Podiatrist Blog

Posts for: February, 2018

By Joseph Stuto, DPM
February 22, 2018
Category: Fractures
Tags: foot   fractured   injury   traumatic   wound   breaks  

Getting a cast on your foot or ankle is a great way to treat a broken or fractured bone. Not only does it prevent the foot from moving around, it sets the foot in the right direction to heal in an optimal way. Casts are generally made out of plaster and acrylic and come in many different colors. Generally, when a cast is placed, it is usually for a period of at least 6-8 weeks. In other instances, the cast can stay on for a longer period of time, depending on the injury sustained. Without a cast, people would have a hard time successfully recovering from a traumatic injury. Although casts are great for healing, they can also become a nuisance. Not only do they make it hard to bathe or shower, the skin underneath can become very itchy to the person who is wearing it.

Admittedly, there are few things more maddening than having an itch that can’t be scratched. People with casts have been known to improvise a variety of tools to reach and eliminate the itch: pens, popsicle sticks, rulers, coat hangers and other household items. Sometimes people even blow inside their cast in hopes of lessening an itch.

The problem is that these approaches can create an even worse problem. If a foreign object breaks the skin, there’s a good chance the wound will get infected. And, because the infection is concealed by a cast, it may not be readily apparent to the person.

The best way to treat the itch is to find safe ways to dry the moisture under the cast. Talcum powder can be very effective, though a tight cast might make it hard to deliver to the itch. Another recommendation is a hair dryer on the cool setting. This will dry out the area and, hopefully, relieve the itch. It is critically important to set the hair dryer to the coolest setting; otherwise, there’s a risk that you will suffer from serious burns. Benadryl can also help control the itch. Benadryl doubles as a sleep aid and can help people avoid scratching in their sleep.

If you choose to ignore these words of caution, you could acquire an infection under your cast and need a whole new cast. Itched until you think you may have created a new problem? Call your podiatrist right away to be sure that no infection has occurred. If you don’t already have a podiatrist, call Joseph Stuto, DPM of Brooklyn, New York. There Dr. Joseph A. Stuto and Joseph C. Stuto will examine your cast and determine whether it needs to come off to treat underlying wounds. Call 718-624-7537 and make an appointment today.


By Joseph Stuto, DPM
February 14, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: gait   footwear  

The Olympics are ramping up and so are the ads, the excitement and the sportsmanship. People from all over the world are tuning in to see the best of the best compete to be the best in the world at the sport they love. Although it’s too late to become a winter Olympian for this season, there still may be hope for the summer Olympics. Research has found that if you are training to be an Olympic runner, barefoot running may benefit you.

New research has found that when runners who always wear shoes run barefoot, they immediately alter their gait to one that is characteristic of habitual barefoot runners, and also use less oxygen during barefoot running compared to running with shoes at the same speed. This presents a greater running economy which influences distance running and performance.

People who regularly run barefoot have a specific gait that uses mid-foot landings, shorter stride lengths, faster stride rates, and less time in contact with the ground. They are also known to hit the ground with lower impact force and loading rates than runners who land on the rear foot in trainers. This cushions the force of landing, avoiding the discomfort associated with striking the ground heel-first which is common in runners who wear shoes. It also can help prevent overuse injuries from occurring over time.

The results from the research imply that by ditching trainers, runners new to barefoot running adopt a running style similar to experienced barefoot runners and enjoy an immediate benefit to their running results.

Other ways to get Olympic fit

Although it’s nearly impossible to become an Olympic runner overnight, you can start training to become an Olympian as early as tomorrow. If barefoot running isn’t right for you, there are other training options available.

  • Invest in proper footwear: not just any shoe is meant for running. Invest in good quality running shoes and replace them every 3 months. High mileage shoes may need to be replaced earlier.
  • Practice makes perfect. Be sure to practice every day in order to be in the best possible shape. Over time you will slowly get better.
  • Stay hydrated for top performance results.
  • Find a coach local to your area. Not only can they give you tips and tricks, but they can also act as a motivator.

While practicing to be an Olympic runner, you may injure yourself, especially if you run barefoot on rough surfaces. Be sure to see a podiatrist right away to treat all wounds and prevent infection. Call Joseph Stuto, DPM of Brooklyn, New York. There Dr. Joseph A. Stuto and Joseph C. Stuto will discuss the pros and cons of barefoot running and treat any open wounds. Call 718-624-7537and make an appointment today.


By Joseph Stuto, DPM
February 08, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: blisters   feet   frostbite   footwear   waterproof   fungus  

During the winter, it can sometimes be a challenge to get outdoors and exercise. Although it is not impossible, it is important to take the proper precautions before getting out into the frigid winter weather. Having the proper gear and knowing how to keep your feet dry and warm is key when snowshoeing, hiking, or taking part in any other winter sports. If you neglect the care of your feet in winter, they can suffer from frostbite or hypothermia.

Waterproof or Water-Resistant Shoes and Footwear

If you are going to be hiking in snow, you don't want to wear shoes or boots that can easily allow water and moisture in. Look for footwear marked waterproof or water resistant. In general, shoes that have a rubber coating or a synthetic waterproof coating usually work well to block out moisture. Pair them with dry-fit socks for the best performance possible.

Warm, Waterproof or Layered Socks

In the winter you typically want to wear warmer. If you do not have a lot of warm socks, doubling up your thinner socks can be a great way to keep your feet dry. Also, invest in dry-fit socks as they help wick away extra moisture in a shoe. Excess moisture leads to fungus, frostbite, and blisters.

Boots with Insulation

Unlike a standard boot, winter boots have an extra layer of insulation built into them. Insulated boots are designed to keep your feet dry and warm. Many boots have a tag that references the level of insulation they support. In some of the higher end boots, insulation levels can warm feet in weather conditions as low as -30 degrees Fahrenheit.

Gaiters

Waterproof or water-resistant gaiters help keep your feet dry by stopping snow and water from getting into your boots and soaking your socks. This is especially important when walking through deep snow. Gaiters work well if you don't want to wear snow pants but need an extra layer to keep your feet and lower legs dry.

It can be very enjoyable to partake in winter activities, but it is imperative that you do so in a safe manner. Protect your feet from the cold and harsh weather and prevent serious injuries and disorders such as frostbite. If you have numb feet, blackening skin or any other signs of frostbite after being out in the cold, wet winter, call  Joseph Stuto, DPM of Brooklyn, New York. There podiatrists Dr. Joseph A. Stuto and Joseph C. Stuto will examine your feet and determine whether or not your feet are suffering from different cold weather disorders. Call 718-624-7537and make an appointment today.