Children’s Shoe Shopping Advice

One of the most important purchases on any parent’s shopping list should be a pair of proper fitting shoes for their child. The podiatrists and staff of Associated Podiatrists PC would like to share several important factors that parents should consider while back to school shopping:

Children’s Feet Change with Age. Shoe and sock sizes may change every few months as a child’s feet grow.

Shoes That Don’t Fit Properly Can Aggravate the Feet.  Always measure the child’s feet before buying shoes, and watch for signs of irritation.

Never Hand Down Footwear. Just because a shoe size fits one child comfortably doesn’t mean it will fit another the same way. Also, sharing shoes can spread fungi like athlete’s foot and nail fungus.

Examine the Heels. Children may wear through the heels of their shoes quicker than outgrowing shoes themselves. Uneven heel wear can indicate a foot problem that should be checked by a podiatrist.

Take Your Child Shoe Shopping. Every shoe fits differently. Letting a child have a say in the shoe buying process promotes healthy foot habits down the road.

Always Buy for the Larger Foot. Feet are seldom precisely the same size.

Buy Shoes That Do Not Need a “Break-In” Period. Shoes should be comfortable immediately. Also make sure to have your child try on shoes with socks or tights, if that’s how they’ll be worn.

Consider Closed Toe Shoes. Covering the child’s toes allows for more protection.

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If your child is experiencing foot pain or you have other concerns, please feel free to contact our office at (248)348-5300 or request an appointment on our website. Our podiatrists, Marc A. Borovoy, DPM, and John D. Miller, DPM, are experts in all areas of foot and ankle care, and will be happy to assist you with any problems you may be experiencing.

 

Sculptra Injections for Fat Pad Atrophy

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If you’ve ever experienced pain in the ball of your foot, commonly known as metatarsalgia, then it’s possible you may be experiencing fat pad atrophy (FPA), or the wearing down of the plantar fat pad in your feet. Due to the natural thinning that occurs as we age, FPA is more common in elderly patients, but it also occurs in people who frequently wear high heels, walk barefoot, wear thin-soled shoes, have high arches, or are overweight.

The main function of the plantar fat pad is to protect the underlying structures from pressure, so without the padding, the weight from your body shifts onto these bones and can lead to pain, inflammation and over time, pain under the ball of your foot.

Symptoms of fat pad atrophy can include:

  • Sharp, aching or burning pain
  • Pain that worsens when you stand, run, or walk barefoot
  • A feeling of having a pebble in your shoe

“Fat pad atrophy is extremely common among our elderly patients, but I see it in patients who play high impact sports, too,” says Dr. Marc Borovoy, a podiatric physician at Associated Podiatrists PC. “The more pressure applied to that area of your foot, the faster your natural padding will break down.”

Currently, the conservative treatment(s) for FPA consist of cushioning pads or shoe inserts, however, depending on the severity, can only provide patients with minimal relief. If left untreated, FPA can cause significant pain and limitation of function, but may also lead to pain in other parts of the body, such as the knees or lower back, due to altered gait.

“Sculptra is a quick, safe, and biocompatible solution that replaces the areas that have atrophied over the years,” Dr. Borovoy continues. “It allows the patient to bear weight the same day, and depending on the level of atrophy, can allow patients to remain active and pain-free for up to a year.”

To learn more about Sculptra injections or to make an appointment for this innovative procedure, please feel free to contact our office at (248)348-5300 or request an appointment on our website. Our podiatrists, Marc A. Borovoy, DPM, and John D. Miller, DPM, are experts in all areas of foot and ankle care, and will be happy to assist you with any problems you may be experiencing.

A Quick Guide to Gout

While many people may be unfamiliar with gout and its symptoms, more than 8 million Americans (roughly 3.9% of the US population) have been diagnosed with this type of inflammatory arthritis. Gout develops from a build-up of uric acid, which is produced by your body when it breaks down purines — substances that are found naturally in your body, as well as in certain foods and alcoholic beverages (especially beer).

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Other factors that increase uric acid levels:

  • Obesity
  • Medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and kidney disease(s).
  • Medications for high blood pressure, aspirin
  • Genetics

Normally, uric acid dissolves in your blood and passes through your kidneys into your urine, but sometimes, your body either produces too much uric acid or your kidneys excrete too little. When this occurs, the uric acid in your blood builds up and forms sharp crystals in your joint(s), causing severe pain, inflammation and swelling.

If you experience any form of sudden pain in your foot or ankle, call your podiatrist as soon as possible to obtain an accurate diagnosis. If left untreated, gout can harm your joints, tendons, and other tissues, even if the pain has temporarily subsided.

Once a diagnosis is confirmed through a physical examination, blood test, or fluid sample, your podiatrist will discuss a plan of treatment specifically for you. Treatments for gout generally include a prescription medication or injection to help treat the pain and inflammation, as well as lifestyle changes including dietary restrictions.

To learn more about gout or to make an appointment, please feel free to contact our office at (248)348-5300 or request an appointment on our website. Our podiatrists, Marc A. Borovoy, DPM, and John D. Miller, DPM, are experts in all areas of foot and ankle care, and will be happy to assist you with any problems you may be experiencing.

Orthotics: How Often Should They Be Replaced?

If you’ve ever been to the doctor’s office for foot or ankle pain, then you’ve probably been told about custom-molded orthotics. Prescription orthotics are designed by a podiatrist and molded specifically to your feet to help support and correct your individual foot problems. As your foot rests on the orthotics, it is consistently being directed into the correct position, and therefore, pressure points, improper rotation, and painful muscle strain(s) are eliminated because your foot is functioning properly.

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Orthotics are used to help treat:

Many patients find that after they’ve started using their custom-molded orthotics, that their symptoms have disappeared. So, how long are you supposed to wear them? The truth is that orthotics don’t cure your foot problem(s), they simply correct the issues that are giving you discomfort. If you were to remove the orthotics, there’s a good chance your problems would return.

Our podiatrists recommend having your orthotics evaluated yearly, to check on wear, and replaced every 3 years.  For pediatric orthotics, patients should follow up every 6 months, to monitor their development, and have their orthotics replaced after they grow 2 shoe sizes. Changes to the orthotics themselves are the easiest way to determine if they need to be replaced (i.e. tears, cracks, or thinning), but changes in your body will inform you, too. If you start to notice pain in your feet, as well as other parts of your body (most commonly your knees or back), it’s time to come in and see your podiatrist.

To learn more about custom orthotics or to make an appointment to have your orthotics evaluated, please feel free to contact our office at (248)348-5300 or request an appointment on our website. Our podiatrists, Marc A. Borovoy, DPM, and John D. Miller, DPM, are experts in all areas of foot and ankle care, and will be happy to assist you with any problems you may be experiencing.

US Surfer Kelly Slater Breaks Foot During WSL Event

Just hours after being forced to withdraw from the World Surf League event at Jeffreys Bay, champion US surfer Kelly Slater took to Instagram to show off the horrific foot injury he endured during one of his heats.

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“I pulled into a barrel this morning and the whitewash bounced the board back into my foot as I hit the close-out, taking all the pressure into the metatarsals,” Slater explained in his post. “Kinda like smashing my foot with a big hammer as hard as I can.”

After a quick review of the x-ray Slater posted, Dr. Borovoy, a podiatric physician at Associated Podiatrists PC, was quick to point out his injuries. “He has a comminuted 4th met fracture with severe displacement, as well as a displaced 3rd metatarsal. He’ll definitely need surgery and be able to stay off of it for about two months,” he adds. “After that, he’ll be looking at a few weeks of physical therapy, too.”

Broken bones, while generally very common and often the result of an accident, tend to have similar symptoms such as pain, swelling, bruising, and the inability to bear weight. The severity of the break, however, will cause those symptoms to vary from person to person, and therefore, should always be looked at by a podiatrist in order to obtain an accurate diagnosis and plan of care.

If you or someone you know believes they may have broken their foot, feel free to contact our office at (248)348-5300 or request an appointment on our website. Our podiatrists, Marc A. Borovoy, DPM, and John D. Miller, DPM, are experts in all areas of foot and ankle care, and will be happy to assist you with any problems you may be experiencing.

 

“Spring for Socks” Charity Drive Update!

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We are very happy to announce that our “Spring for Socks” charity drive helped collect over 1,000 pairs of new socks for the SAY Detroit Family Health Clinic! Yesterday, Dr. Borovoy, our office manager, Angie, and Molly, had the privilege of meeting with the clinic’s medical director, Dr. Richardson, and Dr. Covington, to hear about all of the amazing healthcare opportunities the office provides for homeless women and children. As the nation’s first free medical clinic, they see close to 7,000 patients a year, so if you were able to donate socks or spread the word about our charity drive, your kindness has not gone unnoticed! We look forward to continuing our relationship with SAY Detroit and getting our next charity drive started soon!

Plantar Warts: Causes and Treatments

Although it can be quite tempting to go barefoot this summer, it can also put you at risk of contracting a strain of the human papillomavirus (HPV) known as verruca, or plantar warts. Viruses thrive in warm, moist places such as public bathrooms or swimming pools, and can occur as a result of direct contact with the virus (commonly through tiny cuts or abrasions on your feet).

While it’s nearly impossible to avoid contact in the general public, it’s important to note that exposure is common, especially in younger children who have yet to build up an immunity, and tend to spread the virus among their friends and family. Therefore, while you should always keep your feet protected by wearing shoes or flip-flops in public places, it’s also important to make sure that communal surfaces at home, as well as your socks and shoes, are being disinfected to prevent the virus from spreading.

Remember: every person’s immune system is different, so a person’s response to the virus will be different, too, even if they’re from the same family.

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Plantar warts are generally small, fleshy growths on the bottom of your feet and are often mistaken for plantar corns or calluses, due to the thicker skin that tends to develop. A plantar wart, however, will generally have the appearance of tiny black dots near the surface caused by capillary hemorrhages that form underneath the skin. As a general rule, we suggest patients to seek treatment from a podiatrist, as attempting to remove them at home can lead to serious problems, such as infection, if removed incorrectly.

Once in the office, plantar warts are easy to diagnose and may require a simple scraping of the skin or biopsy to confirm. After that, there are several different treatment options to consider, such as: topical acids, liquid nitrogen, YDL laser, or an excision(s). Depending on the size of the wart and quantity, all of these options are available and your podiatrist will be able to discuss which treatment will work best for you.

If you or someone you know believes they may have a plantar wart, feel free to contact our office at (248)348-5300 or request an appointment on our website. Our podiatrists, Marc A. Borovoy, DPM, and John D. Miller, DPM, are experts in all areas of foot and ankle care, and will be happy to assist you with any problems you may be experiencing.

How to Keep Your Feet Safe This Summer

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As the warmer weather starts to breakthrough, it’s time to dump the winter boots and start enjoying a sock-free summer! For every season, our podiatrists like to offer a small set of suggestions to help keep your feet happy and healthy!

No Barefoot Walking – While walking around barefoot may be an enjoyable act of the warmer weather, it unfortunately puts you at risk of stepping on a foreign body (especially items buried/hidden in the sand and water) or developing an infection. Bacteria thrives in warm, moist environments, such as public pools or restrooms, and going barefoot makes you susceptible to contracting fungal infections, plantar warts, or athlete’s foot. Also, if you plan to be near an open grill or fireworks, since a minor spark can cause a serious burn, be sure to wear protective shoes.

Apply Sunscreen – Many people tend to skip over their feet when it comes to applying suntan lotion, but it’s extremely important to protect your feet and ankles from the sun’s harmful UV rays. With more than 3.5 million skin cancers diagnosed annually in the United States, survival rates are dramatically lower when melanoma is found on the foot because it often goes unnoticed until it becomes a serious problem. If not caught in the early stages, the fatality rate is about 50% within 5 years of diagnosis.

Change Up Your Shoes – It may be hard to resist the appeal of flip-flops during the summer, but constant wear can cause serious damage if they don’t provide good arch support. Rule of thumb: if you’re able to bend your shoe in half, it doesn’t provide enough support! Our office suggests custom-molded Birkenstocks during the summer, which are available in our office.

Also, if your shoes happen to get wet (most commonly at the pool or beach), make sure to dry them out completely before wearing them again to prevent bacteria and/or fungus from developing.

See Your Podiatrist – Most people tend to neglect their feet during the winter as they’re frequently hidden behind bulky socks and shoes, but as soon as summer hits, it’s common to find that fungal nails, calluses, and/or dry, cracked skin have developed. So, please be mindful of your feet and be careful! We see a lot of patients who have twisted their foot/ankle (especially stepping off boats and porches), stepped on something outside, or developed foot pain from not wearing supportive shoes. 

To learn more about summer foot care, feel free to contact our office at (248)348-5300 or request an appointment on our website. Our podiatrists, Marc A. Borovoy, DPM, and John D. Miller, DPM, are experts in all areas of foot and ankle care, and will be happy to assist you with any problems you may be experiencing.

 

Pedicure Pointers from a Podiatrist

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With the warm weather fast approaching, it’s that time where many people slip out of their winter boots and directly into the pedicure chair for some much-needed TLC.

Unfortunately, not all pedicure facilities offer clean and proper foot care, and often lead to foot infections and other common ailments. If you’re planning a trip to the local nail salon, please review our advice on things to pay attention to:

  • Make sure that the instruments used are clean and sterilized (we suggest bringing your own set of pedicure utensils).
  • Make sure foot tubs or basins are drained after performing a pedicure to get rid of all the bacteria present (going first thing in the morning is recommended).
  • Make sure the technician’s hands are clean.
  • If you are diabetic, pedicures are not advised. Visit your podiatrist before receiving a pedicure to identify any potential risks.
  • Cuticles serve as a protective barrier against bacteria, so it’s important not to cut them, as it increases the risk of infection.
  • Nails should be cut straight with slightly rounded edges, as other tools with a curved shape can increase the risk of developing an ingrown toenail(s).
  • Foot razors should never be used to remove dead skin (we suggest soaking your foot for 5+ minutes in warm water and then removing the dead skin with a pumice stone). A foot razor can lead to permanent damage if used incorrectly and can easily cause infection if too much skin is removed.
  • If your toenails are thick and/or discolored, do not use nail polish to cover them up. Nail polish locks in moisture and doesn’t allow the nail bed to breathe, which encourages fungal growth. For special occasions, we recommend using an anti-fungal nail polish instead, which is available for purchase in our office.

If you have any questions regarding pedicures or any issues that have developed as a result of a pedicure, feel free to contact our office at (248)348-5300 or request an appointment on our website. Our podiatrists, Marc A. Borovoy, DPM, and John D. Miller, DPM, are experts in all areas of foot and ankle care, and will be happy to assist you with any problems you may be experiencing.