What is a Bunion?
A bunion, also known as Hallux abducto valgus deformity (HAV) is a deviation or malalignment of the great toe joint. Often the cause is a genetic predisposition as well as poorly sized shoe gear, trauma and arthritis. Most bunion pain starts as a general nonspecific area of tenderness overlying the joint. It then progresses to a sharp radiating pain while wearing shoe gear. As the deformity increases, the great toe begins to crowd the second toe. Bunions often develop into Osteoarthritis and chronic pain. Treatment plans vary but surgical intervention is most effective.
What is a Neuroma?
A neuroma is a benign thickening of a nerve between the toes that usually results in radiating pain toward the ends of the toes or even up the foot and leg. Though neuromas can be found along any nerve, they tend to have a predilection for the area between the third and fourth toes. This is known as a Morton’s neuroma. The most common causes of neuromas are inappropriate or tight shoe gear and trauma. Treatment options consist of simply changing shoe gear, orthotic devices, anti-inflammatories, sclerosing therapy, and surgical excision.
What is Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology / EPAT?
Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology / EPAT is a relatively new treatment for plantar fasciitis. When other conservative therapies have failed to relieve the pain of plantar fasciitis (commonly referred to as “heel spur”) EPAT may be used. This procedure is routinely performed in an outpatient setting and is noninvasive. The entire procedure takes less than thirty minutes and relieves the pain of plantar fasciitis within a few weeks.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis (commonly referred to as “heel spur”) is a common cause of heel pain and affects millions of individuals in the U.S. each year. The plantar fascia is a broad ligament that spans the entire bottom (plantar) of the foot just beneath the skin. When this ligament is stressed, the small collagen fibers begin to fray which results in inflammation and pain. This is caused by a number of factors including sports injury, obesity, jobs that require lots of standing and walking, high arched feet and flat feet. Treatments consist of shoe gear changes, anti-inflammatories, orthotics, physical therapy, Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology (EPAT), and surgery.
Is there a permanent remedy to my ingrown toenails?
Yes, there is and it’s a simple one. Most ingrown toenails result from an incurvatlon of the nail into the surrounding skin as it grows out from the root. As the nail digs into the skin it develops into a localized infection. These infections can become intense and must be promptly treated. Provided the patient’s general health is good, a simple in-office procedure can rid you of this chronic condition. Under local anesthetic, the nail border is removed and the matrix or nail root is destroyed. Most patients experience little discomfort with this procedure and the toe will go on to heal in a week or two.
What is Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome is a group of symptoms that results from the compression or entrapment of the posterior tibial nerve as it exits the leg and enters the foot. Three large tendons and an artery and vein also use this tunnel that is formed by ligaments. Repetitive motion or trauma can result in inflammation and compression of this nerve. Symptoms will include radiating pain to the toes or up the leg with motion of the foot, sweating abnormality to the affected foot and possible temperature changes. This syndrome is similar to Carpal Tunnel that is found in the wrist.
I think I have a Plantar Wart. How do I get rid of it?
A plantar wart is a viral skin infection caused by the Humai Papilloma Virus (HPV). These are contagious and can be spread quite easily from person to person. These warts are benign in that they do not cause cancer, as some of the other warts from this group are known to do. Generally, they result from an area of trauma or site of pressure to the bottom (plantar surface) of the foot. A plantar wart may remain solitary or may spread to develop into a large aggregate. They are exquisitely painful. Treatment options consist of many topical preparations most of which are acids or chemotherapeutic agents. Laser surgery, cryosurgery, electro surgery, and excision are most effective.
What is a Ganglion cyst?
A ganglion cyst is a fluid-filled cystic lesion that forms from the lining of a joint or a tendon sheath. These are commonly seen in the wrists, ankles, and feet. Ganglions are benign and generally grow slow. These cystic lesions can become painful when they begin to apply pressure to adjacent structures like tendons, vessels, and nerves. Ganglions are typically treated by initially draining (aspirating) the fluid. However the reoccurrence rate is high and will then require surgical excision.
I have a single discolored toenail. What could this be?
There are many causes of a discolored toenail or thickened nails. A frequent cause of a discolored toenail, thickening, and pain is fungus (onychomycosis). Nail fungus may initially begin beneath the edge of the nail, spread to the entire nail plate other toenails and to the skin as athlete’s foot. Oral antifungals are currently the treatment of choice for fungal nail infections. Other causes of painful, thickened, or discolored toenails could include nail dystrophy, psoriasis, glomus tumors, subungual hematomas and even melanoma.
What causes Arch Pain?
Between the front and back part of the foot is the area known as the arch. The arch of your foot bears a lot of weight and is subject to a lot of stress. Painful arches can mean the bones, ligaments, and muscles are overworked and tired. An overworked arch can also cause leg cramps and low back pain. Flat feet, poor circulation, being overweight, having arthritis, or anemia are all conditions that can cause arch pain.
It is important to have a podiatrist do a proper diagnosis of the cause to ensure the correct treatment for your specific situation is chosen.