Trauma to the foot, especially the toes, can occur in many ways. Banging them, stubbing them, or dropping something on them are a few different ways this trauma can occur. Given the fact that toes are positioned in front of the feet, they typically sustain the brunt of such trauma. When trauma occurs to a toe, the result can be a painful break or fracture. Another type of trauma that can break a toe is repeated activity that places stress on the toe for prolonged periods of time.
Broken toes can be categorized as either minor or severe fractures. Symptoms of minor toe fractures include throbbing pain, swelling, bruising on the skin and toenail, and the inability to move the toe with ease. Severe toe fractures require medical attention and are indicated when the broken toe appears crooked or disfigured, when there is tingling or numbness in the toe, or when there is an open, bleeding wound present on the toe.
Generally, a minor toe break will heal without long-term complications. However, it is important to discontinue activities that put pressure on the toe. It is best to stay off of the injured toe and immediately get a splint or cast to prevent any more additional movement of the toe bones. You can also immobilize your toe by placing a small cotton ball between the injured toe and the toe beside it. Then, tape the two toes together with medical tape. Swelling can be alleviated by placing an ice pack on the broken toe directly as well as elevating your feet above your head.
Severe toe fractures may be treated with a splint, cast, and in some cases, minor surgery, especially when the big toe has been broken. Due to its position and the pressure the big toe endures with daily activity, future complications can occur if it is not properly treated. Pain associated with minor toe fractures can be managed with over-the-counter pain medications. Prescription pain killers may be necessary for severe toe fractures.
The healing time for a broken toe is approximately four to six weeks. In severe cases where the toe becomes infected or requires surgery, healing time can take up to eight weeks or more. While complications associated with a broken toe are immediately apparent, it is important to note that there are rare cases when additional complications, such as osteoarthritis, can develop over time. You should immediately speak with your podiatrist if you think you have broken your toe due to trauma. They will be able to diagnose the injury and recommend the appropriate treatment options.
Patients who stub their toe against a piece of furniture, or drop a heavy object on it, may experience a broken toe. The average healing time for this type of injury is generally four to six weeks, and it is often accompanied by swelling and bruising. Additional symptoms can include severe pain and it may be difficult to put a shoe on and walk. Mild relief can be found if you have a mildly fractured toe by taping the affected toe to the toe next to it. This is referred to as buddy taping, and it is typically effective in providing the necessary stability to the affected toe as the healing process occurs. Severely broken toes may require that a cast be worn, and it can be helpful to use crutches to keep weight off of the toe. If you have fractured your toe, please consult with a podiatrist.
Broken toes may cause a lot of pain and should be treated as soon as possible. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Westfield Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.
What Is a Broken Toe?
A broken toe occurs when one or more of the toe bones of the foot are broken after an injury. Injuries such as stubbing your toe or dropping a heavy object on it may cause a toe fracture.
Symptoms of a Broken Toe
- Pain (with/without wearing shoes)
- Nail Injury
Although the injured toe should be monitored daily, it is especially important to have a podiatrist look at your toe if you have severe symptoms. Some of these symptoms include worsening or new pain that is not relieved with medication, sores, redness, or open wounds near the toe.
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 What to Know About a Broken Toe
A foot condition known as toenail fungus is quite common among patients who are over sixty years old. It can happen because of an autoimmune disorder, nail trauma, or if the patient has athlete’s foot. Toenail fungus is contagious and is caused by a fungus that enters the skin through tiny cracks. This type of fungus lives and thrives in warm and moist environments. These can consist of public swimming pools, shower room floors, and surrounding areas. A common symptom that is associated with toenail fungus includes a yellowing and thickening of the nails, which will often begin with the big toe. In severe cases, the nails may become brittle and may gradually crack and fall off. Mild relief may be found when the toenails are kept short, and it may help to wear shoes and socks that are made of breathable materials. Additionally, it is recommended that if you are afflicted with toenail fungus you should refrain from sharing towels, shoes, and socks. Please consult with a podiatrist if you would like more information about how to treat toenail fungus.
Toenail Fungus Treatment
Toenail fungus is a condition that affects many people and can be especially hard to get rid of. Fortunately, there are several methods to go about treating and avoiding it.
Antifungals & Deterrence
Oral antifungal medicine has been shown to be effective in many cases. It is important to consult with a podiatrist to determine the proper regiment for you, or potentially explore other options.
Applying foot powder on the feet and shoes helps keep the feet free of moisture and sweat.
Sandals or open toed shoes – Wearing these will allow air movement and help keep feet dry. They also expose your feet to light, which fungus cannot tolerate. Socks with moisture wicking material also help as well.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Westfield and Newark, NJ . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.Read more about Treating Toenail Fungus
Fungal infection of the toenail, or onychomycosis, typically appears as a gradual change in a toenail’s texture and color that involves brittleness and darkening. The fungal infection itself occurs beneath the surface of the nail. Aside from discoloration, other symptoms include the collection of debris beneath the nail plate, white marks on the nail plate, and a foul odor emanating from the nail. If ignored, the infection can spread into other nails and the skin; in severe cases, it can hinder one’s ability to work or walk.
The toenails are particularly vulnerable to contracting infection in moist environments where people are likely to be walking barefoot, such as around swimming pools, public showers, and locker rooms. Fungal infection may also be more likely to occur in nail beds that have been injured, and sufferers of chronic diseases such as diabetes, circulatory problems, or immunodeficiency conditions are particularly prone to developing fungal nails.
Fungal nails can be primarily prevented by practicing proper hygiene and regularly examining the feet and toes. Carefully washing the feet with soap and water and thoroughly drying the feet afterwards are essential. Other tips include wearing shower shoes in public areas, changing shoes and socks daily, keeping toenails clipped at a short length, wearing breathable shoes that fit properly, wearing moisture-wicking socks, and disinfecting home pedicure tools and instruments used to cut nails.
Fungal nail treatment may vary between patients and the severity of the condition. Your podiatrist may suggest a daily routine of cleansing that spans over a period of time to ease mild infections. Over-the-counter or prescription antifungal agents may also be prescribed, including topical and/or oral medications. Debridement, or the removal of diseased nail matter and debris, may also be performed. In more severe cases, surgical treatment may be needed. In some instances, the temporary removal of the fungal nail allows for the direct application of a topical antifungal to the nail bed. In other cases, a chronically painful fungal nail that has not responded to other treatments may be permanently removed; this allows the infection to be cured and avoids the growth of a deformed nail.
A blister can form on the foot due to the friction of shoes or socks rubbing against a specific spot can be a common occurrence. These types of blisters often go away on their own. However, not all foot blisters are caused by friction. Burning the skin can cause blisters to appear either within a few days or immediately, depending on the severity of the burn. Contact dermatitis, which is an allergic reaction to a foreign substance, can also cause blisters to form. Various medical conditions, including chickenpox, eczema, and hand, foot, and mouth disease often have skin blistering as a symptom. For more information about foot blisters, please consult with a podiatrist.
Blisters are prone to making everyday activities extremely uncomfortable. If your feet are hurting, contact one of our podiatrists of Westfield Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Foot blisters develop as a result of constantly wearing tight or ill-fitting footwear. This happens due to the constant rubbing from the shoe, which can often lead to pain.
What Are Foot Blisters?
A foot blister is a small fluid-filled pocket that forms on the upper-most layer of the skin. Blisters are filled with clear fluid and can lead to blood drainage or pus if the area becomes infected.
How Do Blisters Form?
Blisters on the feet are often the result of constant friction of skin and material, usually by shoe rubbing. Walking in sandals, boots, or shoes that don’t fit properly for long periods of time can result in a blister. Having consistent foot moisture and humidity can easily lead to blister formation.
Prevention & Treatment
It is important to properly care for the affected area in order to prevent infection and ease the pain. Do not lance the blister and use a Band-Aid to provide pain relief. Also, be sure to keep your feet dry and wear proper fitting shoes. If you see blood or pus in a blister, seek assistance from a podiatrist.
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 Blisters
Blisters are small pockets of fluid that occur on the top layers of the skin for several reasons. Friction, burns, and diseases are all known causes of blisters. Smaller blisters are known as vesicles, while larger blisters are referred to as bulla. The fluid inside the bubble can be blood, pus, or serum; which is a clear liquid that protects the skin. In most cases, blisters are not a major health issue, but they can be an indicator of a more serious condition.
Causes of blisters vary. Blisters are commonly caused by wearing poorly fitted shoes that rub against the foot. However, there are many other causes besides from friction; including burns, sunburn, insect bites, frostbite, poison ivy/oak, chemical exposure, impetigo, eczema, viral infections, and more.
Most blisters heal by themselves and do not require immediate medical care. If you have a blister, do not pop it since this may cause infection; it is advised to put a bandage over the blister to protect it. If the blister is large, causes pain, or if you have a fever, it is recommended that you see a doctor who can provide proper care. Blisters are easy to diagnose, and if considered prudent by the doctor, can easily be drained of fluid with a sterile needle as well.
To prevent blisters on the feet, wear shoes that fit properly and don’t cause rubbing. Socks can help prevent friction and it is recommended that you wear them if you are wearing shoes. Hand blisters can be avoided by wearing gloves during activities that cause friction against the hand. If you have a blister that pops, do not remove the dead skin, wash the area, apply antibiotic ointment, and cover with a bandage. It is okay in most cases to not seek immediate medical care for a blister if it was just caused by friction. However, if the blister causes pain or does not go away, it is suggested that you see a doctor for a diagnosis.
Flatfoot is a condition that occurs when the arches on the foot are flattened, which allows the soles of the feet to touch the floor. Flatfoot is a common condition and it is usually painless.
Throughout childhood, most people begin to develop arches in their feet, however, some do not. Those who do not develop arches are left with flatfoot. The pain associated with flat feet is usually at its worse when engaging in activity. Another symptom that may occur with those who have this condition is swelling along the inside of the ankle.
It is also possible to have flexible flatfoot. Flexible flatfoot occurs when the arch is visible while sitting or standing on the tiptoes, but it disappears when standing. People who have flexible flatfoot are often children and most outgrow it without any problems.
There are some risk factors that may make you more likely to develop flatfoot. Those who have diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis have an increased risk of flatfoot development. Other factors include aging and obesity.
Diagnosis for flat feet is usually done by a series of tests by your podiatrist. Your podiatrist will typically try an x-ray, CT scan, ultrasound, or MRI on the feet. Treatment is usually not necessary for flat foot unless it causes pain. However, therapy is often used for those who experience pain in their flat feet. Some other suggested treatment options are arch supports, stretching exercises, and supportive shoes.
Fallen arches or acquired flat feet occur when the arches of the feet collapse over time due to a weakening of the tendon that supports the arch. One of the main functions of the arches is to flex and absorb shock. When the arches are flat, stress is transferred up into the legs, hips, and lower back, causing pain in both the feet and these areas higher up in the body. Fallen arches can also cause the ankle and leg bones to rotate slightly, which can make ankle and ACL injuries more likely. If you have fallen arches, it is recommended that you seek the care of a podiatrist, who can help prevent or minimize the pain and discomfort caused by this condition.
What Are Flat Feet?
Flatfoot is a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arches never formed during growth.
Conditions & Problems:
Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.
Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.
Knees – If you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.
- Pain around the heel or arch area
- Trouble standing on the tip toe
- Swelling around the inside of the ankle
- Flat look to one or both feet
- Having your shoes feel uneven when worn
If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle.
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 Flat Feet