Monthly Archives: November 2014

The Hubscher maneuver or Jacks test?

When I was a student we were taught about the Hubscher maneuver. This is a test of the windlass mechanism of the foot in which when the patient is standing, you grab the biog toe and lift it up. When this happens, the arch of the foot should raise. I have always called this the Hubscher maneuver. I learnt today that this is a US term and the rest of the world calls it Jacks test.


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I have been getting a bit alarmed at the recent calls for homeopathy to be used to treat the current outbreak of Ebola in west Africa. Fortunately its not being used. Homeopathy like some other pseudosciences are creeping into Podiatry (eg the foot detox and reflexology). Homeopathy does not work and is not better than a placebo. Homeopathy is just water. Yes, sure they are supposed to have active ingredients, but the problem is that the magnitude of dilution that goes into creating a homeopathic remedy is so great, that the chances of any active ingredient being in any one solution given to a “patient” is close to zero. And even if by random chance that the solution did actually have some of the active ingredient, the few molecules are hardly going to do any good! Homeopaths tell tales of ‘magic’ and pseudoscience to claim what they do work, but the evidence says otherwise and that homeopathic remedies are just expensive placebos.

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The Pump Bump

The pump bump or Haglunds deformity is bloody annoying. I should know as I have one! They are an enlargement of the bone at the back of the heel just below where the achilles tendon attaches. They are annoying because that is usually right where the stitching at the back of the shoe is and you get blisters and bursitis from the irritation. The only short term treatment is padding, a heel raise to lift the heel away from the irritation and maybe some cortisone if its really sore. It is an ongoing problem that has to be managed with a careful selection of footwear. The only long term option is surgery to reduce the size of the lump of bone. Most cases of Haglunds are managed without surgery. I might have it one day!

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Hit the ganglion with a bible (or very big book)

A ganglion is an enlargement or swelling that develops when the fluid inside a tendon sheath the stands and swells creating a lump. It is sort of like a hernia. They tend to develop when there is a weakness in the tendon sheath and therefore the contents of that tendon sheath old outwards. Generally these do need a surgical repair. However there is a historic myth about ganglion is that hitting them with the Bible will push them back into place. It is however a myth and never actually worked.

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Friars Balsam

I always wondered as a young girl what that funny smelling yellow stuff was on my grandma’s cupboard. She used to swear by it and use it for lots of skin problems. I now know that this was Friars balsam or a compound tincture of benzoin which is it’s more technical name. From what I understand, podiatrists used to use this a lot in the past but is not used so often now. What brought this up for me was I was visiting a colleague and noticed that they had a spray version of it. They use it to apply to the skin before applying tape or strapping as it sticks better and it does protect those who may have a mild allergic reaction. I learned something today.

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The Fish Pedicure

I just wrote about the foot detox being a scam. I am not sure if a fish pedicure is a scam, but it is certainly not for the fainted hearted!

Fish pedicure salons are popping up all over the place, especially Europe (and being closed down due to infection control concerns). The idea behind it is that the foot is placed into a container of water and a particular breed of fish eat the dead dry skin and leave the normal skin alone. The testimonials are that people love it, but I am going to sear clear of it.

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Falling for a Foot Detox!

The foot detox is a scam; so are all detoxes. The body is perfectly capable of getting rid of toxins all by itself. There is no diet that detoxes you. It is scam and so is the foot detox. The products do not work.

The foot detox is supposed to remove toxins from the body via the foot. All videos of it have shown that it is hoax.

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