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Items filtered by date: May 2022

Tuesday, 31 May 2022 00:00

What Causes a Hammertoe?

A hammertoe is a common deformity where a toe bends upward at the middle joint and gets stuck in that position. The top of the toe bends forward so it looks like a hammer. As time passes, the joint may get more rigidly bent and it can be painful and possibly lead to difficulty in walking and maintaining balance. Hammertoes can be inherited, with those with flatter feet and longer metatarsals (or middle bones of the feet) being more at risk. They can also be associated with a medical condition, such as diabetes. However, most often hammertoes develop from an imbalance within the toe structure. Usually something that forces extra weight to be put on the forefoot and toes (like tight shoes or high heels) can lead to hammertoes. The small muscles on the bottom of the foot get weaker than the larger muscles on the top of the foot and the toe does not bend or flex. Early detection and conservative treatment can help prevent the need for hammertoe surgery. Such intervention can be as simple as changing footwear to providing extra room for the toes, avoiding narrow, tight, and heeled shoes, using custom orthotics to off-load extra weight and strain towards the forefoot.  If you suffer from a hammertoe, it is suggested you consult with a podiatrist to find the best treatment plan. 

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of Centers for Foot & Ankle Care. Our doctors will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Merrillville, Portage, Michigan City, La Porte, and Schererville, IN . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Tuesday, 24 May 2022 00:00

Facts About Ingrown Toenails

Having an ingrown toenail is annoying and painful, but it can be preventable. When the side of a toenail becomes engulfed by the skin around it, pressure can build up and cause pain. Typical signs of an ingrown toenail include redness and swelling, pain when touched, or hardened skin next to the nail. If the area gets infected, it may become filled with pus and cause bleeding. Causes of ingrown toenails include tight fitting shoes, toenails cut incorrectly or not at all, and poor foot hygiene. Home prevention techniques include cutting toenails straight across, keeping your feet clean and dried, and wearing shoes that fit properly. Anyone who has diabetes, poor peripheral circulation, or other systemic conditions that affect the feet should seek the care of a podiatrist regularly. In cases of a badly ingrown toenail, it is strongly suggested that you consult a podiatrist. Possible treatment may call for partial or complete removal of the nail to prevent further complications. 

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact one of our podiatrists of Centers for Foot & Ankle Care. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition

Prevention

Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.

Treatment

Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Merrillville, Portage, Michigan City, La Porte, and Schererville, IN . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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There are many people who suffer from the condition that is known as rheumatoid arthritis. The feet can become affected by this ailment which may lead to other foot conditions arising. Permanent relief may be found when foot surgery is performed. Rheumatoid arthritis may lead to the development of bunions. This produces a large, bony protrusion on the side of the big toe and may be the result of the toes shifting due to the arthritic disease. Bunion surgery involves cutting the affected bones in the foot and realigning them in a normal position. Additionally, arthritis may damage specific joints in the foot and a fusion may be needed that can help to reduce pain. There are many benefits to having foot surgery performed such as resuming normal functions of the feet, completing daily activities without pain, and wearing appropriate footwear. If you have chronic pain in your feet or you are afflicted with arthritis, please confer with a podiatrist who can determine if foot surgery is right for you.

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to treat a foot ailment. To learn more, contact one of our podiatrists of Centers for Foot & Ankle Care. Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

When Is Surgery Necessary?

Foot and ankle surgery is generally reserved for cases in which less invasive, conservative procedures have failed to alleviate the problem. Some of the cases in which surgery may be necessary include:

  • Removing foot deformities like bunions and bone spurs
  • Severe arthritis that has caused bone issues
  • Cosmetic reconstruction

What Types of Surgery Are There?

The type of surgery you receive will depend on the nature of the problem you have. Some of the possible surgeries include:

  • Bunionectomy for painful bunions
  • Surgical fusion for realignment of bones
  • Neuropathy decompression surgery to treat nerve damage

Benefits of Surgery

Although surgery is usually a last resort, it can provide more complete pain relief compared to non-surgical methods and may allow you to finally resume full activity.

Surgical techniques have also become increasingly sophisticated. Techniques like endoscopic surgery allow for smaller incisions and faster recovery times.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Merrillville, Portage, Michigan City, La Porte, and Schererville, IN . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Your feet are covered most of the day. If you're diabetic, periodic screening is important for good health. Numbness is often a sign of diabetic foot and can mask a sore or wound.

Tuesday, 10 May 2022 00:00

A Range of Foot Problems

When your feet are sore, swollen, painful, or aching, it can put your life on hold. You may end up limping or getting tired easily after walking only a short distance. If you have fallen or dropped something heavy on your foot, if you have a large open wound, or if you cannot put weight on your foot, please seek the immediate care of a podiatrist for emergency treatment. Most other foot pain is usually caused by a minor injury, a chronic condition or foot malformation, or simply aging. In the first few days, it is suggested that you embark on the RICE method of healing: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. In some cases, you may need to use a walking aid until the pain subsides. Another helpful hint to ease pain is leading with the good foot when going up stairs, and leading with the problem foot when going down. And, while it seems obvious, do not forget to use a handrail. It is also suggested that if your foot problem continues or worsens, you make an appointment with a podiatrist for a full examination, diagnosis and suggested treatment options.  


 

Everyday foot care is very important to prevent infection and other foot ailments. If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists from Centers for Foot & Ankle Care. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Everyday Foot Care

Often, people take care of their bodies, face and hair more so than they do for their feet. But the feet are a very important aspect of our bodies, and one that we should pay more attention to. Without our feet, we would not be able to perform most daily tasks.

It is best to check your feet regularly to make sure there are no new bruises or cuts that you may not have noticed before. For dry feet, moisturizer can easily be a remedy and can be applied as often as necessary to the affected areas. Wearing shoes that fit well can also help you maintain good foot health, as well as making it easier to walk and do daily activities without the stress or pain of ill-fitting shoes, high heels, or even flip flops. Wearing clean socks with closed shoes is important to ensure that sweat and bacteria do not accumulate within the shoe. Clean socks help to prevent Athlete’s foot, fungi problems, bad odors, and can absorb sweat.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Merrillville, Portage, Michigan City, La Porte, and Schererville, IN . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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When children experience a growth spurt during puberty there can be an imbalance in the growth rate of their muscles, bones, and tendons. This is termed Sever’s disease, which generally affects children between the ages of 8 and 14. This condition occurs because the muscles and tendons in the heel become tight, pulling on the growth plate (cartilage) in the back of the heel. It is quite common in children who are particularly active in sports with a lot of running and jumping or other strenuous activities, such as gymnastics and dancing. Your child may experience redness or swelling in the back of the heel, stiffness in the feet first thing in the morning, and pain when the heel is squeezed on both sides. You also may notice them limping or walking on their tiptoes. Cutting down on the activities which induce the pain is one way to help alleviate symptoms of Sever’s disease, which may last for a few months. To be on the safe side, however, it is a good idea to introduce your child to a podiatrist who can conduct a full examination and suggest a program of treatment. 

Sever's disease often occurs in children and teens. If your child is experiencing foot or ankle pain, see one of our podiatrists from Centers for Foot & Ankle Care. Our doctors can treat your child’s foot and ankle needs.

Sever’s Disease

Sever’s disease is also known as calcaneal apophysitis, which is a medical condition that causes heel pain I none or both feet. The disease is known to affect children between the ages of 8 and 14.

Sever’s disease occurs when part of the child’s heel known as the growth plate (calcaneal epiphysis) is attached to the Achilles tendon. This area can suffer injury when the muscles and tendons of the growing foot do not keep pace with bone growth. Therefore, the constant pain which one experiences at the back of the heel will make the child unable to put any weight on the heel. The child is then forced to walk on their toes.

Symptoms

Acute pain – Pain associated with Sever’s disease is usually felt in the heel when the child engages in physical activity such as walking, jumping and or running.

Highly active – Children who are very active are among the most susceptible in experiencing Sever’s disease, because of the stress and tension placed on their feet.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Merrillville, Portage, Michigan City, La Porte, and Schererville, IN . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle injuries.

Read more about Sever's Disease

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