My Blog

Posts for: May, 2017

By Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC
May 18, 2017
Category: Foot Conditions

Overlapping is characterized by one toe sitting on top of the neighboring toe and the fifth toe is the most commonly affected.

Underlapping toes usually involve the fourth and fifth toes and can be caused by an imbalance in muscle strength. If deformed toes are mobile, an easy release of the tendon in the bottom of the toe will allow them to lay flat.

Why won’t my toes lie straight?

Most times it is present at birth and can be caused by inherited traits and run in families. Adults can develop this problem over time if they are in the habit of wearing shoes that pinch the toes together because there isn’t much room for the toes to lay flat. It is also common to develop a bunion on the second toe that overlaps.

What can I expect for symptoms?

Irritation will come quickly causing blisters, red spots, corns and calluses. Eventually pain will follow as you walk on it more and if avoided it could create complications. While the direct cause of underlapping and overlapping toes has yet to be confirmed, there are still many ways to treat this condition.

How can they be treated?

Passive stretching and adhesive tape is most commonly used to correct the condition  in infants but the deformity will likely recur. 

Older people can use a conservative method like exercise but surgery is probably the most effective solution. If the toe is flexible, just releasing the tendon that is pulling it out of place may relieve it. If the deformity is rigid, surgical intervention could include the bone and skin as well.

A custom orthotic could bring relief but again, surgery is the best bet to permanently fix your toes. The type of surgery will depend on the patient’s age, lifestyle and medical history. Recovery can take up to six weeks following surgery and patients will need to stay off the foot as much as possible to ensure full recovery.

If you or your child suffer from this condition contact Dr. Discont or Dr. Krahn at  Family Foot and Ankle Care in Chandler Arizona at 480-732-0033 for an appointment. We can evaluate and analyze your symptoms and get you the treatment you need to get your toes back in line.

 


By Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC
May 17, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: AFOs  

Find out how AFO devices could offer your foot and ankle some much­ needed support.

Are you suffering from a severe fracture or sprain in your foot or ankle? Has a stroke or orthopedic disorder affected your ankle strength? If so, there is an easy way to improve your balance and offer some much­needed stability and support to weak muscles in both the foot and ankle.

About AFOs

AFO, also known as an ankle foot orthosis, is a podiatric device often made from plastic that is worn to provide additional support to both the ankle and foot. AFOs account for about 26 percent of all orthotics in America. This plastic frame runs from the knee down to the foot and helps maintain better alignment and movement.

This orthotic is custom­designed to provide optimal ankle support and to promote proper motion and gait. AFOs can be worn under shoes, but may require the wearer to purchase larger shoes to accommodate the bulk of the orthotic.

Who Wears AFOs

A number of people can benefit from wearing these plastic devices, including those who are dealing with either orthopedic or neurological problems that affect their joints, movement and posture. Those who have suffered a stroke or have been diagnosed with cerebral palsy or multiple sclerosis could find significant improvements to their posture, alignment and motion by wearing an AFO. AFOs can also help with muscular imbalance.

Orthopedic conditions that can benefit from AFOs include fractures, drop foot, sprains and arthritis. If you suffer from foot pain or weakened muscles due to an injury, then you may also want to consider how AFO could help you.

Both children and adults can benefit from wearing AFOs. In fact, about 80 percent of children diagnosed with cerebral palsy currently use an orthotic to improve their coordination and movement.

To find out whether an AFO is right for you or your child, talk to your podiatrist today. We would be happy to custom­design an AFO to accommodate your podiatric needs.


By Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC
May 10, 2017
Category: Foot Care

While Aerobic exercise is known for bringing a plethora of health benefits it has its risks too. Aerobic classes have blossomed into a sport over decades and is a great way to lose weight and keep in shape. Whether it be low impact or high intensity one must make sure to wear the correct shoes to support each move. Your feet take the brunt of impact because this sport requires quick movements, jumping and leaping for a lengthy amount of time. Which is why these tips should be considered before taking your next class.

Shoe tips to prevent injury during Aerobics:

  • If your feet suffer from pronation (when your ankles turn inward or outward) you should control harmful motions with an orthotic shoe insert.
  • Because of the many side to side steps your shoes should have a good arch design that provides the best stability.
  • Your shoes should have a large toe box so that there is enough room to prevent irritation of toes and nails.
  • Purchase shoes in the afternoon when your feet are likely to swell the most and wear the same socks that you will use during your class.

Basic tips to prevent foot and ankle injury:

  • Make sure the surface you are using is stable and has padded mats when the movement requires a soft floor.
  • Stretch before and after your routine to avoid over using any muscles.
  • Confirm that your instructor is certified and understands any prior injuries or restrictions you may have.
  • If you are using a video at home make sure you apply the same rules to ensure foot and ankle safety.

Some common aerobic injuries are Plantar Fasciitis, Heel Spurs, Achilles Tendonitis and Stress Fractures, but the bottom line is to be careful and responsible. Injuries will inevitably occur if you don’t listen to your body and use your common sense when it comes to safety. There are good aerobic programs and bad ones so use your discretion and pace yourself when it comes to pain. If you are having any pain in your feet and ankles call our office at 480-732-0033 and schedule an appointment. Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC has an office in Chandler Arizona and Alan J. Discont DPM is ready to help get you the right regiment to keep your feet and ankles safe.

 


By Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC
May 04, 2017
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Diabetes   corns   hammertoes   Calluses   Claw Toes  

Claw toe is a common condition where the toes bend into a position that resembles a claw. It can start at birth or can develop later in your adult life.  It isn’t always a serious issue by itself but eventually it can create discomfort and prohibit you from wearing some of your favorite shoes.

Symptoms

  • Certain toe joints will point upward while others remain bent down.
  • Pain may occur in some cases but not in all.
  • You may develop corns, calluses and/or ulcers on toes that will rub against your shoes.

Claw toes can be confused with hammer toes and while they may have some similar conditions, they are caused by different muscle problems in your foot.

Causes

  • Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that causes your immune system to attack healthy tissue in your joints and those joints eventually become inflamed and deformed.
  • Diabetes occurs when your body has high levels of blood sugar due to an imbalance of insulin. Nerve damage to your feet is one of the complicated issues that come from diabetes.
  • Strokes can happen when blood stops flowing to an area of your brain due to clots or week vessels. Strokes can also affect your muscles and nerves in your feet.

Your doctor will check for underlying disorders that cause claw toe and keep in mind that early diagnoses is important to prevent more complications.

Treatment

  • Your doctor may put you into a splint or tape them to keep them in the right position.
  • Surgery may be recommended if your toes become inflexible and can’t be taped or splinted.
  • Coordination with other doctors may be required to address the original cause if brought on by disease or disorder.
  • Certain toe exercise may help to keep the toes flexible, like picking up a towel with your toes and repeating the motion a few times a day.
  • Wearing roomy shoes can relieve discomfort. Pads can also take pressure off the ball of your foot which can balance out the pressure on your toes as you walk.

If you feel that you may have symptoms of claw toe and would like to ask our doctor for more information or schedule an appointment to get a clear diagnosis. We have a conveniently located office in Chandler Arizona and can be reached at 480-732-0033. Alan J. Discont at Family Foot and Ankle Care can set your toes straight.