New York City Podiatrist

Posts for tag: Hammertoes

By Dr. Kenneth Meisler and Associates
January 16, 2017
Category: Foot Care

For some women, there’s nothing quite as exciting as getting a brand new pair of elegant high heels. High heels come in a number of attractive high heels injurystyles, including pumps, stilettos, wedges, Mary Janes, platforms and sling backs. But those pretty heels can hide some pretty ugly truths. Take a moment to learn more about the hidden dangers of high heels and how they can cause serious problems for your feet.

Heel Spurs

Heel spurs are bumps that form on the heel bone over time due to continuous friction or pressure. The design of many high heeled shoes puts a strain on the back of the foot, leading to complications with heel spurs and irritation of the skin.

Ankle Injury

Women who wear very high heels also put their ankles at risk of injury. If the wearer falls or has a sudden movement in the wrong direction, it could cause a sprained ankle. The higher the heel, the worse the potential effects of a fall.

Hammertoes

One of the most commonly reported problems that podiatrists receive from women who wear high heels is the appearance of hammertoes. A hammertoe develops as the toes are pinched and squeezed forward in the front of the heel—the toes begin to bend at the joints into an unnatural shape. In some cases, the joints are aggravated to the point where the wearer can no longer bend the toes back up.

Corns and Calluses

Hammertoes are often seen in combination with unsightly corns that develop on the tops of the toes due to friction with the shoe. Calluses also often develop on the sides of the feet and on the bottom, where the ball of the feet meets the ground each time you take a step.

As gorgeous as those high heels on the rack may look, it’s also important to think about how your feet could look after a while if you wear them often. If you enjoy wearing high heels, protect your feet by maintaining regular appointments with your podiatrist. A number of modern solutions and foot therapies are available, so if you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, call your podiatrist today to schedule an urgent consultation.

Foot surgery is the final remedy for many different kinds of pain in the foot and ankle caused by bunions, hammertoes, and arthritis, just to name a few. Though these problems can cause severe pain in some patients, relief can often be found through alternative treatments. It is only in extreme cases--when these alternative treatments aren't  effective--that there is a need for foot surgery.  Your podiatrist will work with you to determine the best treatment option for your ailments.

Bunion Surgery

Bunion surgeries fall into two major categories:

  • Head procedures that treat the big toe joint
  • Base procedures concentrate on the bone near or behind the big toe joint. 

Most bunion surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis at a surgical center or hospital. It is important to set aside an entire day for your surgery, even though you may be in the facility for only half a day. Bunion surgery is usually performed with a local anesthetic that can be combined with a sedation medication to put you into a “twilight” sleep so that you are fully relaxed for the procedure.  

After surgery, patients are often given a long-acting anesthetic and pain medication, which is why someone else must drive you home. The type of procedure you have will determine the degree to which you can put weight on the foot immediately after the surgery. Some patients may have to use crutches, while others may be sent home wearing a surgical shoe.  

During the first week after surgery, you will need to keep your foot elevated as much as possible. Ice packs should also be applied for the first three to four days to reduce swelling. Limited walking is often required over the first two weeks to promote healing. Your podiatrist may also instruct you on some basic exercises that need to be performed daily.

Ankle Surgery

Ankle surgery may be required to correct a serious deformity of the ankle and its bone structure. Injury, birth defects, or changes throughout the course of life are the usual culprits. Disease, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and neuromuscular conditions, may cause severe foot and ankle deformities that, over time, cause pain and difficulty walking. Surgeries of the ankle emphasize the realignment of the structure either around or after removal of the deformity.

Various kinds of internal and external fixation devices are often required to maintain the appropriate alignment during, and beyond the healing process. Varying in complexity and severity, many ankle surgeries are conducted on a same-day, outpatient basis.  Patients need to arrange for another person to take them home after surgery and to stay with them for the first 24 hours following the surgery. Post-operative instructions provided by your podiatrist will give you the information needed to care for your recovering ankle following surgery.  

When foot problems occur, your feet deserve your full attention and the care of your podiatrist. Foot surgery can often be avoided with conservative treatments, but if your foot pain is excessive foot surgery may be the best solution. Contact your podiatrist in today for further consultation and treatment of your foot ailments.  

By Kenneth R. Meisler, D.P.M., P.L.L.C. & Associates
August 01, 2012
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Hammertoes  

HammertoesA hammertoe is one of the most common toe conditions, usually stemming from muscle imbalance in which the joints of the second, third, fourth or fifth toe are bent into a contracted, claw-like position. In the early stages, hammertoes are flexible and can be corrected with simple conservative measures, but if left untreated, they can become fixed and require surgery.

The most common cause of hammertoe is a muscle imbalance. Tight-fitting and high-heeled shoes often aggravate the condition, crowding your toes forward. A hammertoe can also be the result of injury in which you break or jam the toe, or from conditions like arthritis or stroke that affect nerves and muscles. In some cases, hammertoes may even be inherited.

Because of their clenched, claw-like appearance, hammertoes will generally be visibly present. Other signs and symptoms include:

  • Difficult or painful motion of a toe joint
  • Redness or swelling at a toe joint
  • Development of calluses and corns
  • Open sores in severe cases

The foot and ankle professionals at our New York office recommend the following for preventing and reducing the symptoms associated with hammertoe:

  • Wear comfortable, proper-fitting shoes that provide support and allow enough room for your toes
  • Avoid high-heeled or narrow-toed shoes
  • Stretch your toe muscles to relieve pressure and pain
  • Apply splints, cushions or pads to relieve pressure
  • Moisturize with cream to keep the skin soft

Generally, a modification of footwear will reduce the symptoms associated with hammertoe. Other non-surgical treatment includes padding to shield corns and calluses and orthotic devices that are placed in the shoe to help control muscle imbalance. Dr. Meisler can help you determine the best treatment for your symptoms. Severe cases that don't respond to conservative measures may require surgery to restore your toe's flexibility and eliminate the pressure.

Hammertoes are progressive - they don't go away by themselves and the condition usually gets worse over time. Once a podiatrist at Dr. Meisler has evaluated your hammertoe, a treatment plan can be developed that is suited to your needs.