Posts for category: Foot Condition
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.
Dealing with a bunion? A bunion is a misalignment of the big toe joint which causes the big toe to deviate. Bunions sometimes run in families. Bunions can also be caused by wearing shoes that are too narrow or high heeled. Clintonville Foot & Ankle Group, which has offices in Clintonville, Dublin, and Southwest Columbus, OH, offers a complete range of podiatric services to the patients they serve. Here's how a podiatrist can help with bunions.
Medicine. Painkillers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol may ease any pain. If over-the-counter painkillers aren't working to ease your pain, your podiatrist may recommend a prescription medication. Antibiotics may also be needed if the skin and tissues over the deformity become infected.
Padding. Your podiatrist in Columbus, OH, may recommend bunion pads to treat your bunion. Bunion pads are typically made of skin, mole, felt, or gel and are thin enough to fit comfortably in your shoes. Pads placed over the areas of the bunion will ease painful shoe pressure and friction and allow you to continue an active life. Padding will also prevent bunions from getting worse.
Orthotics. Your podiatrist may recommend custom-made orthotics to help position your feet correctly as they strike the ground. Orthotics are shoe inserts or footbeds that are inserted into shoes. Research has shown that orthotics can improve joint function, ease bunion pain, and prevent progression of bunions. Podiatrists offer different custom-made orthotics to fit your needs.
Steroid Injections. Steroid injections, or cortisone injections, can relieve your pain temporarily by reducing inflammation. The steroid injections include a corticosteroid medication and local anesthetic. Steroid injections allow podiatrists to deliver a high dose of medication to the problem area.
Bunion Surgery. Generally, if your bunions aren't painful, you don't need surgery. If conservative measures fail and you still have pain that interferes with your daily activities, you may need bunion surgery. numerous surgical procedures for bunions are performed to treat bunions. The aim of surgery is to correct the deformity and eliminate discomfort.
Say hello to healthy and happy feet! For fast relief from bunion pain, call Clintonville/Dublin Foot & Ankle Group's offices to schedule an appointment- Clintonville, OH at (614) 267-8387; (614) 761-1466 in Dublin, OH; (614) 272-2313 for Southwest Columbus, OH. Our bunion treatments will do and your feet a world of good!
A hammertoe is a contracture, or shortening and rigidity, of the connective tissues in the smaller toes of either foot. The Institute for Preventive Foot Health states that about 7 million American adults have this condition and need treatment. At Clintonville/Dublin Foot & Ankle Group in Columbus, your podiatrists--Drs. Griffith, Thomas and Barron--see this progressive deformity all the time. They can help you have pain-free, functional feet again.
Causes and symptoms of hammertoes
Toes two through five can take on a claw- or mallet-like appearance--hence, the name hammertoes. Medically termed hallux abductovalgus, this painful problem crops up in women more than men, probably because of shoes with high heels and cramped toe boxes. Other causes are heredity, diabetic neuropathy, trauma and the simple wear and tear of the aging process.
As the problem progresses, the affected toe or toes stiffen, lose range of motion and can be very painful to walk on. Corn and callus formation adds to the discomfort as the toes rub against the inside of shoes.
Help for hammertoes
If your Columbus podiatrist examines and X-rays your feet early on in hammertoe development, he can more easily and successfully treat the condition without interventions such as cortisone injections or surgery (tendon release in the toe). Your foot doctor will develop a treatment plan to balance your muscles, bones, and connective tissues in the foot, allowing for more functional, free and comfortable movement of the toes.
Therefore, he likely will advise these interventions according to your specific needs:
- In-office removal of large and painful corns and calluses
- Corn and callus padding to reduce irritation
- Well-constructed foot wear with lower heels, sufficient room in the toes and proper arch support
- Custom-made shoe inserts (orthotics) to correct gait problems
- Splints to re-align the toe
- Over the counter pain medications
Many people who have a hammertoe also have a bunion, a bulging of the big toe joint and inward turning of the toe. Many of the same common sense measures which help hammertoes relieve the progression and discomfort of bunions, too.
Get some relief
At Clintonville/Dublin Foot & Ankle Group, your podiatrists and their professional team get people of all ages back on their feet and moving comfortably once again. If you are seeing and feeling changes in your foot structure, level of comfort and ability to move freely, call one of our three offices for a consultation. Hammertoes are just one of the many conditions we treat.
For Columbus, OH, phone (614) 267-8387. In Dublin, OH, call (614) 761-1466, and for the Southwest location, phone (614) 272-2313.
Are you dealing with pain, burning, tingling or numbness between your toes or in the ball of the foot? If you said “yes” then you could be dealing with a neuroma, a pinched nerve or benign tumor of the nerve that is often found between the third and fourth toes.
The classic symptom of a neuroma is pain, particularly when walking—a factor that leads many people to liken the condition to feeling like a pebble is in their shoe. You may find that the pain eases up whenever you aren’t walking or when you rub the pained area with your hands. While neuromas can happen to anyone, they are most commonly found in women.
While the causes of a neuroma are still not clear, there are factors that can increase the likelihood of developing one, such as:
- Extremely high arches
- Flat feet
- Trauma that leads to nerve damage in the feet
- Improper footwear (high heels over two-inches tall; pointed toes)
- Repeated stress placed on the foot
Treating a Neuroma
A neuroma will not go away on its own, so it’s important to see a podiatrist if you are experiencing any of the condition's symptoms. The type of treatment or treatments recommended to you will depend on the severity of the neuroma.
Those with minor neuromas may be able to lessen symptoms by wearing shoes that provide ample room for the toes and offer thick soles that provide more support and cushioning for the toes and balls of the feet. Sometimes a podiatrist may recommend custom orthotics to place inside the shoes, as well.
Your podiatrist may also recommend padding or taping the ball of the foot to improve faulty biomechanics and reduce discomfort. While medication will not eliminate the problem, it can temporarily alleviate symptoms. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories can often briefly reduce pain and swelling, but for those dealing with more severe pain, steroid injections may be necessary to ease symptoms.
Surgery for a Neuroma
Surgery only becomes necessary when conservative treatment options have failed to provide relief, or when the neuroma has progressed enough that conservative care won’t be enough. During surgery, the inflamed nerve is removed through a simple outpatient procedure. Afterward, there is a short recovery period of a couple of weeks before patients are able to move about pain-free once again!
Give us a Call!
If you are dealing with new or worsening foot pain it’s important that you turn to a podiatrist that can help give you the answers you need. Schedule an appointment today.
Swelling, reddened flesh, shooting pain, and pus are just some of the incredibly uncomfortable symptoms of having an ingrown toenail. Although this condition can sometimes be successfully treated through home remedies, ingrown toenails often progress to the point of infection, a point that then requires professional treatment. Read on to learn what causes this problem, when it’s right to seek medical help, and how our podiatrists can help get your foot back to a healthy state!
The Causes and Symptoms
Before we cover how to treat ingrown toenails, let’s first review the core causes and symptoms that hallmark this condition…
Ingrown toenails initially develop due to a few different factors, including:
- Cutting the toenail too short
- Rounding the toenail during grooming
- Wearing improperly fitting shoes
- Experiencing toe trauma
If the flesh on the side of the toe has become red, swollen, and tender, you likely have an ingrown toenail. If you have caught this problem while it’s still in its early stages, you can try implementing some of the home remedies listed in the next section. However, if your toe is exhibiting some of the following signs of infection, you should seek professional podiatric help:
- Pervasive shooting or throbbing toe pain
- Regular bleeding
- The presence of a pus-filled blister
- The skin has started growing over the nail
As mentioned above, if an ingrown toenail is caught before infection sets in, there are a few different methods that you can practice at home in order to clear up the issue. Some of these include:
- Around 3 to 4 times a day, submerge your foot into warm water for 15 to 20 minutes. Regularly doing this should reduce swelling and provide pain relief.
- Following each soaking, use cotton to separate the ingrown toenail from the flesh that it is starting to grow under. This should allow the nail to grow above the skin again.
- Avoid snug or constraining shoes.
If these actions fail to clear up the problem in 2 to 3 days, you should pursue professional treatment.
In the case of a severe or recurring infection, there are a few different procedures that your podiatrist can perform to make your toe healthy again. Depending on the specifics of your ingrown toenail, one of the following treatments may be recommended:
- Partial Nail Removal: In the case of a severe ingrown toenail, your doctor can numb your toe before physically removing the ingrown portion of the nail.
- Nail and Tissue Removal: If the same toe is repeatedly experiencing the same ingrown toenail problem, this procedure can be performed to prevent future recurrences. It entails your podiatrist removing a portion of the underlying nail bed, thus preventing the nail from become ingrown again.
Concerned About Your Toe? Give Us a Call!
If your ingrown toenail needs medical attention, call our podiatric office today!