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Posts for category: Foot Condition

By Wilmette Foot and Ankle Clinic
July 28, 2020
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Footwear   Hammertoe  
HammertoesWhile tight, cramped shoes and those towering high heels may not immediately show you the damage that’s being done to your feet, over time you will certainly notice changes in the structure and function of your feet. Along with bunions, a common foot deformity, hammertoes are another deformity that causes the toes to bend downward at the middle joint. If the problem isn’t corrected, this simple and rather uncomfortable deformity can become severe. Here’s how to determine whether you may have hammertoes and what you can do about it now to prevent it from getting worse.

Wear Appropriate Footwear
You need to make sure that any shoes you wear properly fit your feet. While this might sound silly, many people are guilty of wearing shoes that are too narrow and put too much pressure on the toes. Look for shoes with a wide toe box that allows your feet enough room to wiggle freely. If your toes are bunched up in any of the shoes you have (particularly high heels or shoes with pointed toes) then you will want to avoid these types of shoes whenever possible.

Consider Shoe Inserts
While it’s important to find shoes that cushion and support your foot structure, sometimes people with hammertoes, bunions, and other foot problems that can cause pain can benefit from prescription shoe inserts (also known as orthotics). Orthotics can be crafted to fit the shape of your feet and also to address the issues you’re having (aka alleviating pressure on the toes when standing or walking).

Apply Protective Padding
A hammertoe causes the toe to bend down like a claw. This means that the toe’s joint is sticking out. As you may already know, this causes shoes to rub against the joint, causing a callus to develop. One way to prevent this from happening is to apply a non-medicated pad over the toe joint before putting on shoes.

Practice Pain Management
If your hammertoe starts to ache or hurt, you may want to apply ice to the area throughout the day to help alleviate pain and swelling. If the pain is intense or persistent then you may want to consider taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen, which can help with both pain and swelling; however, if your symptoms are severe, you must see a podiatrist about your hammertoe.

Do I need surgery for a hammertoe?
If the hammertoe is flexible (meaning that you can straighten the toe out) then you won’t need surgery; however, if the hammertoe becomes rigid and causes pain and problems with mobility then surgery is recommended.

If you are dealing with hammertoes or other foot problems, you must have a podiatrist that you can turn to for regular and immediate care.
By Wilmette Foot and Ankle Clinic
April 24, 2020
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Bunion  

A bunion can be a painful and debilitating foot condition, one that cannot be treated without a foot and ankle specialist. However, if you take proper care of your feet, you can reduce your risk of bunion development. Dr. Gary Rogers is a board-certified foot and ankle specialist based at Wilmette Foot and Ankle Clinic in Skokie, IL. Here are his tips for preventing bunion development.

What is a Bunion?

A bunion is a hard lump that forms on the base of your big toe. It causes pain and stiffness in the toe. Because it pushes the big toe into the next toe, callouses and corns may develop between the two toes. The bone deformity can make wearing shoes very uncomfortable, and over time you may find walking or standing very difficult.

The most likely cause of a bunion is squeezing the feet into narrow, pointed-toe shoes. Over time, this compresses the big toe against the other toes causing the lower joint to protrude from the foot’s natural alignment. Your Skokie foot and ankle specialist will be able to tell how severe your bunion is by taking an X-ray.

How to Prevent Bunion Development

Follow these tips to avoid bunions:

  • Always wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes.
  • Avoid shoes with a narrow toe box.
  • Wear high heels in moderation.
  • Take off your shoes frequently and rest your feet.
  • Exercise your feet by stretching them and picking up small objects with your toes.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.

Bunion Treatment

Bunions can be treated by padding the swelling, wearing orthopedic shoes, and if the condition is severe, with foot surgery.

Don’t suffer in silence with bunions or other foot problems. If you’re looking for a foot and ankle specialist in Skokie, call Dr. Robert on 847-256-4434 to make an appointment.

By Wilmette Foot and Ankle Clinic
April 22, 2020
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Arch Problems  

The arches of the feet play a role in supporting your body’s weight when standing or in motion. The tarsal and metatarsal bones make up the arches of the feet, also receiving additional support and stability from tendons and ligaments; however, our feet, like the rest of our body, can be affected by infections, disorders, and structural changes that can impact not only the health of our feet but also our mobility. It’s important to recognize the warning signs of arch problems so you know when you need to see a podiatrist.

Arch Pain Causes

If you are dealing with arch pain it is most likely caused by an injury or by structural abnormalities in the foot. For example, those with very high arches as well as those with flat feet may experience arch problems due to these common structural issues.

As a result, there are other factors that could also lead to further arch problems including:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Aging
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Cavus foot
  • Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction

It’s important to understand a little bit more about these common foot disorders and how they could affect the arches of your feet.

Plantar fasciitis

This condition that causes inflammation and microtears in the plantar fascia is also the most common cause of heel pain. Of course, because the plantar fascia (a ligament that connects the toes to the heel bone) also supports the arches of the feet this can also lead to arch pain. This condition is usually the result of overuse and is seen most often in runners. If you have plantar fasciitis it’s important to avoid physical activities until the fascia has fully healed.

Cavus foot

This condition, which affects the structure of the foot, leads to excessively high arches. People who’ve had a stroke, as well as people with certain conditions such as cerebral palsy may be more likely to develop cavus foot. This problem causes arch pain when standing or walking and can increase the risk for ankle injuries. Your podiatrist may choose to treat cavus foot through custom-made orthotics (shoe inserts), bracing, or by recommending specialized and supportive footwear.

Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction

The posterior tibial tendon runs from the calf muscles to the inner portion of the foot. This condition leads to changes in the tendon, which in turn affects its ability to support the arches of the foot. Flat feet can be caused by posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, and this is often the cause of flat feet that develop in adulthood. Like the other conditions above, treatment for PTTD usually involves bracing, orthotics, or providing custom devices that provide additional support to the arches of the feet.

If you are experiencing foot pain, swelling or other problems that affect mobility then it’s time that you turned to a podiatrist for care. Conditions and injuries that don’t respond to rest and at-home care may require more advanced treatments and therapies.

By Wilmette Foot and Ankle Clinic
November 14, 2019
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Heel Pain  

Your feet go through a lot of natural wear-and-tear on a daily basis, sometimes resulting in debilitating pain, especially when it comes to Heel-Painthe heels. Fortunately, here at Wilmette Foot and Ankle Clinic, your podiatrist, Dr. Gary Rogers, understands the importance of having healthy heels, and he is proud to provide his services to those in the North Shore area.

If you'd like to learn more about the different heel pain conditions and how to treat them, here is some information:

 

What types of conditions cause heel pain?

  1. Haglund's Deformity is a painful growth on the back of the heel bone. Women tend to develop these red, painful, swollen deformities on the heel bone because of poorly fitted shoes.
  2. Heel calluses, i.e. plantar calluses, develop when a metatarsal bone is too long or not appropriately aligned with others and ends up hitting the ground with too much force. Consequently, the skin underneath the bone thickens, resulting in calluses that can become quite irritated and result in pain.
  3. Heel fissures occur when the skin at the heel cracks and thickens, resulting in recurrent bleeding. Inappropriate shoes, such as open-backed sandals, and skin conditions, like eczema and psoriasis, may lead to heel fissures.
  4. Plantar fasciitis, also known as a heel spur syndrome, is an inflammation of the connective tissue on the bottom of the foot (i.e. the plantar fascia). The connective tissue stretches from the base of the toes, across the arch of the foot, to the heel bone.

 

How can you treat heel pain?

  • Haglund's Deformity can be treated by reducing the friction and foot irritation produced from wearing ill-fitting shoes. Accordingly, wear shoes that are comfortable, not too tight or too loose, and avoid high heels. Soaking your feet in warm soapy water and using anti-inflammatory medications can mitigate symptoms, as well, but make sure that you speak with your podiatrist before taking any medication.
  • Heel calluses don't necessarily need surgical treatment, but when they do, your North Shore area podiatrist performs a procedure called an osteotomy. This treatment relieves pressure off the metatarsal bone by properly aligning it with the other bones, thus alleviating pressure and preventing heel callus formation.
  • Heel fissures are treated by wearing proper shoes. Deep skin moisturizers and lotions may also reduce dryness and give your heel time to heal.
  • Plantar fasciitis is successfully treated with non-surgical methods, such as anti-inflammatory medications, ice packs, stretching exercises, orthotic devices, and physical therapy. If the condition is persistent, Extracorporeal Shock Wave Treatment (ESWT) may be used to treat heel pain.

 

Need relief? Call our North Shore office today!

For more information about heel pain, don't hesitate to contact Dr. Gary Rogers' office today by dialing (847) 256-4434!

By Wilmette Foot and Ankle Clinic
May 10, 2019
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Neuroma  

Are you dealing with pain, burning, tingling or numbness between your toes or in the ball of the foot? If you said “yes” then you could be dealing with a neuroma, Neuromaa pinched nerve or benign tumor of the nerve that is often found between the third and fourth toes.

The classic symptom of a neuroma is pain, particularly when walking—a factor that leads many people to liken the condition to feeling like a pebble is in their shoe. You may find that the pain eases up whenever you aren’t walking or when you rub the pained area with your hands. While neuromas can happen to anyone, they are most commonly found in women.

Neuroma Causes

While the causes of a neuroma are still not clear, there are factors that can increase the likelihood of developing one, such as:

  • Extremely high arches
  • Flat feet
  • Trauma that leads to nerve damage in the feet
  • Improper footwear (high heels over two-inches tall; pointed toes)
  • Repeated stress placed on the foot

Treating a Neuroma

A neuroma will not go away on its own, so it’s important to see a podiatrist if you are experiencing any of the condition's symptoms. The type of treatment or treatments recommended to you will depend on the severity of the neuroma.

Those with minor neuromas may be able to lessen symptoms by wearing shoes that provide ample room for the toes and offer thick soles that provide more support and cushioning for the toes and balls of the feet. Sometimes a podiatrist may recommend custom orthotics to place inside the shoes, as well.

Your podiatrist may also recommend padding or taping the ball of the foot to improve faulty biomechanics and reduce discomfort. While medication will not eliminate the problem, it can temporarily alleviate symptoms. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories can often briefly reduce pain and swelling, but for those dealing with more severe pain, steroid injections may be necessary to ease symptoms.

Surgery for a Neuroma

Surgery only becomes necessary when conservative treatment options have failed to provide relief, or when the neuroma has progressed enough that conservative care won’t be enough. During surgery, the inflamed nerve is removed through a simple outpatient procedure. Afterward, there is a short recovery period of a couple of weeks before patients are able to move about pain-free once again!

Give us a Call!

If you are dealing with new or worsening foot pain it’s important that you turn to a podiatrist that can help give you the answers you need. Schedule an appointment today.