A hammertoe is a common foot deformity that affects the middle joint of the smaller toes. As a result, this causes the toes to bend downward. Since this bend causes the joint to stick out this can put more pressure on the affected joints when wearing shoes, which can also make the deformity worse over time. As with most foot deformities a hammertoe will start out minor and continue to progress over time if left untreated.
During the earlier stages you may not notice much pain and discomfort. In fact the only way you may be able to tell that you have a hammertoe is by examining the foot and noticing that the small toes bend downward like a claw. Of course, at this stage the deformed joint is still flexible enough to be straightened out.
However, if the deformity progresses this can cause the joint to become rigid, which won’t respond effectively to simple conservative treatments. As you might imagine, the sooner you see a podiatrist to treat your hammertoe the better. Early intervention is key, as a hammertoe will not get better without the proper care.
Hammertoes are often the result of an imbalance in the muscle or tendon of the foot. Over time, this leads to structural changes in the foot. Genetics may also play a role in whether your feet are at risk for this deformity. A hammertoe can also be made worse by wearing shoes that are too tight and put too much pressure on the toes.
Along with the structural changes that occur with hammertoes it’s also common to experience redness, inflammation or the development of a corn or callus on the toe. If you are noticing symptoms of a hammertoe see your podiatrist for an evaluation. A simple physical exam is usually all that’s needed to diagnose a hammertoe; however, sometimes an x-ray will be performed in order to determine the extent of the deformity.
If you are dealing with a flexible hammertoe, more often than not simple nonsurgical treatment options are all that’s needed. Following simple treatment options and care can prevent the hammertoes from becoming rigid or painful. Some nonsurgical treatment options include:
- Wearing the appropriate footwear. This means wearing shoes that aren’t pointy or have high heels, which can put more pressure on the toes.
- Placing custom orthotics into your shoes, which can ease discomfort and prevent pain resulting in a muscular imbalance.
- Taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen, which can reduce both pain and inflammation.
- Splinting the toe or toes to keep them straight, which can also reduce stiffness, inflammation and pain.
- Applying protective non-medicated padding over the top of the toe to prevent a corn or callus from developing.
If your hammertoe is painful or rigid then you may need to discuss whether surgery is the best option for alleviating your symptom and correcting the deformity. If you are dealing with a hammertoe turn to a foot specialist for help.
While there are many people with flat feet, often times they won’t even know it; however, there are others with flat feet that regularly experience pain, soreness, and other problems. While flat feet is rarely considered a serious issue, if you are dealing with problems as a result of your flat feet it’s important that you turn to a podiatrist who can offer up ways to prevent problems.
How to tell if you have flat feet
If the arches of your feet touch the floor when you stand then you have flat feet. The arches of our feet don’t actually develop until around the age of six; however, sometimes flat feet develop due to injury or repeated stress on the feet.
Symptoms of flat feet
The most common symptom of flat feet is foot pain that originates in the heels and arches. You may find that the pain gets worse when standing or moving for long periods of time. Those who are physically active may experience pain more regularly. Sometime swelling on the inside of the foot or ankle may also occur.
Potential complications of flat feet
Since flat feet can be responsible for misalignments, this can lead to ankle and knee problems. If you are noticing foot, ankle, knee, hip, or lower back pain then you will want to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist to find out what’s going on.
Treating flat feet
If you aren’t experiencing pain or other issues then you won’t require any treatment for your flat feet. While we can’t fix flat feet our podiatrist can provide you with simple solutions to reduce pain and discomfort associated with faulty biomechanics within the feet. Common ways to prevent flat foot-related pain include:
- Using arch supports in your shoes, which can take pressure off the arches and provide cushioning and support when standing or moving.
- Performing certain stretching exercises prescribed by a podiatrist. There are specific exercises designed to stretch the Achilles tendon to alleviate and prevent foot pain.
- Wearing the appropriate footwear that provides further arch support. Shoes that are old and worn, as well as certain styles such as sandals or flip-flops won’t provide your feet with the proper support they need.
- Undergoing physical therapy if you are dealing with foot pain due to overuse injuries, which is common among athletes. Physical therapy can help strengthen certain ligaments, tendons and muscles of the feet and ankles to prevent excessive wear and tear, as well as pain and soreness in the arches and heels.
If you are dealing with pain due to flat feet and can’t seem to get your discomfort under control then you will want to talk with a podiatrist who can recommend certain exercises, proper footwear, and custom orthotics to improve the health of your feet. Talk to a podiatrist today.
Diabetic feet need special care because of decreased circulation, neuropathy, joint deterioration, and more. While your primary care physician may guide you on blood sugar control, medications, a healthy diet, and active lifestyle, your podiatrist assesses and treats how your feet and ankles function everyday and for the long term. Enlist their help in the health maintenance of your diabetic feet.
Keeping ahead of neuropathy and avoiding amputation
Those are two key goals of diabetic foot care. Your podiatrist will want to see you regularly to assess the color, temperature, sensation, function, and shape of your feet and ankles, noting any developing problems. Early detection of circulation issues, nerve degeneration (neuropathy), and deformities, such as hammertoes, bunions, and Charcot Foot, are key.
Your podiatric foot examination will include an eye-on inspection of your skin (color, temperature, texture, and integrity). Your foot doctor also may perform gait analysis to watch for changes in how you walk. Sometimes a podiatrist orders X-ray imaging or an MRI to view the internal structure of the foot and/or ankle.
Remember, that foot ulcers are the primary threat to the overall health and well-being of the diabetic, says the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). Untreated, they may lead to complications so severe amputation is the only option.
What can you do to treat your diabetic feet?
- Be proactive. Inspect your feet daily, looking redness or skin breakdown.
- Wash and dry your feet daily.
- Trim your toenails carefully using a clean clippers. Trim straight across and not too short to avoid ingrown toenails.
- Wear shoes at all times--even indoors--to avoid injury.
- Wear clean, well-fitting, moisture-wicking socks.
- Keep your weight and blood sugars within normal range.
- Get in-office treatment of calluses and corns, says the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.
- Avoid all forms of tobacco.
- Report any changes to your foot doctor as soon as possible.
- See your podiatrist every six months or as he or she directs.
Healthy feet and a healthy you
Podiatric health is so important, but especially to the diabetic. So stay in touch with your foot doctor, and be routinized in your foot care for better long-term health.
What Are Neuromas?
You might be walking along and feel pain near the ball of your foot, like there’s a rock inside your shoe. If the ache stays with you, a condition called neuroma might be the cause. A neuroma is a growth of nerve tissue frequently found between the third and fourth toes. Led by Dr. Silvers, Dr. Witt, and Dr. Lloyd, Advanced Foot and Ankle Center (offices in Prosper and McKinney, TX) offers treatments for neuromas. Here's all you need to know about neuromas.
Causes of Neuromas: Neuromas can have numerous causes. Some common causes of neuromas include: genetics, ill-fitting shoes, rheumatoid arthritis or gout, repetitive trauma, and pregnancy. Neuromas can also be caused by biomechanical problems, such as a bunion or foot pronation.
Symptoms of Neuromas: Normally, there are no outward signs, such as a lump, because a neuroma is not really a tumor. A neuroma is a painful condition. There may be a sharp, burning pain or numbness in your toes or ball of your foot.
Diagnosis of Neuromas: At your appointment, your podiatrist in McKinney will perform a physical examination. Your podiatrist will order x-rays or other imaging tests to confirm a diagnosis. X-rays may be required to rule out a fracture or arthritis of the joints that join the toes to the foot. X-rays alone will not show whether or not a neuroma is present, so an ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging test may be done to confirm a diagnosis.
Treatment of Neuromas: People with neuromas may need to take painkillers, change their footwear, or get steroid injections. Prescription orthotics can help reduce pressure on the nerve and relieve your pain. In some cases, surgery may be required to remove the affected nerve or release the pressure on it. Surgery is an effective treatment for neuromas.
Save yourself from pain! Don't delay- call Advanced Foot and Ankle Center at (972) 542-2155 right now to schedule a consultation with one of our podiatrists in Prosper or McKinney, TX. Get your life back on track by receiving the best neuroma treatment available. We will help you cure your pain fast!
A lot of people come into our office due to a painful condition. One of the most common causes for pain in the lower extremity is due to inflammation along a major tendon in the lower leg called the Posterior Tibial Tendon. This tendon courses from just below the knee, down the inside of your leg, behind your ankle and inserts into the inside/bottom of your arch. Its main function is to maintain your arch during gait. This tendon will most likely be inflamed because of your biomechanics. If you have a flat foot, your arch collapses more than usual which will cause an abnormal strain or pull of the tendon. Eventually, the tendon will become inflamed which causes swelling and pain at the site. As this tendon becomes weaker, your arch will become flatter which causes more pulling of the tendon. Because of this, the issue usually doesn’t go away on its own.
To diagnose you with this condition, one of our providers will obtain a thorough history and physical. We will usually obtain X-rays to evaluate your foot structure and sometimes an MRI is needed to assess the integrity of the tendon and check for tears. This condition usually responds well to conservative treatment options but sometimes the problem is advanced, and the tendon needs surgery to heal. These decisions are based on our exam findings, test outcomes, treatment goals and patient’s activity level.
At Advanced Foot and Ankle Center, our providers treat this condition nearly every day and have the experience needed to get your back on your feet as quick as possible.
If you have questions about this or any other foot/ankle condition, please call us at 972-542-2155.
Have a great day,
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