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What to do With a Broken Toe

Have you recently dropped something on your foot or accidentally run into a bedpost, table leg, or doorframe?  These are common causes of injuring bones in the foot.  A broken bone may result especially when swelling and pain develop.  If swelling and pain persists for a few days, a trip to your podiatrist is recommended for x-rays and evaluation.   X-rays allow the doctor to view the alignment of your bones and create a treatment plan.  If the fractured ends of the bone do not match up, your podiatrist may need to realign the bones in their office or with surgery.  Many times your doctor will be able to restore alignment simply by moving your toe.  Surgery for a fracture…

Bunionette: A Bunion for the Little Toe

A bunionette is very similar to a bunion, except that it is found on the pinky toe.  It is also known as a tailor’s bunion.  (This is because tailors once sat cross-legged all day with the outside edge of their feet rubbing on the ground causing a pressure area at the bottom of their little toe.)  With very few people working as tailors today, bunionette’s are more commonly caused by shoes that are too narrow. A bunionette is found where the small toe connects to the foot.  This joint is called the metatarsophalangeal joint and is where a metatarsal (a long bone in the foot) connects with a phalange (a small bone in the base of the toe).  A bunionette…

Tendon Injuries

Think of tendons as a connection between muscle and bone.  As tendons function, they convert muscle movement to a pulling action on bone.  Within the foot, there are many tendons.  The more commonly injured tendons have muscles bellies found in the calf.  These tendons, the Peroneals, Achilles, and Posterior Tibial tendon insert on to bones within the foot to help stabilize and move the foot.  These tendons can become injured as a result of overuse, improper footwear, misalignment, or trauma.  A tendon injury may occur suddenly or develop over time.  Many times tendon injuries are found in people who engage in sports that involve repetitive ankle motion.  Tendon injuries heal with rest and cannot be treated by exercising through the…

Shin Splints

Contrary to common knowledge, shin splints are not a specific diagnosis but a feeling of pain over the front of the shin.  The pain referred to as shin splints arise from problems in the muscle, bone, or attachment of muscle to bone.  To provide a specific location, the pain is felt where the tibialis anterior muscle inserts into the tibia bone (just below the knee to ½ way down the leg).  When people speak of shin splints, they most commonly refer to an overuse injury and irritation of the tibialis anterior tendon and the attachment to bone.  Medically, the condition is termed medial tibial stress syndrome.  Pain over the front of the shin can also be caused by stress fractures…

My Big Toe Woke Me Up!

Gout is a type of arthritis that occurs when uric acid settles in the joints.  It most often affects the big toe, knee, or ankle joints.  Most often gout symptoms appear in acute gouty attacks with pain that feels throbbing, crushing, or excruciating that starts during the night.  The joint typically feels warm, appears red and hurts to touch (even to lay a sheet or blanket over the joint).  After the first episode, people usually have no symptoms and can go months or years between attacks.  Gout attacks may lead to chronic gouty arthritis.   Gout is caused by higher than normal levels of uric acid in the body.  This can develop from the body making too much uric acid…

A Painful Ankle

One of the most common injuries of the foot is an ankle sprain.  Most of the time ankle sprains are thought of as a sports injury, they can be caused by daily activities such as walking off a curb, stepping on a rock, or missing a step.  The ankle joint is unique in the body as it is composed of three bones built to bear and stabilize about ½ of the body’s weight while still being fairly mobile.  To help understand the injury, some background anatomy is needed.   There are two bones in the lower leg and one in the foot that make up the ankle joint.  The two bones in the foot run together from the knee to…

What is a Bunion?

A bunion is an enlargement of the metatarsophalangeal joint (the joint at the base of the big toe).  It is created when bone or tissue of the joint moves.  Bending of this altered joint is the source of pain, which is made worse with the joint normally supporting much of the body’s weight while walking.    Other typical symptoms of a bunion are: a firm bump on the outside edge of the foot at the base of the big toe, redness, swelling, pain, corns or other skin irritation, and restricted or painful movement of the big toe.   Short-term pain relief is easy to do at home.  Examples of ways to ease the pain include over the counter bunion pad placed…

What is this bump on the top of my foot?

Many times, people notice a large lump on the top of their foot.  This lump can cause redness, irritation, and sometimes a dull pain or ache when wearing shoes.  You many notice this lump is fluid or jellylike and seems to grow and shrink from time to time.  You may be confused as to what caused this lump, as you cannot seem to remember bumping your foot, dropping anything on it, or causing your foot any harm.   This lump is typically known as a ganglion cyst and is a very common soft tissue growth.  It is a sac filled with a jellylike fluid that originates from tissue covering tendons or joints.  The exact cause of ganglion cysts is unknown…

Causes of Heel Pain

Every mile you walk places a tremendous amount of stress on your feet.  The good news is your feet can handle a heavy load, but too much stress may push them past their limit.  The shoes you wear or surfaces you train or walk on can increase the stress level.  Heel pain is commonly one of the first signs that too much stress is being placed on your feet.  A sore heel with usually get better on its own with adequate rest.  The problem is many people try to ignore the early signs of heel pain and continue the activities that caused it.   Heel pain can have many causes.  It is important to see the podiatrists at Coastal Podiatry…

When to be Concerned about Your Child’s Feet

Foot and ankle problems in children are hard to spot.  Signs and symptoms are small and sometimes children can’t explain when or what’s wrong.  Any parent would agree that it is important to protect their children and have problems checked out early.  If your child is experiencing any of these warning signs it is time for a trip to the podiatrist:   Your Child Often Trips and Falls Repeated falls can point to a number of conditions.  If the clumsiness continues, it might be caused by in-toeing, balance problems, or neuromuscular conditions.   Your Child Complains of Pain It is never normal for a person to experience pain.  If your child has foot pain or swelling for more than a…

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