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Monday, 15 April 2019 00:00

If you notice a bony protrusion that may look like a permanent deformity on the side of your big toe, you may have what is known as a bunion. It may develop as a result of wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in, or possibly from a genetic trait. Some of the symptoms that are associated with this condition may be tenderness and swelling, in addition to burning or tingling sensations. If having this ailment interferes with wearing shoes and completing daily activities, many patients may choose to undergo surgery for permanent removal of the bunion. For less severe bunions, orthotics may be prescribed which may provide mild relief. If properly fitting shoes and socks are worn, painful and uncomfortable bunions may possibly be prevented. If you are affected by bunions, it is advised to speak to a podiatrist who can properly diagnosis and offer correct treatment techniques.

If you are suffering from bunions, 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?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why Do Bunions Form?

Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions

How Are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How Are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

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.

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Monday, 08 April 2019 00:00

The bones that exist in the toes are fragile and small, and may easily break if a heavy object is dropped on them. Patients may realize their toe may be broken if it appears to be crooked, or if an open wound occurs after the injury happens. Additional symptoms may include pain, difficulty in moving the toe, and swelling. Mild relief may be found while elevating the foot, which may help to decrease swelling. It is suggested to keep the foot as still as possible, and this may be accomplished by resting the foot frequently during the day. Taping the injured toe to the toe next to it may provide stability while the healing process occurs. If you feel you have broken your toe, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can properly diagnosis and treat this condition.

A broken toe can be very painful and lead to complications if not properly fixed. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Jim Maxka from South Penn Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What to Know About a Broken Toe

Although most people try to avoid foot trauma such as banging, stubbing, or dropping heavy objects on their feet, the unfortunate fact is that it is a common occurrence. Given the fact that toes are positioned in front of the feet, they typically sustain the brunt of such trauma. When trauma occurs to a toe, the result can be a painful break (fracture).

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • Throbbing pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising on the skin and toenail
  • The inability to move the toe
  • Toe appears crooked or disfigured
  • Tingling or numbness in the toe

Generally, it is best to stay off of the injured toe with the affected foot elevated.

Severe toe fractures may be treated with a splint, cast, and in some cases, minor surgery. Due to its position and the pressure it endures with daily activity, future complications can occur if the big toe is not properly treated.

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.

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Monday, 01 April 2019 00:00

If you notice your middle toes are bent in a downward position, you may have what is referred to as hammertoe. The second toe is typically affected, and it may resemble a hammer as a result of the way it is bent. The most common reasons for hammertoes to develop may be from wearing footwear that does not fit correctly. These may include shoes which do not have ample room for the toes to move freely in. Additional reasons why this condition may develop may be genetic factors, or existing medical conditions which may include bunions or arthritis. Many people experience common symptoms when hammertoe has developed. These may include toe pain when the toes are stretched downward, toes that are curled, or thickened skin on the affected toe and surrounding areas. Hammertoes may be prevented by wearing shoes that fit correctly, and this often means choosing shoes that have adequate room for the toes to move about in. If you have this ailment, please consult with a podiatrist who can discuss proper treatment options with you.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Jim Maxka of South Penn Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctor 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 our office located in Hanover, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Monday, 25 March 2019 00:00

The tendon that connects the heel bone to the calf muscles is referred to as the Achilles tendon. This tendon is responsible for helping the feet push off the ground while walking, running, or jumping. It may become torn as a result of an injury that has happened to it. Many things can cause this to occur, including running uphill, participating in sporting activities that involve sharp turns, or possibly from falling. Some of the symptoms that are associated with this type of injury may include feeling pain and discomfort in the back of your ankle, having difficulty while standing on your tiptoes, or your leg may appear swollen. Mild relief may be found when the affected leg is elevated, and this may be helpful in reducing the swelling. If you have torn your Achilles tendon, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can offer proper treatment options.

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.

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