Posts for tag: Bunions
Bunions are a condition that we see often at New England Foot & Ankle Specialists. The bony protuberance forms on the outside of the base of the big toe as a result of the big toe moving out of place and toward the second toe. As the bunion grows larger, it causes increasing friction and irritation from footwear and the more inflamed the joint becomes. Over time, bursitis or arthritis may develop in the joint and corns or calluses may also form as a result of the ongoing pressure on particular points of the foot caused by the bunion. Bunions are progressive and cannot be eliminated completely accept by surgery.
How Bad is It?
First, you’ll need to make an appointment at our Reading office (781) 944-4044) so that one of our podiatrists: Dr. George A. Abboud, Dr. Brian D. Tedesco, Dr. Carl Conui, Dr. Kimberly Thurmond or Dr. Dennis Tuck can examine your bunion and take a complete medical history. X-rays or other imaging studies may also be needed to fully evaluate your bunion. The foot doctor may suggest other treatment options first, including:
Orthotic devices to help correct the positioning of the foot and stabilize the joint
Protective padding to help limit friction and rubbing from shoes
Night splints to align toes and joints
Exercises that will prevent stiffness, maintain joint mobility and increase range of motion
If none of these options brings relief or if the size of the enlargement or the extent of the deformity is too severe, the foot doctor may recommend surgery, known as a bunionectomy. A bunionectomy may be necessary to prevent more severe damage from occurring or to stop a bunion from leading to permanent disability.
There are multiple types of bunion surgeries. Expected results and recovery time will vary. If surgery is the recommended treatment for your bunion, be sure you understand fully the procedure and what to expect after surgery. If you have questions, contact us at: (781) 944-4044.
Did you know that one of the biggest factors in preventing foot problems is choosing well-made shoes that fit properly? Here at New England Foot & Ankle Specialists we want to offer our patients some tips to take to the shoe store:
Get your feet professionally measured each time you shop for shoes. As you age or if you are pregnant, your feet size can increase.
Most people have one foot that is larger than the other. Always fit shoes to the larger foot.
Be sure shoes are fitted both to the heel and your toes.
Check that there is at least a half inch of space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe. When the shoe is all the way on your foot you should still be able to wiggle your toes freely.
Shop for shoes at the end of the day. That’s when feet tend to be most swollen and at their largest size.
Choose shoes with laces rather than slip-on designs for a more secure fit and to better accommodate orthotic devices, insoles or braces.
Always try on both shoes and spend some time walking around in the store to make sure they are comfortable.
Don’t buy heels that are higher than 2 inches. High heels force the toes into the toe box and squeeze them which can lead to toe deformities such as hammertoe.
Check the inside of the shoe for loose stitching or bumps in the material that can cause irritation. This is especially important if you have a bunion or other foot deformity.
If shoes feel tight or uncomfortable in the store, don’t buy them! A “break-in period” for shoes is a myth and will result in blisters and pain when you wear them.
If you are uncertain whether your foot condition requires special shoe accommodations contact either our Reading office at (781) 944-4044 for an appointment and let one of our podiatrists, George A. Abboud, D.P.M., Brian D. Tedesco, D.P.M., Carl Conui, D.P.M., or Kimberly Thurmond, D.P.M. examine your foot and make recommendations for the best shoes to protect your foot health.
Did you know that according to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) improper care of your feet during exercise is a factor in over 300 foot injuries and disorder? At New England Foot & Ankle Specialists we want our patients to be in good shape but not at the expense of your feet. Here are some ways you can protect your podiatric health while you work out:
Get a Check Up: We’ve all heard how you should “consult your physician” before starting a new exercise program but many people neglect to realize that includes your feet. If you’ve had previous injuries or have existing conditions such as bunions or flat feet, your podiatrists can make specific recommendations regarding activities and footwear that will be less stressful on your trouble spots.
Listen to Your Feet: Pain is never normal. While you may experience sore muscles when you first start a new sport or program, stabbing pain, extreme pain or pain that doesn’t go away is a sign that something is wrong. Continuing to bear weight on a hurt foot or engaging in the same motion that is causing the pain will most likely lead to serious injury.
Get the Gear: You can skip the fancy shorts or sports logo t-shirt but don’t skimp on quality footwear. Today, footwear is designed specifically for the motion that a particular sport requires. Having fitness shoes or sneakers that fit properly and support your foot where needed is one of the biggest precautions you can take to prevent sports injuries. Get professionally fitted by someone experienced with sport shoes.
Sweat the Small Stuff: Some common foot problems that occur with exercise are blisters, shin splints, athlete’s foot, corns and calluses. Although none of these are major medical problems, don’t ignore them. For any of these or more serious pain and discomfort, make an appointment at our Reading office to see one of 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. by calling (781) 944-4044.
A Neuroma is an enlargement or thickening of nerve tissue. This benign condition can develop in many parts of the body, including the foot. The most frequent form of Neuroma that we treat at New England Foot & Ankle Specialists is Morton’s Neuroma which occurs between the third and fourth toes on the ball of the foot.
What Causes Neuromas?
Neuromas occur when nerves get irritated due to the friction of tissue rubbing up against them or from excess pressure. One of the most common sources of this nerve irritation is the pressure from shoes that have a tight toe box or high heels (which force the toes into the front of the shoe). Other possible causes include:
Overuse from activities that deliver repeated pounding to the ball of the foot, such as basketball or running
An injury or trauma to the foot
Oftentimes the symptoms of Morton’s Neuroma start gradually. Patients may feel pain or the sensation that there is a rock in their shoe or something under the ball of the foot. Other signs include tingling, burning or numbness in the affected area of the foot. Although symptoms may be alleviated temporarily with rest or massaging the painful area, they will only get worse over time. Left untreated, Neuromas will result in permanent nerve damage.
If these symptoms sound familiar, make an appointment to see one of 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. A complete physical exam, medical history and the use of imaging studies will help the foot doctor confirm a diagnosis of Morton’s Neuroma.
There are several non-surgical treatment options available, including orthotics and cortisone shots. In extreme cases, surgery may be recommended. If you believe you may have a Neuroma in your foot, contact our Reading office as soon as possible and put yourself on the road to relief.
Although it may sound like a folksy term, early settlers would use this to describe some cold weather ailment. Chilblains actually refer to a real skin condition that occurs due to an abnormal reaction to cold and one that we treat at New England Foot & Ankle Specialists. Chilblains most commonly occur on the extremities of the body—those areas furthest from the heart and therefore the coldest—fingers, nose, ear lobes and, in your feet, the toes. People with circulation problems in their feet have an increased risk for chilblains.
Chilblains appear as small, swollen red spots on the skin, which are usually itchy and painful. The chilblains will swell and then dry up, creating cracks in the skin. If you have a bunion or other toe issue that is caused by excessive pressure or squeezing of the toes, that area is more susceptible to developing chilblains.
Are Chilblains Dangerous?
The biggest medical threat presented by chilblains is infection. The cuts and cracks in the skin create open sores and ulcers and provide an entry point for bacteria. Once an infection develops, the toe can become swollen, hot to the touch and there may be drainage of pus or fluid. This is particularly dangerous if you are a patient with diabetes because poor circulation and decreased immunity can result in an open wound that is difficult to heal. Diabetic patients should contact our Reading office immediately if you notice chilblains (or any sores or blisters on your feet or toes). 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 want to examine your feet and treat any sores as quickly as possible to head off the possibility of infection.
Fortunately, the uncomfortable symptoms of itching and burning can usually be relieved with calamine lotion. If an ulcer has formed, the foot doctor may want to apply an antiseptic dressing to the wound. Wearing extra warm socks and limiting time outside when temperatures drop is recommended for patients that have developed chilblains in the past.
If you have a rash or blisters on your foot and you are unsure what the cause is, make an appointment at one of our Middlesex County offices by calling: (781) 944-4044. We’re here to address your concerns.