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Ahmad Elsamad, DPM, FACFAS

December 2021

Custom orthotics are prescription devices that fit in shoes and are designed to distribute weight more evenly across the feet and minimize pressure on any given area. They can also correct an abnormal gait, reduce pain, and improve foot alignment. Since they are designed to address specific conditions and the individual foot structure of the patient, fit is critical. After a podiatrist examines the patient and diagnoses their underlying condition, they may determine that orthotics can be beneficial. They will then take an impression of the patient’s foot, usually with a 3D laser scan or plaster cast. Specific materials will be chosen to address the patient’s particular condition, and the orthotic will be created. The patient will come in for a fitting and any further customizations needed to ensure the device fits the patient’s shoes and is comfortable will be made. Orthotics can be prescribed for conditions such as arthritis, plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, bunions, hammertoes, flat feet, high arches and more. If you have any of these conditions, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist to see if orthotics may be beneficial for you.

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, contact Ahmad Elsamad, DPM from The Institute of Foot & Ankle Reconstructive Surgery . Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Are Orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.

Over-the-Counter Inserts

Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct overarched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.

Prescription Orthotics

If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you or if you have a more severe foot concern, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high-quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and severe forms of heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.

If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist about the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain-free.

If you have any questions please contact our offices located in Merrillville, East Chicago, and Munster, IN, . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Foot Orthotics
Tuesday, 21 December 2021 00:00

Risk Factors for Ankle Sprains and Strains

The ankles are incredible joints that allow us to move our feet. Unfortunately, these joints are frequently the site of sprains or strains. An ankle sprain is rather common and occurs when a ligament in the ankle is overstretched or torn. A strain is not as frequent, and they develop when one of the muscles or tendons in the ankle become overstretched or torn. Certain factors can increase one’s risk of sustaining an ankle sprain or strain. These may include exercising with poor athletic conditioning, not warming up or stretching properly prior to beginning or ending a new activity, continuing to exercise despite muscle and ligament fatigue, carrying excess weight, and wearing non-supportive or ill-fitting shoes. If you are experiencing any type of ankle pain, please seek the care of a podiatrist as soon as possible. 

Ankle pain can have many different causes and the pain may potentially be serious. If you have ankle pain, consult with Ahmad Elsamad, DPM from The Institute of Foot & Ankle Reconstructive Surgery . Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Ankle pain is any condition that causes pain in the ankle. Due to the fact that the ankle consists of tendons, muscles, bones, and ligaments, ankle pain can come from a number of different conditions.

Causes

The most common causes of ankle pain include:

  • Types of arthritis (rheumatoid, osteoarthritis, and gout)
  • Ankle sprains
  • Broken ankles
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Achilles tendon rupture
  • Stress fractures
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Plantar fasciitis

Symptoms

Symptoms of ankle injury vary based upon the condition. Pain may include general pain and discomfort, swelling, aching, redness, bruising, burning or stabbing sensations, and/or loss of sensation.

Diagnosis

Due to the wide variety of potential causes of ankle pain, podiatrists will utilize a number of different methods to properly diagnose ankle pain. This can include asking for personal and family medical histories and of any recent injuries. Further diagnosis may include sensation tests, a physical examination, and potentially x-rays or other imaging tests.

Treatment

Just as the range of causes varies widely, so do treatments. Some more common treatments are rest, ice packs, keeping pressure off the foot, orthotics and braces, medication for inflammation and pain, and surgery.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Merrillville, East Chicago, and Munster, IN, . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

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Tuesday, 14 December 2021 00:00

Scary Consequences of Wearing High Heels

If you often wear high heels, it is suggested that you switch to flatter, wider, and more comfortable shoes. Why? Frequently wearing high heels holds your feet into an unnatural position, forcing the balls of your feet to bear too much weight, squishing your toes together, and sometimes even changing the way that you walk. Some of the foot and ankle issues caused or made worse by wearing high heels include corns, calluses, hammertoes, bunions, Haglund’s deformity, blisters, nail problems, plantar fasciitis, Morton’s neuroma, metatarsalgia, stress fractures, ankle injuries, and a tight Achilles tendon. If you are afflicted with any of these conditions, it is strongly advised that you seek the care of a podiatrist. 

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Ahmad Elsamad, DPM from The Institute of Foot & Ankle Reconstructive Surgery . Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which Parts of My Body Will Be Affected by High Heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What Kinds of Foot Problems Can Develop from Wearing High Heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How Can I Still Wear High Heels and Maintain Foot Health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Merrillville, East Chicago, and Munster, IN, . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Effect of High Heels on the Feet
Sunday, 12 December 2021 00:00

Plantar Warts Can Be Treated!

Plantar warts are small growths that develop on parts of the feet that bear weight. They're typically found on the bottom of the foot. Don't live with plantar warts, and call us today!

When someone engages in regular physical activity, such as running, jumping, or other repetitive movements, this can stress the bones in the feet and lower legs. Over time, these repetitive movements and stress can lead to the development of tiny hairline cracks in the bones. These stress fractures can also develop when the type, duration, intensity, or frequency of physical activity occurs. Unlike more severe breaks due to acute trauma, which can cause immediate and intense pain, the pain from stress fractures can be duller and develop more gradually. Ballet dancers and athletes engaging in high impact sports such as basketball, tennis, track and field, soccer, and hockey are at greater risk of developing these microscopic fissures in their foot or lower leg bones. Along with a dull pain which intensifies during physical activity, there may be swelling, tenderness and bruising in the affected area. A podiatrist should be consulted if there is any pain in the feet or lower legs. They will perform an exam, test sensitivity to pressure in the affected area, and may use X-rays or bone scans to properly diagnose the issue. This professional assessment and care will not only help heal the stress fracture, but also prevent it from becoming a more severe break.

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, contact Ahmad Elsamad, DPM from The Institute of Foot & Ankle Reconstructive Surgery . Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain free and on your feet.

How Are They Caused?

Stress fractures are the result of repetitive force being placed on the bone. Since the lower leg and feet often carry most of the body’s weight, stress fractures are likely to occur in these areas. If you rush into a new exercise, you are more likely to develop a stress fracture since you are starting too much, too soon.  Pain resulting from stress fractures may go unnoticed at first, however it may start to worsen over time.

Risk Factors

  • Gender – They are more commonly found in women compared to men.
  • Foot Problems – People with unusual arches in their feet are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Certain Sports – Dancers, gymnasts, tennis players, runners, and basketball players are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Lack of Nutrients – A lack of vitamin D and calcium may weaken the bones and make you more prone to stress fractures
  • Weak Bones – Osteoporosis can weaken the bones therefore resulting in stress fractures

Stress fractures do not always heal properly, so it is important that you seek help from a podiatrist if you suspect you may have one. Ignoring your stress fracture may cause it to worsen, and you may develop chronic pain as well as additional fractures.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Merrillville, East Chicago, and Munster, IN, . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
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