- Achilles Tendonitis
- Ankle Instability
- Ankle Pain
- Ankle Sprains
- Athlete’s Foot
- Diabetic Foot Care
- Flat Feet
- Geriatric Foot Care
- Heel Spurs/Plantar Fasciitis
- Ingrown Toenails
- Pediatric Foot Conditions
- Peripheral Neuropathy
- Toenail Fungus
- Haglund’s Deformity
- Hallux Rigidus
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Tailor’s Bunion
- Morton’s Neuroma
- Posterior Tibial Dysfunction
- Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
- Toe Deformities
Achilles tendinitis is caused by overuse of the band of tissues that connects the lower region of your calf muscle to your heel bone, also known as your Achilles tendon. Those at a higher risk for Achilles tendinitis are runners engaging in intense training or middle-aged people who participate in sports on occasion.
Chronic ankle instability is usually caused by repeated ankle sprains and is described as the gradual giving way of the outside of the ankle. Some symptoms of ankle instability include constant inflammation or swelling, tenderness, and instability in the ankle. After a sprained ankle, the ligaments become stretched and torn. Proper rehabilitation is required to strengthen the muscles around the ankle and rehabilitate the tissues within the ankle that affect your balance. In addition, physical therapy, medications, and bracing can help treat chronic ankle instability. Failure to do so may result in repeated ankle sprains, or possibly surgery.
The foot and ankle are highly specialized structures that absorb the weight of the body and enable us to move. Experts estimate that the force and pressure on your feet when walking can be up to two times your body weight. This pressure can increase with more vigorous movements such as running and jumping. With so much pressure on your feet and ankles, they undergo a lot of wear and tear throughout your life and are highly susceptible to injury and trauma.
The foot and ankle are a complex system of bones, ligaments, muscles, and joints that provide the structure and stability we need to move freely. If any of these components become compromised or weakened due to injury, overuse, degenerative conditions, or sprains, it can significantly impact your foot’s ability to move and function properly.
A sprained ankle occurs when you twist your ankle in an abnormal way causing the ligaments holding your ankle bones together to stretch or tear. Most sprained ankles involve injuries to the ligaments on the outer side of the ankle. Treatment for a sprained ankle depends on the severity of the injury. Although you may just need proper rest and pain medications to heal, it is important to have the sprain looked at by a professional to determine the severity and proper treatment.
Athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) is a specific type of fungal infection that typically begins between the toes. A common cause of athlete’s foot is sweaty feet that are confined to tight shoes for a long period of time. Signs and symptoms of athlete’s foot include a scaly rash that usually causes itching, stinging and burning. Athlete’s foot is contagious and should be carefully monitored and treated. Athlete’s foot can easily be treated with antifungal medications, but the infection is likely to recur. Prescription medications also are available.
A bunion is a bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of your big toe. They can develop from an inherited structural defect, excess stress on your foot, or can result from an existing medical condition.
For the most part, bunions require no medical treatment. However, if you are experiencing one or more of the following, a podiatrist can help alleviate your symptoms.
Corns tend to be smaller than calluses and are the hard center is surrounded by irritated skin. While corns can be found on the bottom of the foot where pressure is usually applied, it is more common that you find corns on the tops and sides of your toes and even between your toes. When pressure is applied, corns can cause significant pain and discomfort.
Calluses, on the other hand, don’t usually cause pain. They usually develop on the soles of your feet, especially under the heels or balls, on your palms, or on your knees. Calluses vary in size and shape and are often larger than corns.
Diabetic Foot Care
Daily preventative care can help you decrease your risk of developing these other serious conditions like ulcers and infections. Inspecting your feet at the end of the day to look for any abnormalities, maintaining proper hygiene, keeping your feet warm in cold weather, encouraging blood flow in the feet, and maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle can discourage other conditions from developing.
Flat foot is a condition where the arches on the inside of your feet are flattened which causes the sole of the foot to touch the floor when standing upright. It is likely for flat feet to be caused by the arches not fully developing during childhood and is considered a very common and painless condition. On the other hand, flat feet can occur after an injury or from the normal aging process.
While it is common not to experience any pain or symptoms of flat feet, some people do tend to sense pain in the heel or arch area. Physical activity can irritate the area and inflame the foot along the inside of the ankle. This can be caused by the tendon that is supporting the arch being stretched as it is depreciating.
Geriatric Foot Care
As we age, foot problems are almost inevitable and completely normal. However, there are important steps to take to make sure you stay on your feet.
Health problems such as diabetes, arthritis, and circulatory issues may cause problems that present themselves in the feet. It is very important to monitor your foot health and seek medical attention whenever you notice a problem. Below are some daily tips and tricks to keep your feet healthy.
Often we associate arthritis with older patients who have lived an active lifestyle. Gout, on the other hand, can affect anyone. Gout is a common form of arthritis that is known for its sudden attacks of pain and joint tenderness. Joints that are affected by gout are often hot to the touch, swollen, and very tender. While symptoms are not chronic, it is essential to take preventative measures to manage gout as its side effects can be debilitating and intolerable.
- Stay hydrated. By drinking plenty of fluids and limiting sugary drinks, you can help prevent future gout attacks.
- Maintain a healthy weight as directed by your healthcare provider.
- Limit alcohol consumption. Some types of alcohol are more likely to increase the likelihood of a gout attack.
- Consider adding low-fat dairy products to your diet. These foods are proven to help protect against gout and are excellent sources of protein.
Hammertoe is a deformity where one or both joints of the second, third, fourth or fifth toes begin to bend outside of their normal alignment. Pressure can begin to weigh heavy on the toes as you wear shoes which is where pain and other symptoms develop.
Hammertoes typically begin with small symptoms and deformities and continue to worsen with time. In its beginning stages, hammertoes are often impressionable which means they can be controlled using minimal treatment. It is important to know the signs of hammertoes to get them evaluated early. If left untreated, hammertoes can become more firm and difficult to manipulate, requiring surgery.
Heel Spurs/Plantar Fasciitis
Heel spurs occur in at least 50% of people who have plantar fasciitis. Past treatments for heel spurs, a bony growth that begins on the front of your heel bone and points toward the arch of your foot, included surgery to remove the growth. Nowadays, surgery is rarely a treatment option and more plans for physical therapy, ice, and pain medications are used to treat heel spurs.
We have all made the painful mistake of trimming our nails too short at some point in our lives. Sometimes, this can really affect our foot health by causing ingrown toenails.
This happens when the nail grows downward into the skin instead of straight out, usually causing an infection. Ingrown toenails are most common on the sides of the big toe. It can also be caused by shoe pressure, injury, fungal infections, poor foot structure, etc.
Warm water soaks several times a day, properly fitted shoes and socks, and trimming nails in a straight line (rather than rounded) are ways to treat and prevent painful ingrown toenails. If there is an infection, antibiotics may be prescribed.
A neuroma can occur in many areas of the body when nerve tissue thickens. Morton’s neuroma is the most typical neuroma that occurs in the foot and it occurs between the third and fourth toes. Also known as an intermetatarsal neuroma, the name describes its location in the ball of the foot.
Compression and irritation typically cause the nerve tissue to thicken. This pressure creates inflammation of the nerve, ultimately causing untreatable damage to the nerves in the foot.
Pediatric Foot Conditions
Pediatric foot conditions often go unnoticed and are often misdiagnosed. Most doctors dismiss any pediatric foot issues as being a part of normal structural development that children will eventually outgrow. However, foot problems are often prevalent in children due to their high levels of physical activity. Children are resilient, meaning that any potential foot issues may be overlooked.
Initial treatment options for pediatric foot pain, deformities, or injuries include minimally invasive techniques, activity modification, custom orthotics, and anti-inflammatory medications. If these conservative treatment options aren’t helping your child, surgery may be required.
During your child’s appointment, we will conduct a thorough examination to pinpoint the problem, while educating both you and your child on future preventative measures. Our goal is for your child to grow up with happy, healthy, and perfectly functioning feet.
As a result of damaged peripheral nerves, peripheral neuropathy can occur causing symptoms like weakness, numbness, burning, and tingling in the hands and feet as well as other parts of the body. Traumatic injuries, diabetes, and even some exposure to toxins can cause peripheral nerve damage.
Once damage to nerves occurs, the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy are gradual and worsen with time. It is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle to aid in the prevention of damage to those specific nerves.request an appointment
Fungal infections in the toe or fingernails can appear as thickened, discolored, or disfigured. While it may seem like the condition is just an aesthetic concern, fungal infections can lead to worsened symptoms and pain. Diabetes, a weakened immune system, and the normal aging process are all causes associated with fungal infections. It is more likely for senior citizens and adults to develop a fungal infection as opposed to children.
Plantar warts are caused by the HPV virus and cause tiny cuts and breaks on the bottom of your feet.
While most plantar warts are not a major health concern, it is advised you see a doctor to have the warts examined and removed. Some symptoms include small, rough lesions on the base of the foot, calluses in one spot, and tenderness when walking or standing for long periods of time.
Brachymetatarsia is a condition in which the bones of one of your metatarsals, or toes, is significantly shorter than the others. This condition can affect both feet and any of the toes, but most commonly affects the fourth metatarsal or toe.
This condition occurs when the affected metatarsal bone fails to fully develop, or its growth plate is closed prematurely during the early stages of growth. This condition may also be congenital, meaning an inherited structural abnormality.
Common symptoms associated with brachymetatarsia include pain that can affect how a person walks or performs certain activities impacting the patient’s gait and posture. If the short toe rises above the others, it can cause friction when wearing shoes leading to blisters and calluses.
Treatment depends on the severity of the condition. In mild to moderate cases, conservative treatment may be sufficient. Treatment options include orthotic padding to prevent friction, shoe modifications with wide and high toe boxes to alleviate the pressure placed on the toe during activities.
Surgical treatment can also be performed if recommended or necessary. A bone graft can be performed to lengthen the toe through acute lengthening. During this procedure, the bone is lengthened by creating a space between the bone endings of the toe and filling the gap with a bone graft so the toe can be lengthened. Afterward, a cast is worn for several weeks, and the recovery can take a few months for the patient to heal fully.
Another surgical option is gradual lengthening in which an external fixator is used to gradually pull and stretch the bones and associated soft tissues over time until the desired length is achieved. It can take several months to complete followed by a few weeks of recovery in which the patient needs to avoid placing significant weight on your foot.
For more information on brachymetatarsia and how we can help or to schedule an appointment, contact our office at (818) 986-9898.
Haglund’s deformity is a common foot condition where a bony bump begins to form at the back of the heel bone where the Achilles tendon attaches to the heel.
The bony protrusion can cause severe pain while walking or wearing shoes as the bone rubs against the shoe.
This may cause the soft tissue at the heel to become irritated and may lead to another podiatry condition known as bursitis. Bursitis is a condition where the bursa, a fluid-filled sac between the Achilles tendon and bone, becomes inflamed and aggravated.
This condition often occurs when there’s frequent pressure on the back of the heels. It can be caused by wearing shoes that are too tight or rigid in the heel. This includes skates, men’s dress shoes, women’s dress shoes, and steel-toed work boots.
Heredity may also play a role in the development of Haglund’s deformity as inherited foot structures may increase your risk if you have a high arched foot, a tight Achilles tendon, or a tendency to walk on the outside of your heel.
What are the symptoms of Haglund’s deformity?
Haglund’s deformity can occur in one or both feet with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. These symptoms may include:
- A noticeable bump on the back of the heel
- Pain in the area where the Achilles tendon attaches to the heel
- Swelling in the back of the heel or bursa
- Redness near the inflamed tissue
Haglund’s deformity can be difficult to diagnose with symptoms alone because the symptoms can be similar to other associated foot issues such as Achilles tendonitis.
After discussing the patient’s symptoms, our podiatrist will examine your foot and heel. Additional tests and screenings such as an X-Ray or MRI may help to evaluate the structure of the heel bone.
Non-surgical treatments for Haglund’s deformity are aimed at reducing inflammation or pain and removing pressure off the heel bone. Though these options may remove the symptoms of Haglund’s deformity, they do not shrink or remove the bony protrusion. These treatments may include:
- Medication such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen that can help to reduce pain and inflammation
- Icing the heel for 20-40 minutes a day to reduce swelling and relieve pain
- Those who have a tight heel may benefit from exercises to stretch and alleviate tension from the Achilles tendon
- Heel lifts to help those with high arches decrease the amount of pressure put on the heel while wearing shoes
- Heel pads placed inside the shoe to cushion the heel area and reduce friction and irritation when walking
- Wearing backless or soft-backed shoes to minimize irritation and friction along the heel
- Physical therapy including ultrasound therapy and soft tissue massages to alleviate tension in the heel area
- Orthotic devices such as custom arch supports to help control the motion of the foot when walking or wearing shoes
- Immobilization by a cast or boot (in some cases) to remove pressure off the heel
If conservative treatments do not provide adequate relief or if the condition is too severe, surgical intervention may be necessary.
During this surgery, the doctor will remove the excess bone from the heel and smooth or file down the bone (if necessary) to remove pressure on the heel. Surgery can also repair a damaged tendon as a result of Haglund’s deformity.
After surgery, it may take several months for you to completely heal and a cast or boot may be prescribed to protect your foot during recovery. A walking aid such as a walker or crutches may also be prescribed to you to help you move during recovery without placing pressure on the heel.
Follow up appointments will be scheduled throughout your recovery to ensure that your heel is healing properly.
You can lower your risk for developing Haglund’s deformity by wearing shoes that fit properly and using aids such as pads and orthotic supports to prevent friction, tension, and irritation. Remember to stretch before and after exercising, paying careful attention to the Achilles tendon to prevent tightening.
If you are experiencing severe heel pain, please seek medical attention as this condition can worsen if left untreated. For more information on Haglund’s deformity or to schedule an appointment, please contact our office</a> today.
Hallux rigidus is the most common form of arthritis diagnosed within the foot and is a condition that affects the big toe. Hallux refers to the big toe, while rigidus implies that the toe is rigid and cannot move as it should.
Hallux rigidus is commonly caused by structural abnormalities of the foot that lead to osteoarthritis. It can be the result of excessive pronation of the ankles or flat feet. Hallux rigidus can also be the result of inheriting a foot abnormality that makes the patient prone to developing this condition. Patients who constantly place stress on the big toe may also increase their risk for developing hallux rigidus.
Common symptoms include pain in the joint, swelling, a bunion or callus, and stiffness in the toe. As the condition progresses, it may become difficult to bend or straighten the toe properly. This may be increased when walking, standing, or placing pressure on the big toe. Untreated, this pain can begin to extend up the leg, to the knees, and hip and affect the way you walk or distribute weight.
Treatment for this condition will vary depending on the severity. In mild to moderate cases, conservative approaches can include shoe modifications, orthotic padding and cushions, and anti-inflammatory medication to reduce pain and inflammation. Ice and heat therapy may also help to control symptoms.
In more severe cases, surgery can be performed to reduce pain. There are several types of surgery your doctor may recommend. A cheilectomy will remove bone spurs as well as a portion of the bone to allow your toe more room to bend and function properly. Arthrodesis may also be performed to fuse bones together if the damage is severe. Plates, pins, and screws can be used to fix the joint into a permanent position allowing the bones to fuse. This will prevent you from bending the toe but can be an effective way to reduce pain.
Recovery after surgery will depend on the type performed. For minor procedures, a hard sandal will be worn for several weeks while you avoid putting any weight on the foot. With bone fusion surgeries, a cast may need to be worn for 8 weeks and you will also have to limit the weight you place on your foot for several months until you heal properly.
For more information on hallux rigidus and how we can help or to schedule a consultation, contact our office today at (818) 986-9898.
Metatarsalgia is a condition that causes pain in the ball of the foot—the area between your arch and toes. The area under your toes can be a common source of pain because it supports your weight when standing, walking, or running. Metatarsalgia is described as painful swelling that occurs in the ball of the foot. The pain can feel like a tingling or numbness, or sharp shooting or burning pain. You may feel pain in a small area under your toes, or it can be felt across the whole width of the foot. Symptoms should be caught early since the condition worsens over time.
This condition can be irritated by standing for a long period of time, stretching your foot, or walking barefoot or with minimal support. Intense exercise like running or jumping can also worsen the symptoms. A few ways to manage the pain is to wear cushioned footwear that supports the arches of your feet and resting your feet regularly. If you participate in high-impact sports or run, consider taking breaks for a few days or weeks. Try low-impact activities like swimming or cycling until the symptoms are alleviated.request an appointment
Onychomycosis, also known as nail fungus, is an infection underneath the surface of the nail caused by tiny, microscopic organisms such as fungi or yeast.
Injury to the nail bed can also increase the risk of fungal infections. Chronic diseases such as diabetes, poor circulation, or immune deficiencies can also make a person more prone to developing fungal infections. Another common cause of fungal infections is a failure to keep your feet or fingers clean and dry. If you wear sweaty socks or the same pair of shoes often without letting them dry, you may be at a higher risk of developing a fungal infection.
Common symptoms of onychomycosis can include partial or full discoloration of the nail (white, brown, yellow, or green. You may notice debris buildup underneath the nail, the nail may begin to lift from the nail bed so that it is no longer firmly attached, or you may notice changes in the texture of your nail such as the surface of the nail can become soft, dry, and powdery. The nail may become thick, brittle, split, and give off a foul odor.
Treatment will vary depending on the nature and severity of the infection. Treatment for fungal infections on toenails and fingernails can be expensive and long-term, and most medications are required to be taken for several months. Topical creams can help to treat mild cases and manage symptoms. Oral antifungal medication is an option and is the more common method for treating fungal nail infections, which will continue to work even once the patient has completed their prescription.
In more severe cases or cases where chronic infections are developing, surgical treatment may be required. In this form of treatment, the removal of the whole infected nail or partial nail removal can allow for direct application of treatment.
In terms of prevention, proper hygiene and regular inspection of nails are the first lines of defense. Wash your feet and hands with soap and water. Remember to dry them thoroughly. Remember to wear shower shoes or footwear in public areas such as locker rooms, gyms, spas, pools, and showers. If you have sweaty feet, be sure to change your socks throughout the day if needed. Allow your shoes to dry for 24 hours before wearing them again. Use antifungal spray or powder on your feet and shoes.
For more information on onychomycosis and how we can help or to schedule an appointment, contact our office today at (818) 986-9898.
Osteoarthritis (also called “wear and tear” arthritis,) is the most common, typically brought on by the aging of joints. Cartilage breaks down over time, creating painful sensations and difficulty moving and articulating the joints.request an appointment
Rheumatoid arthritis is the most serious form and can be majorly crippling. In the foot, it is a chronic inflammatory problem affecting the feet and ankles.
Symptoms include stiffness of joints (especially in the morning), limitation of joint movement, pain, tenderness, redness, rashes, and/or swelling in the joints.
With early treatment, the symptoms of arthritis can be lessened and managed. Treatments include limiting movement, physical therapy, exercise, anti-inflammatory medications and/or steroid injections, and orthotics.request an appointment
Sesamoiditis is a form of tendonitis and causes pain to occur at the ball of your foot, near the big toe joint. This condition is caused by inflamed, injured, or irritated tendons attached to two small sesamoid bones near the big toe joint.
The most common symptom of sesamoiditis is pain around the great toe and ball of the foot, this can occur gradually if due to inflammation and overuse. If a fracture occurs, the pain will be immediate.
Other symptoms may include bruising, redness, and swelling. It may also be difficult to put weight on the toe, bend or straighten the toe, or walk comfortably.
Treatment will depend on the patient’s condition and symptoms, but fortunately, most cases can be treated with conservative approaches. Treatment focuses on alleviating pressure off the tendons to allow them to heal properly, this is accomplished through padding, strapping, rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain medication. In some cases, your doctor may recommend a form of orthotics to help prevent you from putting weight on your foot. In severe cases, surgery may be recommended to remove the sesamoid bone.
In mild cases, sesamoiditis heals within a few days after conservation treatment but recovery will vary depending on the severity of the condition and type of treatment.
For more information on sesamoiditis and our treatment options or to schedule an appointment, contact our office at (818) 986-9898.request an appointment
Tailor’s bunion, also known as a bunionette, is a bump that forms along the side of the 5th metatarsal bone, the bone at the bottom of your little toe. Though not as common as bunions, which occur on the inside of the foot along the big toe, tailor bunions are similar in causes and symptoms.
The most common cause of a tailor’s bunion is direct pressure to the metatarsal bone. This pressure can stem from improper footwear that is too narrow or tight or may be due to an abnormal shape or position of the metatarsal bone. Patients may also inherit a misalignment within the bone structure of their feet that makes them prone to developing a tailor’s bunion. Other causes may include loose ligaments within the foot, tight calf muscles, or feet that lean outward.
Tailor’s bunions progress gradually and generally start with a small bump over the side of the 5th metatarsal bone or near the base of your pinkie toe. If left untreated, this bump will increase in size over time due to inflammation and cause great pain.
Chronic rubbing of the bump against the inside of your shoe may cause the skin to become irritated and red, in some cases a bursa, or small fluid-filled sac may also form and develop into bursitis due to constant pressure and inflammation. The area of the skin may also harden and form a callus.
Treatment for a tailor’s bunion begins with non-surgical options such as using over-the-counter medication, orthotic pads, and cushions, as well as shoe modifications to avoid placing pressure on the bunion. If pain persists, injection therapy may be used to help manage more painful symptoms and reduce swelling. It is important to note that nonsurgical treatment options will not remove the bump but can significantly reduce and even eliminate the painful symptoms.
If your condition is severe and does not respond well to conservative treatment options, surgery may be considered. Surgical procedures designed to treat a tailor’s bunion include shaving the bump down or repositioning the fifth metatarsal bone into an ideal position and securing it with screws or plates.
The length of your recovery will vary depending on the procedure performed. Generally, patients can expect a few months of keeping weight off the foot and using a walker, crutch, or boot to help protect the foot as it heals. Physical therapy may also be needed to help strengthen your foot muscles.
For more information on tailor’s bunions or to schedule an appointment, contact our office today at (818) 986-9898.