Doctors Rx

by Andrew Rosenbaum, M.D.

The foot and ankle are comprised of twenty-eight bones, thirty-three joints, thirty-four muscles and one hundred and twelve ligaments. And while the knee takes on one and half times our body weight with each step, the foot and ankle absorb three times our body weight. This becomes even greater with high impact activities, like running. It is therefore no surprise that foot and ankle ailments comprise approximately one-third of all running injuries. Achilles tendinopathy, plantar fasciitis, and ankle sprains are three of the top five most common running injuries.

While many people are able to run through a quadriceps or hamstring strain, foot and ankle injuries are often disabling and require time off from running. This can be devastating for runners, with both physical and mental ramifications. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for injuries (eg, stress fractures) to occur in the latter stages of marathon training, for example. As such, running shoes are designed to prevent injury, maintain proper foot and ankle biomechanics, and enhance performance. And in hopes of preserving their feet as long as possible, runners in the United States annually spend more than three billion dollars on sneakers.

As an orthopedic surgeon with subspecialty training in foot and ankle surgery, I treat a multitude of conditions ranging from plantar fasciitis to ankle sprains to bunions and hammer toes. I also treat a variety of patients, including children and adults; weekend warriors and collegiate athletes. As we will discuss in my upcoming columns, this diversity amongst my patients is one of the many reasons I was drawn to orthopedic foot and ankle surgery.

Given the high frequency of running-related foot and ankle injuries, runners are a large portion of my practice. My approach to runners, regardless of their level, is to identify the injury, determine why it happened, and the most appropriate and effective modalities to treat it. Many times I utilize a multi-disciplinary approach to treatment that ultimately incorporates preventative strategies designed to minimize injury recurrence. I work closely with Dr. Shatynski, as well as many of the physical therapists and podiatrists in the Capital Region and Hudson Valley in hopes of providing the most complete and comprehensive care.

I would like this column to be an open dialogue between us, in which we can tackle some of the challenging problems you’ve experienced with your feet and ankles. I will also highlight the more common ailments afflicting runners and my approach to treatment. I look forward to our growing relationship and helping you, the Hudson Mohawk Road Runners, stay on your feet!

Dr. Andrew Rosenbaum is a fellowship-trained foot and ankle specialist. He is a graduate of Rutgers – Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Camden, NJ and completed his residency at Albany Medical College. Dr. Rosenbaum completed his fellowship training at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, NY, where he treated both the New York Mets and the New York Giants teams. He is also the Director of Orthopaedic Research at Albany Medical College. He has presented his research both nationally and internationally.

Dr. Rosenbaum lives in the Albany area with his wife and daughters. He sees patients in the Albany and Guilderland offices.

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