Items filtered by date: March 2011

Everyone in the Columbus area’s brackets were busted Friday night after the Buckeye’s surprising loss to Kentucky. It is tough to continue watching the March Madness tournament once your local favorite has been knocked out! Luckily, with opening day right around the corner, the Major League Baseball season offers a new distraction in the world of sports.

Stories of what player has what injury becomes top news for fans involved in making a fantasy baseball team. One player who has made a lot of news for a very common foot problem lately is Scott Podsednik. Scott is a veteran outfielder who has played for the Milwaukee Brewers and the Chicago White Sox and is now attempting to make the roster for the Toronto Blue Jays this season. However, Scott has been suffering from chronic pain heel pain in his left foot and was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation at the attachment of a portion of the plantar aponeurosis, or plantar fascia, which is a deep connective tissue that is stretched across the bottom of the foot. The portion that often becomes inflamed attaches to the middle part of the calcaneus, or heel bone. Pain on the bottom of the heel is the main feature of this condition and the intensity of pain can vary from person to person. Plantar fasciitis can affect anyone, but is more common in obese individuals, people who are on their feet a majority of the day, & those with limited ankle flexion. As an outfielder, Scott is certainly on his feet for his job and his planter fasciitis has recently become so painful that it will likely cost him his position on the Blue Jays.

A variety of treatments exist for lessening the pain of plantar fasciitis. Conservative or minimal treatments including icing the heel, taking anti-inflammatory medications and stretching the plantar aponeurosis are good starting points to relieve pain. If these treatments do not put an end to your heel pain, it is important to visit your podiatrist to correctly diagnose the cause of your pain. Other than plantar fasciitis, heel pain can be caused by fractures, infections, nerve entrapments and a variety of other problems. If the diagnosis is plantar fascitis, then orthotics or custom night-splints could be issued as the next step in treatment. Physical therapy may also be recommended as part of a treatment plan. More drastic routes of treatment such as casting or surgery can be taken if other methods are unsuccessful. Scott ended up making the choice to have a cast on his foot for ten days and it was just removed this past Friday, March 25. The choice to try a cast was likely after exhausting a variety of other treatment methods. Hopefully for Scott and his fans, the cast will prove to have been effective in relieving Scott’s plantar fasciitis.

Please visit for more information or call 614-885 FEET (3338) to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus Podiatry & Surgery is located on the North side of Columbus, Ohio near Worthington.

As everyone in the Columbus area, and all around Ohio focuses on Ohio State’s win against University of Texas-San Antonio in the NCAA March Madness tournament, Kobe Bryant had a much less successful NBA game last Saturday. Late in the third quarter, Kobe landed a jump and appeared to severely roll his ankle.

For anyone watching the game it was clearly a painful injury and resulted in a sprained ankle. Kobe Bryant’s ankle injury occurred when his foot was in the position most commonly associated with a sprained ankle, where the foot is “inverted”. When this happens, the arch portion of the foot moves rolls upwards from the ground and the bottom of the foot faces the opposite foot. This will overstretch or tear the ligaments located on the outer surface of the foot and result in a sprain. Two of the ligaments that support and stabilize the ankle joint, the calcaneofibular ligament and the anterior talofibular ligament, are the two most commonly injured ligaments in an ankle sprain.

After rolling his ankle, Kobe immediately fell to the ground in pain and eventually struggled to stand up and call a timeout. With a sprain, swelling, tenderness, pain and bruising around the ankle will occur immediately. For a severe sprain, other immediate effects can include an inability to put weight on the affected foot, numbness, and stiffness. Luckily, Kobe’s sprain may not have been as serious as it looked because he was able to get up and walk with only a slight limp. He even ended up reentering the game in the fourth quarter to help the Lakers beat the Dallas Mavericks.

Ankle sprains and injuries are an especially common injury for basketball players to look out for. Proper fitting basketball shoes that feature a high top or three-quarter top can help to give additional support to the ankle. Ironically, in 2009, Kobe was featured in a viral video campaign for Nike jokingly selling “Ankle Insurance” against broken ankles to advertise for Nike’s “Zoom Kobe 4” basketball sneaker. While the viral video may have been humorous, treatment of a sprained ankle, especially for an elite athlete is serious business. Ankle surgery can be necessary in some sprains to ensure that the tendons are correctly aligned and attached to allow for complete and healthy healing of the ankle joint. Even in sprained ankles not requiring surgery, the injured foot should at least be iced and elevated to bring down swelling. A period of rest should also be allowed for the tendons to strengthen and re-grow. This may be an issue for Kobe, who should have sat out for the entire rest of the game to allow the healing process to begin and not cause any further damage.

Not properly caring for his ankle could lead down dangerous path for both Kobe and the Lakers. If Kobe does not follow the proper course of treatment for the best healing of his ankle, he could end up experiencing chronic lateral ankle pain and ankle instability. By allowing for the healing time recommended by a skilled podiatrist, Kobe will save himself future ankle sprains and extra recovery time down the road and thus get back to helping out his team more effectively!!

Please visit for more information or call 614-885 FEET (3338) to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus Podiatry & Surgery is located on the North side of Columbus, Ohio near Worthington.

It is known that smoking greatly increases an individual’s likelihood of developing lung cancer and heart disease. However, many people may not realize how the chemicals taken in from cigarettes affect right down to the tips of your toes! A recent study done at the San Diego School of Medicine is being widely reported on that demonstrates a strong link between smoking, lung cancer and heart disease and toenails!

In the study, toenail clippings were tested for nicotine, the addictive chemical in tobacco products. It was found that men with the highest amounts of nicotine in their toenails were 10.5 times more likely to develop lung cancer and that women with the highest toenail nicotine levels had a 42% increased risk of developing heart disease. The interesting thing about this study is that it showed that toenails can show how much the person had been exposed to tobacco products over the 6 years before the toenails were clipped. Even in people who did not smoke, but were exposed to second hand smoke, nicotine levels in the toenails were quite high in some cases.

While these toenail tests are not yet being used to monitor the likelihood of cancer and heart disease, the toenails are frequently an area to watch for visible signs of problems. Changes in nail color, thickness, and smell can be signs of nail fungus, or onchomycosis. Nails are a good source of nutrients for several types of fungi, making them able to thrive while living there and even spread to other toenails. People with certain chronic diseases including diabetes, circulatory problems, and immunodeficiencies are more prone to developing a nail fungus. Because many smokers also often have circulatory problems, not only would they have displayed high nicotine in testing of their toenails, but odds are that smokers would also have a higher rate of toenail fungus than non-smokers. Keeping your feet dry and clean will make the environment of your toes less inviting to a potential toenail fungus. If you do observe changes in your toenails, it is important to call your podiatrist to avoid a secondary bacterial or yeast infection. A variety of treatments are available for a toenail fungus, including the highly successful PinPointe Foot Laser which we often use for patients here at Columbus Podiatry & Surgery. While oral medications can have side effects on your entire body, and topical creams or lotions such as Lotrimin and Lamisil need to be applied frequently for an extended period of time, the PinPointe laser typically treats toenail fungus without as extensive side effects and in only one quick office visit.

Once perfected for use in the future, toenail testing could be very useful. If a patient can be made aware of a heightened risk of developing lung cancer or heart disease, their likelihood of taking proactive measures such as quitting smoking, exercising, or changing their diet to include healthier foods may increase. For now, unusual changes in the toenails should be checked carefully to avoid toenail fungus!

Please visit for more information or call 614-885 FEET (3338) to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus Podiatry & Surgery is located on the North side of Columbus, Ohio near Worthington.

As an athlete, how you care for your injuries is critical to continued and future athletic successes, regardless of whether you are one of my favorite local OSU Buckeye teams, a “weekend warrior” athlete, or a high-paid professional athlete. Tennis star Serena Williams unfortunately seems to be learning this lesson the hard way. Not only has Serena’s tennis career suffered this year, but this past week she had a much bigger problem when she developed a pulmonary embolism.

Back in July 2010, Serena was wearing sandals and stepped on glass at a restaurant in Munich. She did some pretty major damage and ended up having stitches in both feet. After returning to the U.S., an MRI was used to diagnose that the tendon of the extensor hallucis longus muscle in her right toe was torn. This muscle is important in lifting up the big toe and actually extends outside of the foot up the leg. Serena opted for surgery to repair the torn toe tendon.

After surgery, Serena was seen wearing a walking cast. This was an important stage in Serena’s healing process. Before starting back into playing, Serena should have been sure to obtain a proper fitting tennis shoe to support the foot and avoid “tennis toe“. This is where the toe jams against the front of shoe that is too small during the motions of tennis. While this can cause bleeding under the nail in a healthy foot, it could have been especially aggravating to the recently healed area of the big toe. Physical therapy and slowly easing back into tennis would have been the best route to Serena returning to tennis. However, three months later, Serena re-tore her tendon and had to have a second surgery. Being too eager to jump back into your sport can often result in the injury redeveloping or a new injury popping up from compensating for the not fully healed one.

Her two recent surgeries, and sitting on a plane for long periods of time as part of the celebrity athlete life were both factors leading up to a venous stasis and a deep vein thrombosis, or DVT. This is a clot in the deep veins of the leg or foot after loss of proper function of veins, often by an “injury” to the veins, possibly Serena’s initial injury. After surgery, such as the ones in Serena’s foot, tissue debris could have become irritated and formed a clot if proper precautions were not taken. Swelling in the legs and feet, and tenderness in the calf can both be warning signs that a DVT has formed. This is a life-threatening situation because the clot can get free and travel to form a pulmonary embolism.

A pulmonary embolism is a blood clot that blocks the flow of blood from the heart to the lungs. When this artery is blocked, not only can the blocked lung become deoxygenated and die, but the entire body will receive much less of the oxygenated blood it needs to survive. Luckily, Serena’s pulmonary embolism was caught early by her doctor and her life was saved.

Following your podiatric physician’s directions after any surgery is critical for a healthy and speedy recovery, especially for an athlete who wants to get back to their sport! It is also imperative to go in for regular post-operative check-up appointments and to schedule an extra appointment if you notice something is not healing right.

Please visit for more information or call 614-885 FEET (3338) to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus Podiatry & Surgery is located on the North side of Columbus, Ohio near Worthington.

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