Posts for category: Foot Condition
What is Sesamoiditis?
Sesamoids are small bones that are only connected to tendons or surrounded in muscle. This only appears in a few places in the body, one of which is the foot. Two very tiny sesamoids are found in the underside of the foot near the big toe. One is on the outer side of the foot and the other bone is close to the middle of the foot. This structure provides a smooth surface for the tendons to slide over, which helps the tendons move muscles. They help with weight bearing and also help to elevate the bones of the big toe. So now that you know what sesamoids are, you might be wondering what sesamoiditis is and what its symptoms are.
Just like any other bone, sesamoids can unfortunately fracture. The tendons surrounding the sesamoids may also become irritated or inflamed and this is what sesamoiditis is. Sesamoiditis is also a form of tendonitis and is a common condition among ballerinas, runners, and baseball catchers due to the pressure that is constantly placed on their feet.
Symptoms of Sesamoiditis
Symptoms of Sesamoiditis may include:
- Pain under the big toe or ball of the foot
- Swelling and/or bruising
- Difficulty in bending and straightening the big toe
- Resting and stopping any activity that could be causing pain and inflammation
- Anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen and aspirin only after consulting your physician
- Icing the sole of the foot
- Wearing soft-soled and low-heeled shoes
- Cushioning inserts in the shoes
If symptoms persist after treatments, you may need to wear a removable brace for 4-6 weeks to help the bones heal. Call your podiatrist today to ask any questions about sesamoiditis and get on your way to pain-free feet once again!
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.
Corns are thickened areas of skin that develop in response to excessive pressure and friction. This can occur when one toe rubs repeatedly against another or when the toes rub against ill-fitting footwear. Typically hard and circular, corns are usually not a serious problem, but can be quite painful if untreated, especially when wearing shoes.
How Are Corns Treated?
Since corns are often symptoms of underlying problems, such as faulty bone structures or abnormal gait, self-treatment should only involve footwear modification. Never attempt to cut or scrape away a corn on your own, as this can lead to infection. It’s best to consult a podiatrist first, as many times over-the-counter treatments fail to effectively treat the underlying foot disorder and can damage the healthy surrounding skin if used incorrectly.
A podiatrist will assess your corn, determine the cause and help you determine a treatment plan to manage the pain and eliminate the pressure that is causing the corn. These conservative treatments may include padding to prevent pressure, footwear modifications and orthotics to relieve stress under the foot. When pain is persistent or conservative treatment isn’t effective, minimally-invasive surgical correction may be recommended to remove the corn or repair the bone structure beneath the corn.
The surgery can often be performed in the doctor's office, the recovery time is brief and many patients obtain relief within days. Corns always require consultation with an experienced podiatrist. When treated early, most corns can be resolved with non-surgical treatments.
Characterized by a large, unsightly bump on the side of the big toe joint, bunions signal an underlying deformity in the structure of the foot. Left untreated, bunions may become progressively worse, causing severe discomfort, difficulty walking, redness and swelling.
Treatment options vary with the severity of each bunion. Identifying the deformity early in its development is important in avoiding surgery. Common conservative treatments include rest, ice, padding, orthotics and footwear modifications. Many times a combination of these simple lifestyle changes and non-surgical approaches are enough to relieve the pain and stop the progression of the bunion, although these treatments won’t reverse the actual deformity.
When non-surgical treatments fail to relieve your pain, or your bunion is interfering with normal, daily activities, our office may recommend a bunionectomy, which involves the surgical removal of a bunion to reduce pressure and repair the joint. There are a variety of surgical procedures available to treat bunions. The goal of surgery is to correct the deformity by realigning the toe. This is accomplished by removing the bony bump and restoring normal, pain-free function.
When Should I Consider Bunion Surgery?
- Nonsurgical, conservative treatment has failed to relieve your bunion pain
- Walking or performing normal, everyday tasks is difficult and painful
- The simple act of wearing shoes causes pain
- Your big toe joint is constantly swollen
Your age and health may also determine your candidacy for bunion surgery. Your podiatrist will work with you to determine the best treatment for your individual needs. With the surgical removal of bunions, we can relieve your pain and help you return to the activities you enjoy!