March is Women’s History Month and in honor of our female patients, we at Paul S. DeMarco, DPM want to focus on an important women’s health issue: osteoporosis. While this disorder can also affect men, it is far more common in women, and most often in women over the age of 50. Osteoporosis is a disease that results in the thinning of the bones. The body either produces too little bone or loses too much or both. It is estimated that approximately 50% of all women have low bone mass.
Diagnosing Bone Mass Issues
Oftentimes osteoporosis is present and progressing with no symptoms. A foot problem that can point to this disorder is a stress fracture. Stress fractures are tiny, hairline cracks in the surface of a bone. Since your feet carry the weight of your whole body, the weakened condition of bones with osteoporosis can more easily result in a bone breaking from normal weightbearing activities like walking. Symptoms of a stress fracture may include pain, redness and swelling on the top of the foot. You do not need to have sustained an injury to get a stress fracture, and for this reason, many women put off going to see the foot doctor when they have these types of symptoms. Don’t wait! Contact our Somers Point office so that our podiatrist, Dr. Paul S. DeMarco, can diagnose your foot problem. Early treatment of osteoporosis can help prevent crippling disability.
If you are diagnosed with osteoporosis, the foot doctor can make recommendations to help protect your feet and strengthen your bones. Wearing shoes with extra support and cushioning will provide shock absorption which can reduce the risk of future fractures. The podiatrist may prescribe a custom orthotic to be worn inside your shoe to provide additional protection and properly position your foot. In addition, increasing your calcium and vitamin D intake through diet and supplements may be recommended. Weight bearing exercise with your doctor’s supervision and approval can also help to increase the strength of your bones.
As with most foot conditions, the key is seeking treatment in the first stages of the disorder. If you have any foot pain or unexplained swelling contact us as soon as possible by calling: (609) 927-4894.