Podiatry In The News


Foot disorders might be passed down from one generation to the next, according to research presented at the 2010 American College of Rheumatology Annual Scientific Meeting in Atlanta.

When analyzed using statistical genetics software, researchers found that hallux valgus was inherited in approximately 39% of the women and 38% of men in the study. They also found that, 89% of the participants under the age of sixty inherited the condition. These estimates of heritability are statistically significant. Additionally, in the subjects with pes cavus, 68% of the women and 20% of the men in this group were found to have inherited the condition. And of those under the age of 60 with pes cavus, 99% in women and 63% in men were inherited.

http://www.rheumatology.org/about/newsroom/2010/2010_you_may_have_inherited_your _bad_feet.asp

New studies find Ultrasound imaging beneficial in identifying pathology in hard to manage heel pain. The study shows that identifying the exact location of the injury is important in instituting the most effective treatment. Early imaging allows targeted therapy based on a definitive diagnosis.

Ultrasound scanning for recalcitrant plantar fasciopathy. Basis of a new classification.

Ieong E, Afolayan J, Carne A, Solan M Skeletal Radiol. Jul 2012

Effect of shockwave therapy on plantar fasciopathy

A biomechanical prospective

W-H. Hsu, L-J. Lai, H-Y. Chang, R. W-W. Hsu,

Bone Joint J August 2013 vol. 95-B no. 8 1088-1093


It has been suggested that extracorporeal shockwave therapy is a safe and effective treatment for pain relief from recalcitrant plantar fasciopathy (PF). However, the changes in gait and associated biomechanical parameters have not been well characterised. This study demonstrated that patients increased their walking velocity and cadence as well indicating a decrease in pain after shockwave therapy. In the symptomatic foot, the peak contact pressure over the forefoot increased and the contact area over the digits decreased. The total foot impulse also decreased as did stance duration. The duration the centre of pressure remained in the hindfoot increased in the symptomatic foot after shockwave therapy. The differences in centre of pressure trajectory at baseline decreased at final follow-up. In conclusion, shockwave therapy not only decreased the pain VAS rating but also improved the gait parameters of the symptomatic foot in PF patients.

We all have nearly 200 different types of fungi colonising our feet, scientists have discovered.

Fungi live all over the human body, but their favourite spots are the heel, under toenails and between the toes, according to a US study.

  • Fungal infections are common and include athlete's foot, ringworm and yeast infections
  • Athlete's foot, also called Tinea pedis, is a very common fungal infection of the foot, causing peeling, redness, itching, burning, and sometimes blisters and sores
  • Fungal nail infections affect about three in every 100 people in the UK
  • The most common symptom of a fungal nail infection is the nail becoming thickened and discoloured. it can turn white, black, yellow or green.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-22622689 Helen Briggs BBC.

A new treatment for Fungal infections of the toenails is a special wavelength of laser light. Research proposes that it works in a number of ways. Stay tuned, we are considering offering this therapy!

All infectious agents can be killed by heat except prions, which makes laser therapy a promising option for onychomycosis, Dr. Waibel said. The mechanism of action is not fully understood, but she shared three hypotheses. The first is that water in the keratin of the nail absorbs the laser energy and creates nonspecific bulk heating, which denatures fungal organelles. The second hypothesis is that free radicals are created by the laser, and these kill the dermatophyte. The third hypothesis is that microscopic selective photothermolysis occurs in Trichophyton species that contain melanin in their cell walls. Microcavitation and acoustic shock waves are created, which decapsulate the spores. The mechanism of action "is probably a combination of all three," she speculated

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