ITEMS IN AFP WITH MESH TERM:
Over-the-Counter Foot Remedies - Article
ABSTRACT: Several effective and inexpensive over-the-counter treatments are available for minor but troubling foot problems. In most cases, one week of therapy with topical terbinafine is effective for interdigital tinea pedis. Treatment of plantar warts with 17 percent salicylic acid with lactic acid in a collodion base is as effective as cryotherapy, but treatment must be sustained for several months. Toe sleeves and toe spacers can relieve pain from hard or soft corns. Metatarsal pads can relieve the pressure associated with plantar keratoses. Heel cups often can relieve pain caused by age-related thinning of the heel fat pad. Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of anteromedial heel pain caused by repetitive strain on the plantar fascia. Although the mainstay of therapy is stretching exercises, ready-made arch supports and insoles can be helpful adjuncts.
Common Conditions of the Achilles Tendon - Article
ABSTRACT: The Achilles tendon, the largest tendon in the body, is vulnerable to injury because of its limited blood supply and the combination of forces to which it is subjected. Aging and increased activity (particularly velocity sports) increase the chance of injury to the Achilles tendon. Although conditions of the Achilles tendon are occurring with increasing frequency because the aging U.S. population is remaining active, the diagnosis is missed in about one fourth of cases. Injury onset can be gradual or sudden, and the course of healing is often lengthy. A thorough history and specific physical examination are essential to make the appropriate diagnosis and facilitate a specific treatment plan. The mainstay of treatment for tendonitis, peritendonitis, tendinosis, and retrocalcaneobursitis is ice, rest, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, but physical therapy, orthoties, and surgery may be necessary in recalcitrant cases. In patients with tendon rupture, casting or surgery is required. Appropriate treatment often leads to full recovery.
ABSTRACT: There is a common misconception that symptomatic tendon injuries are inflammatory; because of this, these injuries often are mislabeled as tendonitis. Acute inflammatory tendinopathies exist, but most patients seen in primary care will have chronic symptoms suggesting a degenerative condition that should be labeled as "tendinosus" or "tendinopathy." Accurate diagnosis requires physicians to recognize the historical features, anatomy, and useful physical examination maneuvers for these common tendon problems. The natural history is gradually increasing load-related localized pain coinciding with increased activity. The most common overuse tendinopathies involve the rotator cuff, medial and lateral elbow epicondyles, patellar tendon, and Achilles tendon. Examination should include thorough inspection to assess for swelling, asymmetry, and erythema of involved tendons; range-of-motion testing; palpation for tenderness; and examination maneuvers that simulate tendon loading and reproduce pain. Plain radiography, ultrasonography, and magnetic resonance imaging can be helpful if the diagnosis remains unclear. Most patients with overuse tendinopathies (about 80 percent) fully recover within three to six months, and outpatient treatment should consist of relative rest of the affected area, icing, and eccentric strengthening exercises. Although topical and systemic nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are effective for acute pain relief, these cannot be recommended in favor of other analgesics. Injected corticosteroids also can relieve pain, but these drugs should be used with caution. Ultrasonography, shock wave therapy, orthotics, massage, and technique modification are treatment options, but few data exist to support their use at this time. Surgery is an effective treatment that should be reserved for patients who have failed conservative therapy.
Acute Ankle Sprain: An Update - Article
ABSTRACT: Acute ankle injury, a common musculoskeletal injury, can cause ankle sprains. Some evidence suggests that previous injuries or limited joint flexibility may contribute to ankle sprains. The initial assessment of an acute ankle injury should include questions about the timing and mechanism of the injury. The Ottawa Ankle and Foot Rules provide clinical guidelines for excluding a fracture in adults and children and determining if radiography is indicated at the time of injury. Reexamination three to five days after injury, when pain and swelling have improved, may help with the diagnosis. Therapy for ankle sprains focuses on controlling pain and swelling. PRICE (Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) is a well-established protocol for the treatment of ankle injury. There is some evidence that applying ice and using nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs improves healing and speeds recovery. Functional rehabilitation (e.g., motion restoration and strengthening exercises) is preferred over immobilization. Superiority of surgical repair versus functional rehabilitation for severe lateral ligament rupture is controversial. Treatment using semirigid supports is superior to using elastic bandages. Support devices provide some protection against future ankle sprains, particularly in persons with a history of recurrent sprains. Ankle disk or proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation exercise regimens also may be helpful, although the literature supporting this is limited.
Treatment of Lateral Epicondylitis - Article
ABSTRACT: Lateral epicondylitis is a common overuse syndrome of the extensor tendons of the forearm. It is sometimes called tennis elbow, although it can occur with many activities. The condition affects men and women equally and is more common in persons 40 years or older. Despite the prevalence of lateral epicondylitis and the numerous treatment strategies available, relatively few high-quality clinical trials support many of these treatment options; watchful waiting is a reasonable option. Topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroid injections, ultrasonography, and iontophoresis with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs appear to provide short-term benefits. Use of an inelastic, nonarticular, proximal forearm strap (tennis elbow brace) may improve function during daily activities. Progressive resistance exercises may confer modest intermediate-term results. Evidence is mixed on oral nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, mobilization, and acupuncture. Patients with refractory symptoms may benefit from surgical intervention. Extracorporeal shock wave therapy, laser treatment, and electromagnetic field therapy do not appear to be effective.
Custom vs. Prefabricated Orthoses for Foot Pain - Cochrane for Clinicians
ABSTRACT: Compared with placebo or sham, custom-made foot orthoses modestly reduce foot pain from pes cavus (high arch), arthritis, plantar fasciitis, and painful hallux valgus. However, there is no evidence that custom orthoses are more effective than prefabricated ones.
ABSTRACT: Stress fractures are common injuries in athletes and military recruits. These injuries occur more commonly in lower extremities than in upper extremities. Stress fractures should be considered in patients who present with tenderness or edema after a recent increase in activity or repeated activity with limited rest. The differential diagnosis varies based on location, but commonly includes tendinopathy, compartment syndrome, and nerve or artery entrapment syndrome. Medial tibial stress syndrome (shin splints) can be distinguished from tibial stress fractures by diffuse tenderness along the length of the posteromedial tibial shaft and a lack of edema. When stress fracture is suspected, plain radiography should be obtained initially and, if negative, may be repeated after two to three weeks for greater accuracy. If an urgent diagnosis is needed, triple-phase bone scintigraphy or magnetic resonance imaging should be considered. Both modalities have a similar sensitivity, but magnetic resonance imaging has greater specificity. Treatment of stress fractures consists of activity modification, including the use of nonweight-bearing crutches if needed for pain relief. Analgesics are appropriate to relieve pain, and pneumatic bracing can be used to facilitate healing. After the pain is resolved and the examination shows improvement, patients may gradually increase their level of activity. Surgical consultation may be appropriate for patients with stress fractures in high-risk locations, nonunion, or recurrent stress fractures. Prevention of stress fractures has been studied in military personnel, but more research is needed in other populations.