Orthopedic Associates' Blog

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Orthopedic Associates' Blog


All About Bone Spurs
All About Bone Spurs
By: Dr. Aaranson You might not have heard of an osteophyte, but you might know them by their common name—bone spurs. These small, bony projections form along edges of bones, often in the places where two bones meet, like the joints of your shoulders, hips, hands, knees and feet. It is also possible to have bone spurs form on your spine. Often, they go undetected because they present no symptoms, but that can greatly vary depending on their location and how they form. Let’s take a closer look at bone spurs and consider their cause, symptoms and treatments. Causes When one or more of your joints experiences prolonged pressure or rubbing for a prolonged period of time, a bone spur might form as your body attempts to repair itself. This stress can cause osteoarthritis, which is the most common cause of bone spurs. Osteoarthritis breaks down the cartilage at the end of your bones that provides cushioning, and bone spurs form in areas of inflammation or injury of the nearby cartilage or tendons. What causes this stress? Excess weight can damage joints, and ...

Diabetes and Foot Care
Diabetes and Foot Care
By: Dr. Aaranson Diabetes is commonly perceived as a single illness, but it is actually a group of metabolic disorders that can cause many problems. It is either caused by the pancreas not producing enough insulin (Type 1), or the body’s cells not responding properly to the insulin that is produced (Type 2). A third form, gestational diabetes, only occurs when a pregnant woman develops high blood sugar levels. The most common type of diabetes is Type 2, which accounts for about 90% of the 415 million cases worldwide. Many people find the variety and widespread nature of diabetes-related symptoms to be surprising. Everything from respiratory and urinary issues, as well as blurred vision and gastric distress are all symptoms of diabetes. One of the more common symptoms associated with diabetes is the presence of foot problems. Why the Issue? For people with diabetes, diabetic neuropathy, or nerve damage, can cause tenderness and interfere with the ability to feel pain and temperature—a dangerous combination. If left untreated and unchecked, these foot problems can result in ulcers or injuries that can become infected. If ...

Does Your Running Shoe Type Matter?
Does Your Running Shoe Type Matter?
By: Dr. Aaranson   An experienced runner knows a well-fit shoe is priceless, especially when you face the uphill section of a marathon. Improper fits can cause blisters, foot conditions, and a variety of other complications. Shoes is arguably one of the most debated topics among runners: what type of running shoe is best for runners? Support structure is important to consider: how much motion control does your shoe give you? If you’re naturally overpronated in your gait, a shoe ‘expert’ may have recommended a heavier type of shoe with more support. Unfortunately, research shows that the type of running shoe likely doesn’t matter. A recent study published by Aarhus University in Denmark followed the running progression of 927 adults who were novice runners for an entire year. (British Journal of Sports Medicine) The runners were men and women ranging from age 18 to 65. Researchers profiled each runner’s foot to determine their most natural pronation pattern. The runners were then divided into five categories: Neutral pronation ...

How to tell if you need custom shoe inserts or orthotics
How to tell if you need custom shoe inserts or orthotics
By: Dr. Aaranson  Our feet withstand an amazing amount of weight and pressure over the course of a lifetime. The reality is that our feet were never intended to wear shoes, but we adopted the use of shoes through innovation, technology, and comfort. Of course, wearing shoes provide all sorts of helpful benefits, as well as protection from sharp or hard objects that can damage our feet. Shoes can also bring their own potential health risks, namely from improper support for your feet as you walk. Spending significant amounts of time on your feet without the proper support can lead to any combination of foot, knee, hip, and back pain. Wearing shoe inserts or a custom set of orthotics is one of the best ways to alleviate shoe-related foot pain and prevent further damage. 3 tips for telling if you need orthotics How do you know if you need shoe inserts or orthotics? These three tips can you help determine if you need to invest in a new pair of shoe inserts or orthotics: Look at ...

Orthopedic Associates/Fleet Feet Running Workshop
Orthopedic Associates/Fleet Feet Running Workshop
Come join us at our Marathon and Distance Running Workshop! Wednesday, August 3rd 6PM at Fleet Feet in Des Peres. Register here:  http://bit.ly/2a5ZevI

How long does it take a sprained ankle to heal?
How long does it take a sprained ankle to heal?
By: Dr. Hulsey “He’s to the 35, the 30, cuts back inside, to the 25, the 20, and he’s down! Thompson got caught from behind, rolled his ankle, and it doesn’t look pretty!” How many times have you seen a football player sprain their ankle and think, “That looks painful!” A sprained ankle doesn’t happen to just the giants of the gridiron in football. Approximately 25,000 people experience sprained ankles every day. (American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society) A sprained ankle can happen during an evening walk, exiting your vehicle, or stepping off a curb. What causes sprained ankles and how long does it take to recover from a sprained ankle? According to the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, a sprained ankle is “a stretch injury of the ligaments that support the ankle.” (AOSSM) Your ligaments have some natural dexterity, but even ligaments have their limitations. There are three main types of ankle sprains: Inversion sprain - Occurs when the ankle is rolled inward. Inversion sprains are the most common type of ankle sprains ...

Did I tear my Achilles tendon?
Did I tear my Achilles tendon?
By: Dr. Aaranson Your Achilles tendon provides a vital function of everyday life. Simple exercises like squatting while picking up your toddler to walking around the office can become a challenge with even a minor Achilles tendon injury. If your heel region is hurting, it’s good to know whether it’s Achilles tendinopathy (inflammation and minor tears in a tendon) or a fully ruptured Achilles tendon. There are several known signs and symptoms that appear following a ruptured Achilles tendon injury. Follow this protocol to determine whether you tore your Achilles tendon: The most obvious sign of a ruptured Achilles tendon is a ‘pop’ sound from your heel region. A ‘popped’ Achilles tendon often results in immediate pain throughout the heel. Did you feel an impact on the back of your calf or ankle when the injury occurred? Some patients describe the sensation like getting hit with a rock in the back of the ankle or like someone stepped on their ankle. ...

Bunion surgery now more effective and routine than ever
Bunion surgery now more effective and routine than ever
By: Dr. Aaranson If you’ve ever had bunions, then you know how painful they can be. It hurts to wear shoes of any size and it’s sometimes painful to even walk. Bunions are large bumps that form on bony protrusions on the side of your foot, such as the main joint on the outside of your big toe. Most bunions have a red appearance and are sore to the touch. Bunions form when your toes are forced together and the side of your foot rubs against tight-fitting shoes, like high heels. Some bunions are genetic or caused by stress to your foot. If left untreated, bunions can cause significant mobility issues and greater health complications. Thankfully, bunion surgery has come a long way in the past few years. Our very own Dr. R Randal Aaranson shared some of the medical advances available to patients today. Bunion surgery is now done as an outpatient procedure and most patients can walk on their repaired foot immediately following surgery. Arthritic bunions are another form of bunions being treated today. Arthritic bunions are further complicated in that ...

Protect your feet and legs from these common running injuries
Thousands of St. Louisans love lacing the low tops and pounding the pavement for a good exercise. Whether you’re an Asics aficionado or a Nike newbie, there’s a lot to learn about running, including what injuries you might expect. Hopefully you can avoid any injuries this summer, but if not, it’s helpful to know what to do. That's why Orthopedic Associates recently hosted an event, with the help of running shoe specialist David Spetnagel (Fleet Feet), on the best ways to keep yourself in top-running condition during the Summer months. Participants were able to come out and ask questions about their foot and running health directly to the experts! For those who couldn't make it, we typed up a little summary of the night's events for your reading pleasure! (image of Dr. Aaranson speaking on runner's health at our recent event) Most common injuries for runners One of the best ways to avoid injuries involves preparation and prevention. This includes appropriate stretching before and after running, and also watching where your feet fall along the path. Some injuries can’t ...

What's the difference between acute foot pain and chronic foot pain?
Your feet are the platform for your everyday movement. One bad twist, ache, or tweak and those puppies can start howling! Approximately 77% of U.S. adults have suffered from some form of foot pain. (American Podiatric Medical Association) How do you know if your foot pain is caused by the wrong pair of shoes, or if it’s a serious injury? More importantly, what’s the difference between acute pain and chronic pain when it comes to your feet? Acute foot pain vs. chronic foot pain Pain can be difficult to gauge on how permanent or temporary it may be. A sore arch may be a sign you need better foot support, or it may be early signs of plantar fasciitis. The key is knowing the difference between acute pain and chronic pain. Acute pain is a sudden, sharp pain that usually indicates a significant injury. There are several known causes for major foot pain, many of which require immediate podiatric care. Many of these injuries come with acute pain at the time and location of the injury. If you are experiencing sharp, targeted ...