Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Heel Pain-Part 1

The heel bone or calcaneus is the largest bone in the foot and has many important soft tissue structures that attach to it. The most common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis, which is inflammation of the band that extends from the bottom of the heel along the arch. Plantar fasciitis can occur with weight or activity changes, gait abnormalities, based on foot structure abnormalities, injury or trauma, overuse, and sometimes no cause can be identified. Typically, there is pain after rest (sitting at a desk, getting up from bed) with plantar fasciitis, but pain can also occur at a lesser level during the day in some patients or be aggravated by exercise or activity. Common treatments of plantar fasciitis include the following: icing, stretching, changing shoegear, no barefoot walking, medicine, injections, strapping the foot, orthotic devices, physical therapy, and night splints. There can be other causes of heel pain, so if the condition is not improving after 2-4 weeks, x-rays, MRI, and immobilization may be needed for the pain. Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580 oakparkpodiatry.com

Friday, August 12, 2016

Painful Fifth Toe-Broken Toe

One of the most common reasons a fifth toe is tender (and swollen) is because it is broken. Every week, I have patients come into the office stating they bumped their little toe on something (the bed, a table, a chair, toys, a pet), and it is not improving. There are three bones in the fifth toe, and they are called phlanages. These bones are very small, and because this toe is on the outside of the foot, it is easy to injure. A good clinical exam in the office and x-rays are the best ways to diagnose a broken toe. Sometimes the fracture or break is hard to see on x-ray since the bones are so small. Treatment options for a broken fifth toe are strapping, surgery shoes, antiinflammatory medicine, ice, rest, and very occasionally surgery. Fractured bones often take 6-8 weeks to heal if properly diagnosed and treated. Certain diseases and conditions can delay healing in some patients. Does your little toe hurt? Give us a call, 708-763-0580.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Ouch! Another cause of a Painful 5th Toe

Last week's blog focused on one cause of a painful 5th toe, which is a lister corn. This week we will focus on one of the most basic reasons the fifth toe can hurt, and that is a contracted toe. Two forms of a contracted fifth toe are called the hammer toe (contracted toe with no curvature) and digiti quinti varus (curved and contracted). These toes can be flexible, which means they can be straightened out, or rigid (do not flatten out). Contracted toes can lead to pain, corns, swelling, blisters, and in some cases open sores. Some patients do not like the way their toe looks and come into the office complaining of the contraction, which can be accompanied by discoloration (darkening or redness). There are many ways of dealing with these problamatic toes: padding, shoes with a bigger toe box, trimming painful corns, and surgery to straighten out the toes. Does your toe hurt? Give us a call, 708-763-0580. Dr. Bender