Posts for category: Toes
Issues with the nails are some of the most common reasons for a trip to your friendly neighborhood podiatric specialist. We see everything from nail blisters to bone spurs come walking (pun intended) through our doors. Here is a quick cheat sheet of some of the signs and symptoms of the common ailments that we see. All due respect to WebMD of course.
Ingrown nails: We see these every day. They can range from mild discomfort when you wear a certain pair of shoes, to a full-blown infected toe. Signs that something is wrong usually start very subtly; so coming in for an evaluation at the first sign of trouble is the surest way to prevent a more involved visit. Ingrown nails will often become chronic if they are not properly treated (aka pedicures), so the sooner you schedule, the sooner we can get you pain-free.
Fungus: Also something we see every day, many times throughout the day. Our feet live in our shoes. Days, weeks, months and even years (gross) of sweat collect on the insoles and serve as the perfect environment for fungus to grow: damp, dark and moist. With a proper diagnosis, we can offer cutting-edge treatments and kick that fungus to the curb!
Pincer nails: These can occur for many reasons, but they always present in the office with the same complaints. The patient notices their nails have an extreme curve, which will cause pain and often infection on the sides where the nail meets the skin.
Onychodystrophy: This is the fancy doctor way of saying, “thickened nails.” Impressive, I know. Often, we will come across a nail that is misdiagnosed as having a variant of fungus or other pathology and doesn’t improve with treatment. Fear not loyal reader, we have many tricks up our sleeves to help your nails look as normal as possible.
Psoriasis: Often, one of the manifestations of autoimmune disease is seen in the peripheral tissues of the hands and feet. Always be sure to tell your podiatrist everything about your medical history, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem.
This is just a small taste of the most common things we treat on a daily basis. The take-home message is the same though. Come on in!
And eat your heart out WebMD.
Holidays and birthdays are times of great celebration, and as is customary, times of great food, friends, and family. With big parties come big appetites and joyous frivolities. A temporary reprieve from our normal diet to indulge a little is generally harmless, but occasionally we see patients who present with a severely painful big toe joint that come out of nowhere. Most people take it easy for a few days and heal up with no issues, but sometimes the pain continues or worsens. A google search will bring up a slew of diagnoses, some appropriate, some far-fetched, but patients usually self-diagnose and are correct in realizing they are having a flare-up of gout.
Gout happens when uric acid, a compound formed by our body from the foods we eat, overwhelms our body and causes a localized inflammatory reaction that can occur in any joint, but for some reason prefers the big toe joint. Patients report their toe is hot, red, swollen, and is so painful, even a sheet touching it will cause severe discomfort. There are many ways that we treat gout, but the first step (no pun intended) is to come in and be evaluated by one of our amazing podiatrists. We will help you get the relief you need and keep you on your feet.
Do your toes curl under? Do they look crooked in your shoes?
Hammertoes, claw toes or mallet toes are toes that appear bent towards the floor. They look like they are curled underneath your feet and can look weird or unsightly. These toe problems usually occur in your lesser digits (toes 2 through 4) and can cause you pain, discomfort and you may even notice thickening of skin (a corn or a callus) forming on the top of your toes. It is not uncommon to have redness and swelling as well.
What causes hammertoes?
Hammertoes are usually caused by a muscle imbalance and over time this imbalance changes the structure of the foot which causes the toe(s) to bend. This condition can even be genetic! Additionally, hammertoes can be caused by wearing too-tight shoes that cause toes to curl under.
Luckily, there are treatment options available to you to help take care of your hammertoes:
- Change your shoe gear! You can prevent worsening of hammertoes by avoiding tight or constricting shoes.
- If there is a corn or callus on the top of your toes, you can prevent irritation by protecting it from pressure and friction caused by shoes. You can use pads or shields to do so. We have them in the office, ask us about them!
- Your muscle and tendon imbalance can be helped with the use of custom orthotics. Custom orthotics can help to reduce the amount of pressure applied to the parts of your feet to reduce the contracture and symptoms of painful hammertoes. Talk to us about custom orthotics and whether or not they can improve your condition.
- Have you tried all of the above and are still experiencing pain and discomfort? You may be a surgical candidate. However, a thorough consultation is needed in order to determine if you are a candidate.
Please schedule an appointment today to discuss what can be done about your toes! We have an office located in Manhasset (516) 869-3300 and Huntington (631) 400-3085 serving the Long Island community! We look forward to meeting you!
So you went out for St. Patrick's day, drank large amounts of green beer, and now you have a splitting headache and your big toe is warm, red, swollen and so painful you can't even bear to have your bedsheets touch it. After a couple powerades, your head is better, but your toe is still killing you! You don't remember kicking anything or getting your toe stomped on while river dancing, so what gives?
Barring any traumatic event or infection, the presentation of these symptoms is consistent with a diagnosis of gout. Hereditary factors often play a role in having gout, but it is not uncommon that a person with no family history of gout or elevated uric acid will have a flare up.
Uric acid is a naturally occurring compound in the body that is a product of the metabolic breakdown of purines, which are found in high concentrations in meat and meat products, anchovies, mackerel, scallops, game meats and beer. At high levels, uric acid crystalizes and gets deposited in joints, tendons and the surrounding tissues causing a localized inflammatory reaction. It also may cause kidney stones, additional kidney issues and arthritis.
While a gouty attack can occur in any joint in the body, for some reason, over half the cases involve the joint of the big toe. The first step (which is excruciating if you have gout) is evaluation by a podiatrist. Your podiatrist will order some blood work, offer a range of treatments from oral medications to injectable steroids, and have you follow up with your internist or an endocrinologist. As a sufferer of gout, I can tell you, the sooner you see your podiatrist, the sooner you will get relief.