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Posts for category: foot injuries

By Patrick Fettinger, DPM
August 31, 2020
Category: foot injuries

At Patrick Fettinger, DPM, we know there are currently numerous Fairfield County plans for starting up fall sports. From schools to town and privately run teams, coaches, players, and parents are all trying to develop safe ways for children to participate in fall sports this year. Although COVID safety may be foremost in our minds, it’s important to remember to do appropriate conditioning and take the necessary precautions to avoid injuries to feet and ankles. Below are four injuries we frequently see in our New Fairfield (203-746-9660) and Middlebury (203-598-0357) offices and how to prevent them.

  1. Ankle Sprains—wearing the right shoes for the sport and making sure is no wear can help decrease the risk of ankle-twisting injuries. A shoe that has become stretched out in the heel counter allows the foot to move around too much and thus increases an ankle sprain risk. Ensuring the playing field or surface is well-maintained without holes, severe divots, or debris will also help.
  2. Shin Splints—although not usually seriously harmful, shin splints can sideline a player because of the pain they cause on either side of the front of the lower leg bone. Inflammation of muscles or tendons can often cause shin splints.
  3. Taking time to stretch before and after practice and games will make shin splints less likely. Sometimes they can be caused by an arch problem. Our podiatrist, Dr. Patrick J. Fettinger, can examine your child’s feet and determine if flat feet are an issue. In some cases, a custom orthotic may be prescribed to increase comfort.
  4. Achilles Tendonitis—this long and strong tendon that connects your calf muscle to your heel bone can become inflamed if your child jumps into their fall sport after a sedentary summer. A sudden increase in physical activity, hill running, and sprints can all aggravate the Achilles. Slow and steady training sessions that gradually increase in intensity and duration are the way to go.
  5. Sever’s Disease—if your child complains of heel pain, the podiatrist may want to check for this condition, which isn’t a disease. Sever’s tends to afflict children ages 8-15. That’s because the growth plate at the back of the heel is still developing through adolescence, leaving a vulnerable area inflamed from overuse. Be sure your child has rest days and doesn’t play multiple sports without a break between seasons.

For more information about sports injuries in children, don’t hesitate to contact us.

By Patrick Fettinger DPM LLC
December 04, 2019
Category: foot injuries

In Fairfield County, we’re beginning to get our first taste of winter with some freezing rain and snow starting to fall. At Patrick Fettinger, DPM we know this makes ankle sprains far more likely. We want to take this opportunity to offer our patients some tips on preventing this common winter injury.

Show Good Shoe Sense

One of the best ways to avoid ankle twisting injuries is by wearing appropriate shoes. Ice and slippery conditions create natural instability—you don’t need spiky heels or fashion boots with no tread making it worse. Wide, chunky heels are best. If that doesn’t accessorize well with your holiday look, pack your party shoes and plan to change when you arrive at your destination.

Watch Your Step

When it’s cold, it’s natural to bundle up but be sure that scarves and hats are not limiting your peripheral vision. Plot your course on snowy days by looking for the best-cleared path or walkway to your destination.

Make Two Trips

Avoid carrying so many packages that you can’t see the ground in front of you to detect icy patches and changes in surface elevations that could cause a fall. You’ll also want to keep your arms free to help maintain your balance or break a fall if you do go down.

Slow Down

Not leaving enough time between tasks or running behind for a holiday event can leave you racing and more likely to trip or not see an object in front of you. It also results in risky choices—like running into the florist to pick up flowers for your host while wearing your stiletto-heeled boots.

Know What to Do

If you do slip and fall, recognize the signs of an ankle injury and take immediate action. Pain, swelling and bruising are all indicators of a potential sprain. Start the RICE regimen—rest, ice, compression, and elevation—right away. Don’t delay seeking treatment. In some cases, it may be difficult to tell the difference between a sprain and a fracture. Contact our New Fairfield (203-746-9660) or Middlebury (203-598-0357) office for an appointment as soon as possible so that our podiatrist, Dr. Patrick Fettinger, can examine your ankle and determine the extent of the injury and the proper treatment.

By Patrick Fettinger DPM LLC
July 01, 2019
Category: foot injuries

Summer is a time when many people go on vacation and we at Patrick Fettinger, DPM LLC want all of our patients to enjoy this time of rest and relaxation. A foot injury or flare-up of a chronic podiatric condition can definitely disrupt your vacation. Below are some tips for avoiding foot problems when you travel.

Off to a Good Start—if you’re flying to your vacation destination be sure to wear comfortable shoes and socks to the airport. Getting to your gate and making connections can require a significant amount of walking (or running!). Trying to catch your flight in high heels may result in an ankle sprain. Wearing socks will help protect your feet from fungal infections if you are in an airport that requires you to take off your shoes during security checks. If your flight is long, you may want to consider compression stockings to improve circulation and prevent blood clots forming in your legs.

Choosing a Shoe Wardrobe—be sure to have at least two pairs of shoes with you so you can switch off if one pair begins to hurt your feet. It’s best to avoid bringing brand new shoes as they can be stiff and cause blisters. If there’s a possibility that your vacation will involve hiking or other physical activities, bring the appropriate footwear.

Stretch It Out—whatever mode of transportation you are taking to get to your vacation, be sure to take breaks to stand, walk and stretch. This will help maintain good circulation and prevent cramps and muscle pain from being in one position for too long.

Pack Foot Essentials—there are a few items you should add to your suitcase that won’t take up much space but could have a big impact on the comfort and health of your feet. These include:

  • Moleskin to apply to any spot that feels sore to help prevent blisters from forming
  • Anti-fungal cream or powder to help avoid athlete’s foot and fungal toenails. This is particularly important if you are staying at a resort or hotel with a pool.
  • Small first aid kit—some saline (eye solution), a small tube of antibiotic cream and a few bandages or some gauze will be useful to have if you get a scrape or minor cut. If you sustain a puncture wound or more serious injury, it’s important to seek medical help promptly.

If you are in any pain or discomfort when you return from your vacation, make an appointment at our New Fairfield (203-746-9660) or Middlebury (203-598-0357) office so that our podiatrist, Dr. Patrick Fettinger can examine your feet and determine if any treatment is needed.