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Posts for category: Foot Issues

By Wilmette Foot and Ankle Clinic
May 21, 2020
Category: Foot Issues
Tags: Morton's Neuroma   Neuroma  
Morton's NeuromaA podiatrist can help you with a variety of conditions that affect the feet, including Morton’s neuroma. A neuroma is the thickening of nerve tissue in the body, with Morton's neuroma specifically happening in the ball of the foot. It’s caused by an irritation in the nerve between the third and fourth toes. Patients experience pain while walking, with a burning, tingling, or numbness. 
 
Developing Morton’s Neuroma
 
There isn’t any known cause for Morton’s neuroma. There are a few factors that can increase your risk though. These include: 
  • Trauma or injury to the foot, damaging the nerve and resulting in swelling.
  • Improper footwear, like shoes that squeeze the foot together. High heels also increase pressure on the vulnerable areas.
  • Recurring stress to the feet through repeated physical activities or exercise. This is common with patients who are constantly on their feet due to their job. 
  • Deformities of the foot, like a high arch or flat foot. These lead to instability throughout the foot. 
The most important thing that your podiatrist recommends is wearing comfortable shoes. You don’t want anything that squeezes or hurts. Always wear athletic shoes when engaging in any physical activity. 
 
How to Treat Morton’s Neuroma at Home
 
Start by finding shoes that give your toes lots of room and are easily adjustable. The soles need to be shock-absorbent and thick. This keeps the pressure off the feet. You should also invest in shoe inserts or soles recommended by your podiatrist. Lastly, pay attention to your feet and their pain levels. When your Morton’s neuroma starts to act up, take a minute to rest. Take off your shoe and massage the area. An ice pack brings down the swelling too. 
 
Talking to Your Podiatrist
 
You should schedule an appointment with your podiatrist as soon as you experience foot problems. Morton’s neuroma gets worse without treatment. Identifying the neuroma early on can prevent needing aggressive treatment options like surgery. 
 
For early forms of Morton’s neuroma, changing your shoes is enough to relieve your symptoms. Your podiatrist’s goal for early treatment is to relieve pressure from the affected area. After going through a physical examination and having X-rays done, your podiatrist creates a treatment plan that works for you. 
 
There are a few different options that can work for you:
  • Taping and padding: This is a special type of tape and bandages that you place on the bottom of the foot. This helps with your symptoms. 
  • Orthotics: These are the custom shoes that your podiatrist can create for you. 
  • Medication: Cortisone injections reduce the pain and inflammation in the foot. Anti-inflammatory drugs also reduce your swelling. 
  • Surgery is the last resort for treatment. The procedure is done on an outpatient basis. The injured nerve is removed and recovery takes a few weeks.
By Wilmette Foot and Ankle Clinic
October 01, 2018
Category: Foot Issues
Tags: Athlete's Foot   Dry Feet   Sweaty Feet  

Athlete's foot is a fungal infection that can infect anyone. There are several repercussions to take, according to your Wilmette, IL, podiatristAthletes Foot serving North Shore, IL, that will help prevent or manage this foot condition.

Athlete's foot can infect anyone, especially individuals who expose their feet to moist surfaces. Some symptoms to keep an eye out for are scaly rash, raw, moist skin between toes, itching, and/or stinging and a burning sensation.

There are several preventative measures to take according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association. You should wear shower shoes, flip-flops, or sandals when near pools, in gyms, or public showers and locker room areas. Don't walk around barefoot in hotel rooms since foot fungus may be on the floor. Change your socks when they get wet, instead of waiting for them to dry while on your feet. Don't wear the same shoes every day. Give your shoes a chance to air out and dry before wearing them again. Don't share towels, linens, or shoes with someone who has athlete's foot. It usually spreads through skin-to-skin contact, like handshakes or hugs, and touching a contaminated surface like a blanket or doorknob. Keep your feet clean and dry. The fungus thrives when your feet are wet and when you're wearing tight-fitted shoes, so your Wilmette doctor serving North Shore, IL, advises avoiding both situations. This is especially a problem when it's hot outside and your feet sweat profusely. Make sure you wash your feet every day with soap and water, then completely dry them. Avoid synthetic socks. Wearing socks made from natural fabrics, or fabrics that quickly dry and/or wick moisture to help keep your feet dry.

Athlete's foot shouldn't be a serious problem but if it takes too long to heal, you need to speak to your podiatrist. If you have any questions, or concerns about athlete's foot, call your Wilmette, IL, podiatrist serving North Shore, IL, today!

By Wilmette Foot and Ankle Clinic
July 12, 2018
Category: Foot Issues
Tags: Hammertoes  

What your podiatrist in Wilmette wants you to knowHammertoes

You’ve probably heard of hammertoes, but if you’ve never had one, you may not know it can cause pain, affect your ability to walk, and make it difficult to wear shoes. Dr. Gary Rogers at NorthShore University HealthSystem in Wilmette, IL, wants to share the facts about this annoying condition and how to prevent and treat it.

Hammertoes typically occur in the second, third, or fourth toes, affecting the middle toe joint. The middle joint begins to bend inward, causing the toe to protrude outward, eventually resembling a hammer. Hammertoes are caused by wearing shoes that are too narrow and crush your toes together. High-heels add to the problem by pushing the toes forward, which is why hammertoes occur more frequently in women.

The easy solution is to prevent hammertoes from occurring by wearing shoes with enough room for your toes. Make sure your shoes don’t crush, crowd, or bend your toes.

You should also keep your toes flexible by manually stretching your toes. Try exercising your toes by picking up small objects from the floor using only your toes.

There are some things you can do at home to get relief from the pain of hammertoes. Placing pads, cushions, and other cushioning devices can help ease the friction of your toe rubbing against the inside of your shoe. Over-the-counter pain and anti-inflammatory medication can also help.

Hammertoes can become very painful, so it’s best to visit your podiatrist for a permanent solution. Common treatments your podiatrist may recommend include:

  • Corticosteroid injections around the joint to decrease inflammation, swelling, and pain
  • Custom fit orthotics or footwear to correct an imbalance of the muscles and tendons in your foot and toes
  • Toe splints and other devices to correct the alignment of your toes
  • Surgical treatment to straighten your toe and correct the alignment of your foot

Don’t let a hammertoe affect your ability to enjoy life. You can get relief from the pain by calling Dr. Rogers at NorthShore University HealthSystem in Wilmette, IL. Call now and feel better!

By Wilmette Foot and Ankle Clinic
July 06, 2018
Category: Foot Issues
Tags: Hammertoes  

When most people think about foot deformities they most often think about bunions; however, hammertoes are just as common. This unassuming deformity comes about gradually, so you may not even notice it until it’s too late. “What is a hammertoe?” You might be wondering. A hammertoe affects the middle joint of a toe (often the smaller toes), causing the toe to bend downward. In severe cases, a hammertoe will look almost claw-like.

There are two kinds of hammertoes: flexible and rigid. As you might imagine, a flexible hammertoe is one in which you can still straighten the toe out. If you aren’t able to straighten the affected toe then this is a rigid hammertoe. A flexible hammertoe isn’t as serious as a rigid one; however, it’s important that you take care of your hammertoe to make sure that it doesn’t get worse.

While there is no way to cure a hammertoe there are simple measures you can take to prevent it from progressing. First and foremost, you need to take a look at the shoes you are wearing and make sure that they aren’t too tight. When you slip your feet into your shoes, does it cause your toes to bunch up against one another? If so then this could make your hammertoe worse.

Instead, opt for shoes with an ample toe box, which will allow your toes to wiggle and move around freely. If you have a structural imbalance within the foot this can leave you prone to foot problems such as hammertoes and bunions. To correct this imbalance, talk to your foot doctor about getting custom orthotics (shoe inserts), which can be placed into your shoes to help provide cushioning, support, and shock absorption for your feet.

If pain or stiffness does rear its ugly head you can choose to take an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen, which can tackle both pain and inflammation in one fell swoop, or you can place a towel-wrapped ice pack (never put ice directly on the skin, as it can cause severe burns) over the area for several minutes.

Just as you can buy pads to cover a bunion or callus, you can also buy a non-medicated protective pad to cover over a hammertoe. Since the deformed toe joint juts out this can leave the toe prone to calluses, which can cause pain when wearing shoes. To prevent a callus from forming, you can apply a protective pad over the deformed toe joint before putting on shoes.

Of course, if you are dealing with significant or frequent pain, or if the hammertoe is rigid, then you will want to turn to a podiatric specialist. In severe cases, surgery may be recommended to correct the disfigured joint.

By Wilmette Foot and Ankle Clinic
August 14, 2017
Category: Foot Issues
Tags: Stress Fractures  

Stress Fractures

Stress fractures are notoriously misdiagnosed and undertreated. In many cases, symptoms may persist for an extended period of time before the diagnosis of a stress fracture is even made. That’s because stress fractures don’t typically occur from an unforeseen trauma, as with a sprain, but rather from repetitive stress.

What Are Stress Fractures?

Stress fractures are tiny, hairline breaks in the bones. They can occur in any bone, but most often afflict the weight-bearing bones of the lower leg and foot. Athletes are especially susceptible to stress fractures, as this common injury is often a problem of overuse.  It frequently results from overtraining and high impact sports, such as running, basketball and tennis.  People with an abnormal foot structure or insufficient bone may also be more vulnerable to suffer a stress fracture.

What Are the Symptoms of Stress Fractures?

Pain is the primary symptom of a stress fracture. In the early stages, the pain may begin toward the end of an activity and resolve with rest. Untreated, the pain will eventually persistent with minimal activity.

The most common symptoms of stress fractures include:

  • Pain with or following normal activity
  • Pain at the site of the fracture
  • Tenderness and swelling at a point on the bone
  • Pain intensified with weight bearing

Rest, ice, compression, and elevation are recommended as an initial treatment plan for stress fractures. You should also minimize all weight-bearing activities until you have fully recovered. Other treatments may include immobilization of the foot, footwear modifications, orthotic devices and in some severe cases, surgery. Rest is the key to a full recovery, and returning too quickly to normal activity may result in more serious damage.

Overuse injuries and stress fractures aren’t completely unavoidable, but you can take extra care to help prevent stress fractures from occurring. Remember to increase any activity or training program slowly and gradually. Wear supportive footwear with good cushioning to help manage the forces placed on your feet and legs during high impact activities. If pain or swelling returns, stop the activity and rest for a few days.

Stress fractures come on gradually and may not present obvious symptoms at first, so it’s important to recognize the early warning signs to prevent further damage. If you suspect a stress fracture, contact our office right away for an evaluation. Proper diagnosis is essential to prevent further damage and improve recovery time, as stress fractures tend to get worse and may even lead to a complete break if not treated right away. A podiatrist will examine your foot or ankle, take an x-ray to determine if there is a break or crack in the bone, and recommend an appropriate treatment plan for optimal recovery.