My Blog
By Fullerton Foot and Ankle
July 05, 2018
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Hammertoes  

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.

By Fullerton Foot and Ankle
June 20, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Heel Pain  

Are you dealing with heel pain? If so, you aren’t alone. Foot pain, particularly heel pain, is one of the most common complaints and most people will deal with pain at some point during their lifetime. Whether you are on your feet all day for work or you are a runner, there are many risk factors that can play into your likelihood to deal with heel pain. If heel pain is happening to you, you may be wondering what’s causing it and how you can get rid of the pain quickly.

Causes of Heel Pain

As you might imagine, there are many reasons why you might be experiencing heel pain. The root cause will also determine the best course of action for getting your symptoms under control while providing the optimal healing environment for a speedy recovery.

The most common cause of heel pain is an acute inflammatory condition known as plantar fasciitis, in which the thick band of tissue that runs along the soles of the feet from the toes to the heel (known as the plantar fascia) becomes inflamed. Of course, there are other reasons people experience heel pain. Other causes include:

  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Achilles tendon rupture
  • Stress fracture
  • Arthritis
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Heel spur
  • Bursitis
  • Osteomyelitis (an infection of the bone)
  • Page’s disease of bone
  • Peripheral neuropathy

Heel Pain Treatment Options

For more mild-to-moderate cases of heel pain, your podiatrist may recommend simple conservative treatment options that you can incorporate into your daily routine from the comfort of home. This is usually the first course of action, unless the condition is more serious. Only once we’ve exhausted at-home care and pain is still present do we decide on more aggressive tactics for handling your symptoms.

Common at-home heel pain treatment options include:

  • OTC pain relievers (e.g. ibuprofen)
  • Icing the heel several times a day
  • Bracing or splinting the foot
  • Wearing custom orthotics (shoe inserts)
  • Wearing protective and supportive shoes
  • Resting and avoiding certain activities or high-impact exercises

If you’ve tried these treatment options for weeks and still don’t notice any change in your symptoms—or if symptoms get worse—then it’s time to visit your foot doctor again to determine the next step. If pain and swelling are severe we may recommend steroid injections, extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) or ultrasound therapy. In rare cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the imbalance, deformity, or problem that’s causing your chronic or severe heel pain.

Don’t let heel pain affect your day-to-day life when there are simple and easy solutions to manage your symptoms and promote faster healing. Turn to a podiatrist who will be able to handle your heel pain and get your foot health back on track.

By Fullerton Foot and Ankle
June 04, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Foot Care   Child Podiatry   Footwear  

While it might not be something you think about often (or at all), the health of your child’s feet is important. Your child is growing by leaps and bounds and certain habits and other factors can affect how your child’s feet develop or if they experience injuries or other problems down the road. Unfortunately, a lot of children end up wearing shoes that are far too small for their feet, which can lead to pain, structural imbalances and certain foot deformities.

We know that going shoe shopping is certainly not a walk in the park for most parents; however, it’s an important component to making sure your child maintains healthy feet. There are many things to think about when it comes to picking the right shoes, and your podiatrist can also provide suggestions and tips to make the world of shoe shopping easier for you and your little one.

Some factors that you should consider when shopping for the right shoes include:

  • Your child’s age
  • The shoe’s material
  • Your child’s shoe size
  • The shoe’s structure

A good rule of thumb is to shop for shoes every 2 months when your child is between the ages of 1 and 2 years old. Once they reach three and four, you’ll want to purchase new shoes approximately every four months. At the point that your child is five or six years old, every six months is a good time to swap out old shoes for new ones.

As you might already know, the bones of a baby or infant’s feet are soft and haven’t fully developed. To protect your child’s feet it’s important that they wear socks and soft shoes. Make sure that as your child’s feet grow that the toes have room to wiggle and move around within the shoes. Bunched-up toes are a major no-no!

Since your little one is growing by leaps and bounds it is important that you are constantly checking their shoe size for changes. Remember that feet swell throughout the day, so shoe shopping should be done at the end of the day when feet are at their largest. If you aren’t sure what size shoe your little one wears, you can ask one of the store’s footwear specialists for help.

Of course, you can’t forget the importance of choosing the right socks, as well. Socks can prevent your little one from blisters, calluses and other foot problems. They can also wick away sweat and prevent fungal infections. When it comes to choosing the right socks for your little one consider the type of fabric, your child’s activity level, the size of your child’s feet and sensitivities they might have to certain fabrics.

When in doubt, you should talk to a foot doctor who can provide you with advice, answer any questions you might have about your child’s developing feet and also provide comprehensive care, when needed.

By Fullerton Foot and Ankle
May 14, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Foot Health   Aging Feet  

As you age, it becomes even more important to take care of yourself, especially your feet. Foot health tends to decline in seniors for many reasons, including:

∙       Years of walking

∙       Improper footwear

∙       Poor circulation

∙       Diseases related to foot problems such as diabetes and gout

∙       Improperly trimming toenails

When problems are ignored, they may worsen and lead to more dangerous issues. There are easy ways to take care of aging feet and nonsurgical treatments to relieve pain.

When to talk to your doctor

It’s important to know when symptoms are just common aches and pains and when they might be something more serious. Even if your pain isn’t related to something serious, you still need to take care of your feet since they are the foundation of the body. Aging foot pains may cause pain in the knees, hips, or back.

Some symptoms to look out for are:

∙       Brittle or discolored toenails

∙       Discoloration or cold/numb feet

∙       Severe pain in feet and ankles

∙       Blisters or cracked skin

∙       Sores and wounds

Tips for maintaining healthy feet

Taking care of feet is simple and will pay off in the long run. Some easy tips for foot health are:

∙       Inspect your feet and nails regularly

∙       Use soap to wash your feet and always thoroughly dry them

∙       Use lotion to prevent dry, itchy, and cracked skin

∙       Wear properly fitted shoes and clean socks

∙       Trim your toenails regularly

∙       Don’t cross your legs

∙       Elevate your feet when seated

Taking care of aging feet is simple, and your dedicated foot doctors are here to help. Foot care is something you shouldn’t avoid, and individuals that aren’t able to take care of their feet are encouraged to see their podiatrist for foot care appointments. If you have any questions about taking care of your aging feet, call our office today to make an appointment!

By Fullerton Foot and Ankle
May 01, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Bunions  

BunionsWhat is a Bunion?

Are you dealing with a bunion? A bunion is a protrusion of the bone at the base of the big toe. While a bunion may seem like a bump, according to the (APMA) American Podiatric Medical Association a bunion is actually the enlargement of the joint at the base of the big toe – the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint. While bunions are a common foot disorder, it is not something that you should ignore as bunions can cause discomfort and become inflamed if left untreated.
 

What Causes Bunions?

Bunions can be hereditary and aggravated by the shoes you wear, especially high heels or shoes that don’t have enough room for your toes. Certain factors can also contribute to the development of bunions, such as if you have flat feet or low arches or if your feet pronate (when the ankles roll in towards each other during movement and cause excessive and prolonged pressure on the joints in the feet). If you are dealing with bunions, or think that you are, it’s important to seek help from a qualified podiatrist to get the care you need to relieve your pain and discomfort.
 

How a Podiatrist Can Help

Your podiatrist may recommend certain conservative at home steps you can take to minimize the discomfort. The first thing they may recommend is that you look at or change the kind of shoes you wear. It’s important to find shoes that are wide enough to accommodate your toes. Shoes such as high heels are likely to make the problem worse. Bunion pads can also help with your discomfort.
Severe bunion pain can restrict your mobility. Untreated bunions can continue to get worse if you don’t do something about them and can lead to other issues such as calluses and corns, or you may experience pain or redness on the site of the bunion, as well as swelling.
Other treatment options include orthotics or a combination of physical therapy and medication to relieve pressure and inflammation of the bunion. In severe cases, surgery may be needed to resolve the issue.
 

Prevention is Key

We all like to remain active, and oftentimes it is the result of this activity that can make your bunion pain worse. You should visit your podiatrist if you notice any issues so they can be caught and treated as early as possible. Call our office today.




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