Recently, major league pitcher Roger Clemens was found not guilty on charges of lying to Congress in an investigation concerning steroid use among major league baseball players. Although Clemens was not being charged with using steroids himself, he was accused of obstruction of justice concerning statements he had made about the use of illicit performance-enhancing drugs in the major leagues.
The term "steroid" often receives a negative connotation due to its frequent association to illegal use among athletes. However, in the world of medicine, "steroids" are utilized everyday. Performance-enhancing steroids are anabolic, which increase protein production and increase muscle mass. Anabolic steroids, when used properly, have an important role in the world of medicine.
Another class of drugs, corticosteroids, include both naturally produced hormones and analogues of natural hormones that are made in a laboratory. Corticosteroids, among many other properties, have great anti-inflammatory effects. Many people are familiar with Cortisone injections which may be used to relieve joint pain. Other uses for steroids include heel injections for heel pain. Steroids are available in topical, oral, injectable, and inhaled forms. Patients presenting with a variety of rashes such as eczema or dermatitis may be treated with a topical steroid. Asthma and allergies involving the airway may be treated with inhaled steroids. Finally, systemic steroids taken either orally or given intravenously may be used to treat anything from brain tumors to skin diseases.
It is important to consult your physician before beginning any type of steroid therapy. Although there are over the counter steroids available, using steroids in the presence of certain skin diseases or pre-existing medical conditions can be harmful. If you are experiencing any symptoms, from an irritating skin condition to joint pain, and would like to find out if steroid therapy may be a possibility for you, be sure to make an appointment at Frederick Foot and Ankle Specialists with locations in Frederick, MD and Urbana, MD. With a few injections or a simple cream, your podiatrist may be able to help alleviate your problematic symptoms without having to preform any invasive procedures. Our goal at Frederick Foot and Ankle Specialists is to keep you on your feet.
The 2012 summer Olympics are quickly approaching. The best athletes from around the globe will gather in London to compete on behalf of their countries in hopes of taking home gold medals. They spend their lives rigorously training, exercising, and maintaining highly specialized diets in order for a chance to fulfill these dreams.
Although Olympic level abilities and training are not a part of the daily routine for most people, daily exercise of some sort should be. However, many people are unable to exercise. Walking a block down the street or climbing a flight of stairs can cause severe pain in the legs, among other symptoms. This pain is referred to as intermittent claudication. It simply means that pain occurs upon exertion, typically in the calves, and is resolved with rest. If you have to stop daily activities to allow your leg pain to subside, you may be suffering from peripheral arterial disease.
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a result of hardening arteries in the extremities. It decreases the amount of blood that gets to the legs, and thus decreases the amount of oxygen the muscles receive. Other symptoms associated with PAD may include decreased or absent hair growth on your feet and legs, difficulty healing wounds, and changes in skin color. There are a number of diagnostic tests that can be performed to determine whether or not PAD is causing your symptoms.
If left untreated, PAD will cause serious complications and often leads to amputation of toes, feet, or legs. It is important to talk to your doctor if you are experiencing any symptoms. Your podiatrist at Fredrick Foot & Ankle Specialists can perform a test in the office that will let you know if you have or may be developing PAD. Referred to as an ankle brachial index, the test simply involves taking blood pressures at different areas on your leg, thigh, and arm. Frederick Foot & Ankle Specialists can quickly and easily test you for PAD, answer any questions you have, and help you to get on a course of therapy to manage any complications you may be experiencing. At your convenience, we have two office locations, Frederick, MD and Urbana, MD.
Peripheral arterial disease is easy to detect. With the proper testing and treatment, PAD may be managed so that it has little effect on your daily activities. Be sure to contact Frederick Foot & Ankle Specialists today if you are experiencing symptoms that may be related to PAD.
Summer is here! As the temperature at the shore increases, so does our desire to get outside and exercise on the sand or in the park. Although cardio exercise is a wonderful thing for our bodies, both mentally and physically, activities such as jogging may cause some damage as well. Everyone has heard the phrase “run through the pain.” It is important to understand the difference in “strengthening” and “damaging.” Often, when your body hurts, it is because it is telling you that something is wrong.
Medial tibial stress syndrome, known also as “shin splints,” can cause leg discomfort following periods of repetitive activity. Rest, ice, and elevation of the limb will often help to relieve symptoms. If left untreated while continuing weight bearing activities, it is possible to develop more serious conditions, such as stress fractures or compartment syndrome.
Stress fractures are tiny breaks in the bone that happen gradually. They are most often seen in the weight bearing bones of the lower extremity. Women are three times more likely than men to develop stress fractures due to the fact that women more frequently develop osteopenia (decreased bone density). Your podiatrist at Frederick Foot & Ankle Specialists can typically determine by clinical evaluation and by taking X-Rays if your leg pain is being caused by stress fractures.
Stress fractures can be treated with conservatively in most cases and will not need surgical intervention. Since stress fractures happen gradually, unlike other fractures that are caused by a sudden onset of impact, an air cast and rest may be sufficient to heal the damaged area.
Failure to investigate the underlying cause of leg pain could potentially result in permanent damage to the body. A condition known as exercise induced compartment syndrome may present as pain or pressure in the legs during times of increased activity. Compartment syndrome is an emergency and must be treated immediately to prevent compression of and ultimately permanent damage to the nerves, blood vessels, and muscles in the legs.
Some discomfort is to be expected during exercise, especially when beginning a new regimen. It is important to remember that pain, however, is your body’s way of warning you that something is wrong. Instead of always fighting through the pain, be sure to pay attention to your symptoms. If you are concerned about your leg pain, never hesitate to schedule an appointment at Frederick Foot & Ankle Specialists in either Frederick, MD or Urbana, MD. Your podiatrist can help you treat the source of your symptoms and help you protect yourself from further damage. Keeping you on your feet for years to come is our top priority!
Let’s start with some background about the Lisfranc Joint. It is located between the midfoot and forefoot at the joints between the metatarsals and the cuneiforms and cuboid bones [collectively known as the tarsal bones]. There is a special Lisfranc ligament that connects the 2nd metatarsal to the 1st cuneiform. Lisfranc joint injuries are rare, but can be difficult to treat as they are often misdiagnosed. So how do Lisfranc injuries occur? It is most commonly occurs in automobile accident victims, military personnel, runners, football players (and other contact sports), and sometimes even a staircase foot slip can all cause the injury. If you fit in one of these categories of personnel and are experiencing pain and swelling in the aforementioned region then please come see Dr. Steinberg, Dr. Yanes, or Dr. Ho at Frederick Foot and Ankle Specialists.
Why should we write about an injury that rarely occurs? Well, simply because if it does occur you should be aware of the symptoms and complications that can arise from the injury. Matt Schaub, of the Houston Texans (NFL), was recently diagnosed (last Sunday!) with a Lisfranc injury. His injury, most likely, occurred as he planted his forefoot to the ground, had his heel in the air and twisted his foot. Obviously, to be certain of the injury Matt Schaub went to see his doctor and a Foot and Ankle Specialist. Coincidentally, that’s part of our practice’s name! Visit us at our locations in Frederick or Urbana, MD to get your consultation of your injury.
We’ll do the necessary tests and referrals to properly diagnose your injury and get you the proper treatment for your ailment. If the injury is stable (bones aligned) we’ll begin with a period of immobilization followed by gradual return to activity. However, if it is unstable surgical treatment may be recommended. Surgery will depend on the amount of swelling the patient presents and the severity of the injury. We want to make sure you get the correct treatment because we don’t want you to experience changes in your foot, such as, widening of the foot. Recovery from such an injury can take anywhere from 6 months to 1 year. We’ll definitely make sure to take all the precautions to ensure a fast and speedy recovery!
At Frederick’s Foot and Ankles Specialists we have taken notice in the toning shoes popularity. The belief is that these shoes represent a shortcut to getting in shape and toning your body while you walk. Well, at least that is what the companies are advertising. Customers have mainly been purchasing Sketchers Shape-ups or Reebok Easy-tones. These shoes have two distinct and unique designs. Sketchers Shape-ups are a ‘rocker-bottom’ structure similar to the rocking chair concept. It will allow you to rock from heel to toe during you walking stride. Reebok Easy-tones design consists of a ‘ball-like’ design on forefoot and heel. The concept is similar to you trying to balance on exercise ball while doing sit-ups.
It is true that traditional shoes can restrict natural foot function. It can promote weakness and possibly increase injury to foot or ankles. Toning shoes will just as likely alter natural foot function as well. In some people it may create too much instability in walking/standing, which make it difficult to wear in certain intense activities. Toning shoes may slightly tone your lower extremities, but is the appearance worth less than optimal foot function? Visit our doctors in one of our locations in Frederick or Urbana, MD for more information on normal foot function.
When celebrities, such as, Kim Kardashian and Eva Mendes promote Sketchers Shape-ups and Reebok Easy-tones consumers will jump at a moment’s notice to purchase these ‘miracle’ shoes. But you must keep in mind that these shoes do not directly cause significant weight loss or a ripped body. They may provide some benefits, but you must be aware of the health risks that the shoe can cause through extended use. Patients do not realize that these shoes wear out more quickly than the standard due to the material the shoe is made out of. People who overpronate (roll ankles inward) should never consider these shoes as an everyday shoe. The shoes over time compress quickly and pronate the foot excessively. This can lead to hip, knee and joint problems.
‘Rocker-bottom’ shoes have been around the medical world for years. They have been used to rehabilitate ankles and work on position stance. It is important for you to know your foot tendencies and be aware of your limitations of your foot structure. Visit us to discuss specifically about your structure!