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February 26, 2016
Category: Uncategorized
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How do bones heal?



The bone healing process goes thru three phases, inflammation, bone production and bone remodeling.  Bone inflammation starts right after a fracture and will last for several days.  Bone production begins when the clotted blood formed is replaced with fibrous tissue and cartilage known as soft callus.  Bone remodeling is the final phase of bone healing and goes on for SEVERAL months.  As a rule of thumb most bone healing can take 6-8 weeks to heal. 


Several things will help your bones heal faster.  You will need to stop smoking, control your blood sugar, immobilize the break by a cast or brace, and of course minimize the amount of movement to allow time to properly heal. 


There are some things that can hinder a bone from healing.  Smoking, diabetes, hormone related problems, vascular disease, certain medications, and poor diet. 


If the bone is not healing as expected several things can be done to improve your outcome.   Your doctor might continue longer immobilization, bone stimulation, or surgery with bone grafting, or the use of bone growth proteins.   

February 23, 2016
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What is Foot drop?

When the person with foot drop walks, the foot slaps down onto the floor. The foot drop patient may use a tip-toe walk on the opposite leg, raising the thigh, as if walking upstairs, while letting the toe drop. This serves to raise the foot high enough to prevent the toe from dragging, and prevents the slapping.

Causes of Foot Drop

Foot drop is caused by weakness that occurs in muscles of the ankle and the foot. The affected muscles participate in the downward and upward movement of the ankle and the foot.


Foot drop that can’t be treated by surgery is often treated using an AFO custom brace that provides normal range of motion to the foot and ankle during walking. Other people with foot drop can benefit from nerve stimulation therapy. 

When the cause of foot drop is a muscular or nerve problem surgery can be beneficial. Surgery can relieve the pressure on a trapped nerve, repair a muscle, and even restore a normal gait by lengthening the Achilles tendon or replacing a defective tendon.

AFO Braces

There are many different types of AFO braces.  Once Dr. Lafata would evaluate you he would be able to make a professional decision as to the best treatment option for your condition.  



By Dr. Paul C. LaFata
October 30, 2014
Category: Arthritis
Tags: Arthritis   Joint Pain   Exercise  

Avoid hard impact exercise to relieve arthritic painExercise doesn’t have to include high energy or high-impact activities to benefit your body. Fluid, controlled activities like tai chi work the muscles and improve circulation without the heavy pounding on your joints. This makes it a great activity for anyone struggling with arthritis in their lower limbs. Tai chi improves balance, flexibility, and strength—all of which are beneficial for stiffened, painful joints.

Arthritis causes an uncomfortable grinding and reduced range of motion in the affected joints. You end up with swelling, inflammation, and pain that make it difficult and unpleasant to stay mobile. Over time, moving around becomes more and more uncomfortable, which may discourage you from staying active. Giving up your activities will make things worse in the long run, though. Your joints will only stiffen further, as well as lose the muscle strength they need to support you.

Staying active can help you stay mobile, even with arthritis. Engaging in regular, joint-safe exercise before your condition deteriorates helps you maintain your muscle tone and joint flexibility. This can even relieve some of your discomfort overall. Exercise increases your circulation, which brings much-needed healing factors and nutrients to your damaged joints. Improved flexibility and range of motion allow your feet to move more smoothly. Conditioned muscles help you keep your feet stable and protect you against further damage as well.

The key is to avoid the hard-impact activities that could worsen the problem. That is why tai chi is a good option for anyone, no matter their fitness level, who is struggling with stiff joints. For anyone in the Reading and Wyomissing areas, the Berks Tai Chi group is a great place to start. It focuses on the health benefits of the martial art form, and you don’t need experience to get started.

If you’re struggling with arthritis pain and you don’t want to lose your mobility, let us at West Lawn Podiatry Associates in West Lawn, PA, help you take care of your feet. Don’t wait until you can hardly walk to seek help. You can reach our office for more information or an appointment by calling (610) 678-4581, or by using our web request form.

Photo Credit: phasinphoto via FreeDigitalPhotos.net 


Did you know that diet and exercise have a profound effect on your feet?  Your entire body is connected.  Everything from things like gout to diabetic foot issues can stem from your diet and lack of exercise.  We encourage you to visit some of our boards on Pinterest that relate to diet and exercise.  You will find valuable tricks and tips to stay healthy.  What a better time to get going on your diet and exercise plan right before the holidays.   As always we are here to provide you with the best expert advice from our Board Certified Podiatrist.   We hope that you are having a wonderful autumn and we are excited to meet you and provide the best advice that we have to offer. 

Look no further than our very own Board Certified Foot and Ankle Surgeon, Dr. Paul C LaFata for all of your foot and ankle concerns.  

By Dr. Paul C. LaFata
October 23, 2014
Category: Fungal Infections

Are you ready for Halloween yet?Halloween is around the corner, which means stores and houses everywhere have spooky ghosts and skeletons peeking out from windows and decorating front porches. People will soon be indulging in scary movies and frightening costumes for parties and a night out trick-or-treating with kids. One frightening thing that you won’t find on any costume rack is a nail fungus infection. Imagine waking up and looking down at your feet to discover unsightly fungal nails!

Fungal toenails are contagious as well as embarrassing. The pathogen that causes the infection lingers and grows in your footwear, and can contaminate floors, towels, and bed sheets. That makes it all too easy to pass on to your family members. You shouldn’t have to spend this Halloween in fear that the infection will spread, however. There are ways you can help prevent others from developing a problem. Here are a few tips to keep your family fungus-free, even if you have an infection already:

  • Don’t go barefoot – Wear shoes around the home to keep a layer of protection between your toes and the floor. Moisture-wicking socks and breathable shoes help absorb your sweat, too, reducing the fungus-friendly environment around your toes.
  • Don’t share footwear – Don’t let others in your family borrow or use any old socks or shoes. Because fungus lingers and festers in footwear, sharing them may pass on the problem. Instead, wash out old socks and let your shoes dry between uses.
  • Don’t share foot care tools – Don’t let others borrow your nail clippers, emery board, or other foot care supplies unless they have been sterilized after you used them last. The pathogen can linger on the surface of the tools.
  • Treat the problem – The best way to prevent others from getting the infection is to eliminate it entirely. Use any medications you’ve been given for your own feet, as well as sprays or powders on your shoes to help eradicate the condition. If you’re able to have a nail laser procedure, that’s even better.

Preventing the spread of fungal toenails takes work and understanding the disease. If you’re concerned about spreading this real-life spooky substance to your family, don’t wait to seek treatment. Contact the West Lawn Podiatry Associates team for more information before others develop the infection. You can make an appointment at our West Lawn, PA, office by calling (610) 678-4581, or use our online contact page to reach us.

Photo Credit: satit_srihin via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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