Homeowners should always use caution when mowing their lawn. Take time to protect your feet and the feet of those around you, when using a mower with a rotary-blade.
25,000 Americans sustain injuries from power mowers each year according to the US Consumer Products Safety Commission. Did you know that the blade on your mower moves at 3,000 revolutions per minute? It CAN also produce more kinetic energy than a .357handgun!
Children under 14 and adults over 44 are the most likely to get injured from mowers. To prevent injury, please consider the simple precautions listed below:
• Don’t mow your lawn when its wet. You can lose control of the mower if you slip and cause a foot injury.
• Always were heavy shoes or work boots. Do not wear sneakers or sandals.
• Small children should not ride on adults lap while the adult is using a lawn tractor. This can cause serious injury to the child.
• When a mower is running, do not pull it backward.
• Children should avoid the area being mowed.
• To avoid projectile injuries, keep the clip bag attached.
• Make sure your mower has a release mechanism on that handle, so it automatically shuts off when you let go.
If you are injured while mowing, please seek immediate treatment. The wound will need to be flushed and antibiotics will need to be applied to prevent infection. More serious injuries could require surgical intervention.
The posterior tibial tendon is located on the inside of your ankle and plays a major role in supporting and maintaining the arch on the bottom of the foot. Due to the high demands of the tendon with every day life, it can result in overuse of the tendon. This overuse is referred to as posterior tibial tendon dysfunction. When this occurs, patients will eventually develop a flat foot deformity and loss of arch height due to the weakened tendon no longer being able to support the arch. This condition is commonly seen in middle-aged women. Those with diabetes also have an increased risk.
The major problem with posterior tibial dysfunction is that it is a progressive disorder. This means that it will get worse overtime. The initial symptoms of the condition are pain and tendonitis; however there is normally no decrease in strength of the tendon or loss of arch at this stage. As it worsens, the tendon will develop tears and the patient will eventually end up with a decrease in the arch height and a flat foot. With early diagnosis, the progression can normally be slowed, or halted, through the use of orthotics, bracing, immobilization and physical therapy. If the dysfunction is left untreated, or progresses, then it may eventually have to be treated with surgical intervention.
–Dr. Colleen Law
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Stress fractures differ from regular fractures in that they are cracks in the bone opposed to a complete break through the bone. Stress fractures are very common in the foot and lower extremity due to the mechanical load from our bodies. In the foot they are most commonly seen in the second and third metatarsals. Overuse and repetitive forces cause stress fractures. This overuse can be from a runner who increases their mileage too quickly or from any increase in activity or change in activity.
People who suffer from stress fractures generally have pain in a very specific spot on their foot, ankle, or leg. Diagnosis can be a little tricky in that stress fractures are not seen right away on x-rays. This takes a couple of weeks to visualize and by the time it is seen on x-ray, the stress fracture has already started to heal. The healing of the stress fracture seen on x-ray is called callus formation. To get more of a definitive diagnosis of a stress fracture right away your doctor can order an MRI or bone scan.
Treatment for stress fractures is rest. If a patient was to continue their increased activity while having a stress fracture this could result in a complete fracture and would increase the recovery time. Sometimes your doctor may put you in a surgical shoe or walking boot in order to decrease the stress. Ice and elevation are also important for the recovery process. For those who wish to keep their conditioning up while recovering from a stress fracture, aqua jogging and swimming can be good options.
–Dr. Colleen Law
If your child or adolescent develops heel pain, chances are it’s due to Sever disease, which is also known as calcaneal apophysitis. Sever disease is one of the most common sources of heel pain in adolescents and most commonly affects children between the age of 6-13 who are active and involved in sports. Sever is an irritation or inflammation of the heel bone growth plate which is a result of the heel bone growing faster than the surrounding muscles and tendons. Along with repetitive microtrauma, these tight tissues cause increased pull on the growth plate, which results in pain. It is commonly seen in soccer players. Traditionally Sever used to be more common in boys; however, due to the increasing number of girls involved in organized sports, it is becoming more common in the female population.
Sever disease will eventually resolve on its own without any long-term complications. All treatments are symptom based and some children may have to decrease or take off some time from sports until the pain goes away. In some severe cases, children may have to be immobilized in a walking boot for a couple of weeks until the pain subsides. Sever patients commonly have a tight Achilles tendon, so stretching exercises are very important to help try to decrease some of the pull on the growth plate. Anti-inflammatories and ice are also recommended. Return to activity is based on relief of symptoms and should be done gradually. When returning to play, gel heel cups can be used in the cleats or sneakers in order to help provide some cushion.
—Dr. Colleen Law
Lateral ankle sprains are the most common type of ankle sprains. These sprains happen after an inversion injury or inward rolling of your foot on your ankle and affect the ligaments on the outside of your ankle. They most commonly occur in sports, especially seen in basketball and football, but also can occur in everyday activity. The lateral ankle is composed of three major ligaments, the anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL), the calcaneal fibular ligament (CFL), and the posterior talofibular ligament (PTFL). There are varying degrees of severity of ankle sprains, but the most commonly injured ligament is the ATFL.
Certain people are more prone to ankle sprains than others, especially those with a higher arch foot or those who have had a severe or multiple sprains in the past. It is normal after suffering from a sprain to have varying levels of swelling and bruising. The most important thing following a sprain is over the first 24-72 hours to practice the pneumonic RICE. RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Studies also show that initiation of early range of motion is key in the recovery process. Once the swelling goes down, then strengthening of the muscles around the ankle joint should be initiated to help prevent chronic ankle instability. Taping, bracing, and balancing exercises also can help in preventing re-injury. Most people start to feel better after a sprain over a couple of days, but in the case of severe sprains this could take several weeks to recover. If you develop a sprain that is not improving over a couple days, especially if you have followed the pneumonic RICE, then make sure you schedule an appointment with your doctor.
-Dr. Colleen Law
I am very excited to be joining Dr. Murray, Dr. Chang, Dr. Baglio, and Dr. Schustek and the rest of the team at Blue Ridge Foot and Ankle Clinic in July! I graduated from Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and completed my residency at St. Luke’s University Health Network in Allentown, Pennsylvania. While at St. Luke’s, I had experience training in both the inpatient and outpatient setting, as well surgical training in elective and non-elective foot and ankle surgery, and experience with wound care and diabetic limb salvage.
I am interested in treating a variety of different pathologies in the foot and ankle, but one area that I am particularly interested in is sports medicine. In college, I competed on the cross country and track teams at Lehigh University. After suffering from a foot injury, which required surgery during my freshman year, I was introduced to the field of podiatry. I really like that I can relate my love for running with my job as a podiatrist and understand what it is like recovering from an injury and returning to activity.
In my free time I like to spend time with my husband Matt and viszla, Zoey. We enjoy running and other outdoor activities and look forward to getting involved with the Charlottesville community.
I am really excited about the move to the Charlottesville area and am eager to start meeting and working with patients in July!
-Dr. Colleen Law
Colleen Law graduated from Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and completed her residency at St. Luke’s University Health Network in Allentown, Pennsylvania. At St. Luke’s, she underwent extensive training in elective and reconstructive forefoot, rearfoot, and ankle surgery, as well as experience in wound care and diabetic limb salvage.
Prior to her medical education, Dr. Law attended Lehigh University, where she was a member of the cross country and track and field teams. Through this experience, she developed an interest in sports medicine, which led her to pursue a career in podiatry. In addition to her interest in sports medicine, she is also interested in elective and reconstructive foot and ankle surgery and diabetic limb salvage.
During her free time, Dr. Law enjoys spending time running and hiking with her husband Matt and vizsla.
Dr. Law is accepting new patients beginning July 17, 2017.
Thanks to all our patients who continue to support and appreciate our office. You all make us all enjoy what we do everyday.
- Posted in Common Foot Conditions, Dr. Kevin Murray, Dr. Stewart Chang, Foot Doctor, Foot Pain, Foot Surgery, Our Community, Our Team, Podiatrist, Podiatry
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Here is the latest copy of the APMA Newsletter “Footprints”. Focus on Foot Injury: Identification, management and protection tips from future injury.
There are a few things that come into play when deciding if it is time to replace your athletic shoes. Three ways to determine if they need to be replaced are amount of usage, signs of wear, and the age of the shoe. The components of an athletic shoe that can break down and wear out are the outer sole, midsole, and heel.
The outer sole is typically made of carbon rubber, which is very abrasion resistant and also consists of 2 components. Most athletic shoes will have a harder and more resilient rubber in the heel of the shoe since this is where most of the wear will occur.
The mid-sole is normally composed of a foam material, such as ethylene vinyl or polyurethane, sometimes even a blend of these materials. This area of the shoe is intended to be shock absorbing and in some shoes, controls excessive foot motion. The midsole will begin to compress over time, because of the repetitive load that is placed on that area. The shoe will no longer absorb shock, or control the foot as well as it did when new. Sometimes the midsole can compress and deform unevenly which can create alignment changes in the foot. This can ultimately lead to injuries associated with over-use, such as achilles tendinitis, stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, and metatarsalgia.
Midsoles should be considered worn out if any of the following occur:
- After 300-500 miles of running or walking.
- Shows signs of unevenness when placed on a flat surface.
- Display noticeable creasing
The heel counter of the shoe helps hold the heel on top of the midsole and prevents excessive heel motion. This area is considered broken down when it feels flexible, when compressed side to side, or appears to lean to one side or the other when viewing from the rear of the shoe.
It is typically best to replace athletic shoes that are over a year old, whether they are worn out or not. Replacing athletic shoes when necessary may be costly in the short term, but can help prevent injuries and keep you active in “the long run”.