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Foot Care for Diabetics

Mercer-Ocean Podiatry has helped many diabetics manage their foot care and we encourage all diabetics to continue their foot care at home.  A diabetic’s weakened immune system and reduced blood flow to the extremities like feet can mean small injuries have the potential to wreak havoc due to the body being unable to heal itself in this area. 
Even when they are managing their blood sugar properly, diabetics should pay special attention to their feet.  A short daily inspection and a few minutes encouraging circulation are simple preventative measures that can make all the difference.  A diabetic body’s diminished capacity to heal itself in the extremities can even lead to amputations when injuries and infections go unnoticed. This is why a short daily inspection of both feet can prevent huge problems.  Look for any abrasions, redness, swelling, and irregularities in the toenails.  Two or three times a day, spend five minutes moving your ankles and toes to encourage blood flow to the fee…

Arthritis

Arthritis is the Inflammation of one or more joints, causing pain and stiffness. Osteoarthritis ­­ is the most common type of arthritis that occurs in the joints of the hips, knees, and spine. However, it can also disturb the fingers, thumb, neck, and large toe. Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic disease that cause inflammation of the lining of the joints, and can lead to long-­term joint damage which results in chronic pain, loss of function and disability. Arthritis often occurs if you’re overweight, putting more pressure on your back, knees, and joints. Overusing your joints by doing extensive running and jumping can also develop arthritis.
Some signs that you may have arthritis are if you have joint pain and stiffness, decreased range of motion, and swelling. Coming off an injury often times arthritis develops which is why rehabilitation after a surgery or injury is crucial.
Dr. Frank Killan at Mercer-Ocean Podiatry recommends a variety of ways to relieve arthritis such physical ther…

Hammertoes

Hammertoe occurs from a muscle and ligament imbalance around the toe joint which causes the middle joint of the toe to bend and become stuck in this position. Middle toes are likely to be affected although baby toes that curl are also considered hammertoes. 
If the hammertoes are flexible that means the toes are still movable and there are minor treatment options. A more serious form of hammertoe is called rigid hammertoe which means the toe won’t move at all and would require surgery. No matter which case of hammertoes you have Doctors at Mercer-Ocean Podiatry can diagnose and decide on the best treatment.
Hammertoe is often hereditary and minor solutions include better fitting shoes and orthotics, splints, and metatarsal pads which help widen the foot. 
Doctors at Mercer-Ocean Podiatry can help with any questions you may have and diagnose any toe issues you may be experiencing. Visit our website www.newjerseyfoot.com to view other services we offer. To schedule an appointment with Dr. …

Heel Pain Causes and Treatment

Heel pain is generally the result of walking abnormalities that place too much stress on the heel bone and the soft tissues that attach to it. Heel pain is a very common but potentially disruptive affliction that has many possible causes, including stress fractures, arthritis, nerve irritation, cysts, tendonitis and most often, plantar fasciitis. Fortunately, no matter what is causing your heel pain, the podiatrists at Mercer-Ocean Podiatry can treat it.
Heel pain is not usually caused by a single injury, such as a twist or a fall, but rather the result of repetitive stress and the pounding of the heel. Your feet can handle a heavy load, but too much stress pushes them over their limit. Heel pain is frequently triggered by wearing flat footwear, because this type of footwear can stretch the plantar fascia to such an extent that the area becomes swollen (inflamed). When you continue to walk on a sore heel, it will only get worse and could become a chronic condition leading to more probl…

Ganglion Cysts

Among the more mysterious ailments we treat at Mercer-Ocean Podiatry are ganglion cysts. These swellings normally occur in the hands, but are sometimes found on the feet or ankles. Although they are not cancerous, they may cause patients pain or dysfunction and are worth examining.
Joints are full of lubricating liquids that help tendons to pull on them without causing wear-and-tear. But in people with ganglion cysts, a pocket of fluid has bulged outward, displacing the sheath that normally surrounds joint and tendon structures. The cysts may be too small to notice or they may be an inch wide and change in size.  They occur most often in young women who do repetitive activities or have injured the affected joint in the past. The pressure the cyst puts on nerves could cause pain, tingling, or numbness.
We’ll need to do imaging and tactile tests to ensure that we’ve identified a ganglion cyst correctly. If the diagnosis is confirmed, we can use a syringe to withdraw fluid from the cyst, b…

Causes of Gout

The holidays provide a lot of opportunities for feasting, but that could mean trouble for people with gout. At Mercer-Ocean Podiatry, we treat patients suffering from many kinds of arthritis. But gout is a disease that patients can prevent through lifestyle changes, which is why we want our patients to understand what causes it.
Arthritis is a term used to describe several diseases that result in inflamed joints. Attacks of gout are clearly identifiable by the red swelling they cause at the base of the big toe (and, more rarely, on the ankles and in fingers). Gout is caused by uric acid crystals building up in the feet. When people eat certain foods, such as red meat, seafood, sugar, and alcohol, they ingest substances called purines that form uric acid inside the body. The kidneys normally filter uric acid, but if their function is compromised and a large number of crystals have built up, a sudden increase in purines can trigger a gout attack.
Gout attacks could last for hours or days.…

Post-Operative Swelling

When patients require surgery, we at Mercer-Ocean Podiatry provide compassionate assistance. Swelling is to be expected following surgery—it’s an important part of the immune response. But we know patients will be more at ease if they are aware of what to expect, and if something does go wrong, we want them to know to contact us.
RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) is the standard care protocol following surgery. Recovery time will vary but can be expected to take at least a few weeks. During this time, patients should avoid putting any weight on their affected foot, even to put it on the floor. They should try to keep it at a higher elevation than their heart. At some point, they will transfer from a cast to a brace, if they weren’t in one to start. It is important with either for the bandages to remain dry. Putting ice in a water-tight sleeve will prevent moisture from leaking. Neither cold packs nor hot packs should be pressed against the skin for more than fifteen minutes …