In an effort to help educate patients and their family members, we play educational DVDs in the lobby area. We also offer the information listed below and hope that you will find it informative. Should you have other questions or concerns, please contact our office for an appointment.
Irritation and inflammation of the tendon that attaches to the back of the heel bone. Achilles tendinitis can be caused by improper warm up or overtraining. It also can be caused by a bone spur in the heel or a partial tear of the tendon. If the pain persists you need to come in to the office and have it looked at. There are many treatment options that range from conservative to surgical.
Often responds to rest, ice, and compression for acute injuries. However, the ankle is a complex structure of ligaments, tendons, and bones, all of which can become injured. Ankle fractures are common with sprains, as are torn ligaments. If you pain continues or your ankle is unstable (you continue to get ankle sprains), it needs to be looked at in the office by a trained podiatrist.
Athlete’s foot is a skin disease caused by a fungus, usually occurring between the toes.
The fungus most commonly attacks the feet because shoes create a warm, dark, and humid environment which encourages fungus growth.
The warmth and dampness of areas around swimming pools, showers, and locker rooms are also breeding grounds for fungi. Because the infection was common among athletes who used these facilities frequently, the term “athlete’s foot” became popular.
Not all fungus conditions are athlete’s foot. Other conditions, such as disturbances of the sweat mechanism, reaction to dyes or adhesives in shoes, eczema, and psoriasis, may mimic athlete’s foot.
It can look very different as there are many types of fungus and your body responds to each one differently. If you are unsure about why your feet are itching, dry, cracking, blistering, or burning come in and see one of the doctors as this can be easily cured.
A bunion is an enlargement of the joint at the base of the big toe—the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint—that forms when the bone or tissue at the big toe joint moves out of place. This forces the toe to bend toward the others, causing an often painful lump of bone on the foot. Since this joint carries a lot of the body’s weight while walking, bunions can cause extreme pain if left untreated. The MTP joint itself may become stiff and sore, making even the wearing of shoes difficult or impossible. A bunion–from the Latin “bunio,” meaning enlargement–can also occur on the outside of the foot along the little toe, where it is called a “bunionette” or “tailor’s bunion.”
There are both surgical and conservative treatment for bunions. The success rate for surgery is nearing 100%, with a very very small chance of reoccurrence.
As a foot and ankle specialist, a podiatrist plays an important role in the medical care of those with diabetes. Fifteen percent of all people with diabetes will develop open wounds on their feet at some point in their lifetime. Twenty percent of those ulcerations will result in amputations. Podiatrists have documented success in the prevention of these amputations. The key is to see a podiatrist for a foot check up at least annually, preferably more often. Medicare has a diabetic shoe program which entitles you to receive free pair of shoes and 3 insoles every year. Prevention is the best medicine when it comes to diabetic feet.
Fungal nails are often “ugly” to the patient. They become discolored, brittle, thick, and painful. In the summer patients don’t want to wear open-toe sandals as they think their feet are “ugly”. Why suffer from nail problems like this? They can be cured with topical or oral treatments. Some patients worry about taking a pill to treat there nails, and while this can be a problem for some patients, it is completely safe and done under the supervision of a podiatrist in our office. If a pill is not for you, there are many topical treatments that work well when applied correctly.
The plantar wart is often contracted by walking barefoot on dirty surfaces or littered ground where the virus is lurking. The causative virus thrives in warm, moist environments, making infection a common occurrence in communal bathing facilities.
When plantar warts develop on the weight-bearing areas of the foot, the heel or ball of the foot, they can be the source of sharp, burning pain. Pain occurs when weight is brought to bear directly on the wart, although pressure on the side of a wart can create equally intense pain.
Tips for Prevention
- Avoid walking barefoot, except on sandy beaches.
- Change shoes and socks daily.
- Keep feet clean and dry.
- Check children’s feet periodically.
- Avoid direct contact with warts, either from other persons or from other parts of the body.
- Do not ignore growths on or changes in your skin.
- Visit your podiatric physician as part of your annual health checkup.
Heel pain is the most common problem treated in the office. We have great success with painless treatment techniques. We often get people back to running, walking, or standing in no time at all.
- Pain upon pressure at the top of the bent toe from footwear.
- The formation of corns on the top of the joint.
- Redness and swelling at the joint contracture.
- Restricted or painful motion of the toe joint.
- Pain in the ball of the foot at the base of the affected toe.
The treatment options vary with the type and severity of each hammertoe, although identifying the deformity early in its development is important to avoid surgery. Podiatric medical attention should be sought at the first indication of pain and discomfort, because if left untreated, hammertoes tend to become rigid, making a nonsurgical treatment less of an option.
Your podiatrist will examine and X-ray the affected area and recommend a treatment plan specific to your condition.
Padding and Taping:
Often this is the first step in a treatment plan. Padding the hammertoe prominence minimizes pain and allows the patient to continue a normal, active life. Taping may change the imbalance around the toes and thus relieve the stress and pain.
Anti-inflammatory drugs and cortisone injections can be prescribed to ease acute pain and inflammation caused by the joint deformity.
Custom shoe inserts made by your podiatrist may be useful in controlling foot function. An orthotic device may reduce symptoms and prevent the worsening of the hammertoe deformity.
Several surgical procedures are available to the podiatrist. For less severe deformities, the surgery will remove the bony prominence and restore normal alignment of the toe joint, thus relieving pain.
Severe hammertoes, which are not fully reducible, may require more complex surgical procedures.
Recuperation takes time, and some swelling and discomfort are common for several weeks following surgery. Any pain, however, is easily managed with medications prescribed by your podiatric physician.
Based on the condition and the chronic nature of the disease, heel surgery can provide relief of pain and restore mobility in many cases. The type of procedure is based on examination and usually consists of plantar fascia release, with or without heel spur excision. There have been various modifications and surgical enhancements regarding surgery of the heel. Your podiatrist will determine which method is best suited for you.There are many other causes of heel pain, which has become one of the most common foot problems reported by patients of podiatric physicians. Many of them have a basis in heredity, as do a lot of other foot conditions. Among the causes are stress fractures and stress-fracture syndrome, entrapped nerves, bruises, bursitis, arthritis (including gout), deterioration of the fat pad on the heel, improper shoes, and obesity, just to name a few. Most of these conditions can be treated non-surgically, though surgery may be recommended in some instances.
- Improperly trimmed nails (Trim them straight across, not longer than the tip of the toes. Do not round off corners. Use toenail clippers.)
- Shoe pressure; crowding of toes
- Repeated trauma to the feet from normal activities
If you suspect an infection due to an ingrown toenail, immerse the foot in a warm salt water soak, or a basin of soapy water, then apply an antiseptic and bandage the area.
People with diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, or other circulatory disorders must avoid any form of self treatment and seek podiatric medical care as soon as possible.
“Do-it-yourself” treatments should be avoided, including any attempt to remove any part of an infected nail or the use of over-the-counter medications. Nail problems should be evaluated and treated by your podiatrist, who can diagnose the ailment and then prescribe medication or another appropriate treatment.
A podiatrist will resect the ingrown portion of the nail and may prescribe a topical or oral medication to treat the infection. If ingrown nails are a chronic problem, your podiatrist can perform a procedure to permanently prevent ingrown nails. The corner of the nail that ingrows, along with the matrix or root of that piece of nail, are removed by use of a chemical, a laser, or by other methods.
Come into the office and we can permanently fix your nail problems. No more digging at the nails causing pain and infection. Get it fixed for good.