Posts for category: Foot Issues
Is it about time you had bunion surgery? Although bunion pain can often be eased with other treatments, surgery may be the best option in some cases. The podiatrists at Kenneth R Meisler, DPM, & Associates in New York City, NY, provide a range of bunion treatments, including surgery.
Do I need bunion surgery?
You may be able to relieve or reduce your pain and slow the progression of your bunions by avoiding high heels and tight shoes, taping your feet, or wearing night splints or orthotics to realign your feet. Although these measures can be helpful, they can't reverse bunions. Surgery offers the only way to remove the bunion and end your pain. Bunion surgery may be recommended if you have:
What happens during bunion surgery?
Your New York City podiatrist will recommend bunion surgery based on your symptoms and the severity of your condition. Surgery generally involves removing the bump, improving the alignment of the bones in the joint and removing excess tissue. Repair of tendons and ligaments may also be necessary. Bunion surgery is usually performed on an out-patient basis.
Would you like to find out if bunion surgery can help you? Call podiatrists at Kenneth R Meisler, DPM, & Associates in New York City, NY, at (212) 628-4444 to schedule your appointment.
One common foot issue that often prompts patients to visit the podiatrist is hammertoe. Hammertoe is a foot condition that is not only painful, but also embarrassing for patients who want to wear certain types of shoes and show off their feet. Learn more about what causes hammertoe and how it can be resolved at your podiatrist’s office.
What Is a Hammertoe?
The muscles of your toe help keep it in proper alignment so that it lies straight, the same way that your fingers look when you lay them out on a table. But in some cases, the joints in the toe become weakened, causing the top end of the toe to bend forward. This is called hammertoe—it usually happens to one or all of the middle three toes of the foot. In some cases the hammertoe is flexible, meaning that the toe can be manually bent back up into position, but in other cases it is rigid and can’t be adjusted. Hammertoe makes it difficult or even impossible to comfortably wear and walk in everyday shoes.
What Causes Hammertoe?
Hammertoe is most commonly caused by wearing bad shoes for extended periods of time. It is a problem often found in women because they like to wear attractive high heels that do unfortunate things to their feet. The design of many high heeled shoes causes the feet and toes to push up against the rigid front and bend them into the shape of a hammertoe. In some cases, people are more prone to hammertoe due to genetics or because of medical condition, like diabetes.
Treatments for Hammertoe
The treatment plan of choice for hammertoe is a combination of foot exercises, physical therapy and custommade orthotic shoes or inserts. Placing a splint on the affected toe can also help it heal back into its correct position. If the area is painful, your podiatrist may also administer cortisone injections. In the case of rigid hammertoe, where you lose the ability to move the toe up or down, surgery may be necessary to fix the joint.
Hammertoe is an embarrassing foot problem, but the good news is that it can be corrected or relieved in most cases. It is best treated when you catch it in its early stages, so make an appointment with your podiatrist at the first signs of a bending toe.
Women tend to experience the pain and disfigurement associated with bunions more often than men. Here we explain why:
It's been said that women often suffer for the sake of fashion. That seems to be especially true when it comes to their feet years of wearing narrow, highheeled, pointed shoes can wreak havoc on the structure of women's feet, particularly in the form of bunions. These deformities have become one of the most common afflictions podiatrists treat in their offices. But why does this problem tend to affect women over men, and what can be done to prevent it?
First, it's important to know what bunions are and how they develop. Bunions gradually develop on the outside of the big toes from pressure on their joints. As the big toe is constantly pushed inward toward the other toes, the bunion becomes more pronounced. They are not actually new growths; the deformity of the foot bones makes it appear that there is a lump under the skin. The results of this irregularity can be pain, swelling and limited range of motion, and its appearance can make people selfconscious about going barefoot or wearing opentoed shoes.
The cause of bunions is not completely known: they may be an inherited abnormality, or they may be caused by many years of wearing illfitting footwear. Either way, it is generally accepted that cheaply-made or tight-fitting shoes can worsen bunions over time. Given that women's shoes often require the foot to contort into an unnatural position, it is no wonder that more women suffer from bunions than men. Women also tend to be more arthritic, a condition that can exacerbate bunions as well.
Low-maintenance, non-surgical options are usually the first line of treatment for bunions. Shoes should be highquality and fitted by an expert to ensure proper sizing. Speciallydesigned foot pads or arch supports can be worn to alleviate some of the pressure and mild pain relievers like ibuprofen or naproxen can ease the pain. Surgeries involve removing some of the affected bone or surrounding tissue to correct the foot's position.
If you think your feet might be fashion victims, kick your shoes off and call your podiatrist to ask about your options.
Learn how to properly care for your foot cast to promote faster healing.
If you’ve broken a bone in your foot, then chances are pretty good that your podiatrist has told you that you have to wear a cast to protect and support it until the break heals.
However, there are certain things you need to do to properly care for your foot cast, so it can be most effective in helping your injury heal. It’s important to understand the basic elements that go into caring for your cast, so you are back to your old self in no time.
Handling Foot Swelling
Sometimes your foot may swell while it’s in the case, making the cast feel uncomfortable and restrictive. Here are some ways to reduce your foot swelling, so you cast doesn’t feel so unpleasant:
- Elevate your foot above your heart for the first three days after your cast has been put on. If you can, also try to sleep with your foot propped up on a pillow.
- Wiggle and move your toes around to keep blood flow circulating throughout your injured foot.
- You can also apply an ice pack, covered with a towel, around your cast for the first two to three days after getting your cast. Ice the cast for about 20 minutes every couple of hours throughout the day.
Handling an Itchy Cast
Sometimes the skin underneath the cast can get a bit itchy, which is enough to drive anyone a little mad. Here are some ways to relieve that itch without damaging your cast:
- Turn your hair dryer on cool and target under your cast to reach the itchy spots
- Apply a towelwrapped ice pack to the cast where the itchy area is
- Consider taking an overthecounter antihistamine to help relieve itching
Whatever you do, do not try to place utensils or objects under your cast to scratch your skin, as this could cause an open wound and potential infection.
Keeping Your Cast Dry
Most of the time, your podiatrist will recommend that you avoid getting your cast wet. If your cast is made from plaster then you will need to keep it dry at all times. Apply a plastic bag or waterproof wrapping over your cast when bathing or showering.
If you have a fiberglass cast, however, it’s typically okay if it does get wet. This is because the cast is usually lined with a waterrepellent layer; however, find out from your podiatrist whether or not your fiberglass cast can be wet. Anytime your fiberglass cast gets wet, just let it air dry.
If you have any questions about your foot cast, call your podiatrist today!
A minor cut or scratch on your foot is usually not cause for alarm, but certain kinds of wounds on your feet can become infected and lead to other health problems if they are not treated promptly.
Perhaps you've nicked your skin while trimming your toenails. Maybe your new shoes didn't fit properly and you have an uncomfortable blister on your ankle. Or you were outside working in your garden and discovered a rusty nail the hard way by stepping on it. These don't seem like cause for much concern, but foot wounds can necessitate immediate medical attention in some instances.
Certain ailments can make dealing with foot wounds profoundly more challenging. For instance, a simple blister in a healthy person would require a minimal amount of treatment in order to heal. But for someone who has poor circulation or neuropathy, found in individuals with diabetes and autoimmune or vascular disorders, the complications could be dire. These diseases, particularly diabetes, reduce feeling in the extremities and suppress healing. This means a scratch or cut on the foot can ulcerate, become infected and potentially lead to amputation if not treated promptly.
Patients who are at risk for foot wound complications should work directly with their physicians to understand how to prevent wounds and the management of existing wounds. This includes rigorous cleaning and careful inspection of the feet daily.
Feet are particularly susceptible to puncture wounds, as sharp objects on the ground may not be immediately seen as someone is walking. These injuries can be concerning because of the potential for harmful bacteria to thrive in the lowoxygen environment. The depth of the wound can cause pieces of debris to become trapped, and without proper care and cleaning, this can lead to a serious infection.
It is important to seek medical care as soon as possible after receiving a deep puncture wound on your foot, particularly if it penetrated your shoe. You may need a tetanus shot booster if you haven't received one in the last five to ten years. Even after visiting an emergency department, following up with a podiatrist afterwards is essential to ensure the injury site is clean and healing properly.
If you are diabetic or have another vascular disorder, it is important to maintain good hygiene and to stay in contact with your podiatrist in the event of an injury. Other foot wounds should be seen by a doctor to determine the best treatment.