If you need a more accessible version of this website, click this button on the right. Switch to Accessible Site
Reisterstown
Dr. Mark E. Spier review on google

July 2022

Tuesday, 26 July 2022 00:00

Gout Attacks Are Painful

Gout is a form of arthritis and it can create debilitating pain. It affects the joints in the big toe and it is caused by excess uric acid in the blood. This converts to crystals and lodges in the toe joints. There are specific foods that have high levels of purines in them that can lead to gout, consisting of red meat, shellfish, alcohol, and drinks that are made with large levels of sugar. The pain can last for several minutes or hours and is referred to as gout attacks. To obtain a proper diagnosis, a podiatrist may take a sample of the fluid in the joints to determine how to manage long-term gout. There are effective prevention techniques that may eliminate painful gout attacks. These include eating healthy foods daily, reducing alcohol intake, and incorporating a gentle exercise routine. If you would like additional information about how to manage gout and methods that may prevent it, please consult with a podiatrist.

 

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Mark Spier from Maryland. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Columbia and Reisterstown, MD . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Everything You Need to Know About Gout
Tuesday, 26 July 2022 00:00

Everything You Need to Know About Gout

Gout, typically found in diabetic patients, is an unusually painful form of arthritis caused by elevated levels of uric acid in the bloodstream. The condition typically strikes the big joint on the big toe. It has also been known to strike the knees, elbows, fingers, ankles and wrists—generally anywhere that has a functioning, moving joint.

The high level of uric acid in a person’s bloodstream creates the condition known as hyperuricema—the main cause of gout. Genetic predisposition occurs in nine out of ten sufferers. The children of parents who suffer gout will have a two in ten chance of developing the condition as well. 

This form of arthritis, being particularly painful, is the leftover uric acid crystallizing in the blood stream. The crystallized uric acid then travels to the space between joints where they rub, causing friction when the patient moves. Symptoms include: pain, redness, swelling, and inflammation. Additional side effects may include fatigue and fever, although reports of these effects are very rare. Some patients have reported that pain may intensify when the temperature drops, such as when you sleep.

Most cases of gout are easily diagnosed by a podiatrist’s assessment of the various symptoms. Defined tests can also be performed. A blood test to detect elevated levels of uric acid is often used as well as an x-ray to diagnose visible and chronic gout.

Treatment for gout simply means eliminating symptoms. Non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs (Colchicine and other corticosteroid drugs, etc.) will quell the redness, the swelling, and the inflammation. However, managing your diet, lifestyle changes, and using preventative drugs are all helpful toward fully combating the most severe cases.

 Those that lead an inactive lifestyle are at a higher risk for gout. Any amount of exercise decreases the probability of repeat encounters with the condition. Reducing your consumption of red meat, sea food, and fructose-sweetened drinks also reduces the likelihood of chronic gout as well.

Ingesting Vitamin C, coffee, and particular dairy products can help with maintaining a healthy lifestyle. There are new drugs out on the market that inhibit the body’s production of uric acid-producing enzymes. However, reducing or eliminating your overall levels of uric acid is the best remedy to ensuring you lead a gout-free life.

Tuesday, 19 July 2022 00:00

Causes of Foot Stress Fractures

Stress fractures in the foot are usually the result of overuse or repetitive activities. They are common among runners, basketball and soccer players, and dancers. Women who are experiencing osteoporosis are also at risk. Foot stress fractures affect three main areas: the 2nd and 3rd metatarsals, the navicular bone at the top of the foot, and the calcaneus bone in the heel. Stress fractures may be difficult to detect because they are tiny hairline cracks in the bones and may easily be missed in an X-ray. Because they usually develop over time and are not immediately painful, stress fractures often go undetected or are mistaken for plain old sore feet. These fractures are caused by any activity that puts too much stress on the bones. Among the causes are increasing the frequency or length of an activity too quickly, changing from a soft to hard surface, using a faulty technique that may be the result of other conditions, and utilizing improper footwear. Even non-athletes experience stress fractures when walking too far or for too long while on vacation. If constant foot pain causes you to believe you may have developed stress fractures of the foot, please visit a podiatrist for a complete exam and diagnosis. 

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, contact Dr. Mark Spier from Maryland. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain free and on your feet.

How Are They Caused?

Stress fractures are the result of repetitive force being placed on the bone. Since the lower leg and feet often carry most of the body’s weight, stress fractures are likely to occur in these areas. If you rush into a new exercise, you are more likely to develop a stress fracture since you are starting too much, too soon.  Pain resulting from stress fractures may go unnoticed at first, however it may start to worsen over time.

Risk Factors

  • Gender – They are more commonly found in women compared to men.
  • Foot Problems – People with unusual arches in their feet are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Certain Sports – Dancers, gymnasts, tennis players, runners, and basketball players are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Lack of Nutrients – A lack of vitamin D and calcium may weaken the bones and make you more prone to stress fractures
  • Weak Bones – Osteoporosis can weaken the bones therefore resulting in stress fractures

Stress fractures do not always heal properly, so it is important that you seek help from a podiatrist if you suspect you may have one. Ignoring your stress fracture may cause it to worsen, and you may develop chronic pain as well as additional fractures.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Columbia and Reisterstown, MD . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
Tuesday, 19 July 2022 00:00

Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

Our bones are important aspects of our body and they are constantly changing. The heavier the workload for a bone, the more likely it is that calcium will be placed in it. When a bone isn’t used often, there won’t be much calcium within it. When stress from repetitive loads prevent the bone from being able to repair itself, cracks will start to form. Stress fractures are defined as cracks in a bone that result from repetitive force, such as overuse.

The most common cause of stress fractures is a sudden increase in intensity and duration of physical activity. For example, if you begin to run long distances without working your way into doing so, you will be more likely to develop a stress fracture.

Common symptoms of stress fractures are pain and swelling near the weight bearing area on the injured bone. When initial x-rays are performed, it is possible that the fracture will not show up. However, once the stress on the area continues, the damage will increase, and the fracture will be severe enough to show up on an x-ray. Certain parts of the foot are more likely to develop stress fractures than others. Areas that typically have these fractures are: the metatarsals, the navicular bone, the calcaneus, tibia, and fibula.

Since women are at an increased risk of developing osteoporosis, they are twice as likely as men to sustain a stress fracture. Additionally, old age causes a decrease in bone mineral density which is why elderly people are also likely to develop these fractures.

It is important for you to be professionally diagnosed by a podiatrist if you suspect you have a stress fracture, because there are other injuries that can easily be mistaken for a fracture.  Sprains, strains, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, and Morton’s neuroma can all easily be mistaken for stress fractures in the foot. Your podiatrist will likely ask you a series of questions to determine what type of pain you are experiencing. These questions will help your doctor identify whether you have a stress fracture.

The best method of treatment for a stress fracture is rest. Additionally, a walking boot, cast, or crutches, will help rest the area that is injured. The typical healing time for stress fractures is 4-12 weeks, however this depends on which bone is involved.

Tuesday, 12 July 2022 00:00

Who Is Affected by Morton’s Neuroma?

Just about anyone can develop Morton’s Neuroma, a foot ailment that can be particularly painful and troublesome. However, some individuals may be at an increased risk of developing this condition, so it is important to discern your own level of risk. Morton’s neuroma primarily affects plantar digital nerves that run between the metatarsal bones of the foot. In most cases, Morton’s neuroma targets the nerve between the third and fourth metatarsal bones, resulting in pain. Although the exact cause of Morton’s neuroma is somewhat elusive and largely case-dependent, it is most likely caused by either extended straining and compression of the plantar digital nerves or inflamed joints surrounding these nerves. Certain individuals can be more susceptible to Morton’s neuroma than others. For example, approximately 75% of those who suffer from this condition are women. This is most likely due to the fact that women wear shoes such as high heels that compress the toes, putting the plantar digital nerves at risk. Additionally, ballet dancers who wear similarly restrictive footwear are at an increased risk of developing Morton’s neuroma. Individuals between the ages of 40 and 50 are typically at the highest risk of developing this condition. If you believe you may have Morton’s neuroma or are in one of these high risk categories, you might consider contacting a podiatrist.


 

Morton’s neuroma is a very uncomfortable condition to live with. If you think you have Morton’s neuroma, contact Dr. Mark Spier of Maryland. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot care needs and answer any of your related questions.  

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton's neuroma is a painful foot condition that commonly affects the areas between the second and third or third and fourth toe, although other areas of the foot are also susceptible. Morton’s neuroma is caused by an inflamed nerve in the foot that is being squeezed and aggravated by surrounding bones.

What Increases the Chances of Having Morton’s Neuroma?

  • Ill-fitting high heels or shoes that add pressure to the toe or foot
  • Jogging, running or any sport that involves constant impact to the foot
  • Flat feet, bunions, and any other foot deformities

Morton’s neuroma is a very treatable condition. Orthotics and shoe inserts can often be used to alleviate the pain on the forefront of the feet. In more severe cases, corticosteroids can also be prescribed. In order to figure out the best treatment for your neuroma, it’s recommended to seek the care of a podiatrist who can diagnose your condition and provide different treatment options.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Columbia and Reisterstown, MD . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Morton's Neuroma
Tuesday, 12 July 2022 00:00

Morton's Neuroma

A neuroma is a thickening of nerve tissue and can develop throughout the body.  In the foot, the most common neuroma is a Morton’s neuroma; this typically forms between the third and fourth toes.  The thickening of the nerve is typically caused by compression and irritation of the nerve; this thickening can in turn cause enlargement and, in some cases, nerve damage.

Neuromas can be caused by anything that causes compression or irritation of the nerve.  A common cause is wearing shoes with tapered toe boxes or high heels that force the toes into the toe boxes.  Physical activities that involve repeated pressure to the foot, such as running or basketball, can also create neuromas.  Those with foot deformities, such as bunions, hammertoes, or flatfeet, are more likely to develop the condition.

Symptoms of Morton’s neuroma include tingling, burning, numbness, pain, and the feeling that either something is inside the ball of the foot or that something in one’s shoe or sock is bunched up.  Symptoms typically begin gradually and can even go away temporarily by removing one’s shoes or massaging the foot.  An increase in the intensity of symptoms correlates with the increasing growth of the neuroma.

Treatment for Morton’s neuroma can vary between patients and the severity of the condition.  For mild to moderate cases, padding, icing, orthotics, activity modifications, shoe modifications, medications, and injection therapy may be suggested or prescribed.  Patients who have not responded successfully to less invasive treatments may require surgery to properly treat their condition.  The severity of your condition will determine the procedure performed and the length of recovery afterwards.

Thursday, 07 July 2022 00:00

Plantar Warts Can Be Treated!

Plantar warts are small growths that develop on parts of the feet that bear weight. They're typically found on the bottom of the foot. Don't live with plantar warts, and call us today!

Tuesday, 05 July 2022 00:00

Flat Feet

Flatfoot is a foot condition in which the arch of the foot has either partially or totally dropped or has never developed. While it is common in babies and small children, it can become a problem for them in adulthood if the arch never forms. For adults, the development of flat feet can be brought upon by injury, as a result of pregnancy due to increased elasticity, or obesity. Those who have health concerns such as rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes may also be at greater risk for developing the condition.

If you suspect that you have flat feet, it is best to consult your podiatrist. Your foot doctor will examine the suspected foot and observe how it looks while you sit and stand. He or she may take an X-ray to determine how serious the condition is. Some common signs of flatfoot include toe drift, in which the toes and front part of the foot point outward, a short Achilles tendon, and a heel that tilts outwardly while the ankle tilts inward.

Once flatfoot has been diagnosed, your podiatrist may suggest one of several treatment options. Flat feet can be rigid, in which the feet appear to have no arch even when the person is not standing; or flexible, in which the person appears to have an arch while not standing, but once standing the arch disappears. Those with flexible flatfoot may be told to reduce any activities that cause pain and to avoid extended periods of walking or standing. Another suggestion may be weight loss, as excessive weight may be placing pressure on the arches

In few cases, if the condition is severe and all other methods have been exhausted surgery may be required. This is normally avoided, however, due to a lengthy recovery time and high cost.

Tuesday, 05 July 2022 00:00

Flat Feet and the Military

There are millions of people worldwide that are affected by flat feet. They can be a disqualifying condition for people who are interested in joining the military if the symptoms of flat feet are noticeable and present. Some symptoms can include pain in the arch or heel, and the ankles being swollen. Most babies are born with flat feet and the arch typically develops during the teenage years. People who never develop an arch may have no symptoms, or in the opposite case, symptoms may be obvious. These can consist of tiring easily, limited range of foot movement, and there may be a pain in the feet after walking or running. An effective method to determine if you have flat feet involves standing on your tiptoes and looking for an arch in the foot. Doing so may indicate a low arch or the arch may be nonexistent. Some patients perform foot exercises that help flat feet from being achy. If you would like to learn more about exercises and treatments for flat feet, please consult with a podiatrist.

Flatfoot is a condition many people suffer from. If you have flat feet, contact Dr. Mark Spier from Maryland. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Are Flat Feet?

Flatfoot is a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arches never formed during growth.

Conditions & Problems:

Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.

Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.

Knees – If you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.  

Symptoms

  • Pain around the heel or arch area
  • Trouble standing on the tip toe
  • Swelling around the inside of the ankle
  • Flat look to one or both feet
  • Having your shoes feel uneven when worn

Treatment

If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Columbia and Reisterstown, MD . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Flat Feet
Connect with us
like Dr. Mark E. Spier follow Dr. Mark E. Spier Dr. Mark E. Spier latest blogs

Dr. Mark E. Spier featured articles