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Dr. Szpiro is a Participating Provider with the Beth Israel Lahey Physicians Organization

We are featured as one of the 5 Best Podiatrists in Boston, MA

We see pediatric patients!

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Diabetic Foot Ulcers

If one’s diabetes is not carefully managed through diet, exercise, and insulin treatment, an all-too-common complication can be a foot ulcer. Ulcers develop because skin tissue breaks down and layers of skin underneath are exposed due to poor circulation, high blood sugar, nerve damage, and irritated or hurt feet. Foot ulcers usually develop under big toes or the balls of the feet. Symptoms to watch for are unusual swelling, irritation, redness, discoloration, drainage from the foot, and odors emanating from the feet. The most visible sign of a foot ulcer is when black tissue (known as “eschar”) surrounds the ulcer because of poor blood flow to the area. However, signs of a foot ulcer are not always present or obvious. Good foot care, including wearing properly fitting, quality shoes, maintaining good foot hygiene, proper trimming of toenails, as well as attention paid to other aspects of physical health, such as heart and kidney disease and obesity, can help with the prevention of foot ulcers. Treatment depends on the cause and severity of the ulcer. It is highly suggested to consult with a podiatrist for proper diagnosis and to obtain a treatment plan.

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with the podiatrists from Boston Common Podiatry. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Boston, MA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Wound Care

Heel Pain Can Be Treated!

Do you suffer from heel pain when you get up in the morning? If so, you should seek the professional help of your podiatrist and have a proper diagnosis performed. Heel pain can be caused by several different foot-related conditions.

Facts About Arthritis

Arthritis has long been considered an ailment of the elderly, but a variety of other people are actually experiencing some form of arthritis, even children. Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints that produces pain, swelling, and muscle stiffness that often affect the toes, feet, and ankles. Among the causes are the deterioration of cartilage that then endangers the bones, an attack of the autoimmune system, smoking, previous injury, over-exercising or repetitive stress, serious infections, and heredity. There are many types of arthritis, including rheumatoid, psoriatic, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, gout, ankylosing spondylitis, lupus and juvenile. The most easily recognizable symptoms of arthritis include pain and swelling in the joints, redness, difficulty in walking or moving the joints, stiffness in the morning, and tenderness to the touch. Many treatments are available that allow you to live with this condition. If you think you or your child may have arthritis, it is a good idea to contact a podiatrist for a complete examination and diagnosis, as well as possible treatment plans.  

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment, contact the podiatrists from Boston Common Podiatry. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Arthritic Foot Care  

Arthritis is a term that is commonly used to describe joint pain.  The condition itself can occur to anyone of any age, race, or gender, and there are over 100 types of it.  Nevertheless, arthritis is more commonly found in women compared to men, and it is also more prevalent in those who are overweight. The causes of arthritis vary depending on which type of arthritis you have. Osteoarthritis for example, is often caused by injury, while rheumatoid arthritis is caused by a misdirected immune system.

Symptoms

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Decreased Range of Motion

Arthritic symptoms range in severity, and they may come and go. Some symptoms stay the same for several years but could potentially get worse with time. Severe cases of arthritis can prevent its sufferers from performing daily activities and make walking difficult.

Risk Factors

  • Occupation – Occupations requiring repetitive knee movements have been linked to osteoarthritis
  • Obesity – Excess weight can contribute to osteoarthritis development
  • Infection – Microbial agents can infect the joints and trigger arthritis
  • Joint Injuries – Damage to joints may lead to osteoarthritis
  • Age – Risk increases with age
  • Gender –Most types are more common in women
  • Genetics – Arthritis can be hereditary

If you suspect your arthritis is affecting your feet, it is crucial that you see a podiatrist immediately. Your doctor will be able to address your specific case and help you decide which treatment method is best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Boston, MA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about How to Care for Your Arthritic Foot

Why Your Ankle May Hurt Without an Injury

 

Ankle pain that is sudden, and not due to an injury, may be caused by any number of causes, including certain arthritic conditions. Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis can sometimes negatively affect the tissue and cartilage (respectively) in ankles, causing pain and swelling. Similar symptoms can be present when reactive arthritis affects the ankle. This is a condition which is triggered by a bacterial infection elsewhere in the body. Gout is another type of arthritis in which excessive amounts of uric acid crystalize on joints. Gout usually affects the big toe, but it can also affect the ankle. Another disease that sometimes affects the ankle joint causing stiffness, pain and swelling is scleroderma. Bursitis is a condition in which the cushioning bursa sac at the back of the ankle becomes inflamed from stress or overuse and produces pain and inflammation. If you rupture or tear the tendon that connects your calf muscle with your heel (Achilles tendon), you can develop a condition known as Achilles tendonitis. These are just a few of the conditions that may cause ankle pain without injury. Whatever the cause, it is important to have your ankle pain properly diagnosed in order to receive the proper treatment. Call a podiatrist if you are experiencing any pain in your ankle. 

Ankle pain can be caused by a number of problems and may be potentially serious. If you have ankle pain, consult with the podiatrists  from Boston Common Podiatry. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Ankle pain is any condition that causes pain in the ankle. Due to the fact that the ankle consists of tendons, muscles, bones, and ligaments, ankle pain can come from a number of different conditions.

Causes

The most common causes of ankle pain include:

  • Types of arthritis (rheumatoid, osteoarthritis, and gout)
  • Ankle sprains
  • Broken ankles
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Achilles tendon rupture
  • Stress fractures
  • Bursitis
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Plantar fasciitis

Symptoms

Symptoms of ankle injury vary based upon the condition. Pain may include general pain and discomfort, swelling, aching, redness, bruising, burning or stabbing sensations, and/or loss of sensation.

Diagnosis

Due to the wide variety of potential causes of ankle pain, podiatrists will utilize a number of different methods to properly diagnose ankle pain. This can include asking for personal and family medical histories and of any recent injuries. Further diagnosis may include sensation tests, a physical examination, and potentially x-rays or other imaging tests.

Treatment

Just as the range of causes varies widely, so do treatments. Some more common treatments are rest, ice packs, keeping pressure off the foot, orthotics and braces, medication for inflammation and pain, and surgery.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Boston, MA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

Read more about Ankle Pain

Dealing With a Bunion

A bunion is a bony protrusion of the foot, caused when the big toe pushes inward toward the other toes, and the head of the metatarsal below it pushes outward. This deformity, called hallux valgus, can become quite painful, because the bump that is formed rubs against the side of the shoe, becoming red and sore. Bunions also negatively affect how you walk and distribute your weight, and can cause other painful conditions, like metatarsalgia (pain in the ball of the foot), and hammertoe. Common causes for bunions include wearing shoes and socks that do not allow for proper movement in the toe box, wearing high heels with pointy toes, and genetics. Several pads and braces are available over the counter to help ease the pain of bunions and temporarily straighten the toe. But as a rule, once a bunion is formed, the toe will not straighten out on its own. In the end, surgery is the most realistic treatment option, and even then, your toe may never be perfectly straight. If you have a bunion that is interfering with the activities in your life, it is suggested that you see a podiatrist for an examination and treatment plan.

If you are suffering from bunion pain, contact the podiatrists of Boston Common Podiatry. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.

Causes

  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development

Symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Boston, MA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about What Are Bunions?

Reminder: When Was the Last Time...?

Custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, should be periodically replaced. Orthotics must fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles!

What Are Heel Spurs?

Heel spurs, or “enthesophytes,” develop on the heel of the foot. There are two types of heel spurs associated with different heel problems. One type of heel spur is called a Plantar Spur. It is linked to a problem called “Heel Spur Syndrome” and is a bone spur that develops on the bottom of the heel, on the sole of the foot where the plantar fascia (a band of fibrous tissue that stretches along the bottom of the foot) connects to the heel bone. People who have plantar fasciitis are prone to developing these kinds of spurs, which are the bone’s response to stress from straining foot muscles and ligaments, overstretching the plantar fascia, or repeated tearing of the thin lining of the heel bone. They are also associated with age, obesity, and osteoarthritis. Heel spurs are less likely to feel painful. The other type of heel spur is a Dorsal Spur and is connected to a problem called “Insertional Achilles Tendonitis,” a condition where a bone spur develops at the back of the heel, where the Achilles tendon fits into the bone. If you notice a bony protrusion on the heel of your foot or have pain in this area, it is best to consult with a podiatrist who can diagnose the problem and recommend proper treatment.

Heel spurs can be incredibly painful and sometimes may make you unable to participate in physical activities. To get medical care for your heel spurs, contact the podiatrists from Boston Common Podiatry. Our doctors will do everything possible to treat your condition.

Heels Spurs

Heel spurs are formed by calcium deposits on the back of the foot where the heel is. This can also be caused by small fragments of bone breaking off one section of the foot, attaching onto the back of the foot. Heel spurs can also be bone growth on the back of the foot and may grow in the direction of the arch of the foot.

Older individuals usually suffer from heel spurs and pain sometimes intensifies with age. One of the main condition's spurs are related to is plantar fasciitis.

Pain

The pain associated with spurs is often because of weight placed on the feet. When someone is walking, their entire weight is concentrated on the feet. Bone spurs then have the tendency to affect other bones and tissues around the foot. As the pain continues, the feet will become tender and sensitive over time.

Treatments

There are many ways to treat heel spurs. If one is suffering from heel spurs in conjunction with pain, there are several methods for healing. Medication, surgery, and herbal care are some options.

If you have any questions feel free to contact our office located in Boston, MA . We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

Read more about How to Treat Heel Spurs

When Is Toenail Surger​​y an Option?

Many rheumatoid arthritis sufferers find that ingrown toenails have become an ongoing problem. An ingrown toenail occurs when the outer edge of the nail gets embedded in the surrounding skin. This can cause pain, swelling, and possibly an infection. If this happens regularly, surgery to remove the nail may be an option to consider. If you still have a good blood supply to the feet and toes, and if you are not currently having a rheumatoid flare-up, removal of the toenail is a viable option. Surgery, which can be carried out by a podiatrist, is a long-term solution. But it’s important to remember that because of rheumatoid arthritis the healing process may be slow. Other options can include changing your footwear to a larger size and seeing a podiatrist to set up a series of regular foot-care appointments as a preventative measure. 

Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact the podiatrists of Boston Common Podiatry. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.

Causes

  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • Improper shoe fitting
  • Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • Abnormal gait
  • Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.

Treatment

Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Boston, MA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Ingrown Toenails

Improve Your Choice of Footwear While Pregnant

As women gain weight during pregnancy, it is common for their legs and feet to begin swelling and aching. This is mainly a side-effect of the normal buildup of fluids in the body as the baby grows. Further, the center of gravity changes as the months go by, affecting the legs and feet and the way she walks and stands. Proper footwear is essential to help reduce discomfort or the chance of accidents or serious illness. Suggestions for changes in footwear during pregnancy include buying shoes at least a half size larger than normal, choosing shoes with high arch and ankle support, and wearing slip-ons rather than shoes that tie. Further, high heels should be avoided as much as possible, to reduce the chance of falling or twisting an ankle. Low and wider heels help distribute body weight better, and shoes with a wider toe box are a good idea for improved stability and comfort. If you have questions about foot health during pregnancy, it is wise to consult a podiatrist who can guide you in making the proper footwear decisions.

Pregnant women with swollen feet can be treated with a variety of different methods that are readily available. For more information about other cures for swollen feet during pregnancy, consult with the podiatrists from Boston Common Podiatry. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What Foot Problems Can Arise During Pregnancy?

One problem that can occur is overpronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens and tends to roll inward.  This can cause pain and discomfort in your heels while you’re walking or even just standing up, trying to support your baby.  

Another problem is edema, or swelling in the extremities. This often affects the feet during pregnancy but tends to occur in the later stages. 

How Can I Keep My Feet Healthy During Pregnancy?

  • Wearing orthotics can provide extra support for the feet and help distribute weight evenly
  • Minimize the amount of time spent walking barefoot
  • Wear shoes with good arch support
  • Wear shoes that allow for good circulation to the feet
  • Elevate feet if you experience swelling
  • Massage your feet
  • Get regular, light exercise, such as walking, to promote blood circulation to the feet

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Boston, MA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Pregnancy and Foot Health

Why Live with Pain and Numbness in Your Feet?

Suffering from this type of pain? You may have the foot condition known as Morton's neuroma. Morton's neuroma may develop as a result of ill-fitting footwear and existing foot deformities. We can help.

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