Education

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.

Achilles Tendonitis

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.

Ankle Sprain

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

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.

Bunions

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.

Diabetic Foot

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

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.

Warts

Warts are one of several soft tissue conditions of the foot that can be quite painful. They are caused by a virus, which generally invades the skin through small or invisible cuts and abrasions. They can appear anywhere on the skin, but technically only those on the sole are properly called plantar warts.
Children, especially teenagers, tend to be more susceptible to warts than adults; some people seem to be immune.
Source of the Virus
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.
If left untreated, warts can grow to an inch or more in circumference and can spread into clusters of several warts which are often called mosaic warts. Like any other infectious lesion, plantar warts are spread by touching, scratching, or even by contact with skin shed from another wart. The wart may also bleed, which is another route for their spreading.
Occasionally, warts can spontaneously disappear after a short time, and just as frequently, they can recur in the same location.

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

  1.  Avoid walking barefoot, except on sandy beaches.
  2. Change shoes and socks daily.
  3. Keep feet clean and dry.
  4. Check children’s feet periodically.
  5. Avoid direct contact with warts, either from other persons or from other parts of the body.
  6. Do not ignore growths on or changes in your skin.
  7. Visit your podiatric physician as part of your annual health checkup.
 We can rid you of warts with a few treatments in the office.  Don’t live with these painful unsightly skin lesions anymore.

Plantar Fasciitis

Both heel pain and heel spurs are frequently associated with an inflammation of the band of fibrous connective tissue (fascia) running along the bottom (plantar surface) of the foot, from the heel to the ball of the foot. This inflammation is called plantar fasciitis. It is common among athletes who run and jump a lot, and it can be quite painful.
The condition occurs when the plantar fascia is strained over time beyond its normal extension, causing the soft tissue fibers of the fascia to tear or stretch at points along its length, leading to inflammation, pain, and possibly the growth of a bone spur where it attaches to the heel bone.
The inflammation may be aggravated by shoes that lack appropriate support, especially in the arch area, and by the chronic irritation that sometimes accompanies an athletic lifestyle.
Resting provides only temporary relief. When you resume walking, particularly after a night’s sleep, you may experience a sudden elongation of the fascia band, which stretches and pulls on the heel. As you walk, the heel pain may lessen or even disappear, but that may be just a false sense of relief. The pain often returns after prolonged rest or extensive walking.
We have great success treating all types of heel pain.  Don’t live with the pain any longer, come see us in the office so we can relieve your pain.

Heel Spurs

A common cause of heel pain is the heel spur, which is a bony growth on the underside of the heel bone. The spur, visible by X-ray, appears as a protrusion that can extend forward as much as half an inch. When there is no indication of bone enlargement, the condition is sometimes referred to as “heel spur syndrome.”
Heel spurs result from strain on the muscles and ligaments of the foot, by stretching of the long band of tissue that connects the heel and the ball of the foot, and by repeated tearing away of the lining or membrane that covers the heel bone. These conditions may result from biomechanical imbalance, running or jogging, improperly fitted or excessively worn shoes, or obesity.

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.

Heel Pain

Heel pain is generally the result of faulty biomechanics (walking gait abnormalities) that place too much stress on the heel bone and the soft tissues that attach to it. The stress may also result from injury; a bruise incurred while walking, running, or jumping on hard surfaces; wearing poorly constructed footwear; or being overweight.
The heel bone is the largest of the 26 bones in the human foot, which also has 33 joints and a network of more than 100 tendons, muscles, and ligaments. Like all bones, it is subject to outside influences that can affect its integrity and its ability to keep us on our feet. Heel pain, sometimes disabling, can occur in the front, back, or bottom of the heel.

Hammertoe

What is a Hammertoe?
A hammertoe is a contracture—or bending—of the toe at the first joint of the digit, called the proximal interphalangeal joint. This bending causes the toe to appear like an upside-down V when looked at from the side. Any toe can be involved, but the condition usually affects the second through fifth toes, known as the lesser digits. Hammertoes are more common to females than males.

Symptoms

      1. Pain upon pressure at the top of the bent toe from footwear.
      2. The formation of corns on the top of the joint.
      3. Redness and swelling at the joint contracture.
      4. Restricted or painful motion of the toe joint.
      5. Pain in the ball of the foot at the base of the affected toe.
How Do You Get a Hammertoe?
A hammertoe is formed due an abnormal balance of the muscles in the toes. This abnormal balance causes increased pressures on the tendons and joints of the toe, leading to its contracture. Heredity and trauma can also lead to the formation of a hammertoe. Arthritis is another factor, because the balance around the toe in people with arthritis is so disrupted that a hammertoe may develop. Wearing shoes that are too tight and cause the toes to squeeze can also be a cause for a hammertoe to form.
What Will Your Podiatrist Do to Treat a Hammertoe?

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.

Medication:
Anti-inflammatory drugs and cortisone injections can be prescribed to ease acute pain and inflammation caused by the joint deformity.

Orthotic Devices: 
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.

Surgical Options:
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.

If you’re tired of your toes rubbing on your shoes causing callus and corns, don’t live with the pain and discomfort any longer.  Come see us, our doctors will be happy to go over your treatment options.

Heel Surgery

Many conditions can affect the back portion of the foot and ankle. Fortunately, many of these problems can be resolved through conservative treatments. However, when pain persists or deformity occurs, surgical intervention can help alleviate pain, reduce deformity, and restore the function of your foot or ankle.
Heel Surgery
Two common conditions that can cause pain to the bottom of the heel are plantar fasciitis and heel spur(s). Although there are many causes of heel pain in both children and adults, most can be effectively treated without surgery. When chronic heel pain fails to respond to conservative treatment, surgical care may be warranted.
Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammation of a fibrous band of tissue in the bottom of the foot that extends from the heel bone to the toes. This tissue can become inflamed for many reasons, most commonly from irritation by placing too much stress (such as excess running and jumping) on the bottom of the foot.
Heel Spur(s) or heel spur syndrome are most often the result of stress on the muscles and fascia of the foot. This stress may form a spur on the bottom of the heel. While many spurs are painless, others may produce chronic pain.
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.
Haglund’s Deformity (pump bump)
This deformity is characterized by a bony enlargement on the back of the heel. Although not always painful, it may become so if bursitis develops near the Achilles tendon secondary to footwear irritation. If attempts at shoe modification and other medical treatments fail to improve this condition, surgical correction may be beneficial. Based on X-ray evaluation and other tests or examinations, your podiatrist will select an operative treatment to alleviate the condition.
Insertional Achilles Clarification/Spur
This deformity differs from Haglund’s deformity, in that spur formation or calcification at the insertion of the Achilles tendon is the cause of pain. Often associated with Achilles tendinitis, this deformity can often be difficult to treat medically and therefore surgical treatment may be necessary in chronic cases. There are many causes of this condition, including arthritis, but the most common appears to be overuse syndrome, where trauma occurs where the Achilles tendon attaches to the heel bone. Surgical treatment includes removal of the bone spur and/or calcification, along with repair of the Achilles tendon.
Come into the office and we can give you many treatment options to get you back on your feet in no time.

Arthritis

Arthritis is a frequent component of complex diseases that may involve more than 100 identifiable disorders. If the feet seem more susceptible to arthritis than other parts of the body, it is because each foot has 33 joints that can be afflicted, and there is no way to avoid the pain of the tremendous weight-bearing load on the feet.
Arthritis is a disabling and occasionally crippling disease which afflicts almost 40 million Americans. Some forms of arthritis it appear to have hereditary tendencies. While the prevalence of arthritis increases with age, all people from infancy to middle age are potential victims. People over 50 are the primary targets.
Arthritic feet can result in loss of mobility and independence, which can be avoided with early diagnosis and proper medical care.
Come into the office and we can do on-site x-rays and tests to diagnose your type of arthritis.  You don’t have to live with foot pain, we have multiple painless treatment options available.

Ingrown Toenail

Ingrown nails, the most common nail impairment, are nails whose corners or sides dig painfully into the soft tissue of nail grooves, often leading to irritation, redness, and swelling. Usually, toenails grow straight out. Sometimes, however, one or both corners or sides curve and grow into the flesh. The big toe is usually the victim of this condition but other toes can also become affected.
Ingrown toenails may be caused by:
    1. Improperly trimmed nails (Trim them straight across, not longer than the tip of the toes. Do not round off corners. Use toenail clippers.)
    2. Heredity
    3. Shoe pressure; crowding of toes
    4. 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.