Posts for category: Foot Conditions
When most people think about foot deformities they most often think about bunions; however, hammertoes are just as common. This unassuming deformity comes about gradually, so you may not even notice it until it’s too late. “What is a hammertoe?” You might be wondering. A hammertoe affects the middle joint of a toe (often the smaller toes), causing the toe to bend downward. In severe cases, a hammertoe will look almost claw-like.
There are two kinds of hammertoes: flexible and rigid. As you might imagine, a flexible hammertoe is one in which you can still straighten the toe out. If you aren’t able to straighten the affected toe then this is a rigid hammertoe. A flexible hammertoe isn’t as serious as a rigid one; however, it’s important that you take care of your hammertoe to make sure that it doesn’t get worse.
While there is no way to cure a hammertoe there are simple measures you can take to prevent it from progressing. First and foremost, you need to take a look at the shoes you are wearing and make sure that they aren’t too tight. When you slip your feet into your shoes, does it cause your toes to bunch up against one another? If so then this could make your hammertoe worse.
Instead, opt for shoes with an ample toe box, which will allow your toes to wiggle and move around freely. If you have a structural imbalance within the foot this can leave you prone to foot problems such as hammertoes and bunions. To correct this imbalance, talk to your foot doctor about getting custom orthotics (shoe inserts), which can be placed into your shoes to help provide cushioning, support, and shock absorption for your feet.
If pain or stiffness does rear its ugly head you can choose to take an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen, which can tackle both pain and inflammation in one fell swoop, or you can place a towel-wrapped ice pack (never put ice directly on the skin, as it can cause severe burns) over the area for several minutes.
Just as you can buy pads to cover a bunion or callus, you can also buy a non-medicated protective pad to cover over a hammertoe. Since the deformed toe joint juts out this can leave the toe prone to calluses, which can cause pain when wearing shoes. To prevent a callus from forming, you can apply a protective pad over the deformed toe joint before putting on shoes.
Of course, if you are dealing with significant or frequent pain, or if the hammertoe is rigid, then you will want to turn to a podiatric specialist. In severe cases, surgery may be recommended to correct the disfigured joint.
Is your ingrown nail a real nuisance or is it just too painful to handle anymore? Drs. Eric Silvers, Dustin Lloyd and Christopher Witt of Advanced Foot & Ankle Center in McKinney and Prosper, TX, can help you!
Ingrown toenails are when your toenails perforates skin in the corners, or sides of your feet. They may be hard, swollen, and tender in the beginning, eventually causing an infection if not taken care of immediately.
Your toes may also become:
- Skin may start growing over the ingrown toenail
There are several things that may lead to ingrown toenails, such as someone not trimming toenails properly, like too short, especially the big toes, wearing shoes that are too tight or short, resulting in crowded toes, repeated trauma or injury to your feet, or fungus infections. Ingrown nails may be simply heredity, or due to poor foot structure.
Treating ingrown toenails can be a simple fix. Try wearing shoes that give your toes more space to move. Your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic if there is an infection, but soaking the foot in warm and soapy water several times a day and keeping your feet clean may resolve the issue. If your ingrown toenail is causing an acute infection, the surgical removal of part of the ingrown toenail may be needed. The procedure is known as partial nail plate avulsion. Your doctor will inject your toenail with an anesthetic and cut out the ingrown section.
If you are dealing with an ingrown toenail, make sure to contact one of your foot doctors, Drs. Eric Silvers, Dustin Lloyd and Christopher Witt of Advanced Foot & Ankle Center in McKinney and Prosper, TX for help.
Turf toe is a sprain of the joint just below the big toe, also known as the first metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint. This foot injury is particularly common among athletes who play on artificial turf, hence the name “turf” toe. When athletes play sports on turf or other hard surfaces, the foot can stick to the ground, resulting in jamming of the big toe joint.
Typically the injury is sudden, but it can also occur after sustaining multiple injuries, such as pushing off repeatedly when running or jumping. Although it’s a condition most commonly associated with dancers, soccer players, wrestlers, gymnasts and football players, you don’t have to be an athlete to get it.
Symptoms of turf toe range from mild to severe, and may gradually worsen with continued movement. The most common symptoms of turf toe include:
Swelling and pain at the joint of the big toe
Pain and tenderness when bending the toe
Stiffness and limited movement of the big toe joint
If your symptoms are indicative of turf toe, then you may be able to relieve the pain and swelling with the following self-treatment, including:
Ice the injury
Apply a compression bandage
Rest and temporarily discontinue any physical activity
Wear a brace to protect the toe and to limit bending
For more severe cases of turf toe, visit our office for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. A podiatrist can easily diagnose turf toe through an evaluation that includes a range of motion and joint stability tests.
Professional treatment may include exercises to strengthen the toe, modified footwear or splinting. With proper treatment, you can eliminate pain resulting from turf toe and return to your favorite sport or activity!
The Achilles tendon is the largest and strongest tendon in the body, located in the back of the lower leg and connecting the heel bone to the calf muscle. This tendon is crucial as it facilitates walking and running by helping to raise the heel off of the ground. While the tendon can withstand immense force, it’s also surprisingly vulnerable. Injuries to the Achilles tendon require prompt treatment.
When the Achilles tendon becomes inflamed from excessive use, tendinitis can weaken it over time and cause small tears. Athletes are at a high risk for Achilles tendon injuries, which often occur at the start of a new exercise or training program, or due to not having enough rest or recovery time.
You don’t have to be an accomplished athlete to suffer an Achilles tendon injury. People with flat feet, arthritis and other foot problems are also more susceptible to develop Achilles tendinitis due to increased demands placed on the tendon when walking.
Common symptoms of Achilles tendinitis include:
- Mild pain after running or exercising that intensifies gradually
- Localized pain along the tendon, especially after running
- Tenderness near the heel bone, with pain being worse first thing in the morning
- Stiffness and limited range of motion in the lower leg and ankle
- Swelling around the tendon
- When the disorder progresses to degeneration, the tendon may become enlarged and develop nodules in the area where the tissue is damaged
To prevent injuries to the Achilles tendon, strengthening and stretching the calf muscles through daily exercise is recommended. Alternating intense exercise with low-impact workouts and wearing proper shoes for your foot type and activity can also help reduce your risk for injury.
Any time you experience pain, tenderness or swelling along the Achilles tendon, visit us for professional diagnosis and treatment. Treatment for an injured Achilles tendon should begin right away with rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Without prompt care, Achilles tendinitis will get progressively worse, thus increasing the risk for further deterioration and rupture. As a last resort, surgery may be recommended to repair the tendon.
Our office can provide the best diagnosis and treatment, for optimal recovery. If you suspect Achilles tendinitis is holding you back, call us today to schedule an appointment, and get on the road to walking with ease again.
Find out how to manage your bunion symptoms and when to consider surgery.
Regardless of whether you want to sport those lovely pair of sandals or your new high heels, you may realize that you’ll want to do something about that bump that’s sticking out at the base of your big toe. This is known as a bunion or, as our McKinney and Prosper, TX, podiatrists call it, a hallux valgus.
This deformity occurs when the joints and bones of the big toe are misaligned and stay that way so long that all the pressure and force causes the protrusion to get larger and the big toe to lean inwards on the other toes. So, what can you do to treat pain, discomfort or other symptoms of having a bunion?
In the beginning, our McKinney and Prosper foot doctors will offer up conservative but effective approaches for treating your symptoms. Some people don’t experience symptoms at all but if you have pain or pressure near the joint here are some ways to tackle this issues:
- Take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication to help reduce swelling and pain. We know this is only a temporary solution but one that can help here and there along with other treatments.
- Wear a moleskin pad to cover over the bunion. This will help take pressure of the bony protrusion and prevent friction and pressure when walking in shoes.
- Talk to us about whether getting custom orthotics could redistribute the weight more evenly on your feet and take pressure off your bunion.
- Only wear shoes that give your toes enough room to wiggle and move around.
- Consider wearing a foot splint at night while you are asleep. This splint can help reposition your toe so it’s in the proper alignment, which will reduce pain.
When is it time to get surgery?
If your bunion is causing severe or chronic pain, or it makes it difficult to walk or move around comfortably then we may recommend surgery. This is usually the case for those who’ve had pain for at least a year and haven’t experienced relief from the above treatment methods.
If you aren’t sure whether you have a bunion it’s a good idea to have the foot specialists at Advanced Foot & Ankle Center in McKinney and Prosper, TX, take a look and make sure before you start treating your symptoms. Call us today to schedule an appointment.