Recent Articles

Confirming Your Appointment

Newcastle Podiatry - Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Due to the high demand of appointments and understanding everyone has a busy schedule these days, we endeavour to confirm all appointments 24 hours prior to the appointment. We ask if you could please respond with a Y to your text message as this confirms your appointment for you. If you don’t have a mobile phone we are happy to confirm your appointment via phone call.

Diabetes

Newcastle Podiatry - Tuesday, May 09, 2017

About Diabetes
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is an endocrine condition, whereby the body cannot utilise glucose normally. This is problematic as glucose is the main source of energy for the body’s cells. It can be further categorised into Type 1 DM or Type 2 DM. Type 1 DM is less common and is generally of juvenile onset. The body, or more specifically, the pancreas does not produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that controls Blood Glucose Levels (BGL’s). Therefore, with a lack of insulin secretion BGL’s rise. Type 2 DM is more common and is generally regarded as being a lifestyle disease. The body is unable to use glucose effectively in the presence of insulin. Risk factors include being overweight or having a high body fat percentage (particularly abdominal region), having a sedentary lifestyle, age or having a genetic predisposition.

Diabetes relating to Podiatry
Diabetes has the potential to affect both nerves and blood vessels of the peripheries. There are complex processes that occur for this to happen. Simply, high BGL’s over a period can damage both nerves and blood vessels. Peripheral neuropathy (damage to nerves) can be a complication of poorly controlled Diabetes. This becomes a significant risk factor for the patient in relation to ulceration. An ulcer is a wound on the skin which can take an elevated level of care and expertise to heal. Micro and macrovascular disease (damage to blood vessels) can be complications associated with diabetes. A lack of peripheral blood supply or circulation means that a wound may take longer to heal than it otherwise should. Infection risk therefore increases, which can ultimately further delay the healing process.

How do we help?
Foot disease has a prevalence of 1 in 4 diabetics and therefore it is tremendously important that diabetic patients receive the correct treatment and management. Our podiatrists perform a full neurovascular diabetes assessment of the lower limbs. It is a thorough assessment as well as an interesting educational piece for the patient. A report is sent to the GP of the patient following conclusion of the assessment. A multi-disciplinary approach has better outcomes and when in need patients are referred onto the correct specialists via their GP. It is important that patients are screened for their diabetes at least annually from a lower limb, podiatry perspective. Diabetics should be checking their feet daily for any abrasions or increased callosities, and should contact our podiatrist immediately should this occur.

Podiatric Rehabilitation

Newcastle Podiatry - Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Much like physiotherapy, podiatric rehabilitation of the foot and lower limbs are designed to strengthen and return you to your optimal level of both sport and general activity.

Rehabilitation of injuries requires care in structuring and designing specific programs that will suit both the patient and the injury. Some of the common injuries we prescribe rehabilitation programs for include ankle injuries, muscle strains and tears, knee pain/injuries, instability and even lower back pain in certain circumstances.

Programs may also include physical therapy and possible Shockwave therapy or Prolotherapy. Physical therapy may involve massage, taping, joint mobilization and exercises.

It is most important that an accurate diagnosis is made prior to understanding any rehabilitation program. This requires accurate and skilled assessment which will allow us to guide your treatment in the best possible manner.

Toe walking

Newcastle Podiatry - Friday, March 13, 2015

Why does my toddler always walk on tip toes? Is this a problem?

Toe walking is not just as simple as a child choosing to walk on tip toes – often it's a sign of an underlying physiological or neurological condition, so getting to the root of the cause is important.

Physical issues
Toe walking can be caused by physiological reasons, where the child's heel simply can't make contact with the ground due to growth and a tightness of the calf muscle, or a congenital shortening of the muscle. Most children grow out of it as they get older. But if they're unable to walk on their entire foot, there can be an underlying neuromuscular issue. Our podiatrists will work with other specialists to diagnose what this cause may be before devising an appropriate treatment.

Spectral issues
Some children are physiologically able to walk normally but resist the urge. If that is the case, it is possible to explore the possibility of cognitive disabilities or disorders, such as autism spectrum. Often seen with this is a tactile sensitivity around the foot which may manifest as an unwillingness to wear shoes or complaint when walking on uneven surfaces.

Sometimes toe walking is a result of a child experiencing trauma to the foot, such as a foot fracture or burn, so they may walk on their toes to reduce the pain. It's important podiatrists help such children, as prolonged toe walking can lead to them having a reduced range of motion.

No reason
Some children walk on their toes for no explainable reasons, which in medical speak is called "idiopathic". In this case, your podiatrist will use a number of strategies, including stretching techniques and fun exercises to do at home to teach them to walk normally. This may also include night splinting and prescription functional foot orthotics.

The first step in treating toe walking is to determine the cause so you're your podiatrist and healthcare team can promptly treat it. The earlier we can help your child learn to walk correctly, through thorough biomechanical examination and diagnosis the better the long term outcomes.

If you have any such concerns please call our team to make an appointment.

Posterior Tibialis Tendon Dysfunction – What does it mean for me?

Newcastle Podiatry - Thursday, December 04, 2014

The posterior tibial tendon serves as one of the major supporting structures of the foot, helping it to support the arch while performing weight bearing activities particularly walking and running. Posterior tendon dysfunction (PTTD) is a condition characterised by tissue damage within the tendon that leads to deterioration of function and ultimately impairing its ability to support the arch, impeding daily living.

PTTD can initially manifest as pain, redness and swelling along the inside of the lower leg, medial ankle and arch. It is categorised into 4 stages of severity depending on strength, pain and foot posture deformity. It can commonly progress and be very debilitating with permanent structural damage a long term outcome. It can occur rapidly transforming a normal arched foot into a flat painful one. Factors contributing can include increased body weight, poor footwear or barefoot activities, a flattened foot posture or higher load activities such as forefoot based sports.

Clinical assessment by a trained podiatrist includes thorough assessment of gait patterns, footwear, physical activities and biomechanical assessment to help diagnose and dictate treatment options. Imaging through the form of x-ray, Ultrasound and MRI can also be useful tools to help establish severity and rule out differential diagnoses. Identifying underlying contributing factors is crucial to affective treatment. The overriding treatment is to take load away from the tendon and affected structures using prescription functional foot orthotics which ensure your feet work in their optimal position. Activity modification, anti-inflammatories and footwear changes, also play a role.

Due to the progressive nature of the condition, early intervention is advised. If correction is warranted at the foot, Orthotic therapy is an effective tool to unload the structure. Orthotics can help stop progression and prevent recurrence in both the short and long term ensuring a return to sport and daily living is comfortable.

Appointment Keeping and SMS Reminders

Newcastle Podiatry - Thursday, September 11, 2014

From the Front Desk….

Our patients time is extremely important to us here at Newcastle Family and Sports Podiatry therefore it is important for everyone to try and get to their appointment on time and to check in with us here at the front desk as soon as you arrive. This not only maximises the time you get to spend with your podiatrist, but also that of all our patients for the day.

If you are going to be running late, due to traffic delays etc. please just give us a quick call so we can advise your podiatrist and manage your appointment time accordingly.

We also realise that life does get busy. Between juggling work, family and all of our other daily commitments, we can sometimes forget an appointment that may have been booked months ago. That’s why we like to send out a sms reminder to remind you of your appointment day and time.

This will be sent out to you two days before your appointment, ensuring you have enough time to either confirm that you will be attending or to reschedule to another time. As you can imagine when a patient fails to arrive or reschedule an appointment without adequate notice then we can no longer offer that time to anyone else who may need it.

If you have a mobile number and are not currently receiving a sms from us then please speak to one of our Front Office staff so we can update your records.

Don’t worry though if you don’t have a mobile as we can still call you personally on your home or work number to confirm.


email us - 51 Denison St, Hamilton East - 02 4961 4411