Frequently Asked Questions
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What does smoking do when I have diabetes?
Smoking and diabetes are a bad health mix. On its own, diabetes damages your circulation, which reduces the amount of oxygen and vital nutrients that are able to reach your limbs. Smoking negatively impacts your lungs and heart, decreasing the amount of oxygen you’re able to take in and use. These two together dramatically cut the oxygen that is available for your body, especially your feet. This causes the tissues in your lower limbs to weaken and become more likely to suffer serious, if not permanent, injuries.
Smoking causes enough damages on its own. When paired with diabetes, it can be a dangerous habit. Don’t take your lower limbs for granted. If you have diabetes and you smoke, have your feet examined and discuss possibilities for quitting with your health team. Dr. Sanjay Patel and our staff here at Family Foot Care & Surgery, L.L.C. will be more than happy to help you care for your feet and begin a path to better health. Submit an online request on our website or call either of our offices to reach us: (203) 876-7736 for our Milford office, or (203) 288-4055 for our Hamden location.
What does malignant mean?
Malignant is a term used to describe a condition that is severe and worsening; typically it’s applied to cancerous tumors. These are the dangerous spots that damage neighboring tissues and spread throughout the body. Though several cancers can affect the feet, the most dangerous is malignant melanoma, a type of skin cancer. This spot grows and spreads rapidly. Since many people miss it in the early stages, it may already be dangerous by the time it is caught.
Don’t ignore unusual spots or dark discolorations on your feet. Have any abnormal-looking or new lesions investigated, even if they are underneath your nails. The key to recovering from cancer is to catch and treat it early, before it has a chance to spread. If you’re concerned about any spots you see on your lower limbs, contact Family Foot Care & Surgery, L.L.C. Use the online request form or call either office to reach us: in Milford, CT, at (203) 876-7736, or in Hamden at (203) 288-4055.
What is a stone bruise?
A stone bruise can describe a couple of different issues. It could be a bruise in the fatty padding of the foot, particularly in the heel. Usually, this develops after stepping on a rock or similarly hard object and damaging the soft tissue. It makes the foot tender and sensitive to pressure.
However, this type of bruise could also describe the symptoms of other conditions, like metatarsalgia in the ball of the foot. Inflammation in the metatarsal heads can create a painful, swollen spot that hurts to press on.
No matter the cause of the problem, the issue makes it uncomfortable to walk around or participate in hard-impact activities, like running. You will need to have the problem accurately diagnosed and then treated.
Dr. Sanjay Patel at Family Foot Care & Surgery, L.L.C. can help you find the best therapy to resolve your discomfort. Use our online request form or call either of our two offices—(203) 876-7736 for our Milford office or (203) 288-4055 for our Hamden location—to make an appointment with us.
What is a congenital disease?
A congenital disease is a disorder that is present at birth. It could be something that resulted from the parents’ DNA, or it could have developed in the womb. Some problems can be corrected shortly after birth, while others will remain for a child’s entire life. If the disorder is a physical deformity of the feet, like clubfoot, it can usually be addressed early to restore the lower limbs. If the issue is a neuromuscular condition that affects the feet and ankles, your child will need consistent care and treatment over time to manage the function and stability of the feet.
Early examination is crucial. Even though a condition is present at birth, there are many therapies that can help. Contact family foot expert Dr. Sanjay Patel at Family Foot Care & Surgery, L.L.C. Use our online request form or call either of our two Connecticut offices: (203) 876-7736 for the Milford office, and (203) 288-4055 for the Hamden location.
Is Sever’s disease hereditary?
Sever’s disease hereditary factors include a child born with any of the following biomechanical defects:
Short Achilles tendon—this exaggerates the tightness of the tendon and its pull on the heel’s growth plate.
Short leg syndrome—if one leg is shorter than the other, the foot on the shorter leg must reach for the ground, increasing strain on the tendons.
Pronation—when the foot rolls outward upon impact, it causes the Achilles tendon to twist and tighten.
Flat or High Arches—A flat or high arch affects the position of your heel and forces it into an abnormal angle, putting stress on the Achilles.
If your child has any of these conditions, he or she could be prone to Sever’s disease. Have Dr. Sanjay Patel examine your little one’s foot and determine if treatment is necessary. Contact Family Foot Care and Surgery, L.L.C. Call (203) 876-7736 for our Milford, CT, office, or (203) 288-4055 for Hamden.
What is a 'pump bump'?
For those who may have wondered what is a pump bump and why it is called that, this condition is a fairly common problem. The proper name is “Haglund’s deformity,” and it’s a bony protrusion on the back of the heel bone. Some people develop it as a result of their natural foot shape, while others develop it from aggravations on the back of the heel. Stiff-backed shoes, like pumps, tend to create pressure on the foot that irritates and enlarges the protrusion, giving the deformity the name “pump bump.”
The pain from a Haglund’s Deformity is usually caused by the protrusion rubbing against the bursa between the bone and the Achilles tendon. As the protective sac there becomes irritated and inflamed, you develop painful bursitis. Fortunately, this condition is easy to treat conservatively. If you have an uncomfortable, visible bump on the back of your heels, contact Family Foot Care & Surgery, L.L.C. for an appointment to care of it. You can use the online request form, or call either of our two offices: (203) 876-7736 for our Milford office, or (203) 288-4055 for our Hamden location.
Am I at a higher risk for plantar fasciitis?
Many factors can increase your risk for plantar fasciitis. Age plays a role—your plantar fascia bands lose flexibility as you grow older. Obesity and extended hours standing or walking, especially on hard surfaces, also strain the band. Certain activities, like running, dancing, and some aerobics, put a lot of stress on your heel and can contribute to the problem as well. Failing to properly condition your lower limbs for your athletic activity can have a similar effect.
There are ways to prevent plantar fasciitis, however. If you pay attention to your footwear and condition your feet and legs, you have a better chance of avoiding the issue. If you’re already experiencing pain, don’t let it continue. Contact Dr. Sanjay Patel at Family Foot Care & Surgery, L.L.C. for an appointment or more information. Use our online contact form or call to reach us—(203) 876-7736 for our Milford office, or (203) 288-4055 for our Hamden location.
Can I run with plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis—what a pain, literally. The band of tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes can become weak, swollen, and irritated when it is strained. Repeated strain may leave you wondering, "Can I run with plantar fasciitis?"
The answer is yes, but it depends on the severity of your discomfort. If your heel pain only affects you in the morning when you wake and after long periods of running, you may continue exercising. Just the same, if pain is present at the start of the run and subsides after a few minutes, run your heart out. However, if pain lasts for longer than a couple of minutes, reduce your running distance by 25%. If it continues to hurt throughout the run, cut back by 50%. Pain with each step is a cause for concern and all running should be halted. Instead, opt for biking or swimming.
Mild symptoms of plantar fasciitis can be treated with stretching and strengthening exercises. The experts at Family Foot Care and Surgery, L.L.C. in Milford and Hamden, CT can also prescribe custom orthotics to ease your discomfort. If your pain becomes unbearable, make an appointment by using our website contact form, or call us at (203) 876-7736 for the Milford office, or (203) 288-4055 for our Hamden location.
Are bunions hereditary?
Are bunions hereditary? Let’s put it this way: the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree, and neither do the foot problems. If your mother or father has a bunion, chances are you'll inherit the same condition. Foot disorders are often hereditary. However, there are a few things you can do to slow the rate of bone enlargement and strive to prevent a painful bump from forming.
To lessen your chances of developing bunions, practice good hygiene. Always avoid wearing tight shoes that pinch or crowd the toes, such as pointed-toed heels or boots. Instead, wear shoes that allow your toes room to spread out. Stick to low or flat heels and avoid the platforms and stilettos. Footwear with good arch support is also very helpful.
If you already have bunions, be sure to avoid activities that place pressure on your toes, such as ballet or cycling. If the pain becomes unbearable, visit Family Foot Care and Surgery, L.L.C. in Milford and Hamden, CT. For an appointment or more information, use our website contact form or call to reach us at (203) 876-7736 for the Milford office, or (203) 288-4055 for our Hamden location.
How can I help my shin splints?
You can do certain things for shin splints pain relief. You may need to decrease your activity and ice the uncomfortable areas for roughly 15 minutes at a time, multiple times a day. Stretch your Achilles and your shin muscles several times daily as well. You may need to change your shoes, too. Worn out or poorly fitted shoes may contribute to your pain instead of supporting your feet. Also if your feet tend to roll into the ground more than it should, then this may have to addressed with proper custom orthotics for long term pain relief.
If you’re struggling with persistent shin splints, stop your activities altogether and have your feet and ankles examined to determine what exactly is contributing to your condition. Don’t try to run through the pain and risk a more serious injury. Request an appointment with Family Foot Care & Surgery, L.L.C. for an appointment. Call either of our two office locations—(203) 876-7736 for our Milford office, or (203) 288-4055 for our Hamden location—or use our online request form to reach us.