You may recognize this famous foot; and if you don't, it might be better that way! This foot serves as a great teaching model. Some of the obvious issues noted to this foot are:
1. Discolored, thickened toenails- most people think any discolored, thickened toenail is from a fungus. While that might be true it is important to know that trauma, bacterial/yeast infestation can also cause such an appearance. Often times, a nail biopsy is taken in the office and sent off for analysis to confirm fungal growth. If fungus is present, various treatments ranging from topical treatments, oral medications to laser treatments are available. At Advanced Podiatry, we work with our patients to choose which options are best for each individual.
2. Bunion- A bump on the inside of the foot may not only be cosmetic in nature but also painful to walk and put shoes on. Bunions may arise due to biomechanical deformities that were never treated such as flat feet or from long years of high heels. The medical term for a bunion is known as hallux abductovalgus in which the joint deviates and causes the great toe to start turning towards the second toe. With severe bunions, the second toe starts to buckle due to the big toe shifting over. The podiatrists at Advanced Podiatry are trained in both conservative and surgical management of bunions.
3. Bunionette/Tailors bunion- A bunionette deformity is analogous to a bunion except the bump is on the outside of the foot. Many times, a callus will form near the bump from friction/rubbing from shoes. This deformity can also cause the fifth toe to drift inwards and develop a corn, Wider and supportive shoe gear are always helpful in preventing this deformity from getting worse. If conservative measures are unhelpful, surgery can be performed to decrease pain and the ability to wear normal shoe gear again.
4. Hammertoes- Buckled toes may arise from biomechanical deformities such as flat feet, high arched feet or some neurological conditions. Unsupportive, narrow shoe gear can also cause hammering of the lesser toes. Some of the conservative treatment options for hammertoes include orthotics to address biomechanical deformities or toe caps to prevent friction. Surgical approaches are available for hammertoes as well depending on the flexibility of the joint. Sometimes, a simple bone removal is sufficient to decompress the joint; other times a fusion of the joint with some kind of internal fixation may be necessary.