• Considering elective foot surgery?

    It’s always up to you…

    Most foot surgery is elective.

    Elective means it’s always up to you, the patient, to decide if and when to have it.

    We are often asked when the right time is to consider surgery.

    In most cases, the best answer is when the pain is becoming intolerable.

    Most people who undergo elective foot surgery do so because they are experiencing pain from a particular condition on a daily basis.

    Not being able to wear certain shoes comfortably or exercise regularly are other reasons to consider foot surgery.

    If a condition such as a bunion or deformed toe is getting worse, we’ll recommend fixing the condition sooner than later to avoid a more serious situation.

    The rare circumstance of proceeding with elective foot surgery when pain isn’t present is in a diabetic condition.

    Many people with diabetes lose feeling in their feet. Correcting a foot deformity earlier than usual in this case is even more important, to avoid a major complication.

    Bunions, hammer toes, bone spurs, and plantar fasciitis are examples of foot conditions that may ultimately need to be resolved surgically.

    We always try as many non-surgical solutions as possible for these and most other foot conditions.

    Unfortunately, there are times when foot conditions do not respond to non-surgical methods.

    Since there are many things to consider when undergoing foot surgery, such as the impact on working, driving, and basic home needs, the ultimate decision is up to you.

    If you ever seek a second opinion, beware of the doctor who wants to push surgery on you.

    It might be the best option, but not unless conservative options have been exhausted.

    If you are considering foot surgery, we’d be happy to walk you through the process and determine if it’s the best option for you.

    We are here to serve you.

    To Healthy Feet,

    Dr. Betschart
    203-791-0466

  • Neuropathy and Frostbite: A dangerous combination

    Neuropathy and Frostbite: A Dangerous Combination
    People who suffer from diabetes and neuropathy shoel know why it’s important to avoid frostbite. Neuropathy, a condition often experienced by those with diabetes, affects the body’s ability to feel, and therefore, hot and cold often cannot be discerned. A person with neuropathy is more prone to frostbite, since they cannot feel when cold is negatively affecting their skin. This puts the individual at greater risk for an amputation. Any cold injury should be treated promptly. First aid should include slow warming of the area and protection from additional trauma. If you have suffered a cold injury to your feet or are one of the many Americans that struggles with neuropathy, I invite you to visit me, at my office here in Danbury, CT. Call right away 203 791 0466 or request an appointment here.

  • Gout. Not only for Kings…

    Not only for Kings…

    The sudden onset of pain and swelling in the foot is often… Gout!

    Yes, gout! Even if you’ve never had it, you can get it. Anyone over 20 years of age is prone to this condition.

    The big toe joint area is where gout attacks most. It can also occur in other places on top of the feet. Neither ice nor heat lessens the pain and swelling.

    The best home remedy is to take ibuprofen or Aleve if your health allows it. This remedy doesn’t always work.

    Usually, a stronger medication prescribed by us relieves the pain and swelling.

    There are many reasons why a person can get gout. Certain foods can be the culprit, but not always. (Gout was once called a King’s disease because of how they gorged themselves with certain foods.)

    The specific cause isn’t always easy to find.

    If a person gets a second gout attack, we recommend a medication that can prevent it from occurring again.

    If you have the onset of intense pain and swelling in your foot, think gout before anything else.

    We can sometimes relieve the intense pain of gout before you even walk out of our office.

    Turning grimaces into smiles is what we enjoy most.

    To Painless Feet,

    Dr. Betschart
    203-791-0466

  • Proper foot care can prevent many foot problems

    Proper foot care can prevent many foot problems
    Here are some tips for proper foot care:

    1. Wash your feet in warm water every day, using a mild soap. Do not soak your feet. Dry your feet well, especially between the toes.

    2. If the skin on your feet is dry, keep it moist by applying lotion after you wash and dry your feet. Do not put lotion between your toes.

    3. Check your feet every day for sores, blisters, redness, calluses, or any other problems. If you spot something unusual, give us a call.

    4. Check your toenails once a week. Trim your toenails with a nail clipper straight across. Do not round off the corners of toenails or cut down on the sides of the nails. After clipping, smooth the toenails with a nail file. IF YOU ARE DIABETIC, come in to see us regularly to have your nails trimmed. It is dangerous to do this yourself, as a nick or cut can become infected.

    5. Gently smooth corns and calluses with an emery board or pumice stone. Do this after your bath or shower, when your skin is soft. Move the emery board in only one direction.

    6. Always wear closed-toed shoes or slippers. Do not wear sandals and do not walk barefoot, even around the house.

    7. Always wear socks or stockings. Wear socks or stockings that fit your feet well and have soft elastic.

    8. Protect your feet from heat and cold. Wear shoes at the beach or on hot pavement. Wear socks at night if your feet get cold.

    9. Keep the blood flowing to your feet. Put your feet up when sitting, wiggle your toes and move your ankles several times a day, and don’t cross your legs for long periods of time.

    10. If you are diabetic, watch your diet and see us regularly for a checkup. Common foot problems can become dangerous for a diabetic.

    Take the time to take good care of your feet. In return, they’ll take you anywhere you want to go! Please call us at 203 791 0466 or request an appointment online

  • Heart disease is on the rise again!

    Heart disease is on the rise again…

    According to an article in the January 15th edition of the Wall Street Journal, heart disease is on the rise again in the U.S.

    The headline “Heart Disease Roars Back, Even in Healthy Places” couldn’t help but catch my eye.

    Even in a healthy state like Colorado, men and women in their 30s and 40s are seeing cardiologists with heart problems such as high blood pressure, irregular heart rhythm, and heart attacks.

    According to the article, “death rates from cardiovascular disease among people between the ages of 45 and 64 are rising in cities all across the country, including in some of the most unlikely places.”

    Two of the most common risk factors are obesity and diabetes.

    High blood pressure, drug and alcohol use, stress, and a lack of physical activity also play a role.

    These factors also increase the risk for people who are genetically disposed to heart disease, doctors say.

    What does this have to do with feet? Everything!

    Keeping your feet healthy so you can stay healthy is a mantra we’ve endorsed for years.

    We’ve seen how long-standing foot pain has led to inactivity.

    There is no better way to help prevent these risk factors than physical activity such as walking.

    According to some studies, walking 30 minutes 3-4 times per week can have a huge positive impact on blood pressure, diabetes, and heart health.

    We aren’t just in the business of solving foot problems; we’re here to help prevent serious health conditions such as heart disease.

    Is a long-standing foot condition keeping you from being physically active?

    Let us help you get back in the game… your heart will thank you!

    To a Healthy Heart,

    Dr. Betschart
    203-791-0466

  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

    Don’t ignore this one…
     
    There is a nerve in your foot that can get pinched just like carpal tunnel in the hand. The area is on the inside of the ankle and it’s called the Tarsal Tunnel.
     
    Pain can occur right in that spot. Pain can also occur in your heel, arch, and the balls of your feet.
     
    Tarsal tunnel syndrome can cause pain anywhere on the bottom of the foot. The sensations of nerve pain are often sharpness, burning, and tingling. Some people even notice an aching sensation in their arch from tarsal tunnel syndrome, especially after activity. The symptoms are commonly present even when someone is off their feet.
     
    There are several possible causes of a pinched nerve in your foot and ankle.
     
    The wrong shoes and even tight socks could be the culprit. Other than making sure your shoes aren’t pressing too tightly against the inside of your ankles and wearing socks that don’t feel tight, there is not much you can do at home for this condition.
     
    Careful clinical examination can usually give the diagnosis. If we suspect this condition, we have effective methods to alleviate the pain.
     
    Pain on the inside of your ankle, heel, or arch might be from a pinched nerve. The longer a nerve is pinched, the lower the probability that a non-surgical solution will work.
     
    We specialize in diagnosing and treating tarsal tunnel syndrome.
     
    We welcome the opportunity to serve you should the need arise.
     
    To Healthy Feet,
     
    Dr. Betschart
    203-791-0466

  • Chronic or recurrent plantar fasciitis options

    If you still have Plantar Fasciitis or have it again this message is for you. We keep learning more about this condition and what works best to cure it. Never fear if you’ve had it for months or even years. There definitely is a solution!

    One thing we know now more than ever is that more people with pain in the heel develop more scar-like tissue than we ever realized. The pain tends to be more consistent and often more intense. If you got relief from cortisone or other treatments but the pain has returned, you could have this scar-like tissue problem. The Plantar Fascia essentially degenerates for an unknown reason. When it does so the body can’t regenerate it without outside help.

    One of the most exciting innovations in healthcare is Stem Cell treatment. We’ve seen astonishing results using stem cells in treating Plantar Fasciitis. What they do essentially is regenerate tissue that has degenerated. These cells are the outside help the body needs to heal the damaged tissue. Not only is Stem Cell treatment safe and effective, it prevents the need for surgery. What’s more, a treatment of this kind doesn’t necessitate time missed from work. Finding innovative treatments that keep our patients doing everyday tasks remains a goal of ours.

    Besides Stem Cell treatment, the other non-invasive technology we’ve been using successfully for chronic heel pain is called Prolotheray. Prolotherapy helps regenerate a degenerated Plantar Fascia just like stem cells do, but in a different way. Prolotherapy jump starts the healing process by “tricking” the body that there is an acute injury in an area, signaling the healing process to begin again. And, just like stem cells it’s done right in our office without any down-time.

    Should a surgical approach be needed, minimally invasive plantar fascia release is and effective solution, which can also be performed in our office with minimal down time.

    We’d be happy to determine whether Stem Cell Treatment, Prolotherapy, surgery or another treatment is the best option for you. We’re here to serve you.

  • Even a small sore on a diabetic foot can be a problem

    Even a small sore on a diabetic foot can be a big problem.

    Diabetes can often lead to decreased blood flow to the feet. Without the right amount of blood, a sore may not heal as well.

    Diabetes also often leads to decreased feeling in the feet. A sore on the bottom of the foot can easily go unnoticed because of numbness.

    This is why people with diabetes should inspect the bottom of their feet every day.

    Diabetes also often causes the immune system to function less than optimally. This means the body isn’t as good at healing a sore or an infection. Not having a good enough immune system along with poor circulation and sensation means people with diabetes must think of every sore as a potentially serious problem.

    The steps to take with a sore are keeping it clean, using an antibiotic cream, applying gauze to protect it from rubbing, and immediately scheduling an appointment.

    Of course, figuring out the cause of the sore–such as the possibility of shoes not fitting properly–is extremely important.

    Preventing an infection is first priority. If you or a loved one has diabetes, simply being aware of how risky it is to have something as simple as a small sore is the first step to avoiding a major complication.

    We specialize in keeping the feet of our patients with diabetes as healthy as possible. Preventing amputations starts with early intervention of any skin or nail concern in a person with diabetes.

    We are here to serve you.

    To Healthy Feet,

    Dr. Betschart
    203-791-0466

  • Dropped something on your foot?

    It could be worse than you think…

    Dropping something on your foot can lead to long-term pain. We’ve seen it happen many times. A broken bone can be the least of the concerns.

    Injury to a nerve can be the most significant problem. We never dismiss an injury to the top of the foot when an x-ray is negative (no broken bone).

    We’ve seen many patients who have suffered for months because of an injury to a nerve. If you drop something on the top of your foot either at home or work, simply being aware of what can occur will help to keep you out of danger.

    In addition to rest, ice and elevation, keeping pressure off the top of the foot is important. Wearing looser fitting shoes or sandals, if the weather allows, will help to avoid further irritation to the nerves.

    Avoid wrapping your foot in an ace bandage. You want as little pressure on the top of the foot as possible.

    Because more can go wrong than just a broken bone, we recommend seeing us as opposed to an urgent care clinic for injuries to the feet.

    If you have had months of pain after dropping something on your foot, we’d be happy to evaluate it. We enjoy serving you!

    And Happy New Year,

    Dr. Betschart
    203-791-0466
    http://www.danburypodiatrist.com/

  • Healthy Feet, Healthier Life

    Healthy Feet, Healthier Life

    Many people have intentions of getting healthier

    in the new year but foot pain slows them down.

    Do you know someone like this?

    A healthier life starts with healthy feet. If you

    hear of someone talking about a

    foot problem slowing them down,

    let them know about us.

    We welcome the opportunity to help

    a friend, coworker or loved one get fast

    relief from foot pain.

    We are never too busy for your referral!

    Happy New Year!

    Dr. Betschart and staff