Posts for category: Foot Injuries
Injuries to the sesamoids—those two little bones on the underside of your foot near the base of the big toe—can cause pain and disability that ranges from mild to severe. At New England Foot & Ankle Specialists, we find risk factors that make patients more likely to injure the sesamoids include:
Participating in sports and activities that put significant pressure or impact on the big toe and forefoot, such as ballet, football, running, basketball and tennis
Having high arches
Frequently wearing high heeled shoes
There are several types of injuries that can occur to the sesamoids and the bones and tendons surround them including fractures, inflammation (sesamoiditis) and Turf Toe.
Evaluation and Relief
Patients should not put off coming into our Reading office for treatment of pain in this area of the foot because there are several non-surgical options available to help relieve the suffering. One of our podiatrists: Dr. George A. Abboud, Dr. Brian D. Tedesco, Dr. Carl Conui or Dr. Kimberly Thurmond will first examine the big toe and the ball of your foot to determine exactly what injury to the sesamoids you have sustained and also the severity of the condition. Watching you walk and examining the wear patter of your shoes may provide clues to the podiatrist. X-rays or other imaging studies may also be ordered. Once the exact nature of the injury has been determined, the foot doctor may use one or more of the following treatment options:
Immobilizing the foot in a cast or walking cast. The podiatrist may want you to use crutches to prevent putting weight on the injured foot
Steroid injections to reduce joint pain and inflammation
Using padding inside your shoe to cushion and protect the sesamoids
Strapping or taping the big toe to the next toe to shift the pressure off the injured area
Orthotic devices for your shoes to spread out the pressure on the ball of your foot
Physical therapy to increase strength and range of motion
To learn more about how to relieve pain and discomfort in the ball of your foot, contact us for an appointment by calling: (781) 944-4044.
Have you ever heard of a Lisfranc joint or ligament? They are located in the middle of your foot at the point where your metatarsal bones meet up with the bones in the arch of your foot. At New England Foot & Ankle Specialists, patients with an injury to this area report difficulty bearing weight on the foot as well as pain, swelling, blistering and bruising to the arch of the foot.
Tricky to Diagnose
The symptoms of a Lisfranc injury can mimic those of ankle sprain and so diagnosis can be challenging. Our podiatrists: Dr. George A. Abboud, Dr. Brian D. Tedesco, Dr. Carl Conui, or Dr. Kimberly Thurmond will want a detailed medical history from you if you have midfoot symptoms and will conduct a complete examination of your foot. Imaging studies, including x-rays may also be utilized to confirm the diagnosis and in some cases an examination while the patient is under anesthesia may also be ordered.
Lisfranc injuries fall into three categories: fractures, sprains and dislocations. Once the podiatrist determines the exact nature of your Lisfranc injury and its severity, the proper treatment plan can be determined. Options for treatment may include:
Icing and elevation—keeping the leg at or a little above hip level and applying ice for 20 minutes every hour to help reduce swelling
Immobilizing the foot—patients often need to avoid putting weight on the foot and therefore it may be placed in a cast and crutches may be needed
Medication—the foot doctor may prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (Ibuprofen) to help relieve inflammation and pain
Physical therapy—once the initial symptoms have gone away, physical therapy may be recommended to strengthen the muscles and ligaments surrounding the Lisfranc joint
Surgery—in some cases surgery may be necessary to repair a Lisfranc injury
Prompt treatment of a Lisfranc injury is important in order to prevent serious disability. If you have recently been injured or are just noticing pain and swelling in the middle of your foot, make an appointment at our Reading office as soon as possible.
After an impromptu football game at a family barbecue you notice that your big toe is a little sore. By the next day, the pain is intense. There is quite a bit of swelling at the base of the toe and it is difficult to bend it. If these symptoms sound familiar, you may be suffering from a condition we see regularly at New England Foot & Ankle Specialists known as turf toe.
Turf toe is actually a sprain of the big toe joint and it occurs as a result of hyperextension of the big toe. This can happen gradually over time if you participate in an activity that requires repetitive pushing off with your toe. Football, soccer, wrestling and gymnastics are the sports with the highest risk for this condition. Turf toe can also be the result of an acute injury, such as one really big push. Turf toe gets its name from the fact that on artificial turf surfaces your feet (and toes) are more likely to stick or jam on the turf when coming to a sudden stop.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Our podiatrists: Dr. George A. Abboud, Dr. Brian D. Tedesco, Dr. Carl Conui, or Dr. Kimberly Thurmond, will need to examine your toe and also obtain a complete medical history. The foot doctor will most likely also order x-rays to be sure that you do not have a fracture. Other imaging studies that allow the foot doctor to more clearly view soft tissue may also be done to confirm the diagnosis.
Initially, the foot doctor will probably recommend that you follow the RICE regimen: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed to reduce inflammation and pain. Modifications to footwear may help prevent a recurrence of turf toe.
If your big toe is causing you pain, make an appointment at either our Reading office. Continuing normal activity with turf toe will result in the condition worsening and possibly more invasive treatment to correct it.
With nearly a quarter of all the bones of your body located in your feet, it’s not surprising that one of the more common conditions we see at New England Foot & Ankle Specialists are fractures. Symptoms of a fracture are pain, swelling and sometimes bruising. Generally speaking, fractures fall into two categories:
General Bone Fractures—these are the type people are most familiar with. General bone fractures usually occur as a result of any injury, a trauma such as dropping a very heavy object on your foot or from a twisting injury. In this type of break, the fracture goes all the way through the bone. A fracture may be stable—which means there is no shift in how the bones line up, or displaced—which means the bone alignment has been shifted and the ends no longer meet the way they should. A bone fracture may also be open—the bone breaks through the skin or closed—bone does not break through the skin.
Stress Fractures—these fractures are a little trickier to detect. With a stress fracture, the bone is not completely broken. Instead, there are very tiny cracks in the surface of the bone. The symptoms may come and go but, if untreated, will usually get worse over time. Stress fractures are usually caused by overuse or they can be the result in a sudden increase in the intensity of an exercise, poor training techniques or a change in the surface where the fitness activity takes place.
How a fracture is treated will depend on the type and severity of the break. Our podiatrists, George A. Abboud, D.P.M., Brian D. Tedesco, D.P.M., Carl Conui, D.P.M., and Kimberly Thurmond, D.P.M. will use x-rays and other imaging studies to evaluate a fracture. Treatment inevitably includes immobilizing and resting the foot with the broken bone to allow healing to occur. Icing the area and using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications may be suggested to relieve pain and swelling. In the case of a very bad fracture or one where displacement of the bone has occurred, surgery may be necessary.
Remember that being able to bear weight on your foot does not mean that it is not fractured. If you have injured your foot and are experiencing signs of a fracture, contact our Reading office for an appointment.