We understand that foot and ankle pain can literally stop you in your tracks. Thankfully, there are many treatment options available for most conditions that will allow us to provide you with immediate relief. Remember, foot or ankle pain is not normal...pain is an indication that there is something wrong. Often, the early signs of something serious are ignored until the pain is debilitating. Early intervention usually results in a faster recovery. Don't wait, make your appointment for a full evaluation today!
Diabetic Foot Care
Why see a Podiatrist if you have Diabetes? Having diabetes increases the risk of developing a wide range of foot problems, often because of two complications of the disease: nerve damage (neuropathy) and poor circulation.
For those with diabetes, small foot problems can turn into serious complications, including:
- ulcers (sores) that don't heal
- cracked heels
- ingrown toenails
To prevent complications of diabetes, patients are advised to follow diabetic foot care guidelines. Sometimes special diabetic shoes are advised to follow diabetic foot care guidelines. Sometimes special diabetic shoes are prescribed to avoid pressure and rubbing on the feet caused by regular footwear. If you are diabetic, or have decreased circulation, Medicare often provides coverage for preventive footcare and special diabetic shoes.
Preventative foot care by podiatrists prior to the first evidence of foot ulcers in patients with diabetes can prevent or delay foot or leg amputations and hospitalizations. Preventative care by today’s podiatrists can not only save limbs and lives, it can bring significant economic savings. Studies have shown that effective diabetic foot ulcer and amputation prevention could save the US health-care system up to $21.8 billion annually.
Bunions are caused by the big toe drifting towards the second toe, while the large bone that comes before the big toe (the metatarsal) begins moving in the opposite direction. The “bump” is actually the prominent head of the metatarsal bone. Patients often don’t realize that they have a bunion.
Conservative treatment for a bunion consists of the patient wearing supportive shoes with a wide toe box. Padding and anti-inflammatory gels and creams may also help relieve the pain. If conservative measures do not help the patient or alleviate the pain, surgery is usually recommended.
Bunion surgery shifts the metatarsal bone back in the correct direction and restores the proper balance of the joint. It is a surgically created fracture that is fixated with a pin or screw. Often the patient can walk immediately after the surgery as long as they wear a special shoe that doesn’t bend. Bunion surgery is outpatient surgery and the patient can go home a short time after the procedure. Recovery time from bunion surgery is variable and depends on a patient’s occupation and overall health. Your podiatrist can give you more information about the surgery that you would need after examining you and taking x-rays of your feet.
Hammertoes, Claw Toes, and Mallet Toes
Claw toe often affects the four smaller toes at the same time. The toes bend up at the joint where the toes and the foot meet. They bend down at the middle joints and at the joints nearest the tip of the toes. This causes the toes to curl down toward the floor.
What are Hammertoes?
If your toes are becoming bent or crooked, you may have hammertoes. The affliction is so named because the toes sometimes resemble the shape of a hammer. Patients will usually have pain at the top or at the end of the toe. Hammertoes often begin rubbing in shoes and as a result will become red and swollen. Sometimes hard tissue—known as a “corn”—will build on the top or end of the toe.
What are Mallet Toes
A mallet toe bends down at the joint closest to the tip of the toe. It often affects the second toe, but it may happen in the other toes too
The podiatrist at our office will examine you and sometimes take an x-ray of your foot. Conservative treatment consists of padding, shaving off the corn (if one is present), and changing to shoes that don’t rub against the toes. For the appropriate patient, outpatient surgery can straighten the toe (or toes), and the patient can go home shortly after the procedure.
Ingrown Toenail Treatment
Cutting back the side of the toenail will often only provide short term relief of the pain. Our podiatrists will talk to you about a minor, surgical procedure done in our office that should provide you with relief from the painful, ingrown toenail. The procedure is called a partial matrixectomy and is a permanent removal of a small portion (of the side) of the toenail. After the surgery, the toenail looks normal but the side of the toenail is no longer in-grown. If the toe is infected, you may be placed on oral antibiotics prior to the procedure. Our podiatrist may also talk to you about a surgical procedure called an avulsion where part, or all, of the toenail is temporarily removed. This is sometimes done if the toe is quite infected. The permanent procedure can usually then be scheduled 2-3 months later if desired.
The podiatrists in our office will examine you to determine if you have a neuroma, and then will describe to you appropriate treatments for your condition. Conservative treatments for neuromas include wider shoes, loosening of the shoelaces, topical anti-inflammatory creams and gels, and a cortisone injection. Also, inserts for your shoes—orthotics—can help take pressure off of the painful area. However, there are other foot conditions, such as capsulitis and metatarsalgia, which mimic a neuroma so it is important for our podiatrist to examine you in order to render effective treatment. If conservative measures do not result in reducing a patient’s pain, the neuroma can be removed during outpatient surgery. Our podiatrist can describe the procedure to you and will discuss whether neuroma surgery would be appropriate for your condition.
The plantar fascia band is on the bottom of your foot and it helps to support your arch. Once the fascia is inflamed, the whole foot can ache and a patient might even start limping. Our office has numerous methods to help decrease the inflammation that causes the plantar fascia to become painful. These include:
- Stretching Exercises
- Cortisone Injections
- Arch Strapping
Our office usually will determine if your insurance plan will cover custom orthotics and a night splint, two of the most common treatments for this painful foot condition. Usually, with the above treatments, the pain will resolve. If it doesn’t a surgical release of the tight plantar fascia might be needed.
Treatment for Toenail Fungus
Patients with these types of toenails usually have a medical condition known as onychomycosis, or fungal toenails. The podiatrists in our office can discuss with you treatments for this condition that should help to make the toenails thin and clear again. We use both a topical (paint on) anti-fungal liquid and an oral medication to kill the toenail fungus. If an oral medication is being considered, the patient would need a simple blood test to first determine if the medication is appropriate for them. By making an appointment with our office, you will be one step closer to having those healthy toenails that you’ve wanted.
Heel and Arch Pain
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Heel Spurs
- Achilles Tendonitis
- Posterior Tibial Tendonitis
- and more
Often the arch is too low (pes planus) or too high (pes cavus), which causes unneeded stress on the foot and joints. The podiatrist seeing you will determine the proper diagnosis and then initiate appropriate treatment. Treatment for heel and arch pain often includes stretching exercises, arch strapping, orthotics and night splints, and sometimes a cortisone injection. It is important to wear supportive shoes, and your podiatrist will make suggestions regarding types of shoes that will help to eliminate your foot pain and inflammation.