Sunday, January 23, 2011

Heel Pain (Annual Bridge Run Injury)

Bridge Run training has begun for those runners who are looking to avoid injury by gradually increasing their mileage over the next 2 months. With the best of intentions in starting your training early it sometimes seems that the same aches and pains keep showing up on the same side of the body year after year. Heel pain, knee pain and lower back pain are the most common one-sided injuries.
A recent study in the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association showed a strong correlation between limb length difference and heel pain (plantar fasciitis). The longer limb receives increased loads while walking or running which can lead to overuse injuries of the plantar fascia. If one-sided foot, knee or back pain keeps returning each year while training for the Bridge Run then it may be due to limb length difference. In the next blog I will discuss the different types of limb length difference (functional vs anatomical) along with the causes and treatments. Until then good luck with your training and remember to start slow and progress gradually over the next 2 months.

Adam Brown, DPM
Carolina Foot Specialists

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Minimally invasive foot surgery for chronic heel pain

We would like to focus this blog on two minimally invasive state of the art procedures that have quicker recovery times and excellent results. These procedures are excellent options if you have suffered with plantar fasciitis that hasn't improved with various conservative treatments.
1) Extra Corporeal Sound Wave Treatment (ESWT): This procedure can be performed in the offfice under local anesthesia and takes 20 minutes. This technology originally known as Lithotripsy, was used to break up kidney stones. Sound waves utilize a high intensity sonic pulse which is focused on the heel. It is believed that micro-trauma will repair and increase blood supply to the plantar fascia. ESWT is thought to break up scarring and allow the body to regenerate new and improved tissue to the area.The procedure is noninvasive with no cutting of the skin, patients can walk home in sneakers after the procedure. The day after the procedure patients are able to resume normal activities.
2) Topaz Procedure: This procedure uses Bipolar radiofrequency which is quick, simple, and minimally invavsive. Numerous small 5mm puncture holes are placed in the area of maximal tenderness in the heel in a grid like fashion. Microtenotomy of the plantar fascia is performed by placing a Topaz wand through the small puncture holes and radiofrequency is applied. No sutures are needed. Steri strips (medical band-aids) are placed on the puncture sites with a small dressing. Patients wear a boot for two weeks and then transition back into a sneaker. Patients are typically back to full activities at 4-6 weeks.
For more information on plantar fasciits please refer to our website:

Monday, January 17, 2011

Free Health Talk

Join Dr. Saffer tomorrow at 11am for a free health talk "Heal the Heel & Foot Pain" at the new Roper Mount Pleasant Hospital Medical Offices, Suite 200 right off Highway 17 in Mount Pleasant. It's great info for your aching feet! And stay tuned to our website, facebook and twitter pages for more upcoming talks.