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Posts for tag: hammertoes

By Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC
July 05, 2019
Category: Podiatry
Tags: hammertoes  

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.

By Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC
July 06, 2018
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: hammertoes  

When most people think about foot deformities they most often think about bunions; however, hammertoes are just as common. This unassuming deformity comes about gradually, so you may not even notice it until it’s too late. “What is a hammertoe?” You might be wondering. A hammertoe affects the middle joint of a toe (often the smaller toes), causing the toe to bend downward. In severe cases, a hammertoe will look almost claw-like.

There are two kinds of hammertoes: flexible and rigid. As you might imagine, a flexible hammertoe is one in which you can still straighten the toe out. If you aren’t able to straighten the affected toe then this is a rigid hammertoe. A flexible hammertoe isn’t as serious as a rigid one; however, it’s important that you take care of your hammertoe to make sure that it doesn’t get worse.

While there is no way to cure a hammertoe there are simple measures you can take to prevent it from progressing. First and foremost, you need to take a look at the shoes you are wearing and make sure that they aren’t too tight. When you slip your feet into your shoes, does it cause your toes to bunch up against one another? If so then this could make your hammertoe worse.

Instead, opt for shoes with an ample toe box, which will allow your toes to wiggle and move around freely. If you have a structural imbalance within the foot this can leave you prone to foot problems such as hammertoes and bunions. To correct this imbalance, talk to your foot doctor about getting custom orthotics (shoe inserts), which can be placed into your shoes to help provide cushioning, support, and shock absorption for your feet.

If pain or stiffness does rear its ugly head you can choose to take an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen, which can tackle both pain and inflammation in one fell swoop, or you can place a towel-wrapped ice pack (never put ice directly on the skin, as it can cause severe burns) over the area for several minutes.

Just as you can buy pads to cover a bunion or callus, you can also buy a non-medicated protective pad to cover over a hammertoe. Since the deformed toe joint juts out this can leave the toe prone to calluses, which can cause pain when wearing shoes. To prevent a callus from forming, you can apply a protective pad over the deformed toe joint before putting on shoes.

Of course, if you are dealing with significant or frequent pain, or if the hammertoe is rigid, then you will want to turn to a podiatric specialist. In severe cases, surgery may be recommended to correct the disfigured joint.

By Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC
April 18, 2018
Category: Foot surgery
Tags: Bunions   Podiatrist   hammertoes   surgery   shin splints  

Walking through life with constant pain in the feet, legs, back, and hips can be excruciating. At first, you think it is because you have a bad pair of sneakers. So you go out and get a new pair with ample support and shock absorption and hope the pain goes away. Unfortunately, while the shoes are comfortable, the pain still lingers. No amount of stretching, exercise, and over the pain medicine is helping, and all your efforts feel fruitless. Finally, you decide to call your podiatrist to seek relief. You make an appointment, and within the next few days, you have your feet examined. The verdict? You are misaligned.

Many problems such as pain in the feet, back, legs, and hips can be due to misaligned feet. Other more severe problems that occur from misaligned feet are bunions, spurs, hammertoes, shin splints, and heel pain. If the alignment of your feet is off just slightly, it can throw your whole body out of whack. This is because, although the feet are at the bottom of the body, they are transferring shock, weight, and impact to the other body parts. These other body parts work in unison to get you mobile and on your way to enjoying everyday activities.

So, what do you do if your feet are misaligned? First, do not panic. The misalignment of feet can be cured with new innovative technology. One new advancement in the medical field is called HyProCure.  HyProCure is an outpatient surgery that is typically done under local anesthesia. A HyProCure stent is placed within the natural space between the bones of the foot to stabilize and realign them. This allows a patient to get back into proper alignment almost immediately. A patient will have a recovery window of a few weeks’ time. After a follow-up appointment with their podiatrist, they can resume regular activity again, pain-free.

How do I know if it is right for me?

Consult with your podiatrist if you are misaligned and are looking for a way to help ease pain from this common deformity. As HyProCure is a surgery, it is not for everyone and should be considered on a case by case basis. If you do not have a podiatrist, consult with us! Call Dr. Alan J. Discont and Dr. Krahn of Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC located in Chandler, Arizona. Call 480-732-0033 or make an appointment online today. HyProCure could be your ticket to a pain-free lifestyle.

By Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC
February 28, 2018
Category: Foot Care

Many women all over the world wear pantyhose, nylons, and tights every day. They are highly regarded in the fashion world and they are also very comfortable when wearing dresses, skirts and other similar type clothing. Unfortunately, these pantyhose, tights and nylons do not benefit your feet. In fact, they could actually be harming your feet and here is why.

Signs Your Hosiery is Damaging Your Feet

  • You have excess fabric - the excess fabric will bunch up around your toes or heels, rubbing against the skin. You may suffer from blisters, calluses, corns and skin irritation as a result. It can also result in cramping and cause your foot to fit improperly in shoes.
  • Your tights, nylons or stockings are too tight - Overly tight hosiery distorts the natural shape of your feet, limits movement and puts pressure on toes. You could develop bunions, hammertoes, ingrown toenails, fallen arches and poor circulation. All conditions are very painful and can cause permanent foot damage if not properly treated by a podiatrist.
  • The fabric is too thin – Thin fabric does not supply the right amount of support and cushion to the feet, which can cause tired feet and lack of stability when walking.
  • They are made out of abrasive fabric - Cheap nylon tights aren’t breathable so sweat struggles to escape. Dampness makes nylon feel rougher; the tights can then easily make your feet sore and painful. The feet are also prone to blisters.

Buying the Right Socks and Tights

  • Choose nylons, pantyhose and tights that are roomy enough to allow your toes to spread out without leaving excess fabric.
  • Wear white socks and pale tights whenever possible. If your feet bleed, secrete pus or sweat too much, it’ll be easier to spot the problem than with dark hosiery.
  • Never wear the same pair for two days or more, and always change socks after exercise.

If you suffer from blisters, calluses, corns or other problems due to wearing pantyhose, nylons, or tights, it is important to see a podiatrist right away so that the damage does not cause an infection. Call Dr. Alan J. Discont and Dr. Krahn of Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC located in Chandler, Arizona. Call 480-732-0033 or make an appointment online today. Your feet are our number one priority.

 

 

 

 

 

By Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC
August 31, 2017

Bringing home your new baby should be a joyous occasion. You have been united with the little life you created and everything is new and exciting. But two out of every 1,000 parents get a bit of a shock once their baby comes into the world. After the doctors' evaluation, they discover that your little bundle of joy is suffering from a foot deformity. This deformity, Metatarsus Adductus (MTA), is actually one of the most common foot deformities in infants and the doctors probably don’t seem too worried. 

When the doctors examined your baby, they noticed that the infant's foot and toes were severely angled toward the middle, creating a C-shape border along the foot. The splay can occur between the “great” and second toes. The skin also had a cleft on the midfoot. The doctors immediately decide to continue their examination and run some more tests.

“V” Finger Test

One such test that they will conduct on your infant is the “V” finger test. This test is exactly as it sounds. First the doctor takes the heel of the infant’s foot and places it inside the “V” that is made up of the podiatrist's middle and index fingers. They inspect the infant’s plantar arch. They look to see how it aligns in order to determine if the infant has MTA and how severe it is. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, they can start to treat the infant.

Treatment

The treatment depends on the severity of the case. Some cases can resolve completely by age one. If it needs to be addressed, a podiatrist can instruct the parents to use stretching and exercises at every diaper change. These exercises and stretches are designed to help the foot heal and re-form over time as it grows. The stretch starts with the stabilization of the heel. Then the foot is extended and gently pushed into the correct position.

Many cases of MTA have very good prognoses. In more severe cases they can lead to hammertoes, bunions, and other disorders.

If you think your infant is suffering from MTA, bring them to Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC in Chandler, Arizona right away. Dr. Alan J. Discont and Dr. Krahn can help your infant get the treatment that he or she needs. Call 480-732-0033 or make an appointment online today. Your baby's foot health is important to us. Let us help.