Podiatrist - New Iberia
1100 Andre Street Suite 202
New Iberia, LA 70563
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Posts for: April, 2013

 

The New York Knicks have lost some valuable players this season to injuries.  Rasheed Wallace, will be retiring for the second time after failing to recover from a foot injury back in February. Wallace underwent surgery for a left foot fracture that he endured due to repeated strain to the area (often referred to as a stress fracture) which is a common injury in team sports.

Stress fractures are due to an abnormal amount of force being applied to the bone in a repetitive manner. The bones of the foot may very well be healthy and of normal density, but the added stress being applied to the area causes the bone to fracture.

Athletes are especially susceptible to stress fractures because of their repetitive, strenuous routines. However, non-athletes can get stress fracture.  Most patients that present with this problem usually have had some change in activity or routine lately, for example, starting a new fitness program, adding more miles to their daily runs, training for a marathon, or changing their shoe type.

Despite a surgical attempt in February to repair the fracture, Wallace was unable to perform with the pain and was forced to retire once again from the game. Knick’s coach, Mike Woodson, explained that Wallace had been having trouble dealing with the aching pain he felt from the injury and it was something they had been cautious about for some time. Woodson warmly expressed that although sorry to lose the veteran, Wallace is a winner and a true professional on and off the court.

These injuries are a fairly common occurrence in podiatry clinics and surgery is not usually necessary. When changing any daily routine, it is important to be aware of the aches and pains that come along with physical activity. Don’t ignore prolonged foot pain and don’t “run through the pain”! It’s important to get checked out before the fracture progresses to a more serious injury, in which case you will have to stay off your feet for much longer. Be sure to schedule an appointment with Dr. Purdy at The Foot Clinic for any new foot pain that accompanies a new routine!

Dr. Jonathan Purdy, DPM


 

March Madness had millions glued to the television for the Louisville VS. Duke game in the Midwest Regional Finals, but regardless of your bracket, I think all our hearts went out to Louisville’s guard Kevin Ware after he experienced a gruesome compound fracture. Compound fractures, or open fractures, are breaks that result in the bone being exposed to the environment, which is considered a medical emergency that needs to be treated immediately. Bone that is exposed to the open air is at very high risk for serious infections that can lead to necrosis, which is death of the tissue, causing the bone and tissue surrounding it to become non-functional. When Ware jumped up to block a 3-point shot, he landed awkwardly, causing his leg to torque at almost a 90 degree angle leading to a dramatic break, producing inches of bone protruding through the skin. His team, horrified at the sight, were forced to cover their eyes and back away, while some were brought to tears, demonstrating their obvious affection for their fallen teammate. Ware, in his spirited attempt to get this teammates focused on the game, called them over to him for a pep talk, causing the crowd to applaud in his devotion and positive outlook.

Does this mean we should be on our guard when we play sports?! There is a certain amount of suspicion associated with Ware’s injury. It’s rather rare for a young, healthy, active individual to experience such a severe fracture during routine play, causing some physicians to question if Ware had an underlying condition causing weakening of the bone or a cyst at the fracture site. Although human bone can be as strong as steel when forces are applied vertically, it has much less strength when exposed to rotational forces, causing most to agree that the torque of the landing was too great for the bone to handle, and thus being the main cause of the break.

Thanks to the speedy reaction of the medical team, Ware received immediate medical attention, and after a two hour surgery involving some rods and screws, he is expected to make a full recovery and return to basketball. I’m sure even Duke fans can admit that Ware cradling the Midwest Regional Championship trophy, which was won that night after his pep talk, was well deserved.

If you ever experience a sports injury, be sure to set up an appointment with Dr. Purdy at the Foot Clinic so you can get back on your feet, and back into the game as soon as possible!

Jon Purdy, DPM


 

Oscar Pistorius was the first double amputee to win a championship race that included able-bodied runners, making him someone to watch and hope for when he participated in the 2012 Olympic Games. Pistorius, who had both legs amputated at 11 months old, suffers from fibular hemimelia, a condition where the bone of the lower leg is absent or shortened causing instability. This condition also affects 15-year-old Seth Melvin.

Unlike Pistorius, Melvin was given the choice as to whether or not to have his leg amputated-a choice which is rare to teens. Most people affected by fibular hemimelia have their limbs amputated as infants or after infection or trauma leaves few other choices available. When Melvin’s parents were presented with the option of amputation, they refused, stating that it was their son’s decision to make.

At first, Melvin favored reconstruction of his leg, but after eliciting advice from people with similar experiences, he soon realized amputation can give him a shot at a more capable lifestyle, and avoid lengthy surgeries to try and elongate his limb that hold no guarantee for success. Melvin has remarkably accepted his condition and welcomes the surgery that could greatly improve his quality of life with the great advances in prosthetic technology. This brave teen has every chance at a bright future ahead of him-perhaps even an Olympic one! We’re all rooting for you Seth!

If you, or anyone you know is experiencing foot or leg abnormalities, set up an appointment with Dr. Purdy at the Foot Clinic to see what steps you can take to make sure it does not interfere with your daily life!

Jon Purdy, DPM




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