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Monday, 29 October 2018 00:00

Causes of Hammertoe

A condition that is referred to as hammertoe is typically the result of weakened muscles in the toes. This may be caused by wearing shoes that do not fit correctly, medical conditions including arthritis, or genetic traits, which may include having high arches. Some of the symptoms that may be associated with this condition can often include difficulty in walking or moving the toes, in addition to having a toe that tends to bend in a downward direction. There may be several remedies that can relieve a portion of the discomfort and this may depend on the reason why the hammer toe is present. If it is because of shoes that do not fit properly, changing the footwear may be an option to consider. Additionally, wearing insoles in your shoes may aid in providing moderate relief if the hammer toe develops due to high arches. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to permanently straighten the toes, which may be successfully performed by a podiatrist.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Jim Maxka from South Penn Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

If you have any questions please contact our office located in Hanover, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What Are Hammertoes?
Monday, 22 October 2018 00:00

Causes of An Achilles Tendon Injury

The Achilles tendon is located in the back of the calf on your leg. It is considered to be the largest tendon in the body, and its purpose is to connect the heel bone to the calf muscles. If this tendon becomes injured, severe pain and discomfort is typically experienced. If this should occur, common activities such as walking, running, and jumping may be extremely difficult to perform. The pain associated with these activities is often characterized by a sharp pain in the back of the ankle. There may be several reasons for this injury to occur, which may include suddenly pushing off the feet during any type of jumping activity, overstretching the tendon while instinctively protecting the body during a fall, or from unexpectedly stepping off a curb. If you feel you have incurred an Achilles tendon injury, it’s suggested to speak with a podiatrist as quickly as possible to discuss proper treatment techniques.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Jim Maxka of South Penn Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What are the symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Hanover, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Achilles Tendon Injuries

Despite the fact that many women enjoy wearing high heels, they may want to be aware of the potential damage wearing these types of shoes may cause. The toes may endure increased pressure, and this may specifically occur under the big toe. If you are susceptible to bunions, this may result in the formation of one, in addition to the development of corns and calluses, which may typically form on the balls of the feet or on top of the toes. Pain affecting the heel of the foot may be related to a condition known as plantar fasciitis. This may occur when the band of tissue on the bottom of the foot that connects the heel to the toes becomes inflamed, and severe pain and discomfort may often accompany this condition. Research has shown that regardless of the ailments that may develop as a result of wearing high heels, a large percentage of women choose to wear this type of shoe.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Jim Maxka from South Penn Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which parts of my body will be affected by high heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What kinds of foot problems can develop from wearing high heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How can I still wear high heels and maintain foot health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Hanover, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Effect of High Heels on the Feet

If you notice a large bony protrusion on the side of your big toe, you may have what is referred to as a bunion. It is considered to be a deformity, and there may be several reasons why this condition may occur. Research has shown that genetics may play a significant role in the formation of bunions. If you happen to have a pre-existing case of bunions, wearing shoes that do not fit correctly could possibly make it even worse. This type of footwear may include shoes that have a narrow toe area, which does not have adequate room for the toes to move about in. This may result in the toes being forced to squeeze into an area that is too small. There is a significant reduction in the development of bunions in non-western countries and this may be a result of wearing shoes that fit correctly. If you feel you have a bunion, it’s suggested to speak with a podiatrist who can begin treatment options that are right for you.

If you are suffering from bunion pain, contact Dr. Jim Maxka of South Penn Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.

Causes

  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development

Symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Hanover, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Bunions
Monday, 01 October 2018 00:00

Causes and Symptoms of a Broken Foot

People who have broken their foot are most likely familiar with the severe pain and discomfort that may be associated with this condition. Typical symptoms of this type of fracture may include swelling, bruising and the inability to walk on the foot. The most common reasons for this to occur may be from a fall or from overuse, which may be a result of consistent running and jumping. If you feel you have broken your foot, a proper diagnosis must be performed, which will determine the severity of the fracture. This is accomplished by having an X-ray, CT scan or bone scan taken. When this occurs, proper treatment may begin, which may include wearing a cast or a supportive boot. In severe breaks where the bone protrudes from the skin, surgery may be a necessary option to repair any damage the foot has incurred. It is suggested to speak with a podiatrist if you have broken your foot and would like to learn about treatment options that are correct for you.

A broken foot requires immediate medical attention and treatment. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Jim Maxka from South Penn Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctor  can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Broken Foot Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

A broken foot is caused by one of the bones in the foot typically breaking when bended, crushed, or stretched beyond its natural capabilities. Usually the location of the fracture indicates how the break occurred, whether it was through an object, fall, or any other type of injury. 

Common Symptoms of Broken Feet:

  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Blue in color
  • Numbness
  • Cold
  • Misshapen
  • Cuts
  • Deformities

Those that suspect they have a broken foot shoot seek urgent medical attention where a medical professional could diagnose the severity.

Treatment for broken bones varies depending on the cause, severity and location. Some will require the use of splints, casts or crutches while others could even involve surgery to repair the broken bones. Personal care includes the use of ice and keeping the foot stabilized and elevated.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Hanover, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment for a Broken Foot
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