Foot and ankle problems can become more difficult to treat as they progress. Since a foot or ankle problem may often be a sign of a systemic health problem, it is all the more important to get a proper diagnosis from your podiatrist and to pursue the recommended treatment, thus avoiding any chronic or more debilitating problems down the road.
Your feet and ankles form the foundation that the rest of your body depends upon for walking, running, and standing. With the myriad of bones, ligaments, tendons, and tissues in your feet and ankles that can sustain an injury, it is always best to have regular exams performed by your foot care professional to treat and prevent problems early and to help you experience your best foot and ankle health.
6 of the many reasons you should consult with your podiatrist include:
- Severe pain—If you have pain in your foot or ankle that doesn’t improve after several days of rest, icing, compression and elevation, you need to see your foot doctor immediately to check for the cause.
- Color changes to the skin or toenails—Skin and toenail color changes may be an indication of a fungal nail infection or possibly skin cancer.
- Toe deformities—Toe deformities like bunions and hammertoes need to be treated by your podiatrist before they worsen and require surgery.
- Skin abnormalities—Your podiatrist can expertly treat skin conditions such as corns and calluses without causing further complications from accidental cuts.
- Numbness, tingling, and swelling—These symptoms can be caused by a variety of conditions including diabetes, gout, and peripheral artery disease.
- Cuts or wounds that don’t heal quickly—Individuals battling diabetes have to be especially careful with cuts and scrapes since ulcerating infections can quickly occur and amputation of a toe or foot can rapidly become necessary.
If you are experiencing pain and discomfort in your feet and ankles, consult with our board-certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!
The condition of an ingrown toenail is also called onychocryptosis. An ingrown toenail can be a severely debilitating problem, especially when it occurs in multiple toes simultaneously on both feet which can cause a never-ending battle with painful swelling and infections.
It isn’t always obvious that an inward growing toenail is the cause of your pain and discomfort. Symptoms include swelling around the nail and minor bleeding. If you notice redness, yellowing, and a warm feeling in the skin around the toe, there may be an infection that needs to be treated right away to avoid more serious complications including possible amputation.
The causes of ingrown toenails often include the following:
- Proper nail cutting technique—The main cause of a toenail growing into your skin is from improper cutting technique. Be sure to cut straight across and not too short so the nail edge remains away from your tender skin.
- Injury—When your toe experiences trauma such as by dropping a heavy object on it, it can cause the nail to grow into your skin.
- Poorly-fitting shoes—Narrow toe boxes can increase the pressure on the toes causing this condition and a variety of others including bunions and hammertoes.
- Fungal toenails—This infection can cause a nail to become enlarged and brittle and make it more likely to grow into the skin.
Treating ingrown toenails involves the following:
For the less severe type of ingrown toenails, warm water soaks and antibacterial medications may be enough to correct the issue. Inserting a small piece of cotton under the edge of the nail can help to prop it up and allow the nail to grow correctly. For severely infected or painful ingrown toenails, your podiatrist can often perform an outpatient procedure involving the numbing of the toe and removal of the ingrown piece of nail.
If you are currently experiencing problems with ingrown toenails, consult with our board certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!
Stubbing your toe happens suddenly and unexpectedly, causing a painful experience even if the actual injury is relatively minor. Because your toes have only a small amount of fatty tissue to insulate them from any shock, a stubbed toe injury can often be very painful without being very severe. This is not always the case, however, and since there is the possibility that you may have a more serious injury like a fracture, it is important to have your toe evaluated by your foot care professional so you don’t accidentally make things worse.
How can I tell if my toe may be broken?
The symptoms of a toe fracture are severe pain in your toe, especially when you try to walk; bleeding under the toenail; swelling and bruising that lasts for more than two or three days.
Stubbing your toe can also create enough stress to cause a tendon or ligament injury, and the possible dislocation of one or more joints. There is also the possibility of infection taking hold. It has also been shown in studies that a stubbed toe is more susceptible to developing arthritis as you get older.
Stubbed and broken toe treatments
If your stubbed toe is not too severe, the pain and swelling will usually subside within a day or two. If it goes beyond that, you may have a more serious problem requiring the services of a podiatrist.
An x-ray will be taken to rule out any broken bones. A broken toe can often be successfully treated by buddy taping it to the toe next to it. Wearing a special cast boot or shoe will immobilize the area while healing occurs
In severe cases, surgery may be required to realign the toe and to remove any bone fragments that may have gotten into the joint.
If you suspect that your stubbed toe may be broken, consult with our board-certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!
If one or more of your toes appears with a bent shape at the joint (like the shape of a hammer), then you probably have a condition known as hammertoe, but it could also be mallet toe, which is pretty much the same thing. This condition is not always painful in the early stages, but a hammertoe can become more deformed over time, and as it presses harder against your footwear you may develop painful corns on the tops of your hammertoes.
While this condition is usually considered to be hereditary, it can also be exacerbated by other conditions such as arthritis, wearing improperly fitting shoes, and having flat feet. Traumatic injury to the toe, such as by dropping a heavy object like a laptop on it, can also aggravate this condition.
Diagnosis and treatment of hammertoes
A comprehensive foot examination by your podiatrist will determine the severity of the muscle contractions and tendon imbalance that may be causing the toe to bend improperly. X-rays and MRI’s will more accurately determine the extent of the toe deformity.
Some of the treatments your podiatrist may recommend include the following:
●Custom orthotic inserts—Orthotics address a variety of complications including imbalance between the muscle and tendon which may be the cause of the deformity.
●Splinting and strapping—These can be used to help realign the toes and force them into position.
●Cushions and padding—Store bought or specially-made pads can be used on corns to help prevent rubbing and blister formation.
●Pain relieving meds—For pain and inflammation.
●Strength and flexibility exercises—Toe stretching and flexibility exercises such as towel scrunches and marble pickups will help strengthen muscles.
If you are experiencing painful and rigid toes, you may have a hammertoe problem, so be sure to consult with our board-certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!
If you notice a painful bump on the back of your heel at the location where your Achilles tendon attaches to the bone, then you may have a Haglund’s deformity. While this abnormality frequently affects women who wear high heels and is known as the “pump bump,” it can similarly affect anyone who wears shoes with tight, rigid backs.
People who have flat feet and those with tight Achilles tendons are more susceptible to developing Haglund’s deformity since these conditions increase the pressure on the heel that causes the bony enlargement to develop. Some of the symptoms include extreme heel pain, swelling, and blistering, and bursitis may also be evident.
Initial treatment for Haglund’s deformity
Eliminating the source of the irritation by wearing shoes that don’t rub on the heel will help immediately. Try wearing backless footwear like sandals or clogs to give your heels a rest. Applying ice packs to the heel will help to reduce swelling. Simple heel pads added to your footwear backs can also ease pain and rubbing. If you have a tight Achilles tendon or high arches, always use the correct arch supports and perform daily tendon stretching exercises suggested by your podiatrist. Ibuprofen or other over-the-counter pain relievers can reduce swelling and discomfort.
Further treatment options for Haglund’s deformity
If the bump continues to get larger and if the pain becomes worse, there are several other options for treatment that may include:
- Custom orthotic shoe inserts—By redistributing the pressure on the heel, these inserts can relieve swelling, rubbing, and discomfort.
- Foot immobilization—In severe cases, it may be necessary to wear a walking boot or soft cast so the foot has a chance to properly heal.
If these methods do not improve the condition, a surgical procedure may be necessary to reshape the bone.
If you are suffering with heel pain, consult with our board certified podiatrists atFoot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!
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