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August 2022

Tuesday, 30 August 2022 00:00

Dealing With Ingrown Toenails

When a toenail, most commonly on the big toe, becomes embedded in the skin surrounding it, it is known as an ingrown toenail. This results in pain, redness, swelling, and sometimes infection if not properly cared for. In some cases, an ingrown toenail can break the skin, leaving it vulnerable to infection. In the worst cases, an ingrown toenail can develop into lesions filled with fluid that can emit a foul odor. Causes of ingrown toenails include rounding the corners of the nail, pressure from tight footwear, and repetitive trauma sustained in certain sports. There are many more contributing factors to the formation of ingrown toenails. Among them are certain diseases, like diabetes, as well as obesity, poor foot hygiene, and genetics. At-home measures to correct this condition include soaking the feet in Epsom salt, trimming the toenails straight across, and wearing shoes that provide ample room for the toes to move. If ingrown toenails become a common occurrence, it is a good idea to consult a podiatrist for further treatment options. 

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact one of our podiatrists of Advanced Ankle & Foot Surgeons. 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 Belleville and O'Fallon, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Tuesday, 23 August 2022 00:00

What Is a Plantar Fibroma?

If you are serious about protecting the health of your feet, you ought to make yourself familiar with various common foot afflictions that can negatively impact the vitality of your feet. Plantar fibroma is one of these conditions. Plantar fibroma occurs when a benign (noncancerous) tumor or nodule develops on the bottom of the foot. Most commonly, a plantar fibroma develops on the plantar fascia, the band of tissue that stretches from a person’s heel to the toes and makes up the arch of the foot. Plantar fibromas typically measure less than an inch, and they do not usually appear in an individual during the first 10 years of their life. This condition can either manifest itself as one entity or multiple entities. When plantar fibromas come in clusters and they become more invasive, this might be considered plantar fibromatosis. A plantar fibroma can be treated in various ways. One technique is to address the plantar fibroma with orthotics, or corrective shoe inserts. A surgical procedure might be needed to treat other cases of plantar fibroma. If you believe that you are suffering from plantar fibroma, consider reaching out to a podiatrist who can help you address this problem.

A plantar fibroma may disrupt your daily activities. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of Advanced Ankle & Foot Surgeons. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Plantar Fibroma

A plantar fibroma is a fibrous knot in the arch of the foot. It is embedded in the plantar fascia which is a band of tissue that extends from the heel to the toes along the bottom of the foot. There can be multiple plantar fibromas in the feet at the same time. There are no known causes for this condition. If you have a plantar fibroma, there will be a bump in the arch of your foot that cannot be missed. Any associated pain is most often due to a shoe rubbing against the nodule. Non-surgical options, such as steroid injections, physical therapy, and orthotics should be tried first. Surgery is a last resort and is the only thing that will remove a plantar fibroma entirely. Consult with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and to determine the treatment regimen that is right for you.

What Causes a Plantar Fibroma?

While there are no specific causes identified, a plantar fibroma can possibly come from genetic predisposition or the formation of scar tissue that forms from healing the tears in the plantar fascia.

What Are the Symptoms of a Plantar Fibroma?

There will be a noticeable lump in the arch of the foot that may or may not cause pain. If pain is felt, it is typically because a shoe is rubbing up against the lump or when walking or standing barefoot.

Treatment and Prevention

A plantar fibroma will not disappear without treatment, but it can get smaller and be a non-issue. If pain persists, a podiatrist examines the foot and when the arch of the foot is pressed, pain can be felt down to the toes. An MRI or biopsy might be performed to help diagnose or evaluate the plantar fibroma. The following non-surgical options are generally enough to reduce the size and pain of these nodules:

  • Steroid injections
  • Orthotics
  • Physical therapy to help apply anti-inflammatory creams on the bump 

Surgery is considered if the mass increases in size and the patient continues to feel pain after non-surgical methods are tried.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Belleville and O'Fallon, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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The Achilles tendon is defined as the tendon in the calf which connects the calf muscles to the heel. People who frequently participate in sporting activities may experience an Achilles tendon injury, and this can be common among runners. It is considered to be the strongest tendon in the body, and can become painful if an injury has occurred. Some of the symptoms that patients may have can include severe heel pain, the affected area can be tender when touched, and the back of the ankle may be swollen. If the Achilles tendon is affected during a foot injury, the patient may hear a popping sound at the time of the mishap, and there is often immediate pain. This tendon can become weakened from overuse, and this may be a result of repeated stress that happens gradually. Additionally, this type of injury may occur from wearing shoes that do not fit correctly, and increasing the intensity and speed of the chosen exercise too soon. If you have endured an Achilles tendon injury, it is strongly advised that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can diagnose it correctly, and offer prompt treatment.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of Advanced Ankle & Foot Surgeons. Our doctors 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 one of our offices located in Belleville and O'Fallon, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What are Achilles Tendon Injuries

A stress fracture in the foot is common among people who enjoy running and participating in sporting activities. It is considered to be a hairline fracture, and gradually happens from repetitive stress that is put on the bones in the feet. People may refer to it as a fatigue fracture, and it is a weakening of the bone. There may be additional risk factors at play in why some people develop stress fractures and others do not. These can include not consuming enough calories, having an earlier stress fracture, or possibly from having low body weight. Many people can endure a stress fracture from training too rapidly and frequently, as this does not allow adequate time for the bones to get used to the added stress. Additionally, if running is done on hard surfaces, it may contribute significantly to getting a stress fracture. Relief generally begins with stopping the activity that caused the fracture, and resting the affected foot which may help to relieve swelling. If you have endured a stress fracture, it is advised that you speak with a podiatrist as quickly as possible so the correct treatment can begin.

 

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, contact one of our podiatrists from Advanced Ankle & Foot Surgeons. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain free and on your feet.

How Are They Caused?

Stress fractures are the result of repetitive force being placed on the bone. Since the lower leg and feet often carry most of the body’s weight, stress fractures are likely to occur in these areas. If you rush into a new exercise, you are more likely to develop a stress fracture since you are starting too much, too soon.  Pain resulting from stress fractures may go unnoticed at first, however it may start to worsen over time.

Risk Factors

  • Gender – They are more commonly found in women compared to men.
  • Foot Problems – People with unusual arches in their feet are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Certain Sports – Dancers, gymnasts, tennis players, runners, and basketball players are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Lack of Nutrients – A lack of vitamin D and calcium may weaken the bones and make you more prone to stress fractures
  • Weak Bones – Osteoporosis can weaken the bones therefore resulting in stress fractures

Stress fractures do not always heal properly, so it is important that you seek help from a podiatrist if you suspect you may have one. Ignoring your stress fracture may cause it to worsen, and you may develop chronic pain as well as additional fractures.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Belleville and O'Fallon, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

Suffering from this type of pain? You may have the foot condition known as Morton's neuroma. Morton's neuroma may develop as a result of ill-fitting footwear and existing foot deformities. We can help.

Tuesday, 02 August 2022 00:00

Two Types of Hammertoe

When the toe joints become out of balance a condition known as hammertoe may develop. This is considered to be a deformity and can happen from wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely. The joints in the toes become affected and can bend downward, resembling a hammer. Additionally, genetic reasons may cause this condition to occur, where there is an imbalance in the tendons. An injury to the toes may cause a hammertoe to develop and many times corns and calluses form on top of the bent toes. Research has indicated that is important to wear shoes that fit correctly. A shoe that fits well has enough space between the longest toe and the top of the shoe, ensuring the toe will not touch that part of the shoe. Flexible hammertoe generally happens in the beginning stages of this ailment. This is noticeable because the toes can still be straightened despite being in a fixed position. When the toes are unable to straighten this is classified as rigid hammertoe, and surgery may be necessary to correct it. If you notice signs of hammertoe, please consult with a podiatrist who can guide you toward the correct treatment techniques.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists from Advanced Ankle & Foot Surgeons. Our doctors 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 one of our offices located in Belleville and O'Fallon, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What Are Hammertoes?
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