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Monday, 29 October 2018 00:00

Is Hammertoe Uncomfortable?

If you have ever worn narrow, pointed-toe shoes, you may be a candidate to develop hammertoe. The characteristics are a noticeable deformity that affects the middle toes, and may cause severe pain and discomfort. The toes may be bent at the middle joint and face downward, giving the appearance of a hammer. The surrounding muscles may become unbalanced, and this may cause difficulty in straightening the toes. This condition may become worse if prompt treatment is not administered, which may consist of performing simple exercises that may strengthen the foot and toes. Research has shown the most common cause of hammertoe is related to incorrect shoes that are worn. Additionally, there may be other reasons why this ailment may develop, including having an elongated second toe, incurring an injury to the toes, or genetic traits may play a significant role. If you are afflicted with hammertoe, it’s strongly suggested that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist for a complete diagnosis and to gather information about proper treatment options.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of Westfield Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Westfield and Newark, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Hammertoe
Monday, 22 October 2018 00:00

Lifestyle Changes and Gout

The medical condition referred to as gout is the result of elevated uric acid levels in the blood. The symptoms of this uncomfortable ailment may include severe pain surrounding the big toe, swelling, and redness. Research has shown there may be triggers that may cause gout including ingesting certain medications, a sudden illness, or an injury to the joint in the toe. Additionally, many gout patients may benefit from a healthy lifestyle change, such as eliminating specific foods and drinks from their daily intake. People who consume an excess of alcohol, or eat an abundance of red meat and shellfish may be more likely to develop gout and this may be a cause of inflated uric acid levels. A podiatrist can perform a proper diagnosis, which may include having an X-ray or CAT scan taken. This will enable the soft tissue and bone to be examined. Once this condition is confirmed, the correct treatment can begin.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Westfield Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.

People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.

Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Westfield and Newark, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Gout

There are several ways seniors can practice proper foot care. These may include wearing shoes that fit correctly and are comfortable to wear during daily activities. It’s important the toes have adequate room to move around inside, and this may possibly avoid a pre-existing case of bunions from becoming worse. It may also prevent corns from developing. Additionally, performing a gentle exercise program frequently, may aid in keeping the blood flowing. These may include walking and stretching, which may help to maintain proper circulation. Washing the feet and drying thoroughly between the toes may be beneficial in preventing athlete’s foot from developing. When a moisturizing lotion is used, a painful condition referred to as cracked heels may be avoided. When the toenails are trimmed properly, occurrences of ingrown toenails may decrease. If you are a senior, it’s suggested to consult with a podiatrist on a frequent basis to discuss any foot conditions that may be present.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from Westfield Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

The Elderly and their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet, and can hide many life threating medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Westfield and Newark, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Elderly Foot Care

Many people who are involved in sporting activities have experienced the pain and discomfort of foot and ankle injuries. It may typically result in significant downtime from running or jumping to allow for proper healing to begin. There are several ways to possibly prevent foot and ankle injuries from occurring, including warming up the muscles before starting to run, properly stretching the muscles in the foot and ankle, in addition to gradually increasing the time spent on the chosen activity. It’s important to wear proper shoes for walking and running, and this may aid in preventing any trauma inflicted on the foot and ankle. Ankle sprains are a very common injury to endure, as well as an Achilles tendon rupture or tear. This type of injury may affect the plantar fascia, which is tissue that is located on the bottom of the foot that connects the heel to the toes. If you are experiencing any pain in the foot or ankle, it’s suggested to speak with a podiatrist as soon as possible.

Foot and ankle trauma is common among athletes and the elderly. If you have concerns that you may have experienced trauma to the foot and ankle, consult with one of our podiatrists from Westfield Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Foot and ankle trauma covers a range of injuries all over the foot; common injuries include:

  • Broken bones
  • Muscle strains
  • Injuries to the tendons and ligaments
  • Stress fractures

Symptoms

Symptoms of foot and ankle injuries vary depending on the injury, but more common ones include:

  • Bruising
  • Inflammation/ Swelling
  • Pain

Diagnosis

To properly diagnose the exact type of injury, podiatrists will conduct a number of different tests. Some of these include sensation and visual tests, X-rays, and MRIs. Medical and family histories will also be taken into account.

Treatment

Once the injury has been diagnosed, the podiatrist can than offer the best treatment options for you. In less severe cases, rest and keeping pressure off the foot may be all that’s necessary. Orthotics, such as a specially made shoes, or immobilization devices, like splints or casts, may be deemed necessary. Finally if the injury is severe enough, surgery may be necessary.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Westfield and Newark, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Foot and Ankle Trauma
Monday, 01 October 2018 00:00

What is a Plantar Wart?

The location for plantar warts to develop is on the heel of the foot. The wart will typically grow into the foot as a result of the constant pressure the feet endure by standing, walking or running for the majority of the day. They are known to be caused by the human papillomavirus, which is also referred to as HPV, and is considered to be the most common viral infection of the skin. This particular virus can enter the body through small cuts on the bottom of the foot, and it often thrives in moist and warm areas. People who frequently swim in pools or use public showers may be prone to contracting plantar warts. There are symptoms indicative of plantar warts, and these may include severe pain and discomfort while walking, standing or running, in addition to small black dots appearing in the center of the wart. If you have developed a plantar wart, please consult with a podiatrist for the best treatment techniques for you.

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists from Westfield Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

About Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus, getting into open wounds on the feet. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.

While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain or those suffering from diabetes or a compromised immune system require immediate medical care. Plantar warts are easily diagnosed, usually through scraping off a bit of rough skin or by getting a biopsy.

Symptoms

  • Lesions on the bottom of your feet, usually rough and grainy
  • Hard or thick callused spots
  • Wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots
  • Pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing

Treatment

  • Freezing
  • Electric tool removal
  • Laser Treatment
  • Topical Creams (prescription only)
  • Over-the-counter medications

To help prevent developing plantar warts, avoid walking barefoot over abrasive surfaces that can cause cuts or wounds for HPV to get into. Avoiding direct contact with other warts, as well as not picking or rubbing existing warts, can help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. However, if you think you have developed plantar warts, speak to your podiatrist. He or she can diagnose the warts on your feet and recommend the appropriate treatment options.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Westfield and Newark, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Plantar Warts

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