeze and form ice crystals, cell death can occur. Because they are farthest from the core of the body and most challenging for the heart to pump blood to, the feet, hands, ears and nose are particularly vulnerable to frostbite. Further, patients with diabetes or other circulatory issues are particularly at risk.

Symptoms of Frostbite

Short-term exposure to cold weather typically produces some discomfort and irritation of the skin. This early phase is called frostnip. At this stage, your feet and toes have been exposed to the cold long enough that they will have begun to hurt, but no serious tissue damage has yet occurred.

Longer exposure may lead to frostbite, evidenced by burning and numbness, along with blistering and reversible damage to the outer skin layers. Eventually, a complete loss of sensation and permanent damage to all layers of the skin, arteries, muscles and tendons occurs.

Preventing Frostbite

Frostbite can be prevented by limiting exposure and keeping the feet as warm and dry as possible. Wear layers. Choose woolen socks. Don’t let feet stay damp. Change sweaty socks as soon as possible. Make sure that your boots are insulated.

Managing Frostbite

If you suspect that you have frostbite, seek medical attention immediately. For milder cases of frostnip, the feet should be rapidly rewarmed by immersing them in warm (not hot!!) water measuring approximately 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t rub or massage feet or apply dry heat. Your sensation will be diminished and burns can result. To avoid infection, blisters or damaged skin should be treated with antibiotic cream and loose bandages. Call your podiatrist and make an appointment to be seen as soon as possible.

If you suspect that you have experienced frostnip or frostbite, or if you have any other concerns about the health of your feet, ankles, or lower legs, click here or call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care at 443-872-7052 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova. With decades of experience and specialized education, Boris Abramov, DPM and Tatyana Abramova, DPM are ready to help you with a comprehensive examination, accurate diagnosis, individualized treatment plan, and thorough aftercare.

This time of year, many patients arrive at Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care with podiatric issues triggered by winter’s cold. We frequently see men and women of all ages suffering from chilblains. This sounds like an old-fashioned complaint, but chilblains are very modern, and very real.

What Are Chilblains?

 

Chilblains, also known as pernio, are an abnormal dermatologic reaction to exposure to cold. Small blood vessels in the skin become inflamed, causing pain, itching, red patches, swelling, and blistering on the hands and feet.

Who Is at Risk of Chilblains?

Are you at risk of chilblains? Factors to consider include:

$1·      Family history: If your parent or siblings get chilblains, you are more prone as well.

$1·      Poor circulation: Patients with diabetes or vascular disorders are particularly at risk.

$1·      Hormonal changes: Because women do present with chilblains more frequently than men, scientists suspect a hormonal connection.

$1·      Poor nutrition: Be sure to eat a diet rich in lean protein and colorful fruits and vegetables.

$1·      Other illnesses including connective tissue and bone marrow disorders.

Symptoms of Chilblains

Chilblains are characterized by small itchy, red swellings on the skin, which become increasingly painful, swell, and often dry out, leaving cracks in the skin and exposing you to the risk of infection. On the feet, these symptoms occur most often on the toes, particularly the smaller ones. They can also occur on areas of the feet exposed to pressure, such as on a bunion or where the second toe is squeezed by tight shoes. They can also occur on the fingers, the face, and the ear lobes.

Preventing Chilblains

The best way to prevent chilblains is to keep the body warm, especially the feet and lower legs. Dress warmly and keep skin covered whenever possible. This is especially important for individuals who have poor circulation and/or limited mobility. 

Treating Chilblains

Chilblains will usually get better on their own. See your podiatrist if the pain is unusually severe, if you suspect an infection, or if your symptoms don’t improve in a week or two. If the symptoms extend into the warm season, see a doctor to rule out other conditions.

If you are suffering from chilblains or any other problem related to your feet, ankles, or lower legs, 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 are experts with decades of specialized experience and education. They will provide you with a thorough examination, accurate diagnosis, individualized treatment, and comprehensive follow-up. You’ll be feeling better quickly and back on your feet before you know it.

Friday, 12 January 2018 00:00

Exercises for Healthy Feet

So many patients set their sights on improved health and wellness in the new year. If you’ve resolved to eat more healthily and exercise in 2018, don’t forget your feet! They’re the foundation of any exercise plan. Before doing any foot exercises, be sure to spend a few minutes stretching and breathing deeply to prepare. If you have arthritis, diabetes, cardiovascular problems, or heel pain that might affect your ability to exercise, be sure to visit the podiatrist before beginning any exercise program. Stop any exercise that causes joint pain.

Here are some tips fromBoris Abramov, DPM and Tatyana Abramova, DPM that you can implement to take care of the bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons of your feet, ankles, and lower legs in the new year:

$1·      Walking is the single best exercise for your feet. With every step, you put your foot through its full range of motion, stretching and strengthening muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Not only is walking good for your feet, it’s one of the best forms of exercise for your entire body. Studies show that it’s effective at burning calories, improving circulation and cardiovascular health, and improving mood.  Too cold for you outside in January? Try a treadmill or join a walking club at your local mall.

$1·      Improve flexibility and increase stability. Consider adding a gentle yoga or tai chi class to your weekly schedule. Did you know that studies show that no matter how old you are, you can still improve your flexibility? It’s never too late to start.

$1·      Create a routine that you can implement in just a few minutes at home. Try some or all of these exercises:

$1o   Point and flex your toes. Repeat 10 times on each side.

$1o   Fan your toes, weaving your fingers between them if you can, then squeeze your toes together for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times on each side.

$1o   Point and flex your ankle. Repeat 10 times on each side.

$1o   Roll each ankle 10 times clockwise and 10 times counterclockwise.

$1o   Holding on to a chair or a wall if you need to, lift your heels so that you are standing on the balls of your feet. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times.

$1·      Finish your exercises with a bit of massage. Roll a golf ball or tennis ball under the ball of your foot for a minute or two.

$1·      Feeling sore? Try a foot soak in warm water with Epsom salts or a bit of essential oil to ease muscles that aren’t used to being taxed.

Are you experiencing discomfort in your feet, ankles, or lower legs? Resolve to live without pain in the coming year. Call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care at 443-872-7052 or click here today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova in our comfortable and convenient Pikesville office.

Most adult feet have an upward curve in the middle. That’s called the arch. It’s formed by tendons in the foot that work together to support the bones. When these tendons work typically, you have a typical arch. When they are overactive, you have an atypically high arch. When the tendons are low-functioning, or do not function at all, the result is little or no arch. This is called flat foot or fallen arch, known medically as pes planus.

You can easily test yourself to see if you might have fallen arches. Follow these three steps:

  1. Get your feet wet.
  2. Stand on a flat surface where your footprint will show, such as a section of newspaper.
  3. Step away and look at the prints. You should see a curve along the inner edge of your foot. If you see a complete footprint, you might have flat feet and should be seen by a podiatrist as soon as possible.

Causes of Fallen Arches

Most cases of fallen arches in adults develop when the posterior tibial tendon (the main arch-supporting tendon) becomes weakened or injured, causing the arch to gradually become lower. With time, the shape of the foot changes and secondary symptoms start to appear. Other cases can result from a variety of causes, including:

  • Health conditions including arthritis
  • Damaged, torn, or inflamed tendons
  • Bone fracture or dislocation
  • Atypical anatomy present from birth
  • Broken or dislocated bones
  • Nerve problems
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • Aging

Symptoms of Flat Feet and Fallen Arches

Many people have flat feet with no problems. Others may experience some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Foot pain, especially in the areas around the arches and heels
  • Swelling on the soles of the feet, where the arch should be
  • Restricted or painful foot movement
  • Back and leg pain
  • Discomfort when standing or walking
  • Challenges wearing shoes comfortably

Common problems associated with fallen arches include heel pain, tendonitis, increased fatigue and arthritis of the foot and ankle.

 

Treatment for Flat Feet and Fallen Arches

Treatment for flat feet and fallen arches depends on the severity and cause of the problem. Your foot doctor may suggest one or more of these treatments:

  • Rest, elevation, and ice to relieve pain and reduce swelling
  • Stretching exercises or physical therapy
  • Over the counter or prescription medications including pain relievers or anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen
  • Injected medications to reduce inflammation, such as corticosteroids
  • Custom orthotic devices

If pain or foot damage is severe, your doctor may recommend surgery. 

Are you concerned about fallen arches or any other issue related to your feet, ankles, or lower legs? 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 thoroughly examine your feet, expertly diagnose any current or potential problems, and provide you with an individualized treatment plan and comprehensive follow up care.

Most adult feet have an upward curve in the middle. That’s called the arch. It’s formed by tendons in the foot that work together to support the bones. When these tendons work together, you have a typical arch. When they are overactive, you have an atypically high arch. When the tendons are low-functioning, or do not function at all, the result is little or no arch. This is called flat foot or fallen arch, known medically as pes planus.

You can easily test yourself to see if you might have fallen arches. Follow these three steps:

  1. Get your feet wet.
  2. Stand on a flat surface where your footprint will show, such as a section of newspaper.
  3. Step away and look at the prints. You should see a curve along the inner edge of your foot. If you see a complete footprint, you might have flat feet and should be seen by a podiatrist as soon as possible.

Causes of Fallen Arches

Most cases of fallen arches in adults develop when the posterior tibial tendon (the main arch-supporting tendon) becomes weakened or injured, causing the arch to gradually become lower. With time, the shape of the foot changes and secondary symptoms start to appear. Other cases can result from a variety of causes, including:

  • Health conditions including arthritis
  • Damaged, torn, or inflamed tendons
  • Bone fracture or dislocation
  • Atypical anatomy present from birth
  • Broken or dislocated bones
  • Nerve problems
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • Aging

Symptoms of Flat Feet and Fallen Arches

Many people have flat feet with no problems. Others may experience some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Foot pain, especially in the areas around the arches and heels
  • Swelling on the soles of the feet, where the arch should be
  • Restricted or painful foot movement
  • Back and leg pain
  • Discomfort when standing or walking
  • Challenges wearing shoes comfortably

Common problems associated with fallen arches include heel pain, tendonitis, increased fatigue and arthritis of the foot and ankle.

 

Treatment for Flat Feet and Fallen Arches

Treatment for flat feet and fallen arches depends on the severity and cause of the problem. Your foot doctor may suggest one or more of these treatments:

  • Rest, elevation, and ice to relieve pain and reduce swelling
  • Stretching exercises or physical therapy
  • Over the counter or prescription medications including pain relievers or anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen
  • Injected medications to reduce inflammation, such as corticosteroids
  • Custom orthotic devices

If pain or foot damage is severe, your doctor may recommend surgery. 

Are you concerned about fallen arches or any other issue related to your feet, ankles, or lower legs? 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 thoroughly examine your feet, expertly diagnose any current or potential problems, and provide you with an individualized treatment plan and comprehensive follow up care.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017 00:00

Your Guide to Selecting the Best Winter Boots

Every winter, millions of Americans purchase new boots for themselves or a family member. Will you be among them this year? Whether you’re making your purchase in person or online, it’s important to keep some guidelines in mind when making your selection.

·      Choose waterproof boots. Always treat new boots with a waterproofing product for extra protection. Damp feet are more likely to feel cold and are more vulnerable to fungal infections. You can further protect feet from moisture by selecting boots made of natural materials that allow proper airflow and keep feet dry. Rubber is a fully waterproof option, but rubber will not allow feet to breathe. If you choose rubber boots, they should be lined to help absorb foot moisture.

·      Don’t choose your boots based on a stylish appearance. It’s better to carry your fashion-forward footwear with you and get changed out of your boots at your destination. While custom orthoticscan be added, rigid boots limit natural foot movement and provide little, if any, arch support. A more flexible style is a better option. Boots with narrow toes and high heels may look nice but can cause pain and numbness. Winter boots should offer plenty of toe room and a low, wide heel for stability.

·      Stay safe from falls that can cause ankle sprainswith a “lug sole,” a thick rubber sole with deep grooves. This will provide the best traction on snow and ice.

·      Keep feet warm by selecting a pair of fully lined, insulated boots. This is especially important for patients with circulatory issues such as Peripheral Arterial Disease or Raynaud’s Disease that can cause feet to feel cold. Shearling is a great option for those who can afford it.

·      Remember to wear wool socks inside your boots. Socks made of wool will keep feet warmest, and will do the best job of wicking away dangerous moisture.

The best way to keep your feet feeling great this winter is to visit the podiatrist for an exam. Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova are board-certified specialists and are expert in treating all issues related to the feet, ankles, and lower legs. They will provide you with a comprehensive examination, accurate diagnosis of any existing or potential problems, an individualized treatment plan, and through follow up.  Click here or call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care at 443-872-7052 to schedule an appointment in our comfortable and convenient Pikesville office today.

Friday, 15 December 2017 00:00

Living With High Arches

Many patients live with atypical foot anatomy. Some have bunions, hammertoes, or Haglund’s deformity. Others have a condition that podiatrists refer to a pes cavus. You know it as high arches. Pes cavus can develop at any age and usually occurs in both feet. It results in an excessive amount of weight being placed on the ball and heel of the foot when walking or standing and can lead to pain and other complications.

What Causes Pes Cavus?

Atypically high arches can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

$1·      neuromuscular disease or disorder, such as cerebral palsy

$1·      heredity

$1·      injury or nerve damage

Spotting Pes Cavus

Be on the lookout for the following signs, which may indicate that you have high arches:

$1·      supination: heels tilt inward while standing, and feet roll toward the pinkie-toe side

$1·      a hollow-looking instep when you stand, with weight centered on the heel and the balls of the feet

$1·      if you sit in a high chair or on a counter and allow your feet to hang, the front half of the foot appears to drop below the level of the heel

$1·      toes that always appear to be “clawing” and that develop corns on top or at the tips

$1·      pain in the foot, ankle, knees, hips, or lower back when standing or walking

$1·      discomfort in shoes

Treating Pes Cavus

If you are experience foot pain, you should schedule an appointment with your podiatrist as soon as possible. With years of specialized training and experience, a podiatrist is the best medical professional to treat your feet, ankles, and lower legs. Your foot doctor may recommend options including:

$1·      new shoes with cushioning and arch support

$1·      corn and callus removal

$1·      physical therapy

$1·      custom orthotics

Are you living with foot pain? Do you suspect that you may have high arches or another anomaly in the structure of your feet? Call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care at 443-872-7052 today or click here to schedule an appointment with Boris Abramov, DPM and Tatyana Abramova, DPM in our comfortable and convenient Pikesville office. Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova will carefully examine your feet and use state of the art technology to offer an accurate diagnosis, and then work with you to create an individualized treatment plan and provide ongoing care as appropriate.

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