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Difference Between Broken or Sprained Ankle You’re out running and you step somewhere awkwardly - it could be the edge of a curb, a pothole, or a crack in the ground. Now you’re on the ground and one of your ankles is throbbing. Hopefully, you’re with someone or there are people nearby since putting any pressure on the foot is nearly impossible.


It can be very difficult to tell the difference between the two without seeing a doctor. There are some basic rules of thumb to go by, though. This is not to be taken as medical advice.

Here are some of the differences between an ankle sprain and an ankle fracture. 


Ankle Sprain

An ankle sprain is when you do damage to your ankle ligaments. The area will swell. You’ve either stretched or torn a ligament. There will be pain and you can’t put your foot on the ground without it hurting. The best thing you can do is the RICE treatment:

Rest - Your body needs to heal. Stay off your feet for at least the rest of the day.

Ice - Put ice on the area for 20 minutes at a time. 20 minutes on. 20 minutes off. 

Compression - Put an ace bandage on the foot. This will help reduce swelling

Elevate - Put several pillows under your feet.


Ankle Fracture 

There will be a lot of pain. It can be hard to tell, though, since unless there’s a clean break and something is protruding, an X-ray will be necessary to determine the extent of the injury. 

Another possible thing that can occur is you will likely hear a popping sound when the injury occurs. That doesn’t happen with a sprain.

You can look for some other signs like

Deformity - There will be swelling in either case, but this goes beyond the norm. Also, it will just look… odd.


Pale skin around injured area

Numbness - This is a big one since a sprain tends to be constant throbbing, but the fracture can cause numbness after the initial pain.

• In either case, it’s best to see a doctor, preferably an orthopedic surgeon. They can examine the foot and if there is a fracture, take the necessary steps to ensure that the foot is immobilized and perform surgery if the bones are not aligning properly.

If you have an ankle sprain, depending on the severity and how fast you do the RICE treatment, you can be on your feet again in a matter of days. Ankle fractures can require a lot longer recovery time, like weeks or even a month or more before you can resume your normal fitness activities like running. 

Dr. John J Hickey is a podiatrist and he can help patients who have recovered from either an ankle sprain or a fracture find the best shoes to provide both comfort and stability to help prevent this situation from occurring again.

August 02, 2019
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All About Bunions


One may have heard about bunions but wondered what they actually are. The best way to describe it is for one to imagine a bump growing on the big-toe side of the foot at the base of the toe. It can push the big toe toward the small, or pinkie, toe.


The question is - how exactly does one get a bunion and what can one do about it? It’s a very common occurrence, too. Roughly three million people a year get one.

Here are some things people should know about bunions.


The thing with bunions is that they are not instant. They may grow over the years before becoming truly noticeable. Calluses may also form over the bunion and people notice that their feet are changing shape with their big toe not pointing straight anymore.

Bunions may not be initially painful and may seem more like an annoyance. Chances are, if left untreated, they can worsen over time. Other complications may include bursitis, hammertoe and Metatarsalgia, which is pain in the ball of one’s foot.

Like a lot of other foot conditions, one way of preventing bunions is to assess how one treats their feet in their younger days. Do they wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes or do they cram them into whatever passes for fashion at the time?

There are other factors too, including genetics and whether one has arthritis.


The first step is for one to see a foot doctor if the pain keeps getting worse, the bump appears on the big toe, there’s difficulty in moving one’s foot or even walking properly.

A foot doctor will examine the situation and determine a course of treatment. An X-ray will be taken. Non-surgical options will range from changing shows to splinting the foot to taking painkillers to icing the foot.

Surgery is often the last option, since there is a small chance that it might affect the stability of the big toe and have it permanently pointing toward the pinkie toe.


Narrow shoes will be out of the question, since they can cause a reoccurrence. The patient will need to take good care of their feet and a full recovery, especially if surgery was needed, can take weeks, if not months.

Dr. John J Hickey has worked with people’s feet for many years at Levittown Podiatry. He knows what causes bunions and how to treat them.  Give him a call to learn what he can do for you: 516-735-4545.


Exercises to maintain foot conditionsThere are several conditions that need treatment

The stretches are easy and can be done at home

Building a strong foundation helps


People tend to not think about their feet very much despite their everyday importance. They allow them to walk great distances or run or exercise. It’s when they lose the ability to use their feet as they did previously that they often realize that they took it for granted.

Depending on the severity of the injury, there are exercises that can be done to either build up their strength to get back to being able to walk or possibly prevent them from reoccurring.

Here are several things that could affect people and dictate the way that they walk, along with some possible ways people to rehabilitate those conditions or injuries.


Foot Drop

This condition, when one has trouble lifting the front of one or both of their feet - which then drags on the ground. There are several causes for this - nerve injury, brain, and spinal cord disorders, and muscle disorders. Things like crossing one’s legs, kneeling, and wearing a leg cast could cause the nerve to be pinched.


Besides other options like one wearing splints on their feet, electric stimulation, or surgery, one can do physical therapy exercises.


- Towel Stretch - A person sits with their legs extended out straight in front of them. They loop a towel around the top of their feet and gently pull it toward them for 30 seconds.

- Toe-to-Heel Rocks - One stands with a chair in front of them for support. While holding onto the back of the chair, they rock forward until they are on their toes. Five seconds later they rock backward until they are on their heels with toes in the air.

- Ankle Dorsiflexion - The patient attaches a resistance band to a table and then sit down with both legs in front of them. They wrap the band around their foot and pull their toes toward them.

- Ball Lift - One sits with their feet on the ground and they put a tennis-ball-sized sphere between their feet. Keeping their feet together, they lift the ball up and in front of them.

- Marble Pick-Up -The patient sits in a chair with both feet on the ground. They pick up a marble by curling the toes of one foot around it and then putting it in a bowl. There are 20 marbles on the ground.

- Plantar Flexion - This is along the same lines as the Ankle Dorsiflexion, but the patient, after tying the resistance band around their foot, tilt their foot toward the floor instead of toward them.


Foot Pain

A variety of exercises can help ease the pain here, but the first thing that one should do is rest while elevating their feet. They can put ice on the area if it is swelling, but keeping off their feet for a while is important. After getting an OK from a medical professional, they can do exercises like these.


- Toe Raise, Point, and Curl - The patient sits in a chair with both feet on the ground and then lift up their heels like they are on tippy-toe. They then curl the toes.

- Big Toe Stretch - The patient puts their foot on their knee and manipulates the big toe, giving it a wider range of motion.

- Toe curls - The patient puts a small towel on the ground and puts their foot on it. They then curl the towel toward them with their toes.

- Toe Splay - Still seated, the patient spreads all their toes as wide as they can.

- Marble Pick-up - Same as listed above.

- Sand Walking - The surface of the sand is uneven, which makes one use different muscles. It can help stretch foot muscles.

- Toe Extension - This is like the big toe stretch, but it is for the whole top of the foot with the toes.

- Golf Ball Roll - Running a ball under one’s feet can help tremendously with pain.

- Achilles Stretch- The patient stands and leans forward against a wall and alternates legs while leaning to stretch this area out.


Foot Tendonitis

Many of the above can help here too, but since the condition is caused by overuse, rest is vital. Trying to do too much too soon can cause a setback and then even more time to recuperate before aiming to stabilize the foot. People need to take it easy and just let their bodies heal.

Dr. John J Hickey of Levittown Podiatry will be able to help with these issues. He has extensive experience in the field and can also point to professionals who can help patients rehabilitate themselves.

Diabetic Foot Care Near Levittown NY.Feet are very important for diabetics to take care of

They can get a podiatrist to cut nails

Exercise can help


Besides their glucose levels, the next thing that diabetics need to monitor is their feet. Because of the reduced blood flow in that area, it’s easy to have what would otherwise be a minor cut turn into a possible life threatening situation.

Here are some of the basic things that people with diabetes should do to help them have a better time of walking and being mobile and healthy in general.


Regular Foot Inspection

This is the most important thing that a diabetic can do in this area. They need to look at their feet daily, several times, to ensure their feet are in good condition. Since the blood flow has drastically decreased there, even what might be thought of as a mild cut or blister can rapidly turn into a infection that can possibly turn gangrenous and require amputation. They should take swift action and see a medical professional if they do see a cut or blister since it is not something that can wait. They can use a mirror to look on the bottom of their feet. A doctor should regularly examine the diabetic’s feet.


Choose Footwear Carefully

While there are special shoes made for people with diabetes, they can wear nearly any kind. They just have to ensure that they fit properly and don’t need any time to break in, since that is what can cause blisters and cuts. Before buying them and then every day thereafter they should inspect the inside of the shoes to make sure there’s nothing loose in there that could damage their feet.


Be Careful Clipping Nails

Another danger spot on the foot can be the toenail area. Diabetics should make certain to clip the nails in a straight-across way. This will prevent them from getting an ingrown toenail and a possible infection. If doing this will be hard, then they should have someone else do it or a professional like a podiatrist.


Foot Care

Non-diabetics need to care for their feet but this is another crucial thing for diabetics to do. They need to keep their feet clean and moisturized. That can really help if there is a cut, since keeping it clean before seeing a doctor can minimize the chances of infection. They should also keep their feet protected against both the heat and the cold - which means not walking barefoot at the beach or sitting near a fireplace with bare feet.


All of this is not to say that people with diabetes cannot enjoy the same life as those without it. It’s a condition that can be reversed with exercise and diet in some cases - mostly with the adult-onset Type II so having this does not relegate people to a sedentary life. It takes extra diligence and monitoring, though.

Dr. John J Hickey has worked with diabetics throughout his career at Levittown Podiatry. He can help make sure that their feet are in the best shape possible.

Care of your feet during the winter in New YorkNew Yorkers know that winter is one of, if not THE, toughest seasons on people’s feet. The cold outside along with the heat from radiators, can leave them feeling like sandpaper and are constantly cracking. There are ways to make sure that the body parts that are responsible for transporting them from place to place are well-maintained and can survive the harsh climate with minimal, if any, discomfort. Here are some tips on how to care for your feet during the winter.


Give your Feet Room


Your feet can get very cold during the winter… and you don’t even have to go outside. The heat can move to try to warm up other parts of your body, which leaves your feet prone to getting very chilly indeed. There are a couple of things you can do, though. One is to be very vigorous when applying any lotion to your feet. That will heat things up in that area. Also, don’t have your feet mashing up inside your shoes- give your toes room to wiggle around. That can also help give much-needed heat and circulation.



It’s very important to keep your feet feeling soft and supple. Otherwise even the act of putting on socks can be annoying, since it snags on some dry skin. There are a lot of lotions out there that can do the job without costing a lot of money. This is also the time of year that it’s definitely OK to wear socks to bed, since that will also help keep the lotion on your feet while you sleep - and you can wake up to soft skin. .


Smooth Away The Rough Edges


Exfoliation plays a big part in your foot maintenance routine. A pumice stone is a great thing to have in the shower. It can be used to get rid of rough spots on the foot or cracked heels. Also, you can use a spare toothbrush with soft bristles to clear away the debris that winds up between your toes. This should be done right after a shower, too.


Clip Your Nails After A Shower


Trying to clip nails, especially ones that are more brittle because of the cold, is no fun. Nail care is important, since dry skin can also be more prone to being cut by those longer nails. Clipping nails after a shower, when the nails are still soft, can make the entire process much easier for all involved - including the clean-up afterwards,


Dr. John J Hickey knows how to keep people’s feet in shape during the cold weather. Both he and his staff at Levittown Podiatry can show what is needed. They will gladly guide anyone and answer any questions.


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